Cam Robinson’s 2019 NHL Draft Rankings (Top 100) – February 2019

Cam Robinson

2019-02-06

Jack Hughes and Cole Caufield

 

 

I’ve bumped the rankings up to the top 100 for this edition. This is how I like to work. As the year goes on I have opportunities to see more players more often. When I have a nice sample size to draw on, I can add (or subtract) them from the list.

 

As always, my assessments are limited. I am but one man who also has a three-year-old son, a teaching career, and many writing commitments. However, I’m fortunate enough to have a patient wife and some more experienced scouts to bounce things off of. I’ve had eyes on each of the players listed. If I haven’t been able to get a firm grasp on a player yet (which can still be the case at this point of the process), that player may sit further down then they eventually will after some more viewings.

 

This is not intended to mock up what the selections will end up this June. This is how I perceive the player today in conjunction with how I believe they’ll progress and develop. Once again, I’m limited to on-ice products as well. Knowing these young men as individuals would be telling towards their drive and determination. Something that cannot be understated.

 

Regarding my method, I place immense value on skating ability, puck skills and processing speed. Physical attributes are great, but if you can’t see the play develop or recognize your options quickly, both offensively and defensively, you’ll be destined for an uphill battle. It’s hard not to love a creative player with slick puck skills. But those attributes come behind speed and smarts.

 

Regarding tiers, like 2018, this class has a clear-cut number one. Jack Hughes stands alone. Just like 2018, this class has a clear number two. Kaapo Kakko remains in the bride’s maid position. His terrific season the Finnish Liiga couples with a top-notch WJC has inched him closer to first overall than third, but he still sits behind Hughes for my money.

 

Tier three is home to picks 3-10. Tier four is starting to thicken up. It consists of players in the 11-18, while tier five is comprised of picks 19-35. Call tier six 36-50, tier seven 50-75, tier eight is 76-100 and let’s call it a day.

 

Tier 1

  1. Jack Hughes, C / 05-14-01 / 5’10 168lbs / USNTDP

We’re running out of superlatives for the electrifying 17-year-old. Hughes brings dynamic acceleration, top-end speed, edgework, puck skills… I can keep going but you get the idea. He’s been at his best when his USNTDP team has played high-end NCAA squads. Despite an injury slowing him down at the WJC, he still displayed his impressive skills against players two years his senior.

 

Tier 2

  1. Kaapo Kakko, RW / 02-13-01 / 6’2 194lbs / Liiga

The Patrik Laine to Hughes’ Matthews. If this was a different year, the Finnish winger would be sitting pretty in the pole position. Kakko blends size, speed, finishing ability and terrific vision. He doesn’t blow you away with any one skill, but his arsenal of weapons come together to be extremely productive. He’s looking more and more comfortable in the middle of the ice as a 17-year-old in the Liiga. Scoring the golden goal in the WJC as a draft-eligible player certainly won’t hurt matters.

 

Tier 3 

  1. Dylan Cozens,