DobberProspects 2017 NHL Mock Draft

Peter Harling


2017 NHL Draft

Welcome to the first edition of the DobberProspects Mock draft for the 2017 NHL draft.

Many of the DobberProspects staff of scouts and writers have contributed to this project to give you as close to an accurate mock draft as possible.

2016 Leafs DraftThis mock draft was held on the message board of our fantasy league the DobberProspects Fantasy Hockey League (DPFHL) where the writers were allowed to provide a short explanation for the selection to accompany this report. Not all the writers were available to contribute so myself and Cam Robinson selected for teams unrepresented.

The draft order was generated by Tankathon using the NHL lottery odds based on the standings at the time.Writers drafting for their NHL team made selections based on what the NHL team would do and is not a fantasy based draft. For fantasy hockey rankings see the Fantasy Ranking the 2017 NHL Draft

So let’s get right to it, the first pick belongs to the Arizona Coyotes.

1. Arizona Coyotes, – Nolan Patrick, Center (WHL)

While Nico Hischier is giving him a run for his money as the number one overall pick, Patrick still remains the consensus best player in the draft. Size, skill and a solid all-around game that suits a Dave Tippett style, he's ready for the NHL in 2017-18. With Patrick, Dylan Strome and Christian Dvorak down the middle, the Coyotes rebuild will be greatly enhanced. – Keith Duggan @kduggan92


2. Colorado AvalancheNico Hischier, Center (QMJHL)

The Maple Leafs are showing us this season that you can never have too many dynamic forwards on a rebuilding team. In Hischier, the Avs add to their solid group of core centermen and give the team that needs scoring help a grade-A weapon. – Hayden Soboleskih @soboleskih

3. Dallas Stars –- Casey Mittelstadt, C/LW (USHS)

The Dallas Stars showed last year they are not deterred by players playing in the USHS in their draft year when they selected Riley Tufte. Mittelstadt is unquestionably one of the most talented prospects in this draft class. – Peter Harling @pharling

4. Vegas Golden Knights – – Gabriel Vilardi, Center (OHL)

The Vegas Golden Knights are starting from scratch and they're not going to find a first-line pivot in the Expansion Draft, but they can find that in this year's NHL Draft. At the #4 spot, Gabe Vilardi has the potential to become a number one centre in the very near future, but can also play the wing if needed. Vilardi has the talent and the play-making skills to be a long time NHLer. He needs to bulk up a little bit to compete with NHL-sized men, but you can make a player bigger and stronger, you can't change is natural ability. – Paul Zwambag @zwambag

5. Vancouver CanucksElias Pettersson, Center (SHL)

Pettersson is a supremely talented centre who owns terrific vision, hands and is an accomplished two-way player. He needs to continue working on his acceleration and top end speed, but it is not a flaw merely just average. Standing 6'2 but weighing just 165 lbs, improved strength is certainly needed to compete in the NHL, however his energy and drive are well established and with further development he could become a top line player – just what the Canucks could use in their youth movement – Cam Robinson @CrazyJoeDavola3

6. Detroit Red WingsTimothy Liljegren, Defence (SHL)

The Red Wings are very happy to select at sixth overall the player ranked second overall for most of the season. Liljegren has seen his stock drop due to an injury plagued season but the Wings are not concerned because Mono is not a chronic injury. The Wings hop to have their next franchise defenceman in Liljegren. – Peter Harling @pharling

7. New Jersey Devils Owen Tippett, Right Wing (OHL)

Ranked next-to-last in scoring this season and over the entirety of the last five NHL seasons, New Jersey can best improve by selecting a top scoring forward this June. At 6-2 203 pounds, Tippett brings as much scoring potential as any available in this year's draft with an outstanding combination of power, speed, and skill that would mesh well with the Devils’ promising young forwards including Michael McLeod and Nathan Bastian, both Mississauga Steelhead teammates of his the past two campaigns. – Kevin Wickersham @KWcrosscheck

8. Carolina HurricanesMichael Rasmussen, Center (WHL)

After solidifying their defense for the future over their last few drafts with Justin Faulk, Jaccob Slavin, Noah Hanifin, Brett Pesce, Jake Bean, Haydn Fleury and Roland McKeown already in the fold, Carolina selects Michael Rasmussen from Tri-City of the WHL. The 6-5 center projects as a top-six scoring center, with good hands and a great shot. If he can find consistency as he develops, he has the raw ability to be an offensive game-changer at the NHL level. – Kevin LeBlanc @kleblanchockey

9. Winnipeg Jets – Cale Makar, Defence (AJHL)

Despite playing in a tier two Canadian hockey league (AJHL), Makar has demonstrated a very high-end skill set. The smooth-skating right handed defender offers a blend of speed and smarts which allows him to confidently run a power play, exit the zone through quick, sharp outlet passes, or rely on his speed and great edgework to skate out of trouble. The Jets are loaded on the right-side with Byfuglien, Myers and Trouba under contract, which should allow them to take their time with Makar as he'll spend at least a couple of seasons at UMass Amherst beginning in the fall. – Cam Robinson @CrazyJoeDavola3

10. Buffalo Sabres – Miro Heiskanen, Defence (Liiga)

Heiskanen has spent his draft year in the Finnish top league as a true 17-year-old and has not looked out of place. In fact, he's been counted on in every situation and brings a very smooth and confident approach to the game. He is the prototypical hybrid defender who relies on speed and smarts to excel in all three zones. The Sabres will be envisioning an all-Finnish top pairing of Heiskanen and Rasmus Ristolainen and will jump at this talented player. – Cam Robinson @CrazyJoeDavola3

11. Los Angeles Kings – Cody Glass, Center (WHL)

The Kings take Glass, a prospect that addresses a lot of their needs; he brings offence, plays a two-way game and has a big frame that just needs some development time to mature. Deemed the best player available as well. – Peter Harling @pharling

12. Philadelphia FlyersEeli Tolvanen, Left Wing (USHL)

Tolvanen may end up being the best goal scorer from this draft class, as his terrific release is quick, accurate and heavy. This weapon was on full display at the U18's where he scored seven goals in as many games. However, due to some concerns regarding his consistency, compete-level and play away from the puck, the talented-Finnish winger slips to the Flyers who are happy to add a dynamic forward to their strong stable of goaltending and back-end prospects. Tolvanen will head to Boston College in the fall and will look to build the strength and consistency needed to become a dangerous top six winger in the NHL. – Cam Robinson @CrazyJoeDavola3

13. Tampa Bay Lightning – Nicolas Hague, Defence (OHL)

The Lightning hope to have found a future top pairing defenceman in Hague. He has size, speed, and a heavy shot and plays well in his own end. – Peter Harling @pharling

14. Florida Panthers – Klim Kostin, Right Wing (MHL)

With plenty of young skill and speed in their top six, Florida could benefit from a big, strong winger who can score. Since there is uncertainty as to how long Jagr will continue to play and be effective, Kostin would give Florida their potential top six power forward of the future. Kostin has continued to slide in the draft rankings this year due to a recent season ending injury and the fear he will choose the KHL over the NHL, however his skill is hard to ignore. Florida is a great fit to allow him the time he needs to develop as his skill is still very raw and unrefined. – Joel Gluss @JoelGluss

15. Toronto Maple Leafs –  Juuso Valimaki, Defence (WHL)

The Leafs will look to shore up their defensive prospect pool and land Valimaki, and offensive defenceman that will be able to move the puck up to the Leafs high octane forwards. – Peter Harling @pharling

16. St. Louis BluesMartin Necas, Center (Czech)

The Blues couldn't pass up the opportunity to draft a top 10 talent. The Blues are getting a dynamic play making centre with high end upside, something missing in their system. He needs to bulk up and will need a couple years of development time but the potential is there for a top six centre. – Brad Phillips @bradhphillips

17. Nashville Predators– Lias Andersson, Left Wing (SWE)

Andersson has arguably been the best draft-eligible player playing in the SHL this season. A veteran of over 65 contests in the Swedish top league, Andersson's strong two-way play and consistent motor has earned him the respect of his coaches and peers. His play at least summer's U18 tournament turned heads to his high-end offensive ability, and he acclimated himself well at the U20 tournament in a bottom six role. It is yet to be seen if he'll transition to the NHL as a centre or left-wing. Nashville loves this responsible and agile player to compliment some of the more high-risk, high-reward prospects already in the system. – Cam Robinson @CrazyJoeDavola3

18. New York Islanders – Cal Foote, Defense (WHL)

Foote offers an impressive combination of size and skill which allows him to assert his dominance throughout all three zones. His powerful right-handed shot is a weapon on the power play but still needs work finding lanes. It is unclear how much of his offensive game will translate at the NHL-level, but the Islanders are happy to select a very steady and safe defensive prospect after loading up on high-octane forwards the last few drafts.  – Cam Robinson @CrazyJoeDavola3

19. Boston Bruins – Isaac Ratcliffe, Left Wing (OHL)

Ratcliffe fits the mould of the Big Bad Bruins and becomes the heir apparent to the role left vacant when Milan Lucic was moved. The 6-4 power forward is just what the Bruins are missing. – Peter Harling @pharling

20. Calgary Flames – Robert Thomas, Center (OHL)

For readers, this might seem like a bit of a reach pick but in Robert Thomas the Calgary Flames get a player with an extremely high hockey IQ. He has the ability to receive passes quite well and London uses him down below the goal line as a playmaker on the PP as well as the PK. Calgary is very familiar with London as both Tkachuk and Parsons were selections last year. It's possible the Flames might trade down to acquire another pick as they currently do not have a selection in the second or third round, but if they stay pat, it makes this selection an important one. Their philosophy will be BPA rather than team needs, but doesn't hurt that he is a right handed shot either. – Joel Henderson @dathockeydoe

21. Anaheim Ducks – Kristian Vesalinen, Left Wing (SHL)

The big Finnish forward already stands at 6-3, 203lbs and he has all the tools to become a top line winger. He is quick, has great hands, and plays in all situations. He moved to Sweden to play against men with Frolunda in the SHL when he was 16. Anaheim has tons of defensive depth and some good centers in the pipeline, so adding a big, well rounded power forward was a no brainer at this choice. – Lucas Main @LAM1926

22. Edmonton Oilers – Maxime Comtois, Left Wing (QMJHL)

Max Comtois is a player Peter Chiarelli would love. Big body that can skate and is smart with the puck. Has great vision and isn't scared to get to the dirty areas. Edmonton also lacks depth at the Left-wing position. –Spencer Pomoty @SpencerPomoty15

23. Ottawa Senators – Nick Suzuki, Center (OHL)

The Sens took the best player available. Not the biggest player on the ice but excels on both sides of the puck and is equally adept at scoring and setting up his teammates. Currently sitting top five in OHL scoring. The Senators are building enviable depth down the middle by adding Suzuki to a stable that already includes Colin White and Logan Brown. One of the youngest players in the draft, he won't be 18 until August; he has the chance to be a steal at 23.  – Brad Phillips @BradHPhillips

24. Montreal Canadiens – Ryan Poehling, Center (NCAA)

An ideal fit as he fills a major organizational need, not to mention was the best player available. A big, talented center Poehling has all the attributes you look for in a pro down the middle. He is a very smart player with a nice set of hands, and plays the game "the right way". Impactful in front of both nets, and skates well enough to become a top-six forward in the NHL. – Mike Barrett @MikeBarrett

25. New York Rangers – Shane Bowers, Center (USHL)

The competitive and offensively gifted pivot was a fourth overall selection in the QMJHL but decided to go the USHL route on his path towards Boston University next fall. Bowers plays a no nonsense north-south game that will translate very nicely to the professional ranks and his coming stint in the NCAA will allow him to add the strength needed to get there. Bowers is a very safe prospect who is strong on faceoffs and the Rangers will be happy to add such a player to their less-than-full cupboard. – Cam Robinson @CrazyJoeDavola3

26. San Jose Sharks – Robin Salo, defence (FIN)

The best player available address a long-term team needs. The Shark have a handful of defensive prospects that could be NHL regulars with proper patience but no player in the system to bring reliable two-way play in the same way Marc-Edouard Vlasic does. Salo has been a standout for Vaasan Sport in SM-Liiga action. His hockey IQ and on-ice awareness are very much above average. As an 18-year-old playing against men on Sport's top pairing, on the power play, late in games, killing penalties and seen time on the wing to fill in the gaps in the lineup. His defensive game is well developed, and his offensive capabilities will continue to mature as he does. His size is just OK, but still a sturdy 6', 185 pounds and ready for another 5-10 pounds of muscle. 

The Sharks have this pick tied up in the Jannik Hansen deal. If they keep this pick, it means they won the Stanley Cup. Salo would be a nice consolation prize. – Zack DeVine @zakkthebear

27. Pittsburgh Penguins – Kailer Yamamoto, Right Wing (WHL)

Undersized, but a dynamic scorer whose shiftiness increases his effectiveness, the Spokane RW will have a shot at a WHL scoring title next season. – Mark Allen

28. Columbus Blue Jackets –- Jason Robertson, Left Wing (OHL)

Robertson is a natural goal scorer and an underrated playmaker. He has a nose for the net, has size but needs to improve his skating. – Peter Harling @pharling

29. Chicago Blackhawks –Alex Formenton (OHL)

The rangy Formenton has great wheels and a great hockey sense but will need to add some size to his 6'1" 160 pound frame in order to produce at the NHL level.

The Blackhawks made this selection to try and fill the void on left wing made by cap casualty Patrick Sharp's trade to Dallas. – Tony Carr @fiveminutemajor

30. Arizona Coyotes via Minnesota Wild – Jake Ottinger, Goalie (NCAA)

With their second pick in the first round, the Coyotes try to fill a organization lack of depth in goal and select Oettinger. The big goalie will continue to develop at BU, and hopefully be the goaltender of the future for the Yotes. – Keith Duggan @kduggan92

31. St. Louis Blues via Washington – Erik Brannstrom, Defence (SHL)

Swinging for the fences with this pick. Brannstrom is a player that has been rising big time over the past couple of months. He's an undersized by traditional standards but in the modern game his size shouldn't be a deterrent. Boasting exceptional play making abilities he's drawn comparisons to Kimmo Timonen on more than one occasion. Like any offensive defenseman he has some work to do in his own end. – Brad Phillips @BradHPhillips

A special thanks to all the participating writers from DobberProspects for their efforts in making this post happen


Name Fantasy Upside NHL Certainty
Fabian Lysell 8.5 9.0
Jakub Lauko 6.0 6.0
Matthew Poitras 7.5 7.5
Alexander Nikishin 9.0 9.3
Alexander Rykov 7.0 7.5
Justin Robidas 5.5 4.5
Zion Nybeck 8.0 3.0
David Kase 4.0 6.0
Jacob Julien 6.5 6.0
Anton Johannesson 3.0 3.0