The 2019 NHL Draft Lottery is already shaping up to be a franchise-changing event, given the consensus building over Jack Hughes as the best overall player available. Bob McKenzie of TSN released his Pre-Season Draft Rankings, and noted that ten out of ten scouts he polled have Hughes in the top spot. That’s a kind of dominance reserved the last few seasons for players like Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews and Rasmus Dahlin, and should indicate a tremendous future for the young center.
Hughes is an outstanding talent, but remember that all fifteen teams that miss the playoffs will have a chance to win the lottery and select first overall. While those teams who finish at the bottom—or those who own another team’s pick—have the best chance, Hughes could find himself in any number of cities when training camp begins next year.
- The Ottawa Senators may have risked a shot at Hughes by hanging onto their 2018 fourth-overall draft pick, but they’re quite happy with the progress Brady Tkachuk has already shown. Tkachuk seems poised for an immediate role with the Senators, and Luke Fox of Sportsnet dives into what makes the young forward tick. Head coach Guy Boucher admits that Tkachuk has been impressive through the first part of training camp, but wouldn’t go so far as to guarantee his spot on the opening night roster. If the Senators are to be competitive this season they may just need a spark from young players like Tkachuk to turn things around.
- Speaking of Ottawa prospects, Alex Formenton has also drawn the eye of his head coach in recent days. As Chris Johnston of Sportsnet reports, Boucher compared Formenton’s speed to that of superstar Connor McDavid today as the Senators prepare for their first exhibition game. The 19-year old speedster played one game for Ottawa last season and two games for Belleville at the end of the year, but would be heading back to the London Knights of the OHL if he fails to crack the Senators roster this fall. Already armed with some NHL-level attributes, Formenton would likely be a leader on the Canadian World Junior squad if allowed to attend the tournament in a few months.