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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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

HV71, SHL

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

HV71, SHL

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

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.