Friday, June 23, 2017

2017 NHL Draft begins tonight

The first round of the 2017 NHL Draft takes place tonight in Chicago. It won't be an overly exciting night for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League - but it could start off with a bang.

There is a chance the New Jersey Devils select Halifax Mooseheads forward Nico Hischier with the first overall pick. Hischier had been ranked second in most draft rankings - behind Brandon Wheat Kings forward Nolan Patrick, who was injured much of the season - but has been ranked first more and more over the past couple weeks. But is this media hype or the real deal? We'll find out tonight.

There's a chance Hischier is the only QMJHL player taken in the first round. Victoriaville's Maxime Comtois and/or Charlottetown's Pierre-Olivier Joseph could be selected tonight, but they are on the bubble.

Shane Bowers, a Halifax native and Saint John Sea Dogs draft pick, could also be selected tonight, but that is not a sure thing. Most draft rankings have him going late in tonight's opening round or early tomorrow.

Unless something extremely unexpected happens, there won't be any current Sea Dogs players taken tonight. In NHL Central Scouting's final rankings, Sea Dogs forward Cedric Pare was ranked 146th amongst North American skaters - an improvement from his midterm rank (203rd). Alex D'Orio was ranked 13th amongst North American goaltenders, a slide from his No. 8 position at the midterm.

Where D'Orio goes this weekend - if at all - will be interesting because he has been ranked all over the map (which isn't overly surprising given his limited amount of major junior playing experience). He has been ranked 48th by Sports Illustrated, 69th by Sportsnet's Jeff Marek, 122nd by, 134th by Future Considerations and 196th by

Pare was ranked 176th by ISS Hockey and 202nd by

Along with Bowers, Sea Dogs draft picks Ben Mirageas (ranked 63rd by Central Scouting) and Morgan Barron (98th) could also be selected this weekend.

The NHL Draft begins tonight at 8 p.m. on Sportsnet and will continue Saturday morning.

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