2017 NHL DRAFT MOCK (42-51)
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.
42. RW Ivan Lodnia, Erie (OHL), 5’10, 180
Lodnia has great skating and puck skills, and displayed flashes of elite talent throughout the year despite being buried on a deep and talented squad in Erie. He’s undersized, but is tenacious in the offensive zone and has the versatility to develop as either a winger or as a centre. He is a prime breakout candidate next season with the graduations of Strome and DeBrincat looming, and could prove to be a steal as an early second round. (Joseph Aleong)
43. C Shane Bowers, Waterloo (USHL), 6’1, 185
Falling a down the board a bit, the Jets go for the two-way center who they can add to their forward group. Bowers is a sensible forward who can drive offense and competes on every shift, he may never have to be the go-to guy on a potent offense, but he will be no slouch. Bowers is a good foot-soldier to add at this point in the draft and could surprise with development time. (Justin Froese)
44. D Pierre-Olivier Joseph, Charlottetown (QMJHL), 6’2, 160
Joseph ascended the rankings steadily all season long, developing into a top defenseman in the QMJHL at just 17. His transition game is superb, is an excellent skater and has good length. He is very aware, anticipates well, breaks up the attack and gets the puck up ice in a hurry, whether that be with a crisp breakout pass or skating it out himself. He’s a future top-three defender with power play value. (Mike Barrett)
45. C Marcus Davidsson, Djurgardens (SHL), 6’0, 190 (via TBL)
Davidsson is a highly-skilled forward who has flown under the radar in Sweden this year due to the spotlight others have have garnered from the country. He’s a well-rounded two-way center who still displays skill and doesn’t shy away from trying to create a chance offensively. You can never have enough depth scoring talent up front, and Davidsson can provide that. (Scott Wheeler)
46. F MacKenzie Entwistle, Hamilton (OHL), 6’3, 175
There’s little worry little about the relatively humble stats for a player who nonetheless displayed surprisingly good mitts, strong puck possession skills, and solid board work. The belief is that he’ll of course need time to keep discovering his game and his body, but his combination of hockey sense and size has ‘pro material’ written all over him. (Chapin Landvogt)
47. LW Jonah Gadjovich, Owen Sound (OHL), 6’2, 210 (via CGY)
Having fulfilled a need with a defender in the first round, the Senators are looking to fill another need; scoring. Although his defensive game is not fully developed yet, Gadjovich is a surprisingly fleet of foot, winger who possesses a rocket of a shot. His dogged determination to score from anywhere is impressive and he has the size to get to these high danger areas of the ice. (Dylan Galloway)
48. C Aleksi Heponiemi, Swift Current (WHL), 5’10, 145 (via TOR)
The Lightning decide to continue to draft for high-end talent and Heponiemi, the WHL’s Rookie of the Year, has too much talent to pass up. At 5-foot-9 and roughly 150 pounds, there’s concern over his size and strength, but Heponiemi has elite offensive tools with the puck and that makes him a risk worth taking in the second round. The Lightning play with speed and tempo and Heponiemi fits that mold. (Scott Wheeler)
49. C Alexei Lipanov, HK MVD (MHL), 6’0, 165 (from BOS via NJD)
The Sharks grab big offensive upside with in a small package with the selection of Lipanov. A tantalizing mixture of speed and skill, he has the ability to deliberately shred defensive coverage with his top-end hockey sense. His cerebral ability backs off defenders and breaks ankles, but he’s not just offensively gifted as he can play sound defense. He could add mass to his frame to be more durable, but has high reward. (Justin Froese)
50. LW Jesper Boqvist, Brynas J20, Superelit, 6’0, 180 (from SJS via TOR)
Boqvist is the best player available, that’s why Anaheim drafts him at the 50th position. There’s no hesitation in taking the Swedish winger, and at this spot, it’s a great steal as Boqvist will add some excellent speed and goal scoring instincts to an Anaheim team that already have a lot of big and aggressive forwards. His offensive skills will compliment them well (Anton Vasyatin)
51. LW Alex Formenton, London (OHL), 6’2, 165
Formenton is an explosive skater who can go from 0-60 in a heartbeat. He can convert his speed into a tremendous offensive weapon, though his scoring touch is not overly there yet. He also needs to bulk up a bit and his ceiling remains a mystery at the moment, but the raw tools are there and the Blues will be thrilled to help him reach his full potential. (Simon Rouillard)