We’re doing things a little differently this year..
With the number of draft guide’s on the market from spectacular companies like ISS, Future Considerations, Recrutes and McKeens, as well as content from people like Brock Otten who does a spectacular job covering the OHL’s top prospects, we decided to offer something a little different. What we will be providing is a three week crash course on the National Hockey League draft as well as extensive WHL and Western Canadian prospect information from our talented scouts including Jeff McCarthy, Brayden Sullivan, and Brennen York who have worked tirelessly throughout the season tracking the progress of draft eligible prospects.
The purpose of this first post is to familiarize the average fan with an outline of what may come on draft day, so without further ado, here is day one of our NHL Draft Crash Course.
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Date: Friday June 23rd – Saturday June 24th
Draft Order (Round 1)
16. Calgary Flames 17. Toronto Maple Leafs 18. Boston Bruins 19. San Jose Sharks
20. St. Louis Blues 21. New York Rangers 22. Edmonton Oilers 23. Arizona Coyotes (Minnesota)
24. Columbus Blue Jackets 25. Montreal Canadiens 26. Chicago Blackhawks 27. St. Louis Blues
29. Ottawa Senators 29. Dallas Stars (Anaheim) 30. Nashville Predators 31. Pittsburgh Penguins
Following back to back draft classes which featured an abundance of cornerstone talent, the 2017 draft class should come with tempered expectations. That’s not to say there aren’t a handful of players who can potentially have a significant impact at the NHL level, but as it sits now we do not foresee any player reaching McDavid/Matthews levels of stardom. The late 98/99 crop boats a good mix of future top four defenders, as well as future middle six forwards at the NHL level. The top prospect as ranked by DraftGeek, Nolan Patrick, has placed himself at the top of a number of scout’s lists as the likely first overall selection, however many have pointed to the season Nico Hischier put together during his first year in North America and question why he isn’t the number one.
Crash Course Tidbit: Nolan vs. Nico. Getzlaf vs. Zetterberg. Size vs. Speed. You get it.
Beyond Nolan and Nico, the next grouping of players includes recently crowned Memorial Cup champ in Gabriel Vilardi, a rangy two way right handed center. Miro Heiskanen, an intelligent and skilled defender with a high offensive ceiling. Owen Tippett, a Taylor Hall-like winger out of Mississauga who posted 44 goals this past season, and appears to be one of the few NHL ready forwards in the draft class. Cody Glass, an offensive two way forward who can impact the game in a number of ways given the wide range of tools he possesses. Casey Mittelstadt, a sneaky forward with a big shot who has seen his name in various draft rankings from number one to seventeen.
Crash Course Tidbit: The thought is that after Nolan and Nico go top two, Vilardi will likely be the third overall pick given the rarity of a right handed center with size and a wide range of tools, and will likely be followed by Miro Heiskanen at number four. The question then becomes, who do the Vancouver Canucks take?
Following Casey Mittelstadt, there’s a slight drop off potential and talent wise, and the grouping includes Klim Kostin, Martin Necas, Callan Foote, Elias Pettersson, Cale Makar, and Juuso Valimaki, though it’s not expected for any one of those six to be selected in the top five.
DraftGeek Tier 1, 2, and 3
1. Nolan Patrick (RHC) – Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)
2. Nico Hischier (LHC) – Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
3. Gabriel Vilardi (RHC) – Windsor Spitfires (OHL)
4. Miro Heiskanen (LHD) – HIFK (Liiga)
5. Owen Tippett (RHW) – Mississauga Steelheads (OHL)
6. Cody Glass (RHC) – Portland Winterhawks (WHL)
7. Casey Mittelstadt – Eden Prairie High (USHS)
8. Klim Kostin (LHW) – HK MVD Balashihka (KHL)
9. Martin Necas (RHF) – HC Kometa Brno (Czech
10. Callan Foote (RHD) – Kelowna Rockets (WHL)
11. Elias Pettersson (LHC) – Timra Ik (Allsvenskan)
12. Cale Makar (RHD) – Brooks Bandits (AJHL)
13. Juuso Valimaki (LHD) – Tri City Americans (WHL)
We hope this (light) information helps you as you begin to familiarize yourself with the NHL’s future. Tomorrow we will be releasing our top 31 scouting reports. Thank you for reading, and stay tuned as we move towards deeper material as we near Draft Day.