On Friday, June 23rd, the NHL Draft 2017 took place. Here’s a roundup on all the action and news from the night.
New Jersey Devils Select Nico Hischier 1st Overall: It was expected that Hischier would be picked first. The Swiss player had 38 goals and 48 assists in 57 QMJHL games. He isn’t a talent like Matthews or McDavid, but he will most likely play with the Devils next year.
Philadelphia Flyers Select Nolan Patrick 2nd Overall: As expected, Philadelphia chose Nolan Patrick 2nd overall. He was expected to be the 1st overall pick at the beginning of the season, but injuries changed that plan. He had 20 goals and 26 assists in 33 games for the Brandon Wheat Kings.
Vancouver Canucks Make Shocking Pick Choosing Elias Petterson 5th Overall: The Vancouver Canucks shocked NHL fans when they chose a 6 foot 2 160 pound forward from the Allsvenskan, that was expected to go around 15th overall. He is expected to be a 2-3 year project at the least. The Canucks were supposed to pick Cody Glass, who would’ve most likely headed into the NHL immediately, but choosing Petterson means that Glass went to the Las Vegas Golden Knights at 6th overall.
Gabriel Vilardi Falls To 11th Overall: Vilardi was predicted to go as high as 3rd overall by some sources. But, teams didn’t like his slow stride, which is the main reason he dropped so low. The Los Angeles Kings got a steal with Vilardi, to add to their already great group of hockey players.
Chicago Blackhawks Trade Away Artemi Panarin To Chicago Blackhawks In Blockbuster Deal: The winner of the Calder Trophy (Rookie Of The Year) two years ago, was traded away. Panarin was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Brandon Saad. Chicago did also trade away a 6th round in 2017 and Tyler Motte while Columbus also added a 5th round pick in 2018 and Anton Forsberg.
Neither of the players or picks either team added really mattered however, so it was practically a straight swap. I think the Blue Jackets got a steal, as they pick up an elite player.
While Saad is a great player I think Panarin is a lot better in every aspect of his game, and in about 2-3 years, I think he will be an all-star. Personally I think the Blue Jackets won the trade.
Those are all the major talking points of the draft. But, while people think they know how good somebody will be, you never know if these players will live up to their full potential. Only time will tell.