The NHL season recently ended with the Pittsburgh Penguins winning Lord Stanley's Cup. Wednesday night was the NHL Awards and expansion draft with some very interesting draft picks and award winners. Now, with the NHL Draft around the corner. Here is where Nolan Patrick and Nico Hischier could end up, plus plenty of other talented players.

New Jersey Devils- Nico Hischier, Halifax (QMJHL)

With the first pick, New Jersey takes Nico Hischier who at the combine, beat out Patrick in almost every event. He is a 6’0” forward who is a great skater with tremendous speed. He has an elite IQ of the game and great hockey sense when the puck is on the end of his stick.

In Halifax this year in 57 games he had 38 goals totaling 86 points. He will be a tremendous player next to Taylor Hall on the first line.

Trade: Colorado Avalanche (from Philadelphia Flyers)- Miro Heiskanen, HIFK (liiga)

Flyers trade this pick to Colorado who wish they won the Draft lottery. They give up their fourth overall pick and Carl Soderberg. With this pick Colorado picks Miro Heiskanen a great defenseman who can move the puck offensively and still play a very aggressive defensive game. He has won a gold medal at the u18 World Junior Championship in 2015-16 and a silver in 2016-17. Miro will be a great asset on the Blue Line for the Avalanche.

Trade: Vegas Knights (from Dallas)- Nolan Patrick, Brandon (WHL)

Vegas gives up the sixth overall pick and the New York Islanders second round pick in 2019. Vegas gets the number one ranked player in the whole draft. This year he captained the Brandon Wheat Kings where he had 46 points in 33 games. He is a big body center that plays an exceptional 2-way game.

The only reason he drops to number 3 is due to health concerns throughout his WHL career. Other than that Nolan can be a great center or wing on any top line or top 6 group of forwards.

Philadelphia Flyers (from Colorado)- Owen Tippett, Mississauga (OHL)

Flyers acquire this pick from the Avalanche in the trade for the second overall pick.

The Flyer take Tippet her a good size RW who can be put on the second to add great depth to a solid Philadelphia lineup already. He has explosive offensive ability. Owen is a pure sniper and may be picked lower due to his injury this year. Other than that he can be a threat to any teams’ goalie. This past year in Mississauga Tippett had 44 goals and 75 points in 60 games.

Vancouver Canucks- Elias Pettersson, Timra IK (Allsvenskan)

Canucks build for the future here taking a young forward who is Swedish. As we know the Canucks love Swedish hockey players like the Sedin twins they drafted and Loui Eriksson who they signed from Boston as a free agent. Elias will not be in the NHL next year but will be soon as the Canucks will most likely put him with the Sedin’s or Eriksson to develop his game to the next level.

This past year he had 41 points in 43 games. He can be very crafty with the puck and just needs to work on his strength to become a more physical player.

Dallas Stars (from Vegas Golden Knights)- Casey Mittelstadt, Eden Prairie (USHS)

Here the stars draft and stash as Casey is not yet ready to be an NHL star and will go to Minnesota next season to develop more and work on his athletic abilities. This season Casey played half the year in high school and the other half in Green Bay of the USHL. At Eden Prairie Casey had 64 points and with Green Bay he had 30 points in 24 games. Although he is not NHL ready Casey can be a threat on the ice. In a few years though Casey could be a household name around the NHL.

Arizona Coyotes- Cody Glass, Portland (WHL)

Cody Glass is a very interesting player. He sees his game develop more each year. This past year he had 94 points in 69 games. The year before he only had 27 points in 65 games. Which is a huge increase in productivity for Cody. Even though he does a good amount of scoring he is more of a playmaker on offense. He is a strong player who can play all 3 forward positions. His motor is always running while on the ice and gives 110 percent every shift. Can be a great asset to the youth movement in Arizona. Only question the Coyotes will have is when he makes the jump to the NHL.

Buffalo Sabres- Timothy Liljegen, Rogle Jr20 (SWE)

Timothy is a good size defenseman not much for stats to go off of since he was very sick last season with mononucleosis.

He is a very skilled puck-moving defenseman. In the 19 games he did play last year he scored 7 points. If Timothy can stay healthy and develop in Sweden he could turn out to be a top 6 defenseman for the Sabres.

Detroit Red Wings- Kailer Yamamoto Spokane (WHL)

This year he had 99 points through 65 games. He will not take the jump from the WHL to the NHL. Most likely he will be sent back to WHL for another year to develop more. However, once he learns to use his small size in the NHL game he could be unstoppable. Although only 5’8” he knows how to escape tight spaces and can be very creative with the puck. Detroit is going to wait as long as possible for him since rushing him could destroy his game.

Florida Panthers- Gabriel Vilardi, Windsor (OHL)

After losing their top point’s producer this year to the Vegas expansion. The Panthers take a young forwards who when ready can produce for them. This past year he had 61 points in 49 games. He is a dangerous two-way center who is cool and calm in all situations on the ice. His puck skills and skating are very elite. He would be a great fit in Florida.

Los Angeles Kings- Cale Makar, Brooks (AJHL)

In Alberta Cale had 51 assists totaling 75 points on the year in 54 games. Next year he is committed to play at UMass Amherst. It will be interesting to see how his development goes in college.

Carolina Hurricanes- Michael Rasmussen, Tri-City, (WHL)

The number 5 ranked skater in North America.

Michael had 55 points in 50 games for Tri-City of the USHL. He has a very large body but is a little thin. He will need time to grow into his frame.

Vegas Golden Knights (from Winnipeg)- Martin Necas, Kometo Brno (CZE)

A highly rated European skater from the Czech Republic. He can be very productive this past year he had 15 points in 41 games and in the playoffs for Kometa Brno he had 4 goals in 10 games. The 18-year-old Martin will most likely end up back in the Czech league next year.

Tampa Bay Lightning- Nick Suzuki, Owen Sound (OHL)

Suzuki may be the steal of the draft. At 17 years of age he had 96 points with 51 assists in 65 games. He is very smart and plays at a very fast pace. He is a thick player that when holds the puck is hard to knock off it.

Tampa gets a great player here event though he will not be in the NHL for a couple years when he is ready. Suzuki will be a very productive center.

Golden Knights- Jusso Valimaki, Tri-City, (WHL)

While playing for Tri-City this year in the WHL he had 61 points in 60 games. Jusso is a good size defenseman with an average left handed shot. He has a gold and silver from the World Junior Hockey Championship. He will either return to the WHL next year or go to Finland.

Calgary Flames- Lias Andersson, HV71 (SWE)

He is a very highly rated European skater. In 2015-16 he won a Silver Medal with Sweden at the World Junior Championship. This past year he had 19 points in 42 games. Lias could be a great Depth forward for Calgary in the future.

Toronto Maples Leafs- Cal Foote, Kelowna (WHL)

Son of former NHL defenseman Adam Foote. Cal is an assertive player on the ice. He is a very physical player using his large frame to his advantage. This past year in 71 games for the Rockets he accumulated 57 points with 51 being assists.

Boston Bruins- Klim Kostin, MVD (RUS)

After recent drafts of adding depth to their defensive pool the Bruins go for a forward in this year’s draft. The Bruins take Klim who is considered the number one European prospect. However, he has a huge lack of production in the KHL and a significant injury that will cause him to slide on many draft boards. This is the perfect place for him to fall. If he can develop and produce he will prove all the teams that passed on him wrong.

San Jose Sharks- Eeli Tolvanen, Sioux City (USHL)

Last season with the Musketeers Eeli had 54 points through 52 games. He has good size for a future NHL player. Eeli is committed to play at Boston College next year for Coach Jerry York.

Blues- Ryan Poehling, St. Could State (NCAA)

A freshman at St. Cloud State Poehling had 13 points in 35 competitions. This past year he was part of the gold-medal-winning team at the World Junior Championship for team USA. It would be a surprise if Poehling makes the jump to the NHL next year. He will most likely be back in college for another year or two.

New York Rangers- Robert Thomas, London (OHL)

This year for the young center from Aurora, Ontario he had averaged a point per game in 66 contests and also had 12 points in 14 playoffs games.

Robert has good size and knows how to win. He was also a part of the 2016 London Knights who won the Memorial Cup Championship.

Edmonton Oilers- Nicolas Hague, Mississauga (OHL)

Hague is a large defenseman who can produce points. He had 46 points in 65 games with Mississauga in the OHL this year. Could make the jump to the NHL next year. Great replacement for the Griffin Reinhart loss.

Arizona Coyote (from Minnesota)- Urho Vaakaninen, JYP (FIN)

Excellent young defenseman from Finland. He is the eighth-ranked European skater. He has very little stats to look at.

Winnipeg Jets (from Columbus via Vegas)- Kristian Vesalaien, Frolunda (SHL)

Kristian is a much decorated player with a SHL championship and each a gold and silver medal at the World Junior Hockey Championship. Younger Brother of Henrik Vesalaien.

Montreal Canadiens- Conor Timmins, Sault Ste. Maria (OHL)

After losing Emelin to Vegas in the expansion draft. Montreal drafts Conor Timmins a great puck moving defenseman. The 6’1” 180 pound defenseman went off this for the Greyhounds with 61 points in 67 games. Besides being able to score points he can also accelerate through the zone very quickly and not only up and down ice. Timmins can move in all directions his pivoting and edge work is flawless. The Canadiens get an excellent offensive defenseman with the 25th pick.

Chicago Blackhawks- Isaac Ratcliffe, Guelph (OHL)

Besides his 54 points in 67 games you cannot miss Isaac on the ice. He is a 6’5” 200 pound LW. Even though he is 6’5” he needs to gain weight to make it to the next level.

St. Louis Blues (from Washington)- Erik Brannstrom, HV71 (SHL)

The young left-handed defenseman had 23 points on the u20 team in 19 games and then 6 points in 35 games on the pro team.

Ottawa Senators- Shane Bowers, Waterloo (USHL)

Bowers is committed to BU next season to continue his development to an NHL player. Bowers has all around talent that some scouts are drooling all over. This past season for the Hawks of the USHL he had 57 points in 47 games played. If he can add a little weight and continue being a workhorse the Senators have a great center on their hands.

Dallas Stars (from Anaheim)- Jake Oettinger, Boston U. (NCAA)

Even though Dallas just signed Ben Bishop long-term there is a need for goalies in the NHL. A lot of teams could be interesting in trading for Oettinger who will be a starter in a few years in the NHL. He will not make the immediate jump to the NHL next year though he will probably go back to BU for another season or two.

Nashville Predators- Josh Norris, NTDP u18 (USHL)

Next season Norris will be headed to the University of Michigan where his game will need development. However, he is a great two-way player. He can certainly put up points since he was second in scoring in the national development program. The only issue he has is that he is a puck chaser. If he can break that habit he can be a tremendous asset to the Predators.

Pittsburgh Penguins- Filip Chytil, HC Zlin (CZECH)

Filip is a highly rated prospect out of Europe. However this season he only had 8 points in 38 games. One thing he does well is his first step. His first step is very powerful and he gains speed quickly.

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