Now that we’ve had a chance to digest the results of the 2019 NHL Draft, its time to start diving in to exactly what went down and how teams fared with their selections. Sam Stern takes on the Pacific division below, broken into two parts because of the sheer magnitude of information.
You can find Part 1 here:
LOS ANGELES KINGS
Round 1, pick 5: Alex Turcotte, C
Round 1, pick 22: Tobias Björnfot, D
Round 2, pick 33: Arthur Kaliyev, RW
Round 2, pick 50: Samuel Fagemo: LW
Round 3, pick 87: Lukas Parik, G
Round 4, pick 95: Jordan Spence, D
Round 4, pick 119: Kim Nousiainen, D
Round 6, pick 157: Braden Doyle, D
Round 7, pick 188: Andre Lee, C/LW
Day 1 Grade: A
Day 2 Grade: A
Turcotte is an offensive buzzsaw that owns the center lane, the front of the net and the boards. He’s one of the most competitive players in the class and possesses all the attributes that make a future superstar. He’s the most complete center in a very deep class down the middle. Turcotte is an ultra-competitive forward that only raises his level of play as the game intensifies. He is never intimidated to go to the front of the net, in fact, that’s exactly where he thrives. He has elite hockey sense and skating which makes him an option to play up anywhere in a team’s lineup. On top of being a world-class offensive prospect he’s the most mature defensive forward in this class. In terms of maturity, he may be the most complete player in the entire class. He’s a wonderful passer with elite vision and loves to make plays in close to the net, or even behind the goal line. If there’s a knock it’s that his release is just above average. He scores more of his goals from close range than he does by sniping a goalie from further out. If he wants to improve that part of his game — and it sounds like he does — he’ll have no problem doing so.
Bjornfot doesn’t possess any star-level qualities and there were certainly players with higher ceilings/skill-level available here. That being said, this was still a good pick. Bjornfot is a very efficient and effective defenseman that projects as a fixture on a team’s middle-pairing. While he isn’t going to wow you on the score sheet, Bjornfot will impress with his play on the rush and in transition. The hallmark of Bjornfot’s game is how deadly he is on the breakout whether he wants to make a clean first pass or carry the puck into the zone. When he is on the ice his team ends up with controlled possession far more often than they dump the puck. He defends well using his skating ability and timing with his stick. There were higher upside picks available, but for hat this pick was, it was successful.
Day Two Highlights:
I feel that this was one of the highest value picks in the entire draft. Due to perceived effort and consistency problems Kaliyev was one of the most divisive players available in the draft. He’s been labelled by some as a one-dimensional player as, of his 51 assists, just 28 were primary. Kaliyev could be found ranked anywhere from fifth to outside of the top-45 throughout the season. Regardless of ranking, he’s a supremely talented shooter — second best, for my money behind Cole Caufield — and an underrated passer. Kaliyev can score from anywhere on the ice and does a nice job of getting lost in coverage or finding a way to create room for himself off the rush. According to Mitch Brown’s CHL tracking data Kaliyev was in the 94th percentile in Expected Primary Points/60, the 90th percentile of Expected Goals/60 an even in the 88th percentile in Expected Primary Assists/60. In 67 games Kaliyev recorded 51 goals, 51 assists and 102 points in 67 games.
Fagemo was my top-rat