NHL Central scouting released its final rankings for the upcoming 2019 NHL Entry Draft on Monday April 15th. Here are the rankings as displayed in the charts below:
There are no big surprises at the top with Jack Hughes taking the first overall spot followed by Bowen Byram, Kirby Dach, Alex Turcotte and Dylan Cozens. Going down the list you see a couple of players who moved up significantly like Cole Caufield from 15 to 8, Philip Tomasino from 24 to 14, Nicholas Robertson from 30 to 17 while others have fallen like forwards Raphael Lavoie from 13 to 20 and Brett Leason from 17 to 25. The biggest jump in the top 30 is 21st ranked forward Brayden Tracey from the Moose Jaw Warriors.
Tracey ended the year with a total of 81 points. His stock has risen a lot over the past couple of months and could be of great value into the second round. The top 10 is properly done from my perspective, however, I would have put Arthur Kaliyev lower down the list, closer to 10. Nicholas Robertson and Bobby Brink are intriguing wild card figures and I would not be surprised if they are higher up on teams lists than 17 and 19 respectively.
One of the rankings I do not agree with is Jakob Pelletier at 27 from 20 at midpoint. I thought he was quite important to Moncton all year round and would have had him closer to 20 as opposed to 30. I personally feel he is underrated.
To no surprise, Alex Vlasic keeps dropping and is now the 38th ranked North American skater. He may keep dropping on teams list well into the late second round. Armada defenseman Samuel Bolduc rose 45 spots from his 87th rank at midpoint to the 42nd rank in the final rankings.
He is one of those who could be on the Canadiens radar come June as he is a big left shot defenseman which is a major need for the club. The Saint John Sea Dogs had an awful year but that did not stop Maxim Cajkovic from having a decent productive year and yet he fell to the 91st rank from 59th. Another good option for Montreal in the second, if not, third round.
Other than that, there are no out of the ordinary rankings and the national rankings list appears to look good.
While I don’t know this list as deep as I know the national one above, there are still players that have peaked my interest in the international list. To no surprise, Kaapo Kakko finished the year as the top ranked player followed by Vasili Podkolzin, Victor Soderstrom, Ville Heinola and Philip Broberg. I’m not surprised Broberg fell and Heinola rose, but I like both of these players and have no issue with either in their respective rankings.
Throughout the list, there aren’t many falls but there are a couple of players who rose quite a bit such as Yegor Spiridonov who went from 44 to 18 and Mattias Norlinder from 47 to 25.
There are a couple of players lower down the list who if available in the second round could be of good value such as Finnish defensemen Mikko Kokkonen and Swedish left winger Nils Hoglander. Tobias Bjornfot is one of those players who may go early or late, depending on how many defensemen get picked in the draft’s first round. He can move around well and is a complete defender. One of the more intriguing players in this draft.
The international list doesn’t have too much movement and the players that did change rank did so because they deserve it. Nothing wrong with this list.
In the end, these rankings are just a resource, but we all know that players will jump ranks and some will fall as well. It happens every year. The big win is teams getting players who they had ranked higher at a lower pick. To me, this is a deeper draft and teams who have multiple top 70 picks should be excited at the chance to select a great talent.