GOLDEN KNIGHTS MAKE FIRST THREE NHL DRAFT SELECTIONS
The Vegas Golden Knights, who on Wednesday made 30 picks in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft, made their first three selections in the NHL Draft, all in the top 15: center Cody Glass (No. 6), center Nick Suzuki (No. 13) and defenseman Erik Brannstrom (No. 15).
RECORD NUMBER OF FINNISH PLAYERS SELECTED IN FIRST ROUND
Six Finnish-born players were selected Friday – Miro Heiskanen (No. 3, DAL), Juuso Valimaki (No. 16, CGY), Urho Vaakanainen (No. 18, BOS), Kristian Vesalainen (No. 24, WPG), Henri Jokiharju (No. 29, CHI) and Eeli Tolvanen (No. 30, NSH) – a record for the first round of the NHL Draft. The previous mark of five was set in 2002.
Breakdown of first-round selections by birthplace: Canada (11), Finland (6), USA (6), Sweden (4), Czech Republic (2), Russia (1) and Switzerland (1).
14 LEAGUES REPRESENTED IN OPENING 31 PICKS . . .
Players from 14 different leagues were selected in the first round of the 2017 NHL Draft:
WHL: 7 OHL: 5 SWEDEN: 4 CZREP, FINLAND, QMJHL, USHL: 2 AJHL, H-EAST, HIGH-MN, NCHC, NTDP, RUSSIA, SWEDEN-2: 1
The Colorado Avalanche selected defenseman Cale Makar (Brooks) fourth overall, making him the highest-drafted player in NHL history from the Alberta Junior Hockey League. He surpassed current Avalanche forward Joe Colborne (Camrose), who was picked by the Boston Bruins at No. 16 overall in 2008.
Nolan Patrick (No. 2 overall, PHI): His father, Steve, was selected in the first round (20th overall) of the 1980 NHL Draft by the Buffalo Sabres and played 250 NHL games with the Sabres, New York Rangers and Quebec Nordiques from 1980-86. His uncle, James, skated in 1,280 games with the Rangers, Hartford Whalers, Calgary Flames and Sabres.
Elias Pettersson (No. 5 overall, VAN): His brother, Emil, was selected 155th overall by the Nashville Predators in the 2013 NHL Draft and spent the 2016-17 season in the Swedish Hockey League with Skelleftea and Vaxjo.
Lias Andersson (No. 7 overall, NYR): His father, Niklas, was selected 68th overall by the Quebec Nordiques in the 1989 NHL Draft and skated in 164 career NHL games across five seasons with the Nordiques, New York Islanders, San Jose Sharks, Nashville Predators and Calgary Flames.
Owen Tippett (No. 10 overall, FLA): His cousin, Mitchell Stephens, was selected 33rd overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2015 NHL Draft.
Callan Foote (No. 14 overall, TBL): His father, Adam, is a two-time Stanley Cup champion (1996 and 2001 w/ COL) who patrolled the blueline for 1,154 career NHL games with the Quebec Nordiques, Colorado Avalanche and Columbus Blue Jackets.
Joshua Norris (No. 19 overall, SJS): His father, Dwayne, was drafted 127th overall by the Quebec Nordiques in the 1990 NHL Draft and appeared in 20 games with the Nordiques and Mighty Ducks of Anaheim from 1993-96.
Pierre-Olivier Joseph (No. 23 overall, ARI): His brother, Mathieu, is a forward who was selected 120th overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2015 NHL Draft and competed at the 2017 Memorial Cup with the Saint John Sea Dogs of the QMJHL.
Ryan Poehling (No. 25 overall, MTL): His uncle, Stan Palmer, was drafted 177th overall by the Montreal Canadiens in the 1977 NHL Draft. His older brothers, twins Jack and Nick, played alongside him at St. Cloud State in 2016-17.
Morgan Frost (No. 27 overall, PHI): His father, Andy, is a popular radio host in Toronto and served as the Maple Leafs public address announcer at the Air Canada Centre from 1999-2016.
* Information provided via NHL Press Release