National Hockey League

NHL - With the season progressing further and further, the 2015 NHL Entry Draft is approaching rapidly. In the Zone will take a look at it and highlights this year’s most promising prospects in a series of six articles.

Photo Swiss Hockey News

Until the NHL Entry Draft, the following six articles will be published on

1) Midterm Draft Rankings
2) Final Draft Rankings (spring 2015)
3) A-Level prospect: Timo Meier (June)
4) B-Level prospects: Denis Malgin & Jonas Siegenthaler (June)
5) Mid-to-late rounders: Fora, Suter & more (June)
6) 2015 NHL Entry Draft - McEichel and beyond (June)

This year's NHL Entry Draft will be held on June 26-27 at BB&T in Sunrise, FL. Players born between January 1, 1995 and September 15, 1997 will be eligible for selection in this year’s draft. Undrafted, non-American players born in 1994 and unsigned players drafted in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft will round out the draft class.

The 2015 class of Swiss players entering this draft will be slightly better than last year, with right-wing Timo Meier (Halifax Mooseheads, QMJHL), defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler (ZSC Lions) and centre Denis Malgin (ZSC Lions) as our top players. This year’s group of Swiss players lacks the high-end talent we had last year in Kevin Fiala, but makes up for it with more players projected to get picked early and a very talented group of draft eligible players projected for mid-to-late picks.

While Timo Meier isn’t as good a prospect as Fiala, he is expected to be a first-round pick in a very deep and skilled draft. Fiala’s size and defensive play, as well as him being a European prospect, prevented him from going even higher last year. He has progressed a lot since last June and already is considered a steal at 11th overall.

Meier has taken a big step forward over the course of the last year and made a big jump in the NHL Central Scouting Draft Rankings. The Swiss winger is now listed 12th among North-American skaters and counts as an A-rated prospect, a rating assigned to players who project as a first-round pick.

Jonas Siegenthaler has caught the attention of numerous franchises with his steady defensive game and his big frame. He is a B-rated prospect (2nd/3rd round candidates) and is ranked 12th among European skaters with four European defensemen ahead of him.

Denis Malgin has been a highly touted prospect for a long time and is a good-skating, intelligent centre with great vision. His size hurts his value and therefore makes him a B-rated prospect. He is 23rd on the list of European skaters.

Furthermore, defenseman Michael Fora (Kamloops Blazers, WHL) is ranked 114th on the list of North-American skaters, closely followed by forward Pius Suter (Guelph Storm, OHL) at 116. Both could be mid-to-late round picks.

Defenseman Roger Karrer (GCK Lions) sits 38th on the list of European skaters and projects as a mid-to-late pick, while forwards Dominik Diem (GCK Lions, 67th), Auguste Impose (Geneva Jr., 73rd), Timo Haussener (Rapperswil Jr., 74th), Fabian Haberstich (Langnau Jr., 79th), Luca Hischier (EHC Visp, 80th), Calvin Thürkauf (Zug Jr., 87th), Dario Meyer (Bern Jr., 95th), and defensemen Colin Fontana (Lugano Jr., 88th) and Yannik Burren (Bern Jr., 91st) only have small chances of being late picks (5th to 7th round).

The two Sherbrooke forwards Kay Schweri and Tim Wieser did not make the list despite being among the QMJHL’s best scorers, most probably due to their lack in size. Defensemen Phil Baltisberger (Guelph Storm, OHL) and Yannick Rathgeb (Plymouth Whalers, OHL) did not make the list and are both overagers. (ske)