Two of the biggest slides in the first round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft belonged to Eeli Tolvanen and Klim Kostin. Tolvanen, a Finnish winger ranked #17 by International Scouting Services, was regarded as one of the top offensive talents of the draft thanks to his heavy shot and great speed. However, recent news that Boston College admissions turned him down for 2017-18 enrollment coupled with concerns over his lack of any defensive ability sent him tumbling. Kostin, a big winger from Russia ranked #16 by International Scouting Services, fell victim to the “Russian factor” as well as a lack of a 2016-17 resume due to injury, which overshadowed his potential to be an elite power forward. Both players were considered likely top ten picks at one point, but for a while looked like they would drop out of the first round. Unfortunately for the lowly teams at the top of the second round, Tolavanen was selected by the Nashville Predators at #30 and the St. Louis Blues traded up to the Pittsburgh Penguins’ final first round slot at #31 and took Kostin. So who is still available? Here are the ten best prospects remaining on Day Two:
Position: Left Defense
Team: Mississauga Steelheads (OHL)
ISS Ranking: #18
Scouting Report: The closest thing to a top-pair shutdown defenseman in this draft, Hague will never be a smooth-skating puck-mover at the NHL level, but possesses the defensive instincts and vision to dominate the defensive zone. At 6’6″, 214-lbs. already, Hague is a big kid who will fill out into a monster on the back end, equipped with a long reach and powerful checking ability. He also packs a punch with his slap shot.
Position: Left Wing
Team: Guelph Storm (OHL)
ISS Ranking: #22
Scouting Report: At 6’5″, 203-lbs., Ratcliffe is bigger than any player selected in the first round, nevertheless forward. However, don’t let the size deceive you; Ratcliffe is a powerful skater and has great hands for someone of his stature. He simply has a lot of frame to fill out before he can put it all together and be an elite power forward.
Position: Right Wing
Team: Kelowna Rockets (WHL)
ISS Ranking: #24
Scouting Report: Lind is not a flashy, high-skill player, but he is consistent and efficient. Equipped with one of the more accurate shots in this draft class, Lind puts in the effort, wins battles, and puts up points. He has the ability to be a solid albeit unexciting top-six forward down the road.
Position: Right Defense
Team: Soo Greyhounds (OHL)
ISS Ranking: #29
Scouting Report: After a run on talented, two-way defenseman in Round One, Timmins is still on the board. A top-end puck-mover who can start the rush, make a great outlet pass, and more-or-less play mistake-free transition defense, Timmins offensive ability is unquestioned. He is an asset on the power play and capable of playing major even strength minutes. However, concerns remain about his compete level and reluctance to play physically and set the tone of the game.