NHL DRAFT MOCK
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.
1. New Jersey Devils: Nolan Patrick, C, Brandon (WHL), 6’3, 200
Patrick, first in Future Considerations’ Spring ranking for the 2017 NHL Draft, plays a cerebral, complete game. He’s a big time competitor and can carry a team. His IQ is unparalleled and will allow him to adapt and play valuable minutes.
2. Philadelphia Flyers: Nico Hischier, C, Halifax (QMJHL), 6’0, 175
Hischier, ranked 2nd, is a smooth skating, playmaking center with good skating agility to compliment excellent playmaking instincts, vision and passing skills. He has the potential to be the most explosive offensive forward from the draft.
3. Dallas Stars: Gabe Vilardi, C, Windsor (OHL), 6’2, 185
Vilardi, ranked 3rd, is a dynamic and often brilliant offensive attacker who has skilled hands and outstanding awareness. He looks to set up his linemates with timely passes, but can also finish off the play when the opportunity is there. He has the potential to be a top-line center.
4. Colorado Avalanche: Miro Heiskanen, D, HIFK (Liiga), 5’11, 170
Heiskanen, ranked 11th and rising, has elite hockey sense and skating and is excellent at defending the rush in the defensive zone. He also has solid offensive upside, though he doesn’t project to be a big-time point producer. He has No. 1 potential as a two-way guy.
5. Vancouver Canucks: Casey Mittelstadt, C, Eden Prairie (USHS), 6’1, 200
Mittelstadt, ranked 4th, is a smart, quick center with a quick release and excellent puckhandling skills. He can beat defenders or gain the zone by utilizing this hands, feet or brain. He has the potential to be a future top-line, two-way guy.
6. Vegas Golden Knights: Cody Glass, C, Portland (WHL), 6’2, 170
Glass, ranked 16th and rising, is a toolsy center with good IQ. At this stage, he is unpolished and has good top-six upside. He shows great compete and uses his size effectively, and while not overly flashy, does have an offensive element in his game.
7. Arizona Coyotes: Cale Makar, D, Brooks (AJHL), 5’11, 175
Makar, ranked 5th, is a dynamic offensive defenseman whose instincts and smarts with the puck are elite. He has a high level of awareness in all areas on the ice and has an innate understanding of how the play is developing. He has the upside to be the draft’s most dynamic defenseman.
8. Buffalo Sabres: Owen Tippett, RW, Mississauga (OHL), 6’1, 185
Tippett, ranked 6th, is a strong scoring winger with a natural touch. He gets to the right areas of the ice both with and without the puck, and has the pro-type shot and release to score. He has all the potential to be a top-six scoring winger.
9. Detroit Red Wings: Eeli Tolvanen, RW, Sioux City (USHL), 5’10, 180
Tolvanven, ranked 8th, is lethal in the offensive zone with his unreal shot and rapid release. He has the potential to add offense to where ever he goes, and has top-line potential as a productive winger with his quick thinking, high intensity and overall skill.
10. Florida Panthers: Timothy Liljegren, D, Rogle (SEL), 6’0, 195
Liljegren, ranked 7th, is a flawless skater, really smooth hands, excellent shooter and is solid in the defensive end. He has the ability to carry the puck and make game-changing plays. He has excellent tools, and could develop into a top-pairing, two-way blueliner with some refinement.
11. Los Angeles Kings: Elias Pettersson, LW, Timra (Allsvenskan), 6’2, 160
Pettersson, ranked 9th, is an energetic forward with highly creative hands, good work ethic and offensive skills. He is dangerous one-on-one, and possesses a combination of speed and agility that make him dangerous offensively.
12. Carolina Hurricanes: Lias Andersson, C, HV71 (SEL), 5’11, 200
Andersson, ranked 13th, has impressive smarts that help fuel his strong, two-way game. He has improved his shot and scoring skills throughout the season, and possesses good decision-making, leadership qualities and an advanced understanding of the game.
13. Winnipeg Jets: Juuso Valimaki, D, Tri-City (WHL), 6’2, 200
Valimaki, ranked 12th, is strong, minute-munching, two-way, dependable blueliner who doesn’t possess a lot of high-end offensive flash or dash to his game, but just makes the right play consistently with little panic.
14. Tampa Bay Lightning: Nicolas Hague, D, Mississauga (OHL), 6’6, 215
Hague, ranked 17th, is a fluid defenseman despite his imposing size, displaying a great stride. He handles the puck respectably and is a lethal shooter. He can also shut down the play and is a driver on the ice.
15. New York Islanders: Martin Necas, C/W, Brno (Extraliga), 5’11, 165
Necas, ranked 10th, is a strong, offensive-minded forward who has explosive, darting speed complimented by good lateral agility. His smooth hands and shot make him a contributor both in creating and finishing.
(Mock last updated: April 30, 2017)