2017 NHL Draft

Mock Draft: Round 7 Picks 187-217 (May)

Timra’s Victor Brattstrom fought through the busiest workload in Sweden’s Superelit to rank among the leaders in save percentage.

Steve Kournianos  |  5/28/2017 |  New York  |  

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Round 1
Team Pick Player Notes
1 C Nolan Patrick

Brandon Wheat Kings, WHL

6’2, 198 | 9/18/98

Seems like a tough choice, but the Devils overlook Patrick’s injury history and draft their first franchise center since Kirk Muller 33 years prior. His blend of skill and power is unmatched among draft eligibles, and he was dominant for an understrength Brandon squad.
2 C Nico Hischier

Halifax Mooseheads, QMJHL

6’1, 176 | 1/4/99

The team with the NHL’s deepest prospect pool grabs the player with the highest star potential. Hischier makes everyone playing with him better while those opposing him shiver in their skates. He’s also a fierce competitor who at the drop of a hat can turn your basic puck battle into a quality scoring chance.
3 C Casey Mittelstadt

Green Bay Gamblers, USHL

6’1, 201 | 11/22/98

The top U.S.-born player for 2017 might turn out to be the best player from this draft. Mittelstadt torched both the USHL and Minnesota’s competitive high school circuit, and has an outstanding resume in international play. His vision and ability to make something out of nothing are on par with Hischier and Patrick, and he can wire a heavy wrister with accuracy from just about anywhere in the offensive zone.
4 LHD Miro Heiskanen

HIFK, Liiga

6’0, 170 | 7/18/99

It might be a blessing in disguise that Colorado — the NHL’s worst team in the regular season — got bumped down out of skill forward-range, but this heady Finn is no consolation prize. Heiskanen is a very good skater who logged close to 20 minutes per game on a very good team in Finland’s elite league. His dominance at the under-18 world championships earned him top defenseman honors.
5 C Gabe Vilardi

Windsor Spitfires, OHL

6’3, 201 | 8/16/99

The Canucks need playmakers, and one could argue that Vilardi’s keen vision and high hockey IQ rank up there with the Patricks and Hischiers of the world. And he’s an excpetional stickhandler with incredibly soft hands. He’s got a great attitude towards the game and can either play the role of a sniper on the wing or a playmaking, pass-first center.
6 C/W Elias Pettersson

Timra IK, Allsvenskan

6’1, 160 | 11/12/98

The Golden Knights are playing with house money, but GM George McPhee is as seriousas they comes when it comes to drafting in the first round. Pettersson is a budding star with phenomenal offensive skills who can put on quite a show. Dangles, dekes and spin-o-ramas have long been commonplace in his lauded junior career, and he was one of the top teenage scorers in Sweden’s version of the AHL.
7 RW Owen Tippett

Mississauga Steelheads, OHL

6’0, 200 | 2/16/99

Arizona is loaded with talent, but they could use an elite finisher with a powerful shot. Enter Tippett, a power forward with excellent speed and a laser for a shot. He was among the OHL leaders in goals (44) and shots (284), but don’t sleep on his playmaking ability — Tippett is an accurate passer who can freeze a goalie before slipping a backdoor pass for a better scoring chance.
8 RHD Tim Liljegren

Rogle, SHL

6’0, 191 | 4/30/99

No prospect fell victim to the analysis paralysis phase of a draft year more than this smooth-skating Swede, who never seemed to dust off the cobwebs from an early-season bout with mononucleosis. Liljegren still owns an absolute howitzer but his defensive-zone issues regarding decision making need to be fixed. From an upside point of view, Liljegren has the potential to be a star for many years to come.
9 C Martin Necas

Kometa Brno, Extraliga

6’1, 167 | 1/15/99

A lackluster under-18 world championship slowed down a hype train that picked up steam after his strong postseason in the Czech Extraliga. But Necas remains one of the draft’s best offensive talents. He’s a cerebral puck magnet who can beat you in a variety of ways and is deadly once he gets below the circles.
10 LW Eeli Tolvanen

Sioux City Musketeers, USHL

5’10, 170 | 4/22/99

No draft-eligible forward can wire the puck the way this Finnish import can. The Boston College-bound sniper tore up the USHL for a second straight season, scoring 30 goals in 52 games and pumping out a league-best 246 shots. He can score on breaks, clappers from the circles and has a sweet backhander.
11 C Cody Glass

Portland Winterhawks

6’2, 180 | 4/1/99

The Kings could use some excitement after two relatively pedestrian seasons in both the standings and at the draft table. Glass is an excellent offensive pivot and scorer who thinks while he plays. He can also kill penalties and has a nonstop motor for extended shifts.
12 C/W Lias Andersson


5’11, 198 | 10/13/98

One of the few forward prospects who played consistent minutes for a contending adult team, Andersson showcased more creativity and puck skills at several best-on-best tournaments while manning one of Sweden’s top two lines. He’s a 200-foot battler with soft hands and makes smart decisons while motoring up ice. Andersson is a virtual lock for a lengthy NHL career, and his style of play can fit any system.
13 RHD Cale Makar

Brooks Bandits, AJHL

5’11, 180 | 10/30/98

Explosive and exceptionally gifted, Makar from a pure skill standpoint is the best draft-eligible defenseman. Playing in lesser-known league like the AJHL afforded him to opportunity to consistently showcase his abilities, but he’s done quite well in tournaments against stiffer competiiton. A serious candidate for the top three or four picks of the draft, Makar has a commitment to UMass-Amherst.
14 LHD Erik Brannstrom


5’10, 173 | 9/2/99

One or two inches is what keeps this Swedish dynamo out of the first four or five draft slots, but the overall package is undeniably good. Brannstrom is an on-ice general with an advanced brain and howitzer for a shot who can also skate and keep the puck out of his zone. He’s quite strong for his size and has no problem knocking bigger players off the puck.
15 LHD Urho Vaakanainen

JyP, Liiga

6’0, 185 | 1/1/99

The Islanders had a nice second-half run to close out an otherwise disappointing season, and this Finnish blueliner is a worthy prize for missing the playoffs. He can skate, quarterback a power play and play poised in the face of a relentless forecheck. Vaakanainen as a teenager had the best possession stats of any defender on his adult team, and his game is similar to that of Olli Juolevi, who went fifth overall last season.
16 RW Klim Kostin

Dynamo Moscow, KHL

6’3, 196 | 5/5/99

A season-ending shoulder injury curtailed what was supposed to be a promising draft year for this Russian bulldozer on skates, who was the top pick in last year’s CHL Import Draft. Kostin is a quick power winger who hits hard but is also blessed with soft hands and offensive-zone flair.
17 LHD Juuso Valimaki

Tri-City Americans, WHL

6’2, 204 | 10/6/98

The Leafs don’t peg me as the kind of team that will draft for need in a draft thin on gamebreakers. But this mobile Finn checks every block for what you’d want from a draft-eligible rearguard. His positioning and poise with the puck are excellent, and his hard point shot makes a goalie work a bit harder to stop.
18 C Ryan Poehling

St. Cloud St. Huskies, NCHC

6’2, 183 | 1/3/99

The Bruins love two-way players with size, but Poehling can be one heck of a fancy player if the situation calls for it. The stats (7-6-13 in 35 games) are somewhat indicative of a freshman forward on a stacked team, but he lit up the international circuit and almost carried Team USA to gold at the Hlinka last August.
19 LHD Pierre-Olivier Joseph

Charlottetown Islanders, QMJHL

6’2, 161 | 7/1/99

Sharks’ GM Doug Wilson and staff are pretty unpredictable, but in the past they’ve leaned towards Americans and Quebec Leaguers. If Poehling is here, I think they take him, but Joseph is one of the more mature defenders available. He stood out and played big minutes despite Charlottetown being loaded with NHL picks, and I think he’s only some added muscle away from contributing at the highest level.
20 C Michael Rasmussen

Tri-City Americans, WHL

6’6, 215 | 4/17/99

Rasmussen is an excellent two-way center who missed half the season with a busted wrist. He was a key cog in Tri-City’s resurgence and was one of the few bright spots for Canada at the Hlinka. More of a scorer than a playmaker, his massive frame and soft touch around the net helped him cash in with 32 goals in 50 games.
21 C Joni Ikonen

Frolunda J20, Superelit

6’0, 178 | 4/14/99

The Rangers need shooters who are fast enough to play their up-tempo style, so this is a case where an off-the-board center like Ikonen is a perfect fit. He’s an exciting player with elite puck skills who as Kritian Vesalainen’s center in Frolunda helped reinvigorate the former’s sliding draft stock. He owns a blistering shot and isn’t afraid to use it.
22 RHD Callan Foote

Kelowna Rockets, WHL

6’4, 212 | 12/13/98

Although I think the Leafs might be leaning towards this kid, the Oilers’ pipeline could use a Steady Eddie to augment their young puck movers. The son of former Avalanche Stanley Cup winner Adam Foote, Callan is big, strong and ridiculously smart. He was Kelowna’s stopper when matched up against opposing top lines and was an integral component to its lethal power play.
23* RHD Henri Jokiharju

Portland Winterhawks

6’0, 180 | 6/17/99

There are always risky picks, but Jokiharju’s limitations in size and strength doesn’t mean he’ll never get big enough to handle an NHL workload. Two things this Finn can do well are skate and handle the puck, but his defensive zone play was quite good considering he was a first-timer in North America. Don’t sleep on this kid — he seems to relish challenges when the spotlight shines brightest.
24 LW Kristian Vesalainen

Frolunda J20, Superelit

6’3, 207 | 6/1/99

It was a tale of two seasons for this Finnish power forward, who closed out his draft year with strong performances in both Sweden’s J20 league and the U18 worlds. Not only did Vesalainen earn the tournament’s top player honors, but his ability to make plays at high speed and cause serious damage off the cycle revealed just how dominant a player he can be. Consistency in effort and playing enaged are areas he needs to work on, but this is a home run pick for a team coming off a 50-win season.
25 RW Grant Mismash

U.S. U18, NTDP

6’0, 186

The NTDP was slow out of the gate before slicing through international competition like a hot knife through butter, and this power winger was a big reason why. Mismash, a North Dakota commit, is a dual-purpose threat who is money on the power play and in odd-man situations. He’s a tough matchup who battles hard and can wow you with slick plays close to the goal.
26 LHD Nicolas Hague

Mississauga Steelheads, OHL

6’6, 215 | 12/5/98

Mammoth puck mover with a heavy shot who gelled with Mississauga’s talented lineup of scorers. It’s easy to classify Hague as a project, but that’s more for his play in his own end. He loves to join the rush, fill in gaps and taken risks deep in enemy territory, and he can hammer home one-timers from the circles on the power play. Not as physical as you’d want him to be, but neither was Brent Seabrook in his draft year.
27* C Robert Thomas

London Knights, OHL

6’0, 188 | 7/2/99

Playing for a perrenial powerhouse in London has more advantages than disadvantges, but in Thomas’s case, you wish he saw more time than he did. When he was on the ice, however, this kid was outstanding in all three zones. One of the 2017 draft’s most dangerous players from a static position, meaning he doesn’t need time and space to carve you up.
28 C/LW Scott Reedy

U.S. U18, NTDP

6’2, 204 | 4/4/99

Sometimes you just have to go with your gut and gun for a kid who has the potential to be something far greater than what the stats may indicate. Reedy is a great stickhandler who plays an in-your-face game and scored goals after being converted to left wing from his natural center ice position. Getting benched at the U18 worlds certainly didn’t help his draft stock, but his puck skills are worthy of a gamble this late in the first.
29 C Nick Suzuki

Owen Sound Attack, OHL

5’11, 183 | 9/10/99

The stats scream that Suzuki is a possible top-10 pick, but lots of players put up big numbers in the CHL. He isn’t the biggest, fastest or most intense player, but his IQ, playmaking ability and two-way play are off the charts. Suzuki was the straw that stirred the drink in Owen Sound, leading all first-year OHL eligibles with 96 points in 65 games.
30* RHD Connor Timmins

Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds, OHL

6’1, 185 | 9/18/98

The Stars already have several blue chippers on the back end, and there’s a good bet they either take a goalie or trade up to grab a bigger name. But Timmins is a kid who improved significantly in all areas as the year progressed. He tied Valimaki for most points (61) by a first-year draft eligible CHL defenseman and was excellent quarterbacking the Soo’s power play.
31 C Josh Norris

U.S. U18, NTDP

6’1, 192 | 7/2/99

You have to go all the way back to Angelo Espositio in 2007 to find the last time Pittsburgh drafted a center in the first round, but Norris couldn’t be any more different a player. He’s thick, strong on his skates and can create plays in any situation, including the penalty kill. A playmaker with a hard shot and soft hands, Norris will play for Michigan in the fall.
Round 2
Team Pick Player Notes
32 C Shane Bowers

Waterloo Blackhawks, USHL

6’1, 183 | 7/30/99

Smart two-way center with speed who was a top QMJHL draft pick but chose the USHL to pursue a stint with Boston University. Bowers is a bit underrated since he processes the game at high level and has the quickness to impact play in all three zones. The Avs could use a skilled  200-foot player that is responsible with the puck.
33 RW Kailer Yamamoto

Spokane Chiefs, WHL

5’8, 153 | 9/29/98

One of the top offensive players in the 2017 draft likely slips out of the first round because of his size, and if so, I get the feeling teams will regret it. Yamamoto is a West Coast kid with sublime puck skills who nearly carried a thin Spokane roster to a WHL playoff berth. He’s a phenomenal cross-ice passer and attacks an opponent’s weak points with impunity.
34 LW Nikita Popugaev

Prince George Cougars, WHL

6’6, 217 | 11/20/98

This skilled Russian with a massive wingspan and long stick was a bit of a disappointment following his midseason trade from Moose Jaw to a deeper Prince George squad. His shot, however, is already at a pro level. The Yotes could use this pick to begin the goalie trend, but Popugaev is the kind of prospect who could score 40 if surrounded with a real playmaker.
35 C Filip Chytil

ZPS Zlin, Extraliga

6’0, 178 | 9/5/99

Martin Necas wasn’t the only teen making waves in the Czech senior circuit. Chytil, a talented two-way forward with slick moves and strong balance, was a regular for Zlin and performed admirably at the U18’s last April. He’s an excellent penalty killer and likes to hang on to the puck rather than give away to facilitate his own safety.
36 LHD David Farrance

U.S. U18, NTDP

5’11, 189 | 6/23/99

For all the talent they’re stockpiling in New Jersey, the organization could use another quick-thinking puck mover that can run the power play. Farrance is a Rochester native heading to BU after spending this past season orchestrating the attack from the NTDP’s backline.
37 C Antoine Morand

Acadie-Bathurst Titan, QMJHL

5’10, 178 | 2/18/99

An elusive pivot who is quick and strong on the puck, Morand was a jack-of-all-trades for the Titan. He’s fun to watch with the puck and can stickhandle through a minefield, but he has a developing defensive game as well. Morand has a very good shot but he’s a playmaker with excellent speed who is deadly on the rush.
38 RHD Ian Mitchell

Spruce Grove Saints, AJHL

5’11, 173 | 1/18/99

The Wings aren’t thin on defense prospects, but the University of Denver-bound Mitchell is an excellent two-way defender whose puck management is as clean as they come. He was Team Canada’s best defender at the Hlinka and was a finalist for both AJHL MVP and Top Defenseman.
39 G Mike DiPietro

Windsor Spitfires, OHL

6’0, 200 | 6/9/99

I’ll admit that I’m playing favorites by making this Spitfire the first goalie picked from an uber-talented crop of backstops. There’s a lot to love about DiPietro’s game — smart, cat-like quickness and a fierce competitor. He doesn’t have ideal height for a modern-day NHL goalie, but he makes up for it with perfect positioning and net awareness.
40 RHD Cale Fleury

Kootenay Ice, WHL

6’1, 201 | 11/19/98

There’s really no other way to say it — Fleury was the best defenseman on an absolutely putrid team. He’s a strong-skater puck mover who loves to hit and can shoulder any tough assignment. He’s a good man-to-man defender thanks to his quick feet and what seems like a pure hatred towards backing in and allowing opponents to gain the zone cleanly.
41 LW Maxime Comtois

Victoriaville Tigres, QMJHL

6’2, 200 | 1/8/99

Once considered a surefire lottery pick, Comtois saw his production drop from 60 points in his draft-1 season to 51, and he played far too undisciplined and out of control. Still, the Canes with their seemingly endless supply of 2017 picks can take a gamble on a heavy-hitting power forward who has a nice touch around the net and can be entrusted in any zone at any time.
42 C Marcus Davidsson

Djugardens, SHL

6’0, 191 | 11/18/98

A speedy pivot and an absolute assassin near the net, Davidsson gets too much grief for having a poor international tournament resume. He’s always been one of Sweden’s better prospects for the 2017 draft, and he played practically an entire season with Djugarden’s SHL club, potting five goal and nine points while average under 12 minutes a game. Davidsson’s instincts from the good side of the red line are excellent, but he’s not all that physical.
43 G Jake Oettinger

Boston Univ. Terriers, HE

6’4, 212 | 12/18/98

For all the talent the Jets have assembled, it’s quite clear  that goaltending is their Achilles heel. Oettinger as a freshman showed remarkable poise and maturity by leading the Terriers to the Frozen Four. And though he had the benefit of a deep, talented roster to his 12 o’clock, he’s shown the technical know-how and physical attributes worthy of an early-2nd round pick.
44 RW Kole Lind

Kelowna Rockets, WHL

6’1, 178 | 10/16/98

The Flyers love feisty players than can score, and Lind plays with the kind of bite that will endear him to the Philly faithful. He can play either wing as a pass/shot threat and looks quite comfortable along the wall on the power play, where he collected 21 of his 57 assists. Lind has very good speed and an excellent shot.
45 C Aleksi Heponiemi

Swift Current Broncos, WHL

5’10, 147 | 10/9/98

Puck wizard with ridiculous hands whose 86 points tied Nico Hischier for most points by a first-year CHL import. He’s an accurate passer who can create scoring chances no matter the situation, and 38 of his 58 assists were primary. Getting stronger should be an off-season priority.
46 G Maksim Zhukov

Green Bay Gamblers, USHL

6’2, 187 | 7/22/99

A big-bodied Russian import who is quick, calm and decisive, Zhukov ranked first among all USHL first-year eligibles with four shutouts. He’s uncommitted at the moment but should be courted by several CHL teams. Zhukov is advanced for his age, and his transition from Russia to North American has been relatively seamless. He’s quite aggressive and isn’t married to the blue paint, and his net awareness is excellent. It’s rare to see such a young goalie be completely aware of his surroundings.
47* LHD Robin Salo

Vassan Sport, Liiga

6’1, 187 | 10/13/98

On the surface, Salo looks like a meat-and-potatoes defender who focuses more on his side of the redline. But he loves to shoot the puck, and as a teenager led all Sport defensemen with a +53 shot differential. He has a hard shot, good size and a developing offensive game.
48* LW Jason Robertson

Kingston Frontenacs, OHL

6’2, 192 | 7/22/99

If skating wasn’t such a big deal, Robertson might have been a lock for the top five. He had an outstanding season for Kingston, leading the Frontenacs in both regular season and playoff scoring. His soft hands and quick release helped him tally 42 goals in 68 games — 29 at even strength — but he is far from a garbage-goal scorer. Robertson is a smart winger who not only knows where to positioning himself, but remain there regardless of the beating he’s taking.
49* G Cayden Primeau

Lincoln Stars, USHL

6’3, 181 | 8/11/99

Even an average second half shouldn’t stop Primeau from remaining high on every NHL team’s goalie board. The son of former NHLer Keith Primeau, Cayden is a New Jersey native with size and competitiveness. Every goalie is a lengthy project, but Primeau’s smarts, bloodlines and intimidating silhouette make him an immediate option once the first few goalies are taken.
50* LHD Max Gildon

U.S. U18, NTDP

6’3, 191 | 5/17/99

Just when it seemed that the third or fourth round would have been a best-case scenario, this Texas puck rusher churned out an excellent second half that culminated with a dominant U18 world championship. Gildon is a graceful skater with size, a long stride, soft hands and a booming shot, and he seemed to address the turnover-itis that plagued him the first half of the season. His upside could land him in the first round.
51 LW Ostap Safin

Sparta Prague, Extraliga

6’4, 191 | 2/11/99

A skilled power forward who skates well and has a very good shot, Safin checks a lot of blocks for what you’d want in a modern-day power forward. One aspect of his game that stands out is the way he can maintain balance and control the puck while extending his lengthy reach. Safin has extremely strong wrists and fires a hard shot with a quick release whether off balance or from his back foot. He’s looked good at several international tournaments, including the U18s where he collected four points in five games.
52* G Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen

HPK U20, Jr. A SM-Liiga

6’4, 196 | 3/9/99

Luukonen was simply too good for Finland’s junior circuit, posting excellent numbers and leading HPK U20 to the Jr. A SM-Liiga postseason title. His international play this season has been hit or miss, but it was Luukkonen who slammed the door in Grand Forks to help the Finns with the 2016 U18s. He’s got prototypical size but is far quicker than most tall goalies who tend to struggle with post-save recovery
53* LW Isaac Ratcliffe

Guelph Storm, OHL

6’6, 200 | 2/15/99

Ratcliffe bounced back from a injury that shelved him for nearly a 1/3 of last season with a team-best 28 goals — 21 that came at even strength. He’s a man-child who needs to fill out, but at 6’6 his skating looks anything but awkward. And I wouldn’t classify him as just a goal scoring winger. Ratcliffe has a pretty solid understanding of the offensive zone and can make nifty plays that turn into scoring chances.
54* RW Ivan Lodnia

Erie Otters, OHL

5’10, 182 | 8/31/99

Goal-scoring puck magnet whose hard work and instincts helps him work his way into multiple quality opportunities. Lodnia’s stats are respectable (57 points in 66 games), but keep in mind he was fighting for ice time with Erie’s top line of Alex DeBrincat, Dylan Strome and Taylor Raddysh who combined for nearly 130 goals. Lodnia is just days from being eligible for the 2018 NHL Draft, meaning he has close to a full extra year of development over some of the top 2017 prospects.
55*  LHD Noel Hoefenmayer

Ottawa 67’s, OHL

6’1, 191 | 1/6/99

The decision to let 2015 draftees Carl Neill and Tate Olson go unsigned popped a big hole in Vancouver’s blueline prospect depth, and a stocky, sturdy playmaker like Hoefenmayer is a good piece to help plug it up. He’s got a cannon from the point and loves to create off the rush, even if his skating isn’t anything to write home about. A risky pick but reward could be pretty high.
56 RHD Luke Martin

Michigan Wolverines, Big-10

6’4, 216 | 9/20/98

Big-bodied defender with good mobility who was leaned on to help carry a young Michigan team. A former NTDPer, Martin is a quick-strike outlet passer and is used on the power play for his booming shot. His strengths that will get him drafted high, however, are positioning and sealing off puck rushers. Arguably the best one-on-one defender in the draft.
57  RW Stelio Mattheos

Brandon Wheat Kings, WHL

6’1, 192 | 6/14/99

High-energy power forward with a very good shot and excellent speed who got caught trying to do too much for an undermanned Brandon squad. Mattheos is very quick on his feet and plays an in-your-face, heavy style that will endear him to the Second City faithful.
58*  LW Ivan Chekhovich

Baie-Comeau Drakkar, QMJHL

5’10, 177 | 1/4/99

It should mean something when you’re asked to carry a team in your first season in North America. And that’s exactly what this Russian playmaker did, leading an inexperience Baie-Comeau squad to the playoffs as their leading goal scorer and point producer. A quick skater with excellent vision, Chekhovich was outstanding for Team Russia, compiling 22 points in 16 combined tournament games.
59  C Mason Shaw

Medicine Hat Tigers, WHL

5’8, 180 | 11/3/98

One of the draft’s top power play specialists can also kill penalties and boast a strong, accurate shot. Shaw isn’t big and won’t blow past defenders, but his IQ inside the offensive zone and ability to thread the needle makes him a good value pick late in the second round. He shouldn’t be overlooked on draft day like Marc Savard, who like Shaw was a big-time scorer in the CHL but got dinged for his size.
60*  C Alexei Lipanov

MVD Balashikha, VHL

6’0, 165 | 8/17/99

Lipanov’s dealt with injury issues, but a star performance in December’s WJAC and a solid showing in the VHL should offset any possible health concerns. Lipanov is as good a passer as he is a shooter, and his ability to create or finish plays while speeding up ice makes him a legitimate top-line threat with point-producing potential.
61 C Sasha Chemlevski

Ottawa 67’s, OHL

6’0, 190 | 6/9/99

There are nights when this American-born pivot takes complete control of a game, and others when he looks like a complete passenger. The skills are undeniable, however, as Chmelevski boasts a deadly shot and can offer help on the power play. He’s also strong in the dot, winning over 55 percent of his draws.
62* LW/C Jesper Boqvist

Brynas, SHL

6’0, 180 | 10/30/98

The stats are really impressive – almost half a point per game through two upper tiers of Swedish hockey. While I can make a strong case for a roadrunner like Boqvist to be closer to the first round, his marginal all-around game and over-confidence with the puck makes him somewhat of a gamble. But this kid has game-breaking skills and can beat goalies just about any way imaginable.
Round 3
Team Pick Player Notes
63* G Keith Petruzzelli

Muskegon Lumberjacks, USHL

6’5, 180 | 2/9/99

Petruzzelli, a Quinnipiac recruit, had a phenomenal close out to his season, yielding two goals or less in 10 of his final 12 starts. Big, athletic and always aware of where the net is, he’s just one of the many talented backstops available in this draft. Petruzzelli played on Team USA’s silver medal-winning Hlinka team and was the Team East MVP at the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in January.
64 C Jaret Anderson-Dolan

Spokane Chiefs, WHL

5’11, 188 | 9/12/99

A lackluster U18 world championship likely slows down the hype train for this two-way center who teamed with Kailer Yamamoto to form one of the WHL’s top one-two punches. The eye test reveals a kid who benefitted from centering a sublime talent like the aforementioned Yamamoto, but it was Anderson-Dolan who did a lot of the dirty work, especially in the defensive zone. Plays a game similar to the New York Rangers’ Derek Stepan.
65* RHD Artyom Minulin

Swift Current, WHL

6’2, 197 | 10/1/98

Big-bodied puck mover with a wicked shot who did a solid job covering up for risk taker extraordinaire Max Lajoie on the Broncos’ top defense pair. He relies heavily on strength and an extremely long stick to gain possession rather than make proper reads, but I liked the way he sensed and reacted to danger when Lajoie or Colby Sissons were taking the puck deep. An excellent point man for the power play.
66 C Jack Studnicka

Oshawa Generals, OHL

6’1, 171 | 2/18/99

A strong second half should give this underrated two-way pivot a bump on most draft boards, as Studnicka combined to tally 38 points in his last 31 games between the regular season and OHL playoffs. He didn’t look too shabby at the U18’s either, potting three goals in three games. Studicka skates well, has a hard shot and plays physical, but he’s capable of shaking and baking with the puck and hitting an open man at the last possible second.
67* C Adam Ruzicka

Sarnia Sting, OHL

6’4, 202 | 5/11/99

Ruzicka’s first season in North America began terribly, but the physical center hit a nice groove in the second half and finished with 24 points in his last 28 games. He tied for the most ES points by an OHL rookie (34 in 61 games) and his 171 shots ranked second among Ontario League newcomers. He’s got a very good shot and continues to find ways to get open despite being one of the bigger player on the ice.
68 LHD Mikey Anderson

Waterloo Blackhawks, USHL

6’0, 197 | 5/25/99

Quick, confident defender who can initiate a successful breakout in a variety of ways. Anderson is a strong skater with excellent lateral mobility who uses his speed to escape opponents. He can feather accurate passes into open ice while drawing multiple opponents. A solid body checker who can excel in either the finesse game or the slogging match, Anderson is headed to Minnesota-Duluth after two successful seasons in the USHL. He can be trusted with critical roles on both the penalty kill and on the power play.
  69* G Stuart Skinner

Lethbridge Hurricanes, WHL

6’3, 205 | 11/1/98

A workhorse in goal who was one of the busiest netminders in the CHL, Skinner’s numbers didn’t improve from last season’s with the increased responsibility. The real story, however, shows a goaltender quick enough to handle lots of odd-man rushes and can handle the pressure when the ice is tilted towards him. He was the best goalie at the CHL Top Prospects Game and should be a candidate to tend goal for Canada at the 2018 WJC.
70 RW Jonas Ronbjerg

Vaxjo J20, Superelit

6’2, 187 | 3/31/99

Any organization could use a kid that provides both skill and effort wrapped into a large frame. The Denmark native is an incredibly smart player and a competitor who doesn’t back down. He has very good vision and looks quite comfortable under pressure with the walls caving in. You have to figure Ronbjerg will get tougher to play against once he adds more muscle, and he is a very good skater who makes high-end plays off the rush.
71* C Morgan Frost

Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds, OHL

5’11, 170 | 5/14/99

Two-way playmaking center with good speed who is constantly in motion. His puck skills are solid and he’s a low maintenance threat — 35 of his 42 points during 5v5 were primary, but only three primary assists were with the man advantage. Still, he has escapability and rarely throws the puck away. He’ll have to get stronger on his skates, and he benefitted from playing on a deep team with weapons up and down the lineup.
72 LW Alex Formenton

London Knights, OHL

6’2, 165 | 9/13/99

Having incredible speed, length and a birthdate just shy of 2018 eligibility makes this an easy home run swing for the Canes, who last year drafted Formenton’s teammate Janne Kuokkanen in the second round. He plays scrappy and is a bit of an agitator — two things that served him well on the penalty kill. Recording 34 points as a bottom-six rookie on a good team is more promising than alarming.
73 LHD Dmitri Samorukov

Guelph Storm, OHL

6’2, 180 | 6/16/99

It was definitely a tale of two seasons for this heavy-hitting Russian import, who played the first half of his first North American campaign as if he wanted it to be his last. He capped the year with an impressive U18 tournament, finishing tied for third in defenseman scoring. He can skate, play the body and wield a cannon of a shot, and he is one of the few rearguards who intimidates on or off the puck. Samorukov’s puck management and slot coverage are areas he needs to work on, but it was nice to see him regain the form that made him a preseason first round pick.
74 LW Alexei Toropchenko


6’3, 187 | 6/25/99

Toropchenko is super-talented scoring winger who uses his speed and length to cause matchup problems. Spending most of his draft year in the MHL allowed him to maintain consistency, especially in the second half. He can make plays off the rush and is an inside player with a devastating change of pace. As boom-or-bust as he seems, don’t be fooled by his poor international stats (three points in 16 games) — Toropchenko has game-breaking skills with top-line upside.
75 C/RW Evan Barratt

U.S. U18, NTDP

6’0, 188 | 2/18/99

One of the better two-way forwards in the draft in terms of having a complete understanding of duties and responsibilities in the defensive zone. A Keystone Stater from Bristol, Barratt is headed to Penn State in the fall. He’s a very good playmaker who produces at both even strength and on the power play, but his speed, relentless forechecking and sticky fingers should land him a job at the highest level.
76 LW Joel Teasdale

Blainville-Boisbriand, QMJHL

5’11, 190 | 3/11/99

Gritty winger with decent puck skills who for most of the second half of the season played on the Armada top line alongside Blue Jackets’ prospect Pierre-Luc Dubois. More of a playmaker than a finisher, Teasdale is a thick, strong forward who battles and competes in any zone. His skating is average but he takes direct routes to the net regardless if a lane is clear or not. Teasdale’s never-quit attitude led to a lot of scoring chances and goals that you won’t find attached to his name in a box score.
77 C/W Austen Keating

Ottawa 67’s, OHL

6’0, 170 | 3/7/99

The stats are pretty impressive for a player who seemed to fly under the pre-draft radar for most of the season. Keating picked up 32 primary points during 5v5, which is more than Isaac Ratcliffe, Ivan Lodnia, Alex Formenton, Nate Schnarr, and he more than doubled what teammate Sasha Chmelevski did at even strength. He isn’t the most graceful of skaters, but watching him wear opponents down and making neat plays off an aggressive forecheck almost makes up for it. Keating is a smart player with the puck and shows patience on his zone entries, keeping his head up and timing his passes almost to perfection.
78* LHD Nate Knoepke

U.S. U18, NTDP

6’3, 202 | 4/8/98

Knoepke, a Minnesota Gophers commit, offers a nice blend of size, speed and smarts. He’s a very good skater and solid positionally, spending most of the season on Team USA’s first power play unit. Granted, he plays second fiddle to partner David Farrance when it comes to the man advantage. But he has an excellent shot — especially off the pass — and beats pressure with accurate stretch passes.
79* LW Matthew Strome

Hamilton Bulldogs, OHL

6’4, 206 | 1/6/99

Transport Strome back 20 or so drafts and he’s a possible lottery pick. He has the size, hands, shot, finishing touch and smarts to do whatever he wants with the puck. The problem lies within his feet — he’s neither graceful or quick. Still, he was a heck of a goal scorer, as 24 of his 34 tallies came at even strength. Although he’s not flashy or creative, he finds the open man and connects with accuracy,
80* C Nikita Anokhovsky

Loko Yaroslavl, MHL

6’0, 187 | 3/22/99

Strong power center with good speed, a wicked shot and excellent hand-eye coordination who saw his ice time and level of responsibility increase as the season wore on. He was more of a support player for Team Russia on the international stage, but Loko relied on him to kill penalties and used his faceoff prowess late in games. Anokhovsky is a load to handle along the boards and seems to always come away with the puck.
81* LHD Dylan Samberg

Hermantown, HS-MN

6’3, 190 | 1/24/99

Physical blueliner who netted the Class A championship overtime winner with a slapper from the point. Thick, mobile and aggressive, Samberg is committed to the University of Minnesota-Duluth. He’s the complete package — logged top-pair minutes and anchored both the power play and penalty kill. Samberg can be a devastating open-ice hitter but goes for the kill shot without sacrificing much in positioning. The combination of skating and physicality, plus a penchant for big game theatrics, could justifiably translate to this early a nod on Draft Day.
82 LW Jonah Gadjovich

Owen Sound, OHL

6’2, 209 | 10/12/98

Sturdy power winger with average speed but a willingness to take a beating while traversing direct routes to the net. Gadjovich’s stick is always in the right position and he makes a habit out of getting to the spot he wants and looking to tip shots home. His hands are quick enough to corral shots off the end boards and bring the puck on his stick for stuff-in attempts, and he’s quite difficult to move off the puck in one-on-one situations. His lack of speed makes him an easy target for a double team effort, but he’s so strong it makes most of these attempts futile. Gadjovich led all CHL first-year eligibles in goals (46) and power play goals (17).
83* C Georgi Ivanov

Loko Yaroslavl, MHL

6’0, 189 | 9/25/98

Versatile two-way center with leadership qualities who last year played occasionally on German Rubtsov’s wing as a member of the old Russian under-18 program. He plays bigger than he’s listed and is tough to move from in front of the net. And while finishing is one of his strengths, he’s a solid option for critical draws and late-game situations. Overall speed is pretty good, and he has an excellent shot and release.
84 W/C Mackenzie Entwistle

Hamilton Bulldogs, OHL

6’3, 175 | 7/14/99

Hard-nosed bruiser with a nice touch around the net who comes across as a coach’s dream. Only 25 points in 54 games, but 20 came at even strength. Additionally, Entwistle led Team Canada in scoring with four goals and seven points at the U18 words. He’s got excellent balance and is tough to knock off the puck, which comes in handy since his speed is about average. Consider him to potentially be one of those all-important “glue guys”, which in a thin draft you take and run.
85 RHD Jarret Tyszka

Seattle Thunderbirds, WHL

6’2, 190 | 3/15/99

The stats say this blueliner didn’t do much creating — Tyszka recorded only two primary assists at 5v5 in 54 games. But he is a very good skater who displays puck poise and courage in the face of a tough forecheck. His footwork is solid and he reacts to directional changes very well. You’ll rarely see him get beaten to the outside, and he’s strong enough to knock an opponent off balance with a legal shove or push. Smart with his step-ups and poke checks, Tyszka doesn’t back in and makes you earn your zone entries. He has an above-average shot but played on a power play where he wasn’t much of an option.
86  C Patrick Khodorenko

Michigan State, Big-10

6’0, 206 | 10/13/98

The Spartans were bottom feeders that were killed in conference play, but Khodorenko’s heavy game, improved compete level and touch around the net landed him on their top line — no small feat for a freshman. A graduate of the NTDP, he once was considered a possible first rounder. Khodorenko is good on draws and has above-average speed for a power forward that likes to play physical. He’s a very good project pick but his physical maturity and puck skills should make his NHL path shorter.
87 C Jake Leschyshyn

5’11, 185 | 3/10/99

Regina Pats, WHL 

It’s never easy being a top draft prospect on a veteran-laden powerhouse gunning for a Memorial Cup. But Leschyshyn made the most of his limited time in Regina, netting 40 points — 20 in 5v5 — in 47 games. He’s a very good skater who plays aggressive and physical, but is versatile enough to play in the top six and contribute. He creates off of hard work and anticipation, and he’s a threat to score on the penalty kill.
88*  RW Fabian Zetterlund

Farjestad J20, Superelit

5’11, 195 | 8/25/99

Zetterlund is a pure goal scorer with a deadly shot — possibly one of the best among his draft peers. He contributed 16 points over 20 combined international games, including five points in seven contests at the recent U18 world championship. He maintains a low center of gravity and on the forecheck keeps his stick positioned properly. This kid might not get many Selke votes but he makes you pay for mistakes.
89*  RW Linus Nyman

Kingston Frontenacs, OHL

5’9, 158 | 7/11/99

Crafty playmaker with speed who clicked with scorer Jason Robertson on Kingston’s top line. Nyman can be too much of a perimeter player, but he’s done very well for his native Finland in international competition. He isn’t big and could stand to work on his balance, but Nyman is incredibly shifty and doesn’t waste time when a teammate is open. His 50 points led all first-year OHL forwards.
90  C Morgan Geekie (OA)

Tri-City Americans, WHL

6’2, 178 | 7/20/98

Overage pivot with excellent vision and puck skills to make any linemate better. Geekie is an average skater, and it seemed as though Seattle keyed on his lack of footspeed during its first-round sweep of the Americans in the WHL playoffs. Not being quick enough to react to or elude multiple checkers is something I didn’t see during the regular season, so maybe chalk it up to simply a bad four games. Nevertheless, he’s too silky smooth and fine with his passes to overlook.
91*  C Lucas Elvenes

Rogle J20, Superelit

6’0, 173 | 8/18/99

Smart two-way forward with good speed who was a mainstay for Team Sweden at several international events. He was a reliable scorer for Rogle, and quite often he was the only forward contributing in all three zones. His speed and tenacity causes havoc on the forecheck, but Elvenes is one of the few draft eligibles who can make bang-bang plays immediately after throwing their weight around.
92 RHD Josh Brook

Moose Jaw Warriors, WHL

6’2, 185 | 6/17/99

Solid all-around defender who was one of Canada’s better players at the 2016 Hlinka and a rock on Moose Jaw’s back end. A native Manitoban who went fourth overall in the 2014 WHL bantam draft, Brook doesn’t blow you away with any one particular skill, but he provides consistency in all situations, especially on special teams.
93 LW Samuel Bucek

Shawinigan Cataractes, QMJHL

6’2, 215 | 12/19/98

The puck skills are undeniable for this strong-skating Slovakian power winger, who when engaged can be both unstoppable and entertaining. But like most young power forwards, he lacks the wherewithal to give it his all every shift. He’s as good a playmaker as he is a shooter, and Bucek displays obvious confidence when he controlling the puck in the offensive zone. Putting him in the third round is more blind faith than absolute confidence, but in this kind of draft, teams will have no problem gambling on boom-or-bust types.
Round 4
Team Pick Player Notes
94 G Ian Scott

Prince Albert Raiders, WHL

6’3, 172 | 01/11/99

Scott is another blue chipper within a pretty deep pool of draft-eligible goalies. He’s your standard butterfly goalie, but he’s more on the aggressive side in terms of challenging shots and breakaways. Scott is a good puck handler and can act like a third defenseman on dump-ins, and he’ll even clear the puck himself during the penalty kill. Like most goalies, Scott will gobble up shots as long as he can see them, but his puck tracking and timing off of shot release has been much better in the second half. Keep in mind that Prince Albert was a horrendous offensive team, so rarely did he have the luxury of a lead to protect.
95 C/W Rickard Hugg 

Leksand J20, Superelit

5’10, 179 | 01/18/99

Two-way Swedish forward who is versatile enough to play in any situation at any time. Hugg is a selfless, responsible player with good puck skills and the ability to make plays on either his forehand or backhand. He’s got quick hands and a very good shot, and any coach will be happy with both his speed and balance. He was one of Sweden’s better forwards at several international tournaments, where he was used on the power play and penalty kill.
96* LW Yaroslav Alexeyev

Sherbrooke Phoenix, WHL

5’9, 146 | 01/17/99

Alexeyev is a road runner with superb straight-line speed and the ability to finish or create off the rush. He was a critical piece in Sherbrooke’s lethal power play, using his quickness and strength on the puck to gain the zone and maintain possession. Alexeyev is more of a perimeter player and tries to avoid contact if necessary, but he can play feisty and get under an opponent’s skin.
97 RHD John St. Ivany

Sioux Falls Stampede, USHL

6’2, 197 | 07/22/99

Solid, aggressive two-way defender with size who moves very well and keeps himself engaged at all times. A California native, St. Ivany keeps a tight gap and possesses very good backwards mobility. Quick to the puck, he makes crisp, accurate breakout passes, plus he fires off a very hard slap shot. He’s committed to Yale.
98 C Maxim Marushev

Irbis Kazan, MHL

6’0, 176 | 01/01/99

High-energy center with strength who at this stage is more of a project with potential to be a top-six forward. He’s a strong skater with excellent anticipation and he consistently takes the right routes to the puck. You rarely see him overhandle the puck, and his zone entries are generally clean and not telegraphed. Marushev didn’t produce as much as you’d like, but he plays with his head up and looks to create off board battles rather than habitually playing it safe.
99 C/W Jacob Tortora

U.S. U18, NTDP

5’10, 178 | 2/18/99

Tortora is a quick little playmaker with a ton of offensive flair who with or without the puck is tough to contain. He doesn’t have ideal size, but then again, it’s not 1995. The NHL is embracing the idea of having fans see smaller players with skill rather than plodding brutes with size. Gutsy and strong, the Rochester native is an excellent skater both forward and laterally, and he makes his cut backs look effortless. Tortora is very good on the cycle and will pay a price for working the puck from down low into the slot area.
100 W/C Dominik Lakatos (OA)

Spruce Grove Saints, AJHL

6’0, 178 | 04/08/97

Lakatos is a player who competes and looks much bigger than his listed measurements. He doubled his point production the year after being named the top rookie in the Czech Extraliga, and his heavy, physical style is suited for North America. He can play center or wing, and is dangerous from any area inside the hash marks.
101 RHD Filip Westerlund

Frolunda, SHL

5’11, 180 | 04/17/99

Poised two-way blueliner with upper-body strength who can be leaned on for top-pairing situations. Westerlund is quick and agile with exceptional edge work, making him one of the better draft eligibles at not only beating pressure, but making a lightning quick transition from defense to offense. He can attack open ice in a variety of ways – with speed, hard stretch passes or methodical puck control. Westerlund can be flashy, at times to a fault, as he is prone to the occasional turnover.
102* LHD Kasper Kotkansalo

Sioux Falls Stampede, USHL

6’2, 198 | 11/16/98

Kotkansalo is a poised shutdown defender with size and mobility who isn’t flashy but makes subtle plays to beat a forecheck. He will step up in the neutral zone and take the puck beyond the opposing blue line, and on occasion drops down to keep a play alive rather than create or execute a scoring chance. He doesn’t reveal much in creativity and his shot power is average, but his job at Boston University next fall will center on shutting down top lines.
103 C Tyler Steenbergen (OA)

Swift Current Broncos, WHL

5’10, 188 | 01/07/98

Underrated all-around center who last year inexplicably went undrafted in his first look. Steenbergen is a quick, confident skater with a great shot whose 51 goals tied him for the WHL lead. He owns a nice collection of shots to score, and he’s sturdy enough to maintain balance as he takes the puck to the cage with confidence.
104 G Dayton Rasmussen

Chicago Steel, USHL

6’2, 203 | 11/04/98

Don’t be too alarmed this athletic netminder is on his third USHL team in three years. A University of Denver recruit with stints on Team USA’s 2015 Hlinka and 2016 WJAC squads, Rasmussen checks a lot of blocks for a teenage goalie — he’s quick, tall and pretty composed when things get crowded. He’s still growing into his comfort level around the crease, and there are times he loses track and overcommits to one side.
105 LW Mick Messner

Madison Capitols, USHL

5’11, 193 | 04/20/99

One of the top draft-eligible defensive forwards who understands how and when to attack puck carriers. Messner, a Wisconsin recruit, is relentless on the puck and has quick enough hands to steal it from unassuming defenders with regularity. His two-way play and clutch scoring proved invaluable to Team USA’s successful Hlinka run, and he was their best penalty killer. He was Madison’s second-leading scorer with 31 points — 27 during 5v5 — and fired off a team-best 139 shots in 55 games.
106 RW Kyle Olson

Tri-City Americans, WHL

5’10, 161 | 05/22/99

A gritty two-way forward who stepped into the void for Tri-City following Michael Rasmussen’s injury, Olson parlayed a strong second half into a spot on Team Canada’s U18 worlds squad. He recorded 47 points during 5v5, including 23 primary assists in 70 games. Olson can play center or wing and battles hard for the puck. His playmaking ability and vision keep opponents honest, and the fact that he uses both immediately after contact makes him a real value pick in the middle rounds.
107* LHD David Kvasnicka

Plzen, Extraliga

5’9, 172 | 04/14/99

Kvasnicka has the physical tools to survive in today’s game — he’s fast, shoots hard and makes crisp, accurate stretch passes. He pivots well in both directions and is quite agile as he speeds around opponents during end-to-end rushes. Kvasnicka, however, can be both sloppy with the puck and with his decision making. He suffered a shoulder injury at the WJC but healed up in time to run the Czech power play at the U18 words. Not bad in his own end in terms of positioning.
108* LW Pavel Koltygin

Drummondville Voltigeurs, QMJHL

6’0, 195 | 02/17/99

Powerful goal scorer from the center ice position who makes the most of his opportunities. A native of Moscow, Kolytgin doesn’t possess blinding speed, but his hands are soft enough to corral any kind of pass while he’s in full flight, giving off the appearance that he’s traveling faster than he is. He is strong on his skates and his edgework is fantastic, and he can fire off a quick, accurate shot while extended or fading away. Koltygin is a responsible player who understands the ins and outs of all three zones and is very good on faceoffs.
109 LHD Jacob Paquette

Kingston Frontenacs, OHL

6’3, 200 | 05/26/99

Paquette ranks up there among the best one-on-one defenders in the draft. He’s smart with his reads and positioning, and he’s fast enough to quickly cover gaps or make a quick turn to interdict a pass. Paquette plays it safe and is unimaginative with the puck, but his size and above-average speed combine to form a solid foundation to build on.
110 C Nate Schnarr

Guelph Storm, OHL

6’3, 180 | 02/25/99

Big-bodied, three-zone center with promise who battled through bouts with inconsistency and often waits for things to happen in the offensive zone. Schnarr has very soft hands, moves fairly well and brandishes a wicked shot, albeit somewhat inaccurate. The concern moving forward, however, is an inability to create chances from lengthy periods with the puck — only 11 assists in 54 games during 5v5. Nevertheless, he is a good penalty killer and take and win big draws.
111 G Stephen Dhillon (OA)

Niagara Ice Dogs, OHL

6’4, 186 | 09/14/98

Calling this native Buffalonian a man on an island is a bit of an understatement — no CHL goalie can even fathom the kind of blitzkrieg Dhillon faces on a nightly basis. Want perspective? Not only did Dhillon lead all CHL backstops in shots faced (2312) and saves (2114), but the guy in second is almost 300 shots short of equaling him. Dhillion has faced 40 or more shots in 28 of his 59 appearances, and only three times after playing a full contest has he seen less than 30.
112* RW Lane Zablocki

Red Deer Rebels, WHL

6’0, 190 | 12/27/98

Bulldog of a right wing who has very good speed and loves to crash and bang, especially around the net. He was one of Red Deer’s best players following a midseason trade from Regina, averaging almost a point per game and scoring six goals in the Rebels’ crushing opening-round loss to Lethbridge. Zablocki has a world-class wrist shot and can beat goalies from just about anywhere in the offensive zone. He’s no stranger to dropping the gloves, and he even earned time on Red Deer’s top line.
113 LW Arnaud Durandeau

Halifax Mooseheads, QMJHL

5’11, 183 | 01/14/99

Offensive-minded winger with good speed and a very good shot who likes to agitate and cause mayhem on the forecheck. Durandeau isn’t physically imposing or intimidating, but he seems partial to sticking his hand in the beehive regardless of the score or game situation. A power play specialist whose puck skills are solid, he is adept at stickhandling and making crisp, accurate passes. Rarely would you find him fiddling around with the puck for the sake of being fancy or showy — Durandeau is calm on zone entries and will hold onto the puck while waiting for more options to get involved in the play.
114* LHD Radim Salda

HR Kravlove, Extraliga U20

6’1, 176 | 02/18/99

Physical but low-key defender who can play on a top pairing and use strength and physicality to gain control of the puck. Salda ia an excellent penalty killer and does a good job reacting to plays off the cycle. He’s got good speed and a heavy, accurate shot, but his puck skills are pretty much limited outside of the occasional home run or slap pass. He can be used in any situation at either even strength or on special teams thanks to the ability to maintain composure under pressure and anticipate where the puck will end up.
115 RW Nick Henry

Regina Pats, WHL

5’11, 191 | 2/15/99

Opportunistic winger with an excellent shot who causes a lot of problems with his forechecking and is physical during loose puck battles. Henry spent parts of the season as the beneficiary of Sam Steel’s playmaking, but hammering the puck the way Henry can should be a good enough explanation. He seemed to have a general idea of what his role was as either a scorer or depth player on Regina’s powerhouse roster that was loaded with skill.
116 LHD Markus Phillips

Owen Sound Attack, OHL

6’0, 202 | 03/21/99

A real wild card in this particular draft because the skills he displays on the ice, notably his speed and shot power, reveal a defender who should challenge for a spot in the first round. Phillips played a key role in Owen Sound’s dominance, but his issues with puck management and wandering away from the slot are what keep him in the middle portion of this draft. Still, he’s extremely quick and agile, using exceptional footwork to keep pace with onrushing opponents of any size or speed.
117  LW Kirill Slepets

Loko Yaroslavl, MHL

5’10, 165 | 04/06/99

A slippery offensive winger with good speed, solid puck skills and a soft touch around the net, Slepets was a top-six forward on a deep Loko squad that was bounced early in the playoffs. He’s skinny and not much of a physical presence, but he’s very good in close quarters and can stickhandle his way to the net. Slepets is not a gamebreaker but he’ll makes the most of his chances and elevate the puck from in tight.
118* RW Brannon McManus

Chicago Steel, USHL

5’9, 176 | 07/05/99

A talented wing with an excellent shot, McManus has been nothing short of amazing since an early season trade to Chicago, picking up 27 points in his last 33 games. He is a very good skater who uses deception and a bag full of moves to lull defenders into a state of confusion. A native of California, he’ll play collegiately at Minnesota next season.
119  LHD Nick Leivermann (OA)

Bloomington Thunder, USHL

5’11, 194 | 09/14/98

An overager by only two days, Leivermann was Eden Prairie’s on-ice general during their wire-to-wire dominance of the Minnesota high school circuit. And though they lost a heartbreaker to Grand Rapids in the state semis, it was Leivermann’s take-charge attitude and puck rushing that helped his mates get as far as they did. It certainly helped having the luxury of deferring to a star forward like Casey Mittelstadt, but the two complimented each other perfectly. He’s a fluid skater who is patient with the puck, and he has no problem taking it right up the gut of a zone defense from as far back as his own goal line.
120  C Jakub Lacka

Trinec Ocealari, Extraliga U20

5’11, 176 | 11/20/98

Finesse players should be pretty popular in this kind of draft regardless of size, and Lacka is one of the better skill forwards who stand under six feet tall. He is a very good playmaker, especially around the goal. Time and again you’ll find Lacka saucering or banking passes right on the tape, and he’s been involved in several highlight-reel plays. He and Patrik Hrehorcak had chemistry on Trinec’s top line, and the duo were the leading Slovakian-born scorers in the circuit.
121*  C Alexandre Texier

Grenoble, France

6’0, 187 | 09/13/99

A lightning quick French teen who plays significant minutes in the French senior league, Texier is a dynamic offensive talent who is mature and can handle playing against older competition. You have to go back to the late 1980’s and former St. Louis Blues prospect Philippe Bozon to find a teenager from the French league with this kind of NHL potential. Texier is an excellent skater who can handle the puck and make plays off the rush.
122  C Jordy Bellerive

Lethbridge Hurricanes, WHL

5’10, 196 | 05/02/99

The second overall pick in the 2014 WHL bantam draft came into his own in 2017, placing third in goals (27) and fourth in points (56) on a strong Hurricanes team. Quick, aggressive and physical, Bellerive is very good at protecting the puck and making plays off of lengthy possessions. Nineteen of his 27 goals came at even strength.
123 LW Patrik Hrehorcak

Trinec Ocealari, Extraliga U20

5’10, 178 | 03/18/99

Slippery sniper with a a soft set of hands and excellent instincts in the offensive zone. Hrehorcak has an excellent shot and release and doesn’t hesitate to display them. He was one of the top scorers in the Czech junior circuit despite playing in just his first year of draft eligibility. Far from being classified as a power forward, Hrehorcak gets involved in physical play and doesn’t back down from a challenge.
124* RW Austin Pratt

Red Deer Rebels, WHL

6’2, 226 | 07/30/99

Pratt is a big-bodied power forward who loves to mix it up and put pressure on defenders. His skating is average, but he makes up for it with an active stick and sound instincts. Pratt is a reliable two-way player who rarely gets caught wandering. Once the puck enters the opposing zone, he goes right for the low slot, using his lower body strength to gain positioning. Pratt has an underrated wrist shot and he’ll fire it off with quickness. Thirty one of his 34 points were during 5v5.
Round 5
Team Pick Player Notes
125 LHD Jesse Bjugstad

Stillwater, HS-MN

6’2, 178 | 04/04/99

Hard-nosed defender with NHL bloodlines who was a critical piece to Stillwater’s Minnesota high school steamroller. Bjugstad is a two-way blueliner with a rocket of a shot who plays on the top pair and is used for all key matchups. His presence as a No. 1 on the back end reveals a team leader with sound instincts and a suffocating style that in my view was critical to team success. His skating is slightly above average, but he identifies gaps and will fill them in as far down as the opposing goal area.
126* RW Shawn Boudrias 

Gatineau Olympiques, QMJHL

6’4, 197 | 09/14/99

Can you call a former high QMJHL draft pick underrated? In the case of Boudrias, who went 13th overall in 2015, you may want to consider it. He’s big, strong and improved his speed from a year ago, plus he boasts an NHL-level shot. Boudrias seemed invigorated after a midseason trade from Charlottetown to Gatineau, as his production increased from 0.46 to 0.66. Not to mention, 24 of his 33 points came at 5v5, and his 2.02 eP/60 ranked seventh among first-year QMJHL eligibles with 50+ games. Boudrias is a promising 200-foot power forward with legitimate NHL potential who plays hard and battles every shift.
127 C Emil Bemstrom

Leksand J20, Superelit

5’11, 177 | 06/01/99

Hard-nosed speedster who led the J20 Superelit Norra with 20 goals in just 24 games. Bemstrom is a quick, dual-threat forward who can bury the puck as well as he can dish it. He has excellent vision and will utilize hard, accurate cross-ice passes to improve the quality of a scoring chance. His speed allows him to create time and space when the ice seems clogged, but he’s an even bigger threat in open ice – he rarely makes mistakes on odd-man rushes and will not telegraph his next move. Bemstrom controls the puck with speed through the neutral zone and uses accurate lead or drop passes if he senses a defender will vacate a lane. He may not look big, but he is strong enough to come away with pucks during one-on-one battles with bigger opponents. Bemstrom is a relentless forechecker who finishes his checks and can win key faceoffs.
128 RW Isaac Johnson

Des Moines Buccaneers, USHL

6’2, 180 | 01/24/99

Heavy-shooting power forward with a quick release and crafty puck skills who was one of the USHL’s top snipers among rookies. Johnson has size and strength, but its his blistering shot that keeps opponents honest. The puck simply explodes off his stick, and Johnson doesn’t require much backswing to wire it. He’s very good in tight spaces and is constantly in motion with or without the puck, which always seems to find him. The kid has incredibly soft hands, and you’ll see him deaden tough passes or fire bouncing pucks with accuracy. Twelve of his 14 goals were scored during 5v5 and he was third among USHL rookies with a 1.15 eG/60.
129 LHD Jonathan Smart

Regina Pats, WHL

6’0, 197 | 06/01/99

Making Team Canada for the Hlinka probably did more for this puck mover’s draft stock than the way he actually played in the tournament, but he had an otherwise solid season split between two powerhouses in Kelowna and Regina. Smart is a pretty good skater and sound decision maker who takes a hit to move the puck, and a lack of creativity doesn’t mean he’s afraid to handle the puck. He was used on the penalty kill with success, but his patient approach to puck carrying and a hard shot tells me he should have seen more time on the power play.
130 RHD Leon Gawanke

Cape Breton, QMJHL

6’1,186 | 05/31/99

A Strong-skating power play quarterback with a quick first step and a long stride, Gawanke was Cape Breton’s primary option for generating offense from the blueline. A German import with good size and sound instincts, he was second only to Pierre-Olivier Joseph in points (32) and 5v5 points (19) among all first-year QMJHL blueliners. He wasn’t very effective on the penalty kill, mainly for obvious struggles with slot coverage and getting outmuscled. Still, he is very confident with the puck and loves to shoot — he has a hard, accurate shot with a quick release.
131 RW Michael Pastujov

U.S. U18, NTDP

6’0, 190 | 08/23/99

Tough, gritty scoring winger with a nice touch around the net who had an excellent second half after battling an injury. Pastujov posted 19 points in his final 34 games and combined for 16 points in 11 contests for Team USA between the Hlinka and U18 Worlds. Pastujov, has a quick first step and an excellent shot. Injuries notwithstanding, he’s pretty close to a complete player, and it’s rare to see such a strong lad handle the puck with care while steamrolling through the opposing zone’s dense network of sticks and bodies. He’ll be playing for Michigan next fall.
132 C Noah Cates

Stillwater, HS-MN

6’0, 165 | 02/05/99

The stats are impressive (65 points in 25 games), but there’s more to Cates’s game than just flash and dash. He’s a highly-intelligent puck distributor, but his competitiveness and tenacity on the puck makes him more than your average set-up guy. All that said, you have to get up real early in the morning to stop him, especially if he’s already got the puck across center. Cates has soft hands to handle hard passes and can stickhandle in and around traffic no matter how fast he’s moving. He’s a strong skater with decent speed, but his agility and sharp directional changes make him tough to slow down.
133 RHD Reagan O’Grady

Sudbury Wolves, OHL

6’2, 197 | 12/15/98

Meat-and-potatoes defender with size and an in-it-goes, out-it-goes approach to handling the puck. O’Grady has average speed and decent footwork, but he improved his defense dramatically from the time Kingston made him the 14th overall pick in the 2014 OHL Priority Selection. In terms of puck skills, the most you’re going to get out of him is a spin off a forechecker into a sharp breakout pass. But O’Grady doesn’t seem all that comfortable with the disc in his hands. That doesn’t mean he’s a liability — he plays quite poised and makes good decisions under duress. He just knows his limitations and doesn’t try to be somebody he’s not. He has a decent shot that he will use only if wide open, but again, this kid is more of a stopper at his own blue line or a blanket to smother an opposing cycle.
134* G Olle Eriksson-Ek

Farjestad J20, Superelit

6’2, 183 | 06/22/99

Static Swedish netminder with size who had a terrific year in the Superelit, finishing among the leaders in goals-against average (2.38) and save percentage (.920). He succeeded from an individual standpoint on the international stage, winning silver with the Swedes at the U18 worlds and placing 2nd at the 2016 Hlinka with a .924 save percentage. Eriksson Ek, the younger brother of Minnesota Wild rookie Joel, has a pretty high panic threshold and has very good post-save recovery thanks to his lower-body strength that allows him to vault back into his set. He rarely ventures outside the crease to challenge shooters, but he is active on dump-ins, breaks up centering feeds and is comfortable using the poke check on breakaways or shootout attempts.
135 G Zach Sawchenko (OA)

Moose Jaw Warriors, WHL

6’1, 175 | 12/30/97

A handful of WHL goalies distinguished themselves in 2017, but Sawchenko was the best of the draft-eligible variety. He was passed over last year in his first look of eligibility, but he took the disappointment in stride and finished with a stellar .917 save percentage in 51 games for Moose Jaw. He also saw a ton of rubber, and no CHL goalie who saw 1400 or more shots had a higher save percentage. Already a competent goalie from a technical standpoint, it appeared as if Sawchenko fine-tuned his butterfly to the point where he was gobbling up far more shots than in previous seasons. He’s always been quick and flexible, and now looks more comfortable in his crease.
136 LW/RW Marian Studenic

Hamilton Bulldogs, OHL

6’0, 164 | 10/28/98

Explosive winger with game-changing abilities who followed up a strong rookie season in the Slovak elite Extraliga with an up-and-down North American campaign with Hamilton. Studenic’s skills are undeniable — he is super fast, super agile and super aware. The problem was he couldn’t get a consistent job in the top six or on the power play, so he was forcing things while relegated to a depth role. Still, 14 of his 18 goals and 23 of 30 points came at even strength, and he is good for a couple of great chances a game. One underrated aspect of Studenic’s game is his vision, especially on zone entries.
137 RW Ivan Kozlov

Val-d’Or Foreurs, QMJHL

6’0, 200 | 03/26/99

A mini midseason slump was the lone blemish on this sturdy Russian winger’s rookie resume, as Kozlov was one of the QMJHL’s most opportunistic scorers in terms of ice time and level of responsibility. He’s a strong skater with excellent balance who displays patience and awareness as he crosses center with the puck. Combining Kozlov’s thickness with his pro-level shot reveals a power forward capable of scoring from just about anywhere inside the blue line, and goalies seemed to have difficulty controlling rebounds of his shots. He won’t kill penalties or be on the ice in late-game scenarios, but he plays physical and has success using his strength to overpower opponents during board battles in his own end. Think of Kozlov as a poor man’s Vlad Tarasenko.
138* RHD Martin Bodak

Tappara U20, Jr. A SM-Liiga

6’0, 194 | 11/28/98

Tough to tell what kind of upside this Slovak blueliner has because you rarely see an in-between — he’s either unstoppable or a hot mess. Puck management can be downright poor, albeit sparingly, but he’s outstanding at reacting to and neutralizing chances created by his own mistakes. He’s obviously not some sort of glutton for punishment, as he has stick–to–itiveness and will recover both mentally and tactically from bonehead mistakes. When he’s composed, Bodak has high-end puck skills and can run a power play, using speed, vision and anticipation to enter the zone and help set things up. Defensemen with his skill set are great low-round projects because puck management can be fixed under the right guidance and within the proper system.
139 LHD Oliver Gatz-Nielsen

Herning, Metal Ligaen (Denmark)

6’1, 207 | 10/06/98

Nielsen is a versatile, minute-munching shutdown defender with top-four potential. He consistently takes hits to move the puck to safety and opts for the quickest route to the puck rather than worry about the price he’s going to pay for having his back turned. Nielsen is a smart, poised puck distributor who stays within himself and doesn’t try to be flashy. He can be used as a top option on the penalty kill for shot blocking and quick reaction time to pucks within his immediate area, and he wins most of his 50/50 battles thanks to a long stick that he utilizes in a quick but legal manner.
140 LHD Matt Anderson

Holy Family, HS-MN

5’11, 199 | 04/11/99

Offensive-minded rearguard who excels running a power play but looks for big hits and logs a ton of minutes. Anderson was critical to Holy Family’s success this year, playing in all situations and leading breakouts with either his skating or hard, crisp outlet passes. He plays through pain and doesn’t back down from a challenge. Anderson will play for Minnesota-Duluth.
141 C Calle Miketinac

Frolunda J20, Superelit

5’11, 183 | 04/02/99

Aggressive forward with a non-stop motor and versatility to provide competence to both the power play and penalty kill. Miketinac for a teenager thinks the game at a high level and anticipates where the puck will go, especially on the forecheck. He’s strong on his skates and tough to knock down, and he keeps his head up while controlling the puck and getting mugged from behind. Identifying open or cutting teammates is one of his strong suits.
142* LHD Antoine Crete-Belzile

Blainville-Boisbriand, QMJHL

6’0, 188 | 08/19/99

Oft-injured blueliner with good speed and an above-average command of his position. Crete-Belzile is a heady and poised rearguard who can be counted on to beat a breakout either with his speed or via hard, accurate passes. Things get complicated once he crosses his own blue line, but he’s reliable option to augment a puck mover on a first or middle pairing. He possesses average puck skills in terms of creativity, but he has a very good shot that he uses sparingly. Crete-Belzile is a safe player who isn’t in the business of risk taking in the offensive zone. He’ll pinch to keep a play alive and quickly retreat to his point rather than roll the dice on a carry deep into the corners. He’s used sparingly on the power play but stands out on the penalty kill, where his slot positioning and quick stick helps him break up plays around the net.
143 C Jan Hladonik

Trinec, Extraliga U20

5’9, 161 | 08/18/99

A fast skater who is quick on his feet and can maintain top speed for the duration of his rushes, Hladonik was a top scorer in the Czech junior league and had a top-six role for the Czechs in international events. Hladonik’s game is based on speed and vision, and he develops chemistry with wingers rather quickly. They know how fast he is, and he knows how to slow things downs and let plays develop. Hladonik has quick feet and a solid understanding of play development, and controlling the puck in and around traffic helps him break through zone defenses. The power of his shot is above average and accurate, and he finds a way to score “dirty goals” from the tough areas around the net. Hladonik is average on faceoffs, but he kills penalties with an aggressive mindset and always looks for the chance to pick off a cross-ice pass and jet up ice.
144* RW Ivan Kosorenkov (OA)

Victoriaville Tigres, QMJHL

5’10, 187 | 01/22/98

Dynamic overage puck magnet who is strong on his skates and can stickhandle his way out of a jam. Kosorenkov is pretty quick on his feet, using exceptional agility and balance to maintain control of the puck. He comes across as more of a playmaker than a goal scorer, but scored 18 goals on 97 shots during 5v5 and finished second in the QMJHL with a 22.4 shooting percentage. Scoring pretty goals is something Kosorenkov is capable of doing, but he doesn’t bogey the tap-ins and slam dunks. He is listed at 6’0, 185 pounds but looks a bit stockier and his skating style is somewhat hunched.
145 C Igor Shvyryov (OA)

Stalnye Lisi, MHL

6’0, 205 | 07/10/98

One of Russia’s top young talents who was Stalnye Lisy’s first line center and scoring leader, Shvyryov is arguably Europe’s most talented draft-eligible playmaker. The work needed to get him to leave Russia for North America is part of what keeps him relatively obscure — he was kept off Central Scouting’s rankings despite being one of the MHL’s leading scorers. Shvyryov is a dynamic offensive player with excellent vision and hockey sense, and he’s deadly in odd-man situations. He has very good straight-line speed and can hammer the puck with accuracy, plus he’s defensively responsible and won 56 percent of over 1000 faceoffs.
146 LHD Mark Rubinchik

Saskatoon Blades, WHL

6’0, 179 | 03/21/99

Physical blueliner who as a first-year import with Saskatoon dealt ups and downs but remains a worthy project pick for the middle rounds. Rubinchik is a big hitter with very good mobility and a hard shot, but he can also make plays and play aggressive in the offensive zone. Yes, he can play undisciplined or drop the gloves from time to time, but there’s more to his game than just brute force. Rubinchik is strong on his skates and is nimble enough to spin away from pressure, and he spots the open man properly. Sure, he’ll have games where every pass seems telegraphed, but he usually bounces back by using the boards effectively and neutralizing a forecheck with poised, calculated plays.
147 LHD Eemeli Rasanen

Kingston Frontenacs, OHL

6’7, 208 | 03/06/99

They say you can’t teach size, but one has to wonder if it will even matter four or five years from now. Rasanen is a big, mobile rearguard with a long reach who had a relatively solid first year in North America following his time in the Finnish junior leagues. He maintains a tight gap and is very good at sealing off an onrushing opponent into no man’s land, and he has been used on late-game scenarios and on the penalty kill. Rasanen is strong enough to shove guys out of the crease, but there are times he struggles with floating and will lose guys behind him. His play with the puck is pretty standard for a shutdown type, but he isn’t fast or own a heavy shot. Keep him away from the power play and he’ll make a coach happy with his work below his own dots.
148  LW Linus Weissbach (OA)

Tri-City Storm, USHL

5’8, 161 | 04/19/98

Quick overage forward with blinding breakaway speed who left Sweden for the USHL but has been a top scorer for his junior team in each of the last two years. Once considered too weak on his skates, Weissbach improved his strength and balance, two things he’ll need when he suits up for the Wisconsin Badgers next year. He has a continuous motor and is very active in all three zones, and will even challenge bigger defenders in puck battles. Weissbach isn’t strong in his own end, but he relies on sound instincts and telegraphing opposing tactics near his blue line rather than cover up the slot or support a battle in the corner. The NCAA schedule should give him plenty of time to bulk up and learn his side of the red line.
149 C Igor Martynov

Belarus U20, Belarus

6’0, 181 | 01/19/99

Dynamic skater with excellent offensive traits who opted to spend another year in Belarus after Peterborough made him a second round import pick. Martynov has top-six upside and can be used in any situation at 5v5 or on special teams. He’s strong on his skates and forces opponents to do a lot of puck gazing as he stickhandles his way through traffic while moving quickly and with confidence. The Belorussians always field a top-heavy team no matter the tournament, but Martynov continued to be their top producer despite facing the toughest matchups against prospect-loaded teams. His hockey sense is quite high and he identifies multiple options for set-ups, and periods of erratic play are somewhat justified when the scales are tipped so heavily against him.
150  RHD Mario Ferraro

Des Moines Buccaneers, USHL

5’10, 194 | 09/17/98

Fast puck-moving defensemen with excellent first-step quickness and footwork who keeps a tight gap and takes the right routes to seal off his man. Ferraro, a UMass-Amherst recruit, stays glued to his man and will finish checks with authority. He is not very tall but is strong as an ox, using his upper-body strength to pin his man with little to no chance of escape. He has an aggressive mindset with the puck and explodes up the ice to create a numbers advantage without it. A good bodychecker who likes to drive into people, Ferraro is an attack-minded defender who looks to transition up ice no matter where he is or how much traffic is in front of him. This style of play results in a lot of gaps and counterattacks, but he is fast enough to get back most of the time. He owns a booming, accurate shot and is the primary point man on the power play
151  C Skyler Brind’amour

South Kent School, USPHL

6’2, 170 | 07/27/99

He’s got the familiar name, but Brind’amour plays a different style to his father Rod, who won a Cup with Carolina in 2006 and played in nearly 1500 NHL games. Skyler is a strong-skating forward who is competent in all three zones and has potential for more, especially when you consider his size. He’s headed to Michigan State after brief stints with the South Kent School U18 Selects and the NTDP. Brind’amour is a cerebral player who hustles, competes and displays occasional periods of dominance. He doesn’t have breakaway speed but is difficult to slow down once he reaches top speed.
152*  LHD Jocktan Chainey

Halifax Mooseheads, QMJHL

6’0, 198 | 09/08/99

Promising two-way defenseman with excellent footwork and sound instincts. Chainey reacts to dangerous situations with both poise and confidence, and being a very good skater helps maintain a tight gap and win a fair amount of footraces. Although he shared power play ice with Nico Hischier, Chainey was Halifax’s nominal power play quarterback. He has a good, accurate shot and a quick release, and when pressured will use bank passes effectively. Getting stronger will be important as he struggles with one-on-one battles, but his defensive-zone play is quite good for a puck mover.
153  RW Joona Luoto (OA)

Tappara Tampere, Liiga

6’2, 185 | 09/27/97

Definitely a project pick even if he’s one of the better overagers for 2017. Luoto is a power forward who can play physical and protects the puck extremely well. I don’t know how much of a hindrance his lack of speed would be in North America, but he can be a load to handle and makes smart, subtle plays with guys draped all over him. Luoto makes up average straight-line quickness with strong balance and sharp directional changes once he gets inside the zone.
154 LHD Kristians Rubins (OA)

Medicine Hat Tigers, WHL

6’4, 216 | 10/11/97

Hard-hitting Latvian who had a fine rookie season with Medicine Hat but can’t seem to shake the injury bug. Rubins is a late-1997 born overager who plays a steady, positional game but can carry the puck away from pressure thanks to his strong skating ability. He’s capable of playing physical and on occasion will throw a crushing hit, but where he makes the most money is acting as a safety net for a puck-moving partner. Rubins won’t put up a lot of points, but he clearly understands both his role and the importance of covering gaps.
155 G Jake Begley

Brookings Blizzard, NAHL

6’1, 170 | 03/18/99

The top goalie in Minnesota high school hockey is a tremendous competitor and student of the game. He won the Frank Brimsek award and deservedly so — Begley led Hill-Murray to the state tournament and posted a .936 save percentage. He followed up his stellar high school career with a four strong games for the NAHL’s Brookings Bandits, stopping 0.926 percent of his shots. It was tough to determine how quick and athletic he was because he made every save look rather effortless, and his positioning, net awareness and post-save recovery were excellent for a teenager. He remains without an NCAA commitment, but that should change sometime during his rookie season in the USHL next year.
Round 6
Team Pick Player Notes
156 RW Alexander Oskin

Tolpar, MHL

6’3, 185 | 09/08/99

Powerful winger with soft hands and a cannon of a shot who can bring it with velocity from just about anywhere in the offensive zone. Oskin likes to shoot the puck regardless of what’s in front of him — sticks, bodies, skates, the refs — and goaltenders seem to get happy feet when he’s in a prime shooting position. Oskin is very young and it’s scary when you think he’s probably going to get bigger and develop more power to his shot. He’s a good skater but more for his balance and stride than actual straight-line speed. Oskin is tough to pin or hold against the boards, and opponents can get tired from battling him after a short period of time. His game from his side of the red line is tough to watch, but he does have poise and on occasion he’ll fake out checkers by hanging on to the puck with a curl or cut back.
157* RHD Saku Vesterinen 

Charlottetown Islanders, QMJHL

5’11, 184 | 02/28/99

Vesterinen playing for one of the CHL’s deepest defense corps actually helps his draft stock, because not only was he very good defensively, but he made the most of his limited ice time. The Finnish import was fourth among all first-year QMJHL defensemen in eP/60 (1.09) and was third in eS/60 (5.12). The Islanders handed top draft prospect Pierre-Olivier Joseph an expanded role involving all situations, but it was Vesterinen who played just as well (if not better) in his own end and generated almost as many shots when he was on the ice. He can be a real pain to play against because he is a pusher and shiver who uses a quick stick that makes it difficult to control the puck in his vicinity. He has an above-average shot, but it’s accurate and used appropriately,
158* C Cole Guttman

Dubuque Fighting Saints, USHL

5’11, 177 | 06/01/99

A Los Angeles native committed to St. Cloud State, Guttman quietly had a strong rookie season, including a USHL-best 23.5 percent shooting percentage (27 goals on 115 shots). He was on Dubuque’s top line with USHL scoring champ Zach Solow, who helped him get picked for the league all-rookie team. He’s a good skater with a bit of a choppy stride, and sometimes he comes across as a bit of floater who waits for things to come to him. Guttman isn’t physical, doesn’t play on the penalty kill but obviously has an accurate enough shot to be used from the circles on the power play.
159 G Jiri Patera

Cesko Budejovice, Extraliga U20

6’2, 209 | 02/24/99

Patera possesses an NHL frame and displays a generally solid position. He is an excellent puck handler who can act as a third defensemen and will look up ice to catch opponents in a line change. While an average glove hand makes Patera susceptible to shots from the circles out than, his overall technique and positioning show promise, as he will challenge shooters well above the blue paint and retreat deliberately without giving away much, if anything. Patera tracks pucks extremely well and is quick enough to make initial saves from chances with a high degree of difficulty, but his post-save recovery is the area he needs to work on most. He was solid in two levels of Czech hockey but was inconsistent during international tournaments.
160 RW D’artagnan Joly

Baie-Comeau Drakkar, QMJHL

6’3, 181 | 04/07/99

Joly has a pro build and an array of skills that make you think he could easily be one of the top draft-eligible teenagers in the QMJHL. An upright skater with a long stride and above-average quickness, Joly uses his reach and stickhandling skills to maneuver in and around traffic. He’s capable of creating his own shot and is more creative than your average power forward. Joly can wire a hard, accurate shot off the pass or his back foot, and he’s adept at shooting through defenders in one-on-one situations. The puck always seems to find him, and he considers using all of his teammates as he carries the puck up the ice with confidence. His hands are incredibly soft and the power play is where they come into play — he receives and controls hard passes rather effortlessly. The lone blemish is his seemingly nonchalant compete level, as Joly has a habit of looking totally disinterested and can be careless with the puck with the occasional loaf on the backcheck. He can play center or wing, but his poor production in the dot and struggles with defensive-zone coverage makes us think he’s better off on the flank.
161 RHD Grant Anderson

Wayzata, HS-MN

6’2,186 | 09/15/99

Wayzata took a big hit from graduation after winning the Minnesota high school state title, but Anderson was the glue that kept the team not only competitive, but extremely difficult to play against. He’s a physical blueliner with very good speed and a blistering shot, so he’s good enough to anchor any pairing in any situation. His defensive-zone play is excellent, as he realizes the importance of maintaining elastic coverage from below the dots. Opponents find difficulty in breaking free from his shadow, and he’s quick to steal the puck and immediately begin a counterattack. Bound for Nebraska-Omaha and drafted in the third round by the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers, Anderson is a pup who missed 2018 draft eligibility by one day.
162 RHD Pavel Yelshansky (OA)

Dynamo-SPB, MHL

6’2, 196 | 08/19/97

Double overager and captain of SKA-Dynamo SPB who anchored their top pairing and played against opposing top scorers. Yelshansky is very mobile and strong on his skates, but he’s not going to do anything fancy with his footwork or blow past somebody unless he has quite a bit of a head start. He has a very hard shot and his teammates look for him to fire off one-timers from the point on the power play. Yelshansky is confident in his passes — they’re timely, crisp and accurate — plus he has good vision to identify players open at the side of the net at he walks the line on his forehand. He’s competent defensively and likes to stand up at his blue line or use a quick poke checks rather than back in and concede real estate.
163 C Domenic Commisso (OA)

Oshawa Generals, OHL

5’11, 192 | 02/19/98

Oshawa was a bit of a surprise this season, and the overage Commisso had a big role in not only getting the Gens to the playoffs, but winning a round against Sudbury. He’s a fast two-way center with effortless breakaway speed who hustles, backchecks and seems to always be involved in plays around the net at either end. He has willingness to contribute beyond goals and assists, but Commisso was Oshawa’s leading scorer, making him the perfect lead-by-example type. Commisso was for more cleaner on his set-ups and looked more poised and under control than a year ago, plus his faceoffs improved from 49 percent to 53 percent.
164* RW Micah Miller

Sioux City Musketeers, USHL

5’8, 193 | 10/29/98

Dangerous offensive force who uses his stickhandling, shifty skating and playmaking ability to force defenders to conceded more of their own end then they’d like. Miller isn’t very big, but he is a strong battler who uses a long stick to protect the puck from thicker opponents. He was critical to Grand Rapids’ title winner at the Minnesota state tournament, where he was used on the top line and displayed highlight-reel plays. Miller is a fast skater with first-step quickness who consistently beats defenders to the outside. If the gap tightens, he can fire a heavy wrist shot that just explodes off his stick. He’s committed to St. Cloud State but likely spends a full year with powerhouse Sioux City, where in 23 games this season all 13 of his points came at 5v5.
165 RW Sami Moilanen

Seattle Thunderbirds, WHL

5’8, 185 | 01/22/99

Swift skating Finnish waterbug who led all WHL rookies with seven playoff goals and placed second with 16 points in 20 games. He was critical to Seattle claiming its first postseason WHL crown, playing key minutes in all situations and playing on the top penalty killing unit. Moilanen is very aggressive, especially on the forecheck, where he combined his speed and understanding of play development to position himself in an area where an opposing puck carrier is destined to make his mistake. He is also a ferocious backchecker who always seems to be the first forward standing up at his own blue line, and his step-ups are timed and successful. But Moilanen is no checker with limited upside — he has very good vision and can create chances off puck pursuit with either a subtle centering pass or a blistering wrister off a curl and drag. Thirty two of his 43 points came at 5v5, including 16 of his 21 goals.
166 RW Patrick Bajkov (OA)

Everett Silvertips, WHL

6’0, 180 | 11/27/97

One of the WHL’s top two-way players whose talent scale tips heavily in favor of offense. Bajkov is a very good skater who can make plays at high speed regardless of degree of difficulty. He’s feathery on his skates and cuts and weaves his way into open ice rather effortlessly. Playing for a goal-starved offense skews his numbers, but keep in mind that the Silvertips played tight affairs on a nightly basis, and Bajkov was entrusted with late-game situations in addition to assisting the top power play unit. He’s a lethal passer and quite creative, and we get the feeling that he’ll flourish in an up-tempo system. Bajkov led the Tips in scoring with 78 points, but 50 came during 5v5 that placed him fourth among WHL first-year draft overagers.
167 LHD Jakub Galvas

Olomouc HC, Extraliga

5’11, 161 | 06/15/99

Reliable two-way defender who can play top-pairing minutes while managing the puck properly. Galvas was one of the younger defensemen in the Czech Extraliga, but he cleaned up his defensive game to the point where his coach wasn’t scared to use him late in games. Galvas is a strong skater who is comfortable controlling the puck, and he handled the forecheck against adults quite well. He’ll take a hit to move the puck, but he’s quick and crafty enough to spin away from his man and create an odd-man situation up ice. Galvas likes to shoot the puck and has a hard, accurate shot that can beat goalies from beyond the tops of the circles.
168 LHD Matt Kiersted (OA)

Chicago Steel, USHL

5’11, 175 | 04/14/98

Smart two-way defenseman with good speed who is more sound with his positioning than most puck movers in his draft class. Kiersted was a top-pairing defensemen for Chicago but had a season-ending injury right after winning the WJAC with Team USA in December. He plays aggressive and likes to join the rush, but he’s quick enough to get back and cover up. Kiersted is poised with the puck and doesn’t rattle in the face of an heavy forecheck, but he can beat you with his smarts or a quick burst. If he gets chased, he will either outmaneuver his man or use the boards for a bank to the weak side. Rarely do you see him treat the puck like a hot potato or put his partner or forwards in a position to fail. He has an average shot but it’s accurate, and he is efficient running the point on the power play.
169 RW Daniil Vovchenko (OA)

Severstal Cherepovets, KHL

5’10, 172 | 04/04/96

It isn’t of the ordinary for a triple-overager to put up points as a KHL sophomore. But a scoring winger with a shorter development path like Vovchenko might become a commodity come draft day. He turned 21 in April, and a playoff stint in the MHL proved to be child’s play for him as he registered 14 points in 12 games. He’s extremely fast, has excellent hands and one of the quicker releases you find among any draft eligible. Although Vovchenko isn’t much of a three-zone player, he can kill penalties and take the puck from goal line to goal line. He’s one of those silent types who doesn’t display a lot of emotion but has a burning desire to be the best player every time he steps on the ice. Vovchenko is a real wild card but worth the risk in a later round.
170 LHD Tyler Inamoto

U.S. U18, NTDP

6’2, 194 | 05/06/99

Big-hitting two-way defender with good speed and a hard shot who was stuck in either the middle or bottom pairing of the NTDP for most of the season. Inamoto plays aggressive in all areas of the ice, whether it’s with his feet or his body. He was Team USA’s most physical defensemen, sometimes to a fault in that gunning for a open-ice check placed him well out of position. He needs to work on his breakouts as he’s prone to turnovers, but Inamoto is a tireless worker who competes from start to finish. His combination of strength and speed, plus an admirable work ethic, help offset his issues handling the puck. He’ll play for the Wisconsin Badgers next season.
171 G Josef Korenar (OA)

Lincoln Stars, USHL

6’1, 175 | 01/31/98

Korenar as an overager had a splendid rookie season in the USHL, finishing third in both save percentage (.925) and goals-against average (2.22). He also yielded two goals or less in 20 of his 26 appearance that ended in regulation. Not bad for a kid not only in his first North American season, but one who was forced to share the workload with fellow 2017-draft eligible Cayden Primeau. He’s an efficient goalie who doesn’t get rattled and can cover ground quickly on his knees. Korenar controls rebounds with his blocker quite well, and doesn’t seem to over-emphasize his glove saves — he’s sees the puck, he smothers it and tucks it away. Comes across as a poised, mature kid who consistently kept his team in games and rarely gives up a bad goal.
172 C Eetu Makeniemi

Jokerit U20, Jr. A SM-Liiga

6’2, 176 | 04/19/99

Sound Finnish goalie with good size and quickness who shared Jokerit’s netminding duties with Chicago Blackhawks’ draftee Wouter Peeters. Makiniemi has impressive stubbornness in that he doesn’t like giving screening forwards any room within sneezing distance of the crease. He a fighter who isn’t stapled to his posts, and his glove hand positioning during lateral movement is almost pro-like. He first caught my attention playing at the Junior Club World Cup in August and is a candidate to not only see some Liiga time next season, but play for Finland at the U20 WJC.
173 LHD Ben Mirageas

Chicago Steel, USHL

6’1, 180 | 05/08/99

A midseason trade from Bloomington to Chicago invigorated this Bay Stater from Massachusetts’ North Shore, as Mirageas won a Clark Cup title and led all blueliners with 10 assists in 14 games. The Providence commit is a shifty, smart puck mover who is poised and decisive under pressure. He’s an offensive defenseman who gets out of trouble with either clean, crisp passes or a burst into open ice. Mirageas isn’t a physically intimidating defender, and while he should be applauded for not avoiding contact altogether, he still needs to work on his timing and finishing checks.
174 C Jan Drozg

Leksand J20, Superelit

6’0, 168 | 04/01/99

A talented Slovenian who plays for Leksand in the Superelit, Drozg led the U18 D1A worlds in scoring by a wide margin. He can play both center and wing but always is used as a scoring forward in offensive zone starts and on the power play. Drozg is a very good skater and an excellent stickhandler whose speed and shiftiness buys him time and space. He has a quick stick, soft hands and the kind of vision that identifies back-door cutters or trailers. Drozg’s start-and-stop is rapid, and all it takes is one step in any direction to gain a step on an opponent. Both he and Emil Bemstrom swapped first-line center duties with Leksand’s J18 club in 2016, but it was Drozg who appeared better at playmaking and incorporating all four teammates into a given play.
175 RW Kristian Roykas-Marthinsen

Altumna, Allsvenskan

6’0, 185 | 08/20/99

Norwegian sniper who ran through the international circuit like a hot knife through butter, scoring in bunches and distinguishing himself as one of Norway’s top draft-eligible player. Roykas-Marthinsen is a very good skater who can finish off the rush or make a set-up on his own. This type of low-maintenance winger should benefit from being surrounded by better talent when he permanently suits up for Altumna in Sweden’s Allsvenskan next fall. He’s elusive along the wall and battles his way through checks to get to loose pucks, and he seemed to have good chemistry with his centers in the form of give-and-go’s, set one-timers off faceoffs, and tic-tac-toe plays with the man advantage.
176* RW Andrei Altybarmakyan (OA)

Serebryanye Lvy, MHL

5’11, 185 | 08/04/98

Altybarmakyan is a speedy overage winger with an incredibly soft touch who should be on a fast track to notoriety. He’s a skill forward who plays under control and doesn’t rush into shots, meaning he’ll take his time to maximize the quality of a given chance. He works his tail of and is always around the puck, He displayed not only hard work, but an ability to make quick set-ups during scrums. His passes were accurate, and on several occasions he feathered perfect backhanders to teammates in stride. A skill forward with excellent vision and awareness, Altybarmakyan was one of the MHL representatives at the KHL All-Star Game and even scored a goal. There are a handful of Russian puck magicians and Altybarmakyan is near the top of the list.
177 G Kiril Ustemenko

Dynamo-SPB, MHL

6’3, 187 | 01/29/99

Belorussian-born backstop who represented Russia at the recent U18’s with aplomb following a dominant season in the MHL. Ustemenko had the benefit of playing for a sound defensive team, as he faced 30 or more shots in only nine of his 27 appearances. The good news is he allowed two goals or less in eight of the nine, so it wasn’t like he didn’t earn his paycheck. It was his stellar play in a shutout against Sweden at the U18 worlds that helped Russia earn a bronze medal — it’s first medal at the tournament in six years. He’s a very aggressive goalie who will challenge well above the top of the crease, partly because of equal quickness in both blocker and glove hands. Ustemenko has excellent reflexes and is square to the shooter immediately after centering feeds. Plus he’s relatively solid on quick-release attempts like one-timers or goal-mouth feeds.
178 LW Denis Smirnov (OA)

Penn State, Big-10

5’8, 185 | 08/12/97

Crafty undersized forward with speed and exceptional puck skills who took the NCAA by storm, leading all freshman in scoring with 47 points. Born in Moscow before emigrating the U.S. as a child, Smirnov was a prolific point producer in the USHL in each of his first two looks for the draft. He’s certainly got everyone’s attention now, not only for being the top NCAA rookie but playing a key role in Penn State hockey winning their first Big-10 title. He’s a dangler, deker and head-faker who can beat you with his vision or his shot, and he’s an absolute beast in one-on-one scenarios. Smirnov is one of those possession wizards who can slow the game down and keep the puck on his stick from the beginning of a shift until whenever he feels like getting rid of it.
179  G Ivan Prosvetov

Minnesota Magicians, NAHL

6’4, 162 | 03/05/99

The transition from Russia to North American isn’t quite over for this big-bodied netminder who was the sixth overall pick in the 2016 KHL draft. He faced a lot of rubber for the Magicians, including 34 or more shots in more than half of his 44 regular season appearances. A butterfly goalie who looks quite comfortable dropping down wherever the puck may be, he’s solid at covering the lower half of the net, and doesn’t look gangly or slow recovering from an initial save. This kid was helpless on most nights, but he will stop most initial shots regardless of whether he gets a clean look or not.
180 LHD Matteo Pietroniro

Baie-Comeau Drakkar, QMJHL

6’0, 180 | 10/20/98

Pietroniro is a slick offensive-minded defenseman with superior puck skills who uses quickness and sound vision to eat away at opposing schemes. He quarterbacks the top power play unit with confidence, as all plays usually run through him before completion. Pietroniro is incredibly accurate with his passes and can split the zones with tape-to-tape stretch passes from as far back as his own goal line. He can either initiate a rush with puck carrying or join one to create an advantage — both revealing a smart, instinctive player who understands how critical a role he plays. Pietroniro has good chemistry with his partners and makes timely and decisive pinches. Rarely will you see him drop down below the circles without ensuring the void will be covered, and when he does, he’ll put his head down and bolt back to thwart an opposing counterattack. He has a decent shot from the point, but it’s accurate and fired without hesitation. Pietroniro is reliable in one-on-one coverage and slot positioning but can be moved off the puck by bigger forwards, especially on the penalty kill or in close-quarter battles. That doesn’t mean he can’t play physical — Pietroniro likes to mix it up and stands up to any challenge.
181  G Jeremy Swayman

Sioux Falls Stampede, USHL

6’2, 187 | 09/17/98

Athletic goalie with size who had a solid rookie season in the USHL after Sioux Falls drafted him in the 12th round. The first thing that stands out about Swayman is how quick he is getting set and squaring up to a shooter. His butterfly coverage on initial shots is decent, but Swayman is very quick not only stopping initial shots, but recovering quickly to handle rebounds. Finding gaps is something USHL shooters had difficulty doing, and he will challenge beyond the top of the crease. He ranked 12th in save percentage (.914) but save close to 34 shots a game, which made him one of the busier netminders in the league. He’ll soon call Orono home when he suits up for the Maine Blackbears in 2018.
182  RHD Reilly Walsh

Chicago Steel, USHL

5’11, 181 | 04/21/99

Harvard-bound puck distributor who split the season between prep school and the Chicago Steel. Walsh is an excellent skater and can quarterback a power play, where he stays in constant motion and doesn’t throw pucks away trying to be cute. His passes are crisp and on the tape, but he has soft hands to play catch or hammer a one-timer without worrying about fumbling it out of the zone. Walsh has vision is excellent, and he looked extremely comfortable at the Hlinka working the puck around on a power play full of talent. Yes, he’s not very physical and will resort to some pretty weak stick fouls. But his step-ups and stick placement while defending zone entries revealed a defenseman who used technical know-how to make up for any physical shortcomings. There were times in the USHL where he seemed overmatched, and it might scare teams away regardless of how wonderful he looks moving up ice.
183  RHD Matt Brassard (OA)

Oshawa Generals, OHL

6’2, 201 | 08/08/98

Hard-shooting overager with size who split the season between Barrie and Oshawa, finishing the season as the Gens top-pairing defenseman and playing in most important situations. Brassard is not that much of an overager — he made 2016 eligibility by less than a month — and he was one of the busiest OHL rearguards in terms of shot production. He finished third in the league with 204 shots, of which 129 came at even strength.  Nic Hague and Markus Phillips were the only notable OHL rearguards who generated more shots per game than Brassard, who also plays with a mean streak and likes to hit people. His low number of assists — 11 during 5v5 — confirms the belief that he isn’t very creative and relies on his shot far too often when a extra pass may have been prudent. Still, he’s a good skater who knows where to position himself and isn’t a liability in his own end.
184*  G Lassi Lehtinen

Tappara Tampere, Liiga

5’11, 169 | 02/25/99

Quick Finnish netminder who makes up for a lack of ideal size with exceptional net awareness and tracking ability. Listed at only 5’11, Lehtinen doesn’t blanket the cage with an imposing silhouette, but he challenges shot above his crease to cut down openings. Lehtinen’s rebound control and ability to track pucks during chaotic sequences of events are strong, and he’ll hold his ground with skill forwards juking and deking their way to the goalmouth. He’s quick with his side-to-side movement, but the speed of both his glove and blocker hand seem weak. Lehtinen was outstanding for Finland at last November’s U18 Five Nations tournament and the recent U18 world championship.
185* C/W Zach Solow

Dubuque Fighting Saints, USHL

5’9, 184 | 11/06/98

The USHL’s top scorer who ran Dubuque’s offense and power play. Solow is a skilled offensive player who makes his linemates better thanks to excellent vision and the ability to find the man who nobody knows is open. Time and again, Solow serves the puck to his teammates on a silver platter, but he won’t rush into a decision if he thinks a better option could develop. His zone entries range from poised and deliberate to quick and violent, but dumping the puck in is viewed as the last resort. Solow is adept at one-touch and slap passes, and he always looks for trailers and cutters. Solow may be undersized, but he’s quite strong and will try to finish his checks. His skating is slightly above average and choppy, but he can change gears and eventually outmaneuvers defensemen.
186 LW Anton Vasilyev (OA)

Dynamo-SPB, MHL

5’9, 196 | 05/25/98

Strong skater with solid puck skills who plays with confidence and can finish. Vasilyev played on the first power play unit because he enters the zone clean regardless of traffic or can sneak into the circle and fire a hard, accurate one-timer. His wrist shot is as difficult for goalies to control as his slapper, but he’s so shifty that he can beat you with a simple pump fake then dance his way towards the goal. Vasilyev isn’t overly physical, but he plays with an edge and gets involved after the whistle.
Round 7
Team Pick Player Notes
187 RW Carson Meyer (OA)

Miami-Ohio, NCAA

5’10, 180 | 08/18/97

Teams drafting in 2016 may have missed the boat on a talented overage winger like Meyer, who was huge in Tri-City’s Clark Cup win that season and earned an invite to the Columbus’s rookie camp prior to his first year of college. His freshman season at Miami was an absolute success as he placed third among draft eligibles with 10 goals — nine at 5v5 — and 26 points in 32 games. Maybe more impressive is that he did so despite battling mononucleosis. A native Ohioan with average speed but a devastatingly accurate shot, he can score goals from just about anywhere and has incredible hand-eye coordination. Meyer has the ability to thread the needle to for quality chances, competes hard, plays with enthusiasm and doesn’t take a shift off. His size (5’10, 180 pounds) shouldn’t be an issue since he’s an inside player who takes a hit to finish a play.
188 G Antoine Samuel (OA) 

Baie-Comeau Drakkar, QMJHL

6’3, 190 | 09/17/97

Samuel is an athletic butterfly goaltender who made the best out of a tough situation to be in. Not only did Samuel go undrafted in 2016, but the following season faced the prospect of backstopping a young, inexperienced Baie-Comeau squad. Nevertheless, things turned out fine, as Samuel, although seeing a QMJHL-high 1639 shots, led the Drakkar to a postseason berth. Additionally, he posted a .915 save percentage from late November until season’s end — a total of 33 appearances. He was far more composed than last year, showing more quickness and better control of both his glove and blocker saves. Samuel doesn’t leave much room upstairs when he’s hugging the post, and his side-to-side quickness when coupled with his length makes him tough to beat on cross-mouth feeds. Samuel has an active stick and likes to handle the puck, he’s just not very good at it.
189 C Zach Gallant

Peterborough Petes, OHL

6’2, 188 | 03/06/99

Two-way power center who was a critical role player for Peterborough during its playoffs run. Gallant is a character guy who plays in all situations, but he was effective enough to occasionally land on the top line of a strong team. He checks a lot of blocks in terms of physical play, hockey sense, positioning, vision, etc., but his hunched, plodding skating style makes it seem like he’s got a 150-pound ruck on his back. Gallant has a very hard shot and a quick release, but he can score from dirty areas as well. He’s very active on the penalty kill and will make proper reads to steer shots wide rather than give up his body for a block near the blue line. There’s some Brian Boyle to his game, but Boyle was a better skater at this stage of his development, which tells you what Gallant needs to continue to work on. A kid like Gallant may have been a lottery pick in 1998  or 2002, but he provides so much in intangibles and goal scoring that even in a fast-paced environment he’s worth a look.
190 C Macauley Carson

Sudbury Wolves, OHL

6’1, 205 | 03/12/99

Strong forward with size but below-average speed who led all OHL first-year eligibles with a ridiculous 5v5 shooting percentage of 24.2 (23 goals on 95 shots). Carson is a two-way power forward who obviously knows how to finish, especially in front of the net where he maintains a low center of gravity. Carson is thick, stocky and painfully slow, and he wasn’t exactly setting the world on fire in the faceoff circle (48%). Nonetheless, he’s a possession driver and a good team-first guy who uses his physical strength to outmuscle most that try to stop him. Put him in front of the net on the power play, trust him with offensive zone starts and rely on him to kill penalties. Not too much to ask from a guy that can finish but otherwise destined for the later rounds.
191* RHD Phil Kemp

U.S. U18, NTDP

6’3, 202 | 03/12/99

Steady, physical defenseman with decent vision and mobility but likely top out as a bottom-pairing support guy. Kemp has pretty soft hands for a big blueliner, and he can make subtle, accurate bank or saucer passes to catch teammates in stride. I wouldn’t go as far as to call him poised because he can be sloppy managing the puck, but he recovers quickly and maintains a tight gap. He’s more successful using his brain to read plays and his feet to close and seal rather than outskating someone in a 50/50 battles. Kemp, who switched Ivy League commitments from Brown to Yale, has an above-average shot with a big wind-up.
192 RW Hunter Johannes (OA)

Eden Prairie, HS-MN

6’3,194 | 07/24/98

Expected to be one of the top power forwards in high school hockey, Johannes played an important role in Eden Prairie’s success by driving their second line in support of Casey Mittelstadt’s top unit. A tough out in the mold of John Leclair or Milan Lucic, Johannes had his way with high school opponents by wearing them down while maintaining control of the puck. He teamed with Mittelstadt on the power play, but when they mostly were split up at even strength. Johannes proved he could control play on his own and did not require his center to make things happen. He’s an average skater but rather quick to the net via direct routes. Johannes isn’t just a one-way forward — he kills penalties and can be trusted late in games because of how easy it is for him to separate opponents from the puck. He has an excellent wrist shot that he fires through traffic, but he passes up far too many prime opportunities for a lower percentage play. If he was a solid playmaker, this would be fine. But simplifying his game just to shooting and scoring goals would make him all the more dangerous.
193 RHD Brady Lyle

North Bay Battalion, OHL

6’1, 203 | 06/06/99

A poised defender with good wheels who carries the puck with speed and flair, Lyle was North Bay’s lead guy on the power play and showed occasional flashes of brilliance. Although he isn’t a commanding presence on the ice, Lyle can advance the puck either by outracing his forechecker or faking his way through bodies as he crosses center. His play below his own circles is marginal at best, as he isn’t physical enough to win battles clean, relying too much on stick work, albeit in a clean, disciplined manner. Lyle is pretty reliable on the attack and makes good decisions in terms of spotting and hitting the teammate with a step on his man. An undervalued aspect of his game is the way he correctly chooses when to overload the strong side for puck support or stay wide enough to spread the defenders out. His zone entries are generally clean, plus his shot, although average, is accurate and released quickly. More than half of his points came with the man advantage, but North Bay struggled generating anything on offense and lacked finishers.
194 G Victor Brattstrom (OA)

Timra J20, Superelit

6’5, 201 | 03/22/97

Ask enough questions around Swedish hockey circles, and you’ll hear Brattstrom’s name come up every now and again. He was the heart and soul of a Timra J20 squad that simply could not score, and far more often than not, Brattstrom found himself defending either a tie score or a one-goal differential going either way. The Superlit is not an offense-heavy league, and Brattstrom led all goalies by facing an average of 30 shots per appearance. He was formerly property of Frolunda but moved over to Timra, where this season he was one of the top goalies in the Superelit. He is your typical Swedish butterfly goalie, spending a lot of time covering the lower half and gluing himself no more than a foot beyond the goal line. At 6’5, he has no problem tracking pucks from their release point with chaos ensuing in front of him. His initial-shot net coverage is excellent, as is his post-save reset. His glove and blocker hands are quick, but like most backstops that play deep in the crease, he can get burned  over either shoulder.
195* LW/C Jan Kern

Sparta Prague U20, Extraliga Jrs

5’10, 178 | 07/27/99

Slick 200-foot player who plays like he’s three inches taller and 20 pounds heavier. Kern has an assortment of ways to beat you — speed, vision, smarts, hands — and is a threat to create a quality chance any time he’s on the ice. He scored in his Extraliga debut but spent most of the season split between the junior and U18 squads. Kern is a dangerous penalty killer with excellent anticipation of plays, and it takes little to no effort for him to separate himself from opponents who were sloppy with their puck management. He has a hard, accurate shot but also possesses a neat backhand. He may look small and skinny, but good luck trying to knock him off the puck. Kern loves to battle in the corners and will fight for positioning in front of the net.
196 RHD Tory Dello (OA)

Notre Dame Fighting Irish, NCAA

6’0, 190 | 02/14/97

Mean, physical defender who was thrust onto the national stage when his Notre Dame Fighting Irish made the Frozen Four. Mind you, it was less than a year after Dello guided the Tri-City Storm  to a league championship. Playing under intense pressure doesn’t seem to rattle this Illinois native, who as a freshman was one of college hockey’s most penalized freshman but still was entrusted with late-game scenarios. He’s neither fast nor creative, but Dello boasts a heavy shot that he likes to use often — his 80 shots in 40 games was good for third among freshman blueliners. He is relentless during board battles and refuses to concede an inch of territory. Obviously, doing this in a legal manner most of the time will only enhance his NHL chances.
197* RW Jakub Pour

Plzen 1929, Extraliga Jrs

6’3, 187 | 04/24/99

Power forward with soft hands and decent wheels who was a depth player for the Czech Republic at several international events but was kept off the roster for both the Hlinka and U18 worlds. Pour is a crease crasher who uses brute strength to overpower defenders of all shapes and sizes. He was relegated to a depth role during Plzen’s run to a Extraliga Juniors title, but he was averaging close to a point per game in the regular season while shuttling between the second and third lines. He kills penalties on occasion and positions himself properly in the defensive zone. Pour is inconsistent in using his size and strength to overpower smaller players, and there are times he doesn’t look all that engaged. Still, he’s a worthy project pick and CHL Import Draft candidate when you take into consideration his size and touch around the net.
198 RW Luke Boka

Windsor Spitfires, OHL

6’0, 191 | 06/12/99

Boka is an aggressive power winger with size and a good understanding of the game. He’s the type of player who makes the most of his opportunities and would put up better numbers had he not been blocked by Windsor’s deep array of offensive firepower. Boka anchored Windsor’s top penalty killing unit and doesn’t stop moving while feverishly waving his stick like a scythe. Once he gets control of the puck, he’s strong enough to not only stay balanced and ward off defenders, but also get a shot on net as he’s hounded. He’s strong on his skates but isn’t all that fast, but rarely does Boka come across as out of control or fumbling around with the puck. All things considered, he had a strong pre-draft season — 26 of his 28 points came at 5v5 and he finished 30th among all OHL first-year eligible forwards with a 1.80 eG/60.
199 LHD Calle Sjalin

Leksand, Allsvenskan

6’1, 179 | 09/02/99

Quick two-way blueliner who makes smart pinches and plays aggressive thanks to his speed and confidence controlling the puck. He isn’t that big of a playmaker and his shot is average, but Sjalin makes sound decisions in all three zones and can be trusted to initiate a breakout. He keeps his stick on the ice to close a passing lane and he keeps his body far enough from his goalie but close enough to his man. Sjalin likes to battle, but not at the expense of vacating his slot responsibilities. His head is on enough of a swivel to react quickly to a struggling partner behind the net, but rarely does he leave his side completely unattended. His D-to-D passing is crisp, accurate and done in a variety of ways — off the boards, lobs, saucers off the backhand — and Sjalin doesn’t force passes in a lazy manner that will end up trapping teammates. He’s a quick but smart defender who doesn’t get too crazy with the puck but is capable of kickstarting odd-man rushes with stretch passes or his own wheels.
200 G Alex D’Orio

Saint John Sea Dogs, QMJHL

6’3, 204 | 04/28/99

Getting the chance to develop with a Memorial Cup contender in front of you helped D’Orio compile good looking stats — he went 19-4-0 and tied for second in the QMJHL with a 2.40 goal-against average. A deeper look, however, revealed an light workload and a lot of run support, as D’Orio’s season high for shots faced was 30 and was handed sizeable leads early. While you can’t blame D’Orio for what amounted to a plum job, he did his job by stopping the puck and maintaining his composure. He relies on tracking, positioning and reads more than quickness and flexibility, and his silhouette can be intimidating to shooters, especially if they get in deep as his net awareness while moving laterally is very good.
201 RW Kirill Maksimov

Niagara Ice Dogs, OHL

6’2, 192 | 06/01/99

Excitable scoring winger who was a model of inconsistency until a midseason trade from Saginaw to Niagara, where he scored 19 goals in 33 combined games between the regular season and playoffs. He’s big, fast and owns a wonderful set of hands, and there are times where he is easily the most noticeable and unstoppable player on the ice. Maksimov is a hard shooter who doesn’t need the puck to be settled to get maximum velocity on his shot, and giving him a small window of opportunity is a recipe for disaster. He’s also pretty good around the cage and will release the puck to a open linemate at the very last second. Maksimov by all accounts is a very hard worker and never looks lazy or disinterested, but he plays on the outside and isn’t as physically engaged as a teenager with his build should be. His skill set screams future NHL scorer, but take his second-half surge with a grain of salt.
202 RHD Tommy Miller

U.S. U18, NTDP

6’2, 181 | 03/06/99

Miller is as textbook as they come when sealing off an oncoming opponents into a helpless situation. He is neither mean nor intimidating, but rubbing out his man with authority is something you rarely see in a fleet-footed defenseman. Miller was excellent for Team USA back in November at the U18 Five Nations in Plymouth, and you can argue that he outplayed notable teammates Max Gildon and Tyler Inamoto for the better part of the season. Miller has a hard, accurate shot and is a capable support option on a power play, but his footwork and defensive prowess are two things that will serve him well when he makes his NCAA debut next season with Michigan State. Opponents generally have find difficulty in getting around him, and Miller strong enough to one-arm shove onrushing forwards off the puck.
203 RW Jack Adams (OA)

Fargo Force, USHL

6’5, 190 | 02/05/97

Adams is a hard-working power winger who as a draft+1 overager led the USHL in goal scoring with 37 goals — 21 during 5v5 — in 56 games. Committed to Union College, Adams improved both his straight-line speed and takeoff to augment an already impressive package of size and strength. He has excellent hands, especially around the net, and he was consistent in his ability to get quality chances despite being surrounded by opponents. Adams is an absolute terror in front of the net, and goalies close to 6’3 or 6’4 had difficulty tracking pucks any time he occupied the low slot. You can see the exhaustion in the faces of opponent to try to battle him one-on-one, and sooner or later Adams’s vision and playmaking will improve enough to make teams pay for double teaming him.
204 RW/C Nick Swaney

Waterloo Blackhawks, USHL

5’10, 175 | 09/09/97

Double-overage playmaker with explosive, top-end speed and a hard, accurate shot. The stats say  Swaney didn’t take the kind of leap worthy enough to get picked in his third look, but his committment and effort towards improving his defenisve game was apparent from early in the season. He was a very good penalty killer along with linemate Shane Bowers, and the duo fed off each other by pressing puck carriers, reading plays and staying active away from the puck. Swaney is deadly on the power play and will shoot off the pass with accuracy. He’s a Minnesota native committed to Minnesota-Duluth.
205 LHD Clayton Phillips

Fargo Force, USHL

5’10, 182 | 09/09/99

Fast two-way blueliner who made the USHL All-Rookie team after an impressive all-around season for Fargo. Phillips makes carrying the puck look effortless as he possesses a smooth stride and covers a lot of ground with just a few strides. He’s capable of running a power play and make controlled entries, but once inside the zone he keeps moving and gets as far down as the goal line in order to keep a play alive. He can be considered a playmaker with good vision, but he also owns a very hard, accurate shot with a rapid release. In terms of defending, Phillips improved his stick work, which when combined with his quickness makes it difficult for opponents to control the puck or blow past him. He uses his stick with purpose, swatting away pucks as attackers near the low slot.  Phillips missed eligibility for the 2018 draft by just seven days and his youth and lack of upper-body strength shows when he’s faced with battles for positioning. Phillips has a commitment to the University of Minnesota and is expected to begin his collegiate career in 2018-19.
206 LHD Malte Setkov

Malmo J20, Superelit

6’4, 185 | 08/20/99

Massive Danish stay-at-home defender with developing offensive abilities beyond his hard, accurate shot. Setkov can play either the left or right side and is quite elusive for his size thanks to a decent first step. He can be patient with the puck and not get frazzled in the face of multiple forecheckers, and on occasion will spin away from pressure and move up ice, plus he’s an excellent outlet passer who keeps his head up and can split the zones with accuracy. Setkov finishes his checks and is tough to slip away from while he’s pinning opponents,  but he also knows when to release. He doesn’t play on the power play but is useful on the penalty kill since he is instinctive enough to make the right reads while strong enough to keep the low slot clear. Setkov is very agile and uses his footwork and a massive reach to make it next to impossible to beat him cleanly to the outside. He plays a clean, disciplined game.
207 LHD Dalimil Mikyska

Kometa Brno, Extraliga

6’1, 200 | 08/16/99

Mikyska is a skilled two-way defenseman with a strong grasp of what his responsibilities are in all three zones. He is a physical blueliner who finishes his checks and can assume a top-pairing role with aplomb for the way he reads plays and quickly covers up for the few mistakes he makes. Mikyska has very good first-step quickness and uses it to avoid forecheckers, firing off hard, accurate breakout passes without hesitation while gaining a foot or more of separation. You get the sense that he has eyes on both the side and back of his head, especially with the man advantage where his actions are timed and seemingly well-prepared. Mikyska has a powerful shot and plays the point on the power play, but he likes to dart into openings from the circles on down in order to increase the likelihood of success. He won’t generate offense with creativity and flair, but his puck management is advanced for a teenager still under the age of 18.
208 RHD Oliver Larssen

Leksand J20, Superelit

6’3, 205 | 12/25/98

Mobile two-way defenseman capable of quarterbacking a power play and effectively breaking out of his own end. Larssen has excellent mobility for a defender his size and is poised with the puck, using his size, balance and reach to fend aggressive forecheckers. He uses the boards and the back of his own net to his advantage, reversing and changing direction to gain valuable seconds. Larssen is most certainly a risk taker, however, and he needs to improve the timing of both his pinches and releases. He can be guilty of forcing passes into traffic without being pressed, and he looks more comfortable with a man in his face than he does with boat loads of time. Larssen can be depended on to seal off or tie up his man as they move from a board battle to the slot.
209 RW Alexander Pavlenko

Avto, MHL

6’4, 192 | 04/11/99

Big power forward who is a very good stickhandler and make neat plays from inside the hash marks. He’s got a quick shot/release combination, and he doesn’t struggle hammering passes that are rolling, in his skates or behind him. Pavlenko is strong at protecting the puck and maintains control as he cuts back or spins away from pressure. Having a size advantage and long stuck helps him control and create off the cycle, and he has a tendency to lure extra opponents away from their position. He may be big, but Pavlenko consistently slips away from detection near the crease area.
210 C Andrei Svetlakov (OA)


6’0, 202 | 04/06/96

Svetlakov is an exceptional two-way forward whose play as a triple overager in the KHL confirmed how physically and mentally ready he is to play against the best players in the world. He’s highly competitive and spends every shift battling and fighting until he has possession of the puck. Svetlakov has average speed but he’s very strong on his skates and can power through checks and maintain possession of the puck. He’ll score a lot of dirty goals, but you have to pay attention when he’s killing penalties as he’s shown to make proper reads and quickly transition from defense to offense.  There isn’t a team in the NHL that can’t use a strong two-way forward who plays a 200-foot game and can win big faceoffs — Svetlakov won 57 percent of his draws this year.
211* LHD Max Martin

Prince Albert Raiders, WHL

6’0, 188 | 07/25/99

Traded from a contender in Prince George to a doormat in Prince Albert had a silver lining for Martin, in that he was given more ice time to showcase his two-way abilities. A mobile, aggressive blueliner who skates well and likes to play physical, Martin’s skating — forwards, backwards or laterally — looks appealing to the eye, and uses his leg strength to close quickly on opponents, sometimes in the form of a crushing hit. He’s smart with the puck and will utilize all areas of the rink  — boards, glass, the back of his net — to move the puck safely. Martin is quite strong and rarely gets overworked or outmuscled during board play. He steps up or pinches at the right time, and he maintains a tight gap. Everything he does is pretty loud, and simply sealing off a guy isn’t enough. Most plays involving Martin end in an exclamation point, and he seems to have fully recovered from a shoulder injury that kept him out for most of 2016.
212*  C Aarnie Talvitie

Blues U20, Jr. A SM-Liiga

5’10, 198 | 02/11/99

A feisty, hard-working forward who skates well and boasts a very good shot, especially off the pass. The versatile Talvitie is a jack-of-all trades who can be utilized on the power play or penalty kill. His shot/release combo is his bread and butter, but he’s a smart player in the defensive zone, using quick feet and formidable upper-body strength to lean on puck possessors and finish them with clean checks. Talvitie also can pass the puck and make tape-to-tape connections off the rush. His strong performance  (7 points in 7 games) as Finland’s second line center at the U18 worlds should boost his draft stock, but he already distinguished himself at previous international events and in the regular season for Blues Jrs.
213  RW Alexander Polunin (OA)

Lokomotiv, KHL

5’9, 172 | 05/25/97

Undersized winger with a good stick and wicked shot who is the lone undrafted member of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl’s “Kid Line”. Playing alongside center Pavel Kraskovsy (Winnipeg) and Yegor Korshkov (Toronto), Polunin was fourth on the squad with nine goals, playing third line minutes and sparingly used on the power play. He makes up for a non-existent defensive game with very good puck skills and a heady approach to playmaking. As small as he is, Polunin is always around the net and has great hands to finish from in tight.
214*  RHD Scooter Brickey

Des Moines Buccaneers, USHL

6’3, 193 | 05/27/99

Brickey is a big-bodied shutdown defender with average speed who seems to thrive when his team is trapped and scurrying around their own end. Some might say he’s not doing that great of a job if he’s spending so much time defending, but he led (unofficially) all first-year draft eligible defensemen with a GF%Rel of 20.8. He has the upside a top-pairing shutdown type who will cover up for the mistakes or gaps created by a puck-rushing partner. A sound one-on-one defender who knows how to properly release if he opts to chase an opponent behind the net, Brickey plays with his head up and effectively uses the boards to evade pressure, and his intentions are rarely telegraphed as he consistently connects on difficult break-out passes.
215*  C/W Bobby Dow

Kemptville 73’s, CCHL

6’1, 171 | 11/05/98

Power forward with a commitment to Mercyhurst who plays a tenacious game yet has the skills to make a significant contribution offensively. Dow is a very good skater with strong lateral mobility and enough breakaway speed to avoid the pursuit of defenders. He’s strong on the puck and doesn’t like to give it up, and at times can hang on to the disc for what seems like an entire shift. Dow is uber-confident once a lane opens and will take direct routes to the net with strength and determination. He protects the puck quite well, keeping his head up and looking for multiple options but confident enough to make high-percentage plays on his own. Dow is a physical player who likes to throw his body around and make sound, clean open-ice hits. He uses his upper-body strength to separate opponents from the puck, something that serves him well on the penalty kill. Dow uses his physicality to change momentum and make statements, and at worst he will top out as a skilled two-way energy player who can moonlight as a top-six power forward.
216 G Anton Krasotkin (OA)

HK Ryazan, VHL

6’0, 179 | 05/20/97

In a perfect world, being named MHL playoff MVP would trump half a game’s worth of shaky goaltending in this year Canada-Russia Super Series. One can only hope that whatever misgivings grew from Krasotkin’s performance in what essentially is an exhibition didn’t hurt his reputation in scouting circles. His phenomenal performance in the Russia junior league postseason was followed by a solid showing in Russia’s VHL and he even earned a brief KHL call-up for the second straight season. Krasotkin has quick reflexes, reads plays extremely well and is rarely caught out of position. Playing too deep in the crease burned him during the CHL Series, so improving his stick work and interdicting passes should be an offseason focus.
217 LHD Anton Bjorkman

Dynamo-SPB, MHL

5’11, 168 | 05/13/99

Bjorkman is one of Sweden’s top amateur defenseman who is entrusted with significant in-game situations. He can play on both the power play and on the penalty kill with effectiveness, but it’s the way he maintains a tight gap and wields an active stick while exuding the characteristics of a puck mover that makes us think his top-four upside is legitimate. Bjorkman is summoned for the tough assignments and plays poised under pressure, but he also possesses offensive capabilities such as making accurate home-run passes and skating the puck deep into the opposing zone. He is an above-average skater and owns a very good shot, and on occasion will drop down between the circles to maximize his shot opportunities.