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Potential Preds: 2019 NHL Draft Scouting Report - Centers

Get to Know Five Centers Nashville Could Take with the 24th Pick in the 2019 NHL Draft

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Senior Communications & Content Coordinator

Last summer in Dallas, Nashville's table on the Draft floor didn't see any action until the fourth round. They won't have to wait nearly as long this time around.

The Predators hold the 24th overall selection in the 2019 NHL Draft, and barring any last-minute changes, Nashville brass will make their way to the stage in Vancouver late in the first round to select a player with potential to become a star in Music City.

Rather than focusing on a certain position, Preds Assistant General Manager and Director of Scouting Jeff Kealty has said the club almost always calls the name judged by the group to be the best available.

So, will that individual play the middle of the ice? Here are five centermen who could slip on a Gold jersey at Rogers Arena on June 21.

Alex Newhook, Center - 13th-ranked North American Skater, NHL Central Scouting

5-foot-10, 195 pounds - Victoria, BCHL

Jan. 28, 2001 - St. Johns, Newfoundland

  • Newhook was the second in scoring among all players in the British Columbia Hockey League while skating for the Victoria Grizzlies. He recorded 38 goals and 102 points in just 53 games and was awarded the Vern Dye Memorial Trophy as the league's MVP, as well as the Brett Hull Trophy as the top scorer.

  • One season ago, Newhook led all BCHL rookies with 66 points and earned the Bruce Allison Memorial Trophy as Rookie of the Year, as well as All-Rookie Team and First Team All-Star accolades.

  • Newhook has committed to Boston College for the 2019-20 season and says he models his game after Calgary's Sean Monahan.

    Philip Tomasino, Center - 14th-ranked North American Skater, NHL Central Scouting

    6-foot, 179 pounds - Niagara, OHL

    July 28, 2001 - Mississauga, Ontario

    • Tomasino helped the Niagara Ice Dogs to a Central Division title in the Ontario Hockey League by scoring 32 goals and 72 points in 67 games. That point total was a 48-point improvement from his rookie season in 2017-18.

    • The Ontario native represented Canada at the 2019 U-18 World Championship and posted one goal and five points in six contests.

    • Tomasino says he models his style of play after Buffalo forward Jack Eichel.

      Ryan Suzuki, Center - 18th-ranked North American Skater, NHL Central Scouting

      6-foot, 176 pounds - Barrie, OHL

      May 28, 2001 - London, Ontario

      • Suzuki led the Barrie Colts in scoring last season with 75 points in 65 games while serving as an alternate captain.

      • He tallied three goals and seven points to help Canada Red earn a silver medal at the 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, and Suzuki also ranked third among all players in points (8) at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, a tournament that saw Canada win gold.

      • His brother, Nick, was taken in the first-round of the 2017 NHL Draft by Vegas and is currently a prospect with Montreal.

      • Suzuki says he models his style of play after Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom.

        Raphael Lavoie, Center - 20th-ranked North American Skater, NHL Central Scouting

        6-foot-4, 196 pounds - Halifax, QMJHL

        Sept. 25, 2000 - Chambly, Quebec

        • Lavoie established career highs in goals (32), assists (41) and points (73) in 62 games last season with the Halifax Mooseheads while helping them to the top seed in the QMJHL's Eastern Conference. As a result of his efforts, he was awarded the Mike Bossy Trophy as the QMJHL's best professional prospect.

        • He led all players in goals (20) and ranked second in points (32) throughout the QMJHL playoffs as the Mooseheads advanced to the QMJHL championship series. He was the first QMJHL skater to score 20 goals in a single postseason since Adam Erne did so in 2015.

        • Lavoie says he models his style of play after Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf.

          Connor McMichael, Center - 24th-ranked North American Skater, NHL Central Scouting

          6-foot, 182 pounds - London, OHL

          Jan. 15, 2001 - Ajax, Ontario

          • McMichael tallied 36 goals and 72 points in 2018-19, good enough to rank second on the London Knights. It marked a 56-point improvement over his 2017-18 rookie campaign that saw him tally just 16 points.

          • He skated for Canada White at the 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and posted a goal and four points in six games.

          • McMichael says he models his style of play after Flames forward Sean Monahan.

          *Player bio information courtesy NHL Central Scouting

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