Weak draft class? Potential top pick Nolan Patrick is having none of it
Many scouts and media members have pegged the 2017 draft as one of the weaker classes in recent memory. Nolan Patrick, the draft's top prospect according to NHL Central Scouting, isn't buying it.
"I think the media's pumped it down more than it is," Patrick said, according to Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo Sports. "I think the scouts I talked to this week said it's an above average draft."
Patrick and Nico Hischier are the consensus top two picks, but it's unclear how the rest of the draft will shape up.
"I think the NHL was spoiled with two unbelievable players in the last two years. I don't think you're going to get a Connor McDavid for a while," said Patrick. "He's one of the top two players in the NHL and he's 19 years old. I don't think any of us think we're that, and none of us should be compared to a guy like that."
It's certainly unfair for anyone to compare Patrick or Hischier to a once-in-a-generation player like McDavid, who actually turned 20 back in January.
McDavid aside, the bar was set extremely high by Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine last season. It's unfair to expect 35-40 goals out of Patrick or Hischier in their rookie season, feats Matthews and Laine both accomplished in their first year.
"The top guys are going to be able to have an impact on their NHL clubs," Dan Marr, the NHL's director of Central Scouting, told Kevin Allen of USA TODAY. "But the list does get pretty shallow quick."
Prior to the McDavid-Jack Eichel draft in 2015, the top two picks weren't always a sure thing in recent years.
|Year||Pick 1||Pick 2|
|2014||Aaron Ekblad||Sam Reinhart|
|2013||Nathan MacKinnon||Aleksander Barkov|
|2012||Nail Yakupov||Ryan Murray|
|2011||Ryan Nugent-Hopkins||Gabriel Landeskog|
Patrick could very well use this "weak draft" talk as motivation once his NHL career begins.