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Craig Button

TSN Director of Scouting

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An exceptional combination of skill, imagination and competitiveness is what sets Jack Hughes apart from the rest of the pack.

A 5-foot-9, 157-pound centre with USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program, Hughes is the top prospect in the September edition of Craig’s List ahead of the 2019 NHL Draft – a draft that could see as many as 12 American-born players taken in the first round.

Hughes is the kind of player who brings excitement every time he comes over the boards. He had 116 points (40 goals, 76 assists) with the USNTDP last season and was very impressive in international play. It’s difficult to see how his name isn’t the first one called next June in Vancouver.

Whitehorse, Yukon native Dylan Cozens sits at No. 2 on our first list of the season. The 6-foot-3, 181-pound Lethbridge Hurricanes centre is a rare five-tool prospect who had 22 goals and 53 points in 57 games in his first WHL season. Cozens’ skating, hands, hockey sense, physicality and engine allow him to impact the game over every square inch of ice.

Swedish defenceman Philip Broberg comes in at No. 3 and is one of two blueliners in the top 10 of our list. The AIK defenceman is an outstanding skater who excels in every area of the game. Combine that with his size (6-foot-2, 199 pounds) and you get the kind of player who can anchor an NHL blueline.

Must See: 2019 projected first overall pick Hughes scores with quick shot

USA's Jack Hughes, the projected first overall pick in 2019 NHL Draft, makes a sharp move in front of a Swedish defender, and scores with a quick shot at the World Junior Summer Showcase.

TPS Turku forward Kaapo Kakko (6-foot-2, 194 pounds) is at No. 4 thanks to his high-end skill and a feel for the game that allows him to play in all situations. Kakko can be productive on the wing or at centre – the kind of versatility that is always in high demand at the NHL level.

Russian right wing Vasili Podkolzin rounds out our top five, coming off of an impressive showing at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup where he had eight goals and 11 points. Podkolzin is a difference maker who has the skill and the will to make things positive things happen.

CHL players dominate the rest of our top 10, with Vancouver Giants defenceman Bowen Byram at No. 6, Halifax Mooseheads winger Raphael Lavoie at No. 7, Kootenay Ice centre Peyton Krebs at No. 8, and Saskatoon Blades centre/right wing Kirby Dach at No. 9.

USNTDP right wing Cole Caufield, a skilled offensive dynamo who is just 5-foot-6 and 150 pounds, rounds out the top 10.

 

The Top 40

 
RK Player Team POS HT WT GP G P
1 Jack Hughes USA NTDP (USHL) C 5'9 ½ 157 60 40 116
2 Dylan Cozens Lethbridge (WHL) C 6'3 181 57 22 53
3 Philip Broberg AIK (SWE-Als) D 6'2 ¾ 199 48 7 20
4 Kaapo Kakko Turku (SM Liiga) C/RW 6'2 ¼ 194 38 25 55
5 Vasili Podkolzin St. Petersburg (MHL) RW 6'1 183 21 13 30
6 Bowen Byram Vancouver (WHL) D 6'1 191 60 6 27
7 Raphael Lavoie Halifax (QMJHL) LW/RW 6'3 ¼ 192 68 30 63
8 Peyton Krebs Kootenay (WHL) C 5'11 ¼ 180 67 17 54
9 Kirby Dach Saskatoon (WHL) C/RW 6'3 ½ 199 52 7 46
10 Cole Caufield USA NTDP (USHL) RW 5'6 150 59 54 80
11 Tobias Bjornfot Djurgardens (SWE J20) D 6'0 202 46 10 29
12 Alex Turcotte USA NTDP (USHL) C 5'10 ½ 186 58 18 63
13 Ryan Suzuki Barrie (OHL) C 6'0 ¼ 178 64 14 44
14 Matthew Boldy USA NTDP (USHL) LW 6'0 ¾ 175 62 29 76
15 Ilya Mironov Yaroslavl (MHL) D 6'3 201 43 10 28
16 Kaedan Korczak Kelowna (WHL) D 6'2 ¾ 192 67 3 16
17 Cam York USA NTDP (USHL) D 5'10 ¾ 163 59 8 38
18 Spencer Knight USA NTDP (USHL) G 6'2 ½ 193 39 2.6 0.911
19 Samuel Poulin Sherbrooke (QMJHL) C/LW 6'1 ¼ 206 55 16 45
20 Trevor Zegras USA NTDP (USHL) C 5'10 ¾ 159 56 20 59
21 Josh Williams Medicine Hat (WHL) RW 6'1 188 47 11 20
22 Matthew Robertson Edmonton (WHL) D 6'3 201 67 7 24
23 Arthur Kaliyev Hamilton (OHL) RW 6'1 ¼ 190 68 31 48
24 Jakob Pelletier Moncton (QMJHL) C/LW 5'9 161 60 23 61
25 Victor Soderstrom Brynas (SWE J20) D 5'11 179 48 10 37
26 Alex Vlasic USA NTDP (USHL) D 6'5 193 61 9 29
27 Elmer Soderblom Frölunda (SWE J20) LW 6'6 ¼ 219 38 23 42
28 Alex Newhook Victoria (BCHL) C 5'10 ¼ 190 45 22 66
29 Nolan Foote Kelowna (WHL) LW 6'3 ¼ 183 50 13 40
30 Martin Hugo Has Tappara (SM Liiga Jr) D 6'4 187 40 7 13
31 Nikita Okhotyuk Ottawa (OHL) D 6'0 ¾ 189 53 5 11
32 John Beecher USA NTDP (USHL) C/LW 6'2 ¼ 201 60 17 41
33 Michael Vukojevic Kitchener (OHL) D 6'3 205 24 1 5
34 Daniil Gutik Yaroslavl (MHL) LW 6'3 179 33 11 27
35 Albin Grewe Djurgardens (SWE J20) RW 5'10 ½ 187 38 11 32
36 Nicholas Robertson Peterborough (OHL) LW 5'8 ¾ 159 62 15 33
37 John Farinacci Dexter Academy (USHS) C 5'11 ¼ 185 27 26 53
38 Anttoni Honka JYP (SM Liiga) D 5'9 ¼ 169 48 6 26
39 Nils Hoglander Rogle (SHL) LW 5'8 183 22 14 22
40 Simon Holmstrom HV71 (SWE J20)  RW 6'0 183 36 12 38
 

* - Statistics from the 2017-18 season