Ahead of the 2017 NHL Draft in Chicago, CalgaryFlames.com will highlight the top players available by position, as ranked by NHL Central Scouting.
Here is a breakdown of the top right wingers in this year's draft class:
TOP NORTH AMERICAN RIGHT WINGERS
1. Owen Tippett - Mississauga Steelheads (OHL)
Tippett could be the 2017 NHL Draft class' best pure goal scorer, owning an NHL shot that he gets off with breakneck speed and striking accuracy. He's also extremely fast, wreaking havoc on defenders through the offensive zone. In 60 regular season games last year, Tippett found the back of the net 44 times and put up 75 points, leading all Steelheads skaters.
2. Eeli Tolvanen - Sioux City Musketeers (USHL)
Offensively, Tolvanen is one of the most gifted players in this year's draft class. From the blueline in, the Finn is nearly impossible to defend against and has the skill set to take over a game if he needs to. He's a natural goal scorer who always seems to be in the right spot with a shoot-first mentality. Last year, he scored 30 goals and 54 points in 52 regular season games in Sioux City
3. Kailer Yamamoto - Spokane Chiefs (WHL)
One of the smaller forwards available in this year's draft, Yamamoto more than makes up for his diminutive stature with skill. He plays a similar style to that of Johnny Gaudreau, with the ability to weave through the neutral zone with ease thanks to his speed and puck-handling ability. In 65 regular season games last year, the winger scored 42 goals and 99 points.
4. Kole Lind - Kelowna Rockets (WHL)
Lind isn't flashy like some of his counterparts in this year's draft but plays an effective style that produces plenty of points. He has excellent vision, allowing him to distribute the puck well and move into prime scoring areas. Lind plays a strong transition game as well, efficiently moving the puck up-ice and into the attack. Last year, he managed 30 goals and 87 points with the Rockets.
5. Nick Henry - Regina Pats (WHL)
There's no question Henry's shot is his best asset. Not only does he own a heavy shot, he has the ability to get it off his stick in short order. He also knows where on the ice he needs to be for prime scoring opportunities. In 72 games last year, he scored 35 goals and posted 81 points.
TOP INTERNATIONAL RIGHT WINGERS
1. Kristian Vesalainen - Frolunda HC (SHL)
While his point totals in the 2016-17 season don't leap off the page at you, scouts are confident Vesalainen has all of the tools required to be a power forward at the NHL level. He's 6-foot-4, weighs in at 209-pounds and isn't afraid to use his frame to bulldoze his way through the offensive zone. He's a strong skater, has quick hands in tight and plays an aggressive, in-your-face style of game.
2. Ostap Safin - HC Sparta Praha U20 (CZECH)
Like Vesalainen, Safin is on route to developing into an effective power forward. He has a heavy shot and is a natural goal scorer, finding shooting lanes and letting off powerful wrist shots and one-timers. Safin has an edge to his game and can be absolutely dominant physically. With Sparta's under-20 squad, he scored six goals and 18 points through 24 games.
3. Lucas Elvenes - Rogle BK J20 (SuperElit)
One of Rogle's best players on their under-20 team, Elvenes has a high hockey IQ and superb vision. He is best utilized as a playmaker thanks to his above-average passing abilities. Elvenes also is a prodigious skater, using his speed to dismantle an opponent's defence core. He averaged over a point-per-game in Sweden's SuperElit league last year, coring 15 goals and 45 points in 41 games.
4. Jonas Rondbjerg - Vaxjo Lakers HC J20 (SuperElit)
The Dannish winger moved to Sweden in 2016-17 season to take the next step in his development and the move paid off handsomely. He was second in team scoring with 31 points in 42 games and earned himself five games with Vaxjo's SHL club. He is a well-rounded player, with decent skating, puck-handling skills, and two-way play.
5. Alexey Toropchenko - HK MVD Balashikha (MHL)
The Russian winger scored 19 goals and 31 points in the MHL last season and made strides throughout the course of the year. He stands 6-foot-3 and comes in at 183-pounds and he isn't shy about using his body to push through the offensive zone. He likes to park himself in front of the net and cause havoc in tight and acts as a screen on the power play as well.