NHL Mock Draft 2017: Order of Selections and 1st-Round Predictions

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 20, 2017

QUEBEC CITY,  QC - OCTOBER 5: Maxime Comtois #44 of the Victoriaville Tigres skates during his QMJHL hockey game at the Centre Videotron on October 5, 2016 in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Mathieu Belanger/Getty Images)
Mathieu Belanger/Getty Images

A little over a week has passed since the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Nashville Predators in the 2017 Stanley Cup Final, so the focus of the hockey world has firmly shifted to the 2017 NHL draft Friday in Chicago.

Below is a mock for the first round of Friday's draft, followed by a breakdown for three players who are likely to be undervalued in the mid-to-late stages of the round.

      

2017 NHL Mock Draft—First Round

1. New Jersey Devils: Nolan Patrick, C, Brandon

2. Philadelphia Flyers: Nico Hischier, C, Halifax

3. Dallas Stars: Gabriel Vilardi, C, Windsor

4. Colorado Avalanche: Cody Glass, C, Portland

5. Vancouver Canucks: Owen Tippett, RW, Mississauga

6. Vegas Golden Knights: Miro Heiskanen, D, HIFK

7. Arizona Coyotes: Casey Mittelstadt, C, Eden Prairie

8. Buffalo Sabres: Cale Makar, D, Brooks

9. Detroit Red Wings: Klim Kostin, LW/C, Dynamo Moscow

10. Florida Panthers: Martin Necas, C, Brno

11. Los Angeles Kings: Eeli Tolvanen, RW, Sioux City

12. Carolina Hurricanes: Timothy Liljegren, D, Rogle

13. Winnipeg Jets: Michael Rasmussen, C, Tri-City

14. Tampa Bay Lightning: Juuso Valimaki, D, Tri-City

15. New York Islanders: Elias Pettersson, C, Timra

16. Calgary Flames: Callan Foote, D, Kelowna

17. Toronto Maple Leafs: Lias Andersson, C, HV 71

18. Boston Bruins: Nicolas Hague, D, Mississauga

19. San Jose Sharks: Kristian VesalainenLW/RW, Frolunda

20. St. Louis Blues: Ryan Poehling, C, St. Cloud State

21. New York Rangers: Kailer Yamamoto, RW, Spokane

22. Edmonton Oilers: Nick Suzuki, C, Owen Sound

23. Arizona Coyotes (from Minnesota): Maxime Comtois, LW, Victoriaville

24. Columbus Blue Jackets: Kole Lind, RW, Kelowna

25. Montreal Canadiens: Isaac Ratcliffe, LW, Guelph

26. Chicago Blackhawks: Shane Bowers, C, Waterloo

27. St. Louis Blues (from Washington): Urho Vaakanainen, D, JYP

28. Ottawa Senators: Nikita Popugayev, LW, Prince George

29. Dallas Stars (from Anaheim): Erik Brannstrom, D, HV 71

30. Nashville Predators: Pierre-Oliver Joseph, D, Charlottetown

31. Pittsburgh Penguins: Grant Mismash, LW, USA U-18

    

Underrated First-Round Prospects

Callan Foote, D, Kelowna

KELOWNA, CANADA - FEBRUARY 10: Cal Foote #25 of the Kelowna Rockets skates with the puck against the Vancouver Giants  on February 10, 2017 at Prospera Place in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.  (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)  *** Local Caption
Marissa Baecker/Getty Images

Callan Foote showed solid two-way capabilities over the last two years with the Kelowna Rockets. He had 14 goals and 79 assists in 142 games.

The 18-year-old has also reaped the benefits that come with being the son of an NHL veteran. Foote's father, Adam, played in the league for 19 years.

Foote doesn't have limitless potential, which is one of the reasons he's generally ranked behind fellow defensemen Cale Makar, Miro Heiskanen and Timothy Liljegren. Rather than a perennial All-Star, Foote more so looks like a player who will be a steady presence on the blue line for a decade or more.

    

Ryan Poehling, C, St. Cloud State

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 22:  Ben Mirageas #3 of Team Howe tries to keep the puck from Ryan Poehling #18 of Team LeClair during the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game on September 22, 2016 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvani
Elsa/Getty Images

Ryan Poehling didn't post gaudy numbers for the St. Cloud State Huskies in 2016-17. He scored seven goals and assisted on six more in 35 games. The low goal total speaks to the general concern about his offensive potential in the NHL.

The idea of selecting a player who potentially projects as a third or fourth-line forward in the first round doesn't spark a lot of excitement. At the same time, there's almost no chance Poehling is a complete bust who washes out of the league.

"In other words, he's a complete, coachable prospect with well-above-average size, strength, skating and two-way tools, and thus comes with a very high probability of having a long NHL career," SabresProspects.com's Kris Baker wrote. "It's just a matter of how high in the lineup scouts believe he can play."

    

Maxime Comtois, LW, Victoriaville

QUEBEC CITY,  QC - OCTOBER 5: Maxime Comtois #44 of the Victoriaville Tigres skates during his QMJHL hockey game at the Centre Videotron on October 5, 2016 in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Mathieu Belanger/Getty Images)
Mathieu Belanger/Getty Images

"When I go to the rink, I want to work, I want to make a difference each and every game and I don't care who's in front of me," Maxime Comtois said in December, per NHL.com's Mike G. Morreale. "I work hard, like to go to the net. I like doing extra things on the ice after practice. I want to be the one putting the puck in the net, I want to get the win for my team."

Those comments offer a solid microcosm of Comtois' game. He's not the most agile forward, nor is he a dynamic puck-hander. However, he's not afraid to throw his 6'2", 200-pound frame around, and his work ethic is beyond reproach.

Comtois scored 22 goals for the Victoriaville Tigres in 2016-17 and emerged as a reliable option in the penalty kill. An NHL team will have little trouble finding him a meaningful role at the next level.