2019 NHL Draft Fantasy Rankings

by Peter Harling on February 3, 2019

 

A fantasy ranking of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft

 

Sure there are plenty of places to find NHL Draft rankings, Jokke Nevalainen has an excellent consolidated draft rankings post, but this is the only draft ranking for fantasy hockey poolies.

 

As we all know, the draft rankings typically project what players will have the best NHL impact. However, this is not always the same for fantasy hockey.

 

As you prepare for you off-season fantasy draft, this is the list you want to use to rank the NHL draft eligible prospects.

 

This is also a consolidated ranking as six different writers have contributed to this list. DobberProspects draft experts

Managing Editor Cam Robinson

Associate Editor Jokke Nevalainen

and myself Content Manager Peter Harling

as well as guest experts

Steven Ellis

Ryan Wagman (McKeens)

and Aynsley Scott (Sportsnet).

 

The following criteria were considered to compile the rankings:

  • Based on points only keeper leagues
  • Projected upside
  • How quickly they may develop into an NHL player and contribute to your roster
  • Probability of success, both in reaching the NHL and achieving full potential

 

  1. Jack Hughes, C – USDP

 

Patrick Kane type franchise player with high-end offensive upside. – Jokke Nevalainen

 

It’s hard to argue against Hughes being the top prospect in the draft. Despite missing seven games with the US National Development Team, he still leads the program in scoring and is on pace for 108 points, which would be the third-highest single-season total in USNTDP history. He has the potential to produce at a similar rate as Matthews in the NHL, providing a major source of offence for years to come for whoever gets the honour of drafting first. – Steven Ellis

 

  1. Kaapo Kakko, RW – TPS (Liiga)

 

A do-it-all offensive winger. Did more at the WJC than just break American hearts. Ready for the NHL next fall. – Ryan Wagman

 

The next Mikko Rantanen, although Kakko can also play down the middle. – Jokke Nevalainen

 

Excellent across the board skills. Can beat you in any number of ways. First line future. – Cam Robinson

 

  1. Vasili Podkolzin, RW – SKA (MHL)

                  

Feisty winger with high-end offensive upside. Gabriel Landeskog with a bit more talent perhaps. – Jokke Nevalainen

 

Russia seldom brings draft eligible players to the WJC and Podkolzin was excellent with limited ice time. Proceed with caution however as the Russian factor could be a factor. – Peter Harling

 

The World Junior A Challenge and World Junior Hockey Championships really boosted Podkolzin’s profile as he showed how good of a playmaker and power play specialist he can be. His game will remind you of Alex DeBrincat or Timo Meier. – Steven Ellis

 

  1. Dylan Cozens, C/RW – Lethbridge (WHL)

 

Powerful skating, shoot-first pivot with size and skill. Safely projects as a Ryan Johansen-type. – Cam Robinson

 

Big shoot-first center with top-line upside. – Jokke Nevalainen

 

A big kid that will go high in the NHL draft, Cozens is one of the best players for the NHL draft coming from the WHL, which features many top prospects. He’s always been a standout scoring forward but his playmaking abilities have really been a shining feature of his game this year. – Steven Ellis

 

  1. Trevor Zegras, C – USDP

 

Sometimes overlooked on a team featuring Jack Hughes as the 1C, Zegras is no slouch. Fantastic skater with great puck skills. More a playmaker than a scorer, but can do that too. – Ryan Wagman

 

USA’s top line winger with Hughes and Cole Caufield, Zegras shoots the puck more than most players in the draft and add he adds some further strength to his shot, it will only help his case. His play is similar to that of Cam Atkinson. – Steven Ellis

 

Creative lines, masterful vision and the soft touch to make him a threat from all over the ice. – Cam Robinson

 

  1. Peyton Krebs, LW/C – Kootenay (WHL)

 

Plays the game at warp speed. Quick hands, quicker cuts. An impressive talent. – Cam Robinson

 

Perhaps the hardest working player in the draft and one of the quicker and more talented. Former first overall pick from the WHL has great IQ, vision to boot. – Peter Harling

 

  1. Alex Turcotte, C – USDP

 

The best two-way forward in the draft plays a pro-style game. Coaches and fans will love this kid. – Cam Robinson

 

Turcotte missed much of the season’s first two months due to injury, but he’s back and he’s all there. At his best, is very dynamic between his hands and feet. – Ryan Wagman

 

  1. Matt Boldy, LW – USDP

 

Following in the footsteps of Kieffer Bellows and Oliver Wahlstrom. Boldy is this year’s USNTDP sniper. Strong on the puck and also has good wheels. – Ryan Wagman

 

Boldy was perhaps the top USNTDP player in the early part of the season and has kept at over a point-per-game pace all year. His biggest asset is his powerful and accurate wrist shot and he isn’t afraid to get physical. He’ll likely turn into a useful second liner in the NHL. – Steven Ellis

 

Pass-first winger loves to have the puck on his stick. Dictates the pace of play while being able to stickhandle in a phonebooth. – Can Robinson

 

  1. Kirby Dach, C – Saskatoon (WHL)

 

Dach’s well rounded game is slightly less exciting from a fantasy perspective. Slows the game down. – Ryan Wagman

 

Methodical pivot owns the size and vision to one day anchor a top line. Would love to see him improve his quickness. – Cam Robinson

 

Dach has size, hands, and vision and is one of the best skaters in the draft. Dach has drawn comparisons to Ryan Getzlaf – Peter Harling

 

  1. Bowen Byram, D – Vancouver (WHL)

 

Best defenseman in the draft. Has top-pair upside, reminds me of Ivan Provorov. – Jokke Nevalainen

 

A point-per-game in the WHL may not make you the next Erik Karlsson, but Byram has emerged as perhaps the best two-way defencemen in the draft. Byram earns a lot of ice time and seems more than capable of putting up big numbers in the NHL some day. There’s a lot of similarities between him and Morgan Rielly, especially at the age of 17. – Steven Ellis

 

  1. Alex Newhook, C – Victoria (BCHL)

 

Too good for the BCHL and it is no surprise that he is tearing up that circuit. Has shown flashes of his skillset in international play, but still with questions about his ultimate ceiling. – Ryan Wagman

 

Newhook is the leading scorer among all NHL Draft eligible prospects, but he is playing in the BCHL, and has struggled when playing against stronger competition with Canada internationally and that is a red flag. – Peter Harling

 

  1. Cole Caufield, RW – USDP

 

The best pure finisher in the class. 5’6 be damned, this kid can play. Have GMs learned from their Alex DeBrincat mistake? – Cam Robinson

 

If you liked Alex DeBrincat, you will like Cole Caufield. 33 goals in 37 games for the USNTDP this year. He skates very well and finds pockets in the O-zone from which to strike. – Ryan Wagman

 

Alex DeBrincat type tiny goal-scoring winger with lots of talent. – Jokke Nevalainen

 

  1. Ryan Suzuki, C – Barrie (OHL)

 

Former first overall OHL pick, Ryan is the younger brother of Vegas first round pick Nick Suzuki. Ryan is projected as a all-around second line player that will always tally more assists than goals. – Peter Harling

 

Clever, playmaking center who grades out well as a skater, puck player, and in hockey IQ. He may not have a single elite tool, but he has produced everywhere he has gone. – Ryan Wagman

 

  1. Arthur Kaliyev, LW – Hamilton (OHL)

 

Possibly the best sniper in the draft, his release is NHL level and his accuracy is lethal. His defensive game and compete can leave you wanting and will hurt him in other rankings, but this is fantasy hockey. – Peter Harling

 

Vying with Boldy for role of best sniper in the draft class. Kaliyev has a one-track mind. The triggerman isn’t overly interested in the defensive game, but nor are most fantasy leagues. – Ryan Wagman

 

  1. Cam York, D – USDP

 

Blessed with incredible hockey sense & anticipation, York consistently finds openings & seams in the offensive zone to set up scoring opportunities, by jumping up into the play. The agile Defender fits the mold of the modern-day PP quarterback, smooth on the breakout with solid outlet passes, and stickhandle through multiple defenders. – Aynsley Scott

 

A defenseman who can put up 7 points in a game as York did against Youngstown two weeks ago, is all right by me. Mobile puck carrier with great sense in the offensive zone. – Ryan Wagman

 

  1. Jakob Pelletier, LW – Moncton (QMJHL)

 

The diminutive forward’s game is based on exceptional anticipation, a quick, strong skating stride, and creativity to spot pinpoint passes. His ability to draw defenders to him opens up ice for his linemates, creating odd-man opportunities frequently. – Aynsley Scott

 

A point-generating machine. Can beat you in a lot of ways, including driving into hard areas despite his smaller size. – Cam Robinson

 

Pelletier has produced some of the best numbers out of the entire draft class and plays with the same tenacity and speed at the end of a game that he does at the start of them. A solid comparable would be Brad Marchand, just with less dives. – Steven Ellis

 

  1. Bobby Brink, RW – Sioux City (USHL)

 

Exciting speed, hands and finishing ability. A steady riser. – Cam Robinson

 

A very fast winger, Brink tied for the top scorer spot at the World Junior A Challenge and was off to an explosive season with the Sioux City Musketeers before suffering an injury. The University of Denver commit is a late-round gem that will surely get a lot of attention at the NHL draft in June. – Steven Ellis

 

  1. Philip Broberg, D – AIK (Allsvenksan)

 

Big defenseman with great speed but other tools don’t seem to be high-end. Reminds me of Alex Edler. – Jokke Nevalainen

 

One of the best skaters in the draft class. His offensive game is not as exciting as some of the others, but his overall game means he will play more and sooner. It adds up. – Ryan Wagman

 

6-3 right-shot defenders who can skate like him don’t grow on trees. Needs to let his hands and mind catch up with his feet at times. – Cam Robinson

 

  1. Brett Leason, C – Prince Albert (WHL)

 

Late booming players are fantasy gems as they hit the pro leagues sooner. Like Batherson last year, Leason is having a breakout season in his D+2 season and even played his way onto Team Canada for the WJC. Less upside than other players perhaps, but a faster path to the NHL. Has size, hands, and a nose for the net. – Peter Harling

 

Double -overager is much closer to NHL-ready than his draft-eligible peers. Plays a hard-nosed game highlighted by speed and skill. – Cam Robinson

 

Another case of more and sooner. Leason will play in the AHL or NHL next season as he made the leap only in his third and final year of draft eligibility. Strong on the puck with great hands and shot. Not the fastest of foot. – Ryan Wagman

 

  1. Connor McMichael, C – London (OHL)

 

Complete pivot who has been trending upwards all season long. A safe pick. – Cam Robinson

 

Potential sleeper pick who should be ranked higher, tested well at the CHL Top Prospects combine, scored the GWG. McMichael has great speed, hands and can make plays and cash. Very fantasy relevant. – Peter Harling

 

  1. Victor Soderstrom, D – Brynas (SHL)

 

Great two-way defenseman but doesn’t project to be a top PP guy. Reminds me of Matt Niskanen. – Jokke Nevalainen

 

Injuries derailed the start of the year for Victor Soderstrom, but the teenager has been anything but out of place in his first season of SHL hockey. He looked good in his two games at the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup and will be an important offensive defenceman for Sweden at the next two World Juniors, similar to Erik Brannstrom. – Steven Ellis

 

  1. Raphael Lavoie, C/RW – Halifax (QMJHL)

 

Cut from Team Canada’s World Junior team in December, Lavoie is a big winger with high top-end speed and a knack of scoring from just about any spot or situation. Lavoie brings a ton of power to every shift and will be a fun two-way forward in the NHL. – Steven Ellis

 

Plays a very mature game. Which is to say, he’s good, but he isn’t great. His shot is his best tool. He will get most of his production through positioning and persistence. – Ryan Wagman

 

Big goal-scoring winger but is likely better suited for complementary role. – Jokke Nevalainen

 

Reminds me of Maxime Comtois, who had a better D-1 year than his draft year and both have size and a great shot. Comtois dropped in the rankings of his draft but Anaheim is being rewarded now. – Peter Harling

 

  1. Philip Tomisino, C/RW – Niagara (OHL)

 

Hard-working and creative, is equally comfortable as a playmaker or shooter. Sees the ice extremely well, and excels with the man advantage. – Aynsley Scott

 

Excellent compete level, seems to work harder when the other team has the puck. Has good skills, size, hands, vision but his compete sets him apart. – Peter Harling

 

Complete pivot with quick hands and a penchant for scoring big goals. – Cam Robinson

 

  1. Nils Hoglander, LW – Rogle (SHL)

 

Small winger with a motor that doesn’t stop and lots of talent, reminds me of Jonatan Berggren. – Jokke Nevalainen

 

It was clear that Sweden’s World Junior team needed Hoglander after leaving him off and eventually getting eliminated by Switzerland, Outside of the World Juniors, Hoglander has been Sweden’s best offensive forward and has spent the year with Rogle BK of the SHL, playing quite well against men at a young age. – Steven Ellis

 

Undersized winger who doesn’t shy away from action. Pretty release. – Cam Robinson

 

  1. Moritz Seider, D – Adler (DEL)

 

Big, physical two-way defenseman with high NHL upside but his offensive upside is a bit lower. – Jokke Nevalainen

 

Seider was perhaps the biggest reason why Germany won the Division IA World Juniors back in December, posting seven points in five games. Currently playing for the DEL’s Adler Mannheim, Seider is a big kid who can run a power play and start plays from his own zone. A dominant player against kids his age that has some untapped offensive ability. – Steven Ellis

 

  1. Pavel Dorofeyev, LW/RW – Magnitogorsk (MHL)

 

Talented winger who has destroyed the Russian junior league and seen some games in the KHL already. – Jokke Nevalainen

 

Dorofeyev is a quick pick-handler and is noticeably impressive when dishing the puck down the ice. – Steven Ellis

 

A late birthdate, Dorofeyev is the top scoring player under 19 (by rate) in Russia’s top junior league, although he has only managed a single point in 19 KHL games. He is a long ways away, but you can’t argue with his production. – Ryan Wagman

 

  1. Thomas Harley, D – Mississauga (OHL)

 

A very fuid skating, offensive defenseman with size to boot. One of the more underrated players in the draft, there is sneaky good value here. – Peter Harling

 

The first guy on this list of whom I am not convinced is a first round pick. Harley is an offense-first defender who can struggle off the puck. He will get his chance but will have to develop his game to earn the trust of his coaches. – Ryan Wagman

 

  1. Samuel Poulin, LW – Sherbrook (QMJHL)

 

Built in the power-forward mold, he brings a solid package of skills, including a heavy shot and quick decision making. Not the quickest skater but gets to open areas with frequency. – Aynsley Scott

 

A pure goal-scorer, Poulin has played at over a point-per-game pace and was always one of the better offensive threats in Quebec AAA. Poulin wasn’t overly impressive at the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup but he generates a lot of scoring chances and is very tough to take off the puck. – Steven Ellis

 

Not the quickest player, but knows how to hit the scoresheet. – Cam Robinson

 

  1. Lassi Thomson, D – Kelowna (WHL)

 

Brandon Montour type offense-minded defenseman who needs to improve his defensive game. – Jokke Nevalainen

 

Kelowna blueliner. What more do you need to know. He is a good skater, likes to get deep in the offensive end on a rush. If he were 9 days older, he would have gone in the first two rounds last year. – Ryan Wagman

 

  1. Anttoni Honka, D – JYP (Liiga)

 

A one-man breakout machine. Prone to defensive errors and lapses in judgement but owns high-end offensive skills. – Cam Robinson

 

Biggest boom or bust player in the draft. High-end offensive tools but red flags everywhere. – Jokke Nevalainen

 

  1. Albin Grewe, C/RW – Djurgardens (SuperElite)

 

The well-rounded forward is a deft puck-handler with a quick first step that isn’t afraid to go to the dirty areas or get involved physically. Owns plus shot accuracy and is strong off the half boards on the pp, he’s a slick passer that protects the puck well, and his dangles can make opponents look silly 1-on-1. – Aynsley Scott

 

Power forward with upside to be a very good Patric Hörnqvist type complementary scorer. – Jokke Nevalainen

 

 

Honorable Mentions

 

Nolan Foote, LW – Kelowna (WHL)

 

Son of Adam, brother of Cal, Nolan Foote has the family genes for size, but not necessarily for attitude. He can score and has been doing so in the WHL since his rookie season of 2016-17. As a late birthday, he could be in the NHL quicker than a few higher ranked players. – Ryan Wagman

 

A point-per-game player in the WHL with the Kelowna Rockets, Foote not only has decent size, but he knows how to be an effective two-way player (his dad, Adam, was quite the NHL defenceman back in the day). He won’t be a top-line forward in the NHL and many people seem quite divided on his future potential, but his shot is one of the most powerful in the WHL. – Steven Ellis

 

John Beecher, C – USDP

 

A big man who skates very well, he plays a power game down the middle. Owns a heavy shot and can bully his way into scoring areas, making him a menace around the front of the net, and is versatile enough to be used in any situation. – Aynsley Scott

 

Simon Holmstrom, RW – HV71 (SuperElite)

 

Possesses break-away speed and soft hands, the pass first forward is the type of player who always wants the puck. Not afraid to battle for control or make the extra move, he can compliment a line in a variety of ways. – Aynsley Scott

 

Very talented offensive winger who can’t seem to be able to stay healthy. – Jokke Nevalainen

 

Nick Robertson, C/LW – Peterborough (OHL)

 

Compact but strong, he’s a forechecking buzzsaw that can score in a variety of ways. Owns noticeable speed which he compliments with high-end hockey sense. – Aynsley Scott.

 

Ville Heinola, D – Lukko (Liiga)

 

Average-sized two-way defenseman with top-four upside. Reminds me of Nate Schmidt. – Jokke Nevalainen

 

Transitional defender who has a burgeoning offensive toolbox. – Cam Robinson