As a hockey fan and player, we always look forward to one event after the season to see where future NHL Talents goes. In Vancouver, on Friday the NHL Draft will start. On this day is we will see the Future young stars of the NHL have their night on the draft stage. This year’s draft is intense with great young talent going in the first round and many more to go in the later rounds.
As a hockey analyst, the First Five teams will have different types of players who play different positions to choose to draft. These players also have many different skill sets that they provide to their new team.
New Jersey Devils
The New Jersey Devils have the first pick in this years Draft. They will pick Jack Hughes from the USA National Development Program. Hughes is world class talent that can skate, pass, shoot and be a world-class scorer. He solidified the number one pick a month ago when he scored nine goals and had 11 assists in seven games at the under 18 world championships. He became the all-time under 18 leading scorers by breaking a record held previously by NHL star Alex Ovechkin.
New York Rangers
The New York Rangers Will have the second pick in the draft. They will pick the consensus second-best player from Finland Kaapo Kakko. Kakko is a very talented player with soft hands and can skate in tight areas quickly. He is a reliable stick handler who uses plays to get open or can create space for his linemates. Kakko would spend his draft year season with TPS in Liiga and had the chance to play for Finlands U20 and senior team. In 45 regular season games for TPS, Kakko had 22 goals and 16 assists while averaging 5.06 shots per game.
The next team on the board will be the Chicago Blackhawks. Here they have a lot of different options they can go with in terms of a defensive or offensive player. For this pick, they will choose a hometown kid from the USA National Development program, Alex Turcotte. Turcotte is an excellent skater who has a long powerful stride that makes it very difficult for players to knock the puck away from him. He is speedy skater with a very good first step. Turcotte is a relentless player who forechecks hard, causing turnovers in the offensive zone. He also has a lot of skill with the ability to control the puck and make plays. Turcotte is excellent in the defensive area where he can read the plays well.
The next team on the board will be the Colorado Avalanche. They will pick from Russia Vasili Podkolzin. He is a talented player who can stickhandle in a phone booth, complete difficult plays at very high speeds and he also has a dangerous shot. His is skating speed is average, but due to his motor, he doesn’t quit on any plays. There are two reasons why he has dropped this low is because of his underwhelming point totals with his club teams, and sometimes he lets his emotions get the best of him.
Los Angeles Kings
The next and last pick of the top 5 will be the Los Angeles Kings. They will take forward Dylan Cozens from Canada. Cozens is an excellent skater, especially for his size. He has excellent top-end speed and can keep up with the play, and this allows him to play a 200-foot game. Cozens is a pure goal scorer who has an excellent shot and soft hands which will enable him to finish in close. He can also see the ice very well and can control the puck and has the patience to slow down the play.
It will be interesting to see how this all plays out on a draft night this Friday. We will also see if any of the other teams try to trade up into the top 5.