Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko are ranked No. 1 in NHL Central Scouting’s final ranking for North American and International skaters, respectively, for the 2019 NHL draft on June 21-22 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver.
On Monday, Central Scouting revealed its final list of the top North American skaters and goalies, and top International skaters and goalies.
The Devils hold the No. 1 pick after winning the NHL Draft Lottery on April 9, and are expected to select Hughes, a center from the USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program under-18 team. The New York Rangers have the No. 2 pick and are projected to select Kakko, a right wing with TPS in Finland’s Liiga.
Hughes’ teammate, Spencer Knight, is the No. 1 ranked North American goaltender. Pyotr Kochetkov of Ryazan in Russia’s second division is the No. 1 International netminder.
While the top two picks look to be locks, it’s anyone’s guess what the Blackhawks will do with the No. 3 pick that they received after moving up nine spots in the draft lottery.
The Blackhawks have used their top four picks, including three in the first round, in the last two drafts on defensemen so it seems they’ll draft a forward.
North American skaters rankings
No. 1: Center Jack Hughes (USNTDP)
No. 2: Defenseman Bowen Byram (WHL Vancouver)
No. 3: Center Kirby Dach (WHL Saskatoon)
No. 4: Alex Turcotte (USNTDP)
No. 5: Dylan Cozens (WHL Lethbridge)
International skaters rankings
No. 1: Right wing Kaapo Kakko (Liiga’s TPS)
No. 2: Left wing Vasily Podkolzin (Russia-2 Neva St. Petersburg)
No. 3: Defenseman Victor Soderstrom (SHL Brynas)
No. 4: Defenseman Ville Heinola (Liiga’s Lukko)
No. 5: Defenseman Philip Broberg (Sweden-2 AIK)