A Far Too Early Look at the 2015 Norsemen Draftby Matt MacInnis | October 18, 2018, 7:23 PM ET
Following a disappointing season missing the playoffs, the Vancouver Island Norsemen made 10 selections in the 2015 SICHL Entry Draft. It’s far too early to determine if players are successes or busts, but let’s check in to see where each selection is three years later.
12th overall, 1st round
Barzal made his debut in that other league last season and was good. Like, really, really good. Barzal has a shot at being the second best player in the entire draft class after McHeyZeus. Barzal will be a fixture on the Norsemen this season.
40th overall, 2nd round
The big 6’5 Swede had two solid seasons in the SHL before coming full-time to North America last season. He already has more than a dozen games in the big league and seems to be on track to be a contributor at the highest level – although he’ll never be more than a middle of the lineup player.
43rd overall, 2nd round
Harkins hasn’t quite met expectations since his draft year and has really struggled to contribute offensively as a professional. Harkins will continue to play in the minor pros, and appears to be a depth piece at best moving forward.
50th overall, 2nd round
The ginormous Russian pivot has been a KHLer since 2015-16, which is always a good sign. Selected as a player who could be an elite two-way third liner, the big fella hasn’t been able to showcase the offensive talent to make that happen. He’s going to be in Russia again this season, with a window to try his hand in North America after the season ends.
68th overall, 3rd round
The Finn was drafted out of the junior Finnish league and spent the next three seasons in the OHL and AHL respectively. After a disappointing 17-18 campaign, he’s returned to Finland.
Ryan Pilon, D
78th overall, 3rd round
He still doesn’t want to play hockey.
Nikita Korostelev, W
96th overall, 4th round
An off-board pick at the time, he’s done little to dispel that label. The Russian spent an overage season in the OHL last year and is now hoping to stick in the AHL. He has skills, but never seems to live up to expectations. This is a make or break season for him.
124th overall, 5th round
Gavrikov has been one of the better defencemen in the KHL for the past few years. So much so that he stayed in Russia last season specifically so he could go to the Olympics for the Athletes of Russia team. His contract is up this season, and the Norsemen will finally get a sense of if he’s interested in coming to British Columbia, or not.
152nd overall, 6th round
Bradley had a good career in the WHL, including a solid overage season. He’s now made his pro debut in the ECHL, where he’s performing well after a few games.
Luke Opilka, G
180th overall, 7th round
The last goalie the Norsemen have drafted hasn’t been able to stay on the ice. He missed the entire 17-18 season due to hip issues, and hasn’t been removed from the IR this year.