2017 NHL Mock Draft: Latest first round projections and analysis

Posted May 22, 2017 by Larry Seely
With just four teams left vying for the Stanley Cup and the NHL Draft just one month from now, fans are in for plenty of excitement, even if their favorite squad is looking towards the future and is in rebuilding mode.
The latest speculation from around the league still have a battle for the top overall selection with centers Nico Hischier and Nolan Patrick, who are one and two in the latest player rankings looking to become the number one pick by New Jersey.
Several experts now have Hischier on top in the latest mocks, but his diminutive size could become an issue, especially with players getting bigger, faster, and stronger each year, but his talent is undeniable and that could make it tough for the Devils when the take the clock next month.
Philadelphia owns the second choice and Patrick would be a great fit. The Flyers need a top-notch scoring threat with a physical presence on the ice and despite some injury concerns this past season, the young man has all the skills and talent to excel at the next level.
Rumors of what will happen next have taken social media by storm. Several players are in that 3-10 range in terms of talent, but where they fit with a particular team could make a big difference in where the land next month.
Draft Site has Dallas taking Gabriel Vilardi third The young center has good size, great instincts on the ice, and the work ethic teams want. Defender Miro Heiskanen is another option if the front office decides to go in that direction, but whatever happens, Colorado will likely take whatever player the Stars pass on with the fourth pick.
Vancouver rounds out the top-5 and desperately needs scoring help to help quicken the rebuilding process now in place. The Canucks are one of the oldest NHL teams in the league and a strong draft could help turn things around a bit faster.
The latest news has high school sensation Casey Mittelstadt as their top choice and despite his age and lack of experience, it could be a great move and one that pays big dividends before the young mans career is finished.