2019 NHL Draft

2019 NHL Draft Preview

Steve Kournianos  |  06/07/2018 |  Nashville  |  [hupso]

Finland’s Kappo Kakko was one of the top under-18 players at several IIHF events and should be a top-10 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft (Photo: Leijonat.Fi)

NASHVILLE (The Draft Analyst) — As the scouting community starts wrapping up its work for the 2018 NHL Draft, the early summer is the perfect time to begin the slow transition towards shifting focus on the prominent prospects for next year’s draft in Vancouver. Once considered a topic not ripe for discussion, the 2019 draft season is only a few weeks away from darting out the gate, both in terms of individual assessments and an analysis of the group as a collective.

In about a month, scouting the 2019 draft crop will move up the priority list from “secondary” to “primary”. Still, there’s enough evidence right now from this past season to make coherent analyses on the group of players who should either challenge or cement a spot in one of the first two rounds of next year’s draft in Vancouver.

Although it’s still early, there already are several story lines pertaining to next year’s group that began percolating last season, beginning with American-born super center Jack Hughes, whose brother Quinn in about three weeks should be a top pick in this year’s draft. Hughes is both dynamic and explosive, and he clearly was the best offensive threat as he split the season between the U.S. National Team Development Program’s under-17 and under-18 squads. Most importantly, however, is that the young Orlando native became the first player since Auston Matthews in 2015 to lead the under-18 world championship in scoring before being draft eligible.

Hughes, however, wasn’t the only 2019 draft prospect that tore up the international circuit. Power forward Raphael Lavoie of the QMJHL’s Halifax Mooseheads scored five goals in five games for Team Canada, while Slovak Maxim Cajkovic and Finland’s Kappo Kakko joined Hughes as the three 2019 eligibles who cracked the tournament’s top five in scoring. But not every notable prospect for next year’s draft was on display at the under-18’s, as many teams were involved in their league postseasons and could not afford to release their top players to the national teams.

In terms of defensemen, the 2019 draft is loaded on the left side, beginning with WHL’er Bowen Byram of the Vancouver Giants. The Finns should return at least two defensemen to the draft’s first round in Anttoni Honka and Mikko Kokkonen, while the Americans have a quartet of quality blueliners who should play in the big international events in Drew Helleson, Cam York, Case McCarthy and Alex Vlasic.

Ranked Players (1-31)

Rank Name POS TM LG
1  Jack Hughes C U.S. U18  NTDP
2 Payton Krebs C Kootenay WHL
3   Kaapp Kakko RW TPS U20  Jr. A SM-Liiga
4 Alex Newhook C Victoria  BCHL
5 Bowen Byram D Vancouver WHL
6 Alex Turcotte C U.S. U18  NTDP
7   Raphael Lavoie C/W Halifax  QMJHL
8   Valentin Nussbaumer C/W Biel-Bienne  NLA
9 Dylan Cozens RW Lethbridge WHL
10 Kirby Dach C Saskatoon  WHL
11 Trevor Zegras C U.S. U18  NTDP
12   Anttoni Honka RHD JyP  SM-Liiga
13 Nikita Alexandrov C Charlottetown  QMJHL
14  Yegor Spiridonov C Stalnye Lisi  MHL
15   Mikko Kokkonen LHD Jukurit  SM-Liiga
16 Vojtech Strondala C Brno U20  Extraliga Jrs.
17   Drew Helleson RHD U.S. U18  NTDP
18   Vasili Podkolzin C/W Vityaz Podolsk  MHL
19 Matthew Robertson D Edmonton WHL
20   Lassi Thomson RHD Ilves U20  Jr. A SM-Liiga
21   Ben Brinkman LHD Edina  HS-MN
22   Michael Vukojevic LHD Kitchener  OHL
23   Nils Hoglander LW AIK  Allsvenskan
24   Matthew Boldy LW U.S. U18  NTDP
25 Oleg Zaitsev C Dynamo Moscow  KHL
26  Petr Cajka C Zug U20  Elite Jr. A
27   Vladislav Mikhailov LW HC MVD  MHL
28   Oliver Turan RHD Brookings  NAHL
29  Leevi Aaltonen LW Kalpa  SM-Liiga
30  Maxim Cajkovic RW Malmo J20  Superelit
31 Arthur Kaliyev LW Hamilton OHL

Remaining Watch List

 Alex Beaucage RW Rouyn-Noranda  QMJHL
 Alex Vlasic LHD U.S. U18  NTDP
 Alfred Barklund LHD Orebro J20  Superelit
 Billy Constantinou RHD Niagara  OHL
 Bobby Brink LW Minnetonka  HS-MN
 Brooklyn Kalmikov LW Cape Breton  QMJHL
 Cole Caufield RW U.S. U18  NTDP
 Danil Antropov RW Oshawa Generals) OHL
 Dillon Hamaliuk LW Seattle  WHL
 Domenick Fensore LHD U.S. U18  NTDP
 Henry Thrun LHD U.S. U18  NTDP
 Jarrett Baker LHD Drummondville  QMJHL
 Jaxon Bellamy LHD Moncton  QMJHL
 Judd Caufield RW U.S. U18  NTDP
 Julian Mettler LW Kloten  NLA
 Lev Starikov LHD Windsor  OHL
 Luke Toporowski LW Spokane  WHL
 Marshall Warren LHD U.S. U18  NTDP
 Matthew Boldy LW U.S. U18  NTDP
 Michael Gildon LW U.S. U18  NTDP
 Mitchell Brewer LHD Oshawa  OHL
 Moritz Seider RHD Jungadler Mannheim  DNL
 Nathan Allensen LHD Barrie  OHL
 Nathan Staios LHD Windsor  OHL
 Nolan Foote LW Kelowna  WHL
 Pavel Dorofeyev RW Stalnye Lisy  MHL
 Philip Brober LHD AIK J20  Superelit
 Robert Mastrosimone LW Chicago  USHL
 Ryder Donovan RW Dubuque  USHL
 Ryder Rolston RW U.S. U18  NTDP
 Samuel Bolduc LHD Blainville-Boisbriand  QMJHL
 Simon Holmstrom RW HV71 J20  Superelit
 Simon Lundmark RHD Linkoping  SHL
 Thomas Harley LHD Mississauga  OHL
 Vladimir Alistrov LW Belarus U20  Belarus
 Yannik Valenti RW Jungadler Mannheim  DNL
 Yegor Serdiuk LW Omski Yastreby  MHL
Albin Grewe RW Djugardens J20 Superelit
Artemi Knyazev D Irbis MHL
Blake Murray C Sudbury  OHL
Cam York D U.S. U18 NTDP
Cameron Rowe G U.S. U18  NTDP
Carson Riddle C Sioux City USHL
Case McCarthy RHD U.S. U18 NTDP
Cody Morgan C Windsor  OHL
Daniil Gutik RW Loko Yaroslavl MHL
Daniil Misyul LHD Loko Yaroslavl MHL
Danny Weight C U.S. U18  NTDP
Dustin Wolf G Everett  WHL
Gabriel Denis C Shawinigan  QMJHL
Grant Docter LHD Minnetonka HS-MN
Henri Nikkanen C JyP U20  Jr. A SM-Liiga
Jakob Pelletier C Moncton  QMJHL
John Beecher C U.S. U18  NTDP
Josh Williams RW Medicine Hat WHL
Kaden Bohlsen LW Des Moines USHL
Konsta Hirvonen C HIFK U20  Jr. A SM-Liiga
Matias Maccelli C TPS U20  Jr. A SM-Liiga
Matvei Guskov C Krasnaya Armiya  MHL
Maxim Shabanov C/RW Belye Medvedi MHL
Michael Mancinelli C Madison USHL
Mikhail Abramov C Krasnaya Armiya MHL
Nikita Okhotyuk LHD Ottawa OHL
Nikola Pasic C Linkoping J20  Superelit
Nolan Maier G Saskatoon  WHL
Owen Lindmark C U.S. U18  NTDP
Patrick Keegan LHD Cushing HS-MA
Phil Tomasino C Niagara  OHL
Robert Griffin C Boston Jr. Bruins NCDC
Ryan Suzuki C Barrie  OHL
Samuel Poulin C Sherbrooke  QMJHL
Sasha Mutala RW Tri-City WHL
Spencer Knight G U.S. U18  NTDP
Tag Bertuzzi C Guelph  OHL
Tim Fleischer C Jungadler Mannheim  DNL
Tobias Bjornfot D Djugardens J20 Superelit
Trevor Kuntar C/LW Youngstown USHL
Tyler Paquette RW Des Moines USHL
Victor Soderstrom D Brynas J20 Superelit
Ville Heinola LHD Lukko SM-Liiga
Xavier Simoneau C Drummondville  QMJHL