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Craig Button

TSN Director of Scouting

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There’s been no change in the #LoseForHughes strategy for rebuilding teams in the National Hockey League, but a handful of other draft prospects are starting to turn heads with their play early this season.

USA Hockey National Team Development Program centre Jack Hughes remains the clear top prospect in the October edition of Craig’s List ahead of the 2019 NHL Draft, with Finnish right winger Kaapo Kakko jumping up to become the new No. 2.

Kakko, who was rated fourth on our September list, is off to an impressive start with TPS of the Finnish Liiga, scoring three goals and adding seven assists in 14 games.

The 17-year-old is versatile, smart and skilled, making him the rare winger who can do it all in every facet of the game. I haven’t seen a young player look so strong from the outset of a Liiga season since Aleksander Barkov exploded on the scene with Tappara.

Whitehorse, Yukon native Dylan Cozens, who has 17 points in 12 games for the Western Hockey League’s Lethbridge Hurricanes, sits at No. 3, while smooth-skating Swedish defenceman Philip Broberg is fourth.

They’re joined in the top five by Saskatoon Blades centre Kirby Dach, who has worked his way to No. 5 after sitting ninth in September. Dach has 22 points (seven goals, 15 assists) in the first 12 games of his Western Hockey League season. He’s a big, rangy centre in the mould of Ryan Getzlaf who is maturing into a player capable of being dominant with his skill and size.

Button: Could see Kaliyev crack the top ten in the draft

TSN director of scouting Craig J. Button joins TSN 1150's Tatti and Louie B to recap the Maple Leafs 3-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, where the Leafs need to be better moving forward, the latest on William Nylander and his early thoughts on the 2019 draft class.

USNTDP left wing Matthew Boldy jumped seven spots from September to land at No. 7 this month. The 6-foot-1, 187-pound Boldy is a complete winger who blends power and skill in a way that reminds me of Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn. The Boston College commit has the tools to consistently drive play.

Another big riser this month is Hamilton Bulldogs right wing Arthur Kaliyev, who jumped 13 spots to round out our October top 10.

Kaliyev scored 31 goals as a rookie last season on a team that won an Ontario Hockey League title. He hasn’t missed a beat this year, with 13 goals and 10 assists in 13 games. Kaliyev’s release and understanding of how to get open helps him score in so many different ways.

It’s also worth noting that two defencemen who weren’t even ranked on our September list are in the top 20 this month.

Thomas Harley, a 6-foot-3, 188-pound left-shot defenceman for the OHL’s Mississauga Steelheads, debuts at No. 15, while 5-foot-10, 169-pound USNTDP left-shot blueliner Marshall Warren is at No. 20.  

Both players fit the profile of the modern NHL defenceman – able to dictate the pace of the game and comfortable jumping into the attack.

 

The Top 62

 
RK Player Team POS HT WT GP G P
1 Jack Hughes USA NTDP (USHL) C 5'9 ½ 157 10 2 13
2 Kaapo Kakko Turku (SM Liiga) C/RW 6'2 ¼ 194 14 3 10
3 Dylan Cozens Lethbridge (WHL) C 6'3 181 12 7 17
4 Philip Broberg AIK (SWE-Als) D 6'2 ¾ 199 12 0 3
5 Kirby Dach Saskatoon (WHL) C/RW 6'3 ½ 199 12 7 22
6 Vasili Podkolzin St. Petersburg (MHL) RW 6'1 183 8 10 15
7 Matthew Boldy USA NTDP (USHL) LW 6'0 ¾ 175 10 8 12
8 Bowen Byram Vancouver (WHL) D 6'1 191 14 5 12
9 Raphael Lavoie Halifax (QMJHL) LW/RW 6'3 ¼ 192 13 11 18
10 Arthur Kaliyev Hamilton (OHL) RW 6'1 ¼ 190 13 13 23
11 Cole Caufield USA NTDP (USHL) RW 5'6 150 10 3 6
12 Trevor Zegras USA NTDP (USHL) C 5'10 ¾ 159 9 2 9
13 Ryan Suzuki Barrie (OHL) C 6'0 ¼ 178 11 5 21
14 Tobias Bjornfot Djurgardens (SWE J20) D 6'0 202 14 2 6
15 Thomas Harley Mississauga (OHL) D 6'3 188 12 3 10
16 Spencer Knight USA NTDP (USHL) G 6'2 ½ 193 7 2.00 .931
17 Peyton Krebs Kootenay (WHL) C 5'11 ¼ 180 11 4 13
18 Kaedan Korczak Kelowna (WHL) D 6'2 ¾ 192 14 2 10
19 Ilya Mironov Yaroslavl (MHL) D 6'3 201 14 0 3
20 Marshall Warren USA NTDP (USHL) D 5'10 ½ 169 6 1 3
21 Alex Turcotte USA NTDP (USHL) C 5'10 ½ 186 3 1 2
22 Alex Newhook Victoria (BCHL) C 5'10 ¼ 190 17 10 24
23 Samuel Poulin Sherbrooke (QMJHL) C/LW 6'1 ¼ 206 12 8 11
24 Cam York USA NTDP (USHL) D 5'10 ¾ 163 10 2 10
25 Jakob Pelletier Moncton (QMJHL) C/LW 5'9 161 11 5 16
26 Victor Soderstrom Brynas (SWE J20) D 5'11 179 14 1 8
27 Nolan Foote Kelowna (WHL) LW 6'3 ¼ 183 13 7 12
28 Matthew Robertson Edmonton (WHL) D 6'3 201 8 1 4
29 Elmer Soderblom Frölunda (SWE J20) LW 6'6 ¼ 219 12 2 3
30 Alex Vlasic USA NTDP (USHL) D 6'5 193 10 2 4
31 Albin Grewe Djurgardens (SWE J20) RW 5'10 ½ 187 15 6 19
32 Marcus Kallionkieli Sioux City (USHL) LW 6'1 ½ 192 7 8 9
33 John Beecher USA NTDP (USHL) C/LW 6'2 ¼ 201 10 0 6
34 Daniil Gutik Yaroslavl (MHL) LW 6'3 179 14 1 6
35 Nicholas Robertson Peterborough (OHL) LW 5'8 ¾ 159 4 0 0
36 Drew Helleson USA NTDP (USHL) D 6'2 ¼ 181 10 1 1
37 Mikko Kokkonen Jukurit (SM Liiga) D 5'11 198 14 1 7
38 Anttoni Honka JYP (SM Liiga) D 5'9 ¼ 169 13 1 4
39 Nikita Okhotyuk Ottawa (OHL) D 6'0 ¾ 189 11 0 2
40 Shane Pinto Lincoln (USHL) C/RW 6'1 ½ 188 8 6 10
41 Martin Hugo Has Tappara (SM Liiga Jr) D 6'4 187 10 3 5
42 Simon Holmstrom HV71 (SWE J20) RW 6'0 183 4 0 2
43 Hunter Jones Peterborough (OHL) G 6'4 196 13 2.50 .930
44 Nikita Vashchenko Morozova (MHL) D 6'1 190 15 0 1
45 Nils Hoglander Rögle (SHL) LW 5'8 183 10 0 1
46 Brett Leason Prince Albert (WHL) RW 6'3 ¾ 200 13 11 28
47 Ryder Donovan Duluth East (USHS) C/RW 6'3 ¼ 184 - - -
48 Will Francis Cedar Rapids (USHL) D 6'4 ½ 211 7 0 1
49 Colten Ellis Rimouski (QMJHL) G 6'0 ½ 191 11 2.74 .908
50 Leevi Aaltonen Kalpa (SM Liiga Jr) RW 5'8 ½ 154 3 1 2
51 Bobby Brink Sioux City (USHL) C/RW 5'8 ¼ 159 7 3 13
52 John Farinacci Dexter Academy (USHS) C 5'11 ¼ 185 - - -
53 Judd Caulfield USA NTDP (USHL) RW 6'3 204 10 6 9
54 Harrison Blaisdell Chilliwack (BCHL) C/LW 5'10 ¼ 180 18 11 20
55 Nick Porco Saginaw (OHL) LW 5'11 ¾ 177 12 8 11
56 Robert Mastrosimone Chicago (USHL) LW 5'9 ½ 158 8 4 8
57 Roman Bychkov Yaro (MHL) D 5'11 161 15 0 5
58 Mack Guzda Owen Sound (OHL) G 6'4 ½ 217 9 3.75 .866
59 Austen Swankler Waterloo (USHL) C/LW 6'0 181 8 0 4
60 Michael Vukojevic Kitchener (OHL) D 6'3 205 12 1 5
61 Alex Campbell Victoria (BCHL) LW 5'9 ¾ 151 16 8 21
62 Josh Williams Medicine Hat (WHL) RW 6'1 188 13 0 5