The 2017 NHL Entry Draft is just one day away, and thanks to the Vegas Golden Knights finally selecting their roster there’s some added clarity on who exactly will own what picks Friday night. Here’s one final mock draft to get you ready for the big day:
1. New Jersey Devils – QMJHL LW Nico Hischier
The industry scales have tipped ever so slightly towards favoring Hischier first overall. Getting to learn from Taylor Hall, New Jersey would also be able to boast multiple threats on the wing for the first time in years.
2. Philadelphia Flyers – WHL C/RW Nolan Patrick
Patrick’s ability to play both center and the wing will allow the Flyers, who already have plenty of forwards, to use Patrick however they see fit.
3. Dallas Stars – SM Liga D Miro Heiskanen
If they keep the pick, Dallas can add the consensus top defender in the draft, who could one day make a strong #2 to John Klingberg.
4. Colorado Avalanche – AJHL D Cale Makar
If there’s one thing Colorado could use, it’s a highly skilled, mobile defenseman with big upside.
5. Vancouver Canucks – USHL C Casey Middlestadt
There are rumblings about the Canucks’ interest in a playmaking center, which means it’s likely Middlestadt or Portland center Cody Glass here.
6. Vegas Golden Knights – OHL W Gabe Vilardi
It sounds as though Vegas may have real interest in the power forward winger from the Memorial Cup-winning Windsor Spitfires.
7. Arizona Coyotes – OHL RW Owen Tippett
The electric Mississauga forward can give the Coyotes some much-needed skill on the wing.
8. Buffalo Sabres – OHL RW Nick Suzuki
A riser all year long, the highly skilled Suzuki makes one last climb — into the top ten of the draft.
9. Detroit Red Wings – WHL C Cody Glass
The playmaking Portland center has a subtlety to his game, but don’t mistake that for low upside: scouts compare him to Mark Scheifele.
10. Florida Panthers – WHL C Michael Rasmussen
It wouldn’t be surprising if an ever-changing Panthers regime was a fan of the big center Rasmussen.
11. Los Angeles Kings – Allsvenskan C Elias Pettersson
The Kings sure could use some goals, but this pick is more about getting the best player left on the board. The smooth-skating, puckhandling center could just as easily go well inside the top ten.
12. Carolina Hurricanes – SM Liga LW Kristian Vesalainen
He started the year as a presumptive top ten pick, slid down the rankings all year, and climbed back up with a U18 MVP performance. Ultimately, Vesalainen gets drafted right where he belongs.
13. Vegas Golden Knights – WHL D Juuso Valimaki
Vegas adds to what will be a deep prospect pool by getting a quietly promising two-way defender.
14. Tampa Bay – SHL C Lias Andersson
GM Steve Yzerman loves to draft for skill, and this two-way Swedish center has plenty of it.
15. Vegas Golden Knights – SHL D Timothy Liljegren
George McPhee brings another young, promising, highly skilled blueliner into the fold.
16. Calgary Flames – WHL D Cal Foote
Big and bruising but with a spoonful of skill, Foote is a promising 200-foot defender coming out of a defense factory in Kelowna.
17. Toronto Maple Leafs – OHL D Nic Hague
He’s a big two-way defender that seems like the sort of player Mark Hunter could love.
18. Boston Bruins – Czech C/W Martin Necas
After a little slide, Boston nabs the pesky but skilled Czech forward.
19. San Jose Sharks – USHL RW Eeli Tolvanen
He needs lots of work defensively and his playmaking game leaves a lot to be desired too, but his shooting ability is among the very best in the draft.
20. St. Louis Blues – OHL C Robert Thomas
Doug Armstrong adds a two-way playmaking center to a prospect pool that could use some replenishing.
21. New York Rangers – KHL RW Klim Kostin
Something of an unknown due to so few games played this season, Kostin’s mixture of puckhandling and power should be enough to entice somebody in the first round.
22. Edmonton Oilers – NCAA C Ryan Poehling
Fast and ferocious, this defensive specialist with a high motor seems like the sort of player Peter Chiarelli could covet.
23. Arizona Coyotes – SM Liga D Urho Vaakanainen
The Coyotes add to an elite prospect pool by nabbing the quiet but effective Finnish blueliner.
24. Winnipeg Jets – USHL F Josh Norris
After moving down in the draft as part of a side-deal with Vegas, Winnipeg nabs the American forward that does nothing great but everything well.
25. Montreal Canadiens – OHL D Connor Timmins
Possibly the best puckmover in the entire draft, Montreal replenishes their stable of young blueliners by adding the breakout Greyhounds defender.
26. Chicago Blackhawks – USHL C Shane Bowers
Bowers appears to be gaining traction as a gritty but skilled center prospect.
27. St. Louis Blues – OHL LW Jason Robertson
Skating is a major concern, but his productivity and goal-scoring penchant this year can’t be denied.
28. Ottawa Senators – Allsvenskan C Jesper Boqvist
He’s quietly risen up draft boards thanks to his speed and playmaking ability.
29. Dallas Stars – OHL LW Isaac Ratcliffe
At 6″6′, this power forward prospect from the Guelph Storm gives Dallas something to look forward to in the scoring department.
30. Nashville Predators – WHL W Jaret Anderson-Dolan
A good mixture of gritty and skilled, this potential middle-six forward climbs into the first round thanks to a good showing at the U18s.
31. Pittsburgh Penguins – Czech LW Filip Chytil
31st on Bob McKenzie’s final draft rankings, that’s exactly where this skilled Czech winger gets drafted.