Metros Draft Recapby Chris Baker | August 28, 2017, 11:21 AM ET
After all the expansion prognosticating and endless mock entry drafts the results are in and after seven rounds and 196 picks, the 2017 SICHL Entry Draft is officially in the books.
It’s always tough to really get a good feel on who was taken and who may have been missed, but the Toronto Metropolitans feel confident and excited with the kids that they were able to draft. Listed below are some final thoughts and reflections on who became the newest members of the Toronto Metros franchise.
And so, without further ado…
Elite defensemen are at a premium; the Metros feel they got one in Timothy Liljegren
Early in the season, Liljegren was projected as a top-three pick in the draft according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, but his draft stock fell drastically after he got mononucleosis and missed two months of the season.
With comparisons to Reykjavik Riders’ Justin Faulk, the native of Kristianstad, Sweden has been described as a puck-moving, offensive defenseman. Some have even gone as far to say that his style of play is reminiscent of Ottawa Slammers’ Erik Karlsson. He’s got decent size at 6’0 and at just 17 years of age still has some growing to do.
It will likely be at least one more season, if not more, before Liljegren heads to Toronto and joins the Metros. But when he does, the team will have one heck of a player on their hands, one that will be an ideal complement to fellow blueline hopeful Logan Stanley as well as an “in his prime” Torey Krug.
Sky’s the limit for Kole Lind
Coming into the 2016-17 campaign many insiders had Lind pegged to be a late-second, early-third round pick. Then the season started, and so too did the goal scoring. It’s due in large part to this that his draft stock started to rise to the point where some had the 6-foot-1, right winger projected as a possible second round selection.
Known more for his anticipation and play making abilities, Lind exploded offensively this season, scoring 30 goals and finishing with 87 points in 70 games showcasing exactly what makes him such a good player.
A smart and skilled but not overly dynamic offensive forward…a slippery skater who is able to hang onto the puck for lengthy periods thanks to his good awareness of where pressure is coming from…is very agile and accelerates quickly, enabling him to get a bit of room from opponents…has good puck skill using his hand position and speed to bring pucks in tight to his body, protecting it…can run himself out of space by trying to hold onto the puck and make that extra move…very heads up passer who leads his man perfectly…makes gorgeous saucer passes…is a playmaker but doesn’t mind taking shots, although his release is a little slow…his speed and smarts allowed him to find a lot of openings to get chances…defensively he uses his stick to close off options…not consistently physical but has shown some fire in his belly after the whistle, getting in faces and causing commotion…strong awareness and smarts should help with his potential to contribute at the pro level.
Hoefenmayer’s breakout season
Noel Hoefenmayer picked a great time to have a breakout season. After an unimpressive rookie season in which the 6-foot, 190-pound defender scored twice and added five points in 45 games, he followed that up with 14 lamp-lighters and 40 points in 62 games all in his draft year no less.
Moving from a “C” level prospect to a “B” level prospect in Central Scouting rankings, Hoefenmayer exceeded expectations when the Metros selected him with the 89th overall pick.
Primeau a risk worth taking
The Metros looked to have taken a bit of a flier on the young offspring of former SICHL’er Keith Primeau. A raw talent, Primeau is precisely the kind of player you’d expect to be taken as one of the later picks in the entry draft.
He has all the abilities a pro goaltender could need, and it will just be a matter of sculpting professional out of the block of marble the Metros just drafted.
He’s a large goaltender who knows his positioning and challenges shooters accordingly. He has an upright stance but it doesn’t affect his ability to move smoothly in the net or get down into his butterfl and move laterally. Is very engaged on tracking the puck and had the quickness to snatch pucks down low or high without coughing up a juicy rebound.
High ceiling scorer
A high-profile Russian player who moved to Canada at a relatively young age, Pavel Koltygin spent almost his whole career within the Dynamo Moscow system before coming to North America to play in 2016.
Offensively, Koltygin has all the tools to quite possibly make it to the pro ranks: excellent puck skills, strong skating, and a decent size. He’s also good at faceoffs and possesses very good lower-body strength. He’s got a very good shot and knows how to distribute the puck, making him a dangerous threat in the offensive zone.
Can never have enough depth at D
Addressing their lack of organizational depth at the defense position, the Metros used their final pick of the draft – 173rd overall – on another Swedish defender in Sebastian Walfridsson.
Walfridsson is 6’0″ and 194 pounds. ISS Hockey had him ranked at 67th while Central Scouting had him 116th among European Skaters.
Judging by his point totals, Walfridsson seems to be more of a stay at home defenseman and appears to be more of a safe pick than a risky one. While drafting players with very high upside (such as Liljegren) is important, you have to even them out with some high floor low ceiling guys. Walfridsson should prove to be a quality depth defenseman. If his offense improves, he could become a serviceable third pairing defenseman one day for Toronto.