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2017 NHL draft: Ranking the top 120 prospects

Ryan Kennedy
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2017 NHL draft: Ranking the top 120 prospects

From left: Gabe Vilardi, Nolan Patrick, Nico Hischier and Casey Mittelstadt Author: Dave Sandford, NHLI/Getty Images

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2017 NHL draft: Ranking the top 120 prospects

Ryan Kennedy
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Our prospect expert delivers his final list and it's a big one. Find out who the best players are and who came out on top, Nolan Patrick or Nico Hischier.

The 2017 NHL draft is officially one week away, so it’s time for a final ranking. This year has been very intriguing, particularly at the top. Nolan Patrick and Nico Hischier are so close, they’re a coin flip. But decisions have to be made and I believe the New Jersey Devils will take Patrick.

The following rankings are based on my discussions with team scouts/execs, plus my own viewings and opinions. This is not a mock draft per se, but obviously I’m assuming the Devils pick first overall. Otherwise, consider this “best player available,” with the further caveat that goaltenders seldom go in the first round anymore, so I have ranked them in the range I believe they will be taken.

Behold, my top 120 prospects for the 2017 NHL draft. Enjoy…

  1. Nolan Patrick, C, Brandon (WHL): He’s got the size, the NHL pedigree and the two-way game that will make him a pro right away. When healthy, he’s the total package.
  2. Nico Hischier, C, Halifax (QMJHL): Tons of upside in this dynamic and smart producer. Wouldn’t be surprised if he turns out to be the best in his class.
  3. Gabe Vilardi, C, Windsor (OHL): His puck protection is excellent and the hockey IQ is upper-echelon. Could get faster, but he’s on his way.
  4. Miro Heiskanen, D, HIFK (Fin.): The archetypal smooth-skating modern defenseman that all teams crave. Plays well above his age.
  5. Cale Makar, D, Brooks (AJHL): Exciting and tenacious, Makar is an excellent skater and a dynamic presence on the back end. He's bound for UMass next season.
  6. Casey Mittelstadt, C, Eden Prairie (Minn. HS): The University of Minnesota commit is still maturing physically, but the playmaking vision and puckhandling is top-shelf.
  7. Cody Glass, C, Portland (WHL): Skilled, smart and creative, Glass is expected to dominate the WHL even more next season; he just needs to fill out his frame and up his compete level.
  8. Owen Tippett, RW, Mississauga (OHL): One of the most lethal goal-scorers in the draft, Tippett has size, speed and a great shot. Once he hones his play away from the puck, he’ll be golden.
  9. Elias Pettersson, C, Timra (Swe.): A skinny kid with a ton of potential, Pettersson is very smart, with great vision and a competitive attitude. Headed to Vaxjo next season.
  10. Michael Rasmussen, C, Tri-City (WHL): A huge threat down the middle, Rasmussen has big-time reach and nice hands around the net.
  11. Martin Necas, RW, Kometo Brno (Cze.)
  12. Nick Suzuki, C, Owen Sound (OHL)
  13. Eeli Tolvanen, LW, Sioux City (USHL)
  14. Timothy Liljegren, D, Rogle (SHL)
  15. Klim Kostin, RW, MVD (Rus.)
  16. Cal Foote, D, Kelowna (WHL)
  17. Lias Andersson, C, HV71 (SHL)
  18. Juuso Valimaki, D, Tri-City (WHL)
  19. Isaac Ratcliffe, LW, Guelph (OHL)
  20. Kristian Vesalainen, LW, Frolunda (SHL)
  21. Nic Hague, D, Mississauga (OHL)
  22. Maxime Comtois, LW, Victoriaville (QMJHL)
  23. Ryan Poehling, C, St. Cloud State (NCHC)
  24. Kailer Yamamoto, RW, Spokane (WHL)
  25. Robert Thomas, C, London (OHL)
  26. Pierre-Olivier Joseph, D, Charlottetown (QMJHL)
  27. Kole Lind, RW, Kelowna (WHL)
  28. Erik Brannstrom, D, HV71 (SHL)
  29. Shane Bowers, C, Waterloo (USHL)
  30. Urho Vaakainen, D, JYP (Fin.)
  31. Jaret Anderson-Dolan, C, Spokane (WHL)
  32. Jake Oettinger, G, Boston U. (Hockey East)
  33. Jonah Gadjovich, LW, Owen Sound (OHL)
  34. Conor Timmins, D, Sault Ste, Marie (OHL)
  35. Ivan Lodnia, RW, Erie (OHL)
  36. Nikita Popugaev, LW, Prince George (WHL)
  37. Grant Mismash, RW, U.S. NTDP (USHL)
  38. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, G, HPK (Fin.)
  39. Alex Formenton, RW, London (OHL)
  40. Morgan Frost, C, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)
  41. Mackenzie Entwistle, RW, Hamilton (OHL) 
  42. Alexei Lipanov, C, MVD (Rus.)
  43. Antoine Morand, C, Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL)
  44. Markus Phillips, D, Owen Sound (OHL)
  45. Josh Norris, C, U.S. NTDP (USHL)
  46. Stelio Mattheos, C, Brandon (WHL)
  47. Matthew Strome, LW, Hamilton (OHL)
  48. Dylan Samberg, D, Hermantown (Minn. HS)
  49. Keith Petruzzelli, G, Muskegon (USHL)
  50. Ostap Safin, RW, Sparta Prague (Cze.)
  51. Josh Brook, D, Moose Jaw (WHL)
  52. Aleksi Heponiemi, C, Swift Current (WHL)
  53. Jason Robertson, RW, Kingston (OHL)
  54. Filip Chytil, LW, Zlin (Cze.)
  55. Jake Leschyshyn, C, Regina (WHL)
  56. Marcus Davidsson, RW, Djurgarden (Swe.)
  57. Jack Studnicka, C, Oshawa (OHL)
  58. Henri Jokiharju, D, Portland (WHL)
  59. Ian Mitchell, D, Spruce Grove (AJHL)
  60. Cameron Crotty, D, Brockville (CCHL)
  61. Joni Ikonen, C, Frolunda (Swe.)
  62. Sasha Chmelevski, C, Ottawa (OHL)
  63. Michael DiPietro, G, Windsor (OHL)
  64. Jesper Boqvist, RW, Brynas (Swe)
  65. David Farrance, D, U.S. NTDP (USHL)
  66. Ian Scott, G, Prince Albert (WHL)
  67. Mikey Anderson, D, Waterloo (USHL)
  68. Artyom Myulin, D, Swift Current (WHL)
  69. Robin Salo, D, Sport (Fin.)
  70. Eemeli Rasanen, D, Kingston (OHL)
  71. Adam Ruzicka, C, Sarnia (OHL)
  72. Mason Shaw, C, Medicine Hat (WHL)
  73. Clayton Phillips, D, Fargo (USHL)
  74. Evan Barratt, C, U.S. NTDP (USHL)
  75. Jesse Koskenkorva, C, Karpat (Fin.)
  76. Luke Martin, D, Michigan (Big Ten)
  77. Nate Schnarr, C, Guelph (OHL)
  78. Noah Cates, C, Stillwater (Minn. HS)
  79. Mario Ferraro, D, Des Moines (USHL)
  80. Max Gildon, D, U.S. NTDP (USHL)
  81. Zach Gallant, C, Peterborough (OHL)
  82. Noel Hoefenmeyer, D, Ottawa (OHL)
  83. Lukas Elvenes, RW, Rogle (Swe.)
  84. Jarret Tyszka, D, Seattle (WHL)
  85. Stuart Skinner, G, Lethbridge (WHL)
  86. Filip Westerlund, D, Frolunda (Swe.)
  87. Rickard Hugg, C, Leksand (Swe.)
  88. Matthew Villalta, G, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)
  89. Scott Reedy, C, U.S. NTDP (USHL) 
  90. Maksim Zhukov, G, Green Bay (USHL)
  91. Brannon McManus, C, Omaha (USHL)
  92. Patrick Khodorenko, C, Michigan State (Big Ten)
  93. Reilly Walsh, D, Proctor Academy (NH)
  94. Joel Teasdale, C, Blainville-Boisbriand (QMJHL)
  95. Olle Eriksson-Ek, G, Farjestad (Swe.)
  96. Morgan Geekie, C, Tri-City (WHL)
  97. Tim Soderlund, LW, Skelleftea (Swe.)
  98. Alexandre Texier, C, Grenoble (Fra.)
  99. Jack Dugan, LW, Northwood (NY HS)
  100. Kyle Olson, C, Tri City (WHL) 
  101. Nick Henry, C, Regina (WHL)
  102. Tommy Miller, D, U.S. NTDP (USHL)
  103. Jack Rathbone, D, Dexter (Mass. HS)
  104. Austen Keating, C, Ottawa (OHL)
  105. Greg Meireles, RW, Kitchener (OHL)
  106. Antoine Crete-Belzile, D, Blainville-Boisbriand (QMJHL)
  107. Ivan Chechovich, C, Baie-Comeau (QMJHL)
  108. Dmitri Samorukov, D, Guelph (OHL)
  109. Linus Nyman, C, Kingston (OHL)
  110. Lane Zablocki, C, Red Deer (WHL)
  111. Kasper Kotkansalo, D, Sioux Falls (USHL)
  112. Micah Miller C, Grand Rapids (MN HS)
  113. Kirill Slepets, LW, Yaroslavl (Rus.)
  114. Mark Rubinchik, D, Saskatoon (WHL)
  115. Daniil Tarasov, G, Tolpar Ufa (Rus.)
  116. Jacob Paquette, D, Kingston (OHL)
  117. David Kvasnicka, D, Plzen (Cze.)
  118. Ben Mirageas, D, Chicago (USHL)
  119. Jonas Rondbjerg, RW, Vaxjo (Swe.)
  120. Finn Evans, RW, St. Michael’s (OJHL)

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2017 NHL draft: Ranking the top 120 prospects