Predicting the Top Pick From the 2018, 2019 and 2020 NHL Draft

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Hey Dudes!

In today's article, we will predict which young star will be picked first overall in the 2018, 2019 and 2020 NHL drafts. Each of these players has magnificent skills, however, it is nearly impossible to predict how a 15, 16 or 17-year-old will pan out come draft time, but we will do our very best!

2018:

Name: Rasmus Dahlin

Position: LD

Age: 17

Nationality: Sweden

Current Team: Frolunda HC (SHL)

Sweden continues to churn out top calibre defensemen. As we get closer to the 2018 NHL Draft, Rasmus Dahlin continues to prove that he is a clear-cut first overall pick. The hockey world has never seen a defenseman that puts out as many highlights as Dahlin does. On top of his highlights, Dahlin even went as far as making Sweden’s Olympic team this year at only 17 years of age.

Something that is often overlooked when mentioning Dahlin is his ability in the defensive zone. I understand that may sound odd considering his position, but his ability to defend one on one is second to none for his age. Fans tend to think of him as an offensive defenseman and it is hard not to. But by most scouts, he is classed more as a 2-way defender.

Here are a few quotes about Dahlin according to Eliteprospects.com,

“Dahlin is a creative and shifty puckrushing blueliner, confident player with the puck on his stick”, Futureconsiderations.ca 2017

“I’ve never seen a player like him in that you give him a couple of chances and shifts at a higher level and he can easily adapt”, Tomas Montén (Sweden U20 HC) 2017

“Franchise dman, proven he can meet the challenge of playing above his age level.”, ISS Hockey 2017

“He defends like Lidström, skates like Karlsson”, Ray Ferraro (TSN) 2017

“He skates like Brian Leetch”, Nicklas Lidström 2017

We'll have to see who wins the NHL Draft Lottery, AKA: who wins the Dahlin sweepstakes.

2019:

Name: Jack Hughes

Position: C

Age: 16

Nationality: United States

Current Team: USNTDP Juniors (USHL)

Jack Hughes has been turning heads for years now. As a minor midget playing in Toronto, he put up 159 points in only 80 games. Now playing for the USNTDP, he is playing around half of his games for U17 and half for U18 because of his high skill level. With the U17 team he is averaging 2 points a game with 48 in 24 games, for the U18 team, he has 27 in 17 games.

"electrifying and dynamic player … has ability to be a difference-maker … very elusive … attacks lanes … always a step ahead … plays smart" - ISS Hockey 2017

Standing at only 5’10, Hughes is somewhat undersized. What he lacks in height, he makes up in skating ability. His electric skating abilities have been compared to Connor Mcdavid. I don’t think he’s quite Mcdavid level, but he’s as close as you can get.

Jacks younger brother Luke is a bantam playing for Little Caesars, one of the top clubs in American youth hockey. His older brother Quinn plays defence for the University of Michigan and is expected to go somewhere in the top 10 in this year's draft. Jack hasn’t committed or announced his plans for where he’ll be playing next year, it will be interesting to see if he'll commit to Michigan and play with his brother in his draft year.

2020:

Name: Alexis Lafreniere

Position: LW

Age: 16

Nationality: Canadian

Current Team: Rimouski Oceanic (QMHJL)

Alexis Lafreniere is most likely to be number one in 2020 as of right now. During the 2016-17 season, Lafreniere put up 83 points in only 36 games playing for the Saint-Eustache Vikings midget team. Being only 15 at the time he caught the eyes of scouts and was drafted 1st overall in the QMJHL Entry Draft by the Rimouski Oceanic (the same team Sidney Crosby played for).

"high-impact forward … can control and dominate games … corrals bad passes with ease … great hands … makes smart decisions quickly" - ISS Hockey 2017

This year at only 16 years old, Alexis is putting up a huge amount of points playing against players that can be as old as 21. 79 points in 58 games is nearly unheard of for a 16-year-old. In Connor Mcdavid’s first year in the CHL, he scored 66 points in 63 games. Lafreniere has potential to be a generational talent, it all comes down to how he’ll develop.

 

 

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