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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Right Wing. 68. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. 11. player. USNTDP. Cole Caufield

The Flyers have gone forward heavy in the last few drafts. They took Americans Joel Farabee and Jay O’Brien in the first-round in 2018 and, while they could stand to add a defensive prospect, they can’t pass up on an offensive talent like Caufield.

Despite his 5-foot-7 frame, he’s become The Program’s most decorated scorer, snapping Phil Kessel’s previous record of 105 career goals with the USNTDP.

He’s also followed that up with 11 goals in four games at the U18’s.

He’s already being compared to Alex Debrincat. Teams aren’t discounting size after seeing the Blackhawks winger filling nets at the NHL level, hence Caufield being highly coveted in this class.

Philadelphia will have an extremely formidable forward group in a few years when their top prospects leave school. Caufield is set to head to Wisconsin this fall, so he’ll be unavailable until, at least, the end of next season.

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Centre. Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL). player. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. 98. Alex Newhook. 12

The Wild have enjoyed their fair share of players from the USNTDP over the last few drafts. All of those players went to college and made their respective ways to the NHL after leaving school.

After trading Mikael Granlund to Nashville ahead of the trade deadline, the Wild are thinner up the middle. Additionally, Eric Staal and Mikko Koivu are each going to be a year older next season.

Newhook is headed to Boston College next season to start his NCAA career. He has torn up the BCHL over the past two seasons and has the ability to make incredible plays at top speeds. He also has some silky smooth hands and top-notch playmaking ability.

Minnesota will have to wait at least a year for Newhook, but he’ll make a big mark on the team once he comes out of school.

Scouting Report. Defence. Victor Soderstrom. 13. player. Pick Analysis. Brynas (SHL). 97

The Panthers have picked forwards in the first two rounds in both 2017 and 2018. That has landed them Owen Tippett, Aleksi Hiponiemi, Grigori Denisenko, and Serron Noel.

Florida can now grab a blue-liner with their first-rounder. They already have Aaron Ekblad and Michael Matheson, but Soderstrom would offer another defender with top-four upside.

Philip Broberg was the top Swedish defenceman off the board for most of the year, but Soderstrom has jumped him with a solid campaign. The right-handed rearguard stands at 5-foot-11 but has all the tools that teams are looking for in a defenceman these days.

He loves to jump up in the play and create offence but also doesn’t mind playing physical. He can refine his defensive game and add some muscle, but with some more experience in the Swedish top flight under his belt, he’ll become a very exciting prospect on the back end for Florida.

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Pick Analysis. Wing. Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL). player. 121. Scouting Report. Arthur Kaliyev. 14

The Coyotes have a couple of solid pieces coming through the system. Barrett Hayton looks to be a solid top six centreman of the future and Pierre-Olivier Joseph will fit in nicely with the likes of Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Jakob Chychrun.

Adding the best player available is a good way to go about this pick for Arizona, and Kaliyev is a damn good option at No. 14.

If not for the incredible season Caufield had, the Hamilton Bulldogs winger would undoubtedly be the best shooter in the draft. He’s still considered one of the best pure goal scorers in the class, but Kaliyev also set up his teammates extremely well this past season. He finished with 51 goals and 51 assists on the year.

If there’s one thing Kaliyev has to work on, it’s being consistently engaged in the game. That can be fixed by the time he gets to the pros. The ability to fill nets is something that is a little harder to grasp, and he’s got no problem doing that.

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Defence. Lukko (Liiga). Ville Heinola. 15. player. 152. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis

Although it would be interesting to consider Montreal taking Ryan Suzuki – the younger brother of Habs prospect Nick – the team has taken nine centres in the past two drafts. It would be a much better idea for them to address the need for a top defensive prospect on the back end.

Shea Weber is getting older, Karl Alzner was waived, and the Canadiens don’t have a true blue-chip prospect on defence after trading Mikhail Sergachev away.

Heinola has been a late riser in the draft, but his contributions in the Finnish top flight cannot be overlooked. He’s an extremely talented offensive defenceman who put up 14 points in 34 games while taking power play reps for Lukko.

He still needs some time to refine his game, but there’s more than enough to like from Heinola.

Next. 2019 NHL Draft Rankings: Looking at potential lottery targets. dark