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Catching up with the 2019 SBN Mock draft

A look at what has gone down so far in our network’s mock draft

Russia v United States: Quarter Final - 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Slovakia Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images

Welcome to the weekend, let’s talk 2019 NHL draft.

A cool thing about being in a vast network is getting to participate in items like this mock draft! All the managers participated and the first picks are revealed.

The Penguins’ pick (21st overall) will be announced here on Pensbugh next Friday, June 7th.

Here’s a link to see more!

1. New Jersey selects Jack Hughes, via All About The Jersey.

2. NY Rangers select Kaapo Kakko, via Blueshirt Banter.

3. Chicago selects Alex Turcotte, via Second City Hockey.

4. Colorado selects Kirby Dach, via Mile High Hockey.

5. Los Angeles selects Dylan Cozens, via Jewels From The Crown.

6. Detroit selects Bowen Byram, via Winging It In Motown.

7. Buffalo selects Cole Caufield, via Die By The Blade.

8. Edmonton selects Peyton Krebs, via Copper & Blue.

9. Anaheim selects Trevor Zegras, via Anaheim Calling.

10. Vancouver selects Matthew Boldy, via Nucks Misconduct.

11. Philadelphia selects Alex Newhook via Broadstreet Hockey

12. Minnesota selects Vasili Podkolzin via Hockey Wilderness

What does everyone think so far? Nothing too crazy, though only one defenseman has been picked and even he slipped a bit to Detroit at #6. The diminutive but super-skilled Caufield got selected high, as to be expected for an internet mock draft he’s probably going higher than normal.

Here’s a reminder of our drafting history at Pensburgh:

2018: team traded pick, none made :(

2017: We used draft picks to trade up from 31st overall to 23rd overall with Arizona, and selected defenseman Callan Foote (who ended up getting picked 14th overall by Tampa in real life). The Penguins in real life? Well they traded their pick down to 51st overall to get Ryan Reaves and, well, that didn’t work out so good.

2016: team traded pick, none made :(

2015: team traded pick, none made :(

2014: At 22nd overall we mock drafted winger Nikita Scherbak (who ended up going 26th to Montreal in reality). The Pens passed on Scherbak to take Kasperi Kapanen 22nd overall, which was a smart move (and one not available in our mock draft)!

2013: team traded pick, none made :(

2012: At 22nd, we mock picked defenseman Slater Koekkoek (actually picked #10 overall by Tampa). The Pens in reality took Olli Maatta with this pick (who was taken #14 in the mock). Pittsburgh also traded Jordan Staal in part for the 8th overall picking taking Derrick Pouliot.

2011: Going 23rd overall, we picked forward Rocco Grimaldi in the mock, who ended up going #33 to Florida in the real thing. The Pens took defenseman Joe Morrow in the real draft.

2010: At 20th overall, Pensburgh I got outvoted (wanted Brock Nelson and have email trail to show it!) but the other former editors agreed to take winger John McFarland. In reality the Pens took Beau Bennett here.

What have we learned with almost a decade worth of attempts? It’s tough to draft late from 20th+ every time, there are always a couple of good players in the mix, but difficult to find that impact maker. Please keep that in mind next week!

In reality, the Pens have had some good luck to take players who have “fallen” a bit from pre-draft expectations - like Maatta and Kapanen. Then again, this doesn’t always work out as 2007 first rounder Angelo Esposito was a player that slipped and didn’t work out.

The Pens looked good taking Kapanen and Maatta but whiffed big on the 8th overall pick in 2012, and fellow bad decisions in the other drafts have left the team a bit talent-deficient for young players, even prior to all the costly trades that have zapped high picks (but provided a couple nice, new Stanley Cup banners).

Overall for my picks, my tendency was to shoot for the moon on boom/bust prospects and it’s come up fairly empty.

  • Grimaldi, at age-26, has carved out a decent niche on Nashville’s fourth line in 2018-19, in his third organization. But Grimaldi certainly isn’t the Alex Debrincat-type of home run I was hoping for on draft day
  • Koekkoek was just re-signed by Chicago (his second organization) and also seems to be settling in as a third pair player, a disappointment for a top-10 pick but at least he’s still in the league
  • Scherbak was waived twice this past season and got a small chance with LA (his second organization) but it didn’t work out. He’s since signed with Avangard Omsk of the KHL as he departs from the North American chapter of his career
  • Foote’s future still looks bright, 2018-19 was his first full pro season, spending his age 19/20 year entirely in Syracuse of the AHL with certainly a chance for a solid NHL future

So I guess I’d give myself a C- grade for drafting, though in my defense only having a handful of chances PLUS picking late every year is very difficult! If it’s any consolation, had we known about the 2012 trade to 8th overall earlier, I definitely would have selected something good and suddenly this peak back would be much better!