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NHL Draft

Mock draft: Turcotte, Cozens predicted to be picked at No. 3

NHL.com experts divided on who will go after Hughes, Kakko

by NHL.com @NHLdotcom

NHL.com writers Adam Kimelman, Mike G. Morreale and Guillaume Lepage agree that Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko will be the first two players selected in the 2019 NHL Draft, which will be held at Rogers Arena in Vancouver from June 21-22.

Starting with the Chicago Blackhawks, who have the No. 3 pick, their opinions begin to differ.

But the Blackhawks aren't the only team filled with intrigue. Four teams have two first-round picks, including the New York Rangers at No. 2 and No. 20 (acquired from the Winnipeg Jets), and the Colorado Avalanche at No. 4 (acquired from the Ottawa Senators) and No. 16.

The Buffalo Sabres (No. 7) and Anaheim Ducks (No. 9) also have two first-round picks. The Sabres previously acquired first-round picks from the San Jose Sharks (No. 29) and St. Louis Blues, who will have the No. 31 pick if they win the Stanley Cup, or No. 30 pick if they lose to the Boston Bruins in the Cup Final. When they acquired defenseman Brandon Montour in a trade with the Ducks on Feb. 24, they gave Anaheim the option to select either of those picks.

The first 15 picks were set by the NHL Draft Lottery, which was won by the New Jersey Devils. Picks 16-27 were determined after the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, with the eliminated teams slotted in inverse order of regular-season points. Picks No. 28 and No. 29 went to the teams that lost in the conference finals, in inverse order of regular-season points.

 

[RELATED: Complete 2019 NHL Draft coverage]

 

1. New Jersey Devils

Kimelman -- Jack Hughes, C, USA U-18 (NTDP): The most talented player in the draft should be the first one selected. The 18-year-old (5-foot-10, 170 pounds) has a package of skating, passing, vision and hockey sense that's reminiscent of Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane.

Morreale -- Hughes: He's an elite skater who can think the game at top speed and has a knack for finding open areas on the ice. Hughes is the best playmaker available in this draft, with great hands, feet and an insatiable appetite to succeed. He'll be a franchise-defining player.

Lepage -- Hughes: With his great season and the NTDP records he has broken along the way, no team would dare pass on the opportunity to select a player with so much potential.

Video: Jack Hughes ranks No. 1 on Draft Prospects list

 

2. New York Rangers

Kimelman -- Kaapo Kakko, RW, TPS (FIN): Kakko had a standout performance for Finland at the 2019 IIHF World Championship with six goals in 10 games, and his size (6-2, 194) makes it easy to see him excelling in the NHL next season. 

Morreale -- Kakko: The left-hand shot has an excellent understanding of the game, can win 1-on-1 battles, is strong along the boards and relishes pressure situations, including scoring the game-winning goal for Finland against the United States to win the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Lepage -- Kakko: He had a record-setting season with 22 goals, the most by a player 18 or younger in Liiga history. Then he shined against NHL players at the World Championship, another sign that he is ready to make the jump to the NHL as soon as next season.

Video: Kaapo Kakko lands at No. 2 on Draft Prospects list

 

3. Chicago Blackhawks

Kimelman -- Alex Turcotte, C, USA U-18 (NTDP): Turcotte grew up in the Chicago suburbs, where he idolized Blackhawks forward Jonathan Toews, and now plays a similar style. Injuries early and late in the season made it tough for scouts to get a read on him, but when they watched him they saw a top-end scoring touch and a relentlessness at both ends of the ice that will make him even better as he adds size (5-11, 185) and strength next season at the University of Wisconsin.

Morreale -- Turcotte: He missed 22 games because of a lower-body injury but still was sixth on the NTDP with 62 points (27 goals, 35 assists) in 37 games. The University of Wisconsin commit plays a disciplined game, makes plays at top speed, has good hands and grit, and can move the puck effectively.

Lepage -- Dylan Cozens, C, Lethbridge (WHL): The Blackhawks have great prospects on defense and now they have a chance to add another explosive young forward up front. The 18-year-old (6-3, 180) is one of the fastest and most threatening forwards in this year's draft class.

Video: Alex Turcotte on influences, hockey journey

 

4. Colorado Avalanche (from Ottawa Senators)

Kimelman -- Cozens: Cozens skates remarkably well for a player his size and he'll only get better as he gets older and stronger. Add that to his high-end offensive skill set, and he could fill the Avalanche's hole at second-line center as soon as next season.

Morreale -- Kirby Dach, C, Saskatoon (WHL): He covers the ice well with his smarts and vision and brings a little bit of a nasty streak to his game. The right-hand shot has good size (6-4, 197), strength, playmaking ability, maturity, and is a legitimate offensive threat each time he has the puck.

Lepage -- Turcotte: He had a tough season in terms of health, missing time early in the season because of a lower-body injury and late because of mononucleosis, but when healthy, he averaged 1.68 points per game, showcasing his offensive skills.

Video: Cozens discusses height, pull-ups at Scouting Combine

 

5. Los Angeles Kings

Kimelman -- Bowen Byram, D, Vancouver (WHL): Byram's offensive skill makes him the best defenseman available in the draft. He scored 26 goals and has outstanding vision. The Kings have added top forward prospects, among them Jaret Anderson-Dolan, Akil Thomas and Rasmus Kupari, and Bowen (6-0, 193) would give them an elite playmaker on the back end to get them the puck.

Morreale -- Byram: A threat in all three zones, Byram is able to make plays under pressure in the defensive zone and the neutral zone. He was able to create plays from his blue line to the opposition's goal line and can log big minutes. Byram should be the first defenseman selected.

Lepage -- Byram: He led the Western Hockey League in the playoffs with 26 points (eight goals, 18 assists) in 22 games and helped Vancouver reach Game 7 of the league final. The Kings already have a lot of good young prospects up front and can look to add more talent on the blue line.

Video: Byram on high compete level at Scouting Combine

 

6. Detroit Red Wings

Kimelman -- Trevor Zegras, C, USA U-18 (NTDP): NTDP coach John Wroblewski said Zegras might have been the best passer on the U-18 team this season. At 6-0, 169, he needs to get stronger, but his offensive talent and ability to excel in the middle or on the wing makes him a desirable prospect.

Morreale -- Vasili Podkolzin, RW, Neva St. Petersburg 2 (RUS-2): Podkolzin (6-1, 190) plays with a lot of intensity and has a great set of skills that earned him three games with a strong SKA St. Petersburg team in the Kontinental Hockey League. He has the attitude and speed to become a solid NHL player with proper development. He plays a mature game, has a high hockey IQ, good breakaway speed, and puck protection skills.

Lepage -- Podkolzin: The dynamic forward did well on the international stage this season but didn't have the best finish with Russia at the 2019 IIHF World Under-18 Championship with four points (one goal, three assists) in seven games. Still, he has undeniable talent and could soon help bolster the forward depth in Detroit.

 

7. Buffalo Sabres

Kimelman -- Cole Caufield, RW, USA U-18 (NTDP): Forget the size (5-7, 162), Caufield is the best goal-scorer in the draft. With a great release, he can get off from anywhere in the offensive zone and he also has underrated vision, passing ability and skating that's reminiscent of Pittsburgh Penguins forward and NTDP alum Phil Kessel.

Morreale -- Caufield: The University of Wisconsin recruit is the best natural goal-scorer in the draft; he set the single-season NTDP record with 72 goals in 64 games this season. The right-hand shot is skilled without the puck, finding open space on the ice to set himself up and provide easy outlets for teammates.

Lepage -- Dach: Here is a big power forward who would strengthen the Sabres down the middle. Dach not only brings size but plays at a high speed and has good touch around the net.

 

8. Edmonton Oilers

Kimelman -- Philip Broberg, D, AIK (SWE-2): One scout said Broberg doesn't so much skate with the puck as he does fly on the ice. At 6-3, 199, he needs to fill out physically, but his upside is a No. 1 defenseman who can play big minutes and excel in all situations.

Morreale -- Cozens: He will provide the Oilers with additional depth down the middle. When using speed and attacking, he's very difficult to contain. Cozens is a fantastic skater, tough in all areas of the ice, and was tied for 10th in the WHL with 84 points (34 goals, 50 assists) in 68 games.

Lepage -- Caufield: His offensive abilities make it possible to look past his small size. The Oilers took a similar chance on forward Kailer Yamamoto (5-8, 153) with the No. 22 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, and they won't hesitate if Caufield is available when it's their turn this year.

 

9. Anaheim Ducks

Kimelman -- Dach: The big forward has an outstanding mix of size and skill and is still learning to bring it out on a consistent basis. His vision and hockey IQ allow him to slow the game down in the offensive zone and make the right play, either with a shot or a pass to an open teammate. The Ducks have built a solid nucleus of emerging young forwards, among them Sam Steel, Troy Terry and Max Comtois, but Dach's upside is too good to pass on here.

Morreale -- Zegras: He finds seams in the defense, knows when to shoot, has some deception to his game and is fearless. He was third on the NTDP with 87 points and second with 61 assists in 60 games. The left-hand shot is also a lethal option on the power play.

Lepage -- Zegras: He was a bit overshadowed by Hughes as the No. 2 center on the NTDP, but Zegras is one of the most complete centers available in the draft because of his speed and smarts.

 

10. Vancouver Canucks

Kimelman -- Podkolzin: Some teams might be turned off by his two-year KHL contract, but his 200-foot game and offensive skill are too good to pass up. And after two more seasons of development in the KHL, he should be ready to step into the top-six forward group for any NHL team.

Morreale -- Matthew Boldy, LW, USA U-18 (NTDP): Boldy (6-2, 192) is an excellent skater with quick hands and mobility to create offense on the rush. He's very creative, possesses an excellent release and an accurate shot, and already has many pro-style traits. He'll attend Boston College in 2019-20.

Lepage -- Broberg: It's hard to find a big defenseman who is as comfortable on his skates as Broberg, a left-hand shot. The Canucks' defense isn't getting any younger, and they have previously done well drafting Sweden-born defensemen (Alexander Edler, 2004; Mattias Ohlund, 1994).

 

11. Philadelphia Flyers

Kimelman -- Moritz Seider, D, Mannheim (GER): At 18, Seider won the rookie of year award while helping Mannheim to the German league championship and then scored two goals in five games and looked right at home playing with and against NHL players for Germany at the World Championship. He needs to develop physically (6-4, 183), but his skating ability and offensive skill make him a prospect with huge upside.

Morreale -- Peyton Krebs, C, Kootenay (WHL): He likes to use his speed and quickness to his advantage, but he's also tough to contain in 1-on-1 situations. Krebs (5-11, 180) is an elite two-way player who can serve as an offensive catalyst or shutdown player. He had 68 points (19 goals, 49 assists) in 64 games while Kootenay finished 21st in the 22-team league.

Lepage -- Boldy: He is the perfect match for the Flyers' style of play. Blessed with an appealing frame, Boldy works relentlessly on the forecheck and is able to create offense thanks to his dangerous shot.

 

12. Minnesota Wild

Kimelman -- Krebs: The Wild need to replenish their depth through the middle, and Krebs would be a great place to start. He excelled in Kootenay despite being the target of every opposition's game plan, and as the captain, had to deal with the franchise announcing in January that it was relocating to Winnipeg.

Morreale -- Broberg: An offensive-minded defenseman, Broberg moves very well for his size, has good vision, controls the game in all zones, and has a great shot.

Lepage -- Krebs: The Wild's top two centers, Eric Staal (34) and Mikko Koivu (36), are starting to get older and Krebs could slide into one of those roles in the next few seasons.

 

13. Florida Panthers

Kimelman -- Spencer Knight, G, USA U-18 (USHL): The best goalie in the draft matches well with a team in desperate need of adding a young goalie. Knight (6-3, 192) is solid fundamentally and a tremendous athlete, which he displayed by finishing in the top 15 in eight categories during the fitness testing at the NHL Scouting Combine.

Morreale -- Knight: The Panthers need solid goalie prospects in their system and Knight is considered one the best at the position in years. A Boston College recruit, Knight rarely is out of position, has great instincts, is efficient in his movements and consistently square to the shooter.

Lepage -- Knight: The Panthers have immediate and long-term needs in goal. Sam Montembeault did relatively well this season filling in for Roberto Luongo and James Reimer, but not enough to prove he is the goalie of the future. Knight might fill that role for them.

Video: Top goalie Spencer Knight on his development

 

14. Arizona Coyotes

Kimelman -- Alex Newhook, C, Victoria (BCHL): The Coyotes are looking to upgrade their offense, and Newhook (5-10, 195) led the British Columbia Hockey League with 102 points (38 goals, 64 assists) in 53 games, and had 10 points (five goals, five assists) in seven games for Canada at the World U-18 Championship. His skating, speed and puck-handling make him a threat any time he has the puck in the offensive zone, and he'll have time to further hone his game at Boston College next season.

Morreale -- Arthur Kaliyev, RW, Hamilton (OHL): Kaliyev (6-2, 190) has an NHL-caliber shot and high hockey IQ. He was tied for sixth in the OHL with 102 points (51 goals, 51 assists) in 67 games and was second with 20 power-play goals. He's a powerful skater below the dots in the offensive zone and knows how to get open to create chances.

Lepage -- Newhook: He spent the season under the radar playing in the BCHL, but his performance at the World U-18 Championship proved how much talent he has as an offensive player. The Coyotes will jump on this opportunity.

 

15. Montreal Canadiens

Kimelman -- Cameron York, D, USA U-18 (NTDP): His hockey sense, poise with the puck and offensive ability helped him stand out on a talented NTDP team. His teammates say York (5-11, 175) has defensive ability that is vastly underrated. Scouts like how the bigger the game, the better he plays.

Morreale -- Raphael Lavoie, C, Halifax (QMJHL): Lavoie (6-4, 196) plays a responsible two-way game, is versatile and effective playing either wing or center. He's strong below the circles and makes smart decisions with the puck.

Lepage -- York: We often talk about the talented NTDP forwards, but there are solid prospects on defense, too. York has been the quarterback of this dominant U-18 squad and he has demonstrated good offensive potential.

 

16. Colorado Avalanche

Kimelman -- Boldy: He is still growing into a body that grew from 5-10 when he arrived at the NTDP two seasons ago to 6-2 as he heads to Boston College in the fall. With Cozens and Boldy, it won't be long before the Avalanche have dynamic scoring depth up front.

Morreale -- Victor Soderstrom, D, Brynas (SWE): The right-handed Soderstrom (5-11, 179) is one of the most improved prospects in Sweden. He's a solid two-way defenseman with excellent vision, creativity and an understanding of his role in all areas of the ice.

Lepage -- Kaliyev: The New York-born forward had an impressive season offensively in the OHL, and although some aspects of his game need work, Kaliyev could help the Avalanche solidify their offensive depth in the next few seasons.

 

17. Vegas Golden Knights

Kimelman -- Kaliyev: After Caufield, Kaliyev might be the best goal-scorer in the draft. His shot and release are dynamic, and his 51 assists show he's more than just a one-dimensional player. He needs to improve his stamina, especially late in shifts, but that should come with physical development

Morreale -- Thomas Harley, D, Mississauga (OHL): A left-hand shot, Harley (6-3, 188) played big minutes in all situations this season. He is adept at finding open shooting and passing lanes, and will generate offense naturally no matter where he's playing.

Lepage -- Ryan Suzuki, C, Barrie (OHL): After trading the oldest of his brothers, Nick, the Golden Knights might be in the market for a new Suzuki. Ryan (6-0, 176) didn't have a season that met expectations some had, but Barrie's rebuilding efforts played a role, too. He remains a very skilled player and extremely smart.

 

18. Dallas Stars

Kimelman -- Suzuki: He is one of the best pure playmakers in the draft, and his vision and high hockey IQ helped him lead Barrie with 75 points (25 goals, 50 assists) in 65 games. He's never going to be a physical presence, but he's shown a willingness to skate the puck through the middle of the ice to make plays. 

Morreale -- Newhook: The native of St. Johns, Newfoundland, has great speed and elusiveness, and is a dynamic offensive player who is hard to handle and strong on the puck.

Lepage -- Lavoie: The rejuvenation of the Stars defense is working wonders, so now it's time for some new blood up front. Lavoie didn't have a stellar regular season (73 points in 62 games), but it was another story in the playoffs as he was second in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with 32 points (20 goals, 12 assists) in 23 games.

 

19. Ottawa Senators (from Columbus Blue Jackets)

Kimelman -- Soderstrom: The right-shot defenseman has a calmness and maturity to his game that has impressed scouts. He skates the puck well, has an emerging offensive game, and his hockey IQ helps him be in the right position defensively to break up plays.

Morreale -- Suzuki: One of the smartest players in the Ontario Hockey League, Suzuki was named best playmaker in the Eastern Conference Coaches Poll. He has good straightaway speed to break away from defenders and can make quick decisions at top speed. 

Lepage -- Harley: The Senators have plenty of good young forwards and have their top defense pair of the future in Erik Brannstrom and Thomas Chabot. The very reliable Harley eventually would fight right in with this young group.

 

20. New York Rangers (from Winnipeg Jets)

Kimelman -- Lavoie: After a good regular season, Lavoie turned it on in the playoffs, leading the QMJHL playoffs with 20 goals in 23 games, and then scored two goals in four games to help Halifax reach the Memorial Cup final. His mix of size and scoring touch makes him appealing, and the consistency should come with maturity.

Morreale -- Seider: A two-way defenseman with a sound positional game who is at his best in the defensive zone. Seider uses his size and strength to his advantage and plays with confidence. 

Lepage -- Soderstrom: The Rangers have accumulated prospects at a number of positions during their rebuilding effort and would do well by adding another in Soderstrom. He excelled playing with and against men in the Swedish Hockey League this season, and although he may not be as offensive as his contemporaries, he is very reliable on defense.

 

21. Pittsburgh Penguins

Kimelman -- Harley: The Penguins haven't selected a defenseman in the first round since taking Derrick Pouliot (No. 8) and Olli Maatta (No. 22) in the 2012 NHL Draft. Pittsburgh needs to add skilled depth behind the top pair of Kris Letang and Brian Dumoulin, and Harley has the size, skill and mobility to provide that, perhaps after one more season of development in the OHL.

Morreale -- York: The left-hand shot is mobile, elusive and a quarterback on the power play. He has great vision and can transition quickly with a good pass or by skating it out of his end.

Lepage -- Bobby Brink, RW, Sioux City (USHL): The forward averaged 1.58 points per game in the USHL, most among players with at least 25 games, and could be one of the dark horses of the first round. Brink (5-8, 159) needs to work on his skating, but he has what he needs to compensate for that offensively.

 

22. Los Angeles Kings (from Toronto Maple Leafs)

Kimelman -- Brink: The forward joined the NTDP at the World U-18s and looked right at home. His skating needs work but he'll have time to develop that at the University of Denver next season. His offensive skills, playmaking ability and high hockey IQ will make him a nice addition to a solid group of young forwards the Kings have drafted the past few seasons.

Morreale -- Ville Heinola, D, Lukko (FIN): Heinola (5-11, 178), one of the most improved players in Finland, is an excellent skater with hockey sense. He has a lot of patience and plays with confidence. He turned 18 in March and had 14 points (two goals, 12 assists) and a plus-7 rating in 34 games against fully developed players in Liiga.

Lepage -- Seider: After selecting the best defenseman in the draft at No. 5, the Kings could add this talented German for even more depth at the position. He took on more responsibility over the course of the season and was named rookie of the year in the top pro league in Germany.

 

23. New York Islanders

Kimelman -- Philip Tomasino, C, Niagara (OHL): Tomasino plays the game at a high pace and can make quick decisions to set up teammates for Grade A scoring chances. At 6-0, 179 pounds, he needs to get stronger, but it's his skating and speed that will get him to the NHL.

Morreale -- Tomasino: A dynamic finisher who can create time and space, he works very hard and is tough to contain. Tomasino had 72 points (34 goals, 38 assists) in 67 games and led the OHL with 12 game-winning goals. 

Lepage -- Jakob Pelletier, LW, Moncton (QMJHL): The Islanders are not afraid of drafting from Quebec and they could be tempted by the league's most productive prospect this season; his 89 points (39 goals, 50 assists) was second among under-18 players in the QMJHL this season behind Alexis Lafreniere (105 points). Pelletier (5-9, 160) is not only very talented, but he plays with heart and leaves it all out on the ice every game.

 

24. Nashville Predators

Kimelman -- Egor Afanasyev, LW, Muskegon (USHL): Afanasyev (6-4, 201) is a burgeoning power forward with a hard, heavy shot he's able to get off from anywhere in the offensive zone. He could add strength and skill to a Nashville power play that was last in the NHL during the regular season and Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Morreale -- Brink: Brink is hard to hit, elusive down low and makes players around him better. He was named the USHL Forward of the Year after finishing second in the league in goals (35), first in game-winning goals (nine), and fourth in points (68). He is headed to the University of Denver next year.

Lepage -- Tomasino: One of the youngest forwards in this crop, Tomasino won't turn 18 until July 28. He methodically climbed the Niagara lineup this season with his 200-foot game and consistent performance. His potential is very appealing.

 

25. Washington Capitals

Kimelman -- Brayden Tracey, LW, Moose Jaw (WHL): The Capitals have done well adding young defensemen the past few seasons and will now turn their focus to forward. Tracey (6-0, 177) has high-end offensive skills and great vision, and the Capitals' depth will allow him all the time he needs to fully develop his skills.

Morreale -- Samuel Poulin, RW, Sherbrooke (QMJHL): A strong (6-1, 208), skilled, smart, hard-working player who had 76 points (29 goals, 47 assists) in 67 games on a relatively young team, Poulin, the son of former NHL forward Patrick Poulin, is a power forward who has improved his skating this season and could fill a middle-six role in any lineup. 

Lepage -- Poulin: The Capitals love big, fast, offensive-minded forwards, and Poulin fits that profile perfectly. Recognized for his professionalism and leadership off the ice, he carried Sherbrooke on his shoulders in the playoffs with 14 points (eight goals, six assists) in 10 games.

 

26. Calgary Flames

Kimelman -- Brett Leason, RW, Prince Albert (WHL): The 20-year-old's vastly improved skating made the difference for him this season as it allowed his full offensive skill set to be on display. Passed over the previous two years in the draft, Leason (6-4, 200) now has a chance to add more size and skill to a young forward group in Calgary.

Morreale -- Connor McMichael, C, London (OHL): In his first full season with London, McMichael (5-11, 174) had 72 points (36 goals, 36 assists) and 10 power-play goals in 67 games. The left-hand shot is one of the smartest players in the draft and has a solid two-way game with a skill set that's still developing. 

Lepage -- Heinola: After Juuso Valimaki, the Flames come up short on defenseman prospects. Heinola is a very intelligent player who can bring a little offense, but his skating needs to improve. The

Flames have time to let him develop.

 

27. Tampa Bay Lightning

Kimelman -- Heinola: Since 2010, the Lightning have selected three defensemen in the first round and only one of them, Callan Foote (No. 14 in 2017 NHL Draft) remains with the organization. Heinola excelled for Finland at the World U-18s and has the hockey sense and vision that should allow him to become a big part of the Lightning's top-four defense pair in the next few seasons.

Morreale -- Pelletier: Pelletier was named the best pro prospect in the QMJHL this season. He has high-end puck skills, the vision to create plays in the offensive end, can protect the puck, win battles along the boards and drive the net. 

Lepage -- Nils Hoglander, LW, Rogle (SWE): The Lightning have never hesitated to give small prospects opportunities and Hoglander (5-9, 185) could be the next one. And if you're going to take a flyer, you might as well do it with a player with top-end work ethic.

 

28. Carolina Hurricanes

Kimelman -- Pelletier: Fearless and skilled are two of the best adjectives to describe Pelletier's game. What he lacks in size he more than makes up for in determination and drive.

Morreale -- Hoglander: As one of the more energetic skaters of this draft class, Hoglander is all about speed, skating and puck possession. He's strong on the forecheck and has good offensive instincts with quick hands and vision. He had 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) in 50 games in the Swedish Hockey League.

Lepage -- Leason: There are still a lot of question marks around the forward, who is in his third year of eligibility for the draft, but the Hurricanes may take the risk. At 20, Leason could make the jump to the NHL next season and provide immediate help to a young team that just reached the Eastern Conference Final.

 

29. Anaheim Ducks (from San Jose Sharks via Buffalo Sabres)

Kimelman -- Lassi Thomson, D, Kelowna (WHL): Thomson (6-0, 190) had a seamless transition to the Western Hockey League this season from Finland, playing big minutes in key situations. Scouts like his game-breaking ability and powerful shot from the point. 

Morreale -- Leason: Passed over the previous two drafts, Leason exhibited improved skating and confidence this season, starting with at least one point in 30 straight games to begin the season. He's a power-forward type with good skill, vision, hockey sense, and puck protection. He had five points (three goals, two assists) in five games for Canada at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship. 

Lepage -- Alex Vlasic, D, USA U-18 (NTDP): After selecting a forward earlier in the round, the Ducks could go with a safe pick on defense. Vlasic (6-6, 199) is a very reliable defenseman who should bring a similar style of play to the NHL of his cousin, Marc-Edouard Vlasic of the San Jose Sharks.

 

30. Buffalo Sabres (from St. Louis Blues) 

Kimelman -- McMichael: McMichael became the go-to player for London this season and responded in a big way. His vision and hockey sense should help him produce in the NHL.

Morreale -- Vladislav Kolyachonok, D, Flint (OHL): Kolyachonok (6-1, 184) came to North America from Minsk, Belarus, played one game for London, then was placed on waivers and claimed by Flint. Despite all the moving around, he had 30 points (four goals, 26 assists) in 54 games. He's a good two-way defenseman, strong on his skates, and poised and patient with the puck.

Lepage -- McMichael: The forward did not start the season with a substantial role with London, but managed to carve out a big season. With him, the Sabres could add some depth at center.

 

31. Boston Bruins

Kimelman -- Poulin: A power forward with a high work ethic, scouts liked how Poulin got better as the season went on. Poulin uses his strength to get to the net in the offensive zone and has good hands in tight to create scoring chances for himself and his teammates. 

Morreale -- Tobias Bjornfot, D, Djurgarden Jr. (SWE-JR): Bjornfot (6-0, 202) is a solid all-around defenseman with few weaknesses. He skates well, plays a strong game and is tough to play against. The left-hand shot had 22 points (11 goals, 11 assists) and a plus-15 rating in 39 regular-season games and played seven games with Djurgarden in the SHL.

Lepage -- Robert Mastrosimone, LW, Chicago (USHL): The 5-10, 158-pound forward is an agitator who also can contribute on offense, much like Bruins forward Brad Marchand. He will play for Boston University next year, a program that the Bruins favor.

 

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