2017 NHL Draft

Mock Draft: 3rd Round picks 63-93 (May)

Heavy hitter Dimitri Samorukov of the OHL’s Guelph Storm was Russia’s top defender at the under-18 world championship (Photo: RIHF)

Steve Kournianos  |  5/19/2017 |  New York  |  

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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

HK MVD, MHL

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.