FC releases Preliminary ranking for 2017 NHL Draft

Press Release2017 Draft Center, Draft Rankings, IIHF, NCAA, OHL, QMJHL, USHL, WHL

The NHL Draft has seen an incredible run of high-end talent of late.

In 2016, future stars like Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine are set to grace the stage at First Niagara Center in Buffalo, NY. Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel, the top two picks from 2015, have had an immediate impact in the National Hockey League. Aaron Ekblad and others from 2014 have already developed into all-stars. Nathan MacKinnon, Aleksander Barkov and the remaining top-end talent from 2013 have certainly shined bright.

2017 has the ability to continue that impressive run.

While the focus in 2015-16 was on those eligible to hear their name called in one week’s time, an eye always remains on the future.

It looks bright.

The initial opinion is that teams looking to bolster their rosters with top-six forwards should have a plethora of options via the 2017 NHL Draft class. And while finding franchise defenders might be a bit tricky at this preliminary stage, there are some intriguing options in net.

But for now, all eyes will be on Brandon Wheat Kings center Nolan Patrick.

Patrick, the early favorite to go first overall, plays a mature, heady two-way game and has some strong bloodlines. He’s already put the Western Hockey League on notice, too, with 41 goals and 102 points as a 17-year-old. It followed up a 30-goal, 56-point campaign at just 16.

“He’s the guy to beat right now,” said Future Considerations scout Justin Froese, who is located in Brandon. “Patrick has been tearing up the WHL while playing a Ryan Getzlaf-type of game. He’s big, driven and a highly intelligent passer and raises his level of play to take over games.”

Timothy Liljegren projects to be the draft’s top defenseman at this stage. The 17-year-old had five points in 19 games with Rogle in Sweden, and 22 points in 29 games playing with Rogle’s U20 team.

Both Liljegren and Patrick will be challenged by the likes of Gabriel Vilardi of Windsor, Owen Tippett of Mississauga, and a host of other highly-rated and under-the-radar prospects over the course of the next 365 days.

Welcome to the 2017 NHL Draft watch.

RankNameTeamLeaguePosHtWt
1Nolan PatrickBrandonWHLC6-3200
2Timothy LiljegrenRogle Jr20SuperElitD6-0190
3Gabriel VilardiWindsorOHLC6-2185
4Owen TippettMississaugaOHLRW6-1185
5Maxime ComtoisVictoriavilleQMJHLRW6-1195
6Casey MittelstadtEden PrairieUSHSC5-11190
7Eeli TolvanenSioux CityUSHLRW5-10175
8Urho VaakanainenBlues U20Jr. A LiigaD6-1185
9Kristian VesalainenFrolunda U20SuperElitLW6-3205
10Callan FooteKelownaWHLD6-4200
11Kailer YamamotoSpokaneWHLRW5-8160
12Nicolas HagueMississaugaOHLD6-6210
13Robin SaloSport U20Jr. A LiigaD6-0180
14Lias AnderssonHV71 Jr20SuperElitC5-11195
15Juuso ValimakiTri CityWHLD6-2200
16Matthew StromeHamiltonOHLLW6-3190
17Marcus DavidssonDjurgardens Jr20SuperElitC6-0185
18Scott Reedy NTDP U18USHLC6-1190
19Antoine MorandAcadie-BathurstQMJHLC5-9170
20Nico HischierBern U20Elite Jr. AC5-11165
21Nikita PopugayevMoose JawWHLRW6-4205
22Jesper BoqvistBrynas Jr20SuperElitC5-10170
23Max GildonNTDP U18USHLD6-2185
24Klim KostinBalashikhaMHLRW6-3185
25Emil OksanenBlues U20Jr. A LiigaRW6-0180
26Elias PetterssonTimra Jr20SuperElitC6-0160
27Shane BowersWaterlooUSHLC6-1170
28Michael RasmussenTri CityWHLC6-5205
29Jake OettingerNTDP U18USHLG6-4200
30Kirill Slepets National U18MHLRW5-10155