2017 NHL Entry Draft: is 41 days away, while playoff hockey is still underway and conference final matchup’s started Friday night. To ease into draft talk here is a mock draft for all to see and critique.
2017 NHL Entry Draft: Round 1, all 31 picks right here. Some picks may surprise you, some may be obvious, but here’s the 1st round of the 2017 NHL draft.
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Apr 14, 2016; Sunrise, FL, USA; Florida Panther fans cheer their team’s first period goal in game one of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Duyos-USA TODAY Sports
#1 New Jersey Devils- Nico Hischier
New Jersey needs another center, while Nolan Patrick very well could end up in New Jersey, Hischier’s ability to score and offensive power looks best suitable for New Jersey. The Devils would like Hischier to make their roster for the 2017-2018 season he seems best to be NHL ready due to Patrick’s injury last season.
#2 Philadelphia Flyers- Nolan Patrick
Another versatile center, that can play the powerplay and fits well with the Flyers roster, Patrick looks to be going to Philadelphia. Patrick was injured for much of the Wheat Kings season, so you expect him to play in juniors again instead of being sent to the Flyers lineup right away.
#3 Dallas Stars- Casey Mittelstadt
Dallas has an array of young defensemen so passing up on another defenseman would make sense for Dallas here. Mittelstadt posted great numbers in the USHL and Dallas could use a forward prospect due to their numerous defensemen prospects.
#4 Colorado Avalanche- Gabriel Vilardi
Since Colorado just signed KHL defenseman Andrei Mironov, looking to draft a forward to add to their young offense seems likely here. Gabriel Vilardi posted 61 points in 49 games in the OHL this season.
#5 Vancouver Canucks- Miro Heiskanen
Vancouver has a few young forward prospects brewing right now, to add to their lacking defensive core, Heiskanen being the #1 defensemen prospect looks suitable for Vancouver here.
#6 Vegas Golden Knights- Cody Glass
Vegas was supposed to land in the top 3 draft picks but with the #6 Glass still provides some up value for the unknown Vegas roster. Glass had an outstanding WHL season with 94 points in 69 games, Glass falling to Vegas could be a likely possibility.
#7 Arizona Coyotes- Cale Makar
Arizona needs some help on the back end and Makar’s s speed and offensive ability gives them that. Makar posted 75 points in 54 games for the Brooks Bandits in the 2016-2017 season.
#8 Buffalo Sabres- Owen Tippett
Buffalo needs a solid defenseman but to pass on Tippett would be silly. Tippett will be the next best forward available and Buffalo seems to develop their forwards well, Tippett had 75 points in 60 games for the OHL Steelheads in the 2016-2017 season.
#9 Detroit Red Wings- Timothy Liljegren
Liljegren is the best available defensemen and with an aging defensive core, Detroit could very well gamble on the 6’0 defensmen. While he has not posted incredible numbers, Liljegren is a defensive defenseman Detroit could use.
#10 Florida Panthers- Martin Necas
While Florida has a lot of young forwards making some noise in the NHL, along with a solid defense, Necas seems to be a likely option for Florida at #10 here.
Apr 17, 2017; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; General view of the fans during the third period between the Calgary Flames and the Anaheim Ducks in game three of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
#11 Los Angeles Kings- Michael Rasmussen
The 6’5 203 lb forward provides a good size for LA and fits well with the Kings roster and style of play. Rasmussen 55 points in 50 games in the WHL this season.
#12 Carolina Hurricanes- Elias Pettersson
The tall, 162 lb forward, plays all three zones, the only downside to the young forward is his lack of physical strength as he progresses and gets stronger Pettersson will be a good fit for Carolina.
#13 Winnipeg Jets- Eeli Tolvanen
Winnipeg has a few young defensemen and with not many options on the backend this draft, Tolvanen is the next best forward up. Tolvanen posted 54 points in 52 games for the USHL Musketeers.
#14 Tampa Bay Lightning- Kristian Vesalainen
The tall sizeable Finland forward size draws eyes to the Lightning, with many great forwards, Vesalainen would have a lot of room to grow. With production being a concern, Vesalainen’s size and play in the top Finland leagues makes him likely for the Lightning in the first round.
#15 New York Islanders- Lias Andersson
Andersson had some success at the World Juniors where he caught the eye of scouts, and with New York’s multiple young forward prospects the Swedish forward looks to be heading to NY at #15.
#16 Calgary Flames- Nicholas Suzuki
To add to Calgary’s young offensive group the Canadian forward fits just perfect in Calgary. With plenty of weapons around him Suzuki will develop just fine in Calgary. Suzuki had 96 points in 65 games in the OHL this season.
#17 Toronto Maple Leafs- Jusso Valimaki
Due to so many young forward prospects and drafting a forward who may not see NHL time for quite sometime, Toronto needs a defenseman. With Valimaki at #17 seems great for Toronto, the 6’2 defenseman plays a good two-way game and a solid game on the back end.
#18 Boston Bruins- Ryan Poehling
Boston doesn’t need another defenseman after drafting Charlie McAvoy last year and a few young defensemen right now. Poehling solid offensive capability and strong two way ability, Boston will more than likely land Poehling. Another young college hockey prospect for Boston.
#19 San Jose Sharks- Callan Foote
San Jose could use another defensive piece with a bit of an aging d core, Foote provides the most upside for San Jose here.
#20 St. Louis Blues- Klim Kostin
St. Louis already has a solidified defense, Kostin is a bit underrated coming into this draft, who brings a strong offensive game and strong shot. Blues could land Kostin here.
Apr 29, 2017; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers fans celebrate a goal scored by their team in the second period of game two in the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs against Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports
#21 New York Rangers- Nicolas Hague
The Rangers need defense badly, with Hague being the best available defensemen, with his size and offensive instinct. Hague had 8 points in 9 OHL playoff games, while some scouts still believe skating is an issue for the 6’6 defenseman, the Rangers won’t pass up on him.
#22 Edmonton Oilers- Kole Lind
Edmonton could use a defenseman or forward, with Lind at #22, scouts have praised his work ethic and offensive ability.
#23 Arizona Coyotes- Josh Norris
Arizona could use a prominent, highly talked about forward and with Norris, at #23 that’s what they’ll get. The University of Michigan commit has been seen for his stickhandling and puck care.
#24 Columbus Blue Jackets- Shane Bowers
Bowers fits the Columbus prototype quite well, he’s not a standout player but plays hard and fast, which fits the Blue Jackets very well.
#25 Montreal Canadiens- Conor Timmins
Montreal would like to add to their blueline with Timmins, puck moving and skating abilty will do just that. The only concern for this 6’1 defenseman is his strength, if he can add some strength to his game he’ll pan out well for Montreal.
#26 Chicago Blackhawks- Isaac Ratcliffe
The 6’4 power forward would be exactly what Chicago would need, as we saw the Blackhawks roster a lot of young forwards this year, Ratcliffe very well could see NHL ice time next year.
#27 St. Louis Blues- Robert Thomas
The small versatile forward does not have much stand out qualities but he brings a sense of excitement to his game. Tallying 50 assists last year in the OHL, St. Louis could get a top six forward late in the draft.
#28 Nashville Predators- Kailer Yamamoto
Nashville definitely doesn’t need defense so with Kailer Yamamoto seems to be the best move for Nashville here. The small forward has said to have NHL skill and speed but lacks size. As we see Nashville’s Viktor Arvidsson, Nashville would likely land Yamamoto late here.
#29 Ottawa Senators- Erik Brannstrom
Ottawa would like to their d core, Brannstrom fits Ottawa’s possession style game well and is the next available defense here with the most upside.
Dallas got lucky with this pick in the Patrick Eaves deal, and landing the underrated Comtois would be another good move. Comtois can play any forward position and provides good size and speed to Dallas.
#31 Pittsburgh Penguins- Henri Jokiharju
Pittsburgh would like to their blueline with Jokiharju plays a solid two way game and performed real well in his first season in North America with 31 points in 44 games.