Every year, SBNations team sites get together and hold a mock draft. Yesterday marked the beginning of the draft, with the first and second picks revealed by the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers sites.
If you’re like me, and have been ignoring the draft and the prospects this year, this is a perfect way to get up to speed. If you’re really up on all the top names in this draft, this is a perfect way to find opinions you disagree with. It’s a win either way.
Monday’s picks in the Mock Draft
NHL Mock Draft 2019: New Jersey Devils Select Jack Hughes with No. 1 draft pick - All About The Jersey
As the New Jersey Devils won the 2019 NHL Draft Lottery, we picked first in the annual SB Nation NHL Mock Draft. We selected center Jack Hughes of the United Stated National Team Development Program. This post contains our reasoning and other thoughts about the top pick this year.
The only other player in the discussion for first overall this year is Finnish winger Kaapo Kakko. Let me be perfectly clear: If the Devils draft Kakko over Hughes, then I would be very happy too. Kakko is a fantastic prospect. He carved out a significant role with TPS in the Finnish Liiga, Finland’s top hockey league. He set a Liiga U-18 record for goals, breaking Aleksander Barkov’s record. He was a standout at the 2019 World Junior Championship and has been Finland’s top forward at the 2019 IIHF World Championship. He is big, his shot is fantastic, he moves well, and he does a lot of things really well. Kakko would be a definitive first overall selection in most draft years. This year is not one of them because of Hughes.
No surprise here, as the Devils went with the consensus number one pick of Jack Hughes. Their article describing why they picked Hughes and what they expect from him for their team is very good, but it directs to a profile they’d already posted. All About the Jersey always do good profiles, so check it out too where you can learn all about Hughes’ Toronto connections:
Obviously, Jack Hughes comes from a very talented hockey family. Unlike the rest of his family he is a forward and not a defenseman. He also will never step on the ice in the NCAA due to his elite talent that should allow him to jump straight into the NHL. Before we move onto his rankings and style of play, let’s take a look at his crazy good, at times record breaking production. Once again back to his EliteProspects page, we see that he played his bantam and midget hockey mainly with the Toronto Marlboros program. In 2016-17 he captained the Marlboros Minor Midget AAA team and put up an extremely productive 23 goals and 50 assists in 33 GTMMHL games as well as 58 goals and 101 assists in 80 midget games. He even earned a playoff call up to the Georgetown Raiders in the OJHL where he had a goal and 2 assists in 9 games en route to an OJHL Championship.
And that leaves us with just the Rangers and their also very unsurprising pick of Kaapo Kakko.
NHL Mock Draft 2019: New York Rangers Select Kaapo Kakko with No. 2 Pick - Blueshirt Banter
The Rangers happily select the flashy Finn with the second overall pick.
Kakko is a player who should be in the Rangers’ starting lineup for the 2019-20 season, and it is going to be a lot of fun to watch him grow and develop on Broadway.
In recent weeks he’s created a lot of buzz to go No. 1 overall — mostly due to his Gold Medal winning performance at the World Championship which saw him score six goals in 10 games — and the Rangers will be more than happy to take him at No. 2 overall if this mock draft mirrors real life.
In addition to this tournament, Kakko tallied 10 points in seven games while capturing Gold at the WJC Under-18 tournament, and the WJC Under-20 tournament after tallying five points in seven games.
Today, you’ll be able to find posts from three teams with the third though fifth picks. We’ll link those for you tomorrow, but there is a real question about who will go third overall this year. So, who would you pick?
Who would you take third overall in this draft?
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