Chris Ransom follow @DraftUtopia Last Updated: October 3, 2017.
Philadelphia Flyers: Bode Wilde, D, USNTDP (USHL)
- Our Philadelphia Flyers 2017 Season Preview is up. The Flyers are picking at 16.
- Philadelphia takes the best player on the board here. The Flyers get Bode Wilde a 6-2 197 lb defenseman that is getting top 10 consideration. Wilde isn't NHL ready quite yet, but he has a very bright future as a two-way defenseman.
Previous Pick: Jared McIsaac, D, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
Los Angeles Kings: Oliver Wahlstrom, C, USNTDP (USHL)
- Our Los Angeles Kings 2017 Season Preview is up. The Kings are picking at 17.
- Oliver Wahlstrom is a top 15 talent tape wise which is why the Kings take him here at 17. At the same time, everyone we had in our top 15 could push for a spot on an NHL roster right away.
- The 6-1 198 lb Wahlstrom can play left wing, center, or right wing with his versatility. Wahlstrom had 9 goals, 4 assists, 13 points, and a -13 +/- ratio in 29 USHL games. He did well on the USA Under 17 and USA Under 18 teams, but he struggled some once arriving in the USHL where he was a line 2 center behind Brady Tkachuk. This season Wahlstrom will play on the top line after being a Youtube sensation as a kid.
- The slap shot power, slap shot accuracy, wrist shot power, wrist shot accuracy, vision, offensive awareness, hockey IQ, and ability to win face offs is all there on tape. He needs to develop as a passer and improve his defensive awareness. He will get more exposure on the first line in the USHL.
- This is a smart kid who is gonna find a way to make it into the NHL at some point, but he's also going to honor his commitment to Harvard where he is expected to play in the NCAA at following the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. Wahlstrom would be a top 10 pick if he jumped straight to the NHL and would have been a top 15 pick in 2017 had he been eligible for the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. I have Wahlstrom at 17 for a reason right now, but he could be very good down the road.
Previous Pick: Riley Sutter, RW, Everett Silvertips (WHL)
Dallas Stars: Rasmus Kupari, C, Oulun Karpat (SM Liiga)
- Our Dallas Stars 2017 Season Preview is up. The Stars are picking at 18.
- The Dallas Stars use this pick to get the best player on the board since Dallas has that luxury now. The 5-11 163 lb center has the versatility to play left wing, center, or right wing. He has 1 goal in 6 SM Liiga games so far. Kupari would be a great successor to Jason Spezza once he develops.
Previous Pick: Benoit-Olivier Groulx, C, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
Carolina Hurricanes: Jack McBain, C, Toronto Jr. Canadiens (OJHL)
- Our Carolina Hurricanes 2017 Season Preview is up. The Hurricanes are picking at 19.
- Carolina has the defense to return to the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs. They still lack the offense, but should improve from last year.
- Carolina ignores need and takes the top player on the board. At this point that player is Jack McBain.
- The 6-3 196 lb Jack McBain has 3 goals, 9 assists, and 12 points in 6 games this season. McBain is expected to commit to Boston College in 2018. McBain does a lot on tape well and most consider him a top 15 prospect so Carolina takes McBain at 19.
Previous Pick: Akil Thomas, C, Niagara IceDogs (OHL)
Washington Capitals: Adam Ginning, D, Linkopings HC (Elitserien)
- Our Washington Capitals 2017 Season Preview is up. The Capitals are picking at 20.
- Washington gets a defenseman here to develop after returning to the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The 6-3 192 lb Adam Ginning is the top defenseman on the board at this point. Ginning ended last year with 2 assists in 12 SHL games in the Elitserien league.
Previous Pick: Jesse Ylonen, RW, Espoo Blues (SM Liiga)
Chicago Blackhawks: Evan Bouchard, D, London Knights (OHL)
- Our Chicago Blackhawks 2017 Season Preview is up. The Blackhawks are picking at 21.
- Chicago adds a future defenseman to develop along with their 2017 first round pick Henri Jokiharju. The 6-2 181 lb Evan Bouchard is the top defenseman available.
- Evan Bouchard had 2 goals, 15 assists, 17 points, and a +15 +/- ratio in his rookie season. Last season Bouchard had 11 goals, 33 assists, 44 points, and a +30 +/- ratio. He had 2 assists in the 2016 OHL Playoffs. He had 7 points in the 2017 OHL Playoffs.
- Bouchard has the wrist shot power, wrist shot accuracy, passing, offensive awareness, defensive awareness, vision, hockey IQ, checking, and ability to block shots on tape. His puck handling is exceptional. That's why Bouchard is a top 25 prospect. Bouchard may be talented enough to make the NHL right away if he can develop a slap shot this season.
Previous Pick: Bode Wilde, D, USNTDP (USHL)
Anaheim Ducks: Joel Farabee, LW, USNTDP (USHL)
- Our Anaheim Ducks 2017 Season Preview is up. The Ducks are picking at 22.
- Anaheim needs help on the wing. Joel Farabee is the only winger that warrants top 20 consideration and he's a great fit for the Ducks at this point.
- Joel Farabee has first round talent on tape with 12 goals, 11 assists, 23 points, and a 0 +/- ratio. The reason he's ranked so low is he's still a project and needs two years at Boston University in 2018-2019 as well as 2019-2020. The fact that Farabee needs two years in the NCAA before making the jump to the NHL is why this top 15 talent slides to 22.
Previous Pick: Jakub Lauko, C, Pirati Chomutov (Extraliga)
Ottawa Senators: Barrett Hayton, C, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)
- Our Ottawa Senators 2017 Season Preview is up. The Senators are picking at 23.
- Ottawa has the luxury to ignore need and take the best player on the board. Barrett Hayton is someone who could go as high as the top 15 and as late as the second round. He seems like a boom or bust project that is bound to come off the board here.
Previous Pick: Serron Noel, RW, Oshawa Generals (OHL)
New York Islanders: Isac Lundestrom, C, Lulea HF (Elitserien)
- Our Calgary Flames 2017 Season Preview is up. They traded their first round pick to the New York Islanders so New York is up again at 24.
- New York takes the best player available at 24 with their second first round pick. At this point, I believe that's Isac Lundestrom of Lulea HF. He's versatile enough to play left wing, center, or right wing in the NHL at 6-0 185 lbs.
- Isac Lundestrom had 3 goals, 3 assists, 6 points, and a -5 +/- ratio in 45 games in the SHL. Lundestrom has the skating, deking, stick handling, vision, wrist shot power, wrist shot accuracy, versatility, and offensive awareness to be a good player.
- Lundstrom has things he needs to improve on. Lundestrom needs to develop a slap shot. He also needs to develop power and accuracy on that slap shot. Improving by getting more assists and developing as a passer is another area Lundestrom needs to work on. You'd like to him win more face offs. Defensive awareness and hockey IQ are also things Lundestrom needs to work on.
- At this point, I'd say Lundestrom is a boom or bust prospect. He has 8 pros to his game, but also has 7 cons in his game as well. Luckily for Lundestrom he has a full season to turn any of those seven weaknesses in to strengths.
Previous Pick: Oliver Wahlstrom, C, USNTDP (USHL)
Montreal Canadiens: Akil Thomas, C, Niagara IceDogs (OHL)
- Our Montreal Canadiens 2017 Season Preview is up. The Canadiens are picking at 25.
- Montreal can take the best player available at 25. Akil Thomas out of Niagara is a complete bargain here.
- Akil Thomas had 21 goals, 27 assists, and 48 points in 61 regular season games. The -23 +/- ratio is concerning. He also didn't get a point in the 2017 OHL Playoffs and had a -6 +/- ratio during the 2017 OHL Playoffs.
- Akil Thomas has the slap shot power, slap shot accuracy, wrist shot power, wrist shot accuracy, passing, offensive awareness, and ability to win face offs that NHL teams covet. He has good instincts and reaction timing as well. He mirrored the goalie and kept adjusting on tape.
- Thomas needs to add more muscle and improve his defensive play. Thomas could sneak into the top 10 if he corrects those two areas of his game. He's off to a strong start right now and will not fall out of the top 25.
Previous Pick: Xavier Bouchard, D, Baie-Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL)
Columbus Blue Jackets: Nando Eggenberger, RW, HC Davos (National League A)
- Our Columbus Blue Jackets 2017 Season Preview is up. The Blue Jackets are picking at 26.
- Columbus takes the best player available at 26. At this point, I believe that's Nando Eggenberger who was once considered a top 10 prospect heading into the season.
Previous Pick: Isac Lundestrom, C, Lulea HF (Elitserien)
Minnesota Wild: Jesperi Kotkaniemi, C, Assat (SM Liiga)
- Our Minnesota Wild 2017 Season Preview is up. The Wild are picking at 27.
- I really like Minnesota and think they have one of the leagues more complete rosters. Bruce Beaudreau does not win in the playoffs though and even if Minnesota won the Presidents Trophy in the regular season they could lose to a wild card team especially someone like the Los Angeles Kings so the Wild pick here at 27.
- Jesperi Kotkaniemi is a 6-2 190 lb center with the versatility to play left wing, center, or right wing. Kotkaniemi has 3 goals, 4 assists, 7 points, and a +3 +/- ratio. The wrist shot power, wrist shot accuracy, slap shot power, and slap shot accuracy is there. This guy can pass the puck and win face offs. Awareness on both offense and defense needs improvement which is why Kotkaniemi is a late first round pick.
Previous Pick: Quinn Hughes, D, USNTDP (USHL)
Nashville Predators: Albin Eriksson, LW, Skelleftea A.I.K. (Elitserien)
- Our Nashville Predators 2017 Season Preview is up. The Predators are picking at 28. Nashville could easily win the Western Conference again. I have Edmonton getting home ice in the Western Conference Finals versus Nashville and that's why I have Edmonton moving on to the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals.
- Nashville gets the best player on the board. At this point I like the 6-4 205 lb Albin Eriksson who seems like a conventional pick for the Nashville Predators at 28.
Previous Pick: Grigori Denisenko, LW, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (KHL)
Pittsburgh Penguins: Matias Samuelsson, D, USNTDP (USHL)
- Our Pittsburgh Penguins 2017 Season Preview is up. The Penguins are picking at 29. Pittsburgh could easily win the Eastern Conference again if the entire roster avoids injuries, but that's a big if and the Boston Bruins are one team that matches up well with Pittsburgh. I have Boston getting home ice in the Eastern Conference Finals versus Pittsburgh and that's why I have Boston moving on to the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals.
- The 6-3 205 lb Matias Samuelsson can certainly make a case for going ahead of Bode Wilde. Samuelsson had more points than Wilde with 5 goals, 5 assists, 10 poitns, and a 0 +/- ratio in 30 games.
- Samuelsson has the slap shot power, slap shot accuracy, wrist shot power, wrist shot accuracy, passing, offensive awareness, defensive awareness, and hockey IQ you want in a skater. Teams want to see him skate faster and play more aggressive as far as shot blocking and checking other players goes. Bode Wilde is more complete in that category and Wilde may only need one year to develop at Harvard where as Samuelsson is gonna need at least two years at Michigan.
Boston Bruins: Rasmus Sandin, D, Rogle B.K. (Elitserien)
- Our Boston Bruins 2017 Season Preview is up. The Bruins are picking at 30. I have Edmonton beating Boston in 6 games to win the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals.
- Zdeno Chara is already 40. Boston is stacked defensively, but they can take the best player on the board in the 5-11 190 lb Rasmus Sandin who was line mates with Timothy Liljegren on Rogle B.K.'s top line last season.
Previous Pick: Joel Farabee, LW, USNTDP (USHL)
Edmonton Oilers: Milos Roman, C, Vancouver Giants (WHL)
- Our Edmonton Oilers 2017 Season Preview is up. The Oilers are picking at 31. I have Edmonton beating Boston in 6 games to win the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals.
- Edmonton is my early favorite to win the 2018 Stanley Cup. Connor McDavid turns 21 that year plus lots of legends including Crosby and Toews won their first cup at 21. Edmonton can take the best player available. He played for HC Ocelan Trinec in Extraliga last year, but the Vancouver Giants took him sixth overall in the 2017 CHL Import Draft. Roman was once considered a top 7 player for the 2018 NHL Draft back in 2015, but has slipped to late first round territory. That's why Edmonton cannot go wrong by taking the best player on the board here to wrap up the first round.