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2017 NHL Draft Rankings [@RossyYoungblood]

2017 NHL Draft OHLWith only days remaining until the 2017 NHL Entry Draft kicks off in Chicago, IL, it's time to release @RossyYoungblood's rankings. 

At the top of the draft, it's extremely tight between Halifax Mooseheads star pivot Nico Hischier and Brandon pivot Nolan Patrick. At the end of the day, Hischier was rewarded with top spot simply based on his style of play - one that I favour due to his dynamic attacking abilities. Regardless of which prospect goes first, New Jersey and Philadelphia will walk away with two excellent players to build around and neither team could go wrong selecting either one. 

From the top tier, it's a tightly packed group between the 3rd ranked skater Miro Heiskanen and the 11th slotted player in Klim Kostin. Throughout the process of compiling the list, it was a tough internal debate and players were swapped around fairly freely within the 9-spot range, which speaks to how difficult it was, before landing on this final order. One player who really impressed me was Elias Petterson and I felt he warranted his 4th ranked position despite players like Vilardi, Mittelstadt and Glass all showing more controlled and put-together games. With Petterson, it was a gut feeling that his attacking ability and knack for combining slipperty puck skills with pressing speed could translate into an impressive offensive talent so he was given the edge.

Vilardi is appealing because he plays such an intelligent game and blends silky playmaking skills with strong possession tools down low - making him a fairly safe top-six pivot. Casey Mittelstadt was a player who I spent a lot of time reviewing tape and he certainly has the tools to become a top 3 talent in this draft class and I wouldn't be surprised to see it end up that way. It was about managing risk with Mittelstadt versus Vilardi and when push came to shove, it was Vilardi's reliability (and maybe even familiarity for me) that placed the Windsor pivot on top. 

In the same breathe as Petterson, Makar, Vilardi and Mittelstadt, Cody Glass certainly justifies being considered as well. If we could dub them 4a, 4b, 4c, 4d and 4e, I would but in fairness to the process, we forced our own hand to make a final decision. Glass is such a skilled competitor, he should have no issues carving out a very successful long career. His ability to read and process plays at top speed while maintaining energy is appealing and I could certainly see him carve out an NHL path like Mark Scheifele as both operate with a similar style. 

The next player on our list sits in the 7th position and there's no doubting that Owen Tippett's game has its flaws, yet I couldn't dismiss his elite standout trait - something that is missing in many of the 2017 prospects. He's a game changer with his shooting ability and because of this elite attribute, he has the potential to be a star. With that said, I think its a very safe bet that with his speed and finishing ability, you are looking at a very strong complementary top-six sniper at the very least. 

Much like Petterson above, Martin Necas is a player that excites me when looking at his long-term potential. In fact, his slotting at 10th disappoints me because I really wanted him higher but it was a numbers game. It wouldn't shock me to see a team snap him up in the Top 5 and/or him develop into one of the best players in this draft. Sometimes when you watch a player with his range, skill and instincts compete, you just get a feeling that the best is yet to come. Necas has a lot of room to develop his game even though he's already displaying top notch abilities. It should be exciting watching him develop. 

The final player that needs to be spot-lighted is Klim Kostin. The big bullish Russian started the season out as a top prospect and legitimate challenger for Top 5 but his season was cut short due to injuries and bouts of inconsistent play. Like Tippett above, I feel Kostin has some rare abilities that could allow him to develop into a star NHLer. There is certainly some risks to his game but even at 11th overall, I still feel that his tools could warrant a top 6-10 ranking. It was other's persistence and Kostin's inconsistency that failed to really push my hand to justify a higher ranking than 11th. 

The following ranking includes my Top 150 player rankings (including goaltenders) plus several honourable mentions. 

 

Ranking Notes:

* indicates overagers

** indicates two-year overagers

Red indicates goaltenders

Italicized players indicate a @RossyYoungblood favourite

Rankings compiled by Brendan Ross

 

TOP 150 - 2017 NHL DRAFT RANKING

 

RANK PROSPECT POS TEAM LEAGUE
1 Nico Hischier C Halifax QMJHL
2 Nolan Patrick C Brandon WHL
3 Miro Heiskanen D HIFK Liiga
4 Elias Petterson C Timra Allsvenskan
5 Cale Makar D Brooks Bandits AJHL
6 Gabriel Vilardi C Windsor OHL
7 Casey Mittelstadt C Eden Prairie USHS
8 Cody Glass C Portland WHL
9 Owen Tippett RW Mississauga OHL
10 Martin Necas C/RW Brno Czech Extraliga
11 Klim Kostin RW/L Dynamo KHL
12 Timothy Liljegren D Rogue SHL
13 Nick Suzuki C Owen Sound OHL
14 Lias Andersson C/LW HV71 SHL
15 Kristian Vesalainen LW/RW Frolunda SHL
16 Juuso Välimäki D Tri-City WHL
17 Erik Brännström D HV71 - J20 SuperElit
18 Robert Thomas C London OHL
19 Eeli Tolvanen LW Sioux City USHL
20 Kailer Yamamoto LW Spokane WHL
21 Callan Foote D Kelowna WHL
22 Michael Rasmussen C Tri-City WHL
23 Ryan Poehling C St. Cloud University NCAA
24 Isaac Ratcliffe LW Guelph OHL
25 Nicolas Hague D Mississauga OHL
26 Jake Oettinger G Boston University NCAA
27 Aleksi Heponiemi C Swift Current WHL
28 Urho Vaakanainen  D JYP Liiga
29 Joshua Norris C USA U18  USDP
30 Kole Lind C Kelowna WHL
31 Jason Robertson LW Kingston OHL
32 Shane Bowers C Waterloo USHL
33 Joni Ikonen C/RW Frolunda SuperElit
34 Jesper Boqvist C/LW Brynäs IF J20 SuperElit
35 Henri Jokiharju D Portland WHL
36 Jaret Anderson-Dolan C Spokane WHL
37 Maxime Comtois LW Victoriaville QMJHL
38 Filip Chytil C HC Zlin Czech Extraliga
39 Conor Timmins D Sault Ste. Marie OHL
40 Alex Formenton LW London OHL
41 Marcus Davidsson C/LW Djurgårdens SHL
42 Grant Mismash C USA U18  USDP
43 Pierre-Olivier Joseph D Charlottetown QMJHL
44 Ian Mitchell D Spruce Grove AJHL
45 Michael DiPietro G Windsor OHL
46 Nikita Popugayev LW/R Prince George WHL
47 Morgan Frost RW Sault Ste. Marie OHL
48 Ostap Safin RW/L Sparta CZE Jr
49 Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen G HPK Jr. A SM-Liiga
50 Alexey Lipanov C Balashikha VHL
51 Alexander Polunin** LW Lokomotiv KHL
52 Santeri Virtanen LW/C TPS Jr. A SM-Liiga
53 Ivan Lodnia RW Erie OHL
54 Matthew Strome LW Hamilton OHL
55 Dylan Samberg D Hermantown USHS - MN
56 Joshua Brook D Moose Jaw WHL
57 Jake Leschyshyn C Regina WHL
58 Maxwell Gildon D USA U18  USDP
59 Stelio Mattheos C Brandon WHL
60 David Farrance D USA U18  USDP
61 Mason Shaw C Medicine Hat WHL
62 Mackenzie Entwistle LW Hamilton OHL
63 Antoine Morand C Acadie-Bathurst QMJHL
64 Ben Mirageas D Bloomington USHL
65 Eemeli Rasanen D Kingston OHL
66 Scott Reedy RW/C USA U18  USDP
67 Robin Salo D Sport Liiga
68 Adam Ruzicka C Sarnia OHL
69 Jack Studnicka C Oshawa OHL
70 Lukas Elvenes RW/C Rogue SuperElit
71 Luke Martin D Michigan NCAA
72 Nate Schnarr C Guelph OHL
73 Sasha Chmelevski C Ottawa OHL
74 Rickard Hugg C Leksand SuperElit
75 Jonah Gadjovich LW Owen Sound OHL
76 Keith Petruzzelli G Muskegon USHL
77 Eetu Luostarinen* C Kalpa Liiga
78 Stuart Skinner G Lethbridge WHL
79 Filip Westerlund D Frolunda  SuperElit
80 Sami Moilanen RW Seattle WHL
81 Alexandre Texier C Grenoble FRA
82 Nicholas Henry RW Regina WHL
83 Fabian Zetterlund LW/RW Farjestad SuperElit
84 Jarret Tyszka D Seattle WHL
85 Morgan Geekie* RW/C Tri-City WHL
86 Markus Phillips D Owen Sound OHL
87 Mikey Anderson D Waterloo USHL
88 Jack Rathbone D Dexter NEDI
89 Reilly Walsh D Proctor Academy USHS -NH
90 Evan Barratt C USA U18 USDP
91 Linus Nyman RW Kingston OHL
92 Jacob Tortora LW/R USA U18  USDP
93 Dmitri Samorukov D Guelph OHL
94 Maxim Zhukov G Green Bay USHL
95 Mario Ferraro D Des Moines USHL
96 Gustav Lindstrom D Almtuna Allsvenskan
97 Sean Dhooghe C USA U18  USDP
98 Cayden Primeau G Lincoln USHL
99 Andrei Svetlakov** C CKSA KHL
100 Alexei Toropchenko RW/L Balashikha MHL
101 Yaroslav Alexeyev LW Sherbrooke QMJHL
102 Kirill Slepets RW/L Yaroslavl Loko MHL
103 Tim Söderlund* LW Skellefteå SHL
104 Artyom Minulin D Swift Current WHL
105 Michael Pastujov LW USA U18 USDP
106 Ian Scott G Prince Albert WHL
107 Kirill Maksimov RW Niagara OHL
108 Zach Gallant C Peterborough OHL
109 Matthew Kellenberger D Oakville OJHL
110 Cameron Crotty D Brockville CCHL
111 Artyom Manukyan* C Omsk MHL
112 Ivan Chekhovich C/LW Baie-Comeau QMJHL
113 Kyle Olson RW Tri-City WHL
114 Pavel Koltygin C/LW Drummondville QMJHL
115 Greg Meireles C Kitchener OHL
116 Jacob Paquette D Kingston OHL
117 Emil Oksanen LW Espoo Mestis
118 Logan Cockerill RW/L USA U18 USDP
119 Jonas Røndbjerg RW Växjö  SuperElit
120 Brady Lyle D North Bay OHL
121 Tyler Inamoto D USA U18 USDP
122 Alex D'Orio G Saint John QMJHL
123 Antoine Crete-Belzile D Blainville-Boisbriand QMJHL
124 Maxim Sushko RW/L Owen Sound OHL
125 Matthew Timms* D Peterborough OHL
126 Noel Hoefenmayer D Ottawa OHL
127 Pavel Shen C Mamonty Yugry MHL
128 Bryce Misley C Oakville OJHL
129 Kevin Hancock* LW Owen Sound OHL
130 Marian Studenic RW Hamilton OHL
131 Patrick Khodorenko C Michigan State NCAA
132 Tobias Geisser D Zug NLB
133 Macauley Carson LW Sudbury OHL
134 Olle Eriksson Ek G Färjestad SuperElit
135 Thomas  Miller D USA U18  USDP
136 Austen Keating RW Ottawa OHL
137 Cale Fleury D Kootenay WHL
138 Drake Rymsha* C Sarnia OHL
139 Tyler Steenbergen* C Swift Current WHL
140 Nate Knoepke D USA U18 USDP
141 Joel Teasdale C Blainville-Boisbriand QMJHL
142 Kasper Kotkansalo D Sioux Falls USHL
143 Noah Cates C Stillwater USHS - MN
144 Patrik Hrehorcak LW Trinec CZE Jr
145 Liam Hawel C Guelph OHL
146 Brannon McManus C/RW Chicago USHL
147 Artur Tyanulin** RW Ottawa OHL
148 Denis Smirnov** RW Penn State NCAA
149 Zach Solow C Dubuque USHL
150 Lane Zablocki C Red Deer WHL

 

Honourable Mentions (listed alphabetically):

HM Brandon Crawley** D London OHL
HM Stephen Dhillon* G Niagara OHL
HM Jack Dugan C Northwood School USHS - NY
HM Sean Durzi D Owen Sound OHL
HM Kaden Fulcher G Hamilton OHL
HM Jakub Galvas D HC Olomouc Czech Extraliga
HM Jacob Golden D London OHL
HM Fedor Gordeev D Flint OHL
HM Lukas Haudum** C Malmo SHL
HM Nicholas Isaacson LW Peterborough OHL
HM Ty Lewis* LW Brandon WHL
HM Jacob McGrath G Sudbury OHL
HM Ryan McGregor C Sarnia OHL
HM Nicholas McHugh LW Kitchener OHL
HM Kalle Miketinac C Frolunda  SuperElit
HM Clayton Phillips D Fargo USHL
HM German Poddubnyi LW/C Erie OHL
HM A.J. Pratt RW Red Deer WHL
HM Joseph Raaymakers* G Sault Ste. Marie OHL
HM Mark Rubinchik D Saskatoon WHL
HM Dylan Seitz C Kitchener OHL
HM Daniil Tarasov G Ufa MHL
HM Adam Thilander D North Bay OHL
HM Matt Villaltta G Sault Ste. Marie OHL

 

Thanks for reading. Feel free to follow #NHLProspect and #2017NHLDraft coverage on Twitter @RossyYoungblood

PRELIMINARY 2018 OHL DRAFT RANKING

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