CHICAGO — The 2017 NHL Entry Draft is less than a month away from taking place, for the first time ever inside the United Center on Friday, June 23rd, and Saturday, June 24th. More than 15,000 fans, along with the plethora of NHL scouts, coaches, and club executives will be in attendence as anxious prospects await to have their name called on stage.
Meanwhile, 534-miles away in Buffalo, New York, 104 of those anxious prospects are currently taking part in the NHL Scouting Combine.
On Wednesday, players took the mandatory physical that is needed to pass in order to participate in Saturday’s physical testing. Thursday and Friday, players will go through interviews with NHL team executives as they attempt to get to better know each prospect. Finally, on Saturday, trainers and coaches will watch as players like Nolan Patrick, Nico Hischier, and Michael Rasmussen take part in the testing.
As teams will use information obtained from the Scouting Combine to finalize their draft boards; I finalize the 1st round of my 2017 NHL Mock Draft:
ROUND 1: Selections 1-31
1. Patrick, Nolan (New Jersey Devils)
2. Hischier, Nico (Philadelphia Flyers)
3. Valimaki, Juuso (Dallas Stars)
4. Vilardi, Gabriel (Colorado Avalanche)
5. Glass, Cody (Vancouver Canucks)
6. Necas, Martin (Vegas Golden Knights)
7. Mittelstadt, Casey (Arizona Coyotes)
8. Heiskanen, Miro (Buffalo Sabres)
9. Liljegren, Timothy (Detroit Red Wings)
10. Rasmussen, Michael (Florida Panthers)
11. Tippett, Owen (Los Angeles Kings)
12. Pettersson, Elias (Carolina Hurricanes)
13. Foote, Callan (Winnipeg Jets)
14. Tolvanen, Eeli (Tampa Bay Lightning)
15. Kostin, Klim (New York Islanders)
16. Poehling, Ryan (Calgary Flames)
17. Makar, Cale (Toronto Maple Leafs)
18. Andersson, Lias (Boston Bruins)
19. Suzuki, Nick (San Jose Sharks)
20. Comtois, Maxime (St. Louis Blues)
21. Hague, Nicolas (New York Rangers)
22. Yamamoto, Kailer (Edmonton Oilers)
23. Ratcliffe, Isaac (Arizona Coyotes)
24. Thomas, Robert (Columbus Blue Jackets)
25. Bowers, Shane (Montreal Canadiens)
26. Lind, Kole (Chicago Blackhawks)
27. Popugayev, Nikita A (St. Louis Blues)
28. Vaakanainen, Urho (Ottawa Senators)
29. Jokiharju, Henri (Dallas Stars)
30. Joseph, Pierre-Olivier (Nashville Predators)
31. Vesalainen, Kristian (Pittsburgh Penguins)
1st Round Trade Notes:
Selection No. 23 – Arizona (from Minnesota)
February 26, 2016:
2017 1st round pick
2018 2nd round pick
2019 conditional 4th round pick**Condition: If Wild win one playoff round in the 2016/17 playoffs, it becomes 3rd round pick. If Wild win two rounds, it becomes 2nd round draft pick.
Result: The Wild were eliminated in the first round. Arizona will receive Minnesota’s 2019 4th round pick
Selection No. 27 – St. Louis (from Washington)
February 27, 2017:
2017 1st round pick
2019 conditional 2nd round pick*
*Conditions: If Capitals re-sign Shattenkirk or advance to 2016/17 Eastern Conference Finals and if Shattenkirk plays in 50% of the first two rounds, Blues receive 2019 2nd round draft pick. If Capitals trade Shattenkirk on or before July 1, 2017; Blues receive a 7th round draft pick. However, should the return in a trade be a 4th round pick or earlier; instead of the 7th round pick, Blues receive next available pick two rounds later than the earliest pick received by the Capitals.
Selection No. 28 – Dallas (from Anaheim)
February 24, 2017:
2017 1st round pick*
*Conditions- Based on final draft position, Dallas will acquire the middle pick of the 3 picks Toronto had acquired, one of which was sent to Anaheim in a previous trade. The selection will be one from the 2017 draft (Ottawa 2nd round pick, San Jose 2nd round pick and Toronto 2nd round pick).
Result: Anaheim advanced to the 3rd round and Eaves played in 50% of the games. Dallas acquires Ducks 2017 1st round pick. Anaheim retains the 2017 2nd round pick.