MOCK DRAFT 2.0 – Post U18 W.C. Edition

Earlier this month I released Mock Draft 1.0, post-lottery edition. With the Under 18 World Championship wrapping up on Sunday it’s time to take another crack at the top ten.
For most of the top end prospects, this was the final opportunity to impress the scouts prior to the 2019 NHL Draft in Vancouver.

1st Overall: New Jersey Devils

Jack Hughes – USA NTDP

This pick hasn’t changed and likely won’t be changing in any mock draft I do between now and the end of June. Hughes just torched the Under-18’s with 20 points in seven games. In the process of helping the Americans win a disappointing bronze medal, Hughes set the all-time U18 scoring record with 32 points in two events, one more point than Alexander Ovechkin. I’d like to say the Devils can’t pass on him but the team did create a bit of a stir tweeting out a Kaapo Kakko highlight over the weekend.

2nd Overall: New York Rangers

Kaapo Kakko – Turku, Finland

I would love to have seen Kakko at the U18’s but he’s saving his final viewing for the World Championship where he’ll be playing for the Finnish senior squad. If Kakko really impresses at the worlds there will be some good 1st overall debate leading up to the draft but if his play is pedestrian all discussion will be put to bed. What I can guarantee is he will not be getting by the Rangers at two.

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3rd Overall: Chicago Blackhawks

Bowen Byram – Vancouver, WHL

I did have a few Hawks fans reach out to me after my original mock draft and say there is no way Chicago will be taking Byram but I’m not ready to change my mind just yet. The Hawks drafted both Adam Boqvist and Nicolas Beaudin in the first round last year but you can never have too many elite blueline prospects in the pipeline. If the Hawks would rather take a forward I could see them moving down a couple of spots because there will be a team wanting to move up to three for Byram. As of Sunday morning, the Vancouver Giants defender was leading the WHL playoffs in scoring, all players, not just d-men.

4th Overall: Colorado Avalanche

Dylan Cozens – Lethbridge Hurricanes

There is a handful of Americans really knocking on the door to be the 4th overall pick but for now, I’m going to stick with Dylan Cozens of the Lethbridge Hurricanes. He finished with nine points in seven games for Canada at the U18’s and had a terrific year in Lethbridge. I still think he’ll be ready for the NHL after one more season in junior and he has the makings of a perfect compliment to the big line in Colorado.

5th Overall: Los Angeles Kings

Alex Turcotte – USA NTDP

Turcotte dealt with some injuries during the season but was healthy at the U18’s and performed well. He finished with nine points in seven games and provided some nice punch playing behind the Hughes line.

6th Overall: Detroit Red Wings

Trevor Zegras – USA NTDP

Zegras didn’t score a goal at the U18’s but he was praised for his playmaking abilities and finished with nine helpers in the five games he played. He would be a great piece for the Wings rebuild. I would not be surprised to see Zegras selected higher than Turcotte.

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7th Overall: Buffalo Sabres

Cole Caufield – USA NTDP

The Buffalo Sabres finished 23rd in the league in goals this season, they could really use a finisher and make no mistake Caufield is a finisher. The pint-sized sniper scored 14 goals in 7 games and the U18’s and ended up being named the top forward and MVP of the tournament. He’s one of the purest goal scorers available over the past ten seasons, but he’s tiny, really tiny.

8th Overall: Edmonton Oilers

Kirby Dach – Saskatoon, WHL

I had Dach going to the Oilers in my first mock and I’m going to do it again in this one. Dach had some moments of brilliance in the WHL playoffs but with eight points in ten games, he didn’t necessarily light the world on fire. I’m still a little hesitant on Dach but he has a lot of tools that would fit in nicely on the Oilers.

9th Overall: Anaheim Ducks

Philip Broberg – AIK, Sweden

It’s not crazy to suggest that the Ducks top five prospects right now are all forwards. I know most teams will always say they are going with the best player available but I have to think the Ducks would love to add a d-man like Broberg to the mix. He was named top defenseman at the U18’s.

10th Overall: Vancouver Canucks

Peyton Krebs – Kootenay, WHL

Krebs would be an excellent addition to what the Canucks are building with Pettersson, Boeser, and Hughes. He finished with 10 points at the U18’s, good enough to tie for first on Canada. He was the captain for Canada and held the same role with the Ice this past season. Krebs has the perfect mix of skill, smarts, and leadership.


I didn’t go into this mock expecting to have Dach going to the Oilers yet again but that’s still the way it ended up.

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There would be a great debate amongst Oilers fans and possibly Oilers management if Dach, Krebs, Boldy and Podkolzin were all still available at eight. What I can say for sure is that this year’s top ten is going to be a wild ride.

Previously by Dustin Nielson:

  • BM

    Boldy is the guy at 8 you take. I think he’s a bit under rated with respect to his American peers and is every bit as good as Zegras/Turcotte . Zero weaknesses in his game, jack of all trades, best size of all US youngens. Elite passer. Great/excellent hands, great/excellent shot, borderline elite hockey sense. No way I’d pass on that. Also seen as a safe pick and we cannot miss here the oil need a future top 6 forward with this pick period . Get it done!

    • BM

      3)Turcotte (CHI needs a F)
      4) Byram (COL can take a F with their late 1st ie Tomasino/Mcmichaels – they can’t pass on Byram here)
      5)Couzins (Rebuild around C)
      6)Podkolzin (Vasili/Veleno/Zadina form one of the most dangerous trios in the league in short order, DET is going to be starting a new decade long playoff streak look out their a sleeper)
      7)Caufield (BUF can’t ignore the numbers this kids putting up and locks in Eichels wing man)
      8) Boldy (exactly what EDM needs – perfect fit)
      9)Dach (he should be better given the toolbox so he drops, high risk reward here)
      10) Krebs (just seems like Horvats future winger for some reason)

      If EDM foolishly passes on Boldy my next choices in this scenario, respectively, would be Dach then Zegras . Alternatively I wouldn’t be opposed to trading down 7 ish slots and throwing in a 4th if they pick up a 2nd rounder , good high ceiling players will fall (what if EDM came away with Newhook(teens), Mcmichaels(38th), Tracey(40s). Wishful thinking but let’s hope our new GM can get creative and stock those F cupboards just like the D cupboards are now

  • FanBoy

    Caufield would be great but man I can’t see how we draft him when we already got Yamamoto.

    Between any of the forwards, I would take the best skater whoever it is. Seems that it’s harder to teach how to skate well rather than teaching puck skills. Not a lot of players become better skaters after getting drafted. Draft one who’s already a great skater, teach them hockey afterwards.

      • TKB2677

        They would have too trade Yamo then because small guys can play but you can’t have 2 many of them. Personally, I don’t think you can afford to take a chance on a barely 5’7 player with the 8th overall. When you have a pick in the top 10, that pick has to pan out. You can’t be using it on a maybe player. When you are that small, you are a maybe player.

        • TruthHurts98

          Yakupov didn’t, Puljujarvi hasn’t yet. Plenty don’t. Caufield is the best sniper and I imagine will be gone anyway. Boldy is who I think they should take if that’s the case. Oilers passed on DeBrindecat who was good enough for a top ten pick after all. Yammamoto isn’t half as good as Caufield, not even close.