At the very top of the NHL Draft we are going to see two great talents get selected in Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko. The questions start when the Chicago Blackhawks are on the clock with the third overall pick. It’s time to take a look at some underrated prospects that could provide great value to whichever NHL team selects them.
Peyton Krebs, Center
Yes, he is fully expected to be drafted in the top half of the first round, however, Peyton Krebs of the Winnipeg Ice is underrated coming into the 2019 NHL Draft. If Krebs was surrounded by the cast of players that make up the USA U18 team, then NHL teams would likely be considering taking him third overall. Krebs is the perfect combination of skill, work-ethic and leadership that NHL teams desire and when you pair him with better teammates than he played with this year the results are going to be great. Teams that pass on Krebs early in the first round are going to look back and wish they had drafted him.
Nolan Foote, Left Wing
Scouts can only value a player based on what they see. They cannot take into consideration some things they cannot see, like a fractured wrist. Nolan Foote played the majority of the season without knowing the extent of his injury. Foote scored a lot with the injury, amassing 36 goals in 66 games for the Kelowna Rockets. Now fully healed, Foote should be considered a bargain if he is drafted outside of the first round.
Alex Beaucage, Right Wing
A member of the 2019 Memorial Cup winning Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, Alex Beaucage is not expected to hear his name called until the third round of the draft. The Huskies were the top Canadian Hockey League team all season long and were loaded with talent. It is hard to stand out as a player when there is so much skill surrounding you. Beaucage is a player that is not scared to shoot the puck, and an NHL team is going to find a solid contributor in this kid.
Anttoni Honka, Defense
There is always value in experience, especially when that experience is playing against men in Finland. Anttoni Honka is the younger brother of Dallas Stars defenseman, Julius Honka. He played for a couple of different teams in the top Finnish League this season and adjusted well to the changes. Honka is a strong skater and extremely capable offensively but needs to work on his defensive game. Gaining further experience in Finland is important for his development and could result in a Kimmo Timonen level of talent.
Mads Sogaard, Goalie
Drafting a goalie is always risky because their game takes longer to develop than other positions. However, Danish goaltender Mads Sogaard already exemplifies a pro presence when in the net. Underrated based on little experience in North America, Sogaard brings the ideal combination of size and quickness that NHL teams want. Expect to see him as one of the top goalies drafted in this year’s draft.
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