Mitch Marner is all but guaranteed to be a top 10 pick in this years draft, and possibly even a top 5. The real draft this year starts with Arizona at 3rd overall as the top two picks of McDavid and Eichel are set in stone. Arizona has the choice of either Strome, Hanifin, and possibly Marner with their first pick, but right now no one knows who they desire at the moment.
Marner could possibly slip down the draft board because of his size at 5 foot 11 and 160 pounds, but this is just the first of many connections he has to one of the best NHL superstars, Patrick Kane. In his draft year, Kane was listed at 5 foot 10 and 162 pounds, eerily similar to Marner. Kane had 145 points (62 goals, 83 assists) while Marner finished the season with 126 points (44 goals, 82 assists). Kane did have 19 more points than Marner in his draft year, making him worthy of the 1st overall pick by Chicago. But what scouts are seeing is the same playmaking ability between both of them (which is evident in the amount of assists both had) and their quickness on the ice. Here is NHL Central Scoutings report on an 18 year old Patrick Kane (retrieved from NHL Central Scouting website):
"A skilled playmaking forward with great hockey sense… high-end passing skill with excellent use of the saucer pass to move the puck… able to fight through checks and protect the puck… is not afraid to take the puck into traffic and can be very elusive… very good at anticipating the play and has a good wrist shot."
Here is TSN's head of scouting Craig Button's take on Marner (retrieved from mynhldraft.com):
"Combine skill, smarts and confidence and you have Mitch. Excellent playmaker who can make plays in and through the tightest of spaces. Very elusive with his skating but can attack & beat defenders 1-1. Sees plays unfolding and is very comfortable holding puck to allow them to develop. Plays with an assuredness that is threatening and he doesn't take a 'back seat' in the game."
Both have amazing skill, hockey smarts, playmaking/passing skills, and the ability to move into tough areas on the ice. The similarity is astounding, and the reason this is not known is because of the generational talents available in McDavid and Eichel who are taking all the headlines. I'm not saying Marner is Kane exactly, i'm just pointing out all the similarities the two have. Mitch Marner may slip down the draft board, and if that occurs whoever drafts him will be getting a steal with their pick. The London Knights centre is guaranteed to enjoy success in the NHL, and managements of teams picking in the 3-7 range have a tough choice to make with all the talent available. If a team is not afraid of his size, they will be getting one of the best skilled players in the 2015 draft right after McDavid and Eichel.