With the NBA Draft over, it’s time to turn our undivided attention to the NHL Draft. From Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett, we now have Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko.
The Boston Bruins pick 30th overall, which wouldn’t be cause for excitement in most organizations. But in the 2018 NHL Draft, the Bruins didn’t even have a first round pick.
Prior to Friday night’s draft, the general feeling is that Hughes will go first overall to the New Jersey Devils and Kakko will go second to the New York Rangers. It’s very unclear what will happen after that.
Trade-wise, anything could happen.
7:41 pm EST: Kasperi Kapanen and the Maple Leafs moving toward extension
It sounds like Kasperi Kapanen and the #leafs are getting closer on an extension.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) June 21, 2019
Kapanen’s a restricted free agent heading into the 2019-20 season. He had 20 goals and 44 points in 78 games for the Maple Leafs in 2018-19.
NEW JERSEY DEVILS FIRST OVERALL: JACK HUGHES (C)
It’s official. Jack Hughes is a New Jersey Devil. 😈 pic.twitter.com/iLNwBTK0eV
— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) June 22, 2019
Hughes is projected to be a franchise center. Experts say it’ll take some time for him to make a serious impact in the NHL. But for some depth at center, the Devils picked the right guy.
NEW YORK RANGERS SECOND OVERALL: KAAPO KAKKO (RW)
With the second overall pick#NYR select
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) June 22, 2019
Kakko is projected to make an immediate impact once he cracks the Rangers lineup. The NHL on NBC crew compared the Finnish prospect to Florida Panthers winger Jonathan Huberdeau.
CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS THIRD OVERALL: KIRBY DACH (C)
What’s up, Dach?!
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) June 22, 2019
Most experts had the Blackhawks going with a defenseman with the third overall pick, as an aging Duncan Keith will soon require a replacement. But the Blackhawks went with the 6’4″ 198 lb center. He’ll get to learn behind Jonathan Toews.
COLORADO AVALANCHE FOURTH OVERALL: BOWEN BYRAM (D)
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) June 22, 2019
When the Blackhawks didn’t take Byram, the Avalanche pounced on the Canadian d-man. Most experts project Byram to be NHL-ready and poised to make an impact in the 2019-20 season. The Avs now have Cale Makar and Byram as young pieces of a tremendous defensive core.
LOS ANGELES KINGS FIFTH OVERALL: ALEX TURCOTTE (C)
Welcome to LA, Alex Turcotte! 🙌#GoKingsGo
— LA Kings (@LAKings) June 22, 2019
The Kings have depth at center with Jeff Carter and Anze Kopitar, but neither are getting any younger. With Turcotte, the Kings have their future down the middle. He’s 5’11” and has a great combination of speed, skill and toughness. Experts say he’s great at making plays off the rush and in the offensive zone. He’s a few years away from the NHL. Bob McKenzie compares him to Brad Marchand.
DETROIT RED WINGS SIXTH OVERALL: MORITZ SEIDER (D)
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) June 22, 2019
Seider going sixth overall comes as a big surprise. The German defenseman was projected to go in the middle of the first round. He’s a classic two-way defenseman with great offensive skills. Experts compare him to Brandon Carlo at the very least.
Look at all these Bruins getting shoutouts during the Draft.
BUFFALO SABRES SEVENTH OVERALL: DYLAN COZENS (C)
With the 7th overall pick, we select center Dylan Cozens.
Welcome to Buffalo! pic.twitter.com/hjeZApXnVG
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) June 22, 2019
Cozens is a very good two-way center. His toughness and high Hockey IQ is something the Sabres need and Cozens has that. Since Ryan O’Reilly departed the Sabres, Cozens is now being looked at as his replacement. His skill is still developing.
EDMONTON OILERS EIGHTH OVERALL: PHILIP BROBERG (D)
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) June 22, 2019
Broberg’s a big defenseman who’s a tremendous skater. With Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl up front, the Oilers don’t need much on offense. Their focus is on the back-end. Broberg projects to be a franchise defenseman for the Oilers.
ANAHEIM DUCKS NINTH OVERALL: TREVOR ZEGRAS (C)
— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) June 22, 2019
Zegras is very offensive-centric and projects to be a highly productive number one center in the NHL. With Ryan Getzlaf getting old, the Ducks look for Zegras to be his replacement. All of his teammates with the US Developmental Program praise his creativity.
VANCOUVER CANUCKS 10TH OVERALL: VASILI PODKOLZIN (RW)
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) June 22, 2019
Podkolzin projects to be a great two-way forward in the NHL. He has two years left on his KHL contract, which will give him more time to develop. With the addition of Podkolzin, the Canucks have a stockpile of young talent for their future.
9:15 PM EST: Philadelphia Flyers send 11th pick to Arizona Coyotes for the 14th and 45th picks
11 to ARIZ for 14 and 45
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 22, 2019
ARIZONA COYOTES 11TH OVERALL: VICTOR SODERSTROM (D)
We've traded up to select Victor Soderstrom at #11. pic.twitter.com/jdtDtt2NAj
— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) June 22, 2019
Trading up for Soderstrom shows the Coyotes are heading in the right direction. He’s a very good offensive d-man. He moves the puck out of his own end well and is known for his finesse. He’ll fit well alongside fellow Sweden native Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
MINNESOTA WILD 12TH OVERALL: MATTHEW BOLDY (LW)
— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) June 22, 2019
Boldy is solidified in all facets of the game. He’s physical, his skill is off the charts, and he’s fast. He’s going to Boston College for the 2019-20 season. The NHL on NBC crew compared him to Mikko Rantanen.
FLORIDA PANTHERS 13TH OVERALL: SPENCER KNIGHT (G)
USA U18 (USHL)
6’3 ½, 193lbs
39GP 2.36GAA .913% pic.twitter.com/00ahnr9paB
— SiriusXM NHL Network Radio (@SiriusXMNHL) June 22, 2019
Knight is projected to be an elite, franchise goalie. The NHL on NBC crew consistently compared him to Carey Price and Martin Brodeur. Goalies don’t typically go in the first round, however the Panthers are in need of one. Yet another US National Team Development Program player off the board.
PHILADELPHIA FLYERS 14TH OVERALL: CAM YORK (D)
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) June 22, 2019
York is the sixth player selected from the US National Team Development Program. York is known for his high skill level. He’s going to the University of Michigan for this upcoming season and a focus for him will be getting better defensively. The kid can skate.
MONTREAL CANADIENS 15TH OVERALL: COLE CAUFIELD (RW)
Avec le 15e choix au total, les Canadiens sélectionnent l'attaquant Cole Caufield du USNTDP.
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) June 22, 2019
Finally. For the Canadiens, this was a steal. Despite his size, Caufield is regarded as an elite goal-scorer. The NHL on NBC comparable to Caufield was….Lionel Messi. Both are 5’7″ and can score. Makes sense, right?
COLORADO AVALANCHE 16TH OVERALL: ALEX NEWHOOK (C)
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) June 22, 2019
Newhook can play both center and wing. For the Avalanche, this only bolsters their young slew of skilled forwards. He’s very fast and incredibly quick.
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 17TH OVERALL: PEYTON KREBS (C)
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) June 22, 2019
The NHL on NBC crew compared Krebs to Ryan O’Reilly. He’s an elite two-way center. One area of improvement for him is when it comes to goal-scoring.
DALLAS STARS 18TH OVERALL: THOMAS HARLEY (D)
NHL Draft Tracker: https://t.co/gJrtpV1CPj
(Presented by Esso Canada) pic.twitter.com/nIY0GUFztY
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) June 22, 2019
NOT Harley Thomas (if you know, you know). At any rate, his projection is to be a top pair offensive defenseman. He’s very quick and is very good at making plays happen in the offensive zone.
OTTAWA SENATORS 19TH OVERALL: LASSI THOMSON (D)
— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) June 22, 2019
Since losing Erik Karlsson, the Senators have built a solid young core of d-men with Thomas Chabot and Cody Ceci. Now with Thomson in the system, the Sens continue their pursuit to build a juggernaut on defense.
WINNIPEG JETS 20TH OVERALL: VILLE HEINOLA (D)
With the 20th overall selection, the #NHLJets select Finnish defenceman Ville Heinola.
Heinola is a left shot D and was ranked fourth on NHL Central Scouting’s list of International skaters.
— Mitchell Clinton (@MitchellClinton) June 22, 2019
Heinola has a high Hockey IQ. He’s not yet ready for the NHL, however he projects to be a top-four defenseman.
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS 21ST OVERALL: SAMUEL POULIN (LW)
With the 21st pick in the 2019 #NHLDraft, the Pittsburgh Penguins select left wing, Samuel Poulin.
Welcome to Pittsburgh! pic.twitter.com/qr3KEqW2v8
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) June 22, 2019
According to experts, he’s no where near ready for the NHL. He’s a great skater but a bit inconsistent. That’ll be something he works on in juniors.
LOS ANGELES KINGS 22ND OVERALL: TOBIAS BJORNFOT (D)
Kings have another pick, they go with Tobias Bjornfot, Swedish defender at No. 22.
They start playing Mama Mia by ABBA. You know, because Sweden.
— Marisa Ingemi (@Marisa_Ingemi) June 22, 2019
The Kings are an aging team, which puts an emphasis on the building through the draft. Like on offense, the Kings are getting older on defense, especially with Drew Doughty. Bjornfot isn’t quite NHL ready, but he should be toward the end of Doughty’s career.
NEW YORK ISLANDERS 23RD OVERALL: SIMON HOLMSTROM (RW)
#Isles take Simon Holmstrom, Swedish forward.
— Arthur Staple (@StapeAthletic) June 22, 2019
Holmstrom is a pure goal-scorer and great with a playmaking center on his line. He can score in-tight and has a great release. He’ll fit well with the Islanders.
NASHVILLE PREDATORS 24TH OVERALL: PHILIP TOMASINO (C)
THE PICK IS IN!
— Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) June 22, 2019
Tomasino is a speedy center who uses that to drive his game. He’s great off the rush and can create plays well in the offensive zone. He’s projected to be a top-six guy.
WASHINGTON CAPITALS 25TH OVERALL: CONNOR MCMICHAEL (C)
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) June 22, 2019
McMichael is a very well-rounded center that the Capitals will be able to utilize correctly. He’s not yet ready for the NHL. One thing he’ll need to work on is his skill.
CALGARY FLAMES 26TH OVERALL: JAKOB PELLETIER (LW)
With the 26th pick, we have selected forward Jakob Pelletier from Moncton!
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) June 22, 2019
Pelletier makes up for his lack of size and speed with his Hockey IQ. He projects to be a second line player. He needs a few more years until he’s ready for the NHL.
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING 27TH OVERALL: NOLAN FOOTE (LW)
The #tblightning have now drafted both sons of Adam Foote – Cal & Nolan. Cal Foote went No. 14 in 2017, Nolan now at No. 27 in 2019.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) June 22, 2019
Foote’s a big guy and is great around the net. According to experts, he’s solid on the power play and uses that size to give him great positioning around the net. He still needs some time to develop, but he’s projected to make a solid impact at the NHL level.
CAROLINA HURRICANES 28TH OVERALL: RYAN SUZUKI (C)
— Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) June 22, 2019
He’s a great playmaker, but still needs some more time to develop. According to experts, he needs to raise his intensity more. During last season, he wasn’t getting to the dirty areas, which is something that lowered his draft stock.
ANAHEIM DUCKS 29TH OVERALL: BRAYDEN TRACEY (LW)
#nhlducks at No. 29 take F Brayden Tracey.
— Mike Zeisberger (@Zeisberger) June 22, 2019
Tracey has risen quickly up the rankings throughout this past season. He still needs a lot more time to develop, but his skill is high and according to experts, he’s very good at getting open. It’s clear the Ducks are trying to add offense for the future.
BOSTON BRUINS 30TH OVERALL: JOHN BEECHER (C)
With the 30th overall pick in the 2019 #NHLDraft, we’ve selected forward John Beecher.
Welcome to Boston, John! pic.twitter.com/tmfPFMw7eW
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) June 22, 2019
The Bruins addressed an area of need on Friday night when they drafted Beecher. The B’s aren’t getting any younger at center with David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron. More to come on this pick.
BUFFALO SABRES 31ST PICK: RYAN JOHNSON (D)
— Mike Zeisberger (@Zeisberger) June 22, 2019
Johnson’s going to play at the University of Minnesota. He’ll have the chance to improve his offensive skills. Projects to be a top-four NHL d-man.