As the 2019 NHL Draft prospects are wrapping up their draft seasons, let’s take a a final look at the top 10 prospects.
The 2019 NHL Draft is about a month away. So it’s time for us to reveal our final draft rankings. We’ll be taking a look at the top 10 prospects. Note this isn’t a mock draft, as mock drafts consider a team’s need as well. This purely looks at a prospect’s likelihood for success.
It’s hard to compare prospects to each other, but tiers make it easier. We’re considering everything in our rankings, but talent and knowing how to use it are weighted quite heavily. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the top 10 prospects.
Tier 1: The Elite
1. Jack Hughes
The race between Kakko and Hughes for the top ranking was much closer than anyone anticipated. However, we gave the nod to Hughes for several reasons. First of all, his offensive upside is off the charts. Secondly, there’s a much better chance he’ll stick at center than Kakko. And the tie goes to the center.
That said, I am concerned a little bit about Hughes’ defense. He struggles in his own zone, which is surprising given his outstanding instincts and elite skating. However, Hughes offense is phenomenal. The New Jersey Devils are a perfect destination for him. He’ll have a budding two-way center in Nico Hischier to ensure he’ll be used in offensive situations.
2. Kaapo Kakko
Kakko made the race for the top spot much closer than anyone anticipated. Anyone who says he’s not a center is mistaken – he was one before this season. And Kakko probably should have been one this season. If Kakko stuck at center in his draft year, there’s a decent chance he’d be above Hughes.
However, I think teams are going to see what he did as a wing and keep him there. Frankly, I can’t blame them. Kakko experienced so much growth as a player this season and his board play is truly something to behold. His two-way play is extremely impressive for a wing. Kakko’s not a fast skater, but he’s a very powerful and smart one.
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