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2019 NHL Mock Draft: Round 1

1. New Jersey Devils: Jack Hughes, C, USA U18 (National Team Development Program)

Despite Kaapo Kaako amazing performance in the IIHF World Championship, the Devils will stick with Jack Hughes. Hughes has elite skating and play-making that is compared to Patrick Kane. This season he became the all-time leading scorer for the U.S. Developmental Program He is the brother of Vancouver Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes.

2.)  New York Rangers: Kaapo Kakko, RW, Finland, TPS/Liiga

Kaako performance in the IIHF World Championship made spectators reevaluate who is the best player in the draft. Pretty much every mock draft puts Hughes ahead of Kakko. He has good size being 6-foot-2, 190 pounds and great playmaking ability. On the ice, his Hockey IQ really shows that he can create-offense with his creativity. He will be a good fit for the young Rangers squad.

3.) Chicago Blackhawks:  Dylan Cozens, C Lethbridge (WHL).

A lot of mock drafts predict the Blackhawks to pick Alex Turcotte with the No. 3 overall pick. In his second season in the WHL with Lethbridge, he became a forward that can play both center and wing. The 6-foot-3 forward brings in size and physicality that any team wants. The Blackhawks will look to bounce back after having a terrible start in the 2018-19 season. Cozens is the best two-way forward in this draft. He can benefit the Blackhawks with his flexibility to play any position and special teams.

4. Colorado Avalanche (from Ottawa): Bowen Byram, D, Vancouver (WHL)

The Avalanche got lucky to gain the Ottawa Senators first-round pick. They may not have been awarded the No.1 overall pick, but they can pick an elite defenseman like Byram. The top defenseman in the draft has great puck-handling and play-making. On the defensive end, he can shut down forwards and transition to offense. Avalanche could use a player like him, especially if Tyson Barrie gets traded. Byram can help this young team became contenders in 2019-20.

5. Los Angeles Kings: Kirby Dach, C, Saskatoon (WHL)

Almost every mock draft predicts the Kings to select Bowen Byram with the No.5 overall pick. With the Avalanche taking Byram at No. 4, the Kings will take the best player available by selecting Dach. The 6-foot-4 prospect spent three years for Saskatoon and got better and better. His big size gives him the ability to play his own style. His speed and hockey IQ makes him a top-five prospect. The Kings can rebuild with a guy like Dach and develop his game. The Kings are in a rebuilding mode. Expect them to work their roster around Dach.

6. Detroit Red Wings: Vasily Podkolzin, RW, Neva St. Petersburg (RUS-2)

The Red Wings have a great history of drafting Russians. Podkolzin is a perfect piece for the Red Wings rebuild. Steve Yzerman is now running the show in Detroit after they announced him as general manager. The young Russian can control the game with his speed and passing. The right-winger will be ready to jump right in the young Red Wings squad.  He will generate more offense and contribute on the power-play. This is a good opportunity for the young Russian to become a franchise player for this young squad.

7. Buffalo Sabres: Alex Turcotte, C, USA U18 (NTDP)

 

The Sabres need to draft Turcotte if he’s still available on the draft board. In the U-18 USNT, Turcotte was the second best player behind Hughes. The two-way center has great speed and explosiveness. Turcotte will bring excitement on the ice with his offensive ability. He has great puck-handling and can play right away for the Sabres.

8. Edmonton Oilers: Trevor Zegras, C, USA U18 (NTDP)

Zegras can be a good addition to the Oilers locker room. Last season the Oilers had a lot of drama with management and players. Zegras work ethic, grit and skill can be a great addition for the Oilers. New appointed GM, Ken Holland, would love to add a second-line center that can compliment superstar Connor McDavid. The Oilers could use a depth player like Zegras that can win faceoffs and make smart decisions on the ice. Rarely scouts saw Zegras make mistakes this season.

9. Anaheim Ducks: Phillip Broberg, D, AIK (SWE-2)

Broberg brings versatility to his skill and ability. He reminds me of a young Victor Hedman. He has a heavy shot, great passing, and can play quarterback on the power play. The Ducks can use him to strengthen the defense.

10. Vancouver Canucks: Matthew Boldy, LW, USA U18 (NTDP)

The 6-foot-2 forward is another high-quality prospect from the USNT. Scouts describe him a physical forward that creates offensive chances and has a hard shot. He can be a great addition to the young Canucks team that features Elias Pettersson (Calder Trophy Winner) and Quinn Hughes.

The Rest of the first-round

11. Philadelphia Flyers: Cole Caufield, RW, USA U18 (NTDP)

12. Minnesota Wild: Peyton Krebs, C, Kootenay (WHL)

13. Florida Panthers: Arthur Kaliyev,, RW, Hamilton (OHL)

14. Arizona Coyotes: Victor Soderstrom, D, Brynas (SHL)

15. Montreal Canadiens: Cam York, D, USA U18 (NTDP)

16. Colorado Avalanche: Ryan Suzuki, C, Barrie (OHL)

17. Vegas Golden Knights:  Alex Newhook, C, Victoria (WHL)

18. Dallas Stars:  Moritz Seider, D, Mannheim  (DEL)

19. Ottawa Senators (from Columbus): Thomas Harley, D, Mississauga (OHL)

20. New York Rangers (from Winnipeg): Matthew Robertson, D, Edmonton (WHL)

21. Pittsburgh Penguins:  Connor McMichael, LW, London (OHL)

22. Los Angeles Kings (from Toronto): Ville Heinola, D, Lukko (Finland)

23. New York Islanders: Philip Tomasino, C, Niagra (OHL)

24. Nashville Predators: Jakob Pelletier, Moncton, (QMJHL)

25. Washington Capitals: Nils Hoglander, LW, Rogle, (SHL)

26. Calgary Flames:  Raphael Lavoie, C, Halifax (QMJHL)

27. Tampa Bay Lightning:  Lassi Thomson, D, Kelowna, (OHL)

28. Anaheim Ducks (from St. Louis/Buffalo): Brett Leason, C, Prince Albert (WHL)

29. Carolina Hurricanes:  Spencer Knight, G, USA U18 (NTDP)

30. Boston Bruins: Alex Vlasic, D, USA U18 (NTDP)

31: Buffalo Sabres (from San Jose): Bobby Brink, C, USA U18 (NTDP)

 

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