Welcome to the Oilersnation Draft Countdown. Over the past few weeks, we’ve been aggregating content about the top 100 players who will be available in Vancouver on June 21st and 22nd. Here are profiles for Cole Caufield, Philip Broberg, Alex Newhook, Raphael Lavoie, Connor McMichael, Moritz Seider, Matthew Robertson, Cam York, Ryan Suzuki, Victor Soderstrom.
20. Cole Caufield
Date of Birth: 2 Jan 2001 (Age 18)
Place of Birth: Steven Points, WI
Position: C/RW Shoots: Right
Height: 5’7″ Weight: 163 lbs.
2018-19 Team: U.S. National U18 Team (USDP)
Profile: Perhaps the fastest riser in the draft, Caufield has been projected as high as a top 5 pick; elite goal-scorer, with a lightning-quick shot that may be the best in this draft class. Committed to the University of Wisconsin for the 2019-20 season.
“Forget the fact that he’s listed at 5’7 — this kid is a tough, inside player who can fill the net and battle his tail off for real estate near the goal. Caulfield has proven he can score regardless of the line he plays on or where he starts his shifts. And he’s not just a sniping winger who needs other to do the work, as the Wisconsin-bound forward kills penalties with effectiveness and is a threat to score while down a man. His arsenal of puck skills simply are too rare to ignore… ” -Steve Kournianos, The Draft Analyst
“… The hallmark of his game is his exceptional goal-scoring ability. He has a shot that absolutely leaps off his stick with pinpoint accuracy when he lets loose and a low centre of gravity that facilitates fast and flashy puckhandling at pace. He affords his linemates options by taking advantage of any allotted attention he garners, generating time and space by drawing guys in; he’s perpetually hard to play against. All-in-all, Cole Caufield is an electrifying goal-scoring machine that makes some of the most otherworldly plays look like child’s play.” –Elite Prospects
“‘Caufield is an elite scorer… The elite scorer needs an elite playmaker [Hughes] but it cuts both ways because the playmaker can’t be prolific in his game without the finisher. Caufield has an excellent scoring IQ and arrives at the right places at the right times. He’s the best pure goal scorer available in this draft.'” -Craig Button, tsn.ca
19. Philip Broberg
Date of Birth: 25 June 2001 (Age 17)
Place of Birth: Orebro, SWE
Position: D Shoots: Left
Height: 6’3″ Weight: 203 lbs.
2018-19 Team: AIK (Allsvenskan)
Profile: A dynamic defenseman with a pro-level frame, with skating that is exceptional for someone his size; will activate with the offence, but plays a responsible two-way game.
“Philip Broberg is a smart two-way defenceman with undeniable skill. His fluid skating ability allows him to punish over-extension immediately with how quickly he can start plays from his own end. What his impressive mobility tends to overshadow, though, is his positional play. While he doesn’t always make the high percentage play, he is very perceptive and thinks his decisions through. On the fly, he pays close attention to where the puck’s going and where it’s been. This allows him to read the play early and make the most of any time and space found. All-in-all, Broberg could be the most complete defenceman in his draft class. He’s got elite mobility and hockey sense, and he doesn’t give up his own end.” -Curtis Joe, Elite Prospects
“Sometimes, one game (or one tournament) is all you need to identify how special a player can be. And although Broberg this season has had his share of frantic moments and puzzling decisions, his skating and aggressiveness inside the offensive zone should be enough to convince a team to roll the dice and pony up a high draft pick. He’s incredibly active and mobile with or without the puck, and rarely is there a shot opportunity Broberg will turn down. Additionally, he can play physical and deliver big hits, so it’s just a matter of fine-tuning his puck management, as well as his timing in the neutral zone to get him in position to neutralize opposing rushes.” -Steve Kournianos, The Draft Analyst
“As a 17-year-old, Broberg has been a full-time pro player at the second-tier pro league in Sweden, the Allsvenskan… Broberg has great speed which is pretty rare for a six-foot-three defenseman. He can also handle the puck at high speed. His lateral movement isn’t great, though, and his puck-skills and vision don’t seem to be high-end. Broberg still needs to improve his defensive game but with his size and hockey sense, it’s expected that part of his game will continue to grow. With his late June birthday, Broberg is pretty young for the 2019 NHL Draft. He’s a lock for the first round, and some teams may even consider him in the top ten…” -Jokke Nevalainen, dobberprospects.com
18. Alex Newhook
Date of Birth: 28 Jan 2001 (Age 18)
Place of Birth: St. John’s, NL
Position: C Shoots: Left
Height: 5’10” Weight: 190 lbs.
2018-19 Team: Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL)
Profile: Speedy centreman who has excellent hands and hockey sense, and is a lethal scoring from anywhere on the ice. Projected as high as a top 10 pick. Committed to Boston College for the 2019-20 season.
“Speed for days and the disregard for safety to use it anywhere. Dangerous hands, good hockey sense and is equally deadly with the pass or the shot. Already a strong defensive player. A slow start in the BCHL has made way to an extended hot streak. He leads the tier two Canadian junior circuit in scoring after the first month…” -Cam Robinson, dobberprospects.com
“Gifted offensive force with blinding speed, an advanced brain and phenomenal puck skills… Newhook is a natural center who is quick, decisive and deadly in open ice. He always has played on a top line and top power-play unit, and watching him stickhandle around defenders with ease reveals an adversary opposing coaches are definitely fearful of. Newhook is a fast, determined skater with exceptional balance and agility. He can beat you inside or out, and you can count on him causing at least one defenseman per game to blow a tire. His combination of speed and puck control makes him lethal off the rush, but he also makes the right reads and is able to exploit an overloaded side or confusion in coverage. Newhook has super-soft hands and is a threat to score from just about anywhere, and his shots off the pass are either labelled or deny the chance for the goalie to control the rebound. He can also play physical and doesn’t get intimidated by bigger, stronger players. Newhook has superstar potential thanks to off-the-charts hockey sense with the sublime skill to match it.” -Steve Kournianos, The Draft Analyst
17. Raphael Lavoie
Date of Birth: 25 Sept 2000 (Age 18)
Place of Birth: Montreal, QC
Position: C/RW Shoots: Right
Height: 6’4″ Weight: 198 lbs.
2018-19 Team: Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
Profile: A frame built to be a pro-level power forward who protects the puck well and gets to high danger scoring areas, and utilizes a hard shot to finish chances.
“Lavoie has somehow managed to go under the radar despite backing up his preseason hype with another productive QMJHL season. He’s thick, strong and can move quickly for a big-bodied forward, and Lavoie’s stickhandling proclivity gets him into prime scoring areas rather easily. Once he’s there, he can unload a hard, accurate shot that makes goalies work hard to control rebounds…” -Steve Kournianos, The Draft Analyst
“Lavoie’s skill set is what NHL general managers will be looking for at the June NHL Draft. At 6-foot-4 and 198 pounds, he has plenty of physical attributes to compete at the NHL level. His shot is very accurate, with a release and velocity that make him a threat at five-on-five and on the power play at any level. He has power forward credentials: an excellent protector of the puck in the corners, and a deadly scoring threat when he drives to the net off the left wing. He possesses a heavy and active stick, often emerging from scrums alone with the puck.” -Earl Jessiman, The Hockey Writers
16. Connor McMichael
Date of Birth: 15 Jan 2001 (Age 18)
Place of Birth: Ajax, ON
Position: C Shoots: Left
Height: 5’11” Weight: 174 lbs.
2018-19 Team: London Knights (OHL)
Profile: Responsible two-way centreman who can finish but has more of a play-making inclination; uses his elite hockey sense to create turnovers and turn possession in favour for his team.
“McMichael is an intelligent two-way puck magnet who serves a dual-threat inside the offensive zone thanks to his outstanding vision and knack for creating turnovers that lead to quality scoring chances. Hamilton made him the 11th overall pick in the 2017 OHL Priority Selection and was the centerpiece in the trade that brought Robert Thomas over from London. The stats may say he has been more of a finisher this season than a playmaker, but his ability to turn seemingly harmless possessions in the offensive zone into high-danger opportunities is something that keeps opponents honest. McMichael has great hands and roofs the puck from in tight, and he can pick the corners with his wrister. He makes a lot of touch, backdoor or no-look passes, and his jukes and gear shifting while keeping his head up is similar to a point guard crossing over a weak-ankled defender. There’s a lot of Marc Savard to his game, and he likely puts up bigger numbers once his role is expanded.” -Steve Kournianos, The Draft Analyst
“McMichael is an excellent two-way player with an extremely high hockey IQ. He is a very strong puck possession player. His anticipation is very good. He is a very effective forechecker and does not shy away from playing in the dirty areas. Once he adds more muscle and mass, he should become even more effective. McMichael sees the ice extremely well. He will at times take chances making plays that most wouldn’t try, but that’s rare. He usually sticks to making the safe play. He puts the effort required to be successful in all three zones. He plays in any and all situations.” -Dominic Tiano, OHL Writers
15. Moritz Seider
Date of Birth: 6 Apr 2001 (Age 18)
Place of Birth: Zell (Mosel), GER
Position: D Shoots: Right
Height: 6’4″ Weight: 207 lbs.
2018-19 Team: Adler Mannheim (DEL)
Profile: Pro-level built, right-shooting defenseman whose smart and calm with the puck, will use his awareness on the ice to make high-quality outlet and cross-ice passes and create scoring chances for his teammates.
“A big, smooth-skating German blueliner with physicality, sound instincts and leadership qualities, Seider, when given the opportunity, has handled a top-four role against adult-age competition with aplomb… One of Seider’s most noticeable qualities is how smart he is with or without the puck. Blessed with an acute sense to predict the opponent’s intentions, Seider quickly transitions from standing up at the blue line like a brick wall, to a quick poke and pass that leads his mates to a counterattack. His physicality, reach and quick feet combine to make the majority of 1-on-1 attempts die quickly above the circles. Additionally, Seider will fix a puck carrier into the corner for either a low-percentage centering attempt or a smothering check into the boards. Cross-ice passes originating from the strong side get broken up with regularity, and you can make a strong case for Seider being the best in his draft class at owning and maintaining positioning in the low slot…” -Steve Kournianos, The Draft Analyst
“… At six-foot-four, Seider has a big frame. He’s a good skater for someone his size, and his mobility is pretty good as well. He has good passing skills and vision. He can move the puck and carry it himself. He likes to join the rush. Defensively, he’s solid. A smart player who knows how to use his size and strength. Calm under pressure. Not afraid to play the body, and capable of making big hits… plays a mature game, and when you add his big frame to it, he could make the jump to the NHL pretty quickly after he’s drafted… -Jokke Nevalainen, dobberprospects.com
14. Matthew Robertson
Date of Birth: 9 Mar 2001 (Age 18)
Place of Birth: Edmonton, AB
Position: D Shoots: Left
Height: 6’4″ Weight: 201 lbs.
2018-19 Team: Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)
Profile: Quality two-way defenseman, who uses his long reach to break up opponents’ scoring chances, but will use his impressive skating to lead a rush and can unleash a good shot when given the opportunity.
“Strong and mobile two-way blue liner with a team-first attitude who handles both big minutes and big situations with maturity and confidence… His size, long reach and timing makes him close to impossible to beat one on one, and few teenage defensemen can force opponents into so many unsuccessful zone entries simply by standing up at the blue line… Robertson is a strong, powerful skater with average straight-line speed but enough agility and quickness to sharply change direction while maintaining control of the puck. He’s capable of taking it coast to coast and make plays well inside the opposing zone, but he’s smart enough to identify the proper time to release and cover up defensively. Robertson is an excellent passer both on his forehand and backhand, and his vision and the accuracy of almost all of his passes seems to afford him more time and space to make decisions than the average two-way defender…” -Steve Kournianos, The Draft Analyst
“Robertson’s best attribute is his confidence and poise. In a word, he’s nearly unflappable. He skates well and passes well and has a really impressive shot when he has a chance to use it, but the key to his game at the WHL level is that there’s no panic in it. Whether he’s leading an offensive rush up the ice or he’s defending a two-on-one from the opposition, he doesn’t make a lot of mistakes and there’s no jumpiness in his game – and that calm often spreads to his teammates and helps them get through rough spots.” -Ryan Pike, The Hockey Writers
13. Cam York
Date of Birth: 5 Jan 2001 (Age 18)
Place of Birth: Anaheim Hills, CA
Position: D Shoots: Left
Height: 5’11” Weight: 172 lbs.
2018-19 Team: U.S. National U18 Team (USDP)
Profile: Perhaps the most offensive-defenseman in the draft, utilizes his skating and smart-playmaking to create scoring chances, but can also finish with either a hard slapshot or quick wrist-shot; plays well defensively by reading opponents attack and utilizing his speed to cut down angles. Committed to the University of Michigan for the 2019-20 season.
“Arguably the purest offensive defenseman available in the draft, York combines speed and finesse to form a package perfectly suited to run the attack for one of the NTDP’s most heralded group of forwards in the program’s history… York has an excellent shot, as both his slapper and wrister are released quickly and accurately. He fires pucks on net in one motion, including off his back foot, and you rarely see him hesitate or wait until a lane is completely unobstructed. He keeps his feet moving at all times and looks to sneak in between the hashmarks for a rebound or one timer. To say York is a gambler would be an understatement – he always looks to move the puck deep into opposing territory and will support his forwards along the wall. His overall defensive game is predicated on smart reads and quick feet. York isn’t physical on a consistent basis, but he doesn’t shy away from contact and has thrown big open-ice hits every now and again, plus he battles hard for slot superiority. He does have quick enough feet to close on a puck carrier, but at times he affords them too much room by not standing up at his line.” -Steve Kournianos, The Draft Analyst
“One of the more electric players coming out of the 2019 NHL Draft Class, York is the best pure offensive defenseman available in the draft. Outside of being slightly undersized at only 5 foot 11 and 175 pounds, York has everything teams covet in offensive defenseman with quick and smooth skating, an elite shot and tremendous passes that almost always find their mark. Whether it’s his slap shot, wrist shot or a pass attempt, York is more than capable of moving the puck where he wants it to go with decisiveness and emphasis. That ability lends itself to York’s power play potential as he’s also primed to be the quarterback of an NHL squad’s power-play unit one day given his skill set.” Brandon Share-Cohen, The Hockey Writers
12. Ryan Suzuki
Date of Birth: 28 May 2001 (Age 18)
Place of Birth: London, ON
Position: C Shoots: Left
Height: 6’0″ Weight: 181 lbs.
2018-19 Team: Barrie Colts (OHL)
Profile: Speedy centreman who possesses near-elite playmaking abilities which are a result of high awareness on the ice, reading plays and connecting with slick passes to teammates.
“Suzuki is one of the smartest OHL prospects we have seen in years. He is a good skater, excellent passer and is very good at putting himself in scoring positions, where he rarely fails to capitalize. He does not play overly physical, but is very good at avoiding contact while doing so. He has excellent hands and all around vision…” -Tyler Parchem, Elite Prospects
“Blessed with blinding speed and acute hockey sense, the younger brother of 2017 first rounder Nick Suzuki is a bit more flashier and excitable with the puck, especially in open ice. He’s more of a playmaker than a shooter, but Ryan owns an excellent wrist shot and can score off his backhand. Still, he seems more comfortable and confident dictating play with the puck on his stick and treating every teammate as a scoring-chance possibility…” -Steve Kournianos, The Draft Analyst
“… playmaking abilities border on elite. He sees the ice extremely well, and sees things developing before they actually do. And he can deliver a tape-to-tape pass or lead a teammate with a pass. The fact that 29 of his assists are primary assists speaks to the fact that he can deliver the disc for a scoring threat.” -Dominic Tiano, OHL Writers
11. Victor Soderstrom
Date of Birth: 26 Feb 2001 (Age 18)
Place of Birth: Skutskar, SWE
Position: D Shoots: Right
Height: 6’0″ Weight: 183 lbs.
2018-19 Team: Brynas IF (SHL)
Profile: Big minute, right-shooting, smooth-skating defenseman, whose awareness and hockey sense allow him to play a responsible two-way game; will lead a rush or jump up into it to finish with a good shot, but will rarely be caught out of position.
“An uber competitive two-way defenceman that thinks the game at the highest level, Victor Söderström is the complete package. A naturally gifted skater, his ability to traverse all three zones is best described as smooth and effortless. He never looks disinterested and it’s always apparent just how badly he wants to win. His vision and awareness is outstanding, allowing him to play a responsible yet dynamic brand of hockey. He’s a dangerous puck-carrier with a great shot. Defensively, he makes good decisions quickly and consistently, never looking out of place when pitted up against the other team’s top players. He pressures the opposition and limits options, never getting in the way of his goalie. All-in-all, Söderström’s competitive instincts allow him to take full advantage of his offensive ability and defensive prowess. He’s a game-changer.” -Curtis Joe, Elite Prospects
“… strong puck-mover who likes to join the rush but he’s also a very strong player defensively. His hockey sense is very high and he uses it at both ends of the rink. He’s a very smooth and talented skater who is capable of playing big minutes. He also has a good shot, and he’s able to get it through traffic pretty frequently. It’s also a good thing for NHL teams that he shoots from the right side. At 5-foot-11, Söderström isn’t big but he likes to throw his weight around. It’s pretty easy to project him as a middle-pair defenseman but he has upside to become a number two if everything goes well.” -Jokke Nevalainen, dobberprospects.com
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