Down to the very last minutes leading up to the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, fans and experts alike were still wondering who the New Jersey Devils would take with the first overall pick.
Due to the elite-level potential of both Nolan Patrick and Nico Hischier, pundits were divided on who would actually be taken with the top pick, ensuring that both the Devils and Philadelphia Flyers would receive a high-quality, impact player.
The fact that neither player was pegged as a bona fide No.1 shouldn't be a knock, but more so a clear indication of their long-term potential. Both will be contributing NHLers for years to come, making them a lock for this list.
Here are the three prospects from the draft that will hold the most long-term value:
He brings a lethal two-way approach to go along with a commitment to playing a 200-foot game - Patrick's potential to be a long-term quality NHLer is seemingly endless.
He's a right-shot center with size, skill, and speed.
Sprinkle in the fact that Patrick is also strong on the puck and responsible in his own end, and you are left with a player that will be plying his trade in NHL rinks for a very long time.
At 6-foot-2, Glass has the size to go along with the offensive skill set to make a lasting impact on the league.
Although he is listed by NHL Central Scouting as a center, Glass offers an element of versatility to the Golden Knights, as he has experience playing all three forward positions and contributes on special teams, as well.
Listed more as a playmaker than a sniper, Glass utilizes his quick hands to dish the puck at will, racking up 62 apples in 69 games for the WHL's Portland Winterhawks last season.
Look for his name at the top of the assists category for years to come.
In addition to that sweet flow, there are a few tangible elements to Hischier's game that will have him performing on the NHL stage for the foreseeable future.
Hischier, a left-shot center, is the most offensively gifted player in the draft and his explosive talent will give opposing defensemen nightmares for years to come.
His scoring touch alone should cement his long-term value, but considering the fact that Hischier also plays with an aggressive style and has a penchant for the big stage, you have a guy with perennial All-Star potential.
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