The 2017 NHL Entry Draft

The New Jersey Devils won the draft lottery – thanks to expert Taylor Hall – and with their first overall pick, they selected Nico Hischier. Nolan Patrick went second to the Philadelphia Flyers, and third selection, Miro Heiskanen, went to the Dallas Stars.

In previous years there has been a clear number one rookie (Auston Matthews and prior to that Connor McDavid), however there wasn’t a clear cut favourite between Nolan and Nico. The two rookies have been spending a great amount of time together in the weeks leading up to the draft and there was no animosity between the two as Nico just edged Nolan for the first spot. In doing so, he became the highest ever drafted Swiss player… and some may say it’s destiny.

 

Full draft results can be found here.

The Vegas Golden Knights

Every NHL team released their list of “protected” players i.e. the ones that Vegas was not allowed to take during the expansion draft which occurred during the award show. The team had signed their first player, Reid Duke, a few months ago and now finally have a full roster.

Here are their picks from other teams:

Calvin Pickard G
Luca Sbisa D
Teemu Pulkkinen F
Jon Merrill D
William Carrier F
Cody Eakin F
Tomas Nosek F
Jonathan Marchessault F
Brayden McNabb D
Connor Brickley F
Chris Thorburn F
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare F
Jason Garrison D
J-F Berube G
James Neal F
Deryk Engelland D
Brandon Leipsic F
Colin Miller D
Marc Methot D
David Schlemko D
David Perron F
Oscar Lindberg F
Griffin Reinhart D
Alexei Emelin D
Clayton Stoner D
Erik Haula F
William Karlsson F
Trevor van Riemsdyk D
Marc-Andre Fleury G
Nate Schmidt D

In addition, the team also acquired a number of players through trades and the rookie draft

  • Reilly Smith from the Panthers
  • Nikita Gusev from Tampa Bay Lightning
  • Mikhail Grabovski and Jake Bischoff from the Islanders
  • Shea Theodore from Anaheim
  • Alex Tuch from Minnesota Wild
  • David Clarkson from the Blue Jackets
  • Cody Glass in the first round of the 2017 draft with the 6th overall pick
  • Nick Suzuki and Erik Brannstrom were also acquired during the entry draft as a result of trades with the Islanders and Jets for draft picks

So that’s the Golden Knights!

 

Hockey Is For Everyone* (*Mostly Everyone)

During February, the NHL hosted a “you can play” month whereby they declared that hockey was for everyone. One of the prospects in this year’s draft is Jaret Anderson-Dolan, who was raised by two mothers. Nancy and Fran met whilst playing hockey, and had Jaret skating at 18 months old.

Anderson-Dolan is expected to be picked by the second round. He had a 70 point season with the Spokane Chiefs. Whilst at pre-season camp, he was invited to participate in VO2 testing – to measure the ability of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems to supply oxygen to muscles. This is usually reserved for veterans, but Jaret, at 16 years old, had a test number in the mid 60s and not a single other player reached 60 – then in his second season with the Chiefs, he hit high 60s which is generally the highest score in the NHL combine.

The player is hard working, eats organically, and studies sport psychology (good lad), and during “hockey is for everyone” ensured his stick was taped with the rainbow pride tape. The entire team followed suit despite issues with the tape being poor quality and breaking some players’ superstitions about their equipment.

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In a sport where trashtalking is the norm, he has faced backlash over his two mothers in the past. Whilst going through the WHL bantam draft, he was told by some teams that they would not take him because of his two mothers. But sure, hockey is for everyone, right?

“I can’t change people’s opinions. If that’s how they feel about it, I’d honestly rather not be in that organization if they’re going to be like that. I’d rather be in an organization with the Chiefs where they support it completely. Maybe that ended up with me falling in the draft a little bit, but I don’t really care, honestly. I’m proud of my moms. I’m proud of my uncles, my aunties, everyone I know that is openly gay. I have no shame about it, and neither do they.”

Good luck to Jaret in the lead up to the draft and beyond. He’s sure to be a great representative of the sport!