Teams looking to future at 2017 NHL Draft

(Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

Thirty-one National Hockey League teams are preparing to take part in this weekend’s 2017 Entry Draft in Chicago, and their top affiliates are ready and waiting for the next wave of young American Hockey League stars to begin their professional careers.

In 2016-17, a total of 237 former first- and second-round draft picks played in the American Hockey League, including young standouts like Brandon Montour, Tristan JarryJake DeBrusk, Kyle Connor, Sonny Milano, Kasperi Kapanen, Christian Fischer and 2017 AHL Man of the Year A.J. Greer.

The 2017 Calder Cup champion Grand Rapids Griffins featured many Detroit Red Wings draft picks, including playoff MVP Tyler Bertuzzi (58th overall in 2013), Evgeny Svechnikov (19th overall in 2015) and Martin Frk (49th overall in 2012).

Other first-round selections to appear in the AHL this past season include 2016 picks Jesse Puljujarvi (4th overall), Alex Nylander (8th), Charlie McAvoy (14th), Luke Kunin (15th) and Tage Thompson (26th); 2015 selections Timo Meier (9th overall), Denis Gurianov (12th) and Jack Roslovic (25th); 2014 picks Michael Dal Colle (5th overall), Jake Virtanen (6th), Haydn Fleury (7th), Kevin Fiala (11th), Brendan Perlini (12th), Jakub Vrana (13th), Alex Tuch (18th), Jared McCann (24th), Nikita Scherbak (26th), Josh Ho-Sang (28th) and John Quenneville (30th); 2013 picks Samuel Morin (11th), Frederik Gauthier (21st), Hunter Shinkaruk (24th) and Shea Theodore (26th); and 2012 selections Griffin Reinhart (4th overall), Derrick Pouliot (8th), Slater Koekkoek (10th), Mark Jankowski (21st), Malcolm Subban (24th), Jordan Schmaltz (25th) and Brendan Gaunce (26th).

The New Jersey Devils, parent club of the AHL’s Binghamton Devils, own the first pick in this year’s draft, which gets underway on Friday night at the United Center.