Michigan names to know for the 2016 NHL Draft


By @StefanKubus and @MichaelCaples –

The 2016 NHL Draft kicks off Friday night in Buffalo, and MiHockey will be keeping tabs on all of the Michigan players who hear their names called by professional hockey franchises.

Below is a list of the Michigan natives and their corresponding final draft rankings as laid forth by NHL Central Scouting:

Max Jones – No. 14

Jones, a Rochester native, is fresh off a Memorial Cup win with the London Knights. In his first OHL season, the 6-foot-3 forward potted 28 goals and 52 points in 63 games. Jones was limited to six postseason games – registering two points – while serving a 12-game suspension for a hit to the head in the first round of the OHL playoffs.

Alex DeBrincat – No. 21

The diminutive Erie Otters forward played well beyond his size in his first two OHL seasons, posting back-to-back 50-goal, 100-point seasons. In 128 capeer games, DeBrincat (Farmington Hills) potted a total of 102 goals and 205 points, also adding 35 points in 33 playoff games across those two seasons.

Jack Kopacka – No. 33

A Lapeer native, Kopacka played just four OHL games in 2014-15 due to a loaded Sault Ste. Marie squad. But in his first full season in 2015-16, he came on in a big way, amassing 20 goals and 43 points in 67 games. At 6-foot-2, Kopacka can also offer his size to NHL clubs.

Ben Gleason – No. 58

Gleason, a left-shooting defenseman from Ortonville, recorded five points in 41 games in his first season with London in the OHL. However, after being acquired by Hamilton early in the 2015-16 season, Gleason went on to post 32 points in 64 games from the back end in his sophomore campaign.

Sean Day – No. 59

Day was one of just four players to ever receive exceptional player status by the OHL, allowing him to be drafted as a 15-year-old. The 6-foot-2 defenseman has amassed 74 points across three seasons with Mississauga. Day, originally born in Belgium, played for Honeybaked and Compuware while living in Rochester before joining the OHL ranks.

Will Lockwood – No. 108

Lockwood, a Bloomfield Hills native, has spent the past two seasons with USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program. The 5-foot-11, right-handed Lockwood amassed 10 goals and 17 points across 54 games.

Kenny Johnson – No. 117

Johnson, an Ann Arbor native, potted 30 points in 44 games in 2015-16 with Shattuck St. Mary’s in Minnesota. Johnson is the younger brother of NHL defenseman Jack Johnson and could follow in his footsteps as he is committed to the University of Michigan. At 6-foot-3, 214 pounds, Johnson certainly possesses NHL size.

Keenan Suthers – No. 119

At 6-foot-8, 223 pounds, Suthers has power forward written all over him. The Macomb native spent the past two seasons with USA Hockey’s NTDP. Suthers is currently committed to Western Michigan.

Mitch Eliot – No. 132

A right-shot defenseman, Eliot spent the past two seasons with Muskegon in the USHL, amassing 17 points from the back end. Eliot, the son of former NHL goaltender and current Fox Sports Detroit analyst Darren Eliot, is currently committed to Michigan State.

Kevin Klima – No. 210

After an up-and-down 2014-15, Klima potted 23 goals and 50 points in 52 games with the Moncton Wildcats of the QMJHL in 2015-16, adding four points in the playoffs. A Bloomfield Hills native, Klima is the son of former Red Wings forward Petr Klima.


Tyler Parsons – No. 3

The Chesterfield native helped backstop the London Knights to a Memorial Cup this past season. Parsons improved on his 3.53 goals-against average, .905 save percentage and 15-10-2 record from 2014-15, posting a 2.33 GAA, .921 save percentage and 37-9-3 mark. He was even better in the postseason, recording a 2.15 GAA, .925 save percentage and 16-1-1 record.

David Ovsjannikov – No. 24

In 2015-16, Ovsjannikov (Rochester) posted his best OHL marks in two seasons, including a .915 save percentage and 12-5-3 record for the Barrie Colts. He spent the previous two seasons with the Saginaw Spirit organization. At 6-foot-6, Ovsjannikov undoubtedly has the size of a modern NHL goaltender.


Other players with Michigan ties ranked by NHL Central Scouting:

Clayton Keller – No. 9 – NTDP

Kieffer Bellows – No. 10 – NTDP

Will Bitten – No. 43 – Flint Firebirds

Trent Frederic – No. 47 – NTDP

Ryan Lindgren – No. 53 – NTDP

Adam Fox – No. 50 – NTDP

Markus Niemelainen – No. 52 – Saginaw Spirit

Chad Krys – No. 53 – NTDP

Joseph Anderson – No. 56 – NTDP

Wade Allison – No. 62 – Western Michigan commit

Nicholas Caamano – No. 69 – Flint Firebirds

Griffin Luce – No. 70 – NTDP, University of Michigan commit

Keaton Middleton – No. 71 – Saginaw Spirit

Rem Pitlick – No. 93 – Muskegon Lumberjacks

Graham McPhee – No. 110 – NTDP

Nick Pastujov – No. 112 – NTDP, University of Michigan commit

James Greenway – No. 121 – NTDP

James Sanchez – No. 146 – NTDP, University of Michigan commit

Zachary Walker – No. 166 – NTDP

Tye Felhaber – No. 167 – Saginaw Spirit

Michael Campoli – No. 190 – NTDP



Evan Cormier – No. 11 – Saginaw Spirit

Jack Lafontaine – No. 13 – University of Michigan commit