The 2016-17 NHL regular season will go down as the season that kept on giving to the Metropolitan Division. As mentioned above, the top two teams in the league were from the Metro as well as the first two picks in the NHL Draft, thanks to the Draft Lottery. The New Jersey Devils moved up 4 spots from 5th to draft first overall, while the Philadelphia Flyers were the luckiest as they moved up 11 spots all the way from 13th to 2nd and got a new franchise player in the process. While there were no real generational talents available according to the experts, Nico Hischier and Nolan Patrick are going to be a couple of great hockey players that Pens fans are going to get to know all too well.
Below will be a breakdown from every draft pick selected by the Metropolitan Division with a quick scouting report for each player. Some of the names will be instant NHL players, while others will be forgotten and may never see the light of day in the NHL. Either way, here’s how it all went down:
48-28-6, 102 pts / 253GF(4th)/216GA(t-12th) / First pick: 21st
Lost to Ottawa in the second round.
Lias Andersson, C/LW | First round, 7th overall | Smögen, SWE
DOB: 10/13/98 | 5’11”, 198 lbs | Shoots: L
18-year old Andersson is one of 2017’s safer draft picks, right on the border of being NHL-ready. As a top-six pivot with offensive and defensive responsibilities for HV71 this season, Andersson showcased his quality at both ends of the ice en-route to a national championship. He’s a strong skater with soft hands, excellent IQ, and an endless motor who likes to keep it simple. Andersson is the kind of guy a coach can lean on to score key goals, win faceoffs, kill penalties, and take tough assignments. He hounds the puck relentlessly and uses his deft touch to finish chances around the net. Not a high-upside guy capable of dazzling crowds, but a tremendous team player that fans are going to adore.
-All NYR scouting reports via Blue Shirt Banter.
Filip Chytil, C/LW | First round, 21st overall | Kromeriz, CZE
DOB: 9/5/99 | 6’2”, 190 lbs | Shoots: L
Although still a little raw, Czech forward Chytil has everything in his arsenal to be an impact forward at NHL level. He’s smart, high-skilled, and an excellent skater. Chytil carries the puck with confidence, instigating aggressive scoring plays and making quick, precise decisions on-the-fly. He knows when to hold back and when to commit, using his speed and footwork to buy himself more time if necessary. The 17-year old plays a bigger game than his frame would suggest too; Chytil hustles back hard and helps out defensively, never afraid to work for it against bigger players in the defensive zone
Brandon Crawley, LHD | Fourth round, 123rd overall | Glen Rock, NJ, USA
DOB: 2/2/97 | 6’2”, 203 lbs | Shoots: L
Crawley is 20-years-old playing in the OHL, which means I take some of the “loves the physical play” and “really pushed guys off the puck this year” with a grain of salt. At 20, he should be doing that, since he’s playing against teenagers. His defense is something that’s been his calling card, and he had 114 penalty minutes last year, so he’s not afraid to get rough and tough. As much as that can be a red flag to warn of a guy with a temper, he only had 10 penalty minutes in 14 playoff games, so it’s clear he can keep things in check when it matters. (His past three seasons in the OHL have seen massive dropoffs in PIM from regular season to playoffs.)
Calle Sjalin, LHD | Fourth round, 145th overall | Östersund, SWE
DOB: 9/2/99 | 6’1”, 176 lbs | Shoots: L
Själin is a reliable two-way defenseman. Unspectacular but solid, the 17-year old left-hand shot was a standout blue line option for Sweden during the U18 World Juniors this year, where he propped up partner Filip Westerlund. Själin keeps it simple and doesn’t tend to over complicate things at either end of the ice. He’s a good skater who plays smart and can impact a game in all three zones. Should make the step-up from Division 1 to Allsvenskan next season with Leksand.
Dominik Lakatos, C/LW | Sixth round, 157th overall | Liberec, CZE
DOB: 4/8/97 | 5’11”, 179 lbs | Shoots: L
Lakatos, 6-0, 178, set career-highs across the board in 2016-17, totaling 10 goals and 12 assists for 22 points in 41 games with Liberec in the top Czech league. In his rookie campaign the previous year, he totaled 11 points (7 goals, 4 assists) in 36 games with Liberec.
Morgan Barron, C | Sixth round, 174th overall | Halifax, NS, CAN
DOB: 12/2/98 | 6’2”, 201 lbs | Shoots: L
Barron, 6-2, 200, recorded 60 points (34 goals, 26 assists) at St. Andrews College (High-ON) this past season in 56 contests. He also appeared in seven games with Sioux City (USHL). Two seasons ago, the Halifax native totaled 72 points (40 goals, 32 assists) in 58 games for St. Andrews.
Patrik Virta, C/RW | Seventh round, 207th overall | Hämeenlinna, FIN
DOB: 3/6/96 | 5’10”, 181 lbs | Shoots: R
21-year old Virta plays a fast-paced game, utilizing good wheels and a quick shot to cause problems around the opposition net. He finds open areas well and does not hesitate to get the puck away quickly in and around the slot. Strong on his skates and a solid forechecker, Virta made his breakthrough with Liiga club TPS this past season and should continue to take on more responsibility in 2017/18 as a team-mate of Rangers’ 2016 draft pick Tarmo Reunanen.
50-24-8, 108 pts / 247GF(6th)/193GA(2nd) / First pick: 86th*
Lost to Pittsburgh in the first round.
Alexandre Texier, C | Second round, 45th overall | Grenoble, FRA
DOB: 9/13/99 | 6’0”, 187 lbs | Shoots: L
Texier has excellent skating fundamentals. He is able to generate speed through cross-overs effectively and is consistently moving his feet, which allows him to generate separation from defenders. When he receives the puck on either wall, he has a great habit of opening up to the play, which gives his defenseman an easy target to pass to, and allows him to use his quick cross-overs to generate speed and get a head start up ice.
All CBJ scouting reports via 1stohiobattery.com
Daniil Tarasov, G | Third round, 86th overall | Novokuznetsk, RUS
DOB: 3/27/99 | 6’4”, 181 lbs | Catches: L
Wonderful performance at the U18s (5 GP – 2.11 GAA, .921 SV%) has made him all the rage in some scouting circles.
Emil Bemstrom, C | Fourth round, 117th overall | Nyköping, SWE
DOB: 6/1/99 | 5’11”, 176 lbs | Shoots: R
First and foremost, Bemstrom is a shooter. He averaged over three shots on goal per game, and two posts. His release and power are top-notch, and he constantly changes the shooting angle with quick lateral moves. A compact, deceptively explosive stride enables him to dart into open spaces, particularly around the net, which how he scores most of his goals.
Kale Howarth, C | Fifth round, 148th overall | Red Deer, AB, CAN
DOB: 6/10/97 | 6’5”, 207 lbs | Shoots: L
Howarth’s improved quite a bit over the past few seasons, particularly from a first draft eligible season that saw him put up just 11 points in AAA Midget. The fact that he’s put himself on the radar is impressive. His size and collegiate aspirations may get his foot in the door with NHL clubs, as a team selecting him would keep his rights until he leaves college. He’s committed to the University of Connecticut Huskies for 2017-18, so he’ll have time to continue to develop. Right now he’s a very raw player with a lot of question marks, but his big frame gives him a good base to build upon.
Jonathan Davidsson, RW | Sixth round, 170th overall | Tyresö, SWE
DOB: 3/12/97 | 5’11”, 185 lbs | Shoots: R
Last season Davidsson played 44 games for Djurgardens IF, as well as 11 games for the U20 team, in the SHL and SuperElit. During his 44 games in the SHL he scored three goals and added nine assists. Not great numbers for a 20-year old, but he will be back there next season. This is a big season for his development, and could give a good indication if the Jackets picking him 170th will be a steal or just another 6th round pick.
Carson Meyer, RW | Sixth round, 179th overall | Powell, OH, USA
DOB: 8/18/97 | 5’11”, 185 lbs | Shoots, R
Played in 32 games … tallied 26 points on 10 goals and 16 assists with at least one point in 21 contests … went +1 or better 10 times … notched five multi-point games … scored first-collegiate goal in a victory at Providence (10/8) … dished out a season-high three assists in a 5-0 win against Maine (10/22) … also scored a goal and assisted on the overtime winner against Bowling Green (10/28) … netted a goal and an assist in a comeback win at Ohio State (12/31) … also had a goal and an assist at Omaha (1/20) … after missing four games due to an illness, came back to post a six-game point streak from Dec. 2-Jan. 6.
Robbie Stucker, RHD | Seventh round, 210th overall | St. Paul, MN, USA
DOB: 9/30/98 | 6’3”, 179 lbs | Shoots: R
Stucker graduated from St. Thomas Academy this past spring, collecting a career-high 40 points, including 32 assists, in 25 games during his senior season. The 6-foot-3 defenseman is expected to join the Tigers in the fall of 2018.
50-21-11, 111 pts / 278 GF(1st)/229 GA(17th) / First pick:
31 st - 51st
Zachary Lauzon, LHD | Second round, 51st overall | Val d’Or, QC, CAN
DOB: 10/10/98 | 6’0”, 185 lbs | Shoots: L
We have a very specific style of play that we like to play. We like defensemen that are mobile, have great vision and can move the puck. Obviously defending is important, and Zach fits that bill. He’s a tremendous skater, got great vision, he moves the puck well. He’s not as offensive-oriented as other people, but he defends very well. Highly competitive, he’ll fit right in in Pittsburgh.
All Penguins scouting reports via Post-Gazette courtesy of Randy Sexton and Patrik Allvin
Clayton Phillips, LHD | Third round, 93rd overall | Edina, MN, USA
DOB: 9/9/99 | 5’11”, 174 lbs | Shoots: L
Clayton has some offense to his game, but again, highly mobile. He can really skate, he’s got terrific vision, a really solid puck-mover. Both Zach and Clayton will have more of an offensive role on their team next year, so we do expect to see their offensive production improve. But I would define them more as mobile, transitional, puck-moving defensemen.
Jan Drozg, RW/LW | Fifth round, 152nd overall, Maribor, SLO
DOB: 4/1/99 | 6’0”, 174 lbs | Shoots: R
Jan Drozg is a little bit of a late-bloomer. He’s from Slovenia, moved to Sweden and really caught our guys’ eyes in the second half of the year. We brought him to Pittsburgh for our combine, he performed very well and that really helped us kind of get over the top to take him. He’s an offensive player. He’s very slender, needs time to put on strength, but we’re excited to have him because he brings some offense.
Linus Ölund, C | Fifth round, 155th overall | Gävle, SWE
DOB: 6/5/97 | 5’11, 185 lbs | Shoots: L
We see him as a bottom-six player. He had a really good playoff year, actually a really good second half in the Swedish pro league. Half a point per game in the playoffs, and he had a key role there starting off as a fourth-line center. Really took a big step in the second half. We’re excited about him, and he’s going to have a big role in Brynas next year, as well.
Antti Palojarvi, LHD | Sixth round, 186th overall | Kouvola, FIN
DOB: 1/18/99 | 6’1”, 176 lbs | Shoots: L
Antti’s more of a puck-moving defenseman. Probably needs a couple extra years there. I think He’s in a good situation up in Lukko in Northern Finland there. Was on the national team a little bit, but obviously the Finns had a really strong D corps. It’ll be tough for him to get on the World Junior team next year, but I think he’s still in the mix there. I’d definitely say a little bit of a longer-term prospect.
William Reilly, RHD | Seventh round, 217th overall | Toronto, ON, CAN
DOB: 7/23/97 | 6’3”, 196 lbs | Shoots: R
William Reilly is an offensive defenseman. He has good size, he skates well, he moves the puck and he can really shoot the puck. He ran the No. 1 power play in college hockey this year at RPI. We have some hopes for him as a puck-moving, offensive defensemen.
55-19-8, 118 pts / 261GF(3rd)/177GA(1st) / First pick: 120th*
Lost to Pittsburgh in the second round.
Tobian Geisser, LHD | Fourth round, 120th overall | Sarnen, SUI
DOB: 2/13/99 | 6’4”, 201 lbs | Shoots: L
Tobias Geisser is two-way defenseman with excellent size and mobility. Sees the ice well and plays crisp passes to spark a team’s transition game. Has a long reach and shows a smart defensive game, while keeping his plays simple. Needs to improve his physical play and has to make better use of his excellent frame, as he plays a soft game. Owns a hard shot, which makes him a valuable option for the power play.
Sebastian Walfridsson, LHD | Fifth round, 151st overall | Ingarö, SWE
DOB: 3/19/99 | 6’0”, 194 lbs | Shoots: L
The left-shooting defenseman had two goals and seven points in 38 games with Modo of Sweden's junior league. The 6-foot, 194-pound blueliner plays a simple game from the back end and will be given plenty of time to develop.
Benton Maass, RHD | Sixth round, 182nd overall | Elk River, MN, USA
DOB: 11/25/98 | 6’2”, 190 lbs | Shoots: R
He is strong and poised and was able to create with the puck. He rated in our top three players in each of Fairbank’s games. To become a plus player, Benton must improve play in his own end. He has a ton of upside and was one of the best prospects in the showcase. He is a new player for Neutral Zone and played at Elk River (MN) HS last year.
Kristian Roykas-Marthinsen, RW | Seventh round, 213th overall | Norway
DOB: 8/20/99 | 6’0”, 185 lbs | Shoots: L
The Norwegian winger had 23 goals and 35 points in 47 games in the Swedish junior league. The Capitals will likely take their time developing the 6-foot, 185-pound winger, and he isn't likely to make the jump to North America anytime soon.