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article image2017 NHL Mock Draft: Latest first round projections and analysis

By Larry Seely     May 13, 2017 in Sports
The NHL playoffs are in full swing with both conferences now in the finals. Several teams made big improvements over this time twelve months ago, but for a few franchises, help is needed now to turn things around.
The players draft isn't always a quick fix as rookies must adjust to life both on and off the ice as professionals, but Toronto showed that using picks right can take a team from the bottom of the standings to playoff bound in just a few months.
With the draft just around the corner, rumors have started on who will be the top overall selection by New Jersey. Nolan Patrick was tops on the player rankings for the last few months, but Nico Hischier has emerged with a solid year with Halifax and taken the top spot with his play on the ice and his leadership skills in the locker room.
The Devils could field trade offers with two game-changing centers on offer, but the smart move is to add the best youngster that fits New Jersey's needs and move forward as an organization.
One team that desperately needs some help in scoring goals is Vancouver. The Canucks have gotten old and slow and with little help coming from the free agent market the past couple of years, getting the pick right next month is imperative.
The latest mocks have a couple of different options with high school phenom Casey Mittelstadt becoming the number one option. At 6'1" and just over 200 pounds, he has the size needed to play at the next level, but his lack of experience against older players could come into question when the Canucks are on the clock.
Another option with the fifth overall selection is high scoring center Cody Glass of Portland of the WHL. His frame is such that adding another 20 pounds to his 6'2" 175 pound body is likely, but his chances of playing in the NHL next season are slim with such a thin build.
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