American Jack Hughes and Finland’s Kaapo Kakko headline the class of the future NHL stars that will converge on Rogers Arena in Vancouver, B.C. in Canada this week, as NBC Sports presents live, exclusive coverage of first round of the 2019 NHL Draft this Friday, June 21, at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
Coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. ET with NHL Live.
The 2019 NHL Draft is headlined by American Jack Hughes, a 5-foot-10 center who holds the USA Hockey National Team Development Program record for most career points (228 points in 110 career games; 74g/154a). Hughes, who is widely considered as the top prospect in this year’s draft, can become just the eighth American player taken first overall.
Kaapo Kakko (Finland) of TPS (Finnish Liiga), Bowen Byram (Canada) of the Vancouver Giants (Western Hockey League), and Alex Turcotte (United States) who is committed to the University of Wisconsin (Big Ten Conference), are also expected to be early first-round selections. Kakko had 38 points (22g/16a) in 45 games with TPS in Finnish Liiga this season, Byram led the WHL playoffs in scoring (26 points in 22 games; 8g/18a), and Turcotte had 62 points (27g/35a) in 37 games this season for the USNTDP. Multiple Americans, including Hughes, Turcotte, Trevor Zegras (Boston University), Cole Caufield (University of Wisconsin), Matthew Boldy (Boston College), and Spencer Knight (Boston College) are also projected to be picked early in the first round.
The New Jersey Devils hold the first overall pick in this year’s draft, followed by the New York Rangers and the Chicago Blackhawks. The Colorado Avalanche (4th and 16th), Los Angeles Kings (5th and 22nd), and Buffalo Sabres (7th and 31st) each have two first-round picks.
Liam McHugh and Kathryn Tappen will host coverage alongside Pierre McGuire and NHL Insiders Bob McKenzie, Craig Button and Darren Dreger.
[MORE: Rotoworld’s 2019 Mock Draft]
Round 1 order
1. New Jersey
2. NY Rangers
4. Colorado (from OTT)
5. Los Angeles
19. Ottawa (from CBJ)
20. Winnipeg (from NYR)
22. Los Angeles (from TOR)
23. NY Islanders
27. Tampa Bay
29. Anaheim (from SJS-BUF)
31. Buffalo (from STL)
2019 NHL GAMING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP GRAND FINAL FROM LAS VEGAS – FRIDAY AT 11:30 P.M. ET ON NBCSN IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING NHL DRAFT
NBCSN will present coverage of the NHL Gaming World Championship Grand Final immediately following the network’s coverage of the NHL Draft on Friday, June 21, at 11:30 p.m. ET. The 2019 NHL Gaming World Championship Grand Final will feature a bracket of the winners from each region – Canada, European Union and U.S. – with one final spot determined through a special Play In round-robin of the runner-up from each region.
Big names expected to compete in the Grand Final this week include Erik ‘EKI’ Tammenpää (European Winner), Matthew ‘Top-Shelf-Cookie’ Gutkoski (U.S. Winner), and Karl ‘Mg x Nuclear’ Caslib (Canadian Winner). The winner of the Grand Final will take home the $50,000 grand prize and Championship Trophy from HyperX Esports Arena in Las Vegas.
MORE 2019 NHL DRAFT COVERAGE:
• Jack Hughes and the impact of USA Hockey
• Dylan Cozens eager to make Yukon hockey history
• Kakko ready to make NHL leap next season
• NHL draft in 2020 awarded to Montreal