NHL Draft 2019: Team-by-Team Results, Grades and Analysis

Jake RillAnalyst IJune 23, 2019

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA - JUNE 21:  (L-R) Kaapo Kakko, second overall pick by the New York Rangers, Jack Hughes, first overall pick by the New Jersey Devils, and Kirby Dach, third overall pick by the Chicago Blackhawks hold up their fingers of their pick order in front of the stage during the first round of the 2019 NHL Draft at Rogers Arena on June 21, 2019 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

After 217 picks over seven rounds in a span of two days, the 2019 NHL draft is over. But the excitement is only just getting started.

With each of the NHL's 31 teams adding young talent, it will be interesting to see which players end up being the stars of this year's class. The most likely choice is the No. 1 overall pick, Jack Hughes, who went to the New Jersey Devils.

But Hughes isn't the only player seemingly destined for stardom in the class, and the Devils weren't the only team to have a great showing Friday and Saturday. Here's a look at each team's grade for this year's draft, followed by a closer look at the franchises that fared the best.


2019 NHL Draft Grades

To see every team's full list of picks, go to the NHL.com draft tracker.

Anaheim Ducks: B (Top pick: Trevor Zegras, center)

Arizona Coyotes: B- (Top pick: Victor Soderstrom, defense)

Boston Bruins: C+ (Top pick: John Beecher, center)

Buffalo Sabres: B+ (Top pick: Dylan Cozens, center)

Calgary Flames: B- (Top pick: Jakob Pelletier, left wing)

Carolina Hurricanes: A (Top pick: Ryan Suzuki, center)

Chicago Blackhawks: B- (Top pick: Kirby Dach, center)

Colorado Avalanche: A- (Top pick: Bowen Byram, defense)

Columbus Blue Jackets: C- (Top pick: Eric Hjorth, defense)

Dallas Stars: B- (Top pick: Thomas Harley, defense)

Detroit Red Wings: B- (Top pick: Moritz Seider, defense)

Edmonton Oilers: B (Top pick: Philip Broberg, defense)

Florida Panthers: C+ (Top pick: Spencer Knight, goalie)

Los Angeles Kings: A (Top pick: Alex Turcotte, center)

Minnesota Wild: B+ (Top pick: Matthew Boldy, left wing)

Montreal Canadiens: A (Top pick: Cole Caufield, right wing)

Nashville Predators: B+ (Top pick: Philip Tomasino, center)

New Jersey Devils: A (Top pick: Jack Hughes, center)

New York Islanders: C+ (Top pick: Simon Holmstrom, right wing)

New York Rangers: A- (Top pick: Kaapo Kakko, right wing)

Ottawa Senators: C+ (Top pick: Lassi Thomson, defense)

Philadelphia Flyers: B (Top pick: Cameron York, defense)

Pittsburgh Penguins: C (Top pick: Samuel Poulin, right wing)

San Jose Sharks: C+ (Top pick: Artemi Kniazev, defense)

St. Louis Blues: C- (Top pick: Nikita Alexandrov, center)

Tampa Bay Lightning: C+ (Top pick: Nolan Foote, left wing)

Toronto Maple Leafs: C+ (Top pick: Nicholas Robertson, left wing)

Vancouver Canucks: B (Top pick: Vasily Podkolzin, right wing)

Vegas Golden Knights: B (Top pick: Peyton Krebs, center)

Washington Capitals: B- (Top pick: Connor McMichael, center)

Winnipeg Jets: C+ (Top pick: Ville Heinola, defense)


Top 3 Draft Classes

New Jersey Devils

The Devils made some solid picks on the second day of the draft, but it's the No. 1 overall pick, Jack Hughes, who played the biggest factor in New Jersey's being one of this year's best draft classes.

Hughes, an 18-year-old from the USA Hockey National Team Development Program, is a potential superstar, and he could be the player the Devils build around for years to come. He was the best player in this year's class, and New Jersey would have made a mistake had it not selected him.

With their first two picks on Day 2, the Devils added a pair of solid defensemen in Nikita Okhotyuk and Daniil Misyul. They finished Saturday having selected 11 players over the seven rounds, and with Hughes leading the way, this class could play a big role in the franchise's future improvement.


Los Angeles Kings

With three selections in the first 33 picks, the Los Angeles Kings added a pair of dynamic offensive players and a solid defenseman, setting the tone for what became one of the best classes in this year's draft.

USA Hockey NTDP center Alex Turcotte was a great selection at No. 5. He was talented enough to go as high as No. 3, and Los Angeles made the wise decision to select him with its first pick. Defenseman Tobias Bjornfot wasn't the most exciting pick at No. 22, but he could become a key contributor for the Kings.

Los Angeles opened Day 2 by selecting right wing Arthur Kaliyev, who scored 51 goals in 67 games for Hamilton in the OHL this past season. He's a player with tremendous upside who could become a valuable future piece for the Kings' offense.

Overall, Los Angeles added nine players in a talented, balanced class.


Carolina Hurricanes

The Carolina Hurricanes may not have had their first pick until No. 28, but they made 12 selections over the two days of the draft. And they made some great decisions with their large number of picks.

Their top pick is their most talented, as Ryan Suzuki, a center who played for Barrie in the OHL, has the potential to become a strong player. He's the best piece that the Hurricanes added to their already deep system during the draft.

"I'd say I'm a playmaking centerman," Suzuki said, according to The News & Observer's Chip Alexander. "I like to be electric and make plays all around the ice. I think I'm a just super-smart player with a good hockey IQ."

One sleeper selection for the Hurricanes could be third-rounder Patrik Puistola, who was a strong choice at the No. 73 pick; it's arguable he was talented enough to go higher.