When the hockey world turns its eyes to the 2019 NHL draft on June 21, one thing is for sure: Not everyone is going to agree on every pick made, with the likely exception of the surefire top-two selections of Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko. Everyone has their own draft boards, and no two teams’ prospect rankings match exactly.
But today, every team nails its picks, at least in my eyes. I played general manager for each team at each pick in the first two rounds of the draft, from No. 1 to No. 62. This is each team’s best possible selection given who is still available. I’m not projecting picks, but rather giving the best-case selection for the team at each spot while considering needs, value and availability. Team preferences don’t play in here.
Let’s run through my picks team by team. And all 62 selections are in order at the bottom to see how the mock draft developed.
Note: Pick Nos. 30, 31, 61 and 62 reflect a Bruins Stanley Cup championship, even though the series is currently tied, 2-2. Call it home-ice advantage, but really it’s just because someone has to win. But in the case of a Blues championship, the Sabres and Bruins would make the same selections at Nos. 30 and 31, just in reverse order. Likewise, the Devils and Blues would make the same selections at the end of Round 2, but the order would flip.
Or jump to all 62 picks in order
Round 1 (9): Matthew Boldy, LW, USA U18 (NTDP)
Round 1 (29): Tobias Bjornfot, D, Djurgarden Jr. (Sweden Jr.)
Round 2 (39): John Beecher, C, USA U18 (NTDP)
The Ducks have a system that’s especially deep at forward, and while they could be tempted to go for defense early, I don’t think a potential top-six winger in Boldy is worth passing on if he’s available. Should the Ducks go after a defenseman at the No. 9 spot, I wouldn’t hold it against them, but I like Boldy’s pro projection better than the top blueliners remaining (Philip Broberg or Victor Soderstrom).
Plus, there should be a few attractive defensemen later in the first round, and that’s where Bjornfot comes in. He has trended up all season and ended on a high note by captaining Sweden to gold at the World U18 Championship. Bjornfot is an excellent defender, and his offensive game is coming along. In the second, the Ducks can add the big, speedy Beecher, whom they can park at the University of Michigan for the next three years before needing him to enter the mix.
Round 1 (14): Cam York, D, USA U18 (NTDP)
Round 2 (45): Robert Mastrosimone, LW, Chicago (USHL)
The Coyotes need to add some talent to their future on the blue line, and this is an especially safe range to go after York. He is the embodiment of the modern-day defenseman, with excellent offensive abilities. He can get the puck up the ice quickly. Then in the second round, the Yotes could add Mastrosimone, a strong two-way forward who has both a good work ethic and some solid skills.