2017 Draft: Five Years Later

The quality of a draft is constantly changing, as the players’ value, or their “Point Shares (PS)” number changes when they play. The result of a draft isn’t really finalized until all the players have retired. On the other end of the spectrum, players can’t earn PS until they’re playing in the NHL. Evaluate these too soon, and it’ll be a very top-heavy draft as those players generally get to the NHL the fastest. For this reason, I waited until the end of the ’21-’22 season to put together the results of the 2017 draft. Here’s what we got so far.

A reminder of the methodology for this is here: “How This Works.”

First, here’s the 2017 first round:

1New Jersey DevilsNico Hischier
2Philadelphia FlyersNolan Patrick
3Dallas StarsMiro Heiskanen
4Colorado AvalancheCale Makar
5Vancouver CanucksElias Pettersson
6Vegas Golden KnightsCody Glass
7New York RangersLias Andersson
8Buffalo SabresCasey Mittelstadt
9Detroit Red WingsMichael Rasmussen
10Florida PanthersOwen Tippett
11Los Angeles KingsGabriel Vilardi
12Carolina HurricanesMartin Necas
13Vegas Golden KnightsNick Suzuki
14Tampa Bay LightningCallan Foote
15Vegas Golden KnightsErik Brannstrom
16Calgary FlamesJuuso Valimaki
17Toronto Maple LeafsTimothy Liljegren
18Boston BruinsUrho Vaakanainen
19San Jose SharksJoshua Norris
20St. Louis BluesRobert Thomas
21New York RangersFilip Chytil
22Edmonton OilersKailer Yamamoto
23Arizona CoyotesPierre-Olivier Joseph
24Winnipeg JetsKristian Vesalainen
25Montreal CanadiensRyan Poehling
26Dallas StarsJake Oettinger
27Philadelphia FlyersMorgan Frost
28Ottawa SenatorsShane Bowers
29Chicago BlackhawksHenri Jokiharju
30Nashville PredatorsEeli Tolvanen
31St. Louis BluesKlim Kostin

Next, here are the top 31 players, based on their NHL “Point Shares”:

Draft PositionDraft TeamPlayerPoint Share
4Colorado AvalancheCale Makar30.2
3Dallas StarsMiro Heiskanen25.5
5Vancouver CanucksElias Pettersson25.4
1New Jersey DevilsNico Hischier19.8
39Dallas StarsJason Robertson15.7
20St. Louis BluesRobert Thomas14.9
26Dallas StarsJake Oettinger12.7
12Carolina HurricanesMartin Necas12.1
13Vegas Golden KnightsNick Suzuki11.3
19San Jose SharksJoshua Norris10.3
111Boston BruinsJeremy Swayman9.5
121Ottawa SenatorsDrake Batherson9
22Edmonton OilersKailer Yamamoto8.7
34Vegas Golden KnightsNicolas Hague8.6
29Chicago BlackhawksHenri Jokiharju8.2
49San Jose SharksMario Ferraro7.7
21New York RangersFilip Chytil6.7
50Anaheim DucksMaxime Comtois6.2
103Los Angeles KingsMichael Anderson6.2
8Buffalo SabresCasey Mittelstadt5.5
2Philadelphia FlyersNolan Patrick4.1
99Buffalo SabresJacob Bryson4.1
17Toronto Maple LeafsTimothy Liljegren4
45Columbus Blue JacketsAlexandre Texier4
15Vegas Golden KnightsErik Brannstrom3.8
30Nashville PredatorsEeli Tolvanen3.7
14Tampa Bay LightningCallan Foote3.6
47Ottawa SenatorsAlex Formenton3.5
11Los Angeles KingsGabriel Vilardi3.4
117Columbus Blue JacketsEmil Bemstrom3.1
9Detroit Red WingsMichael Rasmussen2.8

Next, we look at which teams had the best draft. As explained in the methodology, for the table below, a team wants fewer points. If the team drafted the best player available in their draft position, that earns a 0. If the best player is not taken, the team gets points added for the difference in PS between the player taken and the best player available. So fewer points are better.

TeamTotal PS# Picks
Washington Capitals11.24
San Jose Sharks17.46
New York Islanders19.55
Dallas Stars20.17
Pittsburgh Penguins22.36
Ottawa Senators22.84
Columbus Blue Jackets23.17
Calgary Flames23.45
Anaheim Ducks25.75
Boston Bruins26.26
St. Louis Blues28.76
Minnesota Wild30.36
New York Rangers30.77
Tampa Bay Lightning32.16
Nashville Predators32.96
Edmonton Oilers357
Toronto Maple Leafs35.27
Florida Panthers35.55
Colorado Avalanche37.47
Los Angeles Kings47.77
Winnipeg Jets48.28
Buffalo Sabres48.86
Vancouver Canucks48.98
Carolina Hurricanes508
Montreal Canadiens53.57
Chicago Blackhawks55.29
New Jersey Devils57.311
Arizona Coyotes67.79
Vegas Golden Knights72.612
Detroit Red Wings79.511
Philadelphia Flyers87.29

A team can get a better score in the table above, simply by having fewer picks. To adjust for that, here’s the average points per draft pick.

TeamAverage PS# Picks
Washington Capitals2.804
Dallas Stars2.877
San Jose Sharks2.906
Columbus Blue Jackets3.307
Pittsburgh Penguins3.726
New York Islanders3.905
Boston Bruins4.376
New York Rangers4.397
Calgary Flames4.685
St. Louis Blues4.786
Edmonton Oilers5.007
Toronto Maple Leafs5.037
Minnesota Wild5.056
Anaheim Ducks5.145
New Jersey Devils5.2111
Colorado Avalanche5.347
Tampa Bay Lightning5.356
Nashville Predators5.486
Ottawa Senators5.704
Winnipeg Jets6.038
Vegas Golden Knights6.0512
Vancouver Canucks6.118
Chicago Blackhawks6.139
Carolina Hurricanes6.258
Los Angeles Kings6.817
Florida Panthers7.105
Detroit Red Wings7.2311
Arizona Coyotes7.529
Montreal Canadiens7.647
Buffalo Sabres8.136
Philadelphia Flyers9.699

The numbers are a little misleading and we need to look into details. Both tables indicate the Capitals had the best draft, when actually, they’ve had zero players make it to the NHL. That is in part due to the fact that they only had four picks and their first pick was 120th overall. The remainder of their picks were 151, 182 and 213. Not many teams will hit on those.

Dallas on the other hand, had an outstanding draft. They drafted three of the top seven players getting the second-best player, Miro Heiskenen at 3 (25.5 PS), the fifth best player, Jason Robertson at 39 (15.7 PS) and the seventh best player, Jake Oettinger at 27 (12.7 PS). The Sharks grabbed 10th best Josh Norris at 19 and he’s at 10.3 PS and 16th best Mario Ferraro at 49 and 7.7 PS.

The Don Sweeney haters will be disappointed to see the Bruins had the 7th best draft, which was on the strength of the current 11th best player, Jeremy Swayman taken at 111, and his 9.5 PS. First rounder, Urho Vaakanainen was the 43rd best player in the draft so far, with his 1.3 PS score.

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