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Mock Drafts Project Canes' Pick

Who will the Hurricanes select with the 12th overall pick?

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes /

Visit for the latest news, videos and pick-by-pick information in the 2017 NHL Draft.

With the introduction of its 31st franchise, the National Hockey League is staging two drafts in one week. The first is the Expansion Draft, in which the picks of the Vegas Golden Knights will be revealed during the league's annual Awards ceremony. The second is the more customary NHL Draft, which will take place in Chicago on June 23-24.

The pool of draft eligible prospects, especially those likely to be first-round selections, has been analyzed and dissected for months, and across the media landscape are numerous mock drafts conducted in an attempt to project how things might shake out.

The year's draft class might lack the elite, top-end talent seen in the last two years, but it still figures to be a relatively deep crop. The Carolina Hurricanes hold the 12th overall pick in the first round, and mock draft projections vary wildly, even at the top of the round. We've compiled a collection of mock drafts and prospect rankings below., Mike Morreale 

Lias Andersson, C, HV 71 (Sweden)

"Andersson (5-11, 198) is an excellent skater with speed and good first-step quickness. He's always on the move and can create scoring chances with his mobility, good hands and grit. His father, Niklas Andersson, played 164 NHL games and is a scout for the Los Angeles Kings.", Adam Kimelman

Nick Suzuki, C, Owen Sound (OHL)

"Suzuki (5-11, 183) was in the top five in the OHL in goals (45, fourth) and points (96, fifth), but his real assets are his smarts, nonstop energy and willingness to work hard in all three zones. Suzuki would be a nice complement to a burgeoning young core of forwards that includes Jeff Skinner, Victor Rask, Sebastian Aho and Elias Lindholm.", Guillaume Lepage

Timothy Liljegren, D, Rogle (Sweden)

"Liljegren (6-0, 191) came into this season considered by some scouts to be the top defenseman in the draft. But he missed the first two months with mononucleosis and had trouble finding his rhythm upon his return. However, his skills as an offensive-minded defenseman are obvious, and Liljegren has a very high ceiling. He has been compared to Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson."

North State Journal, Cory Lavalette

Klim Kostin, C/LW, Moscow (KHL)

"Kostin is the complete package: big, strong and able to carry and hold on to the puck. But he also suffers from the "Russian" label, especially after he opted to spend this year in the KHL. That and shoulder surgery in February might scare teams away, but it shouldn't."

Sportsnet, Jeff Marek

Nick Suzuki, C, Owen Sound (OHL)

"Carolina likes players with high hockey IQ and few better than this Attack forward."

Sportsnet, Sam Cosentino

Casey Mittelstadt, C, Eden Prairie (High-MN)

"Take away the decision to play high school hockey, take away the sub-par performance at the NHL Combine and take whatever you want from the interview process before answering this question: can he play? The answer is a resounding yes."

The Hockey News

Owen Tippett, RW, Mississauga (OHL)

"I like this pick for Carolina because he's a big body, he's fast and he's got a great shot. He still needs to work on his play away from the puck, but when I look at Carolina, I see a team that has excellent defense and still more prospects coming on the blue line. They have some nice players up front, but I think Tippett would give them a really nice option. Him and Julien Gauthier would be really fun to have on your roster in a couple years down the line."

The Hockey News (prospect rankings)

Nick Suzuki, C, Owen Sound Attack (OHL)

"Scouts love his skill and his compete level. What's even more intriguing is that, by advanced stats that I have seen, Suzuki was the best possession forward in the entire draft class - better than Nolan Patrick and Nico Hischier by a mile. And if you're not up on the advanced stats movement, how about goals and assists? Because Suzuki had 45 goals and 96 points in 65 games, making him one of the most prolific producers in his class, too."

SB Nation, Canes Country

Martin Necas, C, Brno (Czech Republic)

"Martin Necas possess top-end speed for a center and may be one of the best skaters in the entire 2017 draft class: think former Hurricane Bates Battaglia but even faster. Don't let Necas' meager stat line fool you. He's able to create offensive chances with his gifted skating ability, generating odd-man rushes with his quick breakout speed."

Ed. note: This pick was made at No. 20, after the SB Nation mock draft featured the Canes trading down in the first round.

TSN, Craig Button

Martin Necas, C, Brno (Czech Republic)

"All the skills to be a very dynamic center in the mold of Claude Giroux."

TSN, Bob McKenzie (prospect rankings)

Nick Suzuki, C, Owen Sound (OHL)

"Skilled with high sense and he contributes in all situations at a highly consistent rate."

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