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2019 Draft Countdown: 20-16: Cole Caufield, Philip Broberg, Alex Newhook, Raphael Lavoie, Connor McMichael

Welcome to Canucks Army’s 2019 Draft Countdown. Over the next four weeks leading up to the draft, we’ll be rounding up scouting reports, quotes, and videos about our Top-100 prospects available. Here are aggregated profiles on 2019 Draft Countdown: Cole Caufield, Philip Broberg, Alex Newhook, Raphael Lavoie, and Connor McMichael. 

Cole Caufield 

Date of birth: January 2nd, 2001

Nation: United States

Position: Centre/Right wing

Shoots: R

Height: 5’7″ / 170 cm

Weight: 163 lbs / 74 kg

Profile: Viewed as this year’s Alex DeBrincat, Caufield is a small but ridiculously skilled forward who teams would be foolish to pass up on because of his size. 

A game-breaking goal scorer that, despite his diminutive frame, thrives under pressure and is difficult to contain. He’s a silky smooth skater that traverses all three zones with jump and jam. Defensively, he’s uncomfortable having the puck in his own end for long and he’ll make the extra effort to pressure around the blue line and take away cross-ice options. Upon procuring puck possession, he’ll be the first to explode up ice in-transition. The hallmark of his game is his exceptional goal-scoring ability. He has a shot that absolutely leaps off his stick with pinpoint accuracy when he lets loose and a low centre of gravity that facilitates fast and flashy puckhandling at pace. He affords his linemates options by taking advantage of any allotted attention he garners, generating time and space by drawing guys in; he’s perpetually hard to play against. All-in-all, Cole Caufield is an electrifying goal-scoring machine that makes some of the most otherworldly plays look like child’s play. – Elite Prospects 

U.S.-born NHL draft prospect Cole Caufield should be judged, not by the company he keeps, but rather the company he left behind when he set a new scoring record for the U.S. National Team Development Program.

With 106 goals over two seasons, the Wisconsin native has more goals than anyone who has played at the USNTDP. That list includes Phil Kessel, Auston Matthews, Jack Eichel and Dylan Larkin.

“It is a ‘wow’ record,” said former NHL goalie John Vanbiesbrouck, now USA Hockey’s assistant executive director of hockey operations.

Caufield scored 54 goals in 59 games in 2017-18, and he has 52 in 53 games this season. He scored six goals in one United States Hockey League game this year.

“I think Cole has proven that he is cut out of the Alex DeBrincat mold,” Vanbiesbrouck said. – Kevin Allen, USA Today 

Philip Broberg

Date of birth: June 25th, 2001

Nation: Sweden

Position: Defence 

Shoots: L

Height: 6’3″ / 191 cm

Weight: 201 lbs / 91 kg

Profile: A big, smooth-skater with excellent instincts, Broberg has emerged as one of the best defencemen in the draft. 

Philip Broberg is a smart two-way defenceman with undeniable skill. His fluid skating ability allows him to punish over-extension immediately with how quickly he can start plays from his own end. What his impressive mobility tends to overshadow, though, is his positional play. While he doesn’t always make the high percentage play, he is very perceptive and thinks his decisions through. On the fly, he pays close attention to where the puck’s going and where it’s been. This allows him to read the play early and make the most of any time and space found. All-in-all, Broberg could be the most complete defenceman in his draft class. He’s got elite mobility and hockey sense, and he doesn’t give up his own end. – Curtis Joe, Elite Prospects 

“He’s one of those players where I think a team will step up for him in the draft,” NHL Central Scouting director Dan Marr said of Broberg. “I think that’s going to be a smart move. He’s not the loudest, flashiest player, so he doesn’t draw attention. But, when you go to a game, you don’t have to look for him. He makes the kinds of plays where you say, ‘Smart player. Smart player.'”

“Prototypical size-skating combo,” added an NHL scout who requested anonymity. “He’s got a shot, good hands. Can probably man the second-unit power play one day. He’s a really fun player to watch.” – John Matisz, The Score

Alex Newhook

Date of birth: January 28th, 2001

Nation: Canada

Position: Centre

Shoots: L

Height: 5’10” / 179 cm

Weight: 190 lbs / 86 kg

Profile: Newhook had a dominant season in the BCHL, posting 102 points in 52 games. That said, it’s difficult to determine the merit of those stats given the weaker competition he faced. 

St. John’s, Newfoundland native Alex Newhook opted to go west, playing for the Victoria Grizzlies in the BCHL rather than joining the Halifax Mooseheads after being drafted in the 2017 QMJHL Draft. Newhook is looking to maintain his NCAA eligibility as he is committed to play for the Boston College Eagles next season. Newhook put up 38 goals and 64 assists for 102 points in 53 games this season. He also picked up 11 goals and 24 points in 15 playoff games. He had the most assists and points in the BCHL. This comes on the heels of the 2017-18 season where Newhook was the leader in numerous rookie categories, including points and assists, and was named Rookie of the Year, to the league’s All-Rookie team, and to the First All-Star Team. – Ben Kerr, Last Word on Hockey

Newhook concluded his second and final BCHL season by running away with the league scoring title. His 102 points in 53 contests were 18 more than the second-place (and soon-to-be 21-year-old) finisher. However, Newhook’s fantastic output was met with tepid feelings as he was supposed to dominate that level. He woke many scouts with his play at the recent World U18 Championships as he tied for the team lead with 10 points in seven games and showcased his blinding speed throughout. Already a strong two-way player, the Boston College commit offers the full array of skills. He’s made a strong case to be a top-15 lock this June with some consideration to going in the top-10. – Cam Robinson, Dobber Prospects

Raphael Lavoie

Date of birth: September 25th, 2000

Nation: Canada

Position: Centre/Right wing

Shoots: R

Height: 6’4″ / 193 cm

Weight: 198 lbs / 90 kg

Profile: After a somewhat disappointing season for Halifax in the QMJHL, Lavoie, a big, skilled power forward, turned on the jets in the playoffs and Memorial Cup. 

There are diverse opinions on how quickly this huge winger goes off the draft board because he is so dominating against the smaller QMJHL players he regularly plays against. There is no denying he seduces your opinion with his long reach and sneaky deceptive release of the puck that catches goalies off guard. Was added to the World Junior Summer Showcase as an injury replacement and played well when surrounded by really good teammates. At this juncture, he projects more as a right wing, and not a centre. He will have to radically improve his acceleration, foot speed, and pace to be thought capable of patrolling centre ice in higher levels. – Bill Placzek, Draft Site

Lavoie helped the host Mooseheads reach the Canadian major junior championship game where Halifax lost to the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. He had two highlight-reel goals in the tournament – including one in the final – and an assist along with 17 shots on goal over four games.

His physical play was prevalent throughout the tournament as he used his big frame to create a good cycle in the corner and set up scoring opportunities for his teammates.

He says he’s at his best when he has the puck and is creating offensive chances.

“I think I’m pretty good when I’m doing that.”

Lavoie was streaky during his draft year and finished the regular season with 32 goals and 41 assists in 62 games.

But when it came to the playoffs, the right-handed shot picked up his game. – Ryan McKenna, Sportsnet 

Connor McMichael 

Date of birth: January 15th, 2001

Nation: Canada

Position: Centre

Shoots: L

Height: 5’11” / 180 cm

Weight: 174 lbs / 79 kg

Profile: McMichael is a forward who has more of a high floor than a high ceiling. He’s a low-risk prospect and seems to be a sure-fire middle-six forward at the NHL level. 

McMichael can make for a dream winger for any dynamic center. He can play with pace, finish off plays, and will do the dirty work. He’d be a complementary piece, but a good one at that. In today’s NHL where obtaining elite talent doesn’t come easy, this is the kind of player who can bring value. No, he won’t pull you out of your seat with a high-end skill play, but he’s an efficient player who will be a fan favorite because of his timely goals and jubilant celebrations. – Cam Kuom, WingsNation

He’s a good player who doesn’t really have glaring holes in his game, but he also doesn’t have any really showy high-end attributes. He’s a guy that’s probably going to be pretty good as a pro, but might not be great, and the question is whether teams will want to use a first round swing at a safe player who might not have a sky-high ceiling. – Ryan Pike, FlamesNation

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  • North Van Halen

    There are some bold ranking on the Nation Network this year!! Caufield 20?!?! Haven’t seen him below 10. Kaliyev 28. Knight in the 30’s. Again, not that I’m arguing because I know less than nothing about grading prospects I’d just really like to know the reasoning behind the big discrepancies…Who’s writing that article?

  • TD

    I can’t believe a stats dominated site has Caufield at 20. After the U18 Worlds, I’ve seen him in the top 5 in other rankings. I know these rankings are from the whole network, but the Broberg comments talk about his good hockey sense, while CA has been saying he doesn’t have good sense or vision.

  • Rodeobill

    Caufield and Broberg seem a little strangely ranked, but perhaps other teams will agree and draft accordingly. It is good to see that not everyone wants the ones you do I guess.

    Good article topic suggestion… Why/Why not? an article looking at gambling on this or that prospect would be good, and why it may a fail. Essentially looking into a specific prospects strengths and potential/ceiling, while also speculating on what weakness or shortcoming may lead to a bust. We get to read some informed speculation regarding each prospect to where they project (elite, first line, complimentary piece, etc.) while taking a good guess at their chances of becoming that.

  • Spiel

    Must have been a change of editors. Was fulling expecting Caufield to be ranked in the top 5. He checks all the boxes for this site – under 6ft tall, under 180 lbs, not canadian.

  • Doodly Doot

    Caufield and Broberg are likely to go top 8. I definitely think Newhook is special and ‘should’ go around 10-15 (closer to 10 perhaps). CA is clearly enjoying their own Kool-Aid. Mmmm… delicious.

  • Green Bastard

    Meh. CA knows picking at ten is a crapshoot and a non event at your own draft party so can’t blame them for the half-heartedness. I won’t even be tuning in this year.

    Canucks need legit NHL ready players not hit-n-hopers at ten lol.