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NHL Draft: Top 10 European Prospects

Previewing the top-10 European prospects ahead of the NHL Draft

by Cory Wright WrightsWay / New York Islanders

The 2017 NHL Draft takes place on Friday June 23 and Saturday June 24 at United Center in Chicago, IL. The Islanders hold the 15th overall pick in this year's draft and NewYorkIslanders.com is getting you set with a look at the top prospects entering the draft. Also check out our Islanders Draft Central.

This week, we'll be previewing the top North American skaters, the top European skaters, goalies and the players ranked in the teens that could be in the Islanders range. 

All rankings are based off NHL Central Scouting. All analysis provided by Islanders Head Amateur Scout Vellu Kautonen.

Note: The European prospects often play in multiple tiers in their leagues during the same season. The stats below are from the top-level European leagues (KHL, Swedish Hockey League, Liiga, Czech Extraliga) this season. 

Team Pos Shoots Height Weight
Brynas C R 5'11 165
GP G A P PIM
16 0 6 6 2
Jesper Boqvist

Center, Brynas, SHL

Born: Falun, Sweden
DOB: October 30, 1998

Ranked 10th (Euro Skaters) by NHL Central Scouting

A forward who can play both center and winger. Good skater and playmaker. He has good vision and is very creative when he has extra open ice on the power-play. Needs to get stronger but he doesn't shy away from traffic despite his modest size.

Team Pos Shoots Height Weight
HV71 D R 5'9 187
GP G A P PIM
35 1 5 6 2
Erik Brannstrom

Defenseman, HV71, SHL

Born: Eksjö, Sweden
DOB: September 2, 1999

Ranked 9th (Euro Skaters) by NHL Central Scouting

Smaller defenseman, but he is very gifted. Great mobility, good hands and vision. Makes nice break out passes and is a very useful player on power-play. Won SHL Championship with HV71 and Isles prospect Linus Soderstrom.

Team Pos Shoots Height Weight
JYP D L 6'1 188
GP G A P PIM
41 2 4 6 12
Urho Vaakanainen

Defenseman, JYP Jyväskylä, Finland

Born: Joensuu, Finland
DOB: January 1, 1999

Ranked 8th (Euro Skaters) by NHL Central Scouting

Solid two-way defenseman with good skating and mobility. He plays steady game and very rarely makes mistakes. He is good in both ends of the rink and can play with and without the puck.

Team Pos Shoots Height Weight
Frolunda LW/RW R 6'4 209
GP G A P PIM
26 1 5 6 2
Kristian Vesalainen

Winger, Frolunda, SHL

Helsinki, Finland
DOB: June 1, 1999

Ranked 7th (Euro Skaters) by NHL Central Scouting

Big Finnish winger who had a difficult year, but finished it nicely by winning the scoring title at U-18 Worlds in Slovakia. Good skater and keeps himself in great shape. He drives to net with authority and has good finishing touch.

Team Pos Shoots Height Weight
Rogle D R 6'0 188
GP G A P PIM
5 0 1 1 4
Timothy Liljergen

Defenseman, Rogle, SHL

Born: Kristianstad, Sweden
DOB: April 30, 1999

Ranked 6th (Euro Skaters) by NHL Central Scouting

Timothy is one of the most skilled defensemen in this year's draft. He likes to rush the puck and does it well too. Good power-play player who is always trying to make the smart play when he has the puck.

Team Pos Shoots Height Weight
Brno C L 6'1 178
GP G A P PIM
41 7 8 15 6
Martin Necas

Center, HC Kometa Brno, Czech Extraliga

Born: Nové Město na Moravě, Czech Republic
DOB: January 15, 1999

Ranked 5th (Euro Skaters) by NHL Central Scouting

A two-way forward who is a smart player with and without the puck. He is a good skater and always plays at a high tempo hockey. He competes hard and wants to be a leader. Won the Czech Extraliga Championship this season. 

Team Pos Shoots Height Weight
HIFK D R 6'1 172
GP G A P PIM
37 5 5 10 4
Miro Heiskanen

Defenseman, HIFK, Finland

Born: Espoo, Finland
DOB: July 18, 1999

Ranked 4th (Euro Skaters) by NHL Central Scouting

A Finnish d-man who had an excellent season in the Finnish Elite League this year. He is a very mobile skater and brings some offense to the table. At the U-18 Worlds, he rose up various rankings, scoring 12 points in seven games.

Team Pos Shoots Height Weight
HV71 C L 5'11 201
GP G A P PIM
42 9 10 19 18
Lias Andersson

Center, HV71, SHL

Born: Smögen, Sweden
DOB: October 13, 1998

Ranked 3rd (Euro Skaters) by NHL Central Scouting

Lias had a good season in the SHL in Sweden and won the championship along with Isles goaltending prospect, Linus Soderstrom. He is a two-way forward who always competes hard. Good puck skills and hockey sense. Very reliable player.

Team Pos Shoots Height Weight
Timra C L 6'2 165
GP G A P PIM
43 19 21 40 14
Elias Pettersson

Center, Timra, Sweden

Born: Sundsvall, Sweden
DOB: November 12, 1998

Ranked 2nd (Euro Skaters) by NHL Central Scouting

A skilled forward who has good hockey sense too. Needs to get stronger but he doesn't shy away from traffic despite his smaller frame. After an average World Juniors, he finished the season with his club team in Allsvenskan, which is the second highest pro league in Sweden.

Team Pos Shoots Height Weight
Dynamo Moscow C/LW R 6'2 207
GP G A P PIM
8 0 0 0 27
Klim Kostin

Center/Left Wing, Dynamo Moscow, KHL

Born: Penza, Russia
DOB: May 5, 1999
Ranked 1st (Euro Skaters) by NHL Central Scouting

Klim is one of the most gifted European players in this year's draft. He has great hands and a good frame. He had bad luck this season, hurting his shoulder before Christmas and it needed surgery, causing his to miss the rest of the season.

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