2019 NHL Draft Ranking: April’s Top-31

With the 2019 NHL Draft now less than three months away, the time has come to reconvene and unveil our latest top-31 ranking.

To no ones surprise, Jack Hughes of the USA NTDP continues to stand tall atop our ranking, while Finnish star Kaapo Kakko has maintained his distance at second-overall from the American dangler. Elsewhere, Bowen Byram has jumped to fourth-overall following a fantastic month of March — during which time he collected 18 points in just 13 games played. A dynamic skater with innate offensive instincts, Byram continues to prove himself as the best defender eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft.

Bowen Byram
Bowen Byram’s stellar two-way game has continued to impress and propel him towards the top-3 overall. (Photo credit: Chris Relke)

Outside of the top-10 overall, there was once again a great deal of change within our ranking. In the 10-15th overall range, five prospects have switched places since March owing to their strong play or mediocre performances. Further, in the 20-30th overall range, not one single prospects holds onto the position which he did last month — a glaring indication of the depth and skill present within this year’s class.

With this being said, let’s take a closer at one prospect who has been nothing short of explosive since his return from injury and continues to rocket up our rankings.

All Aboard the Alex Turcotte Express

Alex Turcotte, an energetic star player for the USA NTDP, has long been considered as a top prospect eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft.

However, a lower-body injury side-lined him to begin the season — a setback which removed the spotlight from the Island Lake, Illinois, native and turned it towards his equally skilled teammates. Now, as healthy and as productive as ever before, Turcotte is making significant strides on an individual level and has once again established himself as a can’t miss prospect ahead of this year’s draft.

Alex Turcotte
Turcotte has been simply sensational since his return from an early season injury. (Photo Credit: Rena Laverty and USA Hockey’s NTDP)

In fact, since his return from injury, Turcotte has been an unstoppable force — netting 23 goals and 53 points across his 30 games played to round out the month. Perhaps the most impressive statistic which Turcotte has amassed thus far is his point-per-game rate in USHL contests, as the youngster had blasted home 12 goals and 34 points in his 16 games played as of the end of march.

In short, be sure to keep an eye on Turcotte in the coming months and on the day of the 2019 NHL Draft. Although Hughes could very well be selected first overall, Turcotte doesn’t trail very far behind in terms of his individual skill and potential at the NHL-level.

April’s Top-31 Prospects

Here are our top-31 NHL prospects as of April 1st, 2019 — a list which continues to change dramatically on a month-by-month basis and will surely fluctuate greatly in the weeks and months ahead.

As always, be sure to check out our previous 2019 NHL Draft rankings — they stand as a time capsule into the past and provide excellent context for the prospects under intense scrutiny throughout the 2018-19 campaign.

Related: All 2019 NHL Draft Rankings

Rank +/- Player Position 2018-19 Team
1 Jack Hughes C USA U18 (NTDP)
2 Kaapo Kakko C/RW Turku (SM-liiga)
3 Dylan Cozens C Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL)
4 +1 Bowen Byram D Vancouver Giants (WHL)
5 -1 Kirby Dach C Saskatoon Blades (WHL)
6 +1 Arthur Kaliyev RW Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL)
7 +2 Jakob Pelletier C/LW Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL)
8 Philip Broberg D AIK J20 (SuperElit)
9 +2 Alex Turcotte C USA U18 (NTDP)
10 Alex Newhook C VIctoria Grizzlies (BCHL)
11 -5 Vasili Podkolzin RW SKA 1946 St. Petersburg (MHL)
12 +1 Victor Soderstrom D Brynas IF J20 (SuperElit)
13 +2 Peyton Krebs C Kootenay Ice (WHL)
14 -2 Trevor Zegras C USA U18 (NTDP)
15 +1 Cam York D USA U18 (NTDP)
16 +1 Nils Hoglander LW Rogle BK J20 (SuperElit)
17 +11 Matthew Boldy LW USA U18 (NTDP)
18 Thomas Harley D Mississauga Steelheads (OHL)
19 -5 Bobby Brink RW Sioux City Musketeers (USHL)
20 -1 Tobias Bjornfot D Djurgardens IF J20 (SuperElit)
21 +3 Cole Caufield RW USA U18 (NTDP)
22 Ryan Suzuki C Barrie Colts (OHL)
23 -3 Anttoni Honka D JYP (SM-liiga)
24 -3 Connor McMichael C London Knights (OHL)
25 -2 Albin Grewe RW Djurgardens IF J20 (SuperElit)
26 +4 Samuel Poulin LW Sherbrooke Phoenix (QMJHL)
27 -2 Raphael Lavoie LW Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
28 -2 Brett Leason RW Prince Albert Raiders (WHL)
29 Moritz Seider D Adler Mannheim (DEL)
30 NR Nathan Legare RW Baie-Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL)
31 Vladislav Kolyachonok D Flint Firebirds (OHL)

20 Honourable Mentions

The following 20 NHL prospects stand on the cusp of selection in the first round, however, they are not quite there just yet. But, with this being said, be sure to pay close attention to the prospects listed below, as they could very easily surge into the first round come draft day.

HM Yegor Afanasyev F Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL)
HM Bryce Brodzinski RW Omaha Lancers (USHL)
HM Alexander Campbell C Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL)
HM Pavel Dorofeyev LW/RW Stalnye Lisy Magnitogorsk (MHL)
HM Nolan Foote LW Kelowna Rockets (WHL)
HM Ville Heinola D Luuko (Liiga)
HM Hunter Jones G Peterborough Petes (OHL)
HM Ethan Keppan LW Flint Firebirds (OHL)
HM Kaeden Korczak D Kelowna Rockets (WHL)
HM Spencer Knight G USA U18 (NTDP)
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)

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