Connor McDavid. Dylan Strome. Jack Eichel. Mitch Marner.

What do those three have in common? They’re all future NHL superstars.

There is no question that there’s been a ton of attention on the projected top four prospects heading into the draft. But what about the guys who don’t get the media attention? Each year, there are a handful of sleepers that fall below what their true value may be, partly because of a variable in their game that may put them in a disadvantage at times. Whether it be Pavel Datsyuk going 171st overall in 1998, Henrik Lundqvist getting called at 205 in 2000 or Pekka Rinne going to the Predators at (the now defunct) 258th pick in 2004, you can almost always count on some great prospects coming from the later rounds of the NHL Draft.

Sleepers can come in any capacity. Forwards, defensemen, goaltenders, short, tall, speedy, skilled, slow developer, somehow forgotten, etc. Every year, there could always be a ton of players that can fit any of those terms. With the amount of talent this year, there’s no exception this year. Let’s take a look at 35 potential stars just waiting to make to prove to the world that every other team was wrong in passing over them.

Click below for some information on some of the sleepers included in the list.

Matt Luff

Mattthew Stephens

Dante Salituro

Matthias Norstebo

Matthew Stephens

Ben Blacker

Andrew Mangiapane

PlayerPos.TeamG/WA/LP/SP%Comments  
Justin ScottFBarrie Colts302353Very few people seem to be talking about him. On the ice for a lot of goals, underrated scoring threat.
Colby WilliamsDRegina Pats113041Chippy, can be one of the better defensemen on the ice, creates a lot of goals.
Stephen DesrocherDOshawa Generals101323Good solid defensive defenseman. He can be a depth shutdown guy at a low cost. Puck isn't in his zone a lot.
Anthony CirelliFOshawa Generals132336He had a huge end to the Memorial Cup. Great rookie season in a limited role, out did all expectations as a walk on.
Jake SmithGNorth Bay Battalian18100.896Great under pressure. Solid glove hand. He's played a lot over the past two seasons.
Dante SalituroFOttawa 67's374178Super skilled scoring star, excels more as a winger. Outscored many top end prospects in Minor Midget.
Tyler WongFLethbridge Hurricanes272956Easily the best all-around forward on Lethbridge. Top scorer, great defensively.
Spencer SmallmanFSaint John Sea Dogs233356Solid playmaker, continues to improve. Despite his name, he's got decent size and is hard to take off the puck.
Nathan NoelFSaint John Sea Dogs243862Whenever he makes a mistake, he tries even harder the next year. He's set for two good seasons with the Sea Dogs.
Andrew MangiapaneFBarrie Colts4361104One of the top scorers in the OHL, the 18-year-old improved tremendously in his second season. Power-play specialist, dynamic shooting threat.
Conor GarlandFMoncton Wildcats3594129Tied with Dylan Strome for top scorer in the CHL. He and Eichel played together with the Boston Junior Bruins, so look for Buffalo to take a shot at him.
Gabriel GagneFVictoriaville Tigres352459Fast, defensively sound in his own end, ton of power.
Anthony DeLucaFDrummondville Voltigeurs444791Natural goal scorer with unlimited offensive options.
Matt SpencerDPeterbourgh Petes62430Could have easily been a first rounder if it wasn't for having to take such a big load on a terrible Peterbourgh team.
Parker WotherspoonDTri-City Americans93342Had a really strong U18's. Very good speed and acceleration in both directions.
Ken ApplebyGOshawa Generals3870.924Great under pressure. Runner-up for top goalie, very athletic when needed but plays more conservative.
Jacob HayhurstFToronto Patriots233255Just over 1 PPG in the playoffs. Hayhurst was key in every important situation for the Patriots. Big reason why they wo
Kyle CapobiancoDSudbury Wolves103040Good puckmoving defenseman. He underachieved a year ago during his rookie season, but he's really focused on refining his game.
Kay SchweriFSherbrooke Phoenix125668He's small, but he's a rocket on skates and can create unbelieveable scoring chances. Tremendous playmaker.
Ben BlackerGCedar Rapids Roughriders24110.913For a good portion of the USHL season, Blacker was one of the best goaltenders in the league despite being a rookie. There's a reason he committed to Western Michigan before his first full OJHL season.
Dmytro TimashovFQuu00e9bec Remparts197190A 90 point rookie season is quite the feat. A Swedish scoring star, his speed and creativity is rather fun to watch.
Travis Konecny FOttawa 67's293968How often is a former first round pick in the OHL a sleeper? Konecny could find himself chosen late in the first round, but with his pure, all around talent, he deserves to go a little higher.
Tyler SoyFVictoria Royals283563Good two-way centre that could be a reliable player down the stretch. Great second season in the OHL, shown improvement in all areas.
Mattias Nu00f6rstebu00f6DBrynas011Quite unknown, but after starring for Norway against men at the World Championships, he proved he's a contender.
Matt LuffFHamilton Red Wings92231Jumped from Midget to OHL without a hitch, often considered a top ten prospect in the OHL. Should excel with Hamilton next year.
Mitchell StephensFSaginaw Spirit222648Great playmaking forward that strived with Barzal at the U18's.
Denis MalginFGC Ku00fcsnacht Lions6612Decent playmaker with good speed. He's looked good for the Swiss national team at every level.
Noah JuulsenDEverett Silvertips94352Juulsen forces a lot of players to the outskirts in the offensive-zone, limiting the scoring chances against him. Juulsen isn't a huge blue liner, but he's willing to level you out in order to make a play.
Simon BourqueDRimouski Ocu00e9anic102838Not too flashy, but he gets the job done in his own zone. Should play a decent role with Rimouski next season.
Adin HillGPortland Winterhawks31110.921Took over the starting role with Portland rather nicely. He was a late bloomer, so it may be safer to sign him to a deal after the draft.
Will RiellyDNorth York Rangers171835Rielly seemingly came out of nowhere to make a big impact with the North York Rangers. He's definetly worth a look, as his ceiling continues to rise with every game he plays.
Deven SideroffFKamloops Blazers172542Huge U18 tournament in April, made all his linemates better every shift. Great passer, dangerous around the crease.
Jesse GabrielleFRegina Pats231845He makes the opposition angry all the time. He's a guy you want on your third and fourth line.
Travis DermottDErie Otters83745An offensive threat from the point, Dermott has a good shot, yet is more effective getting the puck to the forwards up the ice. Tracks plays very well and should be a fixture on the PP and PK.
Alexander DergachyovFSKA-1946 St. Petersburg102939Huge power forward who put up good numbers in the Russian junior league. He can score, hit and make effective passes. Oh, and he's talented, which helps.

Steven is a junior hockey reporter for the Oakville Blades of the Ontario Junior Hockey League, and also focuses on international hockey for his website, TheHockeyHouse.net. You can follow Steven on twitter @StevenEllisNHL.

Photo by Terry Wilson/OHL Images