Buffalo Sabres: 2019 Post NHL Draft Lottery Mock Draft

A general view of the selection board during the first round of the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
A general view of the selection board during the first round of the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
2 of 4

Embed from Getty Images

Pick Analysis. Centre. USNTDP. 1. player. 85. Scouting Report. Jack Hughes

The New Jersey Devils are the winners of the 2019 NHL Draft Lottery and will have the chance to take the first player off the board for the second time in the past three years.

In 2017, they selected Nico Hischier first overall and will almost surely select Jack Hughes with the No. 1 pick this year.

With Hughes, Hischier, and Taylor Hall, the Devils will have a solid core to build their team around.

The American didn’t commit to a college like his other teammates with The Program because he knew he’d be in the NHL as soon as he was drafted.

Not too much else to say about him that hasn’t already been said. He’s good at hockey and New Jersey will love him.

Embed from Getty Images

Right Wing. 2. player. 95. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. TPS (Liiga). Kaapo Kakko

It happened! The New York Rangers will pick in the top three for the first time in franchise history.

The organization took Russian Vitali Kravtsov with the ninth overall pick last year, and with Vasili Podkolzin on the board with the No. 2 pick, there will be discussions over selecting him. However, Kakko is unquestionably the second-best player in this class and a can’t-miss player with the second pick.

Talk about a banner year. Kakko set the Liiga record for the most goals by a 17-year-old with 22 this season. He also finished with the third-highest point total by a teenager with 38 in 45 games – Sasha Barkov holds the top total with 48.

He could stay in Finland for a year and try to further cement his legacy, however, Kakko should be poised for an immediate move over to North America. The bright lights of Madison Square Garden await the incredibly talented winger.

Embed from Getty Images

3. 94. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. USNTDP. Centre. Alex Turcotte. player

The Blackhawks have dealt with their need for defensive prospects in past drafts, selecting Adam Boqvist and Henri Jokiharju over the last two years.

Chicago hasn’t selected a centre since 2014 when they took Nick Schmaltz. They traded him to Arizona for another solid centre in Dylan Strome as well as Brendan Perlini earlier this year.

Having several solid centres is never a bad idea. Strome and Turcotte behind Jonathan Toews has the makings of a fantastic nucleus to build around.

Turcotte is a solid two-way centre who has managed to come back from injury and fill the stat sheet during his half-season of action.

Podkolzin is the man that holds this spot in most mocks – the Blackhawks may even decide to go with him – but with his reluctance to come over to North America, most team’s won’t take that risk.

Turcotte will be heading to Wisconsin for a year. There’s a real chance that he only plays his freshman season before turning pro.

Embed from Getty Images

Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. USNTDP. 103. Centre. Trevor Zegras. 4. player

(Via Ottawa)

The worst possible scenario for the draft lottery came true for the Avs. They won’t mind, as this wasn’t their pick, to begin with.

Colorado won’t land the top centre in the draft, but they’ll be positioned to land one of them. Zegras is definitely a player that Colorado can be happy about having in its top six for the foreseeable future.

A natural centre who can also play on the wing. Zegras will also be headed to Boston University next season, so he’ll need at least a year before being expected to make the jump to the NHL. That didn’t stop the Avs from taking either of Tyson Jost or Cale Makar. He’s in the conversation to be the best playmaker available once Hughes is off the board.

Zegras is going to be an incredible talent, and the thought of defending a top six consisting of him and Nathan MacKinnon down the middle should scare defences.

Embed from Getty Images

67. Scouting Report. Defence. Bowen Byram. player. Pick Analysis. Vancouver Giants (WHL). 5

The Kings missed out on the top three and a chance to take one of the top players available. However, there’s still some great talent that they can add to the team.

Los Angeles’ marquee move last offseason was inking Drew Doughty to an eight-year, $88-million deal. Two of the Kings’ top four defenders are over 30 years old and Kale Clague, the team’s current top defensive prospect, could be ready for a promotion soon.

Byram has turned it one offensively this year and became the top defender in the draft. He has top pairing defender written all over him and plays a style that fans will fall in love with.

Doughty is one of the franchise’s centrepieces. They would do well to add a defender that could slot in beside the 29-year-old for years to come.