Prospect Ramblings: What to Expect from the 2019 Draft Class

Brayden Olafson



Wisconsin’s Alex Turcotte during an NCAA hockey game against the Boston College on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019 in Chestnut Hill, Mass. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)



To date, seven of the two-hundred and seventeen players selected in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft have earned time in the big league. Of the seven, only one – Toronto’s Nick Robertson, was selected outside of the first round.


In comparison, at this time last year just one more, for a total of eight players from the 2018 NHL Entry Draft had been given the opportunity to suit up in the NHL. Stepping back yet again, at this time two years ago, eleven players from the prior draft had played NHL games. (Disclaimer: These totals include players who only played in either the regular season or playoffs) 


Now of course this is far too small of a sample size to conclude that there is a trend of NHL front offices becoming more patient with prospects (although I wouldn’t rule that out), and truthfully that’s not where this is going at all, at least for this week’s Ramblings. Rather, what I want to illustrate is that as of late, only 3% to 5% of drafted players will be blessed with even a sniff of NHL opportunity in the 365 days that follow their selection. Now, if we fastforward another 365 days, what do the results look like?



For the 2017 draft, an additional 14 players dressed for NHL games in their D+2 season, while one of the players who had dressed in his D+1 season failed to return for any games (Owen Tippett). 


Of those 14 who stepped in for their rookie season, five ended up scoring more than 10 points, while three exceeded the 30-point threshold. 


Those players who returned for their sophomore season averaged an increase in point production of 228%, although average scoring rate was largely flatlined from their rookie seasons. Dips were seen in production by Nico Hischier (52 points to 47 points) and Kailer Yamamoto (3 points to 2 points), while massive dips in scoring rate were observed in Lias Andersson and Casey Mittelstadt.