The 2017 NHL Draft is fast approaching with the first round set to kick-off at United Center in Chicago on June 23. Future Considerations has spent the season in rinks spanning the globe in preparation for Future Considerations’ 2017 NHL Draft Guide.
And, according to Future Considerations, these are the top-ranked Western Hockey League players the 2017 draft has to offer:
Nolan Patrick, C , Brandon Wheat Kings, 6-3, 198, 09-19-1998
Patrick, the top-ranked WHL skater and top-ranked overall skater in Future Considerations’ Final ranking for the 2017 NHL Draft, had a tough season in regard to injury issues. However, the Brandon Wheat Kings center was lights out in the 33 games he did dress for. “The all-around package, he brings a steady presence to both ends of the ice.” said Justin Froese, Future Considerations’ head Western Canadian scout. “His elite IQ allows him to highlight opponents’ weaknesses and create plays that other players cannot see.” Patrick scored 20 goals and added 26 assists for 46 points this season for the Wheat Kings, and showed enough to maintain his top rank all season.
Cody Glass, C, Portland Winterhawks, 6-2, 180, 04-01-1999
Glass, 10th in Future Considerations’ Final ranking and the second-ranked skater from the WHL, had a breakout season with the Portland Winterhawks. The center scored 32 goals and 62 assists for 94 points in 69 games this season and added nine points in 11 playoff games. “He’s an intelligent offensive playmaker who creates opportunities in the offensive zone with his passing skill.” Froese said. “He possesses the necessary tools and knowledge of the game, but is still a little raw in terms of his development but does have the potential to pay off huge dividends in the future.”
Juuso Valimaki, D, Tri-City Americans, 6-2, 205, 10-06-1998
Valimaki, 12th in Future Considerations’ Final ranking and the third-ranked WHL skater, had an impressive season with the Tri-City Americans. The defneseman scored 19 goals and added 42 assists for 61 points in 60 games played. His 19 goals led all blueliners for Tri-City and his 61 points finished second. “He’s a very smart player who has the impulse to join the rush and create plays offensively,” Froese said. “He’s a master at getting the puck out of his zone and up the ice, and is often the smartest player on the ice.” Valimaki also played six games for Finland at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship, scoring twice in the tournament.
Kailer Yamamoto, RW, Spokane Chiefs, 5-8, 155, 09-29-1999
Yamamoto, 15th in Future Considerations’ Final ranking and the fourth-ranked WHL skater, scored 42 goals and added 57 assists for 99 points in 65 games for the Spokane Chiefs. Yamamoto led the Chiefs in every major scoring category this season. “He brings all world skill and blinding speed every time he’s on the ice and knows where to be in order to finish or find teammates, despite not having impressive size,” Froese said. “He is smart enough to know his limitations but makes up for his limitations with his high compete level.”
Michael Rasmussen, C, Tri-City Americans, 6-6, 215, 04-17-1999
Rasmussen, 16th in Future Considerations’ Final ranking and the fifth-ranked skater from the WHL, finished the season with 32 goals and 23 assists for 55 points in 50 games played. “He possesses a surprising finesse style of play for a big, rangy player and has a great shot that he loves to utilize,” Froese said. “He had a heavy reliance on the power play for his points may be an area of concern for some people, but he still goes to work every night when he’s on the ice.”