As reported by Sports Net the 2019 NHL draft prospects are being scouted heavily as the year goes on. This years draft again seems to be a heavy forward draft in the first round. The top-10 are very interchangeable like many drafts before this. Example was last years draft when the Montreal Canadiens took Jesperi Kotkaniemi before many other highly sought out prospects the draft was shocked but it seems like the first twenty or so picks can be anywhere from 1-20, meaning the 20th ranked guy can be a potential one and one can be a potential twenty.
Either way looking at the top-10 for this 2019 upcoming draft seem to look like…
- Jack Hughes: The brother of Vancouver’s 2018 draft pick Quinn Hughes. Jack though play defense compared to his defenseman brother. At 17-years-old Hughes is already being seen as the sure number one the draft. He really emerged on the scene when he scored 159 points, 101 assists and 58 goals with the Toronto Marlboro Midget AAA, before heading over to the U.S. Developmental program which has been the hot bed for developmental and the home for many former USA draft picks. Hughes played 27 games with the USNTDP Juniors team scoring 54 points in that span, he recently played in the World Juniors U18 were he scored 7 goals and 12 points in 7 games. Hughes has 13 points in 8 games for the USNTDP this season. Seemingly like a favorite for the #1 pick this year.
- Vasili Podkolzin: Has been ranked within the 4-7 range by many other hockey scouts. Due to the talent in the draft he can easily be a #2 draft pick. Vasili emerged during the international play of the World Juniors U18 where he scored 15 points in 8 games. At every major international tournament Vasili has been an impactful player. Playing for the SKA St. Petersburg team will be a solid developmental time for the 17-year-old forward, the only concern is in years we have seen the many Russian superstars get drafted and not come into the league for a years due to the KHL.
- Kirby Dach: There was definitely some concern on this kids ability to stay consistent and score. He has the whole package of a great forward, great hockey IQ, great skating ability, plays both sides well and can score. While he only scored 7 goals for the Saskatoon Blades in 2017-18 he is off to a 13 goal performance through 25 games with 39 points thus far. Dach emerged on the scene in Hlinka-Gretzky Cup. Right now his NHL potential is unsure, eh could be a top six forward if consistent but will fall in the top-five range for sure in the 2019 draft.
- Dylan Cozens: This kid has fallen in the top four range and even the #2 ranked prospect by McKeen’s hockey. Cozens has spent his time in the WHL for the Lethbridge Hurricanes. Before coming to the WHL he spent one year with the Yale Hockey Academy Prep where he scored 27 goals and 57 point sin 30 games. This year already Cozens has 31 point sin 24 games in the WHL right now, he has good size for the forward position at 6’3 he does not need to worry about being questioned on his size. He can sure bury the puck, his potential falls in the top-six forward role depending on the team.
- Kaapo Kakko: Another Finland prospect, Kakko has been another big thing developing in Finland. He is playing in the Liiga right now where he is off to a hot start, he has been ranked in the number two to three range. Has a desire for the puck, plays in the offensive end extremely well, protects the puck well, skates well and is not afraid to get physical. Kakko has 13 points in 20 games right now. For a younger forward in the Liiga he uses his hockey IQ and smarts to be ahead of the play, playing at the international level this upcoming year for the Finland U20 teamwill be the final test to Kakko’s NHL potential.