Could Jack Hughes or Kaapo Kakko end up on the Detroit Red Wings? And if so, does either player have the potential to shift the momentum of the franchise? Let’s explore what a March 5 NHL Mock Draft would look like.
As we enter into the home stretch of the 2018-19 NHL campaign, the line between pretender and contender grows increasingly apparent.
With playoff matchups all but determined in the Atlantic, the attention of many has shifted toward hockey’s other three divisions.
And while several playoff positions in the Western Conference shall likely remain up for grabs until the bitter end of the current season, it’s fair to conclude that numerous teams are already looking ahead to the next stages of their respective rebuilding processes.
As it stands, the Colorado Avalanche are in a prime spot to land the most critically acclaimed prospect available in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft — 17-year-old center Jack Hughes.
They hold the Ottawa Senators’ first-round pick in what has the potential to be remembered as the most head-scratching element of the infamous Matt Duchene deal.
Yet equally desired — but at times overlooked — is another elite player in Kaapo Kakko of HC TPS (Finnish Liiga). Often compared to none other than the Winnipeg Jets’ Patrik Laine, the 18-year-old winger promises to elevate the level of competition of whichever organization he joins.
And if the structural dynamic of the league continues to take its current form, it seems likely that one of the aforementioned prospects will wind up in Hockeytown — thus translating the aspirational hopes of fans into a reality, indeed.
Our March 5 mock draft is as follows.
- Colorado Avalanche — Jack Hughes (C)
- Detroit Red Wings — Kaapo Kakko (RW)
- Los Angeles Kings — Kirby Dach (C)
- New Jersey Devils — Dylan Cozens (C)
- Anaheim Ducks — Peyton Krebs (C)
- Vancouver Canucks — Matthew Boldy (LW)
- Chicago Blackhawks — Trevor Zegras (C)
- Edmonton Oilers — Bowen Byram (D)
- New York Rangers — Vasily Podkolzin (C)
- Florida Panthers — Philip Broberg (D)
- Colorado Avalanche — Alex Newhook (C)
- Buffalo Sabres — Alex Turcotte (C)
- Arizona Coyotes — Victor Soderstrom (D)
- Minnesota Wild — Cole Caufield (RW)
- Dallas Stars — Cam York (D)
- Philadelphia Flyers — Thomas Harley (D)
- Buffalo Sabres — Arthur Kaliyev (RW)
- Ottawa Senators — Moritz Seider (D)
- Vegas Golden Knights — Ryan Suzuki (C)
- Montréal Canadiens — Raphael Lavoie (C/RW)
- Pittsburgh Penguins — Bobby Brink (C/RW)
- Carolina Hurricanes — Connor McMichael (C)
- Nashville Predators — Nils Hoglander (LW)
- New York Islanders — Jakob Pelletier (LW)
- New York Rangers — Anttoni Honka (D)
- Washington Capitals — Nicholas Robertson (C/LW)
- Los Angeles Kings — Matthew Robertson (D)
- Anaheim Ducks — Ville Heinola (D)
- Boston Bruins — Egor Afanasyev (LW)
- Calgary Flames — Spencer Knight (G)
- New York Rangers — Brett Leason (C)
News and notes:
- No. 1 — As per a three-team deal, the Colorado Avalanche are set to receive the Ottawa Senators’ first-round pick.
- No. 17 — The Buffalo Sabres will receive the St. Louis Blues’ first-round selection. The Sabres shipped Ryan O’Reilly to the Blues for three forwards and two draft picks.
- No. 18 — The Ottawa Senators shall get the Columbus Blue Jackets’ first-round pick as part of the deal that sent center Matt Duchene to Ohio.
- No. 25 — The New York Rangers will acquire the Winnipeg Jets’ 2019 first-round selection as part of the Kevin Hayes trade.
- No. 27 — The Los Angeles Kings shall receive the Toronto Maple Leafs’ first-rounder as part of the Jake Muzzin deal.
- No. 28 — The Anaheim Ducks are set to receive a first-rounder from the Buffalo Sabres as part of the Brandon Montour trade.
- No. 31 — The New York Rangers will acquire a conditional first-round selection from the Tampa Bay Lightning if the latter win the 2019 Stanley Cup (and a second-round pick if they do not). Since the Lightning currently hold the most points in the NHL, the draft order has tentatively considered them Stanley Cup champions.
The 57th NHL Entry Draft shall take place in Vancouver on June 21 and 22. Be sure to check back for more updates.