^He brings up a good point, if you want an even more powerful rimfire wait until the .17 WSM is out.
Chowder, I think a .17 HMR would be a great option for the diversity of Alaska's small game from squirrels to coyote with good shot placement. The .17 WSM would be more adequate for a coyote though.
.17 hmr is currently my favorite rimfire, it is highly accurate, very effective on small game. A blast to shoot.