The NHL draft has come and gone for another year with few surprises in the first round. Let’s recap the top 31 picks for 2018.
1- As expected, the Buffalo Sabres selected 18-year-old Rasmus Dahlin of Sweden with the first overall pick. He’s a fine puck-moving defenceman who scored 20 points in 41 contests with Frolunda of the Swedish Hockey League last season. He also played at the World Junior Championships and PyeongChang Olympics.
2-The Carolina Hurricanes took Andrei Svechnikov of Russia with the second pick after the 6-foot-2 winger scored 40 goals as a rookie for Barrie of the OHL in 44 games. He led the league at 0.91 goals-per-game even though he missed several weeks of the season with an injury. He also racked up five assists in five outings at the World Junior Championships
3-The Montreal Canadiens used their first pick to choose centre Jesperi Kotkaniemi of Finland. He had 10 goals and 19 assists last season and won’t turn 18 until July 6th
4-The Ottawa Senators took left-winger Brady Tkachuk of Boston University. He’s 6-feet-3-inches tall and finished the season with with 31 points and a plus-15 rating. He led his team with 23 assists and was fourth in overall scoring on his squad. The power forward also had three goals and six assists at the World Junior Championships for America.
5-The Arizona Coyotes chose centre Barrett Hayton of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL. He posted 21 goals and 39 assists for 60 points in 63 games and was also used on the special teams as he’s considered a fine offensive and defensive player.
6- The Detroit Red Wings selected forward Filip Zadina after he scored 44 times in 57 games with Halifax of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Zadina was named the top prospect in the league last season as he led all rookies in scoring with 44 goals and 38 assists for 82 points in 57 games. In addition, he added seven goals and an assist for the Czech Republic at the World Junior Championships.
7- The Vancouver Canucks took defenceman Quinn Hughes of the University of Michigan. The 18-year-old played at the 2018 World Championships for the U.S. And could be a fine power play specialist. He scored five goals and 24 assists last season in 37 games.
8- The Chicago Blackhawks took defenceman Adam Boqvist of Brynas Jr. in the Swedish junior league. He netted 14 goals and 10 assists in 25 games last season and added three goals and two assists in just three playoff games. The 17-year-old also had six points at the IIHF World U-18 Championship,.
9- The New York Rangers selected right-winger Vitali Kravtsov from Chelyabinsk in Russia. He was one of the youngest players in the KHL last season and he chipped in with four goals and three assists in his 35 contests. He then netted six goals and five assists in his 16 postseason games and was the rookie of the year in the KHL.
10- The Edmonton Oilers chose defenceman Evan Bouchard from the OHL’s London Knights. His 25 goals and 62 assists ranked him seventh overall in league scoring and was tops for blueliners. He’s known for his hard shot and on-ice smarts.
11- The New York Islanders too right-winger Oliver Wahlstrom from the American Under-18 squad and Shattuck-St. Mary’s School in Minnesota. He scored 48 goals and 46 assists for 94 points last season along with six game-winning goals and 13 power-play goals in 62 games.
12- The New York Islanders also had the 12th pick and selected defenceman Noah Dobson from Acadie-Bathurst of the Quebec Major Junior League. The First-Team All-Star scored 17 goals and 52 assists for 69 points along with 11 power play goals. He added three goals and 10 assists in 20 postseason outings to help Acadie-Bathurst win the title.
13- The Dallas Stars took centre Ty Dellandrea from Flint of the OHL after he led his team with
27 goals and 32 assists for 59 points in 67 games. The 17-year-old also led the squad with 10 power-play goals and played for Canada at the IIHF World U-18s.
14- The Philadelphia Flyers chose left-winger Joel Farabee from the USA U-18 team. He scored 76 points on 33 goals and 43 assists last season and added five shorthanded markers in 62 games. He was also a plus-41 on the year.
15- The Florida Panthers took Russian left-winger Grigori Denisenko of Yaroslavl 2. He played for the junior Loko team for most of the year and posted nine goals and 13 assists in 31 games and added five more goals and a pair of assists in 12 postseason contests.
16- The Colorado Avalanche drafted right-winger Martin Kaut from Pardubice in the Czech Republic. He scored nine goals and seven assists in 38 games in the Czech League and added three goals and two assists in his seven postseason games. He also posted two goals and five assists at the World Junior Championships.
17- The New Jersey Devils chose defenceman Ty Smith from Spokane of the Western Hockey League. Smith had 14 goals and 59 assists for 73 points last season and was a plus-44 with 27 power-play points.
18- The Columbus Blue Jackets selected centre Liam Foudy from the London Knights of the London OHL. He posted 24 goals and 16 assists for 40 points in 65 games along with four game-winners and five shorthanded tallies.
19- The Philadelphia Flyers took centre Jay O’Brien from Thayer Academy High School in the U.S. He led his league with 43 goals and 37 assists for 80 points in 30 games.
20- The Los Angeles Kings drafted speedy centre Rasmus Kupari from Karpat in Finland. He scored six goals and eight assists last season in 39 games in Liiga and also played at the World Junior Championships.
21- The San Jose Sharks took defenceman Ryan Merkley from Guelph of the OHL after he racked up 67 points in 63 games last year. The 17-year-old was third in scoring for OHL defencemen with his 13 goals and 54 assists and posted 1.06 points-per game.
22- The New York Rangers chose defenceman K’Andre Miller from the USA U-18 team. He’s 6-feet-3-inches tall and posted nine goals and 20 assists last season and was a plus-23. Miller also scored two shorthanded goals.
23- The Anaheim Ducks took centre Isac Lundestrom from Lulea in Sweden after he scored six goals and nine assists in 42 games last season along with a plus-7 rating. He added two goals at the World Junior Championships.
24- The Minnesota Wild drafted defenceman Filip Johansson from Leksand Jr. in Sweden. He posted four goals and five assists in his 29 junior games. And added a goal and three assists at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament along with two goals and an assist at the U-18 World Championships.
25- The St. Louis Blues took German-born right-winger Dominik Bokk from Vaxjo Jr. in Sweden. He played 35 games as a rookie and scored 41 points on 14 goals and 27 assists and added five goals and six assists in his eight postseason games.
26- The Ottawa Senators chose defenceman Jacob Bernard-Docker from Okotoks in the Alberta Junior Hockey League. He scored 20 goals and 21 assists for 41 points in 47 games and will play at the University of North Dakota next season.
27- The Chicago Blackhawks selected defenceman Nicolas Beaudin from Drummondville in the QMJHL. He was ranked second in defenceman scoring with 69 points on 12 goals and 57 assists and posted 28 assists on the power-play in 68 games.
28- The New York Rangers took defenceman Nils Lundkvist from Pitea in Sweden where he posted three goals and 11 assists in 26 contests as a 17-year-old.
29- The Toronto Maple Leafs took Swedish defenceman Rasmus Sandin from the OHL’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. The rookie scored 12 goals and 33 assists for 45 points last year and was a plus-35 in 51 games.
30- The Detroit Red Wings chose centre Joseph Veleno from Drummondville of the QMJHL. He posted six goals and 25 assists for 31 points in 31 games last year with Saint John and was then traded to Drummondville where he added 16 goals and 32 assists for 48 points in 33 games. Veleno added five goals and six assists in his 10 postseason contests.
31- The Washington Capitals drafted last in the first round and took Russian defenceman Alexander Alexeyev from Red Deer of the Western Hockey League. Alexeyev is 6-feet-4-inches tall and scored
seven goals and 30 assists last season in 45 games. He then added two goals and three assists in three playoff matches.