Jack Hughes at #1, Kaapo Kakko at #2. Probably.

The Draft truly starts at #3 with the Chicago Blackhawks, with the primary point of interest in the 3-5 range with the Colorado Avalanche and Los Angeles Kings following the Hawks. Based on the discussions following the Combine, it certainly seems like that range is going to populated by three players regardless of order: centers Alex Turcotte and Kirby Dach and defenseman Bowen Byram. Turcotte believes he’ll be the 3rd or 4th Overall pick, with his hometown Blackhawks sitting at #3 and a center-starved team in the Avalanche at #4. Kirby Dach is a player drawing interest from a lot of teams at the top of the Draft, and by all counts, it appears unlikely the 6’4″ center will survive past the Kings selection at #5.

The top half of the first round appears to be a rather shuffled deck. The Wings likely go with a forward at 6th Overall; Trevor Zegras seems like a natural fit, but there’s been some talk for Vasili Podkolzin, Cole Caufield, and Dylan Cozens at that selection as well. By all accounts, it appears the Oilers are prepared to make Swedish defenseman Philip Broberg their selection at #8, however, there are discussions that the Vancouver Canucks are interested in trading up ahead of their Pacific Division rivals in order to acquire the mobile blueliner. The American flags will be flying high, as multiple players from the US Development Program are expected to be Top 15 selections, perhaps even the netminder, Spencer Knight.

Finding a team for Spencer Knight is a true game of matchmaker. The Florida Panthers at 13th Overall could use an elite netminder in their system, however, there is also chatter the Panthers are very interested in German defenseman Moritz Seider. The Avalanche own a second selection in the first round at 16th Overall and an empty cupboard of goaltenders to justify selecting Knight, while the Kings share the same story at pick #22 from the Maple Leafs.

The 2019 Draft is rather thin on defense as compared to the superclass of defensemen in 2018, so don’t be surprised to see some teams jump up and reach a little in the first round for a defenseman they really like. Tobias Björnfot has gained a lot of traction as a first round pick lately, as has Sioux Falls defenseman Ryan Johnson. Per Corey Pronman, a dark horse first rounder on Friday night: Jayden Struble of St. Sebastian’s High School. Lassi Thomson, Alex Vlasic, and Matthew Robertson are three names that will likely be called early on Saturday if they’re not selected in the first round.

You can view my personal rankings for the 2019 NHL Draft here, as well as in my 2019 Guide, which can be found here.

1st Round:
1. – Jack Hughes, C, USA U-18 (USDP)
2. – Kappo Kakko, RW, TPS (LIIGA)
3. – Alex Turcotte, C, USA U-18 (USDP)
4. (via OTT) – Kirby Dach, C, Saskatoon (WHL)
5. – Bowen Byram, D, Vancouver (WHL)
6. – Trevor Zegras, C/LW, USA U-18 (USDP)
7. – Cole Caufield, RW, USA U-18 (USDP)
8. – Philip Broberg, D, AIK (Allsvenskan)
9. – Dylan Cozens, C, Lethbridge (WHL)
10. – Matthew Boldy, LW/RW, USA U-18 (USDP)
11. – Vasili Podkolzin, RW, Neva-St. Petersburg (VHL)
12. – Peyton Krebs, C/LW, Kootenay (WHL)
13. – Moritz Seider, D, Mannheim (DEL)
14. – Alex Newhook, C, Victoria (BCHL)
15. – Cam York, D, USA U-18 (USDP)
16. – Spencer Knight, G, USA U-18 (USDP)
17. – Philip Tomasino, C, Niagara (OHL)
18. – Victor Söderström, D, Brynäs (SHL)
19. (via CBJ) – Ryan Suzuki, C, Barrie (OHL)
20. – Thomas Harley, D, Mississauga (OHL)
21. – Arthur Kaliyev, LW/RW, Hamilton (OHL)
22. (via TOR) – Raphaël Lavoie, C/RW, Halifax (QMJHL)
23. – Ville Heinola, D, Lukko (LIIGA)
24. – Connor McMichael, C, London (OHL)
25. – Tobias Björnfot, D, Djurgårdens J20 (SWE-JR)
26. – Bobby Brink, RW, Sioux City (USHL)
27. – Nils Höglander, LW, Rögle (SHL)
28. – Samuel Poulin, LW, Sherbrooke (QMJHL)
29. (via SJ, from BUF) – Jakob Pelletier, LW, Moncton (QMJHL)
30. – Ryan Johnson, D, Sioux Falls (USHL)
31. (via STL) – John Beecher, C, USA U-18 (USDP)

2nd Round:
32. – Pavel Dorofeyev, LW/RW, Metallurg Magnitogorsk (KHL)
33. – Brett Leason, C/RW, Prince Albert (WHL)
34. – Lassi Thomson, D, Kelowna (WHL)
35. – Alex Vlasic, D, USA U-18 (USDP)
36. (via BUF) – Jamieson Rees, C, Sarnia (OHL)
37. (via NYR) – Matthew Robertson, D, Edmonton (WHL)
38. – Nathan Légaré, RW, Baie-Comeau (QMJHL)
39. – Albert Johansson, D, Färjestad J20 (SWE-JR)
40. – Anttoni Honka, D, JYP (LIIGA)
41. (via PHI) – Nicholas Robertson, LW, Peterborough (OHL)
42. – Mikko Kokkonen, D, Jukurit (LIIGA)
43. – Egor Afanasyev, RW, Muskegon (USHL)
44. (via FLA, from SJ) – Vladislav Kolyachonok, D, Flint (OHL)
45. – Mads Søgaard, G, Medicine Hat (WHL)
46. -Albin Grewe, C/RW, Djurgårdens J20 (SWE-JR)
47. – Nolan Foote, LW, Kelowna (WHL)
48. – Marshall Warren, D, USA U-18 (USDP)
49. (via DAL) – Domenick Fensore, D, USA U-18 (USDP)
50. (via CBJ, from VGK) – Jackson LaCombe, D, Shattuck St. Mary’s (USHL)
51. – Ilya Nikolaev, C, Loko Yaroslavl (MHL)
52. (via PIT) – Pyotr Kochetkov, G, HK Ryazan (VHL)
53. – Zachary Jones, D, Tri-City (USHL)
54. (via NYI, from VGK) – Patrik Puistola, LW, Tappara (LIIGA)
55. (via NSH) – Samuel Fägemo, LW/RW, Frölunda (SHL)
56. – Simon Holmström, RW, HV-71 J20 (SWE-JR)
57. (via CGY) – Yegor Spiridonov, C/LW, Stalnye Magnitogorsk (MHL)
58. (via TB) – Brayden Tracey, LW, Moose Jaw (WHL)
59. – Nikita Alexandrov, C, Charlottetown (QMJHL)
60. (via SJ) – Isaiah Saville, G, Tri-City (USHL)
61. (via BOS) – Semyon Chistyakov, D, Tolpar Ufa (MHL)
62. – Tuukka Tieksola, RW, Kärpät U20 (FIN-JR)

3rd Round:
63. (via OTT) – Jordan Spence, D, Moncton (QMJHL)
64. – Hunter Jones, G, Peterborough (OHL)
65. (via NJD, from EDM) – Kaedan Korczak, D, Kelowna (WHL)
66. – Alex Beaucage, RW, Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL)
67. – Billy Constantinou, D, Kingston (OHL)
68. – Robert Mastrosimone, LW, Chicago (USHL)
69. (via EDM) – Maxim Cajkovic, RW/LW, Saint John (QMJHL)
70. (via ANA) – Matias Maccelli, LW, Dubuque (USHL)
71. – Antti Tuomisto, D, Ässät U20 (FIN-JR)
72. – John Farinacci, C, Dexter School (USHS)
73. – Karl Henriksson, C, Frölunda J20 (SWE-JR)
74. (via CHI) – Michal Teply, LW, Bili Tygri Liberec (CZE)
75. (via FLA) – Matvei Guskov, C, London (OHL)
76. – Luke Bast, D, Brooks (AJHL)
77. – Antti Saarela, C/W, Lukko (LIIGA)
78. – Graeme Clarke, RW, Ottawa (OHL)
79. – Daniil Misyul, D, Loko Yaroslavl (MHL)
80. (via DAL) – Dustin Wolf, G, Everett (WHL)
81. – Leevi Aaltonen, LW, KalPa U20 (FIN-JR)
82. (via WPG) – Adam Beckman, C, Spokane (WHL)
83. (via PIT) – Mattias Norlinder, D, MODO (Allsvenskan)
84. – Aaron Huglen, C, Roseau High (USHS)
85. (via NYI) – Drew Helleson, D, USA U-18 (USDP)
86. (via NSH) – Artemi Knyazev, D, Chicoutimi (QMJHL)
87. (via WSH) – Dmitri Sheshin, RW, Stalnye Magnitogorsk (MHL)
88. – Henri Nikkanen, C, Jukurit (LIIGA)
89. – Vladislav Firstov, LW, Waterloo (USHL)
90. – Arseni Gritsyuk, LW/RW, Omskie Yastreby (MHL)
91. – Kirill Slepets, RW, Loko Yaroslavl (MHL)
92. – Jayden Struble, D, St. Sebastian’s (USHS)
93. – Henry Thrun, D, USA U-18 (USDP)

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