Continuing with the trend for the past few days, Wednesday offers another set of two 2017 NHL Draft articles this time featuring insight on potential draftees from Europe.
As with other days this week, here is a second article scouting Europe from a 2017 Carolina Hurricanes NHL Draft perspective.
About the Scouts/Writers
DRAFTIN EUROPE (Twitter=@draftin_europe) is an independent scouting service started by Mik Portoni (Twitter=@mkp_BD) and Niki Funa (Twitter=@NikF_BD) (former scouts at HockeyProspect.com) that focuses on hockey prospects playing in Europe.
The Blue Dispatch is Draftin Europe’s digital publication. As a draft guide, it presents a comprehensive look at the prospects playing in Europe that are relevant for the upcoming NHL entry drafts.
Draftin Europe’s draft publication will be available soon for purchase at draftineu.com.
Scouting Europe for the Hurricanes 2017 NHL Draft
Canes and Coffee: For a mock draft, who do you see the Hurricanes taking at #12 overall?
Draftin Europe: From an European perspective, I’d say there are a few players who could be selected in that range. If Martin Necas somehow makes it that far, that would probably be the best option, as he has a good chance to develop into a 2nd line two-way center. If Necas is not there, it becomes more complicated, as main options vary from the safer Lias Andersson to players with more upside like Timothy Liljegren and Klim Kostin, who however look like risky picks for different reasons.
Canes and Coffee: If there is a European player or two who are possible at #12 in the first round, what are the strengths and weaknesses of this player(s)?
Draftin Europe: Of the three most likely candidates where the Hurricanes pick, Liljegren is a well known and very dynamic offensive defenseman with quality hands and shot, but he didn’t have a good year and also suffered from mono. His decision-making has been a concern at times, and we actually broke down that part of his game with visual examples inside our draft guide that show off exactly where he struggles. Kostin is a skilled puck-possession winger with size that can drive the play and be an offensive threat. He too was unlucky health-wise, as he had a season ending shoulder injury. Also, like Liljegren, in the NHL he will probably need to adjust his game a bit more than others. Andersson is probably the closest to stepping into the NHL but offers less upside. Think a responsible two-way forward with a powerful shot, but maybe without outright dynamic skills.
Canes and Coffee: Which 2-4 European players do you like in the second round which is currently scheduled to be a busy one for the Hurricanes? The Hurricanes currently have three second-round draft picks.
Draftin Europe: There are more than just 2-4 obviously.
We like Filip Chytil and would expect him to be gone in the 1st round, but if he is available in the second round, we would jump on him.
Same for Marcus Davidsson, and he might have a greater chance to drop that far.
We think both would be great options at 42. If they’re gone, from a Euro-based prospects perspective we would consider a trade down.
A player that we have never heard mentioned for the first couple of rounds but really like is Swedish defenseman Gustav Lindstrom. We would grab him in the 2nd hoping to beat other teams. We explain the reasons in depth in the Blue Dispatch (our draft guide). We think he has significant upside.
Canes and Coffee: Which couple European players do you like in the third round where the Hurricanes currently have two picks?
Draftin Europe: The first option would be Robin Salo if he finds his way down to this point. He is a solid D prospect. We haven’t heard any hype about him, but we like savvy centerman Jacob Peterson, who was stuck behind some prominent prospects like Joni Ikonen and Kristian Vesalainen on a stacked Frolunda J20 team and maybe didn’t get quite the attention he deserved. We would consider him in the 3rd round.
If the Hurricanes want to go Finnish again, there was a bit of a sleeper in second time eligible Finnish forward Eetu Luostarinen, but considering Bob McKenzie’s list, 3rd round might be the last chance to grab him. He is pretty well rounded and has good hands and skating for his size.
Canes and Coffee: Which 3-5 Euro players do you really like who might be available in middle to later rounds (rounds 4-7) of the 2017 NHL draft?
Draftin Europe: In the 4th round talented guys who are still a project like Tobias Geisser and Lukas Elvenes become interesting options. Both are really far from ready but have good upside.
We like Alexandre Texier who is not as much of a project as Geisser or Elvenes, as he would have already played for France’s senior team at the World Championships if not for his injury. He is another case of a player we would be interested in if he is still available in that range because he has an interesting skill level that he blends with some bite in his game.
There is also a really small forward, Jerry Turkulainen, that we seem to be the only ones to like and that we believe has a chance to outplay his size. He is a guy that should be available in the later rounds.
Canes and Coffee: With so many good Swedish defensemen playing in the NHL, who would you pick as a middle-round sleeper for a smooth-skating Swedish defenseman?
Draftin Europe: We’d pick Gustav Lindstrom as really our main guy, but he will likely go higher than middle-rounds, so at that point of the draft it would probably be Calle Sjalin.
Canes and Coffee: If the Hurricanes select a goalie in the middle of the draft as they have in the past couple years, which European goalie do you like best in the middle rounds?
Draftin Europe: It has been a bit of a disappointing year for Euro goalies relative to our expectations before the season. Luukkonen will almost certainly already be picked before the middle rounds. If we had any confirmation about Daniil Tarasov’s status, who missed the entire year out of the line-up with an injury, he would be the guy we would recommend. But it’s eerily quiet on that front and that’s probably not the best news.
Canes and Coffee: Do you have any additional thoughts on the 2017 NHL draft as relates to the Hurricanes?
Draftin Europe: We’re looking forward to it as much as you guys do. The Hurricanes have made some quality selections out of Europe in recent years and we’re curious to see who their selections will be in this upcoming draft. Thank you for interviewing us and enjoy the draft!
Canes and Coffee extends a huge thank you to Mik Portoni and Niki Funa from Draftin Europe for generously sharing their ‘from the rink’ insight on European draft prospects who could be part of the Carolina Hurricanes 2017 draft class!