2017 NHL Entry-Level Draft: One Month To Go

(This is a scheduled post; I am currently flying back from Los Angeles!)

There is just about one month to go until the 2017 NHL Entry-Level Draft, where the New Jersey Devils have the first overall selection. The Draft will take place from June 23-24 at the United Center in Chicago, IL. There will be 31 picks in the first round with the addition of the Vegas Golden Knights. The Devils have just one first-round pick, but it’s arguably the most important one. There’s a post here about the draft lottery: THE NEW JERSEY DEVILS WIN THE 2017 DRAFT LOTTERY

This is how the first round plays out in terms of draft pick selection:
1) New Jersey Devils
2) Philadelphia Flyers
3) Dallas Stars
4) Colorado Avalanche
5) Vancouver Canucks
6) Vegas Golden Knights
7) Arizona Coyotes
8) Buffalo Sabres
9) Detroit Red Wings
10) Florida Panthers
11) Los Angeles Kings
12) Carolina Hurricanes
13) Winnipeg Jets
14) Tampa Bay Lightning
15) New York Islanders
16) Calgary Flames
17) Toronto Maple Leafs
18) Boston Bruins
19) San Jose Sharks
20) St. Louis Blues
21) New York Rangers
22) Edmonton Oilers
23) Arizona Coyotes (from the Minnesota Wild)
24) Columbus Blue Jackets
25) Montreal Canadiens
26) Chicago Blackhawks
27) St. Louis Blues (from the Washington Capitals)

Arizona’s second first-round pick from Minnesota comes as a result of the Martin Hanzal trade back in February. The Blues’ second first-round pick from Washington comes as a result of the Kevin Shattenkirk trade in February. The Stars’ second first-round pick from Anaheim comes as a result of the Patrick Eaves trade in February, provided that the Ducks make the 2017 Western Conference Final (which they did). Their pick position has yet to be determined but the Ducks did lose last night to the Predators and are officially eliminated from the postseason. The Stars will likely pick 28th overall.

As of today, May 23rd, the Devils have 11 draft picks in this year’s draft: one first-rounder, two second-rounders (one from Boston), two third-rounders (from Colorado and San Jose), two fourth-rounders (one from Nashville), one fifth-rounder, two sixth-rounders (one from Nashville), and one seventh-rounder (from Philly).

Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 11.16.19 AM

More likely than not, the Devils won’t have all 11 picks come draft day. Because they have an abundance of picks this year (11) and next year (9), GM Ray Shero will try to use them as trade chips, especially in trying to trade for players on cap-strapped teams or players who won’t/can’t be protected by their teams for the Vegas expansion draft.

The biggest draft question they face is who they’ll decide to take 1st overall: either Nico Hischier or Nolan Patrick (or someone else entirely). The Devils also have some other draft needs. There are an abundance of centers in the Devils system but there aren’t enough right wings or even defensemen. I’ll have more posts up soon about the Devils’ draft history and a more in-depth analysis of the Devils’ needs.

This draft is going to be crucial going forward. Shero will trade a few of the picks away but they’ll still have plenty and they’ll be able to draft good pieces for the organization. Even though critics and analysts say that this year’s draft is a “weak” one and that there isn’t any “generational” talent, the draft still holds plenty of good talent and players who could break out for their teams in the future. The Devils will look to really build their prospect system this year.

Don’t forget to tune in to the draft on June 23 to see who the Devils select!


One thought on “2017 NHL Entry-Level Draft: One Month To Go

  1. Pingback: Hischier vs. Patrick: Who Should The Devils Draft? | The Devils Are In The Details

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