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NHL Draft

Nolan Patrick, Nico Hischier vie for top spot in mock draft

No consensus selection from experts on who Devils will choose with No. 1 pick @NHLdotcom

The 2017 NHL Draft is setting up to be one of the most unpredictable in recent memory.

So it stands to reason that three writers couldn't agree on which player will be the first pick.

In a mock draft consisting of the 15 teams in the NHL Draft Lottery, Adam Kimelman and Mike G. Morreale believe that Brandon center Nolan Patrick will be chosen by the New Jersey Devils with the first pick. Guillaume Lepage thinks the Devils will opt for Halifax center Nico Hischier.

Patrick and Hischier are the top two players in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters.

Injuries limited Patrick to 33 games but he averaged 1.39 points per game, 10th in the Western Hockey League.

Video: Devils make big jump to win 2017 NHL draft lottery

In his first season in North America, the Swiss-born Hischier was 10th in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with 86 points (38 goals, 48 assists) in 57 games and was named rookie of the year and best pro prospect in the league.

"They are both great players," Devils general manager Ray Shero said. "Patrick went through injury this year but everybody knows he's a heck of a player and he's going to be very good. Hischier is a Swiss center with good size and talent. For us, these are two centers, two real good players. We're going to get one heck of a player and, at this point, that's what this franchise needs."

The mock drafts differed in other areas as well, with 18 players on the three lists.

The full order for the first round will be set after the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The 2017 draft will be held at United Center in Chicago on June 23-24. Experts Mock Drafts: Kimelman | Morreale | Lepage

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