There are countless NHL draft rankings out there right now and the Vancouver Canucks have many different names tied to their tenth overall pick. Prospects like Cole Caufield, Matt Boldy, Alex Newhook and Victor Soderstrom have all been talked about in this market as some of the players that could be available at 10 when Jim Benning & Co take to the stage on June 21st.
The Canucks sit right in the pocket as Jim Lahey used to say, they are in a spot where a great player will for sure be available as this draft has 13 players that stand above the rest.
These 13 prospects stick out to me as the top options for the Vancouver Canucks to draft with the tenth overall pick. Now obviously there are names like Kakko, Byram and Hughes that will for sure be gone by the time the Canucks take to podium.
But aside from those three I truly feel it is absolutely a mashup of talent that depending on how your scouting staff does it’s evaluations, we could see any of the remaining 10 players go anywhere from third overall to fifteenth.
Vasili Podkolzin seemed to have the third spot locked down for a majority of the season but over the past few months we have seen him drop as low as 13th in some mock drafts. His contract with the KHL is likely to scare some teams off as every team’s GM would like to have at least a bit of control when it comes to the years following a players first round selection.
Podkolzin could be one of the most skilled players to come out of this draft but waiting a few years with no control will likely make him a strong candidate to be the player that slides in the 2019 draft.
Podkolzin plummets in @CraigJButton's Mock Draft 3.0.
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) May 11, 2019
There are guys like Alex Newhook and Victor Soderstrom who have not been featured in many top 10s over the past few months, though Newhook did see himself as high as number three at the beginning of the season in some draft rankings.
These two players show a bit of a risk/reward situation for me, Soderstrom has a very high floor with the potential to be a top pairing defenceman. Not necessarily a number one d-man but the perfect pairing partner for a guy like Quinn Hughes. As for Newhook, it was great to see him have plenty of success this year at the U-18s, the BCHLer scored five goals and five assists in only seven games and was one of Canada’s most dominant forces in the tournament.
Newhook destroyed the BCHL this year putting up 49 goals and 126 points in 68 regular season and playoff games, his talent shined in every single game and the young Grizzlies’ captain will have an impressive crop of 2019 NHL draft prospects to join him at Boston College next year.
Boston College is going to be stacked next year in NCAA hockey.
Probable first rounders like:
C Alex Newhook
D Cam York
LW Matthew Boldy
G Spencer Knight
— Chris Faber 🤙🔥🎙 (@ChrisFaber39) March 18, 2019
Two of the USNTDP player Alex Turcotte and Trevor Zegras fit into similar projections for me as they both had great seasons with the U18 team and will more than likely be picked in the top 10. Turcotte had more time at centre but Zegras showed some amazing playmaking ability when lined up alongside Jack Hughes and Cole Caufield.
That brings me to Cole Caufield, the 72 goal scoring, record breaking 5’7″ right winger. Though there are some defensive deficiencies in Caufield’s game, he will be called very early at the NHL draft, I predict as high as fifth to the LA Kings, but he could also fall in the Canucks laps at 10 if teams are scared off due to his size translating to the NHL game. It is 2019, and size is not everything anymore, it’s about how you use your size.
Kirby Dach, Dylan Cozens and Peyton Krebs all had very solid years in the WHL, it really is a comeback year for “The Dub” as it will see 2-4 players taken in the top 10 of the draft and could see up to seven players go in the first round. These players are just a tad under the USNTDP in my rankings but they have shown that they can compete in a physical WHL when guys like Turcotte, Zegras and Caufield were playing in a league that saw a lot less physical hockey.
I didn't know this happened in these USNTDP games!
#18 is 5'11" 3-5th round prospect Patrick Moynihan
#17 (Mostly Jersey-less) is 6'3" John Beecher, a guy for the Canucks to look at if he's available at their second round pick. pic.twitter.com/BW2KV98N6G
— Chris Faber 🤙🔥🎙 (@ChrisFaber39) May 27, 2019
The USNTDP guys can throw it around a bit I guess.
Speaking of USNTDP players that can throw it around that brings me to Matt Boldy.
Matt Boldy can play both wings, has a great release to go along with his big body and strong first three strides. He plays a tough game, is a confident kid and knows what he has to improve on the be a top six winger in the NHL. He would also fit in very nicely with Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser on a line and for that reason he seems to be one of the favourites on Canucks twitter.
All in all the Canucks sit in a great spot, these 13 players all bring something different to a team’s prospect pool and each of them look to be a contributor to an NHL team in the years to come. The Canucks have a positional need for a right shot defenceman and a left winger so players like Trevor Zegras, Matt Boldy and Victor Soderstrom do fit the organizational needs.
The other thing about being the 10th spot is that there could be a player that the Canucks are targeting that is just outside of the projected top 13 that they value highly. The Canucks could look the route of adding a defenceman like Philip Broberg, Cam York or Thomas Harley, but I do believe there are more talented players in my top 13.
There will be a big boost the Vancouver Canucks on June 21st and with the craziness that the first round of the NHL draft always gives us we will could see one of the nine teams prior to the Canucks go off the board and take a wildcard player like OHL sniper Arthur Kaliyev. It’s going to be a fun month as we approach the draft and one thing is certain, the Vancouver Canucks will get a great player with their 10th overall pick.