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) /
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Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL). Dylan Cozens. player. 72. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. Centre. 6

While the Red Wings already have Dennis Cholowski and Jared McIsaac in the system, they need more bodies on the back end.

The top defender is off the board and there isn’t another that should be reached for at this position. So the obvious route is to grab the best player left on the board. That man is Cozens.

The 6-foot-3 pivot has exceptional breakaway speed and a big shot. He has all the makings of a top-six forward. He was top 10 in scoring in the WHL, something that can’t be overlooked when it comes to a draft-eligible forward.

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Saskatoon Blades (WHL). player. 12. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. Centre. Kirby Dach. 7

Dach answers any lingering questions about him once the postseason rolled around. Over 10 playoff outings, he managed to get five goals and eight points while looking extremely strong on offence.

He also managed to score one of the goals of the year on an end-to-end effort against the Prince Albert Raiders.

Dach would provide the Sabres with a skilled trio of centres along with Jack Eichel and Casey Mittelstadt.

With Alex Nylander also looking at full-time NHL duty, the Sabres are starting to fill out their talent up front. They still have another pick in the back half of the first round to add an additional piece.

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Scouting Report. 8. Pick Analysis. Left Wing. USNTDP. Matthew Boldy. player. 148

While the Oilers would love a player that could immediately step in their lineup and play with Connor McDavid, the reality is that a player in this spot will most likely need at least a season of development before making the jump to pro.

In the case of Boldy, he could very well transition to the NHL right away, but he’s headed to Boston College for a year. That season against the older competition should push Boldy and prepare him for life with the Oilers.

He’s got a heavy shot but can also set up teammates with ease. Having someone to alleviate some of the playmaking duties off McDavid will only help Edmonton.

The Oilers may consider going with a CHL talent in this position, but the USNTDP product is exactly what they need.

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105. Scouting Report. Centre/Wing. Winnipeg ICE (WHL). player. Pick Analysis. Peyton Krebs. 9

Playmaking ability, a high compete level, and future captain material. That’s what Krebs brings to the table.

He posted numbers similar to Dach’s this season, only on one of the worst teams in the WHL. He was also named as the captain of the ICE as just a 17-year-old.

The Ducks have a solid set of centres coming up through the system. They also have Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler under contract for a while longer.

Krebs can play down the middle or out on the wing. The former first overall pick in the WHL Bantam Draft is going to wear a letter in the show and with a new era of Ducks on the way, he could be a crucial building block.

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SKA-Neva St. Petersburg (VHL). Vasili Podkolzin. 104. Pick Analysis. Right Wing. Scouting Report. 10. player

The Canucks got a brief look at the future of their blue line at the end of the season when 2018 first-rounder Quinn Hughes left school and signed his entry-level deal with the team. Additionally, Jett Woo looks ready for pro hockey after posting over a point per game with Moose Jaw this season.

It’s a spot in the draft where Vancouver can take a good look at the best player on the board.

There’s no question that Podkolzin is a top three talent in this draft. A definite question mark, however, is his commitment to playing in North America. Some believe that the gifted Russian is adamant on playing in the KHL and may stay there for at least two more seasons.

If a team is willing to be patient, they could find themselves with a gem in a few years.

Vancouver has some cap tied up in odd places. Jay Beagle and Antoine Roussel will each make $3 million and Loui Eriksson will receive $6 million annually through the 2021-22 campaign. They have a few years to build up their system.

Scouts absolutely love Podkolzin’s compete level and his tenacity on the puck. He’s also an extremely talented forward who can make defenders look silly. Vancouver waited a year for Elias Pettersson. What’s a few more in order to add another top three talent to the lineup?

It sounds like more and more people are getting behind the idea of Podkolzin landing in Vancouver.