Prospect Ramblings – My 2019 top 11 mid-way choices.
Welcome to my Thursday ramblings. This week I will go over my top 11 prospects for 2019, why 11? Because:
Also I have become a little burned out from being in too many pools and watching too much hockey, and I feel it is affecting me. I will still write ramblings but they just may be shorter than usual. Sorry, I will get back into #TopNotchShape soon. So yes, this is only top 11 because I switch up my lists so much, have a hard time hammering players out, and it takes forever for me to get 31-50 written
Without further ado:
#1 – Jack Hughes, C
There is no denying Hughes is the #1 overall prospect. He is a special player that will help a team for years to come (I hope it is New Jersey!). Hughes is such an elite playmaker and can do crazy skilled plays at high speeds through traffic. He is a treat to watch.
#2 – Kaapo Kakko, LW/RW
There are people who think Kakko can go #1 overall, and those people are wrong but it is still kind of close. He uses his large frame to shield players and drive to the net, and with his insane hands he just does things other players cannot do. I give Hughes the edge here because of the plays he can do at high speeds, and the way he can control the play in the offensive zone, over how Kakko has smarts in the offensive zone, great hands in tight, but does not make plays at a high speed.
#3 – Dylan Cozens, C
A dynamic 6-3 centre who is surprisingly quick on his skates. Cozens’ loves being physical but at times can be overly competitive which can take him out of the play. NHL teams will absolutely love his combination of size, skill and skating. The question is “can he become a #1C down the line?” and my answer to that is maybe, but he looks like a great top six centre.
#4 – Vasili Podkolzin, LW/RW
Podkolzin is a supremely talented player that has a motor that just does not stop when he plays. He flies around the ice and can make plays at top speed that other players cannot. Podkolzin has no problem driving to the net and has excellent control of the puck. He could slide down the draft because he is Russian, but there was also another rumour that Podkolzin may stay in Russia until he feels he is ready and that will likely tumble his stock.
#5 – Peyton Krebs, LW/C
Krebs is a great player on a super weak team, like a better Will Bitten on the Flint Firebirds. He is a great playmaker that has a deceptively good shot most defenders do not expect as he is a pass first style player. Krebs also plays in all situations for Kootenay (side note: I am sad Kootenay is moving) and at 18 is the team’s best player.
#6 – Kirby Dach, C
Dach is also a monster of a centre standing at 6-4 but definitely does not play overly physical. He is a skilled stick handler and can make great passes when it looks like nothing is there. He definitely is not the fastest skater, and can look slow to start, but he can get up to speed to stay in the play. Dach is also elusive for a nigh man which is always interesting to see.
#7 – Trevor Zegras, C
Zegras has stood out in the USNTDP with 38 assists in 36 games as the centre has great playmaking ability and hockey sense. He could stand to become more physical but over the season he has upped that part of his game. Zegras just has a silky smooth centre feel to his, where you just feel he will do something whenever the puck is on his stick in the offensive end.
#8 – Bowen Byram, D
Byram is a fantastic two-way defenseman who is one of the better defenseman in the WHL. He is a smart player who just looks like he has a better scoring game that he shows every night since he is so focused on his own end. He is a point per game currently in the WHL. He should be the first defenseman taken but how high can his offensive ceiling be is the question.
#9 – Raphaël Lavoie, C/RW
I have Lavoie high here as I just see the skill in his game and think it is top notch, the problem is consistency. When he is on he is on and with that if he is to fall in the draft and put it all together, that will be a steal for the team that takes him. If he goes high but stays incredibly inconsistent he will be out of an NHL job. He is a kind of boom/bust pick with the bust being very unlikely and the boom being a high hope where he should still become a good player.
#10 – Matthew Boldy, LW
Boldy is a solid solid player (quite a BOLD statement hey!?) that can sure score and set up plays. He may not be the best skater but Boldy has a high hockey IQ and is so good below the dots. He just seems to get better as the season goes on. He is a treat to watch and can sure help out an NHL team in the future.
#11 – Philip Broberg, D
I have to admit I have not seen a lot of Broberg this season and I am putting him on this ranking thanks to all the good I have read and heard from people likely waaaaay smarter than me. The big thing about Broberg is his defensive awareness, elite skating and puck handling ability.
Thanks for reading. Here is my Twitter: @FHPQuinn
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- Prospect Ramblings: Third Update from the U18 Worlds (Apr 24)
- QMJHL Report: First Round of the 2019 Playoffs
- WHL Report: First Round of the playoffs... and beyond