You should use B-1 for travel only if you have valid reasons to use it. Do not use B-1 on pretext of entering US and then applying for COS from B-1 to H-1. Although if the COS is applied after 45 days, chances of USCIS raising concern are low, still its a misuse.
I think you will still be cap-exempt if applied in early 2017. However, it would be better to discuss the dates with new attorney once you have finalized an employer.