2017 NHL Draft Report (1-10)

DB1 – Nico Hischier, Center, 6’1.5” 179, L, Halifax (QMJHL)

Age at Draft: 18 years, 5 months, 19 days

Body Mass Index: 23.3

Prospect Volatility Index: #90 (.56)

Career Highlights:

U18 WJC Top 3 Player on Team 15/16 … QMJHL Most Goals (38), Assists (48), Points (86) by a Rookie 16/17 … QMJHL Offensive Rookie of the Year 16/17 … U18 + U20 WJC Top 3 Player on Team 16/17.

Scouting Report:

Swiss star went from being a dreamy import to a CHL franchise player elevating his mainstream draft stock in less than year…an elite hockey player who simply reads the game on another level…already the mature sum of his parts at 18, he is not the type of player who will be drafted for raw tools alone though they are pretty damn good isolated as well…thinks and acts fast…not an overwhelming skater in speed, but you may not find a player in this draft who maintains as much of his speed with the puck on his stick as him…the type of smart, effective forward you wish you could shift all 60 minutes…great shot, even better in possession and as a passing artist…plays all situations and you want him to…has incredible detail to his game in everything from subtle stick lifts to chips to positional flow….smooth puckhandler who has grown this year in dealing with contact and working the boards…straight forward attacker who is a touch imaginative…usually a relentless force but does find himself in opportunistic situations…back checks hard as he has played on some weak SUI teams and needed to be best player and overall support for his unit…goal scoring tanked late in the season though perspective is needed because he has a lot of miles on his tires…an atypical top pick who no one’s complaining about because he’s going to have a long career as a lynchpin #1C.

Season Stats:

2016-2017 QMJHL: 57GP, 38G, 48A, 86PTS, 24PIM

2016-2017 WJC: 5GP, 4G, 3A, 7PTS, 2PIM

2016-2017 U18: 5GP, 1G, 5A, 6PTS, 0PIM


DB2 – Nolan Patrick, Center, 6’2” 199, R, Brandon (WHL)

Age at Draft: 18 years, 9 months, 4 days

Body Mass Index: 25.5

Prospect Volatility Index: #187 (.25)

Career Highlights: 

Hlinka Memorial Gold Medal 15/16 … WHL Champion 15/16 … WHL Playoffs MVP 15/16 … WHL Playoffs Most Points (30) 15/16.

Scouting Report:

Typical first overall, by age and resume, came into the year as frontrunner to be the man, yet lost his grip on the top slot due to injuries that were out of his control…from pre-draft to draft year play, you could easily tell his ailments affected him throughout the games he battled to play this year…wasn’t that much more explosive as a skater last year, but the speed of his execution dropped off and his movement in general was more labored this year…has been injured often in his young career, making evaluators wary of him being prone and ‘made of glass’…has great vision and is a heads up thinker…hands are still elite as is his ability to thread the difficult pass in any situation…one of those on ice leaders who finds ways to pull pucks out of skates and crowds to create…a hunched, compact skater who may have exaggerated the style to protect himself…skating comes down to intent to move fast vs. skating ability as he’s not slow but plays at a consistently deliberate pace…when he wants to he can accelerate just fine, it’s just he doesn’t often do so…can get caught flat-footed…criticized for becoming lazier and worse defensively though to his defense he essentially just didn’t improve due to obvious circumstances…appeared to expect to be the best player on ice and get to pucks he normally used to in the D zone but just couldn’t – not because he floated or cared less…carries less risk than suggested as a player who will recharge once healed and potentially step right into the NHL next season.

Season Stats:

2016-2017 WHL: 33GP, 20G, 26A, 46PTS, 36PIM

2015-2016 WHL: 72GP, 41G, 61A, 102PTS, 41PIM


DB3 – Elias Pettersson, Center, 6’1.75’’ 165, L, Timra (ALLSVENSKAN)

Age at Draft: 18 years, 7 months, 11 days

Body Mass Index: 21.3

Prospect Volatility Index: #71 (.60)

Career Highlights:

Hlinka Memorial Silver Medal 15/16 … U18 WJC Silver Medal 15/16 … U18 Allsvenskan Most Assists by a Junior (21) 16/17.

Scouting Report: 

One of 2017’s top one-on-one players dropped Allsvenskan jocks all year long and really solidified himself as a top 10 prospect…a pure offensive talent who can juke his way to premium ice and scoring chances…uber lanky, with a slightly awkward + loose stride that needs to refine with added leg strength…still, manages to own quick footwork and agility to evade opponents with ease…NHL ready hands and processing … can thread the pass, but really excels in open space on breaks as a shooter/deker…can really snipe when he wants to…some of the year’s prettiest draft eligible goals belong to this kid…in pre-draft was a competitive SOB who earned his ice time with older players by busting his rear and that did not change this year…goes hard into the fray and is surprisingly solid in board battles because he wants the puck so badly…good defensively though it’s his transition ability out of the zone with the puck that ignites his team…growing into his frame is his biggest to do with skating enhancements as a secondary item…could be a superstar at the next level as long as physical development comes as older players have already had trouble stopping him.

Season Stats:

2016-2017 ALL: 43GP, 19G, 22A, 41PTS, 14PIM

2016-2017 ALL QUAL: 3GP, 2G, 4A, 6PTS, 0PIM

2016-2017 WJC: 6GP, 0G, 1A, 1PTS, 0PIM

2015-2016 U18: 7GP, 1G, 7A, 8PTS, 4PIM


DB4 – Cale Makar, Defense, 5’11.25’’ 187, R, Brooks (AJHL)

Age at Draft: 18 years, 7 months, 24 days

Body Mass Index: 25.9

Prospect Volatility Index: 190 (.25)

Career Highlights:

WJAC Gold Medal 15/16 … RBC Cup Most Valuable Player 15/16 … RBC Cup Top Scorer 15/16 … AJHL Champion 15/16 … AJHL Most Outstanding Defenseman 16/17 … AJHL Playoff MVP 16/17 … AJHL Champion 16/17.

Scouting Report: 

One of the AJHL’s brightest talents to come through in some time is a volatile draft eligible prospect who has been erratically dominant over the course of the season…an elite skater who can toy with opponents with grace when the puck is on his stick…forward-esque…due to his ability to lead the rush as well as jump into the play, is often seen traversing all three zones within seconds to cover ground…an explosive athlete who has the complete skating profile and one that is especially ideal for defensemen…breathtaking, zone exit to entry type of linear speed…can shake and bake with excellent lateral agility to create lanes for himself…dual shot/passer who can be hard to read despite his teammates not being able to keep up at times…even when the play breaks down, his feet can get him out of trouble…can compete harder at times, but does show an aggressive penchant for dynamic hard hitting…needs to tighten up man-to-man coverage and own the crease better…has been seen letting teammates take his D position so he can get ready to press offensively…competition has been weak, but he is a leader and his teammates thus far have only had eyes for him…could be a uniquely high AJHL defensive pick, but if not, should not make it out of the top 15.

Season Stats:

2016-2017 AJHL: 54GP, 24G, 51A, 75PTS, 18PIM

2016-2017 AJHL POs: 13GP, 5G, 11A, 16PTS, 4PIM

2016-2017 WJAC: 4GP, 4G, 4A, 8PTS, 0PIM


DB5 – Miro Heiskanen, Defense, 6’0.75’’ 172, L, HIFK (LIIGA)

Age at Draft: 17 years, 11 months, 5 days

Body Mass Index: 22.8

Prospect Volatility Index: 15 (.85)

Career Highlights:

Jr. A SM-liiga Rookie of the Year 15/16 … U18 WJC Best Defenseman 16/17 … U18 WJC All-Star Team 16/17 … U18 WJC Most Assists (10) 16/17 … U18 WJC Silver Medal 16/17 … U18 WJC Top 3 Player on Team 16/17.

Scouting Report:

The next highly anticipated Finnish blueliner rose throughout the year while playing a conservatively skilled game in LIIGA…earned his stripes playing next to massive NHL first round flop Joe Finley…ultra smooth skater with quick wits due to his ability to see a few steps ahead of the play…already a two-way force who barely breaks a sweat…held his own against men because he can take care of his own zone first…incredibly calm and composed with and without the puck…hands are slick and can deceive in various ways…can slip a transition pass with oncoming pressure with ease and likes to use stick deception in flight to throw opponents off his track…strong puck rusher who will go deep and not just stop up at the point…flex shooter at the circles – pumps more on the right but can really place on the left too…light at 170 but stands firm and doesn’t get pushed over on one-on-one defensive assignments…a multi-tool hawk who isn’t afraid to make contact physically while annoyingly getting his stick on the puck with precision…very polished and well above his age group as seen by his U18 means he will be a valued commodity in the top 10.

Season Stats:

2016-2017 LIIGA: 37GP, 5G, 5A, 10PTS, 4PIM

2016-2017 LIIGA POs: 8GP, 0G, 3A, 3PTS, 0PIM

2016-2017 WJC: 6GP, 0G, 1A, 1PTS, 0PIM

2016-2017 U18: 7GP, 2G, 10A, 12PTS, 0PIM


DB6 – Gabriel Vilardi, Center, 6’2.75’’ 203, R, Windsor (OHL)

Age at Draft: 17 years, 10 months, 7 days

Body Mass Index:  25.5

Prospect Volatility Index: 58 (.65)

Career Highlights:

OHL Second All-Rookie Team 15/16 … U17 WHC Gold Medal 15/16.

Scouting Report:

One of Hockey Canada’s top guns for years has maintained his status as a premier prospect for 2017 despite a rocky road with injuries and skating concerns yet to be answered … kicked off the campaign with a knee injury at Hlinka camp that kept him out of the first 5 OHL GP and then lost games from 11/20 to 12/28 after an appendectomy … imposing figure catches you off guard with how slick his skill is for his size … still growing centerman who was flanked out and looked like a star winger … has always been a developed passer and shooter who uses his excellent instincts to decide which with poise … tends to show as a slot sniper which bodes well for him to translate up … great at tape-to-tape cross ice passes in the offensive zone … puck possession is very strong as his grip on the puck is manly … has one of the best sets of hands in the draft … surprisingly good penalty killer due to his hockey sense … the way he absorbs the puck onto his stick is elite … defenders typically have no shot against him down low and against the boards … ended the year on a passing slant at the Mem Cup and will need to pull the trigger more … accumulated straight line speed is fine but coordination, footwork, and first few strides lack at the moment … elite OHL’er comes with some risk but you can’t ignore the impact he’s had as one of the younger draft eligibles and hope he’s the next average skater to beat the forecast quickly ala Draisaitl/Tkachuk.

Season Stats:

2016-2017 OHL: 49GP, 29G, 32A, 61PTS, 12PIM

2016-2017 OHL POs: 7GP, 2G, 4A, 6PTS, 4PIM

2016-2017 MEM CUP: 4GP, 0G, 7A, 7PTS, 0PIM


DB7 – Lias Andersson, Center, 5’11’’ 201, L, HV-71 (SHL)

Age at Draft: 18 years, 8 months, 10 days

Body Mass Index: 28.0

Prospect Volatility Index: 213 (.10)

Career Highlights: 

U17 WHC Bronze Medal 14/15 … U18 WJC Silver Medal 15/16 … J20 SuperElit (Overall) Most Assists (35) and Points (59) 15/16 … U18 WJC Top 3 Player on Team 15/16 … SHL Champion 16/17.

Scouting Report: 

SHL champion had an impressive pro campaign in Sweden as an underappreciated draft prospect…played with men and looked like one of the vets coming to the rink with a hardnosed yet skillful game…defensively responsible, offensively inclined, no inch of the ice goes untouched with him…the type of kid that thrives in pushing back against contact to make plays…loves to hit, loves to grind the cycle, loves to crash the net in both directions…beautiful skater who skates with weight to his stride and sinks into the cut with power…subtle stick skills from his puckhandling to shot to pass to vision + instincts…has a very sneaky shot that can get disrupted and still find it’s way in the net…underrated passer who can create his own lanes at top speed with maximum efficiency…great hand-eye coordination and can bat pucks out of air…hard to find flaws with such a well rounded player as top end concerns are unfounded…was underutilized at WJC but still found a way to score some…slam dunk second line centerman who is going to translate to the NHL with flying colors and potentially as soon as 2017.

Season Stats:

2016-2017 SHL: 42GP, 9G, 10A, 19PTS, 18PIM

2016-2017 SHL POs: 16GP, 4G, 1A, 5PTS, 18PIM

2016-2017 WJC: 7GP, 3G, 0A, 3PTS, 6PIM


DB8 – Martin Necas, Center, 6’0.5’’ 167, R, Brno (CZECH)

Age at Draft: 18 years, 5 months, 8 days

Body Mass Index: 23.5

Prospect Volatility Index: 82 (.57)

Career Highlights:

Czech U17 Most Assists (59) and Points (91) 15/16 … Czech U18 Champion 15/16 … Czech Extraliga Champion 16/17.

Scouting Report: 

High octane Czech took his first round grade coming into the year and slapped scouts in the face with a top ten performance early in the scouting season at Hlinka…champion and winner took his team to the Hlinka title, had a great WJC, and won in the Extraliga…his game is speed and some scoring bookended with more speed…smooth skater who is strong on his skates and owns initial burst that is so important in today’s game…spoke highly of his tutelage with pro’s and former NHL’ers playing for Brno and he wasn’t joking…one of the finest puck transporters through the neutral zone who has an eye to playmake on the fly…knows just the right time to deliver the puck and can do so in any position, forehand and backhand with steam…an HD scorer who is crafty and quick around the net but can slide out to the slot and inside hashmarks to finish with precision…doesn’t stop competing and is a nuisance to deal with as he tracks his checks closely…has to gain weight but isn’t an immediate material concern on ice as he held up vs. men…it’s important to realize he went straight from Czech U18 to the top league and thus hasn’t shown his full offensive slate just yet…should go top ten as a playoff type of 2nd line centerman.

Season Stats:

2016-2017 CZECH: 41GP, 7G, 8A, 15PTS, 6PIM

2016-2017 CZECH POs: 10GP, 4G, 0A, 4PTS, 8PIM

2016-2017 WJC: 5GP, 1G, 2A, 3PTS, 2PIM

2016-2017 U18: 5GP, 0G, 3A, 3PTS, 4PIM

2016-2017 HLINKA: 4GP, 2G, 4A, 6PTS, 2PIM


DB9 – Klim Kostin, Left Wing, 6’2.5’’ 207, L, Dynamo (KHL)

Age at Draft: 18 years, 1 month, 18 days

Body Mass Index: 26.2

Prospect Volatility Index: 130 (.45)

Career Highlights:

U17 WHC Silver Medal 16/17.

Scouting Report:

Dreamy Russian power winger had the scouting community all hyped for his draft year but lobbed up a dud of a season due committing to the KHL and getting injured…here’s an idea of how his season was going prior to being shut down around January: 0PTS in 8GP in KHL and 1PT in 7GP in VHL…big and physical with a striking assortment of skating, hands, shot…has been an international leader…his studly play across multiple tournaments over multiple years will fuel his projection this June…generates incredible power on his strides that he can pump his legs and then glide past opponents…a neutral zone slasher who can go east to west when he hits the offensive zone…dekes are wide and sort of drawn out so he will need to adjust for this when he plays men…passes, shoots, hits hard…capable of the toe drag in flight while he blows past the last line of defense…once he’s in the attacking zone he only has eyes for HD area…loves to cut and funnel pucks to the net which is a valuable trait in a big bodied winger who can bull his way there…has an ability to adjust to imperfect bounces and still adjust himself and get wood on them…biggest critique is cutting out the excess fat when he’s in the offensive zone…sees some extra shot blocks and lost pucks due to the volume of decisions he’s making because he has the puck a lot…carries risk due to missed development, but is a high performer in a man’s body who just needs a clean bill of health to dominate next year.

Season Stats:

2016-2017 KHL: 8GP, 0G, 0A, 0PTS, 27PIM

2016-2017 WJAC: 3GP, 1G, 2A, 3PTS, 6PIM

2016-2017 HLINKA: 5GP, 4G, 3A, 7PTS, 29PIM


DB10 – Cody Glass, Center, 6’1.75’’ 180, R, Portland (WHL)

Age at Draft: 18 years, 2 months, 22 days

Body Mass Index:  22.4

Prospect Volatility Index: 34 (.74)

Career Highlights:

WHL (West) First All-Star Team 16/17.

Scouting Report: 

Meteoric riser announced himself as a top prospect for 2017 early in the season and proceeded to take the mantle as the Winterhawks top player…had one of the steepest, longest climbs after being snubbed by HC for the Hlinka in August…is middle of the pack in terms of DOB but is still growing into his frame…hockey sense, innate positioning, and reactive hands for shot/pass are his defining traits…mitts are really firm and contacts the puck crisply and with oomph every time…is one of those goal scorers where everything goes his way…scored a bunch of randomly generous goals this year – not lucky because his smarts and stick do create opportunity…above average passer who can whip dishes that turn into immediate scoring chances…has vision for the developing play…a hawk around the net and loves to drop to a knee to rip it…doesn’t look thin as much as he doesn’t look coordinated and completely in control of his body yet…skating is decent with highs and lows in certain areas…owns a strong forward lean from the hips and strides are drawn out…linear speed is pretty good because of his leg power…lateral agility and mobility is slightly below average…needs to beat attackers straight on because he can’t dance around them…has been hit or miss defensively where he’ll go deep and battle or wade out past the circles looking for the exit…a touch overrated for the raw talent on display right now but aging a half year could turn him into a top 6 monster down the middle.

Season Stats:

2016-2017 WHL: 69GP, 32G, 62A, 94PTS, 36PIM

2016-2017 WHL POs: 11GP, 4G, 5A, 9PTS, 10PIM

2016-2017 U18: 3GP, 1G, 2A, 3PTS, 0PIM