Published: Fri, June 23, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Devils on the clock with No. 1 pick in NHL draft

Devils on the clock with No. 1 pick in NHL draft

CCM Hockey is pleased to announce that Nico Hischier, the highly-touted Swiss center and projected top pick in the upcoming 2017 NHL Draft, has chose to exclusively use CCM equipment to start his NHL career.

One could make the claim that the sum of the Flyers' remaining 10 picks (barring an expected trade or two) is nearly as important as which player they wind up with from the first round.

But it hasn't created a heated rivalry between the 18-year-old centers.

"There's not one guy that I'd say exactly, but maybe (Los Angeles Kings centre) Anze Kopitar", Patrick said. "So it's exciting anytime to go to a new sport event and obviously they're the defending champs - pretty cool".

How key would it be to come up with someone who develops into a bona fide NHLer in a later round? Mikey McLeod (2016 first round pick), it's either make the team or go back to junior next year. We knew there would be hard times in that transition to get to the level we want to be at. "Players like Nolan show their excitement and passion for hockey every time they get on the ice". He said he will pick the player who is "the best fit for the organization". For us, it's about creating an identity with speed and passion, and a big part of that is developing our younger players, seeing where they are in training camp. We expect to hit on late- and mid-round picks. Experts say there is no tap-in No. 1 pick in this year's crop of amateur talent, no Connor McDavid (who just won the Hart Trophy in his first full NHL season with Edmonton), no Auston Matthews (who scored 40 goals for Toronto last season and just won the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie).

If Makar isn't college hockey's top pick, it's expected to be Mittelstadt, who played at Eden Prairie High School last season. There's going to be years where we don't have 11 picks.

Because first-round picks Tyson Jost and Brock Boeser turned pro in the offseason, UND won't have a first-round pick on the team's roster this season if Mismash goes in the second round. It hasn't been easy for the fans, but now we can see that light at the end of the tunnel because we are doing things the right way.

UND has had a player drafted in the first round in each of the last three years-and it has had six taken in the first round since 2010.

Minnesota's most recent first-round pick is defenseman Brady Skjei in 2012.

"Once the names start to fall, that's when you figure if you try to move up, " he said. We were fortunate that we had some back-to-back years that way.

He has been touted as a potential 2017 No. 1 overall pick for more than two years and only recently have suggestions been made that Swiss centre Nico Hischier of the Halifax Mooseheads could go ahead of him. You know what else they need? It's kind of based on our list. "You have to be prepared".

The draft will conclude with Rounds 2-7 on Saturday. They've only had one No. 1 in their history (1975, Mel Bridgman). "He's a competitor and inspiring player who shares common values with the CCM brand".

Hextall has done his homework. Beyond injury scares from Patrick, Hischier has a different skill-set than numerous current Flyer veterans. He's had dinner with both.

The uncertainty will force GMs to rely even more heavily on their scouting staffs. Botterill has to trust guys he just met. "What's his character like?"

The organization is hoping that both Bastian and Blake Speers, drafted in the third round in 2015 and who played three games for the Devils last season, can develop into National Hockey League centers.

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