Player News

Date: Team: Pos:

The Vegas Golden Knights have selected Nick Suzuki with the 13th pick in the 2017 Draft.

The one thing lacking in the expansion draft was offense for the Golden Knights but they addressed it with Cody Glass at 6 and now pick up Suzuki. Suzuki is one of the most gifted offensive players available in the entire draft. After scoring 20 goals in his rookie season with the OHL’s Owen Sound Attack, the 17-year-old put up with 45 goals and 51 assists in 65 games. The issue scouts have with his game is that he just doesn’t bring any kind of physical presence to the table. Suzuki has been able to get away with his lack of physicality at the OHL level, but he’ll need to find a way to initiate contact if he’s going to be successful at beyond that. He is still a few years away from contributing.
Jun 23 - 8:25 PM

The Carolina Hurricanes have selected Martin Necas with the 12th overall pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.

The Hurricanes have quite a bit of depth on defense, so they've certainly addressed a need by selecting Necas. The Czech forward is a great skater with solid vision and good offensive instincts. He racked up seven goals and eight assists in 41 games with Brno Kometa in the Czech League. That’s a respectable total considering he started the year as a 17-year-old in a league with a good level of competition. Necas added three points in five games at the 2017 World Junior Hockey Championship and three assists in five games at the Under-18 World Hockey Championship. He’ll either spend another year over in Europe or he’ll make his way to the CHL. Regardless of his decision, he’s still a couple of years away from becoming a regular in the NHL.
Jun 23 - 8:20 PM

The Los Angeles Kings have taken Gabriel Vilardi with the 11th overall pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.

Vilardi slipped in the draft rankings, so perhaps the Kings have gotten a steal here. Vilardi was valuable contributor for the Windsor Spitfires team that won the 2017 Memorial Cup. The 17-year-old picked up seven assists during the tournament. He also recorded 29 goals and 61 points in 49 games during the regular season and six points in seven contests during the OHL playoffs. Vilardi has the size and skill that all NHL teams crave. It’s incredible to think that at his age he’s already 6-foot-3, 201 pounds. Although he uses his size well, some believe he still needs to work on his skating before he can make a dent at the NHL level. If everything comes together, the Kings might be getting one of those rare power centers. Just don't expect him to play for the Kings in 2017-18 as he needs more time to develop.
Jun 23 - 8:14 PM

The Florida Panthers have selected Owen Tippett with the 10th overall pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.

Many scouts have labelled Tippett as the best pure goal scorer in the 2017 draft class. After scoring 15 goals in 48 games during his first junior season with the OHL’s Mississauga Steelheads in 2015-16, he exploded for 44 goals in 60 contests last season. He added 10 goals and nine assists in 20 playoff games with the Steelheads this spring. On top of being a sniper, Tippett is also a very good skater, which will help him create even more offense at the next level. His play without the puck needs work, but he can develop that over time. Tippett will need a little time to work on his defensive game, but he should be a top-six forward and could be the sniper that Aleksander Barkov needs on the Panthers' first line.
Jun 23 - 8:09 PM

Michael Rasmussen has been picked with the ninth overall selection in the 2017 NHL Draft.

Listed at 6-foot-6 and 221 pounds, Rasmussen is clearly one of the biggest players available in the draft. Not only is he huge, but the 18-year-old can also play the game at a high level. In his second full WHL season with the Tri-City Americans, Rasmussen put up 32 goals, 55 points and 50 penalty minutes in 50 games. He also moves pretty well for a player of his size. As good as he is, Rasmussen needs to find a way to be a more consistent with his effort on a game-in, game-out basis. Like most players with his combination of age and size, Rasmussen will need some time to develop before he can help the Red Wings.
Jun 23 - 8:03 PM

The Buffalo Sabres have selected center Casey Mittelstadt with the eighth pick in the 2017 Draft.

The Sabres will look good in a few years with Jack Eichel and Mittelstadt as their top two pivots. Mittelstadt is an incredibly gifted offensive center that has all the tools to creative in the opponent’s zone. He’s fast, he’s skilled and his playmaking ability is off the charts. The 18-year-old had 23 goals and 30 points in 24 games with the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers. That was good enough to lead the league with 1.25 points-per-game. The one thing that’s concerning about his point total, is that 18 of the 30 points were scored on the power play, which is pretty high. Still, there’s no denying Mittelstadt’s ability. He is likely a couple of years away from reaching the NHL. He’ll spend next season in the NCAA with University of Minnesota.
Jun 23 - 7:57 PM

The New York Rangers have selected Lias Andersson with the seventh overall pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.

The Rangers acquired the seventh overall pick Friday afternoon in a deal with Arizona that sent Derek Stepan and Antti Raanta to the Coyotes. Andersson moved up compared to some mock draft projections, but it'd be a stretch to say that the Rangers went off the board with this selection. Andersson had an impressive run in Sweden’s top league last season, as he posted nine goals and 19 points in 42 games while playing against older competition. He added five points in 16 games during HV71’s championship run. He’s a very smart and capable two-way player that has good offensive instincts and the smarts to be a plus-player in his own end. Andersson doesn’t necessarily own the highest offensive ceiling, but scouts believe he has enough ability to become a second-liner. His father, Niklas, played 164 games in the NHL, while his uncle, Mikael, played 15 seasons.
Jun 23 - 7:51 PM

Patrick Eaves has signed a three-year contract extension with the Anaheim Ducks.

His new deal has an annual average value of $3.15 million. Eaves would have been eligible for unrestricted free agency. He had 32 goals and 51 points in 79 games between Dallas and Anaheim this past season.
Jun 23 - 7:49 PM

Cody Glass has been taken with the sixth overall pick by the Vegas Golden Knights.

Glass makes history as the first player ever taken by the Vegas Golden Knights. He's coming off a fantastic year with the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks. After scoring 27 points in 65 games last season, the 18-year-old put up 32 goals and 94 points in 69 contests this year. He added nine points in 11 playoff games with the ‘Hawks and three points in three games with Canada at the 2017 under-18 World Hockey Championship. The 6-foot-2, 180 pounder is an incredible playmaker with great hands, terrific vision and sound hockey IQ. He’s likely a year or two away from being a full-time NHLer, but when he arrives, there’s a good chance he’ll be an impact player for the young franchise.
Jun 23 - 7:45 PM

The Vancouver Canucks have selected Elias Petterson with the fifth overall pick in the NHL Entry Draft Friday night.

Pettersson is a highly-gifted forward that racked up 19 goals and 40 points in 43 games in Sweden’s second division last season. He had a quiet World Junior Hockey Championship, as he posted just one assists in seven games, but that’s not uncommon for a player who was 17 years old at the time. Pettersson has some size (listed at 6-foot-2), but he’s also very light (165 pounds). As skilled as he might be, he’ll need to bulk up before becoming a full-time NHLer. The Canucks have had considerable success drafting Swedish players in past and Pettersson could be the the heir apparent to countryman Henrik Sedin as the Canucks' number one centre in a few years.
Jun 23 - 7:40 PM

Colorado has chosen Cale Makar with the fourth overall pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.

Makar is an incredibly skilled blue liner with plenty of offensive and skating ability. The 18-year-old had a superb year with the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Brooks Bandits, where he scored 24 goals and 75 points in 54 games. Obviously, the level of competition in the AJHL isn’t as high as it is in junior hockey, but those are tough stats to ignore. He'll play for the University of UMass-Amherst in 2017-18. He's probably a couple of years away from being a contributor for the Avalanche.
Jun 23 - 7:35 PM

The Dallas Stars have selected Miro Heiskanen with the third pick in the 2017 Draft.

The Stars need a number one defenseman and Heiskanen should fit the bill in a few years. Heiskanen excels at a lot of the things teams want from their top defenseman in today’s NHL. The 17-year-old is a very good skater, he’s fully capable of carrying the puck up the ice and he’s also smart enough to be an effective player in his own end. Playing in his first professional season in Finland, Heiskanen scored five goals and five assists, while averaging almost 19 minutes of ice time in 37 games, which is pretty impressive for a teenage blue liner. He was also incredible for Finland during their silver medal run at the 2017 U18 World Hockey Championship, as he recorded two goals and 10 assists in seven games. The Stars just got themselves a good one.
Jun 23 - 7:28 PM

The Philadelphia Flyers have selected Nolan Patrick with the second overall pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.

He fell to the Flyers at second overall because the Devils went with Nico Hischier first overall. Patrick was a consensus top two pick leading up to the draft and it’s easy to see why. The WHL star is a 6-foot-2, 198 pound center with high-end offensive ability. He’s averaged more than a point-per-game in in each of his three seasons with the Brandon Wheat Kings. The 18-year-old put up an outstanding 102 points in 72 games during the 2015-16 season (he was 17 at the time). The knock on Patrick coming into the draft, is that he missed so much time last year. He sat out 35 games because of an upper-body injury during Brandon’s regular season and all four games of the playoffs because of a lower-body ailment. In 33 games with Brandon, he scored 20 goals and 46 points. Even though he’s dealt with his fair share of injuries, his size, skill and vision make him an incredible young talent. Patrick has the potential to develop into a number one center in the near future.
Jun 23 - 7:24 PM

The New Jersey Devils have selected Nico Hischier with the first overall pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.

Going into the season, Hischier being taken over Nolan Patrick would have been a huge shock. There was a little buzz surrounding Hischier coming into the 2016-17 junior season, but he wasn’t mentioned in the same breath as Patrick until he exploded onto the scene at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship, where he was dynamic for Switzerland. The 18-year-old posted seven points in five games on a mediocre Swiss team. When he was growing up, Hischier’s favorite player was former Red Wings superstar Pavel Datsyuk, and you can certainly see the influence the Russian has had on the youngster. Hischier’s skill level, puck handling ability and vision are all great. In his first season in North America, he put up 38 goals and 86 points in 57 games with the QMJHL’s Halifax Mooseheads. He has the potential to develop into a top point producer at the next level, helping the Devils' ailing offense and potentially eventually playing with Taylor Hall.
Jun 23 - 7:16 PM

Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella has no intention of trying to tinker with Artemi Panarin's game.

The Blue Jackets acquired Panarin from Chicago on Friday as part of a blockbuster trade. Adding Panarin gives the Blue Jackets' a top-level offensive threat as he's breached the 70-point mark in back-to-back campaigns. Tortorella feels that he's too good of a player already to try to alter and he plans to let Panarin simply play his game, potentially on a line with Alexander Wennberg.
Jun 23 - 6:17 PM



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