Vancouver – – The 2019 NHL Entry Draft was full of surprises on the draft board but the one thing that many people expected was the players from the US National Team Development Program dominating the first round.
It started with the expected first overall, Jack Hughes, going to the New Jersey Devils. There was much discourse over the last few months that maybe Kaapo Kakko would push to be the first player off the board but it ultimately fell the way it was expected to
Alex Turcotte was a possibility to go third overall to the Chicago Blackhawks but they chose to take WHL center Kirby Dach which as a result meant that the Los Angeles Kings snapped him up at 5th overall.
Trevor Zegras had to wait until 9th overall to hear his name called by the Anaheim Ducks. Then it was a run of teammates going between 12th to 15th.
Matthew Boldy went to Minnesota at 12th, goaltender Spencer Knight was selected by Florida Panthers, Cam York to Philadelphia at 14th and lastly, Cole Caufield headed to Montreal at 15th.
Then as expected with this draft class, the scouting lists for each team varied immensely that it meant quite a few off the board picks and unpredictability to the selections. As a result, there were no more players from the program taken until John Beecher went to the Boston Bruins at 30th overall.
In total, there were 8 picks from the program this season.
The other major storyline on this Friday night was the lack of trades.
You usually see a couple of big deals go down as teams look to position themselves for next season. But there was only one trade and it was just the Arizona Coyotes moving up to 11th overall to select Victor Soderstrom.
Everyone had their eyes on the host Canucks to make a splash but they weren’t able to make anything happen. Otherwise, there weren’t many hot rumors out there to suggest that any other deals were about to happen.
It is possible that there was a lot of groundwork laid today and we will see a flurry of deals during day 2. But at this point, the lack of deals is leaving many people wondering what to expect.