As the trade deadline nears, let’s take a look at projected rankings for the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.
As we inch closer to the National Hockey League’s February 25th trade deadline, all eyes are on one team — the Ottawa Senators.
Despite occupying the bottom of the league’s standings, three of the Senators’ most prized assets — Matt Duchene, Mark Stone and Ryan Dzingel, respectively — continue to top various trade bait boards.
Anxious anticipation should not come as a surprise. After all, the opportunity at hand is one of enormous responsibility, as the prospect of moving any of the aforementioned forwards should almost definitely provide the club with the means to usher forth a (relatively) swift rebuild. By extension, the prospect of keeping any of the players in question would provide fans with a degree — however small it may be — of pleasure, in effect giving them something to cheer for as the incompetence of the past year and a half fades into the distance.
But confidence in the Senators’ administrative body remains slim, nonetheless.
Perhaps the most painful element of the drama enveloping Canada’s capital is the fact that the Senators’ first-round pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft will go to the Colorado Avalanche. A shot at Jack Hughes — a highly touted American center, and by all accounts precisely the type of player around whom a rebuild can be set into motion — is fundamentally nonexistent.
Ottawa’s retooling will become a reality, but the temptation to #TankForHughes shall remain a thing of dreams. And if the season continues to play out in a manner that is comparable to the present moment, the Avalanche’s fans can quietly prepare for the celebrations that accompany the welcoming of an elite prospect.
The following draft order is based on the NHL’s reverse standings on the afternoon of February 19th.
- Colorado Avalanche — Jack Hughes (C)
- Los Angeles Kings — Kaapo Kakko (RW)
- Edmonton Oilers — Vasili Podkolzin (RW)
- Detroit Red Wings — Kirby Dach (C)
- New Jersey Devils — Dylan Cozens (C)
- Anaheim Ducks — Alex Turcotte (C)
- Arizona Coyotes — Bowen Byram (D)
- New York Rangers — Peyton Krebs (C)
- Florida Panthers — Philip Broberg (D)
- Vancouver Canucks — Matthew Boldy (LW)
- Chicago Blackhawks — Trevor Zegras (C)
- Colorado Avalanche — Arthur Kaliyev (RW)
- Minnesota Wild — Alex Newhook (C)
- Philadelphia Flyers — Raphael Lavoie (C/RW)
- Buffalo Sabres — Thomas Harley (D)
- Dallas Stars — Victor Soderstrom (D)
- Buffalo Sabres — Ryan Suzuki (RW)
- Vegas Golden Knights — Jakob Pelletier (LW)
- Carolina Hurricanes — Cole Caufield (RW)
- Montréal Canadiens — Cam York (D)
- Pittsburgh Penguins — Connor McMichael (C)
- Columbus Blue Jackets — Spencer Knight (G)
- Nashville Predators — Egor Afanasayev (LW)
- Washington Capitals — Moritz Seider (D)
- Los Angeles Kings — Lassi Thomson (D)
- Winnipeg Jets — Brett Leason (RW)
- New York Islanders — Matthew Robertson (D)
- Boston Bruins — Philip Tomasino (RW)
- Buffalo Sabres — Nolan Foote (LW)
- Calgary Flames — Alex Vlasic (D)
- New York Rangers — Ville Heinola (D)
News and notes:
- No. 1 — As per a three-team deal, the Colorado Avalanche are set to receive the Ottawa Senators’ first-round pick.
- No. 17 — The Buffalo Sabres will receive the St. Louis Blues’ first-round selection. The Sabres shipped Ryan O’Reilly to the Blues for three forwards and two draft picks.
- No. 25 — The Los Angeles Kings shall receive the Toronto Maple Leafs’ first-rounder. The rights to Sean Durzi and Carl Grundstrom were also acquired for former Kings’ blue-liner Jake Muzzin.
- No. 29 — The Buffalo Sabres are set to receive the San Jose Sharks’ first-round pick so long as the latter make the Stanley Cup playoffs.
- No. 31 — The New York Rangers will receive a conditional first-round selection from the Tampa Bay Lightning if the latter win the 2019 Stanley Cup (and a second-round pick if they do not). Since the Lightning currently hold the most points in the NHL, the draft order has tentatively considered them Stanley Cup champions.
The 57th NHL Entry Draft will take place in Vancouver, British Columbia on June 21 and 22. Be sure to check back for more updates.