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Baker's Next Baker's Dozen for 2017

Which prospects just missed making Kris Baker's Top 31 list?

by Kris Baker @SabresProspects / SabresProspects.com

You've read through Kris Baker's Top 31 prospects in the 2017 NHL Draft (and if you haven't, what are you waiting for? Check it out here), and now we've asked Kris to give us another baker's dozen-worth of prospects you should know about.

The Sabres currently hold two second-round picks (37th and 54th overall) on Saturday. Could those picks be used on any of these prospects?

Filip Chytil - C/LW, HC Ziln (Czech)

A smooth, speedy skater, Chytil impressed scouts last season as a 17-year-old notching eight points (4+4) playing against men in Czech Extraliga before providing a nice finishing kick with five points (2+3) in five games at the IIHF World Under-18 Championship. 

Chytil, who has a good handle on the puck and plays with urgency at both ends of the ice, packs a lot of a lot of developmental promise being one of the younger players in the draft class. Coming to North America next season as a CHL import could be just what the doctor orders to accelerate his NHL aspirations.


Kole Lind - RW, Kelowna (WHL)

Lind is an exceptional skater with excellent speed and shiftiness that is targeted for afuture a top-six forward role at the NHL level. He's factor with his intensity and all-around skill package. Lind paced the Rockets with 30 goals and 87 points this season, and kept it going with 6+6 in 17 playoff contests. Lind uses his feet to get in deep on the forecheck and simply shows the desire to make a play with his excellent shooting and passing skills. 


Isaac Ratcliffe - LW, Guelph (OHL)

One of the bigger power forward bodies in the entire draft, the 6-foot-6, 200-pound Ratcliffe broke through in 2016-17 with 28 goals and 54 points for a Guelph club that finished last in the Ontario Hockey League's Western Conference standings. 

Ratcliffe, who doesn't possess elite speed or hands but shows a real nice sense for his surroundings, is a long-range prospect with the potential to add loads of strength and someday become a force around the crease.


Nikita Popugaev - LW/RW, Prince George (WHL)

A massive 6-foot-6, 210-pound power forward that can play both wings, Popugaev has the puck protection mentality and booming shot that scouts love to see in the offensive zone. In 71 games this past season, Popugaev piled up 69 points (29+40), with 51 of them (22+29) coming in 40 games with Moose Jaw before being moved to the Cougars at the Western Hockey League trade deadline. 

While bigger bodies often appear to be slower skaters, Popugaev is one that can get to top speed rather quickly, using his long stride to generate momentum and cut to the middle of the ice to create different shooting angles.


Jaret Anderson-Dolan - LW, Spokane (WHL)

Anderson-Dolan made dramatic developmental leaps in 2016-17, increasing his production from 26 to 76 points, including 39 goals, while skating on a line with dynamic draft prospect Kailer Yamamoto. The foundation of Anderson-Dolan's game is speed, and where he lacks in a dominating frame, he makes up of it with his ability to read and react. 

While he didn't produce at the same rate when away from Yamamoto when serving as Canada's captain at the IIHF World Under-18 Championship, an impressive set of tools are in place to build upon as one of the youngest players in the draft class.


Henri Jokiharju - RHD, Portland (WHL)

One of the stars of the CHL Top Prospects Game, Jokiharju catches your attention with his robust skating game and ability to advance the puck with ease. Jokiharju proved to be an excellent five-on-five engine last season as a WHL rookie, posting 48 points (9+39) thanks to his ability to walk the line and get shots through to the net. 

The young Finn exhibits confidence, poise and a high-panic threshold, making him a natural fit for all situations. The fact that he's a coveted right-hand shot makes the package even more compelling.


Keith Petruzzelli - G, Muskegon (USHL)

The 6-foot-5 Massachusetts product draws comparisons to Penguins netminder Matt Murray due to his size and poise in the crease. Petruzzelli completed an excellent rookie campaign in Muskegon, winning 22 of his 33 starts while posting a 2.40 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage under the watchful eye of Lumberjacks General Manager and former NHL netminder, John Vanbiesbrouck. 

Petruzzelli combines a huge frame and above-average athleticism. An excellent puckhandler, Petruzzelli even scored a goal this year when he gloved a puck on one knee and quickly dropped it and fired it back down the ice into an empty net.


Morgan Frost - C, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)

A read-and-react player, Frost plays a simple instinctive game that saw him collect 20 goals and 62 points this past season. He coolly skates with the puck, using his vision and playmaking skills to regularly impact the game, especially with the man advantage. 

He's good at making short passes to drive a possession-style game, but he can thread the needle with accuracy as well. Frost's skating and acceleration are where they need to be, making him for a solid middle-line NHL prospect once he gets the strength that so many young players need to add as they approach their 20s.


Maxime Comtois - LW/RW, Victoriaville (QMJHL)

A hard-working forward that scored 22 goals and 51 points this season, Comtois doesn't have many weaknesses as he looks to be a complete player who generates a lot of high-quality shots on goal, plays a physical game and sticks to his defensive assignments. 

Comtois entered the year as a potential first-round prospect, but didn't take his offensive production to the next level to maintain that stature. Still, he possesses a pro-style body and gives 100% on every shift to make him an early Saturday target.


Jesper Boqvist - LW, Brynas IF (SHL)

One of the second-tier snipers in the draft, the quick-footed Boqvist has a proven track record as a junior-level scorer who finds open space and can finish off the rush. He's one who will go to the net to jam and deflect pucks, but he does his best work coming off the boards with a defender chasing him. 

He is slippery and sneaky with an understated ability to find teammates when his shot isn't there. Boqvist lit the lamp 10 times in 15 junior contests, and added another 12 points (3+9) in 19 games with Timra IK of the second pro division.

Pierre-Olivier Joseph - LHD, Charlottetown (QMJHL)

Joseph is a well-rounded rearguard that has the long reach, skating ability and emerging shutdown mentality that teams crave when devising a defensive zone scheme. He is 6-foot-2 and growing, and has shown the ability to play within himself as his game grows.

He has started to display more confidence in his two-way game with six goals and 39 points in his draft year, along the way offering a clearer glimpse of what this player can become with a few more years of seasoning.


Jason Robertson - LW, Kingston (OHL)

An average skater at best, Robertson is proof that style matters less than substance with his 42 goals and 81 points in 68 regular-season games this past season. Some kids just have a knack for scoring. That's Robertson in a nutshell. 

He was responsible for 23 per cent of the Frontenacs goals, but the rest of his game is still a work in progress. He has the right size at 6-foot-2, 196 pounds. For his offensive game and soft hands to truly translate, his drafting team must focus on making him more explosive and work on his top gear.


Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen - G, HPK (Liiga)

Luukkonen was a star at the 2016 IIHF Under-18 Championship, but a bout with pneumonia set him back in 2016-17. While having a solid season with his Jr. A club team (1.78 GAA, .917 save%) that saw him backstop HPK to a league championship, Luukkonen didn't perform as dominantly at the 2017 event behind a much younger and inexperienced Finnish squad. 

Still, that tournament is just one page in his book. Luukkonen offers a drafting club a huge, athletic netminder that, with more coaching and technique refinements, has all the signs of developing into a legitimate No. 1 NHL goaltender.

The first round of the 2017 NHL Draft begins at 7 p.m. ET from Chicago on NBCSN. Stay with Sabres.com for full coverage throughout the weekend. 

For more on all the youngsters in the Sabres pipeline, check out Kris Baker's website, SabresProspects.com. You can also follow him on Twitter (@SabresProspects).

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