2017 NHL Draft: Weak Draft Class Makes for Difficult Decisions
2017 NHL Draft: With Patrick Nolan being the #1 draft prospect, this draft class does not rank up well in comparison to past drafts. With a weak draft class, this year’s draft may not be too exciting.
2017 NHL Draft: In an era where we have seen Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel, Auston Matthews, Patrik Laine and many other influential prospects. This year’s draft ranks up quite differently then drafts we’ve seen in the past. The order these prospects will get drafted is unknown, while no one knows exactly, experts do their best to predict who will go when and where. But with this year’s draft lacking star power and depth across the board, even the experts are at awe on the ordinance of the prospects.
The two highly sought about prospects, Nolan Patrick and Nico Hischier are the only two prospects really being talked about. Nolan was injured for much of the Wheat Kings season in 2016-2017, but with 46 points in 33 games, Nolan seems to be the favorite to go #1 this year. Along with Switzerland forward Nico Hischier, who we saw make some noise during the World Juniors for Switzerland. The Swiss forward has a scoring touch, with 38 goals and 86 points in 57 games, he and Nolan have been the expected #1 and #2 combo since draft speculations have begun.
Besides Nolan and Hischier, the other 29 prospects do not rank up like the other drafts we’ve seen, where the first 31 guys off the board we’re top end prospects, and when they’re time came they were going to be top four forwards or defensemen. Now many of these prospects in the 2017 draft have high expectations from experts. The only other name that has been talked about is University of Minnesota’s Casey Mittelstadt, who had 30 points in 24 games in the USHL this season. Once the first 10 are off the board, the rest are borderline impactful players in the NHL. While the top 10 had successful, OHL, QMJHL, WHL and USHL years, they’re ability to perform at the NHL level is unknown right now. While we’ve seen many top 10 draftees go through NHL careers doing merely nothing, I’m not saying that will happen with this draft but it seems as though the players who aren’t in top 10, won’t be anything compared to other past drafts. The top defensemen in the draft Miro Heiskanen posted measly numbers in the Liiga this year with 10 points in 37 games. As he is expected to go in the top 5.
Many experts are calling this draft a bit weaker than years past. While we’ve seen many of these players at the World Juniors and their respected major junior leagues and post some successful numbers, but some have lacked consistency at the major junior level and there is not one player that really stands out and has that “wow” factor. Many of the prospects have done their fair share of mixing it up in the major junior leagues, there’s not one player that really stands out and catches your eye, or will have that immediate impact to an NHL roster like, McDavid, Matthews, Laine, Eichel, Marner. As the draft is closing in and is 41 days away, don’t expect much excitement out of this draft, while getting drafting is always the most pivotal part of a young hockey player’s career, experts and general managers are not too thrilled on this year’s draft.
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