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Redrafting the highest 10 picks of the 2017 NHL Draft: Devils take Cale Makar, Flyers land Elias Pettersson



5 years have handed for the reason that 2017 NHL Draft, and hindsight has offered loads of perspective on the highest 10 picks. Not each group hit on its early choice, however that doesn’t imply the draft was missing expertise.

The 2017 draft has produced six All-Stars, doubtless with extra on the way in which within the coming years. Most notably, Cale Makar simply took residence the Norris Trophy and the Stanley Cup in 2022. Consider it or not, the Avalanche famous person did not hear his title referred to as till the No. 4 general decide in 2017.

As an alternative, that yr, Nico Hischier and Nolan Patrick had been the highest two picks. Whereas a type of gamers has panned out pretty nicely, the opposite is off to a disappointing begin in his NHL profession. Trying again on it now, the 2017 draft produced a number of stars exterior of the top-10 picks, and even some exterior the primary spherical completely.

With 5 years of information at our disposal, now we have redrafted the highest 10 picks of the 2017 NHL Draft with groups in the very same order. Right here is the way it turned out:

1. New Jersey Devils | Cale Makar | D

Nivison: On the ripe outdated age of 23, Makar already has a Norris Trophy and a Stanley Cup underneath his belt. Frankly, it might be fairly stunning if he did not add extra of these to his trophy case by the point he retires. There is no such thing as a query that he’s the perfect participant from the 2017 NHL Draft.

Bengel: It is a no-brainer. Makar has developed into one of many league’s prime defensemen in a short while. It isn’t going to be a shock if Makar produces a number of Norris Trophy-caliber seasons all through his NHL profession. The Devils, Flyers and Stars are most likely nonetheless kicking themselves for not drafting him.

2. Philadelphia Flyers | Elias Pettersson | C

Nivison: In every of his first two NHL seasons, Pettersson tallied 66 factors and he captured the Calder Trophy in 2019. After an harm, Pettersson did bounce again with a profession yr final season, and he’s an elite playmaker when at his finest. That’s the precise sort of participant the Flyers want after scoring simply 211 targets final season, which was thirty first within the NHL.

Bengel: It is protected to say that Nolan Patrick is without doubt one of the greater busts in latest NHL Draft reminiscence. So with Cale Makar off the board, Pettersson makes probably the most sense in my thoughts. He’s coming off his finest skilled season with a career-high 68 factors (32 targets and 36 assists). In Pettersson, the franchise will get a younger ahead that they will construct round for the foreseeable future and will get some desperately wanted goal-scoring prowess. 

3. Dallas Stars | Jason Robertson | RW

Nivison: Miro Heiskanen has been an vital piece for the celebs since they drafted him on this spot 5 years in the past. Nonetheless, Robertson is great at placing the puck within the web, and people varieties of gamers do not come round usually. After being drafted No. 39 general in 2017, Robertson has made many groups look very silly. Final yr, he took his sport to a different degree with 41 targets and 79 factors. Robertson is nicely on his technique to famous person standing and will likely be an issue for opposing groups for years to come back.

Bengel: Makar and Pettersson look like no-brainers to go off the board with the primary two picks, however here is the place this redraft will get attention-grabbing. Humorous sufficient, the Stars would most likely be selecting between two gamers that they really chosen within the 2017 Draft in Robertson and defenseman Miro Heiskanen. On this case, the objective scorer wins out with Robertson being the decide. Robertson has 58 targets in two full seasons with Dallas and is primed to construct off a 41-goal marketing campaign final season. He’ll proceed to be a power on the highest line for the Stars.

4. Colorado Avalanche | Miro Heiskanen | D

Nivison: On this redraft, the Avalanche missed out on the 2022 Norris Trophy winner, however Miro Heiskanen remains to be an awesome No. 1 defenseman within the NHL. Heiskanen would not put up the identical sort of offensive numbers as Makar, however he’s nonetheless a powerful puck-moving defenseman. On prime of that, Heiskanen is phenomenal relating to limiting high quality possibilities for the opposing group, and he has lived as much as the billing of a top-five decide.

Bengel: The Avalanche clearly hit a house run by grabbing now Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Cale Makar on this spot again in 2017. However with Makar now off the board on this train, Colorado has to interchange his presence on the blue line and Heiskanen isn’t a foul comfort prize. Heiskanen offers the Avalanche a top-tier defenseman who has additionally proved his value on the offensive finish of the ice. Certain, he is most likely not as electrical as Makar, however Heiskanen could be a powerful addition to Colorado’s roster.

5. Vancouver Canucks | Robert Thomas | C

Nivison: It took a number of seasons, however Thomas appears to be like like he will likely be a top-flight participant within the NHL for years to come back. In his first 169 video games, Thomas scored simply 22 targets however confirmed loads of promise as a playmaker by tallying 65 assists. In 2021-22, that promise got here to fruition as he totaled 77 factors in 72 video games. The Canucks could have missed out on Pettersson on this redraft, however getting Thomas as a alternative is an outstanding comfort prize.

Bengel: Whereas the Canucks aren’t going to have the ability to choose Pettersson, they are going to take an elite heart in Thomas. Thomas’ goal-scoring capacity might not be fairly what Pettersson’s is, however he is became an outstanding playmaker in a brief time period. He is registered 122 profession assists, together with a career-high 57 assists in the course of the 2021-22 season. Having a talented ahead like Thomas centering Vancouver’s prime line is a chance that the franchise would not have the ability to go up.

6. Vegas Golden Knights | Jake Oettinger | G

Nivison: Between buying and selling away Marc-Andre Fleury for nothing attributable to wage cap points and a season-ending harm to Robin Lehner, the Golden Knights may have used an up-and-coming goaltender in recent times. Jake Oettinger matches that invoice. He has had some up-and-downs all through the common season, however Oettinger helped carry the Stars to the postseason in 2021-22. Then, he turned in a glowing efficiency within the playoffs.

Bengel: The Golden Knights had been delivered fairly the intestine punch earlier in August when it was revealed that goaltender Robin Lehner would miss the whole 2022-23 season as he recovers from hip surgical procedure. With unproven expertise like Logan Thompson and Laurent Brossoit on the roster, the goalie place needs to be addressed right here. Oettinger simply wrapped up his first full season on the NHL degree and was downright spectacular. In 48 video games for the Dallas Stars, Oettinger posted a 30-15-1 document, a 2.53 goals-against-average, and a .914 save share. In Oettinger, the Golden Knights would stabilize the goalie place for years to come back.

7. New York Rangers | Nico Hischier | C

Nivison: Hischier, the No. 1 general decide within the 2017 NHL Draft, entered the league with lofty expectations. Though he hasn’t absolutely delivered on these, he’s nonetheless an excellent participant that each group within the league could be thrilled to have. He has 78 targets and 206 factors in 300 NHL video games, and has developed into a pacesetter for the Devils, turning into the captain in 2021. On this alternate universe, he could be enjoying for New Jersey’s greatest rival and anchoring a formidable ahead group.

Bengel: Hischier hasn’t fairly change into the famous person that many anticipated. For the needs of this redraft, the Rangers actually would not want Hischier to be a top-line heart since they have already got Mike Zibanejad and Vincent Trocheck anchoring their prime two traces. Hischier hasn’t been a dominant objective scorer, however did document a career-high 21 targets in the course of the 2021-22 season. He could be fairly a luxurious for the Rangers to have on their second or third line.

8. Buffalo Sabres | Nick Suzuki | C

Nivison: Suzuki has steadily grown since his rookie season in 2019-20. He posted 41 factors in his first two years with the Canadiens, and he took the following step final season with 21 targets and 61 factors. The Sabres want some assist and pleasure as of late, and Suzuki could be an awesome piece down the center with Alex Tuch and Tage Thompson on his wings.

Bengel: The Buffalo Sabres do not actually have a ton of confirmed expertise by the center of the ice other than Thompson. Suzuki would give the Sabres an especially reliable second-line heart. He has actually made a dwelling across the web. The jury remains to be out on heart Casey Mittelstadt, who Buffalo picked at No. 8 in 2017, however including extra scoring punch could be a welcome addition to the present Sabres roster.

9. Detroit Purple Wings | Josh Norris | C

Nivison: At this spot in 2017, the Purple Wings took Michael Rasmussen. Norris gives extra upside and potential starpower. Over the past two seasons, Norris has bee a vivid spot for the much-maligned Ottawa Senators. The 2021-22 season was the actual popping out celebration for Norris, who discovered the again of the web 35 instances in simply 66 video games. He’s actually a foundational piece {that a} franchise can construct round.

Bengel: The Purple Wings have missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs in every of the previous six seasons. However with a youthful roster headlined by 2021-22 Calder Trophy winner Moritz Seider, a vivid future is on the horizon. Josh Norris could be fairly an addition. Norris lasted till the No. 19 decide and has been one of many few positives for the Ottawa Senators in recent times. For a group that completed twenty ninth in targets final season, Norris could be a welcome addition to the Purple Wings prime line.

10. Florida Panthers | Jeremy Swayman | G

Nivison: Jake Oettinger has gotten loads of love over the previous two seasons, and for good motive. That is what occurs when a goaltender is at his finest within the playoffs. However Jeremy Swayman performed nicely whereas splitting begins with Linus Ullmark final season. In 41 appearances, Swayman totaled 7.31 targets saved above common. If the Panthers selected Swayman at this spot in 2017, maybe they would not have needed to commit $10 million per season to Sergei Bobrovsky in the summertime of 2019.

Bengel: Rounding out the highest 10 needs to be a no brainer for the Florida Panthers. With Oettinger off the board, Boston Bruins netminder Jeremy Swayman, 23, is sensible right here. Sergei Bobrovsky will likely be 34 by the point the 2022-23 season will get underway. With that in thoughts, they might wish to solidify the goaltender place with a younger, budding star like Swayman. In 41 video games final season, Swayman went 23-14-3 whereas posting a 2.41 goals-against-average and a .914 save share. He’s growing into one of many prime younger goalies within the league and would actually be an enormous improve for Florida at this level.




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