Things didn’t go the way the Oilers had hoped on Tuesday night but their options with the 8th overall pick are wide open.
Over the next two months, I’ll certainly take a look at moving up, moving down and trading the pick entirely but along the way, you will also get a number of Mock Drafts.
The good news for the Oilers is that they are in classic “drop to us” territory. TSN’s Draft Guru Bob McKenzie told me on Monday the draft falls off a little bit after six. Bob is always my go-to guy for draft discussion but it’s never a bad idea to keep an eye on other sources either. Depending on who you talk to there could be as many as five or six players in the mix for the third overall pick now owned by Chicago.
Here is my first crack at the 2019 NHL Draft.
1st Overall: New Jersey Devils
Jack Hughes – USA NTDP
Jack Hughes will most certainly fall in line next to Taylor Hall and if things go well they’ll end up with the 1st overall pick in 2020 as well. There is no reason to think anyone but Hughes will end up with the Devils and they’d be silly to even consider trading down.
2nd Overall: New York Rangers
Kappo Kaako – Turku, Finland
They might as well start selling Kaako Rangers jerseys right now. He steadily improved throughout the season and I don’t think it’s wrong to suggest he will be playing top-six minutes at MSG in the fall.
3rd Overall: Chicago Blackhawks
Bowen Byram – Vancouver, WHL
The Hawks used a top ten pick on defenseman Adam Boqvist last year but I don’t think they will shy away from adding another one this summer. I’ve been told my multiple scouts that Byram skates well enough to play in the NHL season so there’s an outside chance the Hawks could have Boqvist and Byram ready to breakthrough in the fall.
Nothing against Jon Klemm or Brad Lukowich but Byram is the best d-man to come out of Cranbrook since Scott Niedermayer.
4th Overall: Colorado Avalanche
Dylan Cozens – Lethbridge Hurricanes
This is where we start to discuss Vasili Podkolzin and how far he will fall. I think Cozens is a better fit as an eventual second line centre behind Nathan MacKinnon, which would provide the Avs with an excellent 1-2 punch down the spine. Cozens will need another year in junior but after that, he will likely push for a spot.
5th Overall: Los Angeles Kings
Alex Turcotte – USA NTDP
If Turcotte had been healthy the entire season there is a chance he’d be a consensus top-five pick. He’s big, fast, and dynamic offensively but has also been described as a mature 200-foot player. He’s the perfect player for the next wave of Kings to be built around.
6th Overall: Detroit Red Wings
Vasili Podkolzin – St. Petersburgh, KHL/MHL
This is almost a carbon copy of what ended up happening with Filip Zadina in last year’s draft. Zadina was thought by many to be a top three pick and the skilled forward ended up sliding to the Wings at six. If Podkolzin and Zadina both pan out for the Wings they will be a dangerous duo for close to a decade.
7th Overall: Buffalo Sabres
Trevor Zegras – USA NTDP
His style is comparable to that of Jack Hughes. It’s a very strong year for the Americans and outside of Hughes, I think Zegras has the upside to be the best of the bunch. He can play centre or the wing and in Buffalo, he’ll likely end up playing on the wing with fellow Americans Eichel and Mittlestadt locked in down the middle.
8th Overall: Edmonton Oilers
Kirby Dach – Saskatoon, WHL
I wonder if there would be a debate within the Oilers between Dach and Peyton Krebs. Dach did have better numbers but he was also on a much better team in Saskatoon. His size and the way he can dominate in the offensive zone could fit in well on an Oilers team full of playmakers.
I know some of you will be shocked to see him still on the board but there isn’t a lot separating picks three to ten in this year’s draft.
9th Overall: Anaheim Ducks
Peyton Krebs – Kootenay, WHL
The Ducks are about to benefit in a big way from using a first rounder on a WHL forward in 2016 as Sam Steel is expected to be a big part of their offense next season. Why not go back to the WHL again? I don’t think it’s a reach to say that out of all of the top end offensive talents in this year’s draft Krebs had the least help offensively. He was also the captain of the Ice at the age of 17.
10th Overall: Vancouver Canucks
Matthew Boldy – USA NTDP
When it comes to the top end Americans in this year’s draft Boldy is Mr. Versatility. He’s big and smart and knows how to use those assets to his advantage at both ends of the ice. He has a heavy shot and knows how to get it off. I think he would be an excellent compliment to Pettersson and Boeser.
THE EARLY TREND
I think you will see Peyton Krebs to the Oilers as a popular pick in a number of mock drafts over the next couple of weeks. If Turcotte and Zegras both end up in the top seven there is a very good chance Dach ends up being available with Podkolzin being the real wild card in the top ten.
It’s not crazy to think the Oilers could end up having to choose between two of Dach, Krebs, and Podkolzin. Nobody expected Bouchard, Dobson, and Wahlstrom to all be available at ten last year, yet they were. The fun is just beginning.