Looking back at 2017 NHL Draft prospect profiles: good and bad
What better time to do this then when the Stars and Avalanche are playing?
Miro Heiskanen and Cale Makar’s careers will always be linked.
Heading into the 2017 NHL Draft, with the Dallas Stars sitting at No. 3 they knew internally they’d be drafting one of the two defenseman.
Dallas was confident that that New Jersey Devils would take Nico Hischier at No. 1, which they did, and it was just a question of whether the Philadelphia Flyers would take Nolan Patrick of one of the two defensemen.
I’ve been told by multiple sources in the past that Patrick was on the Stars no-draft list, particularly in the top-10 range. Dallas had also recently fired Patrick’s uncle, James, who had been a Dallas assistant so the franchise and family weren’t sending each other Christmas cards, either.
So it was always a question of Heiskanen or Makar. Jim Nill personally went to go watch Makar at the Royal Bank Cup before the draft, and when Patrick went No. 2, the Stars ended up picking Heiskanen over Makar.
I don’t like when fans, and media members, rip the Stars for that choice. Heiskanen, in my view, is a top-five defender in the league on a nightly basis. You can’t complain about that, and in a re-draft Makar is gone at No. 1.
Revisionist history can easily become muddled, especially when one player has won the Norris, the Stanley Cup, and Conn Smythe trophy in the past six months.
And the first period of Monday’s game, which the Avalanche won 3-2 in a shootout, highlighted the strengths of both Makar and Heiskanen.
Makar scored on the power play on a perfectly placed shot, ripping a one-timer bardown to make it 1-0. Heiskanen later thwarted a prime Colorado chance with his skating ability, turning a high-danger chance into no chance.
It got me thinking and it got me searching. The 2017 NHL Draft is one I paid the most attention to. I was still running my own site, Wrong Side of the Red Line (which later became The Upset Sports), at the time and with Dallas picking at No. 3 and having two first-round picks, I dove heavily into draft prospect film.
I ended up writing individual prospect reports on dozens of potential draft picks, including Heiskanen, Makar, Jake Oettinger, and Jason Robertson.
All four had an impact on Monday’s game. In addition to the Makar/Heiskanen notes above, Oettinger was stellar for the Stars in net and Robertson scored twice, including forcing overtime late in the third period.
So I went back and read those old scouting reports, let’s rip into those reviews.
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