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Photo Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

MOCK DRAFT 1.0 – Post Lottery Edition

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.

Previously by Dustin Nielson:

  • Foximus

    Will be interesting to see who Gretzky chooses. I’m not saying he will be the GM but he will be retained. Take best player available. They just need to hit on this pick. This kid needs to be a player. Still hope for Puli but no guarantees. Can’t have that again.

  • bwar

    I’ve kind of had a feeling we’d end up with Dach or Krebs. I think we should probably take a forward with the pick and it looks like there will be several good prospects to choose from at #8.

  • Oil Can

    I really think that it has to be Krebs, if Zegras is gone by number 8. Krebs has the offence and is very responsible defensively and his skating is elite, with respect to speed, a quick first step and his edge work. Dach has nice size and a good all around game, and good straight away speed. But he has a well below average first step and is not quick and is not good on his edges. For today’s NHL Krebs fits the blue print, very well. He is also a captain at age 17, which really speaks well, of his character and maturity.

    • IRONman

      Krebs or Dach, looks good. Both Alberta boys. They want to play for Home. Coach keeps talking about playing for each other. Dach is big and sweet hands with sniper goals. Reminds me of Mario Lemieux.

  • CMG30

    Unless the Oilers can land proven top 6 talent in a trade, I fully expect they make the pick. Somebody goes off the board or drafts for need and suddenly look what shows up at your door!

  • McRaj

    The oilers need to select Brayden Tracey in the 2nd round. Central Scouting has him ranked 73rd but he finished ahead of Dach and comparable to Cozens in points per game. He was a rookie in WHL this year after playing an extra year Midget. He will be a 2nd or 3rd round steal in this draft, the Oilers need to take him sooner rather than miss out.

    • toprightcorner

      Points are far from a deciding factor. lots of guys can score, but can they skate, do they have hockey IQ? Lots of guys score 80+ points and don’t get picked until the 3rd round and you still never see them make the NHL.

  • Time to Ride

    I had a chance to watch Krebs a few times in the past couple of years. He’s very skilled and is clearly a leader. But what’s most impressive is his motor. He’s an absolute buzzsaw on the ice. The Oilers need a few more guys like that in today’s NHL.

  • GK1980

    “The fun is just beginning.” – Back up Dustin. The fun is beginning for 16 NHL teams in trying to snag the cup. The draft for me is no longer as “fun” as it used to be…..

  • Lyxdeslic

    Something is telling me that Cole Caufield will be the gem of this draft class. The guys scored 29 goals in 28 games for his USHL team and 54 goals in 55 games for the U.S National U18 team. To put it into perspective on those same two teams Hughes scored 12 and 23 goals respectively, Zegras had 14 and 26, Boldy put up 17 and 30 while Turcotte netted 12 and 23 playing just over half the games due to injury. He may have less assists than all of his teammates but it’s rare to see a guy score at that rate. If he wasn’t 5’7 I guarantee he’d go top 5 maybe top 3.

    • toprightcorner

      I don’t disagree, he could be the next DeBrincat, on the other hand, he could be the next Petan. Petan had 46 goals and 120 pts the year he was drafted. Smaller guys are so hard to predict, they can be uber talented but if they cannot transition to the NHL game, they are screwed. If the Oilers were picking in the 15-18 range, it would be worth the pick on Caufield it is too much of a risk at #8. If Jack Hughes was the same size as Caufield, he probably would not be picked in the top 5.

  • toprightcorner

    The player I want the most is Turcotte. He has been compared to Hossa, full 200 ft game, fantastic shot, heavy on the puck, excellent skater with elite hockey IQ. His compete level is one of the best in the draft. I have a feeling that he will drop to 8th because of injuries this season. The best thing about Turcotte is that he is going to college so the Oilers can’t rush him!!

    Think Nuge but a better skater, stronger on the puck, better shot, and more offense.

    Fun fact, Turcotte (2.10) had a better pts/game than Hughes (2.0) in the USHL league before playing for the Development team.