2017 NHL Mock Draft
By Members of HockeyForums
Ht/Wt: 6' 3"/200 lbs
Team: Brandon (WHL)
WITH THE FIRST PICK IN THE DRAFT, The New Jersey Devils take: NOLAN PATRICK
The combination of size and speed along with vision makes this an easy pick for me. New Jersey has stated publicly that the need for centers is the number one thing they plan to address this offseason and it begins right here with this kid.
A dangerous two-way center that stays poised, calm, and composed in all situations. Skates well for his size and has no issues getting into position. Individual puck skills are at an elite level and he is able to play a finesse role. Makes excellent decisions with the puck and showcases a well-rounded understanding of both the offensive and defensive game. Uses his size to his advantage and keeps the opposition guessing because he is able to do so many different things, including taking it himself to the net and powering through, making a seeing-eye pass, or holding off to piggyback a possession play. He already plays a mature yet dynamic game, and that indicates success for a long time at higher levels. All-in-all, a dexterous 200-foot player that is a consistent threat every time he is on the ice. - Joe Curtis, Elite Prospects
selected by @yave1964
Ht/Wt: 6' 0"/172 lbs
Team: Halifax (QMJHL)
In the biggest non-surprise ever, the Flyers take Nico Hischier with the 2nd overall pick. Hope it works out this way in real life also!!
"The Switzerland-born left-shot forward (6-1, 176) has elite hockey sense, a nice scoring touch and underrated edge to his game. He excelled as an underage player for Switzerland at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship with four goals and three assists in five games. He has been dominant for Halifax with 64 points (32 goals, 32 assists) in 38 games." Mike Moralle - NHL.com
Hischier models his game after Pavel Datsyuk and can score goals with his quick hands in tight to the net, and a very quick release on his wrist and snap shots. He has good accuracy and power on his wide arsenal of shots. Hischier also has a very high work ethic, he never seems to stop working during a shift. Size is the biggest concern at this point. Hischier will need to add muscle to his frame before moving to the next level. -- Ben Kerr, Last Word on Sports
Selected by @jammer2
Ht/Wt: 6' 3"/201 lbs
Team: Windsor (OHL)
Dallas is in an interesting position where they can draft the top defensemen in this year's draft, draft the 3rd best forward or trade the pick and move down a few positions. I wouldn't be surprised to see if the Stars move down a few positions. But with this selection, the Stars pick the defensive center, Gabriel Vilardi from the Memorial Champion Winsor Spitfires who is said to play a similar defensive style to Patrice Bergeron.
Vilardi is a decent skater with good balance and power in his stride. He has great balance and protects the puck well down low on the cycle, and can fight through checks and take the puck to the front of the net. He uses his long reach and excellent puck handling skills to extend plays along the boards and in front of the net. Vilardi also has a good and accurate wrist shot with a quick release and has shown a willingness to play all 3 zones. With a little more seasoning Vilardi has the skills to become an #1 center in the NHL.
Selected by @hf101
Ht/Wt: 5' 11"/183 lbs
Team: Owen Sound Attack (OHL)
With so many potential needs what do the Avs do at the draft?? As I stated above, I believe a lot will depend on the off season and what the Stars do one pick before the Avs. As much as the Avs need defense, the also need some offensive punch. I foresee the Avs picking in the top 5 again next year. With an early indication that there are some great defensive prospects for next years draft, the Colorado Avalanche will go in the direction of offense for the 2017 draft.
Going off the board, with the 4th overall pick, the Colorado Avalanche pick Nick Suzuki.
Suzuki projects as a top-six forward with the upside of a number-one center. He does need to fill out but that’s just a matter of time. He makes his linemates better thanks to the skill he brings. If you need a goal, he’ll get that for you. If you need dynamic playmaking, he can do that too. If you need a defensive stop, he’s good for that as well. His total package makes his floor very high.
Selected by @pilldoc
Ht/Wt: 6' 2"/161 lbs
Team: Timra IK (Hockeyallsvenskan)
The Canucks have to think about life after Henrik Sedin, although they certainly have other holes to fill. Pettersson has the definite potential to be a very good Top 2 NHL center. Bo Horvat very well could be that player, but they still need quality, young speed and skill at that position. Pettersson will most likely need to take a few years and continue developing in the Swedish Elite League, and he will be playing there next season.
According to nhl.com, he had 19 goals, 22 assists and a +15 plus/minus in 45 games.
Petterrsson is a left handed shot with great offensive instincts and a solid understanding of the game. He was #2 on Central Scouting's final ranking of international skaters.
selected by @FD19372
Ht/Wt: 6' 5"/203 lbs
Team: Tri City Americans (WHL)
Building an entire team from scratch is no walk in the park but the good news for Vegas Golden Knights GM George McPhee and co. is, the Expansion Draft will be loaded with talented players. Unfortunately for them though, they have the lowest pick in the NHL Entry Draft for a first year expansion franchise since 1979 and many consider this to be a weak draft class
When you first look at Rasmussen's scouting profile, one thing that immediately sticks out is his NHL ready size at 6'5, 205lbs. He was brilliant in his limited action this year as he battled a wrist injury in the later part of the season, but when healthy, Rasmussen is a force to be reckoned with. Has a great shot, is impossible to move from in front of the net, and scouts rave at his ability to quickly get around the ice despite his huge frame. He has great vision on the PP and is "dominate" below the goal line as he owns the area behind the net. His size allows him to go where others won't and he rarely loses a battle for the puck.
selected by @habsguy26
Ht/Wt: 6' 0"/ 172 lbs
Team: HIFK (SM - Liiga)
After drafting forwards high (Domi, Strome) and acquiring some young forward talent via trade (Duclair, Crouse) in recent years, Arizona will gladly snap up whom I believe to be the top defenseman in the draft in Heiskanen. While OEL is still the class of their defense, it's time to get some high-quality youth coming in behind him to grow with what could be a strong forward group in the next few years.
A two-way rearguard that plays with strong mobility, speed and awareness…possesses excellent lateral agility and straight ahead speed…starts and stops very quickly and possesses a very smooth overall stride…carries the puck confidently up the ice and into the offensive zone…has impressive vision…makes very good passes, finding his teammates quickly and without hesitation in all three zones…takes quick, accurate wrist shots from the point…good foot speed enables him to keep gaps close….not afraid to use his body to separate the puck from an opponent or rub out an attacker along the wall… keeps his man to the outside…struggles with a lack of strength…displays pretty strong awareness defensively making quick stick checks to interrupt plays and then quickly turning the play back up ice…a minute muncher who shows high level intelligence and decision making…a potential top four blueliner displaying high end poise, puck skills and skating ability
selected by @AJgoal
Ht/Wt: 6' 2"/ 203 lbs
Team: Mississauga Steelheads (OHL)
Buffalo needs a solid defenseman but to pass on Tippett would be silly. Tippett will be the next best forward available (with all due respect to Casey Mittlestadt) and Buffalo seems to develop their forwards well, Tippett had 75 points in 60 games for the OHL Steelheads in the 2016-2017 season.
Tippett is a pure goal scorer with the ability to create chances out of nothing. His speed and quick release makes him a threat at any point off the rush and in the offensive zone. His size is another advantage that he brings to his game and he will be a force for any team – an offensive facelift for those looking to add a sniper. Pairing him with Eichel and Nylander will give oppents nightmares for years to come.
Arguably the best shot in the 2017 draft class, Tippett is a pure goal scorer. He has a lethal shot, it is quick, hard, and accurate and he is able to disguise his release very well. Besides taking a high volume of shots, Tippett is also a big player that uses his size, each and strength to protect the puck, win board battles and provide a strong net presence. The other asset to his game is his above average skating, his breakaway speed and acceleration gives him separation ability and like all components of his game he uses all his skill to support his goal scoring tendency.” – Peter Harling, Dobber Prospects
Selected by @pilldoc
Ht/Wt: 6' 0"/ 192 lbs
Team: Rogle BK / Timra RK
All things considered, there is no need greater for the Red Wings than to shore up the depth and increase their chances of fielding a top blueliner. In the most ideal sense, the Red Wings are looking for a smart, puck-moving defenseman with a right-handed shot, and the ability to captain a power-play unit. This particular blueliner would be ready to step onto the NHL ice as quickly as possible, but at the same time be able to learn from the guys who have been around for a while, in order to meld into the style of play that is expected of him.
Liljegren appears to be just the type of player the Red Wings have been looking for. This promising young Swede’s hockey sense and puck moving ability has been compared to another fellow Swede, Erik Karlsson. Karlsson, of course, at the beginning of his career exhibited shades of Nicklas Lidstrom.
Liljegren projects as a top-pairing defenseman in the NHL. Also, he is the kind of player you could build your first power play formation around.
Selected by @WingNut722
Ht/Wt: 6'11"/ 179 lbs
Team: Brooks Bandits (AJHL)
IMHO at this point he is best available and with the decline of Ekblad and the rumor that Yandle will be exposed in the draft they do need defense.
Craig Button TSN - May 8th"I’m not saying he’s Erik Karlsson because we’re talking about a superstar and one of the great defencemen of his era, but (Makar) plays the game like that," TSN prospect analyst Craig Button said. "He’s dynamic into the attack with the puck, making plays. He’s really, really top-notch. I think everything he has translates to the next level. I don’t worry that he’s in the AJHL. It’s not a negative for me."
The kid can skate and has amazing vision, I have read quite a few people comparing him to a young Karlsson which IMHO is absurd and setting the bar a wee bit too high but other than size he has it all. Top four over the next decade, probably top pair and a power play king. Unbelievable that he was laying here, the Panthers desperately need forwards but Makar is too good to pass on at ten.
Selected by @yave1964
Ht/Wt: 6' 1"/ 201 lbs
Team: Green Bay Gamblers (USHL)
An electric offensive presence on the ice, Casey Mittelstadt brings the complete package of speed, skill, and hockey sense. He competes hard with every shift, and has the dynamic puck skills to keep up with his creativity, which is a hallmark of his game. His awareness is all-encompassing, and he never puts his teammates in positions where their time and space will be bottlenecked. Bigger players don't phase him, as he thinks the game analytically and will find chinks in the opposition's armor on the fly. As a result, Mittelstadt is often seen forcing more complicated plays that the opposition won't be able to read in time. On top of all this, he can play a north-south game, and his transition game is already at an elite level. He's a complete player with the predatory instincts necessary to succeed as a consistent and, perhaps, dominant point producer at the next level.
Selected by @thenewestlights
Ht/Wt: 6' 2"/ 179 lbs
Team: Portland Winterhawks (WHL)
Bursting with one of the most talented young blue lines in hockey, Carolina is ecstatic that Glass falls this far. He provides them with a real blue-chip center prospect to add some size down the center. While he needs to fill out, his frame can support it, and his genetics say that he could possibly still grow an inch or so. I have Glass as my #3 forward, and was wondering if he could have fallen to the Flyers at 13 had they not won the #2 overall. So I'm pretty excited to have him available here, though I would not be excited to have him in the division for the next 10+ years.
A dangerous two-way center that thinks the game at a high level, never making the same mistake twice. He is analytical and patient in the development of his strengths. He transitions up-ice quickly and is able to create and dictate offensive chances on the rush. He attacks hard and fast and consistently displays excellent puck control. His decision making is very good, indicative of his high level of hockey sense. He plays a complete game and elevates his play as energy levels rise. At the next level, he will need to be even faster and more physically assertive to make his presence felt. All-in-all, an intense, quick-thinking competitor that can elicit a crowd's excitement when he's on the ice.
Selected by @AJgoal
Ht/Wt: 6' 1"/ 168 lbs
Team: Berno Kometa (Czech 20)
With the lucky 13th pick in the 2017 Hockey Forums Dot Net NHL Draft, the Winnipeg Jets are proud to select, from the Czech elite league, Center Martin Necas of the Czech Republic
A fast, skilled, dynamic forward with great offensive upside. Carries the puck with confidence and likes to attack defenders with speed. Great skater with excellent edge work, is able to accelerate with sharp cuts. Plays the game at full throttle, making creative and imaginative plays at a high tempo. Runs the PP from the half-wall, making deft little plays and slick feeds. Exhibits tremendous hockey IQ and has leadership skills to boot. Needs to add some size and strength as he is extremely lean at the moment.
Selected by @Podein25
Ht/Wt: 6' 3"/ 209 lbs
Team: Kelowna Rockets (WHL)
It's around the middle part of round 1 where everything can go off the rails in this draft. There is a whole lotta prospects that can go from 13ish to 30ish. At this point of the draft, I don't see how the Bolts can resist taking Callan Foote. Comes from a great hockey family, one of the best skating d-men in the draft, has his Dad's mean streak but also brings a whole lot of offensive upside. Solid leadership skills, a cornerstone piece of championship team sitting there in the middle of round 1. Yeah, the Lightning take Foote with #14. Real nice size and real nice upside.
This kid has a rocket from the point. He could go top 10, but 14 or 15 is the lowest he will fall IMHO. One of the risers. Sneaky athleticism for such a huge kid. Likes to join the rush and is deadly at being the trailer in an offensive zone rush.
Selected by @jammer2
Ht/Wt: 5' 10"/ 179 lbs
Team: Sioux City Muskateers (USHL)
The New York Islanders need young defensemen. While they appear to be set at the blue line presently, they only have one defenseman under the age of 33 signed past 2019--that being Nick Leddy. With that being said, reinforcements will be needed sooner rather than later. Unforunately for me, the player I had my sights set on, Callan Foote, was selected with the previous pick... if the Islanders indeed find themselves in this situation, my gut instinct tells me they would try to trade down for a lower pick. Rules are rules though, so the arm-chair GM inside is telling me to draft the best player available.
The Islanders are pleased to select Tolvanen, who is ranked 11th by THN and NHL.com respectively. I was extremely tempted to reach for a defenseman like Valimaki or Joseph, but The Islanders should be able to snag a decent defenseman in the 2nd round, and Tolvanen is too tantalizing to pass up. There is no doubt he delivers the entire offensive package. Unbelievable speed. Brilliant shot. It's said once he arrives in the NHL, his shot will already be among the tier 1 ranks. He has great hockey IQ and awesome vision on the power play. He is elusive with the puck and a pretty decent fore-checker without it. A future line of Tolvanen, Mathew Barzal and Joshua Ho-Sang is enough to make opponents cry, but Islanders fans will have to wait at least one year as Tolvanen is a Boston College commit.
Selected by @habsguy26
Ht/Wt: 5' 11"/ 198 lbs
Team: HV71 (SHL)
Organizationally, the Flames have some skill at the goalie position, and very respectable talent, skill and speed at LW. However, they lack top line scoring, offensive defensemen and Center and RW depth.
Liam Andersson is a talented 2-way center, and is very versatile in that he can be utilized effectively on the PP, at even strength and on the PK. He is a solid forechecker, who has good speed and can get in on the forecheck quickly. He possesses good speed as well as quality hands. He is advanced enough to this point where he could very well be ready to turn pro after his first season in Calgary's organizational system. Many scouts believe he has a high hockey I.Q. and maturity level, particularly for him being 20 year old.
Strengths - Poise, very good work ethic, high hockey IQ, solid defensive awareness, good speed and hands.
Weaknesses - Does not possess a ton of offensive talent, and isn't a pure, consistent scorer.
There are scouts who liken his all-around game to have some characteristics akin to Henrik Zetterberg.
Selected by @FD19372
Ht/Wt: 6' 3"/ 196 lbs
Team: Dynamo Moscow (KHL)
Toronto needs defense, that's a given, but there's other sources outside of the draft and altho this draft may have fine options for a future defense I think the highest upside of the players left isn't a d-man. I think the Leafs will draft the BPA and that's definitely what I hope they will do.
Klim Kostin is 6'3" and he plays that way, The Hockey News states his physicality is elite, his skating is just plain good for anyone whether small or big, big shot, and plays in the tough areas. This is the type of forward all teams want and should have and eventually, hopefully, he'll be TO's equivalent to Wayne Simmonds without the fisticuffs.
There's always the Russian factor risk making this pick but players like Kuznetsov, Kucherov and Tarasenko were chosen lower than they should've been because of that Russian factor and how important are they to their teams, very. His scoring stats weren't good this year because he was a 17 year old in the KHL but his results in some tournies against his peers tell us a different story.
Selected by @hobie
Ht/Wt: 6' 2"/ 185 lbs
Team: St. Cloud St. Huskies (NCAA)
The Boston Bruins proudly select Ryan Poehling, the youngest NCAA player last year as he had fast-tracked through high school so he could play with his brothers at St Cloud State as an underage freshman. While he didn't put up the most points in his freshman year as others on the Huskies team or this draft pool, he stood out for Team USA in international competition scoring some very timely goals. Poehling generates offense in clutch situations and is close to being the complete package as he has size, speed, decent acceleration, lower body strength and balance. Ryan Poehling plays a smart, gritty game, battling in the corners and in front of the net; as well as being effective on the forecheck. He also has a very good wrist shot and release and plays a strong cycle game. He protects the puck well and extends plays, giving time for his linemates to get open.
Poehling is projected to be a top 6 forward as he reads plays well, creating turnovers. His positioning is solid and he uses that in combination with an active stick to cut down passing lanes. Poehling is willing to put his body on the line and block shots.
With a couple of more years at St Cloud State Ryan Poehling will soon be a replacement for the aging Patrice Bergeron or David Krejci as he will lead the Bruins for years to come.
Selected by @hf101
Ht/Wt: 6' 6"/ 203 lbs
Team: Guelph Storm (OHL)
Take one look at the Sharks aging core at forward and it does not take an expert to figure out which way the Sharks go with the #19 overall pick. Whatever happens with Joe Thornton who will be over 40 next year, you still have Marleau turning 38 and Pavelski turning 33 soon. Even with Hertl showing promise (although his stock has dropped with an iffy season last year IMHO) and Timo Mirer up and coming, some depth for the top 6 is badly needed.
For me, this comes down to 2 players, both from the OHL. Either Jason Robertson or Issac Ratcliffe. I'm not sold on Robertson being able to contribute in the top 6 in the NHL, he will be an NHL player, but not sure where he will fall depth wise. Ratliffe is the pick, he's a healthy 6'6 and has room to put on weight, has very nice hands and plays a wonderfully powerful down low game where cycling the puck and getting to the tough areas are his specialty. He went from 5 goals in his 16 year old season to 28 goals as a 17 year old. I expect 45-50 next year for Guelph, he's that good.
Selected by @jammer2
Ht/Wt: 6' 2"/ 201 lbs
Team: Tri-City Americans (WHL)
Valimaki is a highly-skilled puck distributor who skates very well and loves to turn the tides with a quick-strike transition game. His puck skills and shot are both above average, and it should come as no surprise that his wheels, hands, size and vision makes him one of the favorites to be a mid-level 1st Round pick in June. He is capable of running a power play and will enter the zone with either speed or patience — he’s not a big fan of the dump and chase. If he chooses to throw the puck into the zone, it’ll be a subtle lob to make the defense turn their backs or a hard-around to prevent goalie interdiction. His defensive game is solid but he tends to wander from his own slot or get crossed up in coverage. His footwork is very good and he can close and seal-off in a hurry, plus his wingspan and active stick makes him difficult to dance around.
His hockey IQ is very high, and he almost always seems to make the right play with the puck on his stick. He has the poise to control the puck and quarterback the play from the line, as well as the passing skill and vision to find open teammates on the powerplay.
“Valimaki has better than average size, skating, skill and is one of the older players in the 2017 draft class. Valimaki will excel at the NHL with his speed and ability to carry the puck up ice as well as make exceptional outlet passes. His skating is an asset and in conjunction with his size he plays the prototypical modern day NHL style of game.” – Peter Harling, Dobber Prospects.
Valimaki has the potential to be a top pairing defender who can play big minutes and be used in all situations, be it PK or PP units.
Selected by @pilldoc
Ht/Wt: 6' 1"/ 185 lbs
Team: JYP (SM-Liga)
Urho Vaakanainen is a classic stay-at-home defenseman that has the uncanny knack to anticipate a transitional rush heading into his own zone. He seems more polished in front of the net than his peers, and is often described as playing beyond his years of experience. Vaakanainen is patient and rarely allows a streaking forward a clear path to the goal. Plus, he disrupts the passing lane, and smart enough to use the boards when clearing the puck out of the zone. These attributes make him the ideal candidate to preserve a one-goal lead late in games.
Surprisingly, he’s an excellent puck mover which makes him a viable candidate to lead the rush on the power play. His passing skills are pinpoint accurate, so it isn’t out of the ordinary to see Vaakanainen hit a streaking teammate on the tape with a quick pass for an easy goal.
Recent draft speculation has Vaakanainen being selected from the 15th overall pick to the end of the first round. Playing two seasons in Finland’s top league has shown that he’s ready to compete at the NHL level. However, Vaakanainen cannot turn around the fortunes of a struggling franchise by himself, but if surrounded by other rising young stars then you’ll see a sharp improvement in the standings.
Selected by @WingNut722
Ht/Wt: 6' 6"/ 220 lbs
Team: Mississauga Steelheads (OHL)
Hague is described as a big, good skater at 6' 6", 220 lbs. and has the ability to be a really good all-around 2nd or 3rd NHL defenseman. Over the past season, Hague has really improved his offensive game. He has one of the best and hardest shots in this year's draft. He is a good package of size, skating and terrific offensive ability. He ended this past regular season with 18 goals and 46 points in 65 games with Mississauga. He also had 11 points in 13 playoff games. He uses good positioning and a long, active stick to cut down shooting lanes for his opponent. The one area where many scouts say he needs some work is going up against smaller, quick forwards.
“Hague should be the first defenceman taken from the OHL, he has a tremendous package of size, skating and offensive ability. His performance this season has not been as dominant as I had predicted but big defencemen sometimes develop a little slower. The point is he has developed this year and his ceiling is very high. To acquire defencemen of his abilities in the NHL you have to draft them so look for Hague to go off the board early in the first round.” –Peter Harling, Dobber Prospects
Selected by @FD19372
Ht/Wt: 5' 8"/ 159 lbs
Team: Spokane Chiefs (WHL)
A pint-sized, yet dynamic, playmaker… small, speedy forward with excellent hockey sense and quick hands…has a strong work ethic that keeps him going…great overall quickness, first-step jump to create separation and an ability to alter speeds to create gaps…sneaky and stealth-like in finding prime scoring ice…very creative with the puck and shows off creative hands…uses his size to squeak through the tightest of holes…is a force in possession as he likes the puck on his stick, and is dangerous as a set-up man or shooter in the offensive zone…poised, clutch and aware…feisty on the forecheck, not physically, but uses his speed to force opponents into rushed plays while clogging up passing lanes with an active stick…one of those rare wingers who has the ability to affect the flow of a game like a center…a very special talent, high octane and cerebral.
Yamamoto is a very small, very highly skilled prospect. What bodes well for Yamamoto besides his elite skill is his high compete level, willingness to play a physical game despite his size and that he has good hockey strength. He is very solid on his skates and can be difficult to push off the puck or knock down. He is very agile and elusive and can find holes and seams in defensive coverage that don’t seem to be available. His shot is deceptive in its release as it is quick, requires little wind up. His greatest asset is his offensive vision and hockey IQ, he sees the ice at an elite level, has eyes in the back of his head and thinks the game at a higher pace.
Selected by @AJgoal
Ht/Wt: 6' 0"/ 187 lbs
Team: London Knights (OHL)
Studying his numbers I see a middle six center probably a 2C, his faceoff numbers were solid and he reminds a lot of scouts of a Bo Horvat which would be outstanding as in a few years Dubinsky will need replaced (but dont tell my wife, he is her favorite player) and I believe this kid will have a solid career in Columbus weakest position.
He’s a leader on and off the ice and while his defensive play was important for the Knights this season, he showcased his offensive prowess as well for the club. He averaged a point per game with London this season, scoring 16 goals and 66 points in 66 regular season games. He also added 12 points in 14 playoff games as the defending Memorial Cup champs were ousted in the second round of the OHL playoffs.
He is a highly skilled offensive pivot who uses speed and creativity with the puck to create time and space to work the middle of the ice. Offensively, he has a very high ceiling and that’s why he’s slowly gaining momentum as a first-round candidate come June.” – Brock Otten, OHL Prospects
Selected by @yave1964
Ht/Wt: 6' 0"/ 160 lbs
Team: Charlottetown Islanders (QMJHL)
It's really ticked me off in recent years when Montreal has skipped over a pretty decent forward to take a defeseman. Well the tides have changed now, and while Joseph doesn't quite fill the gap that Sergachev leaves skill wise, his presence would certainly help. He is a left handed, puck-moving defenseman, who is hailed for his great potential. He shows signs of becoming a Roman Josi 2.0, something I'm sure Shea Weber would be okay with. He's very smart, has good hockey IQ, and is very composed with the puck. He can really thread the needle with his passes, and according to one scout "on the powerplay, he can put the puck in good places. He just sucks guys in and then dishes it off." Defensively, he plays his angles very well and has a pretty active stick according to his reports. He plays tight to his man and can block shots effectively.
Selected by @habsguy26
Ht/Wt: 6' 1"/ 192 lbs
Team: US National U18 Team (USDP)
Norris has everything you want in a top-six center – size, speed, strength, and the ability to make his linemates better. He’s thick, strong on his skates, plays physical, is matched up against top players and also provides offense on special teams, including on the penalty kill. A playmaker with soft hands and a very hard, accurate shot, Norris plays a heavy game and uses his size and determination to win puck battles. He’s a solid stickhandler and controls the puck in tight spaces, and he settled things down by curling or weaving away from pressure. Playing in traffic isn’t a problem for Norris, and he’s consistently poised on his zone entries.
Norris was a strong two-way presence for Team USA and was their top-line center for most of the season. He took most of the key draws, and didn’t look overmatched against bigger, older NCAA opponents, who seemed to have difficulty containing him or sealing him off. You’ll get varying opinions on which NTDP player not only had the best season, but also who projects to have the best NHL career. Norris, a native Michigander with an NCAA commitment with the Wolverines, can certainly have a solid case made for him. He led Team USA with 27 goals — 26 at 5v5 or shorthanded — and posted a team-best 1.00 points-per-game average. Norris also tied for the team lead in both points (61) and shorthanded goals (3). Additionally, he is smart enough to use his physicality without taking unnecessary or emotional penalties. A talented, mature leader with an NHL-ready build.
Selected by @AJgoal
Ht/Wt: 6' 3"/ 209 lbs
Team: Frolunda (SHL)
Vesalainen is a very good skater for his size. He has an explosive first step and very good acceleration, allowing him to be quick on loose pucks. He also has good top end speed once he gets going. Possessing good lower body strength, and a powerful stride, Vesalainen is very good at fighting through checks and getting to the front of the net. He also is strong along the boards, winning battles for the puck, and controlling the game in the cycle game. His agility and edgework is good for a big man, but continued improvement is possible.
Vesalainen has room for continued growth; but he also has the potential to be a very effective top-six player. He could make an impact on a top line as well.
“A big and strong winger who has the ability to impact the game in many ways…plays a versatile, high-tempo offensive game…battles for pucks and space…a beast along the wall and difficult to move in front of the net…mixes a heavy game with very soft, skilled hands…possesses a very hard shot with quick release…makes soft, easy-to-control passes to his teammates…dangerous anytime he has the puck in the offensive zone…a powerful, long stride allows him to build impressive speed and makes him tough to stop…has the agility and balance as well as the strength and reach to really control possession in traffic and down low…defensively, he brings imposing pressure on the forecheck…not always playing at full intensity or with consistent effort…when he wants to, he can absolutely dominate physically…just a toolsy player with very high potential.” – Future Considerations
Selected by @pilldoc
Ht/Wt: 5' 10"/ 180 lbs
Team: HV71 (SHL)
Ottawa has a pretty impressive prospect list with the top 3 being Chabot D, Colin White C and Logan Brown C which are 2 of the 3 cornerstone positions all franchises should cover, goalie is the other.
I don't think you can have too many of these types so I think Ottawa would be happy to select Erik Brannstrom a 5'10" 180 lb d-man who plays for HV71 in Sweden.
One scout has said "He's the closest thing to Kimmo Timonen. The details in his game are amazing. He can skate, he's got skill-he has no flaws but his size.He's terrific but he'll have to prove himself."
He's scored everywhere he's played so he's the type of d-man that's now in fashion
Selected by @hobie
Ht/Wt: 6' 4"/ 218 lbs
Team: US National U18 Team (NTDP)
Dallas's greatest needs going into next season are to add a top 6 winger, a #1 left-shooting defender which are needs to be addressed via trades and free agency as at this point in the draft there isn't a player likely left who can impact the Stars this season.
With said, the Stars have a significant need in their organization to fill a void in their system which lacks quality goalie prospects. Top goalies have lately been chosen in the 2nd and third rounds but since this is Dallas's 2nd pick in the 2017 NHL Draft they are proud to select the number one ranked goalie from Boston University, Jake Oettinger.
Oettinger is about as safe of a goalie prospect as they come as he has been excellent everywhere he’s gone so far in his career, which bodes very well for his future and his ability to work up to the NHL. He was a standout for USA Hockey in the NTDP in his two years there as well as at the 2016 IIHF U18s, following that up with stellar numbers in 2017 as a freshman at Boston University. (35G, 2.11GAA, .927S%)
At 6’4” and 218 pounds, his large frame covers up a lot of net, which is valued by NHL teams. Oettinger plays large in net and is square and angled to the shooter. He gets down into the butterfly and back up quickly, and pushes himself around in his crease with powerful leg movement. He plays calm, cool and collected in net, and doesn’t seem to let bad goals or high-pressure situations phase him. Oettinger still needs to work on his quickness in moving side to side but I think he can be a starting goaltender for the Dallas Stars in a few years
Selected by @hf101
Ht/Wt: 5' 11"/ 185 lbs
Team: Spokane Chiefs (WHL)With the 30th selection in the 2017 draft, the Nashville Predators are proud to select from the Spokane Chiefs, forward Jaret-Anderson Dolan."There you have it, Jaret-Anderson Dolan. Slightly higher than most scouts have him ranked, but a player who fits the Predators mold well. Often lost in the hype of Kailer Yamamoto, Dolan should not be overlooked. Here is a guy with talent and character, he captained Canada at the U-18 similar to Preds Ryan Ellis who captained Canada's jr team, something that Poile loves. Developed in Spokane by Don Nachbaur who brought up a similar player in Lightning center Tyler Johnson. He plays a responsible two-way game, has good acceleration and a shot that should translate well to the pro game. He projects as a guy who could focus on scoring and play as a low-end #2 center, or be put on a two-way third line and flourish. He'll need to work on his skating a bit and add some more muscle, otherwise he's on a good path to the NHL.Selected by @Honest Bender
Ht/Wt: 6' 1"/ 181 lbs
Team: Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)
“Timmins is a very smart defenseman; he has good vision and good offensive instincts. He can read the play well, and his passing ability allows him to be a constant threat in the transition game. I like his poise under pressure, something I feel extremely important in a young defenseman.” –Mike Morreale, NHL.com
“A prototypical new age defender who is an elite puck mover. Timmins was born to play in the system the Greyhounds have and has thrived in it. With 2 NHL defenders ahead of him at the start of the season Timmins has seemingly passed them on the depth chart and has been an important offensive cog with the high scoring Greyhounds. Another late birthday who made his OHL debut last season Timmins thrived in protected minutes finishing 3rd among rookies in +/- ( I know it is flawed stat but impressive given his age). This season in more leveraged minutes against high quality competition he hasn’t missed a beat and is currently 6th in the league in that category and first among Draft Eligibles. He also leads draft eligibles in assists.” -Peter Kneulman
“Has crept into my (OHL) top 10 and is well deserving of it. With a lot of draft eligible players having up and down spurts this year, Timmins might just be the most consistent of the bunch. From the get go this year, he’s been the Greyhounds’ best defender (on a team with two 19-year-old NHL drafted blueliners). Timmins is just an exceptionally well-rounded player who is actually close to being pro ready IMO. Makes a great first pass, brings intensity to the defensive end and skates well.” -Brock Otten
Selected by @nossagog