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2019 NHL Draft – November Rankings and Reports
With the CHL season nearly two months old, a month or so of NCAA hockey, plenty of games for the US National Team Development Program, the Gretzky-Hlinka Tournament, an international break in Europe, and the Canada-Russia Series all being played since we last updated our draft rankings, we have gotten a decent overview of what some of the biggest prospects for the 2018 NHL draft are doing this year.
That said, as a staff, we haven’t seen every player yet—it’s quite simply not possible this early in the season. If there is an obvious name left out, we’ll do our best to get a look before the February rankings; as well as before our final rankings that go from April through June.
The group we haven’t seen a lot of our European prospects who, for whatever reason, haven’t had much exposure on the international stage. With the World Juniors, Five Nations, and the Under-18 all to come later in the year, we should get a better look at most of those players.
6.) Peyton Krebs, Centre/Left Wing, Kootenay Ice, 5’11” 181 lbs
The 1st overall pick in the 2016 WHL Draft, Krebs spent most of his first season in the league playing left wing for the Kootenay Ice. However, he has converted to centre in his second year in the league. Krebs put up 54 points in 67 games and led all WHL rookies in scoring. This year he has six goals and 27 points in 22 games. An outstanding skater, Krebs can create chances in transition due to his speed. He takes defenders wide and can cut to the net. He also has the ability to change direction on a dime making him difficult to contain one-on-one. If defenders back off to respect his speed, Krebs can take advantage of the added room by letting go a powerful and accurate wrist shot, with a quick release.
Krebs is best known for his playmaking ability though. He can thread the puck through extremely tight spaces, as well as make strong saucer passes. He is also good at passing the puck on his backhand. His strong hockey sense allows him to read the play and anticipate the movements of teammates and opponents. Krebs works hard in the defensive zone, supporting his teammates down low and working to break up passing lanes. He will need to add some muscle to his frame in the coming years.
7.) Ryan Suzuki, Centre, Barrie Colts, 6’0″ 172 lbs
The first overall pick in the 2017 OHL Draft is the brother of Montreal Canadiens prospect, Nick Suzuki. Last season, he put up 14 goals and 44 points in 64 games. This year he’s been on fire with seven goals and 28 points in 18 games. Suzuki uses outstanding skating ability to create sp6985/ace and generate chances. He can beat defenders wide and accelerate to the front of the net with his speed. He can also change directions, or change speeds to open up passing and shooting lanes. Suzuki sees the ice very well and processes the game quickly. He understands where teammates are headed and can make a tape-to-tape pass through tight areas.
Suzuki also has a good release on his shot but needs to add some upper body strength in order to generate more power. He is a tenacious player who battles hard along the boards. He could stand to improve his work in the defensive end of the ice though. This is another area of his game that would improve with added upper body strength.
8.) Cam York, Left Defence, U.S. National Team Development Program, 5’11” 172 lbs
York split last season between the Under-17 and Under-18 US teams, picking up a gold at the U17 World Hockey Challenge and a silver at the IIHF U18. This season, York is leading the blueline for one of the strongest U18 teams in memory. He has put up two goals and 16 points in 18 games. York is an excellent skater. He has very good speed and acceleration in both directions. He also has outstanding edgework, agility, and pivots. This gives York the ability to play a strong two-way game.
York’s biggest asset is his hockey sense. He makes smart decisions both with and without the puck. He joins the rush and pinches at the right times. This allows him to create offence while still maintaining his defensive responsibilities. York has excellent vision and the passing skils to quarterback the powerplay. His good skating ability allows him to maintain good gap control, and to keep opponents to the outside, playing a strong defensive game.
9.) Alex Turcotte, Centre, U.S. National Team Development Program, 5’11” 194 lbs
Last season, when Jack Hughes was called up to the Under-18 team, Alex Turcotte took over as the top centre on the US NTDP U-17 team. He would also get called up to the Under-18 team later in the season. Turcotte scored 63 points over 58 games. He also added six points in six games at the Under-17 and five points in seven games at the Under-18. He’s been injured early this year, appearing in just three games so far.
Turcotte is another outstanding skater. He has a long and powerful stride that makes it very difficult to knock him off the puck. He controls the play down low, extending the possession and waiting for teammates to get open. When there is an opportunity, he can make a tough pass through tight spaces. Turcotte also has an excellent shot and a quick release. He is relentless in his play, forechecking hard and causing turnovers in the offensive zone and backchecking and playing solid defensively in his own end. His non-stop motor and high-end offensive skills make him a prospect who can play in any situation and fill any role.
10.) Alex Newhook, Centre, Victoria Grizzlies, 5’11” 183 lbs
The St. John’s, Newfoundland native opted to go west, playing for Victoria in the BCHL rather than joining the Halifax Mooseheads after being drafted in the 2017 QMJHL Draft. Newhook is looking to maintain his NCAA eligibility as he is committed to Boston College. So far this season, he has 35 points in 23 games. Newhook has game-breaking talent. His speed is amongst the best in the class, and he has the acceleration and edgework to go with it. Newhook makes skating look effortless, almost as if he’s gliding above the ice. He combines this with the hands to make plays at top speed, and the smarts to seemingly always make a smart play with the puck.
A multi-faceted offensive threat, Newhook has a great shot, strong vision and passing skills, the ability to beat defenders with his finesse, and the power game to play in the dirty areas of the ice. He has everything that a scout could want in a top centre. Newhook has also shown the effort and instincts to be strong in his own end of the ice.
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