The puck has yet to drop on the 2016-17 regular season, but it's never too early to think about who will be selected with the first overall pick in June.
NHL Central Scouting has released its 'Players to Watch' list in advance of the 2017 Draft, with Nolan Patrick of the Western Hockey League's Brandon Wheat Kings standing out among the A-level players as the likely top pick.
"Patrick is as complete an NHL package as you are going to find," said Dan Marr, NHL director of Central Scouting. "From his pedigree, his skills, and assets, to his performance impact to date, he has everything any NHL team is looking for in a top prospect."
Patrick is one of 29 prospects to receive an "A" rating, including six WHL players, six from the Ontario Hockey League, three from the United States Hockey League, two from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, nine from Europe, two from the NCAA, and one from a U.S. high school.
The A-level players are considered potential first-round picks, while players with "B" ratings are considered possible second- or third-round choices, and those with "C" ratings are likely fourth-, fifth-, or sixth-round selections.
The full list can be viewed here.