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2019 NHL Draft Rankings: No. 93 to 63

The first of three installments of my 2019 NHL Draft Rankings

Chicoutimi Sagueneens v Blainville-Boisbriand Armada Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

The 2019 NHL Entry Draft is just over two weeks away, and Nashville—pending any future moves—will pick six times (New Jersey holds their 2nd round pick). Before I get to potential selections for Nashville, I want to share my ranking of the top 93 players eligible for this draft. We’ll start with players 93 through 63, but first, I want to establish some parameters:

  • This is by no means a mock draft. I find those often to be exercises in silliness as I am not inside the minds of team executives. This is a ranking of who I think will have the 93 best chances at a successful NHL career.
  • I’ve been crafting this list all season long. There will certainly be disputes in how you and I view players, but almost all of these entries have been given after several viewings of each player.
  • While there is no definitive numerical system to my ranking, I’ve based my choices off the following criteria: age, league, offensive production, team context, NHLeScores, and observation of strengths and weaknesses among other things.

With that said, I hope you dive into these rankings and are curious enough to do your own homework. I’ve started things below with number 93.

Players No. 93 through 63 - 2019 NHL Draft

No. Player Team League Year Pos. Notes
No. Player Team League Year Pos. Notes
93 Pyotr Kochetkov HK Ryaza VHL 1999 G Kochetkov put his name on the map at the WJC this year, and his lateral movements are good/ cover the crease well.
92 Marcus Kallionkieli Sioux City Musketeers USHL 2001 F Kallionkieli is a good shooter who utilizes a half-slapshot and a snap shot well. A complimentary player not a leader.
91 Yaroslav Likhachyov Gatineau Olympiques QMJHL 2001 RW I could see LIkhachyov going undrafted this year, but I anticipate a monster season in the QMJHL in 2019. He's a smart player who passes well from any distance.
90 Ilya Altybarmakyan SKA-Varyagi im. Morozova MHL 2000 F Altybarmakyan scores goals, scores them well and loves the offensive zone between the half-wall and the net. He's a patient puck-carrier, too.
89 Adam Beckman Spokane Chiefs WHL 2001 C Beckman is a project pick of sorts, but he has excellent finish around the net and can work for pucks well with a good reach.
88 Kaedan Korczak Kelowna Rockets WHL 2001 D Korczak is a good shooter with good offensive instinct, but I don't think he retrieves pucks well enough and controlled zone exits are off the table too often for him.
87 Harrison Blaisdell Chilliwack Chiefs BCHL 2001 C Blaisdell really impressed me at the World Junior A Challenge this year, and his quick hands were on full display. He comes equipped with a deceptive shot, too. He'll be at North Dakota next season.
86 Michael Vukojevic Kitchener Rangers OHL 2001 D Vukojevic uses the boards well in the neutral zone for clean passes to advance the puck but isn't careless with possession. His offense is likely limited, but he skates okay.
85 Ronnie Attard Tri-City Storm USHL 1999 D Attard is already 20 and going to the NCAA next season, but he dominated the USHL from the blueline this year. He's unnecessarily physical at times but has a good shot.
84 Mikhail Abramov Victoriaville Tigres QMJHL 2001 F Abramov plays to find open time and space and is a cerebral skater in that regard with a good wrist shot.
83 Henry Thrun U.S. NTDP USHL 2001 D I'm not sold on Thrun who I think benifited well from playing on such an elite team. He's a sound puck mover but his skating isn't impressive.
82 Karl Henriksson Frolunda HC J20 SuperElit 2001 C Henriksson uses a good snap shot to beat goalies and is good in the faceoff dot. Smaller player at 5'9"
81 Samuel Bolduc Blainville-Boisbriand Armada QMJHL 2000 D You won't see him move often from the point in the offensive zone, but his shots create rebounds and chaos better than most. Average skater with room to mature.
80 Jackson LaCombe Shattuck St. Mary's USHS 2001 D Solid defender with excellent closeness on gaps. More of a dump-and-chase player but can rush the puck, too.
79 Drew Helleson U.S. NTDP USHL 2001 D Helleson is good with his stick and pivots well on his skates when defending below the goal line. His upper limit potential-wise is likely low though.
78 Aliaksei Protas Prince Albert Raiders WHL 2001 C Protas is huge at 6'5", and he has a hard wrist shot that he can keep low on goalies. His skating leaves more to be desired, but he has surprising awareness.
77 John Farinacci Dexter School USHS 2001 C I don't think the game Farinacci likes to play will translate well to the NHL, but he's reliable with the puck despite below-average speed.
76 Mads Sogaard Medicine Hat Tigers WHL 2000 G Sogaard is huge at 6'7" and maintains an aggressive stance. Technically he is okay but has room to grow (skills wise, probably not any taller).
75 Jordan Spence Moncton Wildcats QMJHL 2001 D Spence excels in the space from the top of his own circles to the opposite blueline with smart decision-making and sound puck skills. A minutes eater at 17, too.
74 Vladislav Kolyachonok Flint Firebirds OHL 2001 D Kolyachonok has a very solid base and positioning to be a good defender. He's a decent skater, too. At times I saw him oddly positioned in the offensive zone, and I'm not certain how high his ceiling is.
73 Antti Tuomisto Assat U20 Jr. A SM-liiga 2001 D Another reliable player with the puck who has shown skill at evading good puck protection positioning held by opposing forwards. His skating stride has an awkward kick-out.
72 Nikola Pasic Linkoping HC J20 SuperElit 2000 F He won't necessarily deke through defenders, but he can maintain control well when challenged. He has a quick shot but a choppy stride. Smart player all around.
71 Semyon Chistyakov Tolpar Ufa MHL 2001 D Chistyakov is good for a reliable transition up to the blue line often; his pivots up ice with the puck were very impressive. But he doesn't bring much else to the table besides a tendency to hit often.
70 Shane Pinto Lincoln Stars USHL 2000 F Pinto is a player I've liked for some time and reminds me of Jachym Kondelik in a sense. He's a patient player with his zone entries and isn't overloaded with skill but has a good shot and a good nose for the puck.
69 Antti Saarela Lukko U20 Jr. A SM-liiga 2001 W Saarela could round out to be a good depth option with his strengths being possession and maintaining a quick turnaround on shooting when a lane presents itself.
68 Artemi Knyazev Chicoutimi Sagueneens QMJHL 2001 D Knyazev has a long, drawn-out skating stride and a good wrist shot. He showed a good ability to move the puck from the blueline to below the dots with possession.
67 Rhett Pitlick Chaska High USHS 2001 LW Pitlick plays a remarkably similar game to his brother. Fast, good accelerator, and a quick shooter. He's a project but the talent is there.
66 Zachary Jones Tri-City Storm USHL 2000 D Jones reminds me a bit of the Devils' Ty Smith. He is intelligent as could be with the puck and loves showing it off. He has a good understanding of cycles and how to exploit defenses in them. He'll need to be less stagnant to make a good jump to the next level.
65 Daniil Gutik Loko Yaroslavl MHL 2001 LW Gutik is a tall skater with an awkward, short stride. He's got an excellent pair of hands but wasn't consistent at forcing controlled zone entries this season.
64 Leevi Aaltonen KalPa U20 Jr. A SM-liiga 2001 LW One thing I noticed about Aaltonen is his forechecking. He's a good lateral mover and has a decent crossover He won't drive a line, but he's got excellent acceleration to be a weapon on one.
63 Tuukka Tieksola Karpat U20 Jr. A SM-liiga 2001 RW Tieksola is a good skater who identifies passing lanes well. He isn't overally elite at anything but has good awareness. Consistency at higher levels is a concern.

Check back tomorrow for rankings 62 through 32.