NHL Draft: Projected top 5 selections

Considered NHL-ready at the age of 18, Barrie Colts defenceman Aaron Ekblad is mature beyond his years on and off the ice, and he could be selected first overall by Florida in Friday's NHL draft.

Panthers have 1st overall pick in Philadelphia

Here are the players who are likely to be the top five picks in the NHL draft on June 27 in Philadelphia:

Aaron Ekblad

Position: Defenceman

Hometown: Belle River, Ont.

Team: Barrie Colts (Ontario Hockey League)

Scouting report: NHL-ready at the age of 18, Ekblad is mature beyond his years on and off the ice. Trying to follow in the path of Canadian Olympians Shea Weber and Alex Pietrangelo, Ekblad has an all-around game and shouldn't have a steep learning curve ahead of him.

Sam Bennett

Position: Centre

Hometown: Holland Landing, Ont.

Team: Kingston Frontenacs of OHL

Scouting report: Considered a "complete package" by NHL Central Scouting's Dan Marr, Bennett is a consistent goal-scorer and playmaker. He couldn't do a pull-up at the scouting combine, but upper-body strength will come in time and match his 180-foot game.

Sam Reinhart

Position: Centre

Hometown: Vancouver

Team: Kootenay Ice (Western Hockey League)

Scouting report: Lauded for his hockey sense and vision, Reinhart is still growing as a player. The third son of former NHL defenceman Paul Reinhart can still get quicker with his skating, but he thinks his adjustment to pro hockey will be quicker after practising with Team Canada's world championship team this spring.

Leon Draisaitl

Position: Centre

Hometown: Cologne, Germany

Team: Prince Albert Raiders of WHL

Scouting report: At six-foot-one and 208 pounds, Draisaitl is the most physically gifted of the top forwards available. The German who came to North America to develop has drawn comparisons to Jaromir Jagr for his ability to hold on to the puck under duress and get his shot off quickly.

Michael Dal Colle

Position: Left-winger

Hometown: Vaughan, Ont.

Team: Oshawa Generals of OHL

Scouting report: Dal Colle is at the bottom of this top crop perhaps only because he's a natural winger. His versatility is his biggest tool, though, considering he can kill penalties, play the point on the power play and score important but not flashy goals when called upon.


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