LBC Mock Draft: Timo Meier goes 13th overall to the Los Angeles Kings
The dethroned Kings take the best remaining player on the LBC Draft Board.
The defending Stanle Cup champion Kings missed the playoffs in 2014-15. This team finished 18th in the league in goals-for-per game, while finishing 4th in the league in goals-against-per game. An aging front line and lack of top-end offensive talent in the farm system suggest that L.A. would be best served with a top-flight forward in this year's draft. Good news for Kings fans stopping by the LBC mock draft: the best player available in our draft is just such an offensive talent:
With the 13th pick in the Litter Box Cats Mock Draft, the Los Angeles Kings Select Timo Meier of the Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
LBC regulars are very familiar with Timo Meier, who our own Shane O'Donnell identified early last season as a prospect to watch for Panther fans. Meier is a bull of a young man, standing at 6'1, 208 lbs., who shoots left-handed and can play center or right wing. Offensive fire-power, you ask? Meier led the Halifax Mooseheads in regular season scoring....on a team that also featured Winnipeg prospect and former Panther-fan, drool-inducing prospect Nikolaj Ehlers. Meier put up 44 goals and 46 assists in 61 games for Halifax last season. He also suited up for Switzerland in the World Juniors (U20) and in 6 games, contributed 2 goals and 4 assists.
Here's what the scouts are saying about Meier:
From Curtis Joe (EliteProspects)
A physically dominant winger with the ability to play in a skill or character role. In the offensive end, Meier is very aware and gets himself into spaces where he can easily make seeing eye passes or snap hard, accurate shots. Can impact the game in a number of different ways, and is very consistent in his efforts. All-in-all, the kind of versatile player that you can put on a skill line, and trust to create dangerous chances, or on a shutdown line, and trust to help stop pucks from going into your net.
From Dennis Schallenberg of Scouting-report.blogspot.ch
A winger with a great wrist and slapshot who loves to use it. His quick release makes it hard for goaltenders to track the shot. Uses all of his shot arsenal. Good first steps and speed but could be more agile. Has a good offensive mind and is always looking to put himself in a good shooting spot. Good play away from the puck in the offensive zone, though not in his own zone. Tends to make blind passes and turns the puck over too many times. Improved his physical play and is willing to use his body but still needs to use his size better in corner battles and while protecting the puck. Rather shoots than passes. Shows hockey sense and is making himself always available for a pass. His point production exploded this season and he elevated his game to a new level but this should be enjoyed with caution as he is on the teams most dominant offensive line together with 9th overall pick Nikolaj Ehlers.
Meier played for Team Orr in the 2015 CHL Top Prospects Game and was ranked 10th amongst North American skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings prior to the 2015 NHL Draft.
Hockeysfuture also noted Meier's fast rise up the prospect rankings this past winter
four players made significant moves up the ranks in February. Making the biggest move was Halifax Mooseheads forward, Timo Meier, who was ranked by ISS in the 31-40 range in January but moved all the way up to #13 in February. Meier turned in a strong performance at last month's CHL Top Prospects Game, picking up three points (1G, 2A) while playing on a line with McDavid and Team Orr Player of the Game, Travis Konecny of the Ottawa 67's. Meier's good showing comes on the heels of his equally good play at the 2015 WJC for Switzerland, so his climb into the top 15 is no fluke.
In February, Mike Morale added this quote about the young Swiss star
Director of NHL Central Scouting Dan Marr believes Meier is one of the more NHL-ready prospects in this year's draft class.
"He's a solid and strong skater both with and without the puck, has high-end hockey sense and reads the play very well," Marr said. "He competes and works smart on plays and is very effective in 1-on-1 situations."
Meier has spent two straight seasons in Halifax playing alongside NHL quality talent in the form of Jonathan Drouin and the aforementioned Ehlers. He has size, speed, confidence and a laser beam of a shot. He has certainly generated a great deal of interest around the NHL, and Boston Bruins inside writer Joe Hagerty noted that the Florida Panthers are interested in Meier, and that the Bruins would love for him to fall to 14. Hagerty quoted Meier himself describing his game:
"I'm a power forward with skill. I really like to shoot the puck," said Meier, who spoke with 25 NHL teams at the combine including Don Sweeney and the Bruins. "I have a good shot, and I like to play physical. I wanted to go back after my first season [in Halifax] and increase my goals, and just get better as a player every day. I think I did a good job this season.
It remains to be seen whether Meier falls past the Panthers at 11, but this much is certain: The Kings would be waiting like a bear at the bottom of a salmon-filled waterfall for him.
Check out video of Meier while you wait for the Boston Bruins to make the 14th pick: