This article is part of our NHL Draft series.
With the 2019 NHL Entry Draft scheduled to get underway Friday night in Vancouver, we take a second and final shot at projecting Round 1.
1) New Jersey Devils - Jack Hughes (C, US U18-NTDP): The Devils and their management group have yet to confirm that Hughes will be the selection, but there's no reason to believe otherwise. Hughes had an excellent showing against Russia in the quarterfinal of the recently completed World Championship after being quiet in the tournament up until that point.
First Edition: Hughes
2) New York Rangers - Kaapo Kakko (RW, TPS Turku-Finland): This will be hands down the easiest decision of the draft. The Rangers will simply sit back and take whichever of Hughes or Kakko falls to them. Those two are in a class of their own.
First Edition: Kakko
3) Chicago Blackhawks - Alex Turcotte (C, US U18-NTDP): I had Turcotte here the first time around and I still think he is the choice. For all of the uncertainty after Hughes and Kakko, there are really only two players that I think are in the running here. Turcotte, and this guy...
First Edition: Turcotte
4) Colorado Avalanche (from Ottawa) - Bowen Byram (D, Vancouver-WHL): Colorado would probably prefer a forward all things considered but I imagine that most NHL executives feel there's a gap between Byram and the next best available player. The Avs could do worse than running Byram, Cale Makar, Tyson Barrie and Samuel Girard out there every night.
First Edition: V. Podkolzin
5) Los Angeles Kings - Kirby Dach (C, Saskatoon-WHL) The Kings would love to get their hands on Byram given the state of their defensive corps, but I would be really surprised if he's available at this point. Most NHL scouts seem to have Dach slightly ahead of Cozens.
First Edition: Byram
6) Detroit Red Wings - Dylan Cozens (C, Lethbridge-WHL): There's not a whole heck of a lot separating Cozens, Dach, and a few other players at this point. Detroit could take any of them and I wouldn't second guess their selection.
First Edition: Cozens
7) Buffalo Sabres - Matthew Boldy (LW, US U18-NTDP): Boldy is an enigma. He's as talented as any player in the draft outside of Hughes and Kakko but you don't get the same effort from him each and every night. This is about the spot where I would feel comfortable taking that risk.
First Edition: Dach
8) Edmonton Oilers - Cole Caufield (RW, US U18-NTDP): Caufield scored 72 goals this season between his time with the NTDP and the international scene. Playing alongside Connor McDavid could be a match made in heaven.
First Edition: Caufield
9) Anaheim Ducks - Trevor Zegras (C, US U18-NTDP): I have Zegras ranked No. 4 overall on my big board and thus feel this would be a steal for the Ducks. Zegras's vision and playmaking abilities are off the charts. I don't think he's going to go third or fourth overall, but Zegras would seemingly be in play for every single pick from five onward.
First Edition: Zegras
10) Vancouver Canucks - Philip Broberg (D, AIK-Sweden): One look at Vancouver's prospect pool tells you this pick should be a defenseman. I considered some other options, but I imagine the Canucks (and the vast majority of the NHL) will have Broberg rated as the top available defender at this point in the draft.
First Edition: Broberg
11) Philadelphia Flyers - Peyton Krebs (C, Kootenay-WHL): Krebs, who tore his Achilles while training in early June and has since undergone surgery, feels like a Flyers type of player. He's reasonably effective offensively, works hard and leads by example. He would make for a nice get at this spot and I doubt his injury will impact his draft stock.
First Edition: Krebs
12) Minnesota Wild - Vasili Podkolzin (RW, SKA St. Petersburg-KHL): Podkolzin is the draft's biggest mystery and I truly have no idea where he's going to end up, although I can't imagine he would slide much past here. You're going to get teams trying to trade up for him if he drops this far. Minnesota seems like an awful nice fit but the club hasn't been able to get top prospect Kirill Kaprizov over from Russia yet and I'm not sure if they would be willing to get involved in a similar situation with Podkolzin.
First Edition: V. Soderstrom
13) Florida Panthers - Alex Newhook (C, Victoria-BCHL): Newhook had a strong U18's and it has reached the point that I wouldn't be shocked if we hear his named called in the back-half of the top ten. The only major concern is that the Boston College commit went up against poor competition in the BCHL this season. This should also be the first team that seriously considers goaltender Spencer Knight.
First Edition: Boldy
14) Arizona Coyotes - Arthur Kaliyev (LW, Hamilton-OHL): This pick seems to make too much sense. Kaliyev is one of this draft's best snipers and he would fit in exceptionally well with the current makeup of the Arizona roster. Just put him alongside Clayton Keller or Nick Schmaltz and have him bomb away with the man advantage.
First Edition: Kaliyev
15) Montreal Canadiens - Victor Soderstrom (D, Brynas-SHL):: Unless a player unexpectedly plummets, I don't see how this selection is anything other than a defenseman. Soderstrom and Harley would both make a ton of sense. Soderstrom has a higher floor, Harley has a higher ceiling. Either would be a quality selection.
First Edition: T. Harley
16) Colorado Avalanche - Raphael Lavoie (C, Halifax-QMJHL) In this scenario, Colorado has already added a stud defensive prospect in Byram, so they address their forward group with this selection. Lavoie had a great QMJHL playoff and a solid Memorial Cup and I think that will help his stock rebound after a so-so season for Halifax. Not long ago, I thought there was an outside chance that he would be available in the mid-20's, but I think that ship has sailed. I could also see Knight going here.
First Edition: Newhook
17) Vegas Golden Knights - Thomas Harley (D, Mississauga-OHL): Vegas dealt Erik Brannstrom to Ottawa in order to acquire Mark Stone and Harley would help fill the defensive void left in their prospect pool by that trade. Harley isn't Brannstrom, but he's good.
First Edition: C. York
18) Dallas Stars - Moritz Seider (D, Adler Manheim-Germany): I really like the thought of Seider playing alongside Miro Heiskanen. The German is long and responsible defensively and knowing he's back there will allow Heiskanen to use his mobility to join the rush. His stock is rising after his strong showing at the recently completed World Championship. Seider could also go a handful of spots earlier than this.
First Edition: N. Suzuki
19) Ottawa Senators (from Columbus) - Cam York (D, US U18-NTDP): I am of the belief that York is considerably better than the 19th best prospect in this draft but this seems to be the range most people think he'll go. I'd bet on his vision and hockey sense all day long.
First Edition: Seider
20) Winnipeg Jets - Ryan Suzuki (C, Barrie-OHL): The Jets better nail this pick considering they just traded a top-pairing defenseman in Jacob Trouba to the Rangers in order to reacquire it. Suzuki is an offensive wizard who had a so-so season for a poor team in Barrie.
First Edition: B. Brink (NYR)
21) Pittsburgh Penguins - Ville Heinola (D, Lukko-Finland): Pittsburgh could probably use a forward here considering Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are on the back nine of their respective careers, but the steadiness and reliability of Heinola is too much to overlook at this point.
First Edition: Heinola
22) Los Angeles Kings (from Toronto) - Spencer Knight (G, US U18-NTDP): Another pick that seems to make way too much sense if Knight is still on the board, and that's not a given. The Kings are still looking for a succession plan for when Jonathan Quick steps aside and it's not as if Quick was overly effective last year when he did manage to play. I have Knight as the top rated goaltending prospect since Ilya Samsonov went 22nd overall to Washington in 2015. Florida at No. 13 and Colorado at No. 16 would also appear to be potential landing spots for Knight.
First Edition: Knight
23) New York Islanders - Philip Tomasino (C, Niagara-OHL): Tomasino is undersized but his speed and skill should play well alongside all the big-bodied forward prospects (Oliver Wahlstrom, Kieffer Bellows, Otto Koivula) New York has on the way.
First Edition: Tomasino
24) Nashville Predators - Bobby Brink (RW, Sioux City-USHL): The Predators are one of the better run organizations in the league and snapping up a falling Brink would be a classic Nashville move. Brink is small and his skating stride is a concern but the rest of his game is exceptional.
First Edition: Lavoie
25) Washington Capitals - Pavel Dorofeyev (LW, Magnitogorsk-MHL/KHL): Always willing to add a gifted Russian to the mix, the Caps would add a quality offensive prospect to their pool in Dorofeyev. This is a long-term play with substantial upside for Washington. Opinions on Dorofeyev are all over the map.
First Edition: Dorofeyev
26) Calgary Flames - Jakob Pelletier (LW, Moncton-QMJHL): Johnny Gaudreau is extremely undersized but he's also Calgary's best player. In this scenario the club adds another small offensive dynamo to the mix in Pelletier.
First Edition: M. Robertson
27) Tampa Bay Lightning - Lassi Thomson (D, Kelowna-WHL): It makes sense for Tampa to add a defender to their pool and Thomson offers the best combination of floor and ceiling of all the remaining players. He spent this past season in Kelowna but he is due to return to his native Finland to play for Ilves in 2019-20.
First Edition: T. Bjornfot
28) Carolina Hurricanes - Nils Hoglander (LW, Rogle-SHL): One of the most talented offensive players in this draft, the thought of adding Hoglander alongside Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen is mouthwatering.
First Edition: Pelletier
29) Anaheim Ducks (from San Jose) - Tobias Bjornfot (D, Djurgardens-SHL): This is the point in the draft in which reliability is a major asset and Bjornfot is a safe, steady defender. His upside isn't super high but he should be good enough to play in the league for a long time. Anaheim's defensive prospect pool has quickly dried up and they have never been afraid to draft European rearguards.
First Edition: Thomson
30) Boston Bruins - Ryan Johnson (D, Sioux Falls-USHL): Johnson has been rising up draft boards lately and it's reached the point where I think there's a good chance that he's a first-rounder. I'd much rather bet on Johnson's mobility than that of a lower-upside defensive prospect such as Matthew Robertson.
First Edition: A. Grewe
31) Buffalo Sabres (from St. Louis) - Connor McMichael (C, London-OHL): McMichael's versatility makes him a nice fit for the Buffalo roster. He can fill a third-line role on a regular basis and play up in the lineup if injuries strike.
First Edition: B. Leason