2017 NHL DRAFT MOCK (21-31)

The New Jersey Devils are on the clock.

After winning the 2017 NHL Draft Lottery, the Devils will have the first overall selection in the 2017 NHL Draft. They will be followed by the Philadelphia Flyers at No. 2, and the Dallas Stars at No. 3.

Future Considerations asked a few of our evaluators, who have been in the rinks all season scouting 2017 eligible prospects, to give their input on who they think NHL teams will be looking to add to their prospect pool in this first round mock draft.

Happy drafting!

RD 1 (1-10) | RD 1 (11-20) | RD 1 (21-31) | RD 2 (32-41) | RD 2 (42-51) | RD 2 (52-62) | RD 3 (63-72) | RD 3 (73-82) | RD 3 (83-93)

21. RW Klim Kostin, Dynamo (KHL), 6’3, 196

The combination of size, skill and strength that Kostin offers is tough to pass up. He did not have an easy season and missed a lot of time with injury, but the Rangers believe that he can bounce back and that this should not be a reason to not pick him up that late. Next to Kostin’s offensive skills, he also shows the willingness to take on responsibilities defensively. New York drafts the best player available in their eyes. (Dennis Schellenberg)

22. C/W Martin Necas, Brno (Czech), 6’0, 165

Necas available this late is a quick scoop without hesitation. He is a highly skilled forward who should slot into the Oilers top-six sooner than later. Necas likely projects as a winger in this organization as opposed to a center and he should help fill a scoring role. The Oilers were originally targeting a defender in this slot but in the end can’t pass on a player with Necas’ potential. (Donesh Mazloum)

23. RW Kailer Yamamoto, Spokane (WHL), 5’8, 155 (via MIN)

After picking up Liljegren with the seventh overall pick, the Coyotes can afford to pluck the best forward left on the draft board and take a chance on the highly skilled, though small, Yamamoto. Had Yamamoto been a couple of inches taller, he’d be in the conversation as a top-5 pick in this class. Few players after Hischier and Patrick can match Yamamoto’s ability with the puck. (Scott Wheeler)

24. C Ryan Poehling, St. Cloud State (NCAA), 6’2, 185 (from CBJ via VGK)

Poehling is a do-it-all power-center. He’s a thinking-man’s hockey player. He plays a strong, 200-foot game and already makes pro-level plays while skating opposite older players. The still developing Poehling is a smart and solidly built two-way center in the Ryan Kesler-mold that will see his offensive role with the Huskies increase as a sophomore. (Dan Stewart)

25. LW Maxime Comtois, Victoriaville (QMJHL), 6’2, 200

The Canadiens add a hometown kid with all the qualities the team dearly lacks up front. A big, strong, versatile forward, Comtois has a scoring touch that can make him a top-line scorer, but the safe floor of a role player due to his intangibles and work ethic. Comtois has the experience necessary to make the jump to the big league quicker than some of his peers, too. (Mike Barrett)

26. G Jake Oettinger, Boston University (NCAA), 6’4, 210

The Blackhawks jump at the chance to make this pick in front of all the hometown fans of a goaltender they see as their future in the crease. The big, athletic puck stopper has been impressive not only this season as a freshman starter for BU but also during his time with the NTDP. Oettinger is the top-ranked goaltender on many teams’ lists and Chicago doesn’t waste any time in scooping him up with a late first rounder. (Dan Stewart)

27. C Stelio Mattheos, Brandon (WHL), 6’1, 195 (via WSH)

Mattheos may represent an odd pick because he is not a first-round lock, but his potential will surely enough intrigue the Blues and from there, they will give him a shot as their second first rounder. Mattheos played with no complex during the World U18 notching four goals in five games, and showed well among the best of his age group. He has an underrated scoring touch and plays a cerebral north-south game. (Simon Rouillard)

28. D Erik Brannstrom, HV-71 (SHL), 5’10, 175

The Senators are surprised Brannstrom fell to them at the 28th pick. The undersized puck moving blueliner is exactly what the Senators are looking for on the back end. His mobility with the puck and excellent hockey sense give him high upside at the next level. The Senators seem to have an affinity for small skilled Swedes and feel that Brannstrom is not only a great organizational fit but also the best player still available. (Dylan Galloway)

29. D Nicolas Hague, Mississauga (OHL), 6’6, 215 (via ANA)

The Stars look to address a major need with their second pick in the first round. While Dallas has plenty of small, puck-moving defenders on the roster and in the system, Hague brings size and physicality that is currently lacking. His cannon from the point is also a needed asset. The Stars envision Hague in their top-four a few years down the road as a player who plays tough minutes and can chip in offensively. (Donesh Mazloum)

30. LW Matthew Strome, Hamilton (OHL), 6’4, 205

With Nashville’s defense solidified, they opt to go for a player who they believe can add to their offensive depth. Strome is a big bodied player and has a good ability to finish around the net. He will add to an impressive scoring depth in the Nashville organization with Forsberg, Neal and Johansen. Nashville will have the time to develop Strome until he can reach his full potential before making the jump to the NHL. (Austin Broad)

31. D Max Gildon, NTDP (USHL), 6’3, 190

Gildon may seem like a bit of a reach, but the Penguins are in no hurry whatsoever to thrust prospects into the lineup. Instead, they are confident in Gildon, who is a promising two-way defender who will need time. He eventually develops into a reliable top-four defender. Gildon started out as a potential first-round pick, then fell down most rankings during the season but finished strong. (Janik Beichler)