2017 NHL Draft Final Rankings
Peter Harling – June 7, 2017
There was plenty of movement in my final draft rankings, some minor, some significant. Making the top 31 this month are centers Josh Norris, and Robert Thomas. That bumped out Kole Lind and Henri Jokiharju. Again no goalies are projected in the first round either. No change at the top as the top two spots still belong to Nolan Patrick and Nico Hischier.
The biggest gains in the rankins belong to Nick Suzuki and Erik Brannstrom, both jumping up nine spots with Kailer Yamamoto up four.
The biggest fallers are Klim Kostin and Isaac Ratcliffe who dropped nine spots each, while Eric Rasmussen dropped six.
Timothy Liljegren, Martin Necas and Urho Vaakanainen each fell five spots
LR/ Last Ranked
1. Nolan Patrick, LR/1 –
Centre, 6-3, 198 (Brandon, WHL)
Proved to be healthy at the Combine and has been the top prospect for years.
2. Nico Hischier, LR/2 –
Centre, 6-1, 176 (Halifax, QMJHL)
Dominated the QMJHL as a rookie, and at the World Junior and was exceptional in the Top Prospects game. He is a dynamic offensive player, but an underrated defensive player as well.
3. Miro Heiskanen, LR/6 +3
Defence, 6-0, 170 (HIFK, Liiga)
Some scouts rank him as high as first overall based on his elite hockey sense
4. Casey Mittelstadt, LR/3 -1
Centre, 6-1, 201 (Eden Prairie, USHS)
Dominated for USA internationally, and in USHS and at USHL. Arguably the mos dynamic offensive player in the draft.
5. Cale Makar, LR/8 +3
Defence, 5-11, 179 (Brooks, AJHL)
Considered by some scouts to be a potential generational defense talent the way he thinks the game and skates
6. Cody Glass, LR/9 +3
Centre/RW, 6-2, 180 (Portland, WHL)
A steady riser all year and is arguably the top playmaking centre in the draft.
7. Gabriel Vilardi, LR/7 –
Centre, 6-2, 193 (Windsor, OHL)
Was a key contributor for Windsor in the Memorial Cup in a tournament dominated by 20-year-old NHL drafted stars prospects. Simply dominated the puck below the faceoff circles.
8. Elias Pettersson, LR/10 +2
Left Wing, 6-1, 160 (Timra, Allsvenskan)
Needs a few more years in Sweden to grow and develop but has one of the highest upsides in the draft.
9. Timothy Liljegren, LR/4 -5
Defence, 6-0, 191 (Rogle, SHL)
A terrible draft year plagued by Mono and limited minutes in the SHL, but still draws Erik Karlsson style comparisons.
10. Martin Necas, LR/5 -5
Centre, 6-1, 167 (Brno, Extraliga)
Similar to Pettersson, tremendous upside but needs more time developing in Europe.
11. Kristian Vesalainen, LR/13 +2
Left Wing, 6-3, 207 (Frolunda, SHL)
Struggled with limited minutes in SHL, but dominated the U18 for Finland
12.Nick Suzuki, LR/21 +9
Centre, 5-11, 187 (Owen Sound, OHL)
Plays with smarts, compete and skill, all of which project well to the NHL.
13. Kailer Yamamoto, LR/17 +4
Right Wing, 5-8, 153 (Spokane, WHL
A strong showing at the Combine prove he is strong enough to play at a higher level and there is no questioning his skill and vision
14. Owen Tippett, LR/12 -2
Right Wing, 6-1, 202 (Mississauga, OHL)
Goal scoring is at a premium and Tippett is the purest goal scorer in the draft
15. Eeli Tolvanen, LR/11 -4
Right Wing, 5-10, 174 (Sioux City, USHL)
Right behind Tippett as a pure goal scorer, but lacks the size Tippett has
16. Erik Brannstrom, LR/25 +9
Defence, 5-10, 173 (HV-71, SHL)
Brannstrom makes a huge jump based on what Jimmy Hamarin said on the DobberProspects podcast. Thinks he is as good or possibly better than Heiskanen.
17. Lias Andersson, LR/19 +2
Centre, 5-11, 198 (HV71, SHL)
One of the safest picks in the draft, Andersson is a sure-fire NHL player.
18. Juuso Valimaki, LR/16 -2
Defence, 6-2, 204 (Tri-City, WHL)
Big, smooth skating all-around defenseman can impact the game in a number of ways. As one of the older players in the draft and already adjusted to N.A. he may be close to NHL ready.
19. Callan Foote, LR/22 +3
Defence, 6-4, 213 (Kelowna, WHL)
Foote can play big minutes in all situations and be an impact player. He is the kind of defenseman you win Championships with.
20. Michael Rasmussen, LR/14 – 6
Centre, 6-6, 215 (Tri-City, WHL)
Hulking center produced points on the PP, but less so at five on five.
21. Ryan Poehling, LR/20 -1
Centre, 6-2, 183 (St. Cloud State, NCAA)
Impressive freshman year in NCAA and won Gold with USA at U18
22. Jason Robertson, LR/24 +2
Left Wing, 6-1, 180 (Kingston, OHL)
Contributed to almost half of Kingston’s total goals.
23. Robert Thomas, NR
Center, 6-0, 187 (London, OHL)
The K nights have a history of churning out solid two-way centers like Bo Horvat, Chris Tierney and Thomas is the next in the line.
24. Klim Kostin, LR/15 – 9
Centre, 6-3, 196 (Dynamo, KHL)
Still ranked top European skater by NHL Central scouting, but inconsistent play in a season cut short by a shoulder injury left me underwhelmed.
25. Nicolas Hague, LR/26 +1
Defence, 6-6, 208 (Mississauga, OHL)
Huge defenseman with a heavy shot, but offense may not translate due to hockey sense.
26. Matthew Strome, LR/27 +1
Left Wing, 6-4, 206 (Hamilton, OHL)
A big strong winger with an accurate shot and good hockey sense, skating needs work.
27. Isaac Ratcliffe, LR/18 -9
Left Wing, 6-6, 196 (Guelph, OHL)
Ratcliffe fell nine spots due to limited offensive upside, projects more bottom six than top
28. Urho Vaakainainen, LR/23 -5
Defence, 6-0, 177 (JYP, Liiga)
A good all-around defenseman but has limited offensive potential
29. Shane Bowers, Centre, 6-1, 183 (Waterloo, USHL)
A complete player with few holes in his game
30. Josh Norris, NR
Center, 6-1, 192 (USA, USDP)
Powered by a high hockey IQ, Norris is an impact player on both sides of the puck.
31. Maxime Comtois, LR/30 -1
Left Wing, 6-2, 199 (Victoriaville, QMJHL)
A physical and rambunctious forechecking winger who plays a two-way game.