LNH.com staff writer Guillaume Lepage projects the top 15 selections in the 2017 NHL Draft:
1. New Jersey Devils - Nico Hischier, C, Halifax (QMJHL)
The Devils haven't selected first since moving to New Jersey in 1982 but will make the most of their opportunity by picking the most complete forward in the draft. Born in Switzerland, Hischier (6-foot-1, 176 pounds) impressed in his first season in North America with his speed and skill and will add depth at center for the Devils. His intelligence on the ice should allow him to make an impact in the NHL next season.
2. Philadelphia Flyers - Nolan Patrick, C, Brandon (WHL)
The Flyers won't complain about having Patrick fall to them at No 2. Even if he is not the greatest skater, the 6-foot-2, 198-pound center compensates for it with his ability to handle and protect the puck. His vision makes him dangerous, as evidenced by his 46 points (20 goals, 26 assists) in 33 games. The Flyers also will appreciate the toughness in his game.
3. Dallas Stars - Miro Heiskanen, D, HIFK (FIN)
The Stars are in need of a good, two-way defenseman and Heiskanen (6-0, 170) fits the bill perfectly. He opened a lot of eyes at the 2017 IIHF World Under-18 Championship with 12 points (two goals, 10 assists) in seven games and was named the tournament's best defenseman.
4. Colorado Avalanche - Casey Mittelstadt, C, Eden Prairie (HIGH-MN)
The Avalanche had the best odds to get the No. 1 pick but getting Mittelstadt at No. 4 is an outstanding consolation prize. The 6-foot, 201-pound center had 64 points (21 goals, 43 assists) in 25 games with his high school team and averaged 1.25 points per game in 24 games with Green Bay of the United States Hockey League. His best assets are his high-end agility and puck handling skills.
5. Vancouver Canucks - Gabriel Vilardi, C, Windsor (OHL)
A big forward (6-3, 201), Vilardi is not the fastest skater but has a knack for making those around him better. His work ethic, determination and touch around the net will be a welcome addition to the Canucks.