2017 NHL Draft: Start time, Canucks targets, mock draft, trade rumors

Jun 24, 2016; Buffalo, NY, USA; Olli Juolevi puts on a team jersey after being selected as the number five overall draft pick by the Vancouver Canucks in the first round of the 2016 NHL Draft at the First Niagra Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 24, 2016; Buffalo, NY, USA; Olli Juolevi puts on a team jersey after being selected as the number five overall draft pick by the Vancouver Canucks in the first round of the 2016 NHL Draft at the First Niagra Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports /

The 2017 NHL Draft could go down as a key turning point in Vancouver Canucks history. Here’s a breakdown of all the details you need to know for the draft.

Though the 2016-17 season was one of the worst in Vancouver Canucks history, the team will have a chance to redeem themselves with the fifth-overall selection in the 2017 NHL Draft.

Despite finishing 29th in the NHL, the lottery system wasn’t kind to the Canucks — who fell out of the top three for the second straight year. Nonetheless, there are plenty of potential superstars they can select with the fifth pick.

Of course, there is also the possibility of Vancouver moving up or down in the draft, and they could also acquire more draft picks if general manager Jim Benning chooses to unload some of his veterans.

With so much to do and so much to see, we thought it’d be handy in breaking down everything you need to know for the 2017 NHL Draft.


Round 1: Friday, June 23 — 4 p.m. PT

Rounds 2-7: Saturday, June 24 — 7 a.m. PT


United Center, Chicago, IL

TV: NBC SN, Sportsnet

Live stream: NBC Sports, SN Now

Complete list of Canucks picks

Barring any trades, the Canucks will possess the following picks in the 2017 NHL draft:

Round one: Fifth

Round two: 33rd, 55th (from the Columbus Blue Jackets as compensation for hiring John Tortorella as their head coach)

Round 3: 64th

Round 4: 95th, 112th (from the San Jose Sharks in the Jannik Hansen trade)

Round 7: 188th

Related Story: Why Jim Benning should trade for 3rd pick

Canucks targets with fifth pick

The Canucks have two major needs to address. For starters, a legitimate number one centre is their biggest priority. They also need a proven puck-moving defenceman — something they don’t have in their system.

Ultimately, it’s more likely the scoring-deprived Canucks probably take a centre. There are plenty of candidates out there.

Gabriel Vilardi — projected by many to be the third selection — scored 29 goals and 61 points in 49 games for the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL. (You can view our draft profile of him here).

Must Read: Top 5 targets at fifth overall

6-foot-1, 201-pound Casey Mittelstadt (who had 30 points in 24 games for the University of Minnesota this season), will also be high on the Canucks wish list.

Winnipeg native Cody Glass could also be an enticing option for Benning. The 6-foot-2, 179-pound centre had 32 goals and 94 points in 69 games for the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks this season.

Other options may include Elias Pettersson, Cale Makar or Miro Heiskanen. It’s anybody’s guess just whom the Canucks will use that fifth pick on.

Prospect coverage

We spent the spring writing prospect profiles, so keep this link handy when the Canucks are on the clock: 2017 NHL Draft Profile Overview.

Just looking for a quick shortlist of potential targets in each round? We’ve got you covered: Canucks draft targets for each round.

Our final mock draft? Here you go: TCW’s final first-round mock.

What to watch for

Though the Canucks are set to pick fifth overall, Benning has been in talks with the Dallas Stars to potentially acquire the third selection (according to Ben Kuzma from the Vancouver Province). This would involve trading away Chris Tanev to Dallas — who needs significant help on the blue line.

However, Benning now seems unwilling to move Tanev, according to Jason Botchford from The Province:

"There hasn’t been a lot of interest in him, quite honestly…We did talk to some teams about Chris, he’s conceivably our best defenceman…But we don’t have the depth on our defence now to start moving any other pieces unless we get a good young defenceman back"

Remember, plenty of general managers say they won’t make moves that they actually pull off (just ask Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin about trading P.K. Subban). So though it’s unlikely Benning does trade Tanev to move up, you can’t fully dispel it.

If anything, expect the Canucks to move down. Speaking to TSN 1040, Benning said it wasn’t likely for the Canucks to move up, but moving down is entirely possible. Of course, any time you are looking to move up in the top five, better be willing to pay a fancy price.

Perhaps Vancouver winds up with a pair of first-round selections if they choose to move down. Stay tuned.

Back in May, TSN‘s Pierre LeBrun reported that New Jersey Devils general manager Ray Shero had been getting offers for the first pick. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman also threw this in his recent 30 Thoughts piece:

“Come on New Jersey. If the Boston Celtics can trade the No. 1 pick, you can too.”

No indication yet that the Canucks are looking to trade up for the top selection. But if New Jersey does decide to trade it, then you have to believe Benning will try to work his magic to land the top pick.

Next: Canucks jerseys for 2017-18 season revealed

If none of these happen, then the only thing for Canucks fans to really watch is who they take with the fifth selection, obviously.