Fantasy Ranking the 2017 NHL Entry Draft

Peter Harling

2017-01-24

2017 NHL Draft

Fantasy Ranking the 2017 NHL Draft Eligible Prospects

DobberProspects is proud to bring back the experts consensus fantasy ranking for the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.

Last year the first edition of the fantasy ranking was released and to this day is the highest viewed post on our sites history. We are the only site to bring you a fantasy ranking for the upcoming NHL draft for your fantasy hockey draft.

Sure there are other draft rankings, from excellent independent scouting teams such as McKeens, Hockey Prospect.com, ISS scouting to media sites such as Jeff Marek for Sports Net and Craig Button for TSN, but none of them tell you how to rank them for fantasy hockey drafts.

That’s where the scouts from DobberProspects come in, and for this project we also recruited the opinions of several prominent outside scouts as well. In total 12 scouts have contributed their own fantasy ranking the top 31 prospects and below you will find the consensus rankings. Not only is the following list focused on fantasy values, it is also not just one scouts set of eyes.

The following criteria were considered to compile the rankings:

  • Based on points only keeper leagues
  • Projected upside
  • How quickly they may develop into an NHL player and contribute to your roster
  • Probability of success, both in reaching the NHL and achieving full potential

Player comparisons are based on playing style and not a point forecast.

We invited the following 12 scouts to contribute to this ranking

Steve Kournianos (@TheDraftAnalyst) – Draft Analyst

Ryan Wagman (@RAWagman) – McKeens Hockey, Hockey Prospectus

Scott Wheeler (@scottcwheeler) – Future Considerations/Pension Plan Puppets

Mark Seidel (@MarkSeidel) North American Central Scouting

Brock Otten (@BrockOtten) – OHL Prospects

Anthony Mauro (@draftbuzzhockey) – Draft Buzz Hockey

Cam Robinson (@CrazyJoeDavola3) DobberProspects Senior Writer – Vancouver Canucks

Zachary DeVine (@zakkthebear) DobberProspects Senior Writer, The Hockey Writers – San Jose Sharks

Brad Phillips (@BradHPhillips) DobberProspects Senior Writer – Ottawa Senators/St. Louis Blues

Kevin LeBlanc (@kleblanchockey) – DobberProspects Associate Editor – Carolina Hurricanes

Joel Henderson (@dathockeydoe) DobberProspects Senior Writer  – Calgary Flames

Peter Harling (@pharling) DobberProspects Managing Editor, Co-Host DobberProspects Radio (@DPR_Show)

1. Nolan Patrick, Center – Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL) 6-3, 195

Comparable: Ryan Getzlaf

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WHL?src=hash">#WHL</a>: C Nolan Patrick (Ranked No. 1) had 2-2-4 in his return following a months-long hiatus as Brandon outslugged Kootenay 8-5. <a href="https://t.co/q8nCIAZg5q">pic.twitter.com/q8nCIAZg5q</a></p>&mdash; Steve Kournianos (@TheDraftAnalyst) <a href="https://twitter.com/TheDraftAnalyst/status/820364500561956864">January 14, 2017</a></blockquote>
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People seem to have quickly forgotten how good this kid is. He will become a very good centre that is responsible over 200 feet and will put up points.  –Mark Seidel

Everything you want in a traditional first overall pick: Size, skill and a high hockey IQ. His skating isn’t a supreme plus but should allow him to transition to the NHL immediately. Safe 2C projection with 1C potential – Cam Robinson

2. Nico Hischier, Center – Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL) 6-0, 176

Comparable: Claude Giroux

A true offensive weapon. As a prospect, he is better than either Nino Niederreiter or Timo Meier. In other words, best Swiss prospect ever. Great puck skills and a very slippery skater. Offensively creative and a joy to watch play. – Ryan Wagman

Hischier’s speed will allow him to be an NHL presence sooner rather than later. – Scott Wheeler

Perhaps not a “generational player” like McDavid orMatthews but should be the first player picked in any fantasy prospect draft this season as he is the best bet to produce points and starting in 2017-18. – Peter Harling

The WJC's were his coming out party & the world saw that this kid will be a star. A dynamic offensive player that will put up points in the NHL. Is the most exciting player in the Draft.  – Mark Seidel

3. Eeli Tolvanen, RW/LW – Soiux City Musketeers (USHL) 5-10, 181

Comparable: Phil Kessel

Shot machine with size concerns, phenomenal release and hard shot for such a small player. Shifty skater with some grit in his game. – Zachary DeVine

Finnish-born sniper with a lethal shot who’ll move on to Boston College after what should be a memorable USHL career. Tolvanen is an expert sharpshooter with a quick release, and his ability to pick corners off the pass is reminiscent of countryman Patrik Laine. Tolvanen doesn’t have Laine’s size, but he’s strong on the puck and escapes from the tough battles right into shooting position. He’s a strong skater who likes to speed down the wing before unloading a labeled shot. – Steve Kournianos

Tolvanen has quickly become one of the most exciting prospects in this year’s class and his fantasy ceiling is high because of the way he generates offence. – Scott Wheeler

4. Casey Mittelstadt, Center/LW- Eden Prairie High (USHS) 5-11,192

Comparable: Rick Nash

Casey might be further away than some prospects, but his combination of size and skill will be worth the wait. – Scott Wheeler

Left with nothing to prove, Mittelstadt bolted the USHL as its top scorer for an emotional return to Eden Prairie, Minnesota, where he is the undisputed top high school hockey prospect in America. Mittelstadt is a goal scorer with an excellent shot/release who can set up line mates, kill penalties and control the tempo of a power play. He’s by no means menacing, but his size, skill and compete level present him as an intimidating player who can be impossible to stop. – Steve Kournianos

Not the biggest Centre in the draft but built like a pit bull. Tremendous stick skills and has ability to really help on the power play. – Mark Seidel

5. Owen Tippett, RW – Mississauga Steelheads (OHL) 6-1, 202

Comparable: Kyle Okposo

After a very slow start, he's been sensational the last few months. Takes over games with his speed and ability to drive the net/scoring lanes. Will shoot from anywhere on the ice. His two-way game is slowly improving. – Brock Otten

Maybe the best shot in the entire draft, he’s a sniper. Good size and skating to go with it, if he lands on a team with a true top center, it could be explosive. – Zachary DeVine

A goal scorer with speed is a highly desired commodity in the NHL. Tippett loves to shoot the puck, has a terrific release and an accurate shot. Tippett also has impressive size that will translate well at higher levels and skating is an asset as well as he possesses good two-step acceleration and a fast top gear. He was underwhelming at the Ivan Hlinka tournament to start the season, but was impressive for team OHL in the Canada Russia series, albeit a small sample size. – Peter Harling

6. Gabriel Vilardi, Center – Windsor Spitfires (OHL) 6-3, 201

Comparable: Sean Monahan

Hasn't skipped a beat since returning from an appendectomy and has been the straw the stirs the drink for the Memorial Cup hosts lately. Not an elite skater, but has absolutely everything else. Strong two-way center with a great head for the game. – Brock Otten

Big-bodied playmaker with a phenomenal understanding of the game that shook off some early-season injuries and went on a scoring binge, tallying eight goals in the first eight games back. His strengths are puck control and vision, but his hands are incredibly soft for someone who doesn’t look all that graceful on the move. If you can live with his average mobility, he’ll be sure to reward you with a blistering shot, eye-popping passes and treat every shift as an opportunity to create. – Steve Kournianos

A strong player that can play all three forward positions. Boasts strength and skill in a package that should help him translate to the NHL sooner than some prospects. There is a lot to like about his game. –Cam Robinson.

7. Timothy Liljegren, Defence – Timra (SHL-2) 6-0, 191

Comparable: Erik Karlsson

Liljegren is the best defenseman in the Draft. Loves to create offense but his defensive game is solid too. – Mark Seidel.

Smooth skating; offensive defender has plenty of raw skills. Has been compared to Drew Doughty and Erik Karlsson. However, a down season has seen his stock drop a bit, but demotion to tier two league in Sweden is an opportunity to dominate. Big time potential. – Cam Robinson

Superb skating bluelilner wasn't getting the minutes in the SHL with Rogle. Should have more chances to shine in the Allsvenskan with Timra. – Ryan Wagman

8. Elias Pettersson, Center/LW – Timra (SHL-2) 6-1, 161

Comparable: Kyle Turris

Playing with adults in the Allsvenskan and scoring at a point per game clip. – Ryan Wagman

Good not great skating but the hockey IQ is excellent. Big frame that needs to fill out, Pettersson will take a year or two but teams and owners will have their patience rewarded. Very easily see Elias as a #2 center in the NHL. – Zachary DeVine

9. Martin Necas, Center – HC Kometa Brno (CZE)6-0, 168

Comparable: Clayton Keller

Really liked what I saw from him at the World Juniors. Skating and puck handling ability appear to be elite. Just needs to get stronger to play through traffic. Excited to see what he can do at the U18's this year. – Brock Otten

 

Had a good WJC & showed that along with his offensive skills, he displayed some impressive leadership. – Mark Seidel

A quick and often-times dynamic center, has shown very well against men in the Czech top league. Likely a longer wait, but potential to be a quality fantasy player down the line. – Cam Robinson

{Source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Czech's Martin Necas is such a unique player from development standpoint ATM. One of top offensive guys, but still very green.</p>&mdash; DraftBuzz Hockey (@draftbuzzhockey) <a href="https://twitter.com/draftbuzzhockey/status/815288681070284804">December 31, 2016</a></blockquote>
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10. Michael Rasmussen, Center – Tri-City Americans (WHL) 6-5, 203

Comparable: Kevin Hayes

Rasmussen is an all-around top center who can do anything that is asked of him. He was one of Canada’s few bright spots during a disappointing finish at the Ivan Hlinka tournament, centering the first line and anchoring an effective penalty kill. Thus far, he leads all WHL first-year eligibles with 30 goals in 48 games while playing an aggressive style bolstered by an NHL-ready frame. Rasmussen covers ground in a hurry thanks to a long, powerful stride. – Steve Kournianos

The big Tri-City center has the frame that scouts drool over. He is likely more valuable in multi-cats, but has the offensive chops, especially in the shooting department, that he can’t fall further than this. – Zachary DeVine

Really liked what I saw from him at the Hlinka in the summer. Big kid who knows his role on the ice, which is to operate near the crease. Good hands in close and got himself in good scoring situations. Heavy player who could definitely be an NHL power forward. – Brock Otten

 

11. Kailer Yamamoto, Center/LW – Spokane Chiefs (WHL) 5-8, 159

Comparable: Martin St. Louis

Don’t let his size fool you; the team that gets Yamamoto gets one of the most talented players in the class. – Scott Wheeler

Small, fast and full of creativity. He Won’t be selected nearly this high in the NHL draft, but when it comes to pure fantasy potential, he has loads of it. Will need to go to the right organization and be developed properly, but owns game-breaking ability. – Cam Robinson

Another small guy but the offensive game is complete. He can shoot, pass, create with the best of them in the draft class. If Kailer was 5’11 we’d be talking about top 5 in the Entry Draft. This is fantasy, and he has everything you want in a prospect. – Zachary DeVine

12. Lias Andersson, Center/LW – HV71 (SHL) 5-11, 198

Comparable: Sean Couturier

Andersson will be a multi-cat stud but plenty of points to go with it as well. Love his game overall, there is no weaknesses. His year with HV71 has been great for a draft eligible. NHLer for sure. – Zachary DeVine

A versatile forward that can play a variety of positions in a variety of situations. He may not be overly tall but is a strong player and is already dominating physically against his age group. He is also very skilled offensively and is an above average skater and drives the play. He pr