Although the new season has already begun and many of these players won’t be prospects in the near future, we wanted to release our consolidated list of the top 50 drafted prospects. The list is based on the opinions of three of our team:
In determining who we considered for this ranking, we used two criteria:
- Skaters only
- Calder eligible (less than 25 GP in a prior season)
Please keep in mind these rankings are very difficult to put together. Comparing freshly drafted 18 year olds to pro league stars is not an easy task. We don’t have tiers listed here but consider there is not much separation between the 20th and 50th ranked player.
The Top 50
1. Jack Hughes, New Jersey Devils
The younger Hughes was the best player in the 2019 NHL Draft and it’s safe to say he’s the best prospect in the league. He is the most prolific scorer in NTDP history, and he did it in style. His game is very reminiscent of the Patrick Kane archetype, ridiculously fun to watch. Hughes will be a star in this league for many years to come.
2. Kaapo Kakko, New York Rangers
Absolutely crushed Liiga in his draft year posting some insane numbers like his INV% of 31 and his 2.1 5v5 P/60. I had Kakko ahead of Hughes for the 2019 draft and I think he’s one of the front runners for Calder Trophy this season.
3. Quinn Hughes, Vancouver Canucks
While brother Jack grabs the headlines, Quinn Hughes is the best defensive prospect in the league. He is world-class in almost every facet of the game. Elite skater, fantastic in transition, zone entry machine — you name it, he is it. Going to be very fun watching him and the likes of Dahlin/Heiskanen/Makar battle it out for the Norris Trophy in the years to come.
4. Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche
The Hobey Baker winner brings a mountain of hype to Colorado, and deservingly so. The Avs were so confident in his abilities that they were willing to ship longtime rearguard Tyson Barrie to the Toronto Maple Leafs and have Makar take over as the team’s top powerplay option. Bringing his incredible skating ability, vision, and puckhandling to the NHL, Makar is currently my clear favourite for the 2019-20 Calder Trophy.
5. Kirill Kaprizov, Minnesota Wild
Kiriil Kaprizov is the best player outside the NHL right now. The only question is; when is he coming to play in the NHL? Kaprizov is an all-round offensive dynamo whose skillset will translate smoothly to the North American game. His speed and hockey IQ combination will be a handful for NHL defenders.
6. Erik Brannstrom, Ottawa Senators
A personal favorite of mine since his draft year, everything Brannstrom does is so smooth. He is one of the most automatic zone exits I’ve seen and brings creativity once he hits the offensive zone with possession.
7. Vitali Kravtsov, New York Rangers
Coming off an underrated season in KHL, he was a huge offensive catalyst on an otherwise anemic offensive team. He had 21 points in 50 GP, but his INV% was very high at 27%. He is uber-talented and should dominate the AHL in no time.
8. Bowen Byram, Colorado Avalanche
Bowen Byram is a brilliant two-way defenseman who projects as a top PP option in the NHL. After coming close to making the NHL, he is back in the WHL to dominate again. After a long WHL season and a World Juniors trip, Byram will be ready for NHL action next September.
9. Alex Turcotte, Los Angeles Kings
Turcotte was the most complete player in the 2019 NHL Draft. He’s an immensely skilled offensive dynamo who doesn’t sacrifice anything defensively. Turcotte missed many games in the beginning of the season due to injury, but he actually led the NTDP in P/GP against USHL competition (2.12 P/GP). I think he’ll be one of the premier two-way players in the league.
10. Cody Glass, Vegas Golden Knights
Cody Glass was simply way too good for the WHL last season. He averaged almost 2 points per game and was a force all over the ice. When he got his chance in the AHL at seasons’ end, he ran with it, scoring 20 points in 28 games.
11. Martin Necas, Carolina Hurricanes
Necas had a really good D+2 season in the AHL where he posted a P/GP of 0.81. He’s an all-round forward who has grown on me since draft day. He is going to be a really good top 6 forward for the ‘Canes going forward.
12. Aleksi Heponiemi, Florida Panthers
Hepo is one of my favorite prospects, hands down. He has absolutely electrifying skills which he translates into points with ease. He’s torn both the WHL and Liiga to shreds since going severely under-drafted in 2017. I have no concerns about his size given the fact he scored almost a point per game against men in the Liiga during his D+2 season.
13. Alex Newhook, Colorado Avalanche
Criminally underrated in last years draft, Newhook destroyed competition the BCHL. When considering linemates, era, and 5 v 5 production, Newhook’s BCHL season was more impressive than Tyson Jost’s, his most frequent comparable. His skill is abundant and obvious but struggles at international events caused him to fall.
14. Filip Zadina, Detroit Red Wings
Zadina fell in the 2018 draft and did not have the most awe-inspiring D+1 campaign, but remains a top prospect nonetheless. His scoring talent is still off the charts. It remains to be seen if he can develop other parts of his game but once/if he does, he will be a top-6 stud of a winger.
15. Rasmus Kupari, Los Angeles Kings
Kupari is coming off an eye-opening D+1 season in Liiga, where he had 33 points in 43 games. He is a quick and skilled center who is underrated off the puck. He will be a reliable two way centre for the Kings.
16. Ty Smith, New Jersey Devils
An extremely smart player with real smooth skating ability, he’s way too good to play another season in WHL. Looking at Devils left side D, I don’t understand why they sent him back.
17. Trevor Zegras, Anaheim Ducks
Outside of Jack Hughes, Zegras was perhaps the most creative playmaker in the entire 2019 NHL Draft. Concerns that rose with regards to his ability to drive offense quickly vanished when each of the big 3 NTDP centers drove significant offense whilst the others were out injured. Look for him to be the main source of offense for Boston University this season. Elite 1C in the making.
18. Adam Boqvist, Chicago Blackhawks
Averaging over a point per game for the London Knights last season, the offensively talented Swedish defenseman adapted well to North America. Taking his talents to the AHL this season, Boqvist has elite offensive potential in the NHL.
19. Rasmus Sandin, Toronto Maple Leafs
While most thought the Leafs’ selection of Rasmus Sandin was a good value selection at 29, as time has passed, the pick is beginning to look like a steal. Sandin had an extraordinary year with the Marlies, earning himself an opening spot with the big club.
20. Adam Fox, New York Rangers
Quinn Hughes and Cale Makar got most of the attention amongst NCAA blueliners, but Adam Fox was dominant last season as well. Though it was in the weaker ECAC division, he amassed 48 points in 33 GP on a middling offensive team.
21. Arthur Kaliyev, Los Angeles Kings
How in the world did NHL teams allow a potential 40+ goal scorer at the next level in Kaliyev to fall to the second round? Kaliyev scored 51 goals (and 102 points) for Hamilton while averaging 4.5 sh/G last season. There’s a good chance he makes 30 other NHL teams look bad.
22. Jason Robertson, Dallas Stars
I love Robertson, he’s an absolute machine gun who has been above 4.5 SOG/GP the last two seasons. He’s the guy who drives his lines scoring, both by scoring himself and by setting his linemates up, underrated playmaker.
23. Nick Suzuki, Montreal Canadiens
After winning OHL playoff MVP in the 2019 playoffs, Suzuki came into the Habs’ camp with high hopes. He played well in preseason and earned himself a spot on the team. Suzuki is an intelligent playmaker and shooter who lacks high end speed.
24. Drake Batherson, Ottawa Senators
Batherson had a good junior career without really shining. In his AHL rookie season he simply exploded and had 22 goals +40 assists in 59 games before adding 3 goals + 6 assists in 20 NHL games. However, he has struggled to stay up with the big club.
25. Joe Veleno, Detroit Red Wings
Joe Veleno falling to pick 30 in the 2018 draft was ridiculous. Veleno is a fast and defensively responsible center who also has exceptional hockey IQ. His talents allowed him to score at a 1.76 points per game rate against QMJHL competition last season.
26. Morgan Frost, Philadelphia Flyers
215 points over 125 games played in the last two years is what Morgan Frost has done to the OHL. He is finally moving on to the AHL this season, where much more of a challenge will be presented. As a flashy playmaker, I could see some struggles early on, but there’s no doubt he will be dominating before long.
27. Eeli Tolvanen, Nashville Predators
Considered a clear-cut top 10 prospect in the NHL just over a year ago, Tolvanen really struggled to adapt to the AHL after posting historically impressive numbers in the more difficult KHL. With a scoring arsenal as deadly as his, I’d bet on Tolvanen turning it around this season.
28. Bobby Brink, Philadelphia Flyers
One of the most underrated players of the 2019 draft in my opinion. High end playmaker, good shot and while he is short, it doesn’t stop him from being a very strong player on the boards where he uses his high hockey IQ to win the puck.
29. Sam Steel, Anaheim Ducks
A first round pick of Anaheim’s in 2016, Steel is coming off his rookie pro season where he had 20 goals and 21 assists in 53 AHL games and 11 points in 22 NHL games. The skilled 21-year-old should slot in as the Ducks 2C going forward.
30. K’Andre Miller, New York Rangers
One of the most intriguing prospects on this list with his high-end physique. He switched from F to D late so he’s still unpolished defensively. But, he is learning quickly and is a two-way threat going forward.
31. Peyton Krebs, Vegas Golden Knights
It’s not easy scoring goals on an offensively challenged team, but Peyton Krebs still averaged 1.06 points per game with the Kootenay Ice. A strong showing at the U18’s had me thinking a top-10 selection was likely for Krebs, but he slipped to 17th; a steal for Vegas.
32. Noah Dobson, New York Islanders
The back-to-back Memorial Cup winner is hoping to stick with the Isles full time in 2019-20. Unfortunately, if he goes back to the QMJHL, there won’t be much left for him to do as he showed last year that he is more than capable of commanding the game from both ends of the rink.
33. Cole Caufield, Montreal Canadiens
72 goals across all competitions. That’s all you need to know about Caufield’s 2018-19 season. While not likely to repeat that, the immensely talented, diminutive goal-scorer will still have a plethora of talent around him at Wisconsin this season with former NTDP teammate Alex Turcotte and top-2020 eligible Dylan Holloway among Badgers’ ranks. Look for Caufield to be a 40+ goal scorer for many, many years to come.
34. Joel Farabee, Philadelphia Flyers
Farabee was the best forward on a mediocre Boston University team in 2018-19. He was the central driving force of the Terrier offense, finishing just under a point-per-game with 36 points in 37 games. I thought he would return to BU for his sophomore season but chose to sign his ELC instead. Looks like he’ll adjust to the pros in the AHL before getting a crack in the NHL.
35. Dante Fabbro, Nashville Predators
Fabbro is in the same boat as previously mentioned Joel Farabee, as he posted good point totals despite playing on a subpar Boston University team (33p in 38gp). The smooth-skating puck mover is dependable in all three zones and has big upside as a power play quarterback. Will have an ample amount of opportunities this season after the departure of P.K Subban.
36. Nils Lundkvist, New York Rangers
Lundkvist reads the play exceptionally well, and when you combine that with very good skating and a crisp first pass you get a high-end puck mover. People have questioned his offensive upside but his hockey IQ is so high he’ll get his points just from making smart plays.
37. Dylan Cozens, Buffalo Sabres
The first thing you notice about Cozens is his top end speed, which is one of the best of any prospect. Cozens is a very raw prospect who dazzles with his tools but needs to find a way to put them all together before he is ready for the NHL.
38. Evan Bouchard, Edmonton Oilers
Evan Bouchard doesn’t have the flashiest playing style but what he does do is make brilliant passes all game long. Combine that with his accurate wrister and you have a future powerplay QB. As it stands right now, Bouchard needs to work on his defensive game, but he will surely put up big numbers in Bakersfield in 2019-20.
39. Jordan Kyrou, St. Louis Blues
Kyrou is a quick and incredibly skilled winger. He’s likely NHL ready but his latest injury may be a setback in getting there. Either way, he has proved himself in the AHL and deserves a chance with the Blues.
40. Juuso Valimaki, Calgary Flames
Very smart two-way D-man. I absolutely love the way he moves on the ice. I think he should be an NHL regular this season once he gets back from injury.
41. Kristian Vesalainen, Winnipeg Jets
Had a weird draft year where he bounced around but since then he’s been on kind of a scoring tear; first the Liiga and last season in the KHL where he had 17 points in 31 games along with an underappreciated 13 points in 22 AHL games.
42. Jesper Boqvist, New Jersey Devils
The second of the Boqvist brothers on this list, Jesper broke out in the SHL last season. He’s hoping to carry that over to the new look Devils this season. Boqvist has long been an under-the-radar prospect, even before he was drafted.
43. Alexandre Texier, Columbus Blue Jackets
The French forward had a whirlwind of a 2018-19 season, finishing 2nd in U20 scoring in Liiga (41p in 55gp) before coming over to North America and getting a taste of NHL playoff action with the Blue Jackets. Texier is an extremely skilled forward who is fun to watch and should carve out a rule in the top-six this season.
44. Emil Bemstrom, Columbus Blue Jackets
Led SHL in goals scored last season with 23, a figure slightly flattering given his high Sh%. Bemström is very good as the trigger man on the PP. If he can improve his individual shot generation then he’ll score a bunch in the NHL too.
45. Kirby Dach, Chicago Blackhawks
Tall playmaking centers are a premium in the NHL, Dach fits the bill perfectly. If he hits close to his ceiling he’ll be a nightmare to defend. The problem is, he’s got a long way to go to get there.
46. Jake Bean, Carolina Hurricanes
Another one of these smooth puck moving defensemen. Beans decision making is very good and that’s what stands out to me. Should be getting a call up to the Hurricanes during this season.
47. Oliver Wahlstrom, New York Islanders
The former 10th overall pick did not have a good D+1 campaign, leaving Boston College in January after a largely inconspicuous season to that point. Nonetheless, he is still a good prospect with phenomenal shooting talent. Likely a one trick pony but could be a perennial 40+ goal scorer.
48. Dominikk Bokk, Carolina Hurricanes
Bokk is one of the most skilled prospects in league, earning the nickname “The Deutschland Dangler”. Bokk is an extremely fun player to watch, and he has some insane upside. He’s got to clean some things up and should spend another year or two in the SHL before coming over to North America. It was a fantastic move by Carolina acquiring him in the Justin Faulk trade.
49. Maxime Comtois, Anaheim Ducks
Maxime Comtois is a gritty power winger who finds ways to put the puck in the net. Considering he played quite well in his short stint with the Ducks last season, his recent demotion was a bit of surprise. If his talents translate to the AHL smoothly, he will be up in the NHL again very soon.
50. Vasili Podkolzin, Vancouver Canucks
Podkolzin fell pretty hard in the rankings at the end of last season but remains a solid prospect. The numbers have yet to come for Podkolzin, and that’s the concern going forward. The talent is obviously there but can he produce?
Thanks for reading!