To the surprise of many, in the first round of the 2017 NHL Draft, the Buffalo Sabres opted for their highest rated player, Casey Mittelstadt, as opposed to a defenseman. Have no fear, there are some intriguing defensive prospects still available on day two.
Defenseman, Salut Ste Marie Greyhounds, OHL
6'2" -- 184 pounds
Conor Timmins knows a lot about Western New York. Growing up in Thorold, he played against plenty of WNY based hockey teams as a member of the Thorold Blackhawks and St. Catherines Falcons. He graduated to the OHL in 2015-2016, scoring 13 points in 60 games. In 2016-2017 his production exploded, improving to 61 points in 67 games.
Many believed Timmins would be a day one pick. Ranked as the 18th North American skater by NHL Central Scouting, he'll likely be selected early in the second round.
Defenseman, Mississauga Steelheads, OHL
6'6" -- 207 pounds
It's not every day that you find a defensive prospect who is 6'6" and scores 46 points in the OHL. Hague is coming off an impressive year with Mississauga, tallying 18 goals and 28 assists.
Ranked the 20th North American skater by NHL Central Scouting, Hauge needs to work on his skating. Hague will likely be taken in the second round.
Defenseman, Kingston Frontenacs, OHL
6'7" -- 214 pounds
Remember Tyler Myers? He was 6'8". Rasanen is only an inch shorter, and like Myers in his early years, has a knack for finding the back of the net. In 66 games with Kingston, Rasanen scored six goals and added 33 assists. In the playoffs, he added five points in 11 games. You can't teach size, and Rasanen certainly has it.
Rasanen needs to improve his skating and release, two of the main reasons he'll likely be available in the third round.