Michael Finewax

Mock Draft

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2017 Mock Draft 1.0

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The first Rotoworld mock draft of the season is courtesy Peter Harling the Managing Editor for DobberProspects. DobberHockey is an amazing site and you should check it out if you have not done so already.


Thank you Peter.


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1. New Jersey Devils - Nolan Patrick, Center (Brandon, WHL)

Ranked number one all season long by most for good reason, he has no weakness in his game; Patrick has NHL size, is a strong skater, is a smart two-way player but lacks any elite level skill that previous first overall picks have had.


2. Philadelphia Flyers - Nico Hischier, Center (Halifax, QMJHL)

A breakout performance in the World Junior propelled Hischier to the top of the draft rankings; he is arguably the most dynamic offensive prospect in the draft, but also an accomplished defensive player.


3. Dallas Stars - Casey Mittelstadt, Center (Eden Prairie, USHS)

Playing in high school concerns some, but was dominant at the Hlinka for USA and in the USHL against good competition. He is an excellent skater, has excellent skill, vision and good size. Could be the top player in his draft class


4. Colorado Avalanche - Miro Heiskanen, Defenseman (HIFK, Liiga)

Off the chart hockey sense and smarts complimented by excellent skating and puck skills. Heiskanen can play big minutes and could be a top pairing defenseman for a long time in the near future.


5. Vancouver Canucks -Cody Glass, Center (Portland, WHL)

Glass had a burr in his saddle after being snubbed by Team Canada for the Hlinka, led to a breakout season earning him a spot on Canada’s U18 roster.


6. Vegas Golden Knights - Gabriel Vilardi, Center (Windsor, OHL)

A playmaking center with good size is strong on the puck and can play the wing.


7. Arizona Coyotes - Timothy Liljegren, Defenseman (Rogle, SHL)

Missed start of the year due to mono and never got going, but was playing against men and had limited ice time. Liljegren is a smooth skating offensive defenseman with a high upside.


8. Buffalo Sabres - Cale Makar, Defenseman (Brooks, AJHL)

A dominant performance at the World Junior A got the attention of the scouting world, a dominant offensive defenseman heading to NCAA as a UMass commit.


9. Detroit Red Wings - Elias Pettersson, Center/LW (Timra, Allsvenskan)

Pettersson is a great two-way player with excellent hockey sense and skill; he plays an aggressive forechecking game and will be a complete player once he fills out his slim 6-2 frame.


10. Florida Panthers –Martin Necas, Center (Brno, Extraliga)

Tall and slender center needs to fill out his frame. Necas is a strong skater and is very confident with the puck, attacks defenders and challenges them, skates well and distributes the puck well.


11. Los Angeles Kings - Kristian Vesalainen, Left Wing (Frolunda, SHL)

Vesalainen struggled playing pro as a 17-year-old in the SHL and saw limited ice, but had a dominant U18 performance to finish his draft year on a high note. A power forward with size and skill.


12. Carolina Hurricanes - Eeli Tolvanen, Left Wing (Sioux City, USHL)

One of the best goal scorers in the draft, Tolvanen is undersized but has a lethal shot, quick release, and is pin-point accurate.


13. Winnipeg Jets - Juuso Valimaki, Defenseman (Tri-City, WHL)

Valimaki has good size, skating and is a smart player that is one of the older players in the draft. He could be ready to make the jump sooner than later.


14. Tampa Bay Lightning - Owen Tippett, Right Wing (Mississauga, OHL)

Tippett has an excellent shot and takes a high volume of shots. Also has above average size and skating ability but can be difficult to notice when he doesn’t have the puck.


15. New York Islanders - Michael Rasmussen, Center (Tri-City, WHL)

A hulking center with great skating ability who plays a solid two-way game. Not the most dynamic offensive player but a complete player who could have a lengthy middle six career.


16. Calgary Flames - Klim Kostin, Center (Dynamo, KHL)

Kostin is a polarizing player; he dominates at times and can endure long stretches of invisibility. Struggled to produce offence and had season cut short due to injury.


17. Toronto Maple Leafs - Callan Foote, Defenseman (Kelowna, WHL)

The son of Colorado Avalanche great Adam Foote plays like his old man. He has a big body, skates well, is mean and has a heavy shot.


18. Boston Bruins - Ryan Poehling, Center (St. Cloud State, NCAA)

Had a good freshman NCAA season as a 17-year-old, Poehling is a god all-around player with a high floor, but a low ceiling. Should be a safe pick


19. San Jose Sharks - Lias Andersson, Center (HV71, SHL)

Andersson is a versatile two-way player; he can impact the game in a number of ways and play all three forward positions in any situation.


20. St. Louis Blues - Nick Suzuki, Center (Owen Sound, OHL)

Suzuki is short (not undersized) who has a good engine, competes very hard and has great skating, skill and smarts. One of the more underrated prospects in the draft.


21. New York Rangers -Kailer Yamamoto, Right Wing (Spokane, WHL)

Undersized and highly skilled players can play in the NHL these days, and Yamamoto fits both those descriptions. If he were six inches taller and 50 pounds heavier he would be in the top five.


22. Edmonton Oilers - Urho Vaakanainen, Defenseman (JYP, Liiga)

A mobile, skilled blueliner who showed good progression during the season to be more than just a defensive defenseman.


23. Arizona Coyotes (via Minnesota Wild) - Erik Brannstrom, Defence (HV71, SHL)

Brannstrom is an undersized offensive defenseman. He skates well, has a heavy point shot and excellent offensive vision.


24. Columbus Blue Jackets -Isaac Ratcliffe, Left Wing (Guelph, OHL)

A hulking winger playing on a poor team developed an offensive touch to his game which stood out in a strong Top Prospects game. Has big time power forward potential.


25. Montreal Canadiens - Nicolas Hague, Defenseman (Mississauga, OHL)

Big mobile defensemen who can join or lead the rush and have a heavy shot like Hague are hard to find.


26. - Chicago Blackhawks -Jason Robertson, Left Wing (Kingston, OHL)

Robertson has a choppy first step, but reads plays well and is always in position. His best attribute is his shot and his nose for the net. He also has good size, but could be more aggressive.


27. St. Louis Blues (via Washington Capitals) -Matthew Strome, Left Wing (Hamilton, OHL)

Strome has good offensive instincts and size but still needs to improve his skating, and acceleration needs a pop but edges and balance are good.


28. Nashville Predators - Henri Jokiharju, Defenseman (Portland, WHL)

The top player from the Top Prospects Game is an excellent puck moving defenseman, skates well and reads plays well but can be passive physically.


29. Ottawa Senators - Shane Bowers, Center (Waterloo, USHL)

Bowers is a physical player that is very strong down low and in the cycle. Committed to Boston U. for the upcoming season.


30. Dallas (via Anaheim Ducks) - Kole Lind, Right Wing (Kelowna, WHL)

Known as a playmaker with good offensive vision, but is an underrated finisher as well.


31. Pittsburgh Penguins - Robert Thomas, Center (London, OHL)

Thomas is a speedy two-way center with a high compete level in the mold of former Knights Dave Bolland, Chris Tiereny and Bo Horvat.

Michael Finewax is entering his 14th season as the Senior Hockey Writer and Editor for Rotoworld. You can follow him on Twitter @mfinewaxhockey.
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