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2019 NHL Draft trades, picks fantasy roundup

Subban has renewed upside with exposure to Hall, Hughes for Devils; Miller gains value, could skate in Canucks' top six with Pettersson or Horvat

by Rob Reese @NHLReese / Fantasy Editor examines the fantasy hockey value of the top picks and impact of the biggest trades from 2019 NHL Draft weekend. For more fantasy coverage, visit and subscribe for free to the NHL Fantasy on Ice podcast.



Elite defenseman P.K. Subban was acquired by the New Jersey Devils for defensemen Steven Santini, Jeremy Davies, and two draft picks. Subban is an injury bounce-back candidate after having 31 points (nine goals, 22 assists) in 63 games for the Nashville Predators this season and three points (one goal, two assists) in six Stanley Cup Playoff games. It's worth noting Nashville had the worst power play in the NHL last season (12.9 percent), and Subban was playing in a logjam behind valuable defensemen Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis and Mattias Ekholm. Subban will be the clear-cut No. 1 option for the Devils and should flourish on a power play that features forwards Jack Hughes (No. 1 pick in 2019 NHL Draft), Taylor Hall, Kyle Palmieri and Nico Hischier. Subban has renewed fantasy upside from this trade and is poised to rejoin the first 10-15 defenseman rankings for next season.

READ: Projection for Subban with Devils



Forward J.T. Miller was acquired by the Vancouver Canucks for goalie Marek Mazanec and two draft picks. Miller had 47 points (13 goals, 34 assists) in 75 regular-season games and two assists in four playoff games for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Miller could gain significant value if he solidifies a role in Vancouver's top six with potential exposure to valuable centers Elias Pettersson, Bo Horvat and/or right wing Brock Boeser. Miller could also play on the top power-play unit with those forwards and rookie defenseman Quinn Hughes, who had three assists in a five-game trial for the Canucks. Miller is a potential sleeper who should be targeted after the 10th round of a standard 12-team fantasy draft. When asked about Miller's potential lineup placement, general manager Jim Benning said: "I don't know where he plays yet, either with Bo (Horvat) or (Elias Pettersson) but I think he's a good complimentary guy for (Pettersson) and (Brock Boeser)."

Projection: 80 games, 24 goals, 33 assists, 57 points, plus-2, 19 PPP, 140 SOG, 125 Hits


Projected first NHL season: 2019-20

Center Jack Hughes, selected by the New Jersey Devils with the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, had 190 points (60 goals, 130 assists) in two seasons with USA Hockey National Team Development Program, the most of any player in its history. Hughes should be a fixture in the top six and on the first power-play unit for the Devils and has 60-point potential if he plays with elite left wing Taylor Hall and/or right wing Kyle Palmieri. Hughes joins center Nico Hischier (No. 1 pick in 2017 NHL Draft) to give the Devils a 1-2 punch at the position for the years to come.

READ: Projection for Hughes with Devils


Projected first NHL season: 2019-20

Right wing Kaapo Kakko, selected by the New York Rangers with the No. 2 pick in the 2019 draft, scored 22 goals for HC TPS in Liiga this season, setting a record for a first-time draft-eligible player in Finland's top professional league; center Aleksander Barkov had 21 for Tappara in 2012-13. The best-case scenario for fantasy owners is Kakko, 18, playing on the top line and first power-play unit with valuable center Mika Zibanejad and left wing Chris Kreider, where he could exceed 30 goals as a rookie.

READ: Projection for Kakko with Rangers


Projected first NHL season: 2019-20 or 2020-21

Center Kirby Dach, selected by the Chicago Blackhawks with the No. 3 pick in the 2019 draft, had 73 points (25 goals, 48 assists) in 62 games for Saskatoon of the Western Hockey League. Dach will eventually add center depth for the Blackhawks, who have Jonathan Toews and Dylan Strome solidified in their top six. Fantasy owners should monitor Dach in keeper leagues, but he is not expected to make an immediate impact in the NHL like center Jesperi Kotkaniemi (No. 3 pick in 2018 NHL Draft) did with the Montreal Canadiens this season.


Projected first NHL season: 2019-20

Defenseman Bowen Byram, selected by the Colorado Avalanche with the No. 4 pick in the 2019 draft, had 71 points (26 goals, 45 assists) in 67 games for Vancouver of the Western Hockey League. He led all WHL defensemen in goals and became the first player at the position to lead the league in postseason scoring with 26 points (eight goals, 18 assists) in 22 playoff games. Byram, a fantasy gem in keeper and dynasty leagues, adds defenseman depth for the Avalanche, who already had Cale Makar expected to be a rookie standout next season. It's worth noting Tyson Barrie is a potential 2020 unrestricted free agent.


Projected first NHL season: 2020-21

Center Alex Turcotte, selected by the Los Angeles Kings with the No. 5 pick in the 2019 draft, finished sixth in scoring at USA Hockey NTDP this season with 62 points (27 goals, 35 assists) in 37 games despite missing 22 games with a lower-body injury. Turcotte will play for University of Wisconsin next season but could get a nine-game NHL trial when his NCAA season ends. The Kings have a long-term void to fill at center on the second line behind veteran Anze Kopitar, making Turcotte an intriguing pick in keeper and dynasty formats.


Projected first NHL season: 2019-20 or 2020-21

Center Dylan Cozens, selected by the Buffalo Sabres with the No. 7 pick in the 2019 draft, scored 84 points (34 goals, 50 assists) in 68 games for Lethbridge of the Western Hockey League this season and added eight points (four goals, four assists) in seven playoff games. The 6-foot-3, 183-pound center boosts Buffalo's outlook at the position, joining elite option Jack Eichel and Casey Mittelstadt, who did not make much of an impact as a rookie (25 points, 10 on power play, in 77 games). Because of positional need, Cozens has immediate upside for the Sabres, who re-signed left wing Jeff Skinner (led Buffalo with 40 goals this season) on June 7 and also have valuable young defenseman Rasmus Dahlin (No. 1 pick in 2018 Draft; Calder Trophy finalist). If Cozens does not make the Sabres out of training camp, the 18-year-old could get a nine-game NHL trial once his WHL season concludes.


Projected first NHL season: 2021-22

Right wing Vasili Podkolzin, selected by the Vancouver Canucks with the No. 10 pick in the 2019 draft, had no points in three games for St. Petersburg of the Kontinental Hockey League but had 29 points (15 goals, 14 assists) in 22 games for Russia in U-18 competition. Podkolzin is under contract for two more seasons in the KHL but could be a scoring threat in Vancouver's top-six forward group with valuable forwards Elias Petterrson, Brock Boeser and Bo Horvat in the years to come. The Canucks also feature impact defenseman prospect Quinn Hughes and could be a surprise fantasy team next season if they find consistency at the goalie position with Jacob Markstrom and/or Thatcher Demko.


Projected first NHL season: 2020-21 or 2021-22

Goalie Spencer Knight, selected by the Florida Panthers with the No. 13 pick in the 2019 draft, is an intriguing long-term prospect based on their positional need. Knight, the No. 1 ranked North American goalie, was 32-4-1 with a .913 save percentage and two shutouts in 39 games for USA Hockey NTDP. He's committed to play for Boston College next season but could get a nine-game NHL trial at the end of the regular season. The Panthers, who hired coach Joel Quenneville on April 8, have a valuable forward group and young defense but also long-term goalie questions. Veteran Roberto Luongo, 40, and James Reimer, 31, have injury concerns, and Sam Montembault, 22, only has 11 games of NHL experience.


Projected first NHL season: 2020-21 or 2021-22

Right wing Cole Caufield, selected by the Montreal Canadiens with the No. 15 pick in the 2019 draft, had 72 goals in 64 games for USA Hockey NTDP, breaking a record previously held by elite center Auston Matthews (55) of the Toronto Maple Leafs. The 5-foot-7, 163-pound forward will attend the University of Wisconsin next season but could provide a scoring touch for the Canadiens at the end of his NCAA season and beyond. The Canadiens have a bright outlook with fantasy-relevant skaters Max Domi, Brendan Gallagher, Tomas Tatar, Jonathan Drouin, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Shea Weber, Jeff Petry and elite goalie Carey Price.


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