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Top NHL draft prospects: McDavid, Eichel reflect depth of class

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News
Connor McDavid  is expected to be taken first overall by the Edmonton Oilers.

Detroit – The Edmonton Oilers and Buffalo Sabres had terrible seasons.

Their luck will change on Friday, at the top of the first round of the NHL Entry Draft, where they are expected to select Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel.

Considered by many scouts to have the talent and drive to be compared to Wayne Gretzky and Sidney Crosby, McDavid, 18, has been considered a future NHL star for years.

As it turned out it was Gretzky's old team, the Edmonton Oilers, who won the draft lottery and will pick McDavid with the first overall pick Friday in Sunrise, Florida. The draft continues Saturday with rounds 2-7.

But McDavid is not the only franchise-defining talent available.

Jack Eichel, 18, has been considered McDavid's equal for quite a few years and likely will be picked second by the Sabres — possibly the best consolation prize ever in the NHL.

While McDavid and Eichel are the brightest lights in this year's draft, analysts agree that the 2015 crop is the deepest in memory.

The Red Wings will pick No. 19 and have been linked to several European prospects, although they'll likely stick to their "best player available" philosophy.

Go through the gallery above or go here for Ted Kulfan's breakdown on the top 20 prospects in this year's draft.