The regular season is coming to an end and the playoffs are about to begin (or underway, in some cases) for most of these prospects. Over the next couple months we'll see what players shine under pressure and those who fade out as the stakes get higher. Here is the sixth edition of our 2016 consensus rankings. Past: Preliminary | November | December | January | February
March Consensus Rankings
Surprisingly, the consensus #1 Auston Matthews' season is over in Switzerland. Zurich was swept in the first round of the playoffs. There is not much movement in the top-10 other than Pierre-Luc Dubois moving up two spots. Dubois has been phenomenal in Cape Breton. Patrik Laine and Jesse Puljujarvi will start their postseason in a couple days. Meanwhile, all three CHL leagues are in the last week of regular season play.
C/W Pierre-Luc Dubois, Cape Breton (QMJHL)
Although listed primarily as a winger, Dubois is perfectly capable of playing center, making him one of the most versatile players in this draft. Dubois has all the makings of a #1 center in the NHL. He's got size, speed, skill, skating, smarts, and is good in all three zones. He also brings some physicality to his game. Dubois is pretty much the complete package. There are little to no weaknesses in his game. The biggest knock on him is his lack of a game breaking or explosive quality compared to the guys ahead of him. But he could be that prototypical number-one center on a very good team.
C/LW Tyson Jost, Penticton (BCHL)
Despite playing in an inferior league compared to just about every player above, it's clear the Jost is an extraordinary talent. Jost does not get a lot of exposure. But if he falls even a bit from where he is projected to go, the team that picks him has a potential steal. Jost is a fantastic playmaker with a good shot to compliment. He has elite anticipation, allowing to disrupt plays at ease. He is great on the penalty kill and has superb puck skills. He is going the college route so depending on how important school is to him, he may take a bit longer to arrive at the pro ranks. He will also need to adapt to playing against better competition and bulk up a bit.
D Dante Fabbro, Penticton (BCHL)
Continuing with the Penticton theme, Dante Fabbro is another gem that is flying under the radar a bit playing in the BCHL. He is committed to Boston University. Fabbro is a smart defenseman with good instincts and poise. He is good on the powerplay and penalty kill. He has decent size and mobility, but does not really play a physical game. He's skilled with the puck and oozes confidence. Because he plays against weaker competition, he may stand out more than a similar prospect in a better league, so there is a bit of risk involved for a team picking him in the upper half of the first round. Still, he projects as a solid top-4 option with a chance at becoming a true top-pairing defenseman.
C Logan Brown, Windsor (OHL)
Son of former NHLer Jeff Brown, Logan has a lot of intriguing qualities, that with the right team and a patient development strategy, could pay off big time in the long run. He is a huge center with smooth hands and a deceptive skating technique. He is able to weave between opponents and use his high-end vision to create scoring chances. He plays a more finesse-type game than his size suggests. His shot needs work and he has the tendency to stop moving his feet, relying too much on his size. This works in Juniors, but will not fly at the next level. It may take a while, but if Brown can put it all together, he has the potential to be a top-6 center in the NHL.