Now that the Stanley Cup Playoffs are officially over, we are inching closer to draft time as we are a week away from the NHL Draft on June 21st in Vancouver. I have compiled my final mock draft of the year. I am ready for it to be completely wrong but they are still fun to speculate. Although, I am pretty sure that I will get at least the first two right. After that, who knows. Like all other mock drafts I have made this year, the name that gets called first will be none other than……

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  1. New Jersey Devils- Jack Hughes, C, NTDP-

    Jack Hughes has been the favorite to go 1st overall for a long time. You know there is something special with Hughes when Patrick Kane is speaking highly of him. The Devils have an easy decision to make. Don’t get cute, take Jack Hughes.

  2. New York Rangers- Kaapo Kakko, RW, TPS-

    As of late Kakko has been making a push to put his name in the running to go 1st overall. If he were a center as opposed to a winger then this may be a different discussion. The Rangers have the 2nd easiest decision in this draft and that would be to take Kakko.

  3. Chicago Blackhawks- Alex Turcotte, C, NTDP-

    This is the point in the draft where most mocks will get thrown out the window because of all the players the Hawks could consider. There is no clear cut favorite to be the third pick because there is little difference between the guy that gets picked third and the guy that gets picked 10th. Turcotte is a hometown kid that in a few years could be a top 2 center for the Hawks after a season or two at the University of Wisconsin.

  4. Colorado Avalanche (From Ottawa)- Trevor Zegras, C, NTDP-

    Colorado got unlucky in terms of the draft lottery. Ottawa had the worst record which meant the Avs had the best odds to land the first pick. Now, come draft time, they sit at the 4th pick and will have a large amount of talent to choose from. Zegras would be a nice add in terms of his playmaking ability. The Avs already have a nice young defensive core, now it is time to beef up the offense.

  5. Los Angeles Kings- Bowen Byram, D, Vancouver-

    The Kings get the best defenseman in the draft at pick 5. Byram is an offense-minded defenseman putting up 71 points in 67 games with Vancouver in the WHL this season. With the proper coaching, Byram could become a top defenseman in the NHL in the near future. He may need another season in the WHL to touch up his defensive game but would be a great addition to the Kings for the 2020 season.

  6. Detroit Red Wings- Dylan Cozens, C, Lethbridge-

    When it’s time for the Red Wings to pick, Cozens is the top player on the board. He has a good mix of size, skill, and physicality. He fits the role of a power forward. Cozens is most likely a year away from being a full-time player in the NHL.

  7. Buffalo Sabres- Matthew Boldy, LW, NTDP-

    If the Sabres didn’t re-sign Jeff Skinner I would be all for taking Cole Caufield. They could very well still take him if available. I think Boldy would be the better pick. He has quite a shot himself and can also set up plays in the offensive zone.

  8. Edmonton Oilers- Cole Caufield, RW, NTDP-

    The Oilers need help pretty much everywhere except at the center position. They also need players to put the puck in the net that are not named McDavid or Draisaitl. Caufield is a pure scorer. He has a great shot and a deadly one-timer. A Wisconsin recruit would be a nice addition to the Oilers top 6 a few years down the road.

  9. Anaheim Ducks- Peyton Krebs, C/LW, Kootenay-

    Every time I watch Peyton Krebs I think to myself that he could be a top 5 pick if he played on a better team. Krebs was the best player by far on what was the worst team in the WHL. In two season with the Kootenay Ice Krebs played 131 games with 36 goals and 86 assists. Krebs is also a guy that gives it all every shift. He should be an impactful NHLer for a long time.

  10. Vancouver Canucks- Kirby Dach, C, Saskatoon-

    If I am Vancouver sitting at the 10th pick, I am ecstatic that Dach is available. I think Dach is a top 5 talent in this draft. He is a great blend of size, skill, and hockey sense. While center may not be a position of need, Dach would be the best player available at this pick  

  11. Philadelphia Flyers- Philip Broberg, D, AIK-

    The past few days the Flyers have thrown Shayne Ghostisbhere’s name around in trade discussion. The Flyers don’t have many defensemen in the system. That is why taking the best defenseman available at this pick makes the most sense. Broberg uses his size and his skating to his advantage. The Flyers are also rumored to be interested in moving this pick via trade.

  12. Minnesota Wild- Vasil Podkolzin, RW, SKA-

    At one point this season Podkolzin was thought to be the favorite to be the third overall pick. He is a physical forward and is good at controlling his emotion on the ice. He can also put up some goal scoring numbers with his strong shot. Podkolzin is under contract with SKA St. Petersburg for the next few seasons. If the Wild choose to draft him, they will need to be patient.

  13. Florida Panthers- Arthur Kaliyev, LW, Hamilton-

    The Panthers need some help in the goal scoring department. Kaliyev would be the best addition for them. He is one of the drafts best pure goal scorers. In addition to his goal scoring, this season he has progressed as a playmaker. The main knock that he receives is some scouts see him as a lazy player.

  14. Arizona Coyotes- Alex Newhook, C, Victoria-

    The Coyotes are slowly starting to put things together. In this position, a player like Newhook would really help this team. Alex Newhook tore up the BCHL this season. He is a smart player that makes smart decisions. Newhook has all the makings of a number one center. 

  15. Montreal Canadiens- Egor Afanasyev, C, Muskegon-

    Egor Afanasyev is a pure power forward. He has a lot of raw talent. Afanasyev is a big strong forward that knows how to put the puck in the net. He is not afraid to go to the dirty areas. Afanasyev would be a great addition to the Montreal Canadiens.

  16. Colorado Avalanche- Cam York, D, NTDP-

    ST. PAUL, MN – SEPTEMBER 19: Team Leopold defenseman Cam York (2) takes a shot on goal during the USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game between Team Leopold and Team Langenbrunner on September 19, 2018 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN. Team Leopold defeated Team Langenbrunner 6-4.(Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    Colorado is fortunate enough to have two first-round picks in the draft. With their first selection, I had them taking a forward so with the other pick it makes sense to grab a defenseman. York would be a great fit. He is an offensive-minded defenseman. He is a great skater and a good puck mover. The Avs have a nice young defensive core and York would be a great addition.

  17. Vegas Golden Knights- Raphael Lavoie, C, Halifax-

    Only two years into the league and Vegas has made the playoffs both years. In this draft, I think Lavoie would be a great fit for Vegas at this pick. Lavoie really caught fire around playoff time with Halifax. He has a boatload of skills that just need to be rounded out.

  18. Dallas Stars- Ryan Suzuki, C, Barrie-

    While the Stars seem to have a lot of depth at the center position it is never a bad strategy to take the best player available. At this pick, it would be Ryan Suzuki. Suzuki has a lot of skill and a great hockey sense. He is also one of the drafts best playmakers which is something that the Stars could desperately use.

  19. Ottawa Senators (From Columbus)- Thomas Harley, D, Mississauga-

    Ottawa at this pick could go one of two routes. They could take Spencer Knight who is the top goalie in this class, or they could go defenseman. I chose defenseman purely based on that if Knight has not been taken already, I do not see any team taking him until the Sens next pick at pick number 32. Harley is a good all-around defenseman. He makes the smart play consistently and is overall a good two-way defender. This season he has slowly found an offensive aspect to his game which could prove to be a weapon in the future.

  20. New York Rangers (From Winnipeg)- Victor Soderstrom, D, Brynas IF-

    The trend of best available continues for the Rangers as they make their second pick of the first round. Soderstrom is the drafts top right-handed defenseman. He is a smart defenseman that reads the ice well. Starting a draft with the top right winger and the top right-handed defenseman would already be considered a great draft class.

  21. Pittsburgh Penguins- Connor McMichael, C, London-

    Connor McMichael is a guy that I could see going anywhere as early as 14 to the end of the first round. McMichael put up 72 points with the London Knights this season while playing on the 3rd line. He is smart and skilled at the center position. If the Pens could get their hands on him I am sure they would gladly take him.

  22. Los Angeles Kings (From Toronto)- Bobby Brink, RW, Sioux City-

    With their second pick in the first round, the Kings should try to grab a forward. Brink makes a lot of sense for this team. He has a very high hockey IQ and he has a heck of a shot. Brink put up 35 goals in 43 games with the Sioux City Musketeers of the USHL this season. He needs to work on his skating for sure but he is a legitimate playmaker. After a few seasons at the University of Denver, Bobby Brink should see regular ice time with whichever team decides to draft him.

  23. New York Islanders- Ville Heinola, D, Lukko-

    Someone described Heinola as a poor man’s Miro Heiskanen. His hockey sense is off the charts. He also can produce offensive numbers. What he does need to work on is his skating. If Heinola is anything close to Miro Heiskanen then whoever chooses him will have themselves a steal.

  24. Nashville Predators- Nils Hoglander, LW, Rogle-

    For the Preds, Hoglander could be a great fit. He is a very creative player and he always gives 110 percent effort. He is not a guy that projects to be a top line player but could be a weapon for any teams middle 6.  

  25. Washington Capitals- Alex Vlasic, D, NTDP-

    Every time I watch Vlasic the more I like him. He stands 6-foot-6, 192 lbs. Pure stay at home defenseman. Vlasic could be described as a safe pick. A guy who is going to play in the league for a long time. He will eat up minutes and he will kill penalties. If he can develop a bit of an offensive game then there is no doubt that he would be a top defenseman for years to come.

  26. Calgary Flames- Jakob Pelletier, LW, Moncton-

    Pelletier is a guy that can play in all three zones. He has a good shot that has more deception than power. His compete level is through the roof. He can control and possess the puck. Durability has always been an issue for Pelletier but he has produced numbers wherever he has played.

  27. Tampa Bay Lightning- Brett Leason, C, Prince Albert-

    Leason has been passed over two drafts in a row. He battles along the boards and fights for position in front of the net. He can play the role of a playmaker but he can also put the puck in the net. If Tampa decides to take him he could become another weapon in the Lightnin’s arsenal.

  28. Carolina Hurricanes- Philip Tomasino, C, Niagara-

    Tomasino bounced around the Niagara lineup all season. He finished the year with 34 goals and 38 assists in 67 games. He is a smart hockey player with good speed and a good hockey sense. He’s got a quick accurate shot that he uses often. Tomasino is probably at least two years away from cracking a full-time roster spot.

  29. Anaheim Ducks (From San Jose)- Moritz Seider, D, Mannheim-

    Seider is another right-handed defenseman and he has made big strides in the German league. He is a solid two-way defender that can move the puck. Seider has a physical aspect to his game. He will be a long term project and a very boom or bust pick, but the potential for something special could be worth it.

  30. Boston Bruins- Samuel Poulin, LW, Sherbrooke-

    The Bruins could use someone in the system like Poulin. He is a strong physical forward that likes to drive the net. He has great hockey sense and a good feel for the game. Poulin is a solid playmaker that would be of benefit to the Bruins.

  31. Buffalo Sabres (From St. Louis)- Nathan Legare, RW, Baie-Comeau-

    Buffalo should continue to add offense and Nathan Legare is someone who needs to receive more attention. He is a pure sniper, he put up 45 goals this season in the QMJHL. Legare is strong on the forecheck and loves to play a physical game. A big concern that he needs to fix is his skating.

Thank you for reading, and happy offseason!

Cover photo credit: Chris Bugajsky covers the Dallas Stars, the NHL and the NHL Draft for Full Press Coverage. Follow Chris on twitter @CBugajsky14.

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