2017 NHL DRAFT MOCK (52-62)

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)

52. D Markus Phillips, Owen Sound (OHL), 6’0, 205 (via NYR)

Carolina adds to their deep stable of young defensemen and takes the stocky two-way blueliner. Phillips is a great skater with sound defensive instincts and a thick build that allows him to battle well in the corners despite his lack of height. He shows good puck-moving ability and was a consistent presence in his own end. A leadership pedigree and his high hockey IQ make Phillips a safe bet to become an NHL player. (Joseph Aleong)

53. LW/C Ostap Safin, Sparta (Extraliga Jrs), 6’4, 190 (via EDM)

Safin is a big-bodied power forward with excellent offensive abilities. He has impressive reach and strength to help push his offense, but is occasionally criticised for a lack of effort. If he can get that under control, he can become an impact player at the highest level. Safin is a natural center but he can also play on the wing, giving the Bruins some flexibility in the future. (Janik Beichler)

54. D Cameron Crotty, Brockville (OJHL), 6’3, 185 (via MIN)

Crotty’s two-way game and his capability to ease pucks transition from one zone to the other is impressive. His liking to drive possession plays is also an important asset in today’s game. Relying much on lateral skating mobility than speed, the Braves alumni is well capable of facing agile forwards on one-on-one duels, and will have his share of success in the defensive zone. (Simon Rouillard)

55. C Josh Norris, NTDP (USHL), 6’1, 190 (via CBJ)

The Canucks opt with a promising high-energy offensive forward who plays a responsible two-way game. Norris is a safer pick, and he has the size and two-way play to eventually fill a third line role or even second line upside if his offensive game continues to develop along his current path. Failing that, his biggest value could come in stifling that offense in others. (Dan Stewart)

56. C/RW Lucas Elvenes, Rogle Jr (Superelit), 6’0, 170

Elvenes is a seriously skilled forward who strikes fear into defenders with his creativity and silky smooth hands. He excels at finding the man in open space, but also hustles on both the fore and back-check. The Canadiens desperately need an injection of offensive talent in their system, so with Elvenes being the best player available and the organizational need, management jumps to make this selection. (Mike Barrett)

57. D Dylan Samberg, Hermantown HS (USHSH), 6’3, 190

The Blackhawks scoop up a raw but physical defenseman who they hope will eventually develop into a replacement for one of their top NHL blueliners. He has very good size and skating ability as well as having no problems lining up an opponent for a check or trying to knock attacking forwards through the wall. Samberg’s decision-making and offensive upside are still developing but he will be given time to work on them. (Dan Stewart)

58. D Ian Mitchell, Spruce Grove (AJHL), 5’11, 170 (via WSH)

After selecting two forwards already, Montreal can check off another need by selecting the right-handed defenseman. The Canadiens have an organizational need at the position as Juulsen and Lernout are the only viable right-shot blueline prospects. He may be under-sized, but Mitchell is an excellent skater who will bring a high level of puck-moving and play-making ability from the back-end. (Mike Barrett)

59. C Morgan Frost, Sault Ste Marie (OHL), 5’11, 170 (via OTT)

Frost has the potential to develop into a second-line center down the road. He is creative with the puck and, thanks to his hockey IQ and amazing acceleration, effectively reads the play as it is developing. He constantly scans for his best option. He also tries to help defenders of his team as he is reliable in defensive zone, that’s made him very valuable player. (Anton Vasyatin)

60. RW Nick Henry, Regina (WHL), 5’11, 190

While the Getzlaf-Perry era will eventually come to an close, the Ducks need to replace those two. With Steel already in the depth chart, Anaheim is happy to select Henry, who plays for Regina with Steel. He always knows where and when he needs to be on the ice because of his high-level IQ. Despite Henry is not big, he is very aggressive and patient. He is also speedy and skilled winger, as previous selection Boqvist is. (Anton Vasyatin)

61. C/LW Jake Leschyshyn, Regina (WHL), 5’11, 185

Nashville continues to add to their depth on forward by selecting a player who can play both center and wing. Leschyshyn adds a nice offensive threat and will have the capability to learn under great players like Neal and Forsberg. By selecting Leschyshyn, the Predators have the benefit of allowing him to develop and make his way through junior and the AHL much like they’ve done with Aberg. (Austin Broad)

62. RW Nikita Popugayev, Prince George (WHL), 6’6’, 215 (via PIT from CAR)

Popugaev slid out of first-round consideration after being traded midseason and then struggling to find his footing with the Cougars, but the hulking winger has a solid offensive touch and is a developing physical threat. Popugayev could give the prospect pool of the Golden Knights a power forward project that has a high reward to the risk of selecting Popugayev. (Joseph Aleong)