NHL.com writers Adam Kimelman, Mike G. Morreale and Guillaume Lepage agree that center Jack Hughes from USA Hockey's National Team Development Program under-18 team will be the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft.
They are also unanimous in their opinion that forward Kaapo Kakko of TPS in Liiga, Finland's top professional league, would go No. 2, followed by forward Vasili Podkolzin of SKA St. Petersburg's team in Russia's junior league.
After that, however, their opinions differ greatly.
The 2019 draft will be held at Rogers Arena in Vancouver on June 21-22.
The order used for this mock draft was based on standings at the break for the 2019 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend. The final order will be set after the Stanley Cup Final.
The Colorado Avalanche are the only team now that has two picks in the first round. In addition to their selection, they have the Ottawa Senators' first pick, which they acquired Nov. 15, 2017 in the three-team trade with the Nashville Predators that sent forward Matt Duchene to Ottawa.
The New York Rangers (from the Tampa Bay Lightning), the Buffalo Sabres (from the San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues), and the Senators (from the Sharks) have conditional first-round picks that could change hands based on how teams finish the season.
1. Colorado Avalanche (from Ottawa Senators)
Kimelman — Jack Hughes, C, USA U-18 (NTDP): Hughes has a dynamic set of skills and size (5-foot-10, 168 pounds) reminiscent of an 18-year-old Patrick Kane.
Morreale — Hughes: He's an elite skater who can think the game at top speed with a knack for finding open space on the ice. Hughes is the most electrifying player in this draft class, with great hands, feet and an insatiable appetite to succeed. He'll be a franchise-defining player.
Lepage — Hughes: Though Hughes is not the biggest skater in this year's draft class he certainly is the most talented. He has dominated at every level he's played at for several years and everything indicates it will be no different in the NHL.