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Brendan Parker takes a shot at predicting the first round of the 2019 NHL Draft


Flames TV's Brendan Parker takes a crack at predicting the first round of the 2019 NHL Draft:

1. Jack Hughes - Center - USNTDP (USHL) - New Jersey Devils

I'm sure this decision won't be as easy as it once looked earlier in the season, especially coming off the World Hockey Championship in Slovakia. But I think Devils will inevitably decide on the consensus #1, Hughes, and who can argue; Hughes is the total package.

2. Kappo Kakko - Right Wing - TPS (Liiga) - New York Rangers

The Rangers are in a great spot knowing they're going to get an impact player regardless of who New Jersey chooses. In this case, the reward is the Finnish sensation, Kakko.

3. Vasili Podkolzin - Right Wing - SKA-Neva St. Petersburg (VHL) - Chicago Blackhawks

Appears to have emerged as the consensus No. 3. Ranked prospect, but it's not exactly a sure thing he goes here. The Russian winger is highly skilled and put up impressive numbers for Russia at multiple international events, but contract questions in KHL may mean he slides a few spots.

4. Dylan Cozens - Center - Lethbridge (WHL) - Colorado Avalanche (via the Ottawa Senators)

Cozens was well over a point-per-game for the Lethbridge Hurricanes this season. The pride of Whitehorse, Yukon is an elite skater, producing 84 points in 64 games this season.

5. Bowen Byram - Defenceman - Vancouver (WHL) - Los Angeles Kings

Byram emerged as dominant player in the WHL playoffs, leading the league in points (26) and taking his team to Game 7 of the Championship series and appears to have separated himself from the other defenceman in this draft.

6. Kirby Dach - Center - Saskatoon (WHL) - Detroit Red Wings

Dach was a central figure on a very good Saskatoon Blades team this year in the WHL. He's a big body, with great hands and never afraid to drive the net. He's high-end offensive ability and sure fire top-10 pick.

Video: "So many teams are built around their centre depth."

7. Alex Turcotte - Center - USNTDP (USHL) - Buffalo Sabres

Ranked No. 4 among North American skaters Turcotte missed time with injury this season, but still finished with 23 goals, and 53 points in just 30 games. Another high-end centreman from the U.S. National Development program.

8. Matthew Boldy - Left Wing - USNTDP (USHL) - Edmonton Oilers

Could easily see the Oilers go with one of the remaining centre options still left on the board, but could also see them go with Boldy here. Good mix of size and skill on the wing. Committed to Boston College for the fall, but could be a good playmaking winger down the road.

9. Peyton Krebs - Center - Kootenay (WHL) - Anaheim Ducks

The Okotoks native didn't have a lot of help this season with the Kootenay ICE (Now Winnipeg ICE), but still put up quality offensive numbers and played an important role for Team Canada at the U18's, tying for the team lead in scoring with 10 points in 7 games. He's a smart and dynamic offensive player.

10. Trevor Zegras - Center - USNTDP (USHL) - Vancouver Canucks

The USA Under-18 team will fuel a substantial portion of this year's first round, regardless of where they end up going. Here, he fits nicely into a young up and coming Canucks line-up.

11. Cole Caufield - Center - USNTDP (USHL) - Philadelphia Flyers

Caufield moved in the Central Scouting rankings going from 15th among North American skaters at the midterm to 8th in the in the final rankings. Setting a new IIHF Men's Under-18 World Championship scoring record with 14 goals in 7 games certainly helps. He's an elite finisher.

Video: Cole Caufield says he's the draft's best goal-scorer

12. Arthur Kaliyev - Center - Hamilton (OHL) - Minnesota Wild

Goal scoring ability can't be questioned after buldging the twine 51 times this season for the Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL). That follows a 31-goal rookie campaign. Ranking varies substantially depending on where you look, will be interesting to where he ends up.

13. Spencer Knight - Goaltender - USNTDP (USHL) - Florida Panthers

The Panthers have selected a goaltender at the draft, in any round, since 2015, maybe this is the year. Knight is the consensus No. 1 goaltender available in the draft and yet another product of the USA U-18 program.

14. Alex Newhook - Center - Victoria (BCHL) - Arizona Coyotes

Newhook torched the BCHL this season playing in Victoria. He led the league with 38 goals and a 102 points for the Grizzlies. He'll play at Boston College in the fall.

15. Victor Soderstrom - Defence - Brynas (SHL) - Montreal Canadiens

The Canadiens get the top ranked European defenceman according to Central Scouting. The 18-year-old played for Brynas in Sweden's top league. Smooth skating defenceman, with some offensive upside.

16. Philip Broberg - Defence - AIK (Allsvenskan) - Colorado Avalanche

Back-to-back Swedish defenceman. The Avs already scooped up a forward earlier in the draft, now they get a chance to add another young blueliner. Have them getting the young defenceman playing out of the Swedish Hockey League.

Video: "You've just got to go out there and try your best"

17. Ryan Suzuki - Center - Barrie (OHL) - Vegas Golden Knights

They selected his brother, Nick, two years ago with 13th overall pick, before trading him to Montreal. Maybe they add younger Ryan here, who's coming off a season where he scored 25 goals and 75 points for the Barrie Colts.

18. Thomas Harley - Defence - Mississauga (OHL) - Dallas Stars

As of now, the Stars have only one pick in the first three rounds - here they go with one of the top defenceman in the OHL this season. A two-way defenceman who put up 58 points in 68 games this season for Mississauga.

19. Raphael Lavoie - Center - Halifax (QMJHL) - Ottawa Senators (via the Columbus Blue Jackets)

The Sens are re-stocking the cupboards in all areas - Lavoie may be a nice fit. The big centreman helped up his stock playing deep in to the QMJHL playoffs and the Memorial Cup, on home ice for the Halifax Mooseheads, where he scored a pair of goals and finished the tournament with 3 points in 4 games.

20. Cam York - Defenceman - USNTDP (USHL) - Winnipeg Jets

York was the top defenceman for the USA Under-18 team, good at both ends of the rink, but the stats will tell you he's spent some time in the offensive end. He was over a point-per-game this year.

21. Bobby Brink - Right Wing - Sioux City (USHL) - Pittsburgh Penguins

This is the first time the Penguins will make a first round pick since 2014 - Brink was one of the top players in the USHL this year, scoring 35 goals and 68 points for Sioux City.

22. Moritz Seider - Defence - Alder Mannheim (DEL) - Los Angeles Kings (via the Toronto Maple Leafs)

The German defenceman has great size at almost 6-foot-4 - Seider played in Mannheim this season, and got some great experience playing for his country at the World Hockey Championship where he scored a pair of goals.

23. Philip Tomasino - Center - Niagara (OHL) - New York Islanders

Islanders talked about their need for finding more offensive in their NHL line-up and Tamasino certainly has that in his game, scoring 34 goals and 72 points in 67 games this season for Niagara. May not be next year, but the centreman projects as scorer at the NHL level.

24. Ville Heinola - Defence - Lukko (Liiga) - Nashville Predators

Few franchises have drafted as many successful NHL defenceman as the Predators - could Finnish rearguard Heinola be another one?

Video: Fourth-ranked European skater speaks after Combine

25. Nicholas Robertson - Left Wing - Peterborough (OHL) - Washington Capitals

Robertson is undersized coming in just a shade under 5-foot-9 but some time to add to his frame. Good offensive abilities. The California native had 27 goals and 55 points this season with Peterborough.

26. Nils Hoglander - Left Wing - Rogle (SHL) - Calgary Flames

Another undersized forward (5-foot-9) that's loaded with talent. A great skater with some silky mitts - just look up his lacrosse-style goal this year with Rogle this season.

27. Samuel Poulin - Left Wing - Sherbrooke (QMJHL) - Tampa Bay Lightning

A winger who possesses some size and skill. The 17-year-old led his team in scoring in both regular season and playoffs. Comes from NHL bloodlines, his father Patrick played over 600 games in the league.

28. Alex Vlasic - Defenceman - USNTDP (USHL) - Carolina Hurricanes

According to this mock draft, Vlasic would be the eighth and final player of the U.S. National Development Program to hear his name called in the first round. Impressive output.  

29. Matthew Robertson - Defenceman - Edmonton (WHL) - Anaheim Ducks (via the Buffalo Sabres, San Jose Sharks)

Robertson is a big defenceman (6-foot-3) who logged a lot of critical minutes for the Edmonton Oil Kings, especially in the playoffs, who finished just short of a berth in the WHL Final. Robertson finished with 33 points, but prides himself as a two-way defenceman.

30. Connor McMichael - Center - London (OHL) - Boston Bruins

This pick will change depending on how the playoffs finish up, but Connor McMichael had a good season in London leading the Knights in scoring with 36 goals and 72 points.

31. Brett Leason - Center - Prince Albert (WHL) - Buffalo Sabres (via the St. Louis Blues)

The forward has already passed through the NHL Draft twice - but he won't this year and has a chance to go in the first round. Leason burst onto the draft boards this season for the WHL Champion Prince Albert Raiders, scoring 36 goals and 89 points.

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