Just a few weeks ago, it seemed all but settled that the New Jersey Devils intended to take Jack Hughes with the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming 2019 NHL Entry Draft as the team pictured a combination of Hughes and Nico Hischier each centering their first and second lines.
However, after an impressive performance in his first two games for Finland, Kaapo Kakko, the consensus second-overall pick, looks to be pushing for the chance to be the first-overall pick instead. The 18-year-old Kakko scored two goals Friday against Canada to garner quite a bit of attention and then added a hat trick Saturday against Slovakia to post five goals so far. And the tournament has just started. All this is after Kakko posted 22 goals in the Liiga as a 17-year-old for most of the season. The possibility of a first line of Hischier, Taylor Hall and Kakko could develop into one of the best in the NHL down the road.
Hughes, on the other hand has been solid. He is also playing at the World Championships for the United States, but hasn’t established himself in the same way that Kakko has. Regardless, most draft experts still have Hughes, the playmaking center, at the top of draft boards and most people still have Hughes going to New Jersey with the Rangers happily taking whichever player is remaining.
However, Saturday’s performance has received quite a bit of attention, with many suddenly suggesting that Kakko should be the first pick in the NHL Draft. However, should New Jersey take Kakko at No. 1?
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