While the Expansion Draft is on-going, NHL schedules for 2017-18 are pending, 2016-17 NHL Awards are to be handed out, and new uniforms are to be unveiled, the biggest event this week is the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. The New Jersey Devils will be selecting first overall for the first time since the Devils moved from Colorado. It’s a big pick and with the draft less than a week away, the excitement is building up.
Earlier in the month, we at SB Nation came together for our annual community mock draft. After discussion with the six other writers who have been making prospect profiles this year, we narrowly voted Nico Hischier as our selection in this year’s mock draft. I wrote up that mock draft pick when announced last Monday. Back in May, Brian profiled the Swiss center. And last week, CJ posted a round-table discussion regarding the Devils’ big question for first overall: Nico or Nolan Patrick? Even here at All About the Jersey, it’s not definitive answer.
Fortunately, we’re not alone with respect to mock drafts. As is usual at this time of year, many sites post mock drafts for the NHL. Some are enthusiasts of the team or the game, like us. Others are professionals, be it in the media or the realm of scouting services. All the same, it’s an opinion of who thinks who will be selected by each team. Sure, there are many more rankings of prospects but those are lists of whether a player is the best prospect in their opinion. Mock drafts at least consider who’s making the pick and so that is what I’ve rounded up in this post. I tallied up the top four picks; while the Devils are picking first, it’s good to get a feel for who will come right after them.
This year, with the Expansion Draft on-going, a number of people who did this last year have apparently held off on doing mock drafts. I wonder if they’ll come out right before the draft instead? Maybe they didn’t find the exercise to be all that rewarding? All the same, I did find 27 mock drafts to start off with. I think that’s enough to call this a Mockstravaganza. I can update the list as more are updated (I expect a final version from NHL.com, for example) or created.
P.S. DraftSite allows you to make and submit your own mock draft too. For this round-up, I just use the main one they have on their NHL page.
2017 NHL Mock Draft Round Up as of 6/17/2017
|Mock Draft||Link||Mock Date||Devils (#1)||PHI (#2)||DAL (#3)||COL (#4)|
|Mock Draft||Link||Mock Date||Devils (#1)||PHI (#2)||DAL (#3)||COL (#4)|
|SBNation||Link||6/13/2017||Nico Hischier||Nolan Patrick||Casey Mittelstadt||Miro Heiskanen|
|Hockey Wilderness||Link||6/13/2017||Nico Hischier||Nolan Patrick||Casey Mittelstadt||Gabriel Vilardi|
|Wining it in Motown - Kyle||Link||5/14/2017||Nolan Patrick||Nico Hischier||Gabriel Vilardi||Miro Heiskanen|
|The Draft Analyst||Link||5/17/2017||Nolan Patrick||Nico Hischier||Casey Mittelstadt||Miro Heiskanen|
|NHL.com - Mike Morreale||Link||6/4/2017||Nolan Patrick||Nico Hischier||Gabriel Vilardi||Cale Makar|
|NHL.com - Adam Kimelman||Link||6/4/2017||Nolan Patrick||Nico Hischier||Casey Mittelstadt||Miro Heiskanen|
|NHL.com - Guillaume Lepage||Link||6/4/2017||Nico Hischier||Nolan Patrick||Gabriel Vilardi||Miro Heiskanen|
|My NHL Draft.com||Link||6/13/2017||Nolan Patrick||Nico Hischier||Miro Heiskanen||Cody Glass|
|Metro NY - Joe Pantorno||Link||6/15/2017||Nico Hischier||Nolan Patrick||Miro Heiskanen||Gabriel Vilardi|
|CSNNE.com - Joe Haggerty||Link||Jun-17||Nico Hischier||Nolan Patrick||Miro Heiskanen||Gabriel Vilardi|
|DraftSite||Link||5/23/2017||Nico Hischier||Nolan Patrick||Gabriel Vilardi||Casey Mittelstadt|
|Draft Utopia||Link||6/16/2017||Nico Hischier||Nolan Patrick||Miro Heiskanen||Owen Tippett|
|Soup on Sports||Link||6/9/2017||Nico Hischier||Nolan Patrick||Gabriel Vilardi||Miro Heiskanen|
|NJ.com - Chris Ryan||Link||6/13/2017||Nolan Patrick||Nico Hischier||Miro Heiskanen||Gabriel Vilardi|
|Newsday - Arthur Staple||Link||5/18/2017||Nico Hischier||Nolan Patrick||Gabriel Vilardi||Miro Heiskanen|
|TSN.ca - Craig Button||Link||5/12/2017||Nico Hischier||Nolan Patrick||Miro Heiskanen||Gabriel Vilardi|
|The Hockey Writers||Link||6/13/2017||Nolan Patrick||Nico Hischier||Callan Foote||Gabriel Vilardi|
|The Hockey Writers - Larry Fisher||Link||6/14/2017||Nolan Patrick||Nico Hischier||Miro Heiskanen||Cale Makar|
|Puck Prose||Link||6/12/2017||Nolan Patrick||Nico Hischier||Miro Heiskanen||Gabriel Vilardi|
|OHL Prospects||Link||5/27/2017||Nolan Patrick||Nico Hischier||Casey Mittelstadt||Miro Heiskanen|
|Future Considerations||Link||4/30/2017||Nolan Patrick||Nico Hischier||Gabriel Vilardi||Miro Heiskanen|
|Recrutes||Link||5/28/2017||Miro Heiskanen||Nico Hischier||Nolan Patrick||Cale Makar|
|Editor in Leaf||Link||6/7/2017||Nico Hischier||Nolan Patrick||Gabriel Vilardi||Miro Heiskanen|
|Fanrag Sports||Link||6/16/2017||Nolan Patrick||Nico Hischier||Miro Heiskanen||Gabriel Vilardi|
|Last Word on Sports||Link||5/12/2017||Nolan Patrick||Nico Hischier||Gabriel Vilardi||Miro Heiskanen|
|Mile High Sticking||Link||6/15/2017||Nico Hischier||Nolan Patrick||Miro Heiskanen||Gabriel Vilardi|
|Bleacher Report - Mike Chiari||Link||6/17/2017||Nolan Patrick||Nico Hischier||Casey Mittelstadt||Miro Heiskanen|
While not included in this table, this is a special shoutout to the AATJ Members Mock Draft FanPost, posted by member TheDevilsMadeMeDoIt. Various members of the site have put their mock drafts in the comments to that FanPost. Feel free to join and add your two-cents on who you think the Devils will draft. I’ve counted eight there and it’s 7-1 in favor of Nico. So if you want to mentally add one more to the Nico column, then there you are.
That said, if there was any doubt that the top spot of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft was Nico vs. Nolan, then this table should torpedo it. 26 out 27 mock drafts either have Nico Hischier or Nolan Patrick at first overall. All 27 out of 27 mock drafts have Patrick or Hischier at second overall. The total tally: 12 mocks have Nico first; 15 mocks have Nolan first. So if you’re a Patrick supporter, then you have an edge in terms of mock draft opinions.
The lone exception: Grant McCagg’s Recrutes.ca. Since the end of May, he believes (believed?) defenseman Miro Heiskanen should be the pick for New Jersey on the basis that their defense was bad (true), he’s the best defenseman in this year’s draft (possibly true), and so Heiskanen would answer their defensive needs. He’s on an island with that thought process. Ditto with sticking Nolan Patrick at #3; his mock is the only one in this group that put Patrick out of the top two.
As for Heiskanen himself, he was in the top four in 22 out of the 27 mock drafts. Usually, he was the top defenseman with 10 of those mocks have him going to Dallas and 12 have him going to Colorado. Only one mock didn’t have Heiskanen as the top defenseman selected. The Hockey Writers’ community mock draft had a completely off-the-board selection for Dallas: Callan Foote. I highly doubt that will happen.
The fourth most common name in this round up: Gabriel Vilardi. While Casey Mittelstadt received some love as a third-overall pick in 6 mocks; the Minnesota man was selected in only 7 of these mocks. Vilardi was named in 18 of them; 9 at #3 and 9 at #4. While Vilardi and Heiskanen were the most common names, that fourth overall spot saw more variation than the other three. There were three mocks that have defenseman Cale Makar going at #4 and one mock each for Mittelstadt, forward Owen Tippett, and forward Cody Glass.
While I find all of that interesting, I understand the focus should be on #1. And it’s clear with the 2017 NHL Entry Draft that decision at #1 is Nico Hischier or Nolan Patrick. The collection of mock drafts online gives an edge to Patrick to being the guy. We’ll see if the wisdom of that crowd turns out to be true on Friday.