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Craig Button

TSN Director of Scouting

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Jack Hughes’s record-breaking season could end with him leading a historic draft class for American hockey talent.

Hughes, who recently broke Clayton Keller’s USA Hockey National Team Development Program scoring record by recording his 190th point in two seasons with the Under-17 and Under-18 squads, sits atop the March edition of Craig’s List ahead of the 2019 NHL Draft.

Five other American skaters have worked their way into the top 10. The record for most U.S. players drafted in the first 10 slots of an NHL draft is four (done in both 2005 and 2006). With 10 Americans currently ranked as first-round picks on our list and 18 in our top 50, the record of 12 U.S. players picked in the first round (done in 2016) could also be challenged.

Hughes remains the best player available this year, combining elite offensive skill and imagination with his will to compete every time he comes over the boards. He’s been slowed by a couple of minor injuries this season, but still has put up monster numbers (35 goals, 89 assists in 61 games).

That sustained excellence keeps him ahead of TPS Turku right wing Kaapo Kakko (No. 2) and Russian right wing Vasili Podkolzin (No. 3). Very little separates these two dynamic players who both have plenty of size and high-end skill to offer.

He sometimes gets lost in the hype surrounding Hughes, but USNTDP centre Trevor Zegras (No. 4) is having a great season of his own, with 110 points in 77 games. The Boston University commit’s playing style and body type remind me of Vancouver Canucks rookie phenom Elias Pettersson.

Vancouver Giants blueliner Bowen Byram (No. 5) has established himself as the clear top defenceman in this class. The Cranbrook, B.C., native has been an offensive force in the Western Hockey League this season, scoring 26 goals and adding 45 assists in 67 games. I think he’ll be able to run a power play at the NHL level.

Lethbridge Hurricanes centre Dylan Cozens sits sixth this month. A great skater with size (6-foot-3, 181 pounds), Cozens has 34 goals and 84 points in 68 games this season. Cozens has slipped out of the top five as the season has progressed, but he’s still an excellent prospect with a big engine who reminds me of Filip Forsberg.

The rest of the top 10 is dominated by Americans. USNTDP left wing Matthew Boldy (No. 7) blends size and great hands, while teammate Alex Turcotte (No. 8) has major upside as a two-way centre. Hamilton Bulldogs right wing Arthur Kaliyev (No. 9) was a top-10 scorer in the Ontario Hockey League this season, scoring 51 goals and adding 51 assists in 67 games.

USNTDP right wing Cole Caufield, an offensive dynamo who is just 5-foot-6 3/4 and 162 pounds, rounds out the top 10. Caufield, who recently broke Phil Kessel’s record for career markers with the USNTDP, is the best pure goal scorer available in the draft.  

 

Craig's List - March 25

 
RK Player Team POS HT WT GP G P
1 Jack Hughes USA NTDP (USHL) C 5'10 ¼ 168 39 23 81
2 Kaapo Kakko Turku (SM Liiga) C/RW 6'2 ¼ 194 45 22 38
3 Vasili Podkolzin St. Petersburg (MHL) RW 6'1 183 12 6 8
4 Trevor Zegras USA NTDP (USHL) C 6'0 166 52 23 74
5 Bowen Byram Vancouver (WHL) D 6'0 ½ 194 67 26 71
6 Dylan Cozens Lethbridge (WHL) C 6'3 181 68 34 84
7 Matthew Boldy USA NTDP (USHL) LW 6'1 ½ 187 53 28 66
8 Alex Turcotte USA NTDP (USHL) C 5'11 189 30 23 53
9 Arthur Kaliyev Hamilton (OHL) RW 6'1 ¼ 190 67 51 102
10 Cole Caufield USA NTDP (USHL) RW 5'6 ¾ 155 53 52 76
11 Philip Broberg AIK (SWE-Als) D 6'2 ¾ 199 41 2 9
12 Ilya Nikolaev Yaroslavl (MHL) C 6'0 190 41 10 25
13 Spencer Knight USA NTDP (USHL) G 6'2 ½ 193 31 2.55 .906
14 Jakob Pelletier Moncton (QMJHL) C/LW 5'9 161 65 39 89
15 Kirby Dach Saskatoon (WHL) C/RW 6'3 ½ 199 62 25 73
16 Thomas Harley Mississauga (OHL) D 6'3 188 68 11 58
17 Peyton Krebs Kootenay (WHL) C 5'11 ¼ 180 64 19 68
18 Raphael Lavoie Halifax (QMJHL) LW/RW 6'3 ½ 191 62 31 73
19 Cam York USA NTDP (USHL) D 5'11 ¼ 171 52 9 46
20 Victor Soderstrom Brynas (SHL) D 5'11 179 44 4 7
21 Bobby Brink Sioux City (USHL) C/RW 5'8 ¼ 159 36 28 52
22 Ville Heinola Lukko (SM Liiga) D 5'11 ¼ 178 34 2 14
23 Tobias Bjornfot Djurgardens (SWE J20) D 6'0 202 39 11 22
24 Egor Afanasyev Muskegon (USHL) LW 6'3 203 53 24 56
25 Samuel Poulin Sherbrooke (QMJHL) C/LW 6'1 ¼ 206 67 29 76
26 Nicholas Robertson Peterborough (OHL) LW 5'8 ¾ 159 54 27 55
27 Alex Newhook Victoria (BCHL) C 5'10 ¼ 190 53 38 102
28 Ryan Suzuki Barrie (OHL) C 6'0 ¼ 178 65 25 75
29 Matthew Robertson Edmonton (WHL) D 6'3 201 52 7 33
30 Moritz Seider Mannheim (DEL) D 6'3 ½ 183 29 2 6
31 Brett Leason Prince Albert (WHL) RW 6'3 ¾ 200 55 36 89
                 
32 Connor McMichael London (OHL) C/LW 5'10 ¾ 172 67 36 72
33 Vladislav Kolyachonok Flint (OHL) D 6'0 ¼ 176 54 4 30
34 Hunter Jones Peterborough (OHL) G 6'4 196 57 3.31 .902
35 Marshall Warren USA NTDP (USHL) D 5'10 ½ 169 47 6 29
36 Albin Grewe Djurgardens (SWE J20) RW 5'10 ½ 187 25 13 34
37 Ryan Johnson Sious Falls (USHL) D 5'11 ¾ 162 46 5 22
38 Phillip Tomasino Niagara (OHL) C 5'11 ¾ 178 67 34 72
39 Alex Vlasic USA NTDP (USHL) D 6'5 ¾ 193 51 4 25
40 Nolan Foote Kelowna (WHL) LW 6'3 ¼ 183 66 36 63
41 Vladislav Firstov Waterloo (USHL) LW 6'0 180 31 16 35
42 Roman Bychkov Yaro (MHL) D 5'11 161 40 2 15
43 Jackson LaCombe Shattuck St. Mary's (USHS) D 6'1 ¼ 177 46 19 67
44 John Beecher USA NTDP (USHL) C/LW 6'2 ¾ 204 52 10 36
45 Nathan Legare Baie Comeau (QMJHL) RW 6'0 205 68 45 87
46 Simon Holmstrom HV71 (SWE J20) RW 6'0 183 31 7 20
47 Kaedan Korczak Kelowna (WHL) D 6'2 ¾ 192 68 4 33
48 Brayden Tracey Moose Jaw (WHL) LW 6'0 177 66 36 81
49 Shane Pinto Lincoln (USHL) C/RW 6'1 ½ 188 50 25 51
50 Harrison Blaisdell Chilliwack (BCHL) C/LW 5'10 ¼ 180 51 33 58
51 Alex Campbell Victoria (BCHL) LW 5'9 ¾ 151 53 21 67
52 Lassi Thomson Kelowna (WHL) D 6'0 188 63 17 41
53 Semyon Chistyakov Ufa (MHL) D 5'10 167 32 1 11
54 Daniil Misyul Yaroslavl (MHL) D 6'3 176 46 4 10
55 Ryder Donovan Duluth East (USHS) C/RW 6'3 ¼ 184 29 17 47
56 Jamieson Rees Sarnia (OHL) C 5'10 173 37 10 32
57 Mikko Kokkonen Jukurit (SM Liiga) D 5'11 198 56 3 19
58 Marcus Kallionkieli Sioux City (USHL) LW 6'1 ½ 192 52 24 44
59 Michael Gildon USA NTDP (USHL) LW 6'1 194 50 18 41
60 Colten Ellis Rimouski (QMJHL) G 6'0 ½ 191 46 2.47 .910
61 Kirill Slepets Yaroslavl (MHL) RW 5'10 165 17 12 18
62 Martin Hugo Has Tappara U20 (SM Liiga Jr) D 6'4 187 37 9 16
                 
63 Pyotr Kochetkov Ryanzan (MHL) G 6'3 205 18 2.13 .930
64 Leevi Aaltonen Kalpa (SM Liiga Jr) RW 5'8 ¾ 154 29 12 36
65 Jordan Spence Moncton (QMJHL) D 5'9 ½ 164 68 6 49
66 Nikita Alexandrov Charlottetown (QMJHL) C 6'0 179 64 27 61
67 Nils Hoglander Rögle (SHL) LW 5'8 183 50 7 14
68 Henry Thrun USA NTDP (USHL) D 6'2 190 26 4 22
69 Henri Nikkanen Jukurit  (SM Liiga Jr) C 6'3 200 14 2 9
70 Patrick Moynihan USA NTDP (USHL) LW/RW 5'11 ¼ 183 26 11 20
71 Mikhail Abramov Victoriaville (QMJHL) C 5'10 ½ 154 62 16 54
72 Daniil Gutik Yaroslavl (MHL) LW 6'3 179 36 5 13
73 Robert Mastrosimone Chicago (USHL) LW 5'9 ½ 158 47 28 55
74 Ilya Mironov Yaroslavl (MHL) D 6'3 201 36 1 6
75 Juuso Parssinen TPS Jr (SM Liiga Jr) C 6'2 200 36 13 22
76 Taylor Gauthier Prince George (WHL) G 6'1 195 55 3.25 .899
77 Ronnie Attard Tri-City (USHL) D 6'3 208 43 26 55
78 Reece Newkirk Portland (WHL) C 5'10 ¾ 172 68 23 59
79 Drew Helleson USA NTDP (USHL) D 6'2 ¼ 181 53 5 20
80 Trent Miner Vancouver (WHL) G 6'0 ½ 182 32 1.98 .924
81 Antti Saarela Lukko Jr. (SM Liiga Jr) C 5'10 ¾ 183 21 7 15
82 Samuel Hlavaj Lincoln (USHL) G 6'3 ½ 187 20 4.37 .866
83 John Farinacci Dexter Academy (USHS) C 5'11 ¼ 185 16 12 33
84 Trevor Janicke Central Illinois (USHL) C 5'10 ¼ 193 52 20 42
85 Layton Ahac Prince George (BCHL) D 6'2 196 25 2 11
86 Case McCarthy USA NTDP (USHL) D 6'0 ½ 194 31 4 14
87 Keean Washkurak Mississauga (OHL) C 5'10 184 66 16 47
88 Patrik Puistola Tappara (SM Liiga Jr) RW 6'0 174 25 11 22
89 Alex Beaucage Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL) RW 6'1 193 68 39 79
90 Luka Burzan Brandon (WHL) LW/RW 6'0 184 68 40 78
91 Judd Caulfield USA NTDP (USHL) RW 6'3 204 26 6 25
92 Nikita Okhotyuk Ottawa (OHL) D 6'0 ¾ 189 56 2 17
93 Jake Lee Seattle (WHL) D 6'1 ¾ 216 67 3 24