2017 NHL DRAFT MOCK (63-72)
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.
63. C/RW Joni Ikonen, Frolunda (SHL), 5’11, 170 (via COL)
An undersized player, Ikonen’s offensive game is highly creative and he possesses not only a high-octane skill set, but also the IQ to affect three-zone play. His play in international tournaments turned heads, and without the label of being soft. Ikonen very well could’ve heard his name called much earlier because of his high ceiling here, and should see any slide as an opportunity to say ‘I told you so.’ (Justin Froese)
64. C Adam Ruzicka, Sarnia (OHL), 6’4, 200
The Canucks continue their pursuit of a top-six center. Vancouver had their eyes on Ikonen and Ruzicka for this pick, and the Devils made the decision for them. Ruzicka has imposing size, excellent offensive potential with a lethal shot and can become a terrific impact forward if he improves his consistency all over the ice and efforts in the defensive end. (Janik Beichler)
65. C Scott Reedy, NTDP (USHL), 6’2, 205
With this pick, Vegas selects a player they hope to mold into a second line center. There’s a lot to like about Reedy’s ability to do so. He’s a big, strong center with the talent to provide some offensive punch. The biggest benefit of selecting Reedy is that he is committed to the University of Minnesota so there is no rush to get him into the pros. He will learn the game and make the jump to pro once his college career ends. (Austin Broad)
66. D Dmitri Samorukov, Guelph (OHL), 6’2, 180 (via ARI)
The Panthers continue to solidify their future defence core with Samorukov. The sturdy, smooth-skating defenseman is proficient in both ends of the ice. He’s poised and controlled in his defensive zone, but isn’t afraid to join the rush and show off his occasionally booming shot. Samorukov still has room to grow in his game but will learn a lot on a good Guelph Storm in the next few years. (Dylan Galloway)
67. D Josh Brook, Moose Jaw (WHL), 6’1, 180 (via NJD)
The Hurricanes pick a heady defender who will solidify the prospect base on the back-end. Brook isn’t a flashy guy, but he plays a lot of minutes and can mix it up physically. He needs to learn to play both ends consistently, sometimes being a little lax in his own end and relenting pushing the pace. When he is on his game, he is highly noticeable. The selection follows suit with an emphasis on hockey IQ, being a thicker right hand shot defender doesn’t hurt to have in your back pocket either. (Justin Froese)
68. C Sasha Chmelevski, Ottawa (OHL), 6’0, 190 (via BUF)
Montreal will be extremely satisfied to welcome a talented gem in Chmelevski. Best described as a playmaker, he skates effortlessly on the ice, knows how to hit corners and no matter how small a hole you give him, he’s going to hit it. Although Chmelevski looks like a forward who produces offensively by sequences, he could really become an offensive threat if he finds consistency in his game. (Simon Rouillard)
69. LW Ivan Chekhovich, Baie-Comeau (QMJHL), 5’10, 175 (via DET)
Chekhovich, despite his diminutive size, is one of the most skilled players in the class and the Coyotes dip into the QMJHL to find a potential steal. He adds another determined prospect on the wing to a pool full of them. You can never have too much talent in a prospect pool and the Coyotes recognize that. It’s nothing but growth from there on out. (Scott Wheeler)
70. C Antoine Morand, Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL), 5’10, 170
The Stars continue to add assets as they select Morand with their fourth pick in this draft. Morand is a skilled and competitive forward with a high ceiling. Despite being undersized, Morand’s smarts allow him to win most battles. Once considered a first round prospect, the Stars are thrilled he’s available at 70. In a prospect pool full of hard working two-way forwards, Morand adds a dash of skill to the ranks and with development the Stars see him pushing for a top-six role down the road. (Donesh Mazloum)
71. D Tommy Miller, NTDP (USHL), 6’2, 180 (via FLA)
Detroit uses their first of four third round selections to pick up Miller, an all-purpose two-way defender who helps fill an organizational need as a strong, rangy, right-handed blueliner. Miller has the ability to move the puck up to his forwards with strong outlet passes and he has a strong defensive game that uses his physical abilities and solid mobility. (Dan Stewart)
72. D Filip Westerlund, Frolunda (SHL), 5’11, 175
Westerlund has come a long way in the last year and his role as a frequent defenseman in the SHL deserves credit. He’s a quick two-way blueliner with strong mobility and an up-tempo nature to his game that allows him to make an impact offensively. With the right coaching and patient development, he’s got what it takes to become an NHL defenseman. He can handle the puck well, increasingly important from the back-end. (Scott Wheeler)