With the 2019 NHL Draft less than four months away, it’s time to release our latest top-31 ranking — this time for the month of March.
As we roll towards the end of winter and into the spring, this year’s class of NHL prospects continues to secure their places within our rankings. Despite the proximity of the Draft itself, a great deal of change has continued to take place as each and every youngster strives to amplify his respective stock.
Related: 2019 NHL Draft Prospect Profiles
Fortunately for those who have fallen of late, an excellent opportunity to ascend within our rankings lays ahead in the form of the annual postseason. For most leagues, the regular season has come to or is closing in on its end, with the prospect of a long and successful playoff run looming large.
Related: 2019 NHL Draft Rankings
For those who have risen of late, however, the ability to play with poise and consistency in the postseason will undoubtedly lead to a greater rise within our rankings and in the eyes of scouts and media throughout North America.
With this in mind, let’s meet three prospects dominating their respective leagues of late before unveiling our top-31 draft-eligible players as of the month of March.
Three Red-Hot Prospects
2018-19 Team: Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL)
2018-19 Stats: 62GP: 50G, 97Pts
Arthur Kaliyev has had his detractors throughout the 2018-19 campaign, however, the young sniper has blasted his way forward and into a top-10 spot within March’s Ranking. A 31-goal scorer in his rookie season with the Hamilton Bulldogs — an impressive feat in its own right — Kaliyev recently became the first Bulldogs player in franchise history to crack the 50-goal plateau.
In doing so, Kaliyev joined the likes of Alex DeBrincat, John Tavares, and Steven Stamkos as one of only eight OHL players to net 50 goals before turning 18-years-old.
What sets Kailyev apart from his competition in the 2019 NHL Draft class is the youngster’s ability to fire the puck on net with impressive accuracy and velocity. With a lightning-quick release, Kaliyev can snap the puck on-goal or a rip home a one-timer with remarkable consistency. Although his overall game and play away from the puck could use some work, Kaliyev’s ability to bulge the twine is unquestionable.
2018-19 Team: Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL)
2018-19 Stats: 53GP: 38G, 102Pts
Despite standing as one of the BCHL’s youngest players in 2018-19, Alex Newhook led the league in scoring by a substantial margin. In fact, come the end of his campaign, Newhook had netted 38 goals and 64 assists for a total of 102 points — a mark which stood 18 points greater than the next closer player.
For Newhook, his game revolves around explosive speed, purpose, and fine puck-handling skills. Much like Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche, Newhook can dissect opposing defences with ease and is consistent in his ability to produce offence regardless of the situation. Although many will point to the fact that Newhook plays in the BCHL when analyzing with his immense point total, there is no question that Newhook is a first round talent eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft.
2018-19 Team: Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL)
2018-19 Stats: 58GP: 36G, 81PTS
If his 61-point rookie campaign in the QMJHL last season caught your eye, then Jakob Pelletier’s standout season for the Moncton Wildcats in 2018-19 should have come as no surprise. Despite his 5-foot-9 frame, Pelletier has developed into a premier offensive player capable of driving his team’s attack on a nightly basis. In fact, owing to his shifty skating and natural playmaking abilities, Pelletier has achieved new career-highs in goals, assists, and points this year.
With 36 goals and 81 points to his name through 58 regular season contests in 2018-19, Pelletier has continued to establish himself as a first round talent ahead of the 2019 NHL Draft. Although he would do well to strengthen his 165-pound frame before making the jump to the professional-level, Pelletier’s vision and innate hockey sense should propel him to NHL-success in the future.
March’s Top-31 Prospects
Since we last convened in February, there has been a great deal of change with regards to our top-31 prospects eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft.
However, as far as the top-five prospects overall go, there was no movement over the past month of action. Jack Hughes of the U.S. NTDP still holds onto the first-overall slot, while Kaapo Kakko continues to charge and could surpass Hughes come the end of the 2018-19 campaign if able to maintain his impressive level of consistency. Outside of these two, the trio of Dylan Cozens, Kirby Dach, and Bowen Byram continue to hold down their spots and represent the very best which the WHL has to offer.
Rounding out the top-10 and comprising the remainder of the first-round are standouts such as Alex Turcotte, Bobby Brink, Nils Hoglander, and Thomas Harley — in addition to the three players profiled above. Since his return from injury, Turcotte has been simply sensational for the U.S NTDP, while Brink continues to dismantle the USHL. Elsewhere, Hoglander has continued to earn playing time at the SHL-level while Harley’s calm and composed demeanour is making waves in the OHL.
With this being said, let’s take a closer look at the remaining prospects who comprise the top-31 overall and exactly where they place within this month’s ranking.
However, if you feel as though you need to brush-up on our past rankings, be sure to do so by following the link below.
|1||–||Jack Hughes||C||USA U18 (NTDP)|
|2||–||Kaapo Kakko||C/RW||Turku (SM-liiga)|
|3||–||Dylan Cozens||C||Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL)|
|4||–||Kirby Dach||C||Saskatoon Blades (WHL)|
|5||–||Bowen Byram||D||Vancouver Giants (WHL)|
|6||+2||Vasili Podkolzin||RW||SKA 1946 St. Petersburg (MHL)|
|7||–||Arthur Kaliyev||RW||Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL)|
|8||-2||Philip Broberg||D||AIK J20 (SuperElit)|
|9||+2||Jakob Pelletier||C/LW||Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL)|
|10||-1||Alex Newhook||C||Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL)|
|11||+2||Alex Turcotte||C||USA U18 (NTDP)|
|12||–||Trevor Zegras||C||USA U18 (NTDP)|
|13||+2||Victor Soderstrom||D||Brynas IF J20 (SuperElit)|
|14||+3||Bobby Brink||RW||Sioux City Musketeers (USHL)|
|15||-5||Peyton Krebs||C||Kootenay Ice (WHL)|
|16||–||Cam York||D||USA U18 (NTDP)|
|17||+2||Nils Hoglander||LW||Rogle BK J20 (SuperElit)|
|18||+3||Thomas Harley||D||Mississauga Steelheads (OHL)|
|19||-5||Tobias Bjornfot||D||Djurgardens IF J20 (SuperElit)|
|20||-2||Anttoni Honka||D||JYP (SM-liiga)|
|21||+1||Connor McMichael||C||London Knights (OHL)|
|22||+1||Ryan Suzuki||C||Barrie Colts (OHL)|
|23||-3||Albin Grewe||RW||Djurgardens IF J20 (SuperElit)|
|24||+2||Cole Caufield||RW||USA U18 (NTDP)|
|25||–||Raphael Lavoie||LW||Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)|
|26||+3||Brett Leason||RW||Prince Albert Raiders (WHL)|
|27||+1||Vladislav Kolyachonok||D||Flint Firebirds (OHL)|
|28||-4||Matthew Boldy||LW||USA U18 (NTDP)|
|29||NR||Moritz Seider||D||Adler Mannheim (DEL)|
|30||NR||Samuel Poulin||LW||Sherbrooke Phoenix (QMJHL)|
|31||–||Pavel Dorofeyev||LW/RW||Stalnye Lisy Magnitogorsk (MHL)|
March’s 20 Honourable Mentions
Although these prospects weren’t able to crack the top-31 overall as of the month of March, all of which stand as incredibly promising young players who shouldn’t last long come draft day.
However, with this being said, all of which boast the skill and potential necessary to crack the first round and top-31 overall. In short, keep an eye on these prospects in the next three months ahead of the 2019 NHL Draft.
|HM||Yegor Afanasyev||F||Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL)|
|HM||Bryce Brodzinski||RW||Omaha Lancers (USHL)|
|HM||Alexander Campbell||C||Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL)|
|HM||Nolan Foote||LW||Kelowna Rockets (WHL)|
|HM||Ville Heinola||D||Luuko (Liiga)|
|HM||Hunter Jones||G||Peterborough Petes (OHL)|
|HM||Kaeden Korczak||D||Kelowna Rockets (WHL)|
|HM||Spencer Knight||G||USA U18 (NTDP)|
|HM||Nathan Legare||RW||Baie-Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL)|
|HM||Ilya Mironov||D||Loko Yaroslavl (MHL)|
|HM||Ilya Nikolayev||F||Loko Yaroslavl (MHL)|
|HM||Jamieson Rees||C||Sarnia Sting (OHL)|
|HM||Matthew Robertson||D||Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)|
|HM||Nicholas Robertson||C/LW||Peterborough Petes (OHL)|
|HM||Dmitri Sheshin||LW/RW||Stalnye Lisy Magnitogorsk (MHL)|
|HM||Lassi Thomson||D||Kelowna Rockets (WHL)|
|HM||Phillip Tomasino||C||Niagara IceDogs (OHL)|
|HM||Alex Vlasic||D||USA U18 (NTDP)|
|HM||Marshall Warren||D||USA U18 (NTDP)|
|HM||Max Wahlgren||C/LW||MODO J20 (SuperElit)|