VANCOUVER, BC - The top 2019 NHL Draft prospects are getting close to the light at the end of the tunnel.
That source of light may have been the sun shining down on them from the top deck of a yacht docked at Pacific Yacht Charters, where prospective NHL hopefuls such as Jack Hughes, Kaapo Kakko, Bowen Byram, Cole Caufield, Trevor Zegras, Dylan Cozens and Co., fielded crowds of reporters ahead of one of the biggest days of their lives.
The NHL Draft is an unpredictable event and although analysts and prognosticators perennially predict how the picks will unfold, nothing is certain until a name is called.
With the Oilers choosing eighth-overall in Friday's Round 1, a few of the top prospects commented on what would be the most exciting part about joining the Oilers organization.
United States National Team centre Alex Turcotte:
"Obviously they got some great players in (Connor) McDavid, (Leon) Draisaitl and (Ryan) Nugent-Hopkins. They're elite players and to be around those guys and to learn from them would be pretty special and obviously really beneficial. I know McDavid is the best player in the world. Any time you could play with a guy of that calibre, you can only get better. It would be a blast and really cool."
Video: DRAFT | Alex Turcotte 06.20.19
USNT right winger Cole Caufield:
"I think everyone does (think about playing on McDavid's wing). I think that would be pretty special. He's obviously such a great player and makes anyone he plays with look better. If I would be lucky enough to play with him, that would be pretty special."
Video: DRAFT | Cole Caufield 06.20.19
Lethbridge Hurricanes centre Dylan Cozens:
"I think Lethbridge has prepared me for wherever I end up. They've been so good to me there and given me every opportunity to succeed. If I do end up in Edmonton, I'll be happy. It's close to Lethbridge where I played, so it would be awesome."
Video: DRAFT | Dylan Cozens 06.20.19
USNT centre Trevor Zegras:
"First and foremost, I think Connor McDavid is a pretty exciting hockey player to watch. I think playing with him would be pretty cool. I know (Leon) Draisaitl had 50 goals this year which is unbelievable. But I think they got a lot of really good hockey players so that would be awesome.
"There really is no way of knowing (of the type of fit with the Oilers). Playing with Jack (Hughes) is probably the closest gauge, I guess, you can get to playing with somebody like Connor McDavid. Me and him gelled really well, so I think I would figure it out pretty quickly."
Video: DRAFT | Trevor Zegras 06.20.19
SKA St. Petersburg right winger Vasili Podkolzin (with help from a translator):
"He obviously thought about every (team) kind of thing. He isn't aiming for one particular team. The conversation he had with teams, he liked everyone and everyone liked him. He's not really worried about that too much. Any team that will pick him, he would love to be part of that team."
Video: DRAFT | Vasili Podkolzin 06.20.19