The NHL Draft is upon us!
Come this time tomorrow we will glued to our televisions watching the 2019 edition of the NHL Entry Draft in Vancouver.
As you will see there isn’t much speculation about who will go #1 and #2, but after that it is a complete crapshoot.
The Oilers hold the #8 pick this year and there is absolutely no consensus on who will chosen with that selection. The writers here at Copper and Blue all have their own unique opinion on how the top 10 will play out so, without further ado, I present you the staff picks for the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.
#1 NJ Devils — Jack Hughes
I was tempted to throw Kakko in here to be a shit, but I won’t. Chances are good that the Devils will need scoring in their near future. Scoring seems to be what Hughes does so it’s a good match. Hughes also seems to be an elite level skater with an excellent hockey IQ. All good things for the Devils.
#2 NY Rangers — Kappo Kakko
Kakko has been half a step behind Hughes all year in the draft rankings, but his World Championships helped to prove why he should be considered a legitimate challenge for the number one stop. NYR would have to be sleeping to pass on him. Kakko looks mostly NHL ready and doesn’t come with the CHL restrictions on where he can play.
#3 Chicago Blackhawks — Bowen Byram
Byram was legitimately the best defenseman in the WHL last season. And not just in the whole scoring goals and putting up points thing, but he was the best at that too. And the WHL is the CHL league known for defense. Anyway, Chicago’s defense looks like it could use some shoring up in the next couple years. Byram has the potential to be a top defender.
#4 Colorado Avalanche — Kirby Dach
Dach is a little bit of hell on wheels when he gets going. This pick is purely because I think Dach could do amazing things with Colorado’s fairly young core of top guys. Dach has the potential to turn a game right now and he’s been putting that on display in Saskatoon. He’s a good mix of size, speed, physicality, and attitude. Dach is definitely one player that scouts haven’t been able to agree on, but I think for the right team he’s work the risk of a higher than projected pick.
#5 L.A. Kings — Cole Caufield
This one is a little bit of an off the board pick for me. I generally despise the USNTDP. They’re almost cultish in their approach and it’s just creepy to me. But Caufield based on everything that’s being said can score goals. He’s not big and his big success has been with Jack Hughes, but teams are still smarting a little over how DeBrincat turned out so... he might be worth a risk. The Kings are still looking for offense as Kovalchuk didn’t exactly work out as planned.
#6 Detroit Red Wings — Dylan Cozens (C)
To be fair to Dylan, he’d have ended up higher if the clip Sportsnet was using wasn’t him scoring on my team. Makes me tetchy and impacts his ranking. Cozens is big, physical enough to play on one of the WHL’s biggest teams, and produces good offense. The one question mark I have around Cozens is his decision making. Lethbridge is a hotheaded team that fell apart more than once in the WHL regular season and I wonder if that attitude is catching. Bonus though, Cozen’s fabled work ethic means it won’t be a problem for long.
#7 Buffalo Sabres — Alex Turcotte (C)
Turcotte is an offensive powerhouse, but he’s a very fragile offensive power house which somewhat limits his draft stock for me. Buffalo may or may not be looking for a centre, but some of the ones on their roster don’t seem like long term bets or very good. Turcotte may be able to make a distinct impression in Buffalo. His awareness of the puck is certain something that will stand him well wherever he’s drafted.
#8 Edmonton Oilers — Trevor Zegras (C)
Before his injury this might have been Krebs for me. There are two reasons it’s Zegras. One the Oilers are shit with Russians and that leaves Podkolzin out for me and I’m not 100% on Boldy. In short, this is for me the best pick remaining on the board. Zegras has committed to BU and that might give the Oilers enough time to sort their shit out and not ruin his development. I don’t know, it’s the Oilers. Ideally, they trade, but I’m not putting a trade between two teams together myself.
#9 Anahiem Ducks — Vasili Podkolzin (RW)
This Russian has been making some medium sized waves. Podkolzin seems to have a bit of a reputation as someone who can stir the pot, and the Ducks have always used that successfully in the Pacific. Adding to that an element of physicality and a decent scoring acumen, Podkolzin is a bit of a risk but a solid young talent.
#10 Vancouver Canucks — Matthew Boldy (LW)
Boldy’s lack of consistency is what landed him lower on my list. I’ve got no problem cheering for players that suck, but I do like to know what I’m getting into. With Boldy I don’t. He’s got all the tools, and Vancouver -- still looking to rebuild -- would be foolish not to use those skills, but he also probably has a year or more left to develop. Boldy’s good at coming up with puck, physical enough to get the job done, and he scores goals. Fill your boots.
#1 NJ Devils — Jack Hughes (C)
There has been a lot of talk about whether or not Kappo Kakko could overtake Hughes as being the top pick in this year’s draft, but I am not buying it. While Kakko had a tremendous end to his season I still think Jack Hughes is where New Jersey is leaning. Hughes is gonna be an elite top line centerman in the NHL and, unfortunately for Kakko, elite centers are more valuable than elite wingers.
#2 — NY Rangers — Kappo Kakko (RW)
It’s pretty obvious who the Rangers will take at #2. Kappo Kakko is a can’t miss selection at the number 2 position and in any other draft he would have gone first overall. Kakko’s combination of size, speed, and skill are unrivalled by other players on the board and the Rangers will gladly add him to their young growing core.
#3 Chicago Blackhawks — Alex Turcotte (C)
This is where things start to get a little chaotic. While I do think Byram is the best player available at #3, I believe Chicago opts to add to their forward core. Turcotte is a speedy 2-way centerman with plenty of skill. He held his own when playing away from Jack Hughes at the USNDTP this season and he will fare just fine in the big leagues.
#4 Colorado Avalanche — Bowen Byram (D)
A lot of people have Colorado going the forward route with this pick but, with a player like Byram on the board, I don’t see it happening. Byram is far and away the best defenceman in this year’s draft class and has drawn comparisons to Duncan Keith. With Cale Makar set to become a full-time NHLer next season, the Avalanche will be more than happy to slot Byram into their top 4 when he makes the jump.
#5 L.A. Kings — Kirby Dach (C)
Dach is a no-doubter for the L.A. Kings at pick #5. Dach’s all around skillset is very enticing and ther is talk that he could be the third best player in this year’s draft. The Kings could use a player like Dach to come in a resuscitate their offence. There is also a chance that he makes the jump to the NHL this season. Kings don’t hesitate here.
#6 Detroit Red Wings — Vasili Podkolzin (RW)
There hasn’t been a prospect more confusing in this year’s top 10 than Vasili Podkolzin. His skillset is very good, but concerns about his production and willingness to leave Russia has hampered his draft stock. I think new GM Stevie Y is unfazed by this as he has had a lot of success with Russian picks in the past. This could be a steal.
#7 Buffalo Sabres — Cole Caufield (C)
The Buffalo Sabres have quite the decision to make at this spot but I think the pick winds up being Cole Caufield. He may be undersized but he is the best goal scorer in this year’s draft. Scoring 72 goals with the USDP last year is nothing to turn a blind eye to. The Sabres will look past the size question and bet on the scoring.
#8 Edmonton Oilers — Dylan Cozens (C)
Ken Holland and the Edmonton Oilers rush to the stage to select Dylan Cozens. Cozens was born and raised in the Yukon and his play style shows it. His enormous 6 foot 3 frame allows him to play a very fast and hard game while also proving to be a talented skater. Cozens is great at handling the puck down low as well as forcing the puck to the net on a rush. He is the type of player that fits well in Edmonton and has qualities that Oiler fans will absolutely love
.#9 Anaheim Ducks — Trevor Zegras (C)
At this point it is no question for who goes to Anaheim at this point. Trevor Zegras is an elite-level playmaking center and the Ducks would love him in their system. For a team that is quickly approaching rebuild mode, Zegras as the top center in your system is a no-brainer.
#10 Vancouver Canucks — Matthew Boldy (LW)
While rumours are swirling around the Canuck’s potentially trading this pick, I don’t think they should. Matthew Boldy is an absolute steal at the #10 position and Vancouver fans should be very excited to add him into their already impressive forward core. Boldy is one of the most talented players in this draft but concerns of work ethic and consistency will land him at the 10 spot.
There you have it!
Which mock draft do you agree with?
Leave a comment below and let us know what your top 10 looks like!