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2017 NHL Draft Trades and Smart Strategies

There was expected to be a flurry of trades but nothing really materialized until the New York Islanders sent Travis Hamonic to the Calgary Flames for some future picks.

On the draft floor, the San Jose Sharks appeared to be targeting American born players throughout the two days of the event. On the first day, they selected Joshua Norris from the USNTDP with the 19th overall selection. The argument could have made that it was bit of a reach, but Norris just plays the game the right way and looks to be an NHL player. At the point of the first round, going with the safe player is a defensible move.

With the 49th overall selection, the Sharks then took Mario Ferraro from the Des Moines Buccaneers in the USHL. Then turned their attention back to the USNTDP with their 4th round pick, taking Scott Reedy at 102nd overall. After that, they focused on CHL players but it interesting to see a team target American players with multiple early picks.

In the big picture, the US did extremely well with 50 players being taken in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. With the emergence of the USHL over the past few years, the US has quickly passed other questions as a development path for players. Many high end European prospects also look to the USHL as a way to develop their game.

The USHL was ranked 2nd with 40 players taken, that was only behind the OHL in terms of league selection. The NCAA had another 8 players selected from their ranks.

The Dallas Stars traded up to make sure that they were able snag the #1 ranked goaltender in Boston College Netminder Jake Oettinger. The Los Angeles Kings targeted US players in the latter parts of the draft selecting grabbing Mikey Anderson with the 103rd selection and Cole Hults at 134th overall.

It will be interesting to see how these players trend over next few years. There is no denying that the American players selected as just as talented and skilled as every player who was taken. With more focus on the USHL and NCAA over the last couple of years, there could be even more players selected in each of the coming years.

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