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2016 NHL Mock Draft: Toronto Maple Leafs officially on the clock

That could change with Auston Matthews coming to town, as the youngster is the best prospect available and the top-ranked prospect in the latest player rankings.

Matthews has excelled at every level of hockey and has the ability to make those players around him play at a higher level. With William Nylander, Morgan Rielly, and Mitch Marner, this franchise will have a solid group of young players to help in the rebuilding process, something that should have the fans very excited about the Leafs’ future.

Winnipeg will have the second pick and this is where things could get interesting. The Jets have the opportunity to select an instant impact player, not something that was expected before the lottery, and most experts believe Patrik Laine from Finland will be the team’s choice.

Laine is big at 6’4″ and 200 pounds, but the winger moves without effort and is one of the best offensive prospects in this years class. The franchise struggled this past season, but with a strong summer, which included adding a couple veterans, the playoffs are a strong possibility in the 2016-17 NHL season.

The Blue Jackets are next and the latest mocks have Columbus taking Jesse Puljujärvi of Finland, another offensive minded winger. The youngster already has the size and skills needed to play at the next level and with the struggles of this franchise in recent years, Puljujärvi will be given every chance to make the opening day roster next season.

Edmonton was the biggest loser from the lottery, dropping to the fourth position after another miserable season, but that could make their choice easier, especially if they finally decide to take a player that can help on defense.

The Oilers have taken several offensive players in the last five years, but now the time has come to add some toughness on the back line. Olli Juolevi and Jakob Chychrun are the top two ranked defenders in this years draft class and according to reports, both are sure-fire prospects that could help turn this franchise back into a winner.

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