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Regrading and re-drafting Round 1 of the 2017 NHL draft

Even 10 months later, Nico Hischier would still be the top pick in the 2017 NHL draft if given a do-over. The 19-year-old had 52 points this season for New Jersey. Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire

It hasn't even been a year since names were called during the 2017 NHL draft, but seasons are wrapping up everywhere. That gives us a chance to look back and see how some of the first-rounders performed in their "draft-plus-1" season.

Drafts often take years to properly evaluate, but we'll use our one year of extra data and the benefit of hindsight to attach grades more in the form of a progress report. As these players remain works in progress, there's a lot of room for error, but there's less than there was a year ago.

One of the things that struck me was the chatter about how last year's draft was weaker than previous years. While definitely true in terms of top-end talent, the way the depth of this draft has shaken out, there was a lot more quality than previously thought. That's not to say that the assessment of relative weakness compared to 2015 and 2016 were off base, but perhaps the criticism of the 2017 class was a tad harsher than it needed to be based on the way this group has performed this year.

Nico Hischier and Nolan Patrick were the only two players in this draft to become immediate everyday NHLers. They both helped their respective teams reach the postseason. Hischier played a substantial role for the New Jersey Devils and Patrick developed very well on the job, finishing the season much stronger than he started it with the Philadelphia Flyers. Meanwhile, many 2017 first-round picks -- and a few Day 2 selections -- had massive years in their respective leagues, raising the expectations and sharpening their overall projections.

Here's a look at the 2017 draft with hindsight grades for how teams did and what a way-too-early re-draft might look like, taking into consideration a player's entire body of work, including this season.


1. New Jersey Devils: Nico Hischier, C
Grade: A
Re-draft: Nico Hischier