The 2019 NHL draft will start tonight in Vancouver, B.C at 8 p.m. ET.
The draft will begin tonight with round 1 tonight and continue on tomorrow with rounds 2-7.
Picks number 1 and 2 will both be to Metropolitan division teams.
Taylor Hall struck again when the Devils were awarded the number 1 overall pick a few months back.
A hard decision for the Devils to make, both Jack Hughes and Kappo Kakko have the ability to go first overall.
Jack Hughes is a center with legitimate NHL worthy talent. He has been seen lighting up the World Juniors and the U.S National team development program. Hughes is 5-foot-10 and weighs 168 pounds. The young center just turned 18 in early May. With a little developing and strength training, he has the opportunity to be an elite player in this league with his speed and high hockey IQ.
Jack Hughes also has chemistry with star winger Taylor Hall. It is said and seen that the two hockey players often workout with each other in the offseason.
In short, there's a reason why Jack Hughes might go No. 1. Spoiler alert, he's REALLY good. #NHLDraft— NHL (@NHL) June 21, 2019
Round 1: Tonight on @NHLonNBC Sports and @Sportsnet at 8 ET.
Round 2: Tomorrow on @NHLNetwork and @Sportsnet at 1 ET. pic.twitter.com/Rz5pikNSOR
In a Podcast interview with the Spittin’ Chicklets crew, Hall sounded off on New Jersey and what it’s like to play and live there. Hall has also said there are more important things that the team needs to worry about before extending him. If the Devils can get Hall to sign an extension and then draft Jack Hughes on top of it, the first line in New Jersey can become very dangerous.
Hughes’ skating abilities are being compared to both Patrick Kane of the Chicago Black Hawks and Johnny Gaudreau of the Calgary Flames.
The New York Rangers have the easiest pick in this draft. Whomever the Devils don’t pick first, the Rangers can pick second. The first two picks in this draft are going to be the most elite players in the entirety of the draft.
Neck and neck with Hughes is a Finnish right winger named Kappo Kakko. Kakko, a bigger build than Hughes stands in at 6-foot-1 and weighs 181 pounds.
The young winger scored 10 points in 7 games during the World Juniors. Of those 10 points, 4 of them were goals and 6 were assists. He and his teammates also won the Gold medal during the tournament.
Kaapo Kakko says he is ready to play in the NHL. pic.twitter.com/SUShGGtRu9— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) June 20, 2019
Kakko was a wicked wrist shot and a high scoring ability. He is not afraid to sit in front of the net and make a play. Kakko also has keen eyesight while he is on the ice. He can thread the needle to make a play and can see open ice at all times.
Just based on the relationship that the former Hart Trophy winner Taylor Hall has with Jack Hughes, the Devils are likely to take Hughes. Not to undermine his play, because he arguably is the better player, the Devils are looking for their franchise to click and fast. A player that can dominate on the man advantage and make tape to tape passes anywhere on the ice is what the devils are looking for.
The Rangers are not losers in this situation though. Kakko is also going to be an elite player who will bring on a ton of scoring chances. Kakko, like Hughes, will for sure make an immediate impact on their drafted team. If Kakko does end up in New York, he will go straight to the first line wing.
Either way, both teams win.