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A look ahead at the 2019 Draft Class

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The 2018 NHL Entry Draft has come and gone. So which prospects should you look out for next season?

The NHL Draft finished up this past weekend, but this does not mean the scouting for the NHL’s next round of young talent is over. NHL scouts have already been carefully monitoring the crop of prospects for the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.

the next draft, otherwise known as the “Jack Hughes Draft” will be held at Rogers Arena in Vancouver on June 21st and 22nd of next year. Hughes is the special talent in the next pool of eligible players, and is regarded by almost all scouts as a lock for the first overall pick. I know, I know, it’s early, but here is a list of names—in no particular order—to look out for this upcoming hockey season, as they continue to develop in hopes of having their names called next summer.

Jack Hughes

Hughes has a rare combination of skill, competitiveness and excitement that does not come around all that often at such a young age. He has great skating ability, quick hands, and high hockey IQ. Then you add in how electrifying and easy the game comes to him and it appears he’s truly a player that does it all.

2018-2019 Team: Unknown, most likely the Auston Matthews route (Oversees Pro)

Nationality: USA

Position: C

Shoots: Left

Height: 5’10”

Weight: 161 lbs.

Bowen Byram

A smooth skating, confident defenseman who controls the game every time he steps onto the ice, Bowen Byram also has a high hockey IQ and can play in all situations. He is expected to be one of, if not the top-rated defenseman in this draft.

2018-2019 Team: Vancouver Giants (WHL)

Nationality: Canada

Position: D

Shoots: Left

Height: 6’0”

Weight: 179 lbs.

Peyton Krebs

The former first overall pick in the WHL Draft isn’t a physically huge guy, but makes up for his lack of size with his remarkable skill. Peyton Krebs is an offensively-minded winger who possesses a trio of tremendous abilities; puck skills, hockey sense, and great skating ability.

2018-2019 Team: Kootenay Ice (WHL)

Nationality: Canada

Position: LW

Shoots: Left

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 172 lbs.

Anttoni Honka

Anttoni Honka comes from a hockey family. His brother is Dallas Stars defenseman Julius Honka. Like his brother, Anttoni plays a similar style of hockey as a small offensive defenseman. He possesses game-breaking ability by joining the rush and using his freakishly fast speed to create scoring chances. His defense, on the other hand, needs work, which may affect his stock a bit.

2018-2019 Team: JYP (Liiga)

Nationality: Finland

Position: D

Shoots: Right

Height: 5’10”

Weight: 170 lbs.

Kaapo Kakko

Kaapo Kakko is the next emerging Finnish sniper, reminding a lot of scouts of Patrik Laine. A big winger who knows how to put the puck in the net, he scores a lot of goals, and that’s pretty much all you need to know about him. Kakko is a potential top-5 pick.

2018-2019 Team: TPS (Liiga)

Nationality: Finland

Position: RW

Shoots: Left

Height: 6’4”

Weight: 207 lbs.

Alex Turcotte

Alex Turcotte is a strong two-way center that is very exciting to watch. Turcotte plays at his own speed, which is pedal to the metal. He possesses a strong stride that allows him to open up the game and produce scoring chances for his teammates and himself.

2018-2019 Team: University of Wisconsin (NCAA)

Nationality: USA

Position: C

Shoots: Left

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 194 lbs.

Dylan Cozens

If you want a skilled bruiser, Dylan Cozens is your guy. Standing 6’ 3”, he certainly does not shy away from contact. Don’t let his “goon” demeanor fool you, Cozens is one of the most skilled forwards in this draft. A point-per-game guy as a 16/17-year-old, his stock should only rise going forward.

2018-2019 Team: Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL)

Nationality: Canada

Position: C

Shoots: Right

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 176 lbs.

Kirby Dach

Kirby Dach is an offensively minded center with a great combination of size, strength and puck skills. Dach has soft hands, a quick stick, and tremendous vision. He is consistently profiled as a pure playmaker, and put up 42 points in 56 games last season. Dach played tremendously at the U17’s last year, notching 7 points in 5 games.

2018-2019 Team: Saskatoon Blades (WHL)

Nationality: Canada

Position: C

Shoots: Right

Height: 6’4”

Weight: 185 lbs.

Tobias Bjornfot

Tobias Bjornfot is another Swedish defenseman that should be drafted in the first round like many other Swedish defenseman have in previous years. Bjornfot plays a simple game, similar to fellow countryman and Minnesota Wild defenseman, Jonas Brodin. There are not many flaws in Bjornfot’s defensive game. He plays physically in the corners and in front of the net, maintains solid gap control, and rarely gets beaten in one-on-one situations. Bjornfot’s offensive numbers do not jump out, so that side of his game represents his biggest opportunity for improvement.

2018-2019 Team: Djurgardens IF (SHL)

Nationality: Sweden

Position: D

Shoots: Left

Height: 6’0”

Weight: 187 lbs.

Ryan Suzuki

Ryan Suzuki is an incredibly smart playmaker who has great skating ability and finds open areas like bugs find a bug zapper. When Suzuki gets the puck in the right spot, it will most likely find the back of the net. Suzuki is regarded as one of the most intelligent players in this draft.

2018-2019 Team: Barrie Colts (OHL)

Nationality: Canada

Position: C

Shoots: Left

Height: 6’0”

Weight: 172 lbs.

Honorable Mentions: Arthur Kaliyev (WHL), Nolan Foote (WHL), Matthew Robertson (WHL), Cole Caulfield (NCAA), Tag Bertuzzi (OHL), Alex Newhook (NCAA), Vasily Podkolvin (MHL), Ilia Mironov (MHL)

Scouting Reports done by Sam Cosintino of Sportsnet.ca, Craig Button of TSN.ca, and International Scouting Services