Heiskanen leading European charge into Draft

Austin Broad2017 Draft Center, IIHF

Photo courtesy Finnish Ice Hockey Association

The 2017 NHL Draft is fast approaching, with the first round set to kick-off on June 23, 2017. Future Considerations has spent the season in rinks spanning the globe in preparation for FC’s 2017 NHL Draft Guide.

And, according to Future Considerations, these are the top-ranked European skaters the 2017 draft has to offer:

Miro Heiskanen, D, HIFK (Liiga), 6-0, 174, 07-18-1999
Heiskanen, third in Future Considerations’ Final ranking for the 2017 NHL Draft and the top-ranked European, finished with five goals and 10 assists for 15 points in 37 games this season with HIFK. He was a standout at the U18 tournament, recording two goals and 10 assists in his seven games played en route to helping Finland to silver. “He’s a mobile skating, puck moving defenseman who became one of the top defenders going into the draft with a strong season,” Future Considerations’ scout Dennis Schellenberg said. “He plays aggressively with his stick and shows great timing and positioning in his d-zone. He is a strong power play player and quarterbacks with good passing and shooting tools.”

Elias Petterson, C/LW, Timra (Allsvenskan), 6-2, 161, 11-12-1998
Petterson, eighth in Future Considerations’ Final ranking and the second-ranked European, scored 19 goals and added 22 assists for 41 total points in 43 games for Timra this season. Petterson is described as a very fast skater who is very agile with the puck on his stick. “Petterson has blazing speed and uses this ability to dance through traffic and take the puck to the net,” Schellenberg said.

Martin Necas, C, Brno (Extraliga), 6-1, 168, 01-15-1999
Necas, ninth in Future Considerations’ Final ranking and the third-ranked European, scored seven goals and added eight assists for 15 points in 41 games this season for Brno. Necas also added four goals in 10 playoff games in helping Brno capture the Extraliga title. “He is an offensively gifted player who possesses a lot of poise, but he also hustles on the defensive side of the puck as well,” Schellenberg said. “He backchecks hard even if he loses track of his guy from time to time.” Necas is a speedy center who possesses a very good shot and great skating skills. “He is lightning-quick and has a good nose for the net,” Schellenberg added. “He can finish off plays as well as set up scoring chances.”

Lias Andersson, C/LW, HV71 (SHL), 5-11, 198, 10-13-1998
Andersson, 13th in Future Considerations’ Final ranking and the fourth-ranked European, scored nine goals and 10 assists for 19 points this season for HV71. He also added five points in 16 playoff games to help HV71 capture the SHL league title this year. Andersson is a calm player who always keeps a cool head and plays a very effective two-way game. Schellenberg had high praise for Andersson, saying “He is one of the smartest players in this draft, Andersson has a high hockey IQ that allows him to see the game very well, and he can also handle the puck very well.”

Klim Kostin, RW, Dynamo Moscow (KHL), 6-3, 196, 05-05-1999
Kostin, 14th in Future Considerations’ Final ranking and the fifth-ranked European skater, had a difficult season full of injuries and was only limited to eight games with Dynamo Moscow. However, Kostin impressed at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament where he scored four goals and added three assists for seven points in five games played. He also represented Russia at the World Junior A Challenge. “He has the combination size, speed, and skill that make him a very intriguing prospect despite missing most of the season with injuries,” Schellenberg said.