Victoria Grizzlies forward Alex Newhook is expected to be taken in the first round of the NHL draft on Friday, June 21, 2019. (Black Press file photo)

Victoria Grizzlies forward Alex Newhook is expected to be taken in the first round of the NHL draft on Friday, June 21, 2019. (Black Press file photo)

NHL Draft 2019: First-round mock selections

Hughes expected to go No. 1 overall; Canucks have 10th pick

B.C. hockey fans can get an up-close look at hockey’s stars of tomorrow as the 2019 NHL Draft takes place starting Friday, June 21 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver.

The last time the city played host to the entry draft was in 2006. The host Canucks, picking 14th, selected speedy forward Michael Grabner, who scored a grand total of five goals with Vancouver before being dealt in a package to the Florida Panthers that saw Keith Ballard come to the Canucks.

Vancouver also hosted the draft in 1990, with the Canucks taking centre Petr Nedved second overall. While the high-scoring centre fashioned a solid career, scoring 310 goals (including 38 with Vancouver in 1992-93), you can’t blame Canucks fans for playing the ‘what if?’ game, given Jaromir Jagr (1,921 career points) went three picks later to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

This time around, the rebuilding Canucks have missed the playoffs for four years in succession and hold the 10th overall pick as they look to add to their young core.

Here’s our VIFD/Black Press 2019 NHL Mock Draft, a look at how our draftniks see the first round (5 p.m, Sportsnet, TVAS, NBCSN) unfolding, with additional notes for the league’s Canadian teams:

1. New Jersey Devils

VI Free Daily editor Philip Wolf’s pick: Jack Hughes, C, USA U-18 (USHL), 5-foot-10, 160 pounds

Black Press NHL correspondent Kieran O’Connor’s pick: Hughes

VI Free Daily content editor John McKinley’s pick: Hughes

2. New York Rangers

PW: Kaapo Kakko, RW, TPS (FIN), 6-2, 194

KO: Kakko

JMC: Kakko

3. Chicago Blackhawks

PW: Bowen Byram, D, Vancouver (WHL), 6-1, 194

KO: Alex Turcotte, C, USA U-18 (USHL), 5-11, 189

JMC: Byram

4. Colorado Avalanche

PW: Kirby Dach, C, Saskatoon (WHL), 6-4, 195

KO: Trevor Zegras, C, USA U-18 (USHL), 6-0, 166

JMC: Turcotte

5. Los Angeles Kings

PW: Dylan Cozens, C, Lethbridge (WHL), 6-3, 181

KO: Byram

JMC: Dach

6. Detroit Red Wings

PW: Zegras

KO: Dach

JMC: Zegras

7. Buffalo Sabres

PW: Cole Caufield, RW, USA U-18 (USHL), 5-7, 162

KO: Caufield

JMC: Caufield

8. Edmonton Oilers

PW: Turcotte

Caufield, the tiny goal-scoring sensation, would have been an ideal complement to the league’s best player, Connor McDavid. But Turcotte provides a nice consolation prize, perhaps allowing the Oilers to eventually trade Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for defensive help.

KO: Matthew Boldy, LW: USA U-18 (USHL), 6-2, 187

The Oilers are in dire need of wingers for their top six forward group to supplement their franchise centres, McDavid and Draisaitl. Boldy has exceptional vision and is able to use his line-mates effectively in any situation.

JMC: Philip Broberg, D, AIK (SWE-Als), 6-3, 199

Oilers will take the second-most talented defenceman. Their fans will melt down and call it a huge reach. The internet will point and laugh. It’s just what happens in Edmonton.

9. Anaheim Ducks

PW: Boldy

KO: Moritz Seider, D, Mannheim (DEL), 6-4, 185

JMC: Cozens

10. Vancouver Canucks

PW: Vasili Podkolzin, RW, Neva St. Petersburg 2 (RUS-2), 6-1, 183

The Canucks could go in a number of directions here. Does general manager Jim Benning, looking to make a splash before the home fans, trade up if Byram slips a spot or two? Does he deal down to acquire more assets? Way back in 1984, the Canucks selected defenceman J.J. Daigneault, who was injured and made his way up to the stage on crutches. Do they revisit history and tab centre Peyton Krebs, who recently had surgery to repair a partial tear to his Achilles tendon. Podkolzin is highly skilled and could eventually slot nicely in Vancouver alongside centre Elias Pettersson.

READ MORE: Newhook heads to worlds as BCHL MVP, top scorer

KO: Alex Newhook, C, Victoria (BCHL), 5-10, 190

Newhook is easily one of the best skaters in the draft who can do remarkable things with the puck at top speed. The NHL is getting faster and Newhook would be a great addition to the Canucks forward core of Pettersson, Boeser and Horvat. Newhook would add an element of speed that the Canucks currently lack in their young forward group. Newhook played close to Vancouver in the BCHL with the Victoria Grizzlies, putting up a league-leading 102 points in 53 regular season games. Newhook solidified his draft ranking with a standout U18 performance with Canada in the spring.

JMC: Victor Soderstrom, D, Brynas (SHL), 5-11, 180

Canucks will look at their holes on D and their 1-2 centre punch of Horvat and Pettersson and pass on Newhook and Peyton Krebs for a smart, puck-moving new-age Swedish defenceman. Silly Canucks.

11. Philadelphia Flyers

PW: Broberg

KO: Peyton Krebs, C, Winnipeg (WHL), 5-11, 180

JMC: Podkolzin

12. Minnesota Wild

PW: Krebs

KO: Broberg

JMC: Newhook

13. Florida Panthers

PW: Spencer Knight, G, USA U-18 (USHL), 6-3, 192

KO: Podkolzin

JMC: Knight

14. Arizona Coyotes

PW: Newhook

KO: Cozens

JMC: Boldy

15. Montreal Canadiens

Thomas Harley, D, Mississauga (OHL), 6-3, 185

PW: The Canadiens, with two second-round picks, could also be candidates to move up in the draft. With LHD a position of weakness, if the Habs stay put, Harley or Cam York make sense here. Hulking QMJHL winger Raphael Lavoie is another potential target.

KO: Harley

A defenceman makes sense here for Montreal, especially if Harley is available. He is a play-driving defender with good size. Harley is one of the younger skaters in the draft who contains the speed and skill to play in today’s NHL.

JMC: Seider

Habs do go D, but they will favour the impressive athlete who impressed against men over the other options who played with boys

16. Colorado Avalanche

PW: Arthur Kaliyev, LW, Hamilton (OHL), 6-1, 190

KO: Soderstrom

JMC: Cam York, D, USA U-18 (USHL), 6-0, 175

17. Vegas Golden Knights

PW: Soderstrom

KO: Pavel Dorofeyev, LW, Metallurg Magnitogorsk (KHL), 6-0, 163

JMC: Krebs

18. Dallas Stars

PW: York

KO: Kaliyev

JMC: Raphael Lavoie, RW, Halifax (QMJHL), 6-4, 195

19. Ottawa Senators

PW: Phillip Tomasino, C, Niagara (OHL), 6-0, 180

The rebuilding Sens need help everywhere. The skilled Tomasino would slot in nicely as a future top-six forward.

KO: Tomasino

Ottawa would be lucky to have Tomasino fall to 19. Arguably the only NHL team firmly locked in a rebuild, Ottawa does need help in every position, more so in their forward group after acquiring star defensive prospect Erik Brännström in exchange for Mark Stone at the trade deadline.

JMC: Tomasino

Tomasino might have the best shot of guys ranked outside the top of the draft to be a first-line player. And Ottawa really, really needs first-line players.

20. Winnipeg Jets

PW: Seider

The cap-strapped Jets, having unloaded talented RHD Jacob Trouba for a package including this selection on Monday, look to refill their defence pool.

KO: York

The Jets should be taking a defenceman here after trading Trouba and potentially exposing RHD Tyler Myers for free agency. I can’t see Seider dropping this far, but I can see York being available. York played with a dominant USNTDP team this year who proved to be effective on the power play. York is a steady all-around defenceman.

JMC: Harley

Harley is raw, but the size-speed combination is excellent and he has the toolbox for the Jets to develop.

21. Pittsburgh Penguins

PW: Lavoie

KO: Knight

JMC: Ville Heinola, D, Luukko-Liiga (FIN), 5-11, 175

22. Los Angeles Kings

PW: Bobby Brink, RW, Sioux City (USHL), 5-10, 165

KO: Connor McMichael, C, London (OHL), 5-11, 172

JMC: Nicholas Robertson, LW, Peterborough (OHL), 5-9, 160

23. New York Islanders

PW: Ryan Suzuki, C, Barrie (OHL), 6-0, 175

KO: Robertson

JMC: Kaliyev

24. Nashville Predators

PW: Egor Afanasyev, LW, Muskegon (USHL), 6-4, 201

KO: Suzuki

JMC: Ryan Johnson, D, Sioux Falls (USHL), 6-0, 161

25. Washington Capitals

PW: Samuel Poulin, RW, Sherbrooke (QMJHL), 6-1, 208

KO: Brink

JMC: Poulin

26. Calgary Flames

PW: Brett Leason, RW, Prince Albert (WHL), 6-4, 200

Passed over in two previous drafts, the big 20-year-old adds size and skill to the Flames prospect pool.

KO: Heinola

Heinola is an excellent defenceman who proved to be efficient playing in Finland’s top men’s league as well on the top pairing for Finland in the World Junior Championships. The Flames would love to add him to their prospect pool if he is available at pick 26.

JMC: Leason

Flames will like the size and skill to augment their flanks. They will like the fact the overager might be close to helping them already even more.

27. Tampa Bay Lightning

PW: Alex Vlasic, D, USA U-18 (USHL), 6-6, 200

KO: Nils Hoglander, LW, Rögle BK (SHL), 5-9, 185

JMC: Suzuki

28. Carolina Hurricanes

PW: Robertson

KO: Vladislav Kolyachonok, D, Flint (OHL), 6-2, 181

JMC: Brink

29. Anaheim Ducks

PW: Lassi Thomson, D, Kelowna (WHL) 6-0, 190

KO: Lavoie

JMC: Tobias Bjornfot, D, Djurgarden (SHL), 6-0, 196

30. Boston Bruins

PW: Jakob Pelletier, LW, Moncton (QMJHL), 5-9, 160

KO: Poulin

JMC: Pelletier

31. Buffalo Sabres

PW: Heinola

KO: Brayden Tracey, LW, Moose Jaw (WHL), 6-0, 177

JMC: Thomson

Rounds two through seven take place Saturday, June 22 (10 a.m., NHL Network, Sportsnet). The Canucks hold picks No. 40, 71, 102, 133, 156, 164, 180 and 195.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

NHL

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Interior Health reports 2 more deaths, 83 new COVID-19 cases

Health authority also identifies new virus cluster in Fernie

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Christina Lake

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary’s top administrator said Area ‘C’s the tax bump shows Christina Lake has weather the COVID-19 pandemic reasonably well. File photo
Christina Lake property taxes to go up in 2021, says regional district

The increase amounts to roughly $30 over last year’s taxes, for properties worth $200,000

An artist’s rendition of Grand Forks’ proposed community centre. Photo: Community Futures Boundary
Grand Forks city council defers community centre decision for a year

Staff and council said Monday, Jan. 25, that the city should wait for a clearer understanding of city finances

South Columbia Search and Rescue called in the Nelson Search and Rescue and Kootenay Valley Helicopters to provide a long line rescue. Photo: BCSAR submitted.
Long-line rescue needed for injured hiker near Trail

Members of South Columbia and Nelson SAR and Kootenay Valley Helicopters did a long-line evacuation

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Vancouver mayor, Health Canada to formally discuss drug decriminalization

Kennedy Stewart says he’s encouraged by the federal health minister’s commitment to work with the city

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Kamloops hospital grows to 66 cases

A majority of cases remain among staff at Royal Inland Hospital

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at B.C. legislature on the province’s mass vaccination plan for COVID-19, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
COVID-19 quarantine not an option for B.C., John Horgan says

Apres-ski parties increase risk, not interprovincial travel

Most Read