Here are five names to remember on defense at the NHL draft this weekend in Vancouver.
— Bowen Byram: A dynamic all-around talent with great skating ability, Byram is the top defenseman in the draft by a large margin. A 17-year-old defenseman leading the WHL in playoff scoring is practically unheard of. Might be the only defenseman to go in the top 10.
— Moritz Seider: Practically plug and play at the NHL level. He’s already won a championship in Germany’s top pro league and performed well at the World Championships. He’s 6-foot-3 and specializes in defending off the rush.
— Ryan Johnson: Teams wanting to improve their mobility on defense could look to Johnson, who is considered one of the most agile skaters in the draft. He’s a 6-foot California native coming off a USHL championship with Sioux Falls.
— Alex Vlasic: Teams wanting to add size on the blue line could choose Vlasic, a 6-6, 193-pounder from the U.S. National Team Development Program. He’s a good skater for his size and isn’t afraid to be physical. Defensive awareness is a question mark.
— Domenick Fensore: Size is becoming less of a draft concern in NHL circles, but Fensore will be the test. The USNTDP player is a shade under 5-7, 153 pounds. He can skate and take a hit, but will a NHL team take a chance on a defenseman that small?