Alright, so everyone knows about the top two or three prospects in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. Nolan Patrick. Nico Hischier. Timothy Liljegren. There’s some other names people know, too – Casey Middlestadt, Michael Rasmussen, and Kristian Vesalainen are some of those.
2017 is seen, in comparison with 2015 and 2016, to be a weak draft. And if you’re comparing the three, that’s the right thing to say. As good as Patrick, Hischier, and Liljegren are, they aren’t going to be on the same level as McDavid, Eichel, Matthews, and Laine. However, it is just as if not more deep in talent than the other two.
The Canucks, unless San Jose wins the Cup or they make some minor moves at or before the draft, will have three mid- to late-round picks: two in the fourth (their own and San Jose’s) and one in the seventh. Who might they take? Here’s some guys they could look at:
Jordan Hollett, G, 6’5/194 – Regina Pats
Born in 1999, the massive Hollett has been one of the backstoppers of Regina’s exceptional season. And while fellow Pats netminder Tyler Brown has played the majority of games, Hollett has posted a solid 3.05 GAA, 0.893 S%, and 13-2 record in 17 games played (the lack of games due to a high ankle sprain).
At only 17 years old, Hollett is already a trusted goalie for the Pats and viewed as an athletic player and a hard worker by the front office. Given that the Canucks have four or five goaltenders in the system, with three of them being 29 or over (and Markstrom is already 27), it wouldn’t hurt to spend a late round pick to see if Hollett could pay off. At the very least, he’d provide more depth.
Julian Kislin, D, 6’2/170 – North Jersey Avalanche 18U
Julian Kislin (#2 in the above gif) is an unknown name on an unknown team in an unknown league. Yet he’s scored close to or over a point-per-game in every league he’s played and is considered a mobile defender who plays well and makes simple lead passes.
Any guesses where the raw talent is headed for college?
If that school doesn’t sound familiar, it should. Current Canucks standout prospect Adam Gaudette is currently a sophomore putting on an offensive clinic with teammates Zach Aston-Reese and Dylan Sikura. Kislin and Gaudette likely won’t be there at the same time, as Kislin has committed for the 2018-19 season and Gaudette would be a senior that year, but the fact that the program has yielded so many top prospects of late is promising.
Jordy Bellerive, F, 5’10/192 – Lethbridge Hurricanes
Finally in our series of prospects is Jordy Bellerive, a Vancouver-born forward who plays for the Lethbridge Hurricanes. He’s relatively small for a hockey player, but is a sizeable 192lbs (much like the build of Florida draft pick Adam Mascherin) and is ranked #98 by Future Considerations – perfect range for Vancouver to use their 4th round pick.
While Jordy does not have an outstanding stat line, it is extremely solid, scoring 25 goals and 27 assists for 52 points in 64 games, which is good for 3rd on the team in goals, 4th in total scoring.
He plays a 200 foot game, and has a heavy wrist shot – both of which will benefit him on his path to the pros. Whether he turns into a bottom six grinder in the NHL or top six sniper… only time will tell.