Future Watch: 2017 NHL Draft Recap – Intrigue, Surprises – When Nico Hischier went first overall to the New Jersey Devils that was a minor surprise. The Devils got themselves a terrific playmaking center who could anchor their first line sometime in the future. They’re excited, he’s excited and now fans will wait and see if he’s ready to play in the NHL. That will depend on his summer training.
The Philadelphia Flyers picked Nolan Patrick, no surprise there. But when they traded Brayden Schenn to the St. Louis Blues that’s when things changed. The acquired the 27th overall pick and with that pick they selected speedster Morgan Frost. Some felt he was taken too soon. I always say if you like a player, take that player before somebody else does.
The Blues had a solid draft selecting solid scoring center, Robert Thomas with their first pick (20th overall) and the 31st pick with strong Russian sniper, Klim Kostin (6′-3″, 196lbs). This may have been the best pick of the first round. He will either play with the Chicago Wolves (AHL) or the Blues this year. If he ever gets on a line with countryman, Vladimir Tarasenko, watch out.!
The Vegas Golden Knights made history selecting prototypical center, Cody Glass with the sixth overall pick. At at number 13, they added another high- scoring center, Nick Suzuki and they capped off their first-round magic with offensive defenseman, Erik Brannstrom. He’s only 5′-9″, 180 pounds but he plays against men and has a tenacity that could see him playing in the NHL someday. These three players will be immortalized on cardboard and will forever be remembered by collectors down the road.
When the Arizona Coyotes drafted winger, Mackenzie Entwistle, center, Nate Schnarr and defenseman, Cameron Crotty, all in the third round, they all traveled around together and ended up creating a stir in the media area. This wasn’t something reporters were used to seeing and it was a fun moment.
Note: I was asked by Chris Carlin of Upper Deck for some names of players to get autographs from before Day 2 started. A few on my list were: Matthew Strome (Philadelphia, brother of Ryan and Dylan), Nicolas Hague, (6′-5′ defenseman drafted by Vegas). Michael DiPietro (Canucks, Memorial Cup winning goalie). Now I’ll be looking out for these cards.
Future Watch: 2017 NHL Draft Recap – Intrigue, Surprises
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