NHL Draft 2016 Defensemen Rankings: Olli Juolevi Tops Skilled Group

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The 2016 NHL Draft doesn’t feature a franchise cornerstone defenseman prospect near the top of the class.

There’s no Aaron Ekblad, Alex Pietrangelo or Victor Hedman expected to be selected in the top three. It would be a huge surprise if Auston Matthews, Patrik Laine and Jesse Puljujärvi didn’t go top three in some kind of order.

That said, there are some quality defensemen to be had after the top five picks and in the middle of the first round.

Olli Juolevi had a tremendous season for the London Knights and would be a fit at No. 6 to the Calgary Flames or No. 7 to the Arizona Coyotes. Mikhail Sergachyov, who along with Ivan Provorov represents the next wave of Russian defensemen, also projects to be a top 10 pick. The Buffalo Sabres should give him a look at No. 8.

Jakob Chychrun has a ton of potential as a two-way D-man and would be a great pick for the Boston Bruins at No. 14 or the Detroit Red Wings at No. 16.

Here’s our list of the top 10 defensemen in the 2016 class.

1. Olli Juolevi, D, London (OHL)
2. Mikhail Sergachyov, D, Windsor (OHL)
3. Jakob Chychrun, D, Sarnia (OHL)
4. Jake Bean, D, Calgary (WHL)
5. Charlie McAvoy, D, Boston University (NCAA)
6. Dante Fabbro, D, Penticton (BCHL)
7. Logan Stanley, D, Windsor (OHL)
8. Dennis Cholowski, Chilliwack (BCHL)
9. Kale Clague, D, Brandon (WHL)
10. Markus Niemelainen, D, Saginaw (OHL)

Why Bruins should target Chychrun, Bean and McAvoy >>

Thumbnail photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images

Thumbnail photo via Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; A general view of the stage and draft room floor before the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
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