NHL Entry Draft: 27 Team’s Positions Have Been Solidified in the Draft Order. So Let’s Jump Into Our Fourth Edition of our First Round Mock Draft.
The NHL Entry Draft is getting close and for every hockey fan, this is a day we all look forward too. It’s a day in which we get to see which cornerstone players our favorite teams select and who they end up moving in order to move up the draft.
Jun 24, 2016; Buffalo, NY, USA; NHL commissioner Gary Bettman speaks on stage before the start of the first round of the 2016 NHL Draft at the First Niagra Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
For instance, this season a few teams acquired an additional first-round pick, these teams were St. Louis who got Washington’s first rounder plus some other picks when they acquired Kevin Shattenkirk. And Arizona who got theirs via Minnesota when they were finally able to deal Martin Hanzal. The Dallas Stars will receive Anaheim’s first round pick that was acquired when they moved forward Patrick Eaves, the pick was a conditional second if Eaves played more than 50% of the Ducks playoff games and they advanced to the Western Final the Second Round pick would turn into a First Round pick. And the Ducks did so when they beat out Edmonton.
Washington get D Kevin Shattenkirk and G Pheonix Copley
St. Louis get F Zach Sanford, F Brad Malone, 2017 1st Round Pick, and 2019 2nd Round Pick
Now let’s dive into our fourth mock draft, we have a lot of new teams appearing in new spots and a couple of new faces as well. Keep in mind these are all picks that I myself feel would be the best for every organization moving forward. With 12 teams having been eliminated from the playoffs, more selection spots have been solidified.
Picks 1-27 were determined by the NHL Draft Lottery results and the teams placing’s due to overall standings and playoff elimination, the first 27 picks were given, courtesy of Wikipedia, For the remaining 4, this randomizer at http://www.randomlists.com/random-nhl-team/ was used again.
Jun 12, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins fans celebrate in the stands after defeating the San Jose Sharks in game six of the 2016 Stanley Cup Final at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
LW, Hamilton (OHL)
Earlier this year the Sens moved grinder/scorer Curtis Lazar to Calgary and then brought in Tommy Wingels to help fill the void. However, the selection of Matthew Strome would be a huge boost to the team in that regard if the Sens were to trade Wingels away.
D, Portland (WHL)
Pittsburgh doesn’t have much on the backend when it comes to youth or prospects, they definitely need some help. Now Henri Jokiharju is definitely two to three years from NHL play but he does possess the skills to play in the lineup and can help the Pens.
D, JYP (Liiga)
Nashville has always been a team that loves to build from the d-line out. And the selection of Urho Vaakanainen is a defensive prospect who has the potential to play a top four role.
C, Djugardens (SHL)
Dallas can definitely say thank you to the Anaheim Ducks for advancing to the West Finals, because of this the conditional pick they received in which moved Patrick Eaves to Anaheim has turned from a second round pick to a first round pick. And with the Stars second selection in the first round, they are free to select Marcus Davidsson to help the club down the middle because after Tyler Seguin and Cody Eakin the team doesn’t really have much.
LW, Guelph (OHL)
Since the Blues addressed a giant hole with the choice of Jake Oettinger in net, they can now take Isaac Ratcliffe. Isaac is a guy who can play a top six role on the right side, and who knows he could end up on the same line with Vladimir Tarasenko.
RW, Frolunda (SHL)
Chicago has a solid amount of prospects down the middle and on the left side, with the selection of Kristian Vesalainen definitely helps them on the right. He’s going to be a couple of years from NHL play but once he’s ready he’s going to become a solid contributor for the club.
Apr 26, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; The Edmonton Oilers fans celebrate during the third period in game one of the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center. Edmonton won 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
LW, Victoriaville (QMJHL)
Montreal loves french speaking Canadians, but they also love players who can play all over the ice and score goals. And Maxime Comtois can do both and once he’s ready for NHL play he can join a top-nine role on the left side.
D, Kelowna (WHL)
Cal Foote is extremely talented and the Blue Jackets need a hand on the backend, with the selection of him and once he’s ready the combination of him and possibly Zach Werenski would be fantastic for the Blue Jackets.
C, St. Cloud State (NCAA)
With Arizona’s second pick in the first round courtesy of the Minnesota Wild, the can select center Ryan Poehling who will definitely help the team in the future playing a top nine role.
C, Owen Sound (OHL)
Leon Draisaitl was originally selected for the sole purpose to center the second line, but he’s played much better alongside teammate Connor McDavid so that’s likely where he will stay. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will most likely take over the second line position now which means the Oilers need a third/fourth line center, and Nick Suzuki can fill the role nicely.
C, Tri-City (WHL)
The Rangers showed this post-season they need more scoring, and Michael Rasmussen is a player who can help the team. He’s a year away from consistent NHL play but once he’s ready he’s going to fill a top nine, maybe even a top six role.
Apr 23, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; A couple of Toronto Maple Leafs fans gather at Maple Leaf Square plaza before the start of their team’s game against the Washington Capitals in game six of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
G, Boston University (NCAA)
Michael Dipietro and Jake Oettinger have been going back and forth for the highest ranked goalie in the draft, both are extremely talented. And with Calgary selecting Mike, the Blues could definitely use Oettinger since they are lacking big time in goaltending prospects.
C, Portland (WHL)
Joe Thornton is closing in retirement and the Sharks will need more depth down the middle, Cody Glass is one of those players who could potentially crack the lineup next season and fill out a fourth line role.
C, HV-71 (SHL)
With talks of the Bruins possibly moving Ryan Spooner in the off-season someone will have to fill his spot, and then someone will have to fill his spot. So the selection of Lias Andersson makes the Bruins solid in the middle of the ice.
D, HV-71 J20 (Superelit)
The Leafs are in need of a defenseman who can help right away, they have recently signed two Swedish defensemen in Calle Rosen and Andreas Borgman. But they’ll likely end up in the AHL next season, Brannstrom may not crack the lineup next season as well but will stock the cupboards even more.
G, Windsor (OHL)
Calgary definitely needs help in net, this is why Dipietro is jumping so many positions. After a year or two of extra development, he could definitely be a backup for the Flames as he works his way to the number one position.
Oct 30, 2016; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Winnipeg Jets fans react during the second period break against Buffalo Sabres at MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports
RW, Spokane (WHL)
Another pure goal scorer, Kailer Yamamoto can help the Islanders big time. He’s nearly doubled his offensive output every season in the WHL meaning he can adapt and gets better as he progresses. With the potential of being a top-six forward means he could end up with John Tavares and Anthony Beauvillier now how solid would that be?
C/W, Brno (Czech Extraliga)
Tampa Bay has moved Brian Boyle and Valtteri Filppula meaning they need help down the center. Martin Necas can help the Bolts, he’s had a terrific season this year in the Czech Republic and has the potential to be a top-six forward.
D, Mississauga (OHL)
Mississauga keeps pumping out top prospects, and Nicolas Hague is no exception. Winnipeg is like Arizona they loaded up front with prospects and since there have been rumors surrounding Winnipeg moving a defenseman in the off-season, Hague can fill that spot quite easily.
RW, Dynamo Moskva (KHL)
Klim hasn’t had a superb season by any stretch of the imagination this year in the KHL, but he’s still a pure goal scorer with the potential to make an impact in the NHL. He along with Jeff Skinner and Sebastian Aho would make for one deadly line for the Hurricanes.
Jan 23, 2016; Sunrise, FL, USA; Florida Panthers fans react during the third period against the Tampa Bay Lightning at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Duyos-USA TODAY Sports
C/W, Windsor (OHL)
Florida has moved a ton of prospects recently for veterans in hopes of making the playoffs the last few years. So what better way to fix the issue with the selection of Gabe Vilardi who can step into the lineup next season.
After a solid season in the USHL, where he scored a ton of goals, Tolvanen has shown everyone exactly what he is, a pure goal scorer. And that’s something Sabres could use beside Jack Eichel.
D, HIFK (Liiga)
With the Coyotes so heavy up front with young prospects and roster players. They definitely need more help on the backend, and the selection of Miro Heiskanen helps that.
C/W, Eden Prairie (USHS)
Since the Knights will be filling their roster through the expansion, the perfect player for them to select would be Casey Mittelstadt, he’s still young and by the time he gains weight and height the Knights will need a number one center.
Dec 20, 2016; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Canucks fans celebrate a goal against the Winnipeg Jets during the third period at Rogers Arena. The Vancouver Canucks won 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports
D, Rogle (SHL)
Timothy Liljegren still has the most potential of any defensive but may take some more time to get used to the North American game. This is why he’s fallen to the fifth overall pick, and since Vancouver needs help on the backend why not get one of the best d-men available.
RW, Mississauga (OHL)
Now that Nolan and Nico are gone, the Avalanche will still need a top six forward. And Owen Tippett is a solid fit. He’s a durable player capable of playing either center or wing which means he could potentially join the top line with Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon.
D, Brooks (AJHL)
Dallas is in desperate need of more help on the backend and Makar has the potential and skill set to join the Stars next season. He’ll most likely play on the third defensive pair but he has the potential to be a top-four even top two defensemen.
Hischier is still the consensus number two and still a perfect fit for the Flyers he’s capable of playing either wing or center which is perfect. The Flyers need more depth down the middle and if they need someone to play on the top line here and there, he’ll thrive with Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek.
C, Brandon (WHL)
Nolan is still the best choice for the Devils, as explained in the third edition of my mock, the best development for him would be to play on the third line with Travis Zajac and Adam Henrique playing the first and second respectively. The Maple Leafs did the same with Auston Matthews and it paid off big time.