The 2019 NHL Draft will be held in Vancouver, B.C. June 21-22
11. Philadelphia Flyers--C, Kirby Dach
Dach has a lot of the traits that the Flyers like, he has the size (6'4" 198 lbs.) and has a strong skill-set attached to a somewhat physical game. And he dropped to Philadelphia at No. 11. The Fly-boys just traded for the rights to C, Kevin Hayes and his addition makes them even deeper down the middle. With the best defenders already gone and the second tier of forwards near it's end, Philly ends up taking the best player available, which isn't really a bad thing as the can let Dach develop into the all-around center he could potentially be. And just in time too as three years from now Claude Giroux will be 34 yrs. old and Sean Couturier will be closing in on 30.
12. Minnesota Wild--C, Peyton Krebs
God knows what they're doing in Minnesota and with the way the draft unfolds they end up taking a great prospect in Krebs but not without some reservation. The highly touted Krebs is on the smallish side at 5'11" 181 lbs. but has a lot of skill, is highly competitive and has a very high hockey IQ. All of that should have made him a top-10 pick this year but he ends up at the bottom of his tier due to an Achilles tear. According to a Scott Cruikshank tweet, Krebs was cut by another players skate and underwent surgery for a partial tear. A full recovery is expected with no time-frame for his return. Although it's not the end of the world, it sure puts a damper on his draft stock.
13. Florida Panthers--D, Cam York
The Cats are in a good spot for drafting 13th. They could add to their stable of forwards by selecting C, Alex Newhook or pick one of two defensemen who project out to be solid blueliners. They choose the latter and go with York. Although he's definitely small for a defenseman, York's skills, especially as a powerplay quarterback allows for plenty of upside. You really can't blame new Panthers GM Dale Tallon for going that route as he was given a prospect pool loaded with talent up front beginning with RW, Owen Tippett (2017, 10th-overall,) C, Henrik Borgstrom (2016, 23rd) and LW, Grigori Denisenko (2018, 15th.) There's also a strong possibility that they might add Artemi Panarin on a long-term deal which makes the organization's forward group even more impressive. Florida is packed with forwards and is looking for capable defensemen yet I never hear Buffalo defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen or Panthers/Sabres as trade partners mentioned in the rumor mill. Perhaps they should start.
14. Arizona Coyotes--C, Alex Newhook
For many Newhook is taken right about where he should be in this draft and the 'Yotes are happy to bring him aboard. Arizona GM John Chayka has been piecing together his roster for the past three years, he's got a couple of great cornerstones in Oliver-Ekman Larsson and Clayton Keller and jumps at the opportunity to land Newhook who's an extremely gifted skater with high-end skill and an impressive hockey IQ. The 'Yotes have made progress lately finishing 9th in the Western Conference with 86 points last season which represented a nice jump from the 70 points they snared in each of the prior two seasons. However, as the team with the second-longest playoff drought behind the Buffalo Sabres at seven seasons, Chayka needs to start making some waves. Newhook won't help the cause right away, but perhaps in a few years he will. If Chayka is still around.
15. Montreal Canadiens--C, Ryan Suzuki
Les Habitants have a nice stable of prospects including top goalie prospect, Cayden Primeau and they can do what most teams do, pick the best player available. The player they choose also happens to be the brother of Nick Suzuki who was drafted 13th-overall by the Vegas Golden Knights in 2017 and both Suzuki's are incredible playmakers with plenty of smarts. At 6'0" 172 lbs, the younger Suzuki has some room to grow into his frame and he skates much better than his older brother. Although the Habs have been moving away from their Smurf years, they'll take high-end skill and excellent skating, but would prefer it on a bigger frame, Ryan Suzuki fits that mold rather well.
16. Colorado Avalanche--G, Spencer Knight
About the only thing better for the Colorado Avalanche in this draft would have been to land in the top-two via the NHL Draft Lottery. It didn't happen but they still got a helluva player picking No. 4 overall. With that being said, their own draft pick becomes a bonus pick and they can use it on the clear-cut, best goalie in the draft. It seem as if the 'Lanche have been struggling in net since the end of Patrick Roy's reign but it's only a matter of time before the full-time goaltending duties are handed over to Knight. The pick comes at a bit of a price because there are some very good skaters on the board, but Joe Sakic finds it too hard to resist plucking a goalie prospect that immediately goes to the top of a rather deep goalie depth-chart.
17. Vegas Golden Knights--D, Thomas Harley
The Golden Knights could really use an influx of talent on the blueline and they opt for the OHL's Harley instead of a player like Arthur Kailev whom has all the skills but lacks compete and pace that has been a hallmark of Golden Knights hockey ever since their inception. Harely is big and mobile, has a wide wingspan and plays a strong two-way game. He can start the transition from the back-end with a good breakout pass and also has played big minutes. The cool part about Vegas is that they really don't need high-end defensemen to be effective in head coach Gerard Gallant's system. Sure, anyone would want a Rasmus Dahlin but when you make the playoffs and/or make a long playoff run, this is where you'll be picking so having a strong system like Vegas has makes a huge difference.
18. Dallas Stars--D, Victor Soderstrom
As with every draft there's a little run on defenseman and we see that here with the Stars taking Soderstrom. Dallas has a lot of forwards in their prospect pool but watched 18 yr. old defenseman Miro Heiskanen make the jump and play 82 NHL games last season. Soderstrom, who was ranked third amongst International skaters by Central Scouting, fills a need in the pool but isn't a reach. There's no doubt he can skate and he made the jump to the Swedish Hockey League last season as a 17 yr. old. Soderstrom has all the traits of a modern Swedish defenseman like exceptional skating, high hockey IQ and is a pretty smooth player. However he is on the smallish side at 5'11" 178 lbs., therefore the conundrum of where he really should be taken in the draft.
19. Ottawa Senators--D, Moritz Seider
The Senators have been a mess ever since a long playoff run in 2017 that gave them the false impression that they were much closer to Cup-contention than they really were. Credit to them for moving on from players like Erik Karlsson who wasn't going to re-sign in Ottawa and Matt Duchene, whom they gave up a first round pick for which ended up being fourth-overall in the draft this year. The Senators did get a first rounder this year and managed land a couple of top prospects in those trades.. Center Josh Norris, who came over in the Karlsson trade, and defenseman Erik Brannstrom came in the Duchene deal, top their prospect pool so all was not lost. The Sens are at No. 19 and add another solid defensive prospect in Seider who projects as a defensive-minded, shutdown blueliner with big size (6'4" 198 lbs.) and an impressive wingspan.
20. Winnipeg Jets--C/RW, Raphael Lavoie
The Jets went circular with the Jacob Trouba trade in that they traded this first-rounder (among other pieces) to the NY Rangers for center Kevin Hayes at the NHL trade deadline then got it back when they traded Trouba there last night. Winnipeg needed to do what needed to be done and with the pick they get themselves a forward in Lavoie with Western Conference size and enough skill to possibly put him in a scorer's role. There are many on the fence as to whether this will happen but he showed enough in his draft year for the Jets to think he will fit in their system and reach his potential. Hayes has had a solid career with highs of 25 goals and has had point totals that averaged in the low-mid 40's. Lavoie might not reach those levels but could come close in the right system.
21. Pittsburgh Penguins--LW, Arthur Kaliyev
Pittsburgh's prospect pool has been decimated in the Sidney Crosby/Cup era but hey, they've won three so it was well worth it. However, there comes a time when a team needs to start adding assets instead of trading them away and it may be time for them to start doing that. The Pens have not had a first round pick the past four years and no matter how good their scouting staff is at finding gems, eventually it levels off and a team needs first-round talent. Luckily for Pittsburgh some bona fide talent dropped to them at No. 21. Kaliyev scored 51 goals as a 17 yr. old in the OHL and he joins the likes of Alex Debrincat, Steven Stamkos and Jeff Skinner in that regard. He's got a wicked shot and has the hockey IQ to be a helluva playmaker (51 assists last year as well.) What he doesn't have is consistency in the drive/compete department leading Corey Proman to write of him, "Kaliyev can often look like he's not going that hard and will have long stretches of indifference." Ouch!!!