With the 30th overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, the Nashville Predators selected forward Eeli Tolvanen.
You can read the draft day story HERE but the experts raved about him leading up to the draft.
Sioux City Muskateers (USHL)
18, 5’10”, 181 lbs.
The Hockey News: #11
Future Considerations: #11
Central Scouting: #8 (North American skaters)
Craig Button, TSN Director of Scouting: #15
Bob McKenzie, TSN: #17
Dan Friedman of Sports Illustrated: #4
“He has one of the better shots in this draft class, one that can score – and has scored at one point or another – from anywhere. Even though he missed eight games, mostly following the WJC, he led the league with 246 shots on goal, a whopping 41 more than the runner-up. He also shows surprising commitment to his own end. Although he may fly the zone early looking for a break pass once in a while, he endeavours to stay on the right side of puck, and gives an earnest effort to clog passing and shooting lanes. He will also attack the puck carrier. He has enough skating speed to gain separation from defenders and quick enough hands to do some damage once he does.”
“Tolvanen can be a difference maker in each and every game he plays. When he has the puck on his stick, he is one of the most electric players in this age group. He makes plays that you don’t see coming. He shoots the puck like a pro and can shoot it in stride which is something most kids his age can’t do. Dangerous any time he’s on the ice due to his shot but playmaking ability is strong as well being able to thread passes to teammates through tight lanes. Offensively, he is one of the top players in this draft but he still has some learning to do about the game defensively. Will need to bulk up and add size/strength to play at the next level and be effective.”
“He loves to be in control of the puck and possesses a slick set of hands and shifty feet that allow him to fool the opposition in all areas of the ice. The weapons that Tolvanen has in is arsenal are astounding when it comes to playing inside the oppositions blue line. He has the impressive ability to move with a sense of quietness and stealth.”
“His lack of breakaway speed and play away from the puck are what worries some scouts in regards to where he might play at the NHL level, but with some they are not major issues, so it will be interesting to see where he gets selected in the draft. He has the scoring ability to be a top six winger with time, tutoring and patience as he has one of the best shots in the draft…deadly accurate when in the right scoring position.”
“He’s the best pure shooter in the draft and an electrifying talent. He isn’t Patrik Laine, but who is?”
The Hockey News
“There is no doubting the offensive package Tolvanen brought to the table this season. ‘He’s the most dynamic player I’ve seen in the USHL in 10 years,’ one scout said. ‘Unbelievable speed, brilliant shot. He reminds me of Marian Gaborik. He’s a defensive liability and he’ll have to figure out his energy but he’s got that danger factor.’”
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- READ: What experts say about 7th round pick Jacob Paquette
PHOTO CREDIT: Jeremy K. Gover