In May of last year, it was first reported that the Canucks were interested in hosting the 2019 NHL Entry Draft to kick off the organization’s 50th anniversary in the NHL. Today, it was made (almost) official. Various reports indicate that the Canucks will indeed be hosting the draft for the first time since 2006.
— Province Sports (@provincesports) May 27, 2017
Word is Vancouver will be announced as the host of the 2019 NHL Draft. Which will have the Giants Bowen Byram possibly being a top 5 pick.
— Squire Barnes (@sbarnesglobal) February 22, 2018
The first draft-elligible player that immediately comes to mind is Jack Hughes of the U.S. National Team Development Program. According to TSN’s Craig Button, he has “the Holy Trinity of Hockey Skills: great skating ability, fast hands and an exceptional hockey mind.”
Even discounting Hughes, there’s no shortage of talent available. Canucks fans will become all too familiar with the name Bowen Byram, who’s impressive play with the Vancouver Giants has stapled himself as an exciting player to keep an eye on. Big Kelowna Rockets winger Nolan Foote is another play to watch, as is the tiny, though offensively-gifted Cole Caufield.
2019 will be a big year for the city of Vancouver. There will likely be a number of 50th anniversary festivities, and the World Juniors is bound to create a buzz around the country as well. Hosting the NHL Entry Draft will be the start to an exciting, and hopefully rewarding, season. The Canucks selected Michael Grabner when they last hosted in 2006 – who will be next?