2017 NHL Draft

Mock Draft: 2nd Round picks 32-62 (May)

Top goalie prospect Mike DiPietro will backstop the Windsor Spitfires at the 2017 Memorial Cup (Photo: Terry Wilson)

Steve Kournianos  |  5/18/2017 |  New York  |  

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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.