Florida Panthers: 2019 NHL Draft Prospect Forward Rankings

KOSICE, SLOVAKIA - MAY 21: Kaapo Kakko #24 of Finland during the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Slovakia group A game between Finland and Germany at Steel Arena on May 21, 2019 in Kosice, Slovakia. (Photo by Lukasz Laskowski/PressFocus/MB Media/Getty Images)
KOSICE, SLOVAKIA - MAY 21: Kaapo Kakko #24 of Finland during the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Slovakia group A game between Finland and Germany at Steel Arena on May 21, 2019 in Kosice, Slovakia. (Photo by Lukasz Laskowski/PressFocus/MB Media/Getty Images) /
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Tier E – Top 9 Skills but a lot of Question Marks

KELOWNA, BC – JANUARY 16: Brayden Tracey #7 of the Moose Jaw Warriors skates against the Kelowna Rockets at Prospera Place on January 16, 2019 in Kelowna, Canada. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
KELOWNA, BC – JANUARY 16: Brayden Tracey #7 of the Moose Jaw Warriors skates against the Kelowna Rockets at Prospera Place on January 16, 2019 in Kelowna, Canada. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images) /

33. Aku Raty/ RW / R / JUL 01 / Karpat / Jr. A 

His 2021 eligible brother may already be better but… he seems to have the possibilities of being a useful Swiss army knife in the NHL down the line. Raty has enough sense and skills to be helpful in the offensive zone and is competitive in the defense zone. Nothing really special, he just does everything well enough.

34. Dmitri Sheshin / LW / R / MAY 01 / Magnitogorsk / MHL

A good set of hands and hunger around the net. Bit small, so he picks his engagements carefully but can get lost in coverage. He’s a soft touch passer off the rush, and a sit in the home plate and wait for his chance in the zone type of guy.

35. Brayden Tracey / LW / L / MAY 01/ Moose Jaw / WHL

He moves around the ice like a Tkachuk. I have dinged that skating as too slow and that style of play too on the wall to work in NHL but maybe it’s not? The reason he isn’t getting the love you’d expect is noticeable after a few games. He’s on a good team, living off the PP. His skillset is good, not great. No real unique selling point.

36. Daniil Gutik / LW / R / AUG 01 / Loko Yaroslavl / MHL

Absolute flier to take, from what I have seen. A lot of tools in Gutik’s tool kit but never see them all together longer than a shift or two. Good at freestyling off broken plays and has creative bursts. Poor man’s Denisenko without the grit?

37. Max Wahlgren / C / L / MAY 01 / MODO / SuperElit

I like his defensive game, he makes the simple play. Above average skills and solid finishing ability. Picks up bad passes and pucks off boards well. I like his ability to beat players one on one when given the chance. Another year with Modo though and he could be looking like a steal by next year. My bias isn’t gone here, it’s just hoping it all comes together for him.

38. Nicholas Robertson / LW, C / L / SEP 01 / Peterborough / OHL

A quick-to-the-net winger who can use speed and hands to get around defenders. I like his knack for find openings and the right timing. Not sure of his potential off the puck but he was a PPG player and showed well in big games. Young for draft class.

Hot. Exploring the Possibility of a Ryan Ellis/Mattias Ekholm Trade. light

39. Danil Bashkirov / C / L / MAY 01 / Tolpar Ufa / MHL

Bashkirov has a short stick for his size, giving him good hands in tight and a quick release. I’ve seen games where he can take over, and his MHL underlying stats show he drives play for his team. Could have been higher up the list if I could have seen more games.

40. Samuel Poulin / LW / L / FEB 01 / Sherbrooke / QMJHL

Well-liked by scouts. Has the size and two good years in the Q, though, I expected a few more goal notches in the draft year belt. Another area of concern is him avoiding confrontation and not taking the play to the defenders.

41. Bobby Brink / RW / R / JUL 01 / Sioux City / USHL

Enjoyed watching him play this year. A good pace, a good shot. He has a unique style in the offensive zone. Worry about the competition he faced, the size, the skating. Can he overcome all that to be an NHLer?

42. Marcus Kallionkieli / W / L / MAR 01 / Sioux City / USHL

Linemate Bobby Brink has the higher ceiling and more value in the community. However, Marcus has longer-term value, and a better chance to fit anywhere in a lineup. He does everything to a top-nine level and his best asset is his shot and finishing ability. His second, his smarts. Especially since Brink won’t be realistically available in later rounds.

43. Nikita Alexandrov / C / L / SEP 00 / Charlottetown / QMJHL

Expected a bigger year from an older birthdate and a second-year Q player. However, being a center helps. He has a good goal touch but how dynamic he can be is what keeps him from moving up a tier.

44. Oleg Zaitsev / C / L / JAN 01 / Red Deer / WHL

Quick skater, good frame. Smooth. His production doesn’t jump out at you. But his ability to pass and keep pucks flat will. If you ever saw him bunt passes flat to teammates or sauce in a phone booth you’d get why he has to be on this list and worth a pick.

45. Mikhail Abramov / RW,C / L / MAR 01 / Victoriaville / QMJHL

Caught my attention when watching Serdyuk. Abramov is a playmaking forward who will have the patience to wait out defenders or curl back. Abramov’s vision is good enough to run a powerplay in junior and there’s some chance that happens at the NHL level, as he will have more room 5v4.