Round 1No Picks
Round 2#54 Overall:
Nicholas Robertson – L
USA 5’9″ 162 lbs
Cam Robinson – Dobber ProspectsMay 15th: “A great skater who blends quick acceleration with quick edges. Owns high-end puck skills, vision, and a developing release. One of the youngest players in the crop.”
Sam Cosentino – SportsNetMay 8th: “Never takes a day off in trying to improve his game in every facet.”
Chris Peters – ESPNMay 6th: “Shifty, quick and tenacious, Robertson doesn’t have great size, but he has deadly touch that makes him a weapon in the offensive zone and in transition.”
Sam Cosentino – SportsNet – Oct. 2nd: “Smallish, quick, nifty puck handler and a wicked shot have the younger brother of Dallas prospect Jason beginning to make noise with solid showings at both the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup and the All-American Prospects game.”
Ranked #25 by THE ATHLETIC
Ranked #48 by HOCKEYPROSPECT.COM
Ranked #35 by FUTURE CONSIDERATIONS
Ranked #34 by ISS HOCKEY
Ranked #40 by MCKEEN’S HOCKEY
Ranked #17 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (NA Skaters)
Ranked #28 by ELITEPROSPECTS.COM
Ranked #42 by TSN/McKenzie
Round 3#84 Overall:
Mikko Kokkonen – D
FIN 5’11” 200 lbs
Cam Robinson – Dobber ProspectsFeb. 6th: “Logs heavy minutes in all situations and produces a calm and measured approach … He’s been superb in the Liiga early on this season. A deft two-way player who likely projects as a complementary offensive piece at the next level.”
Cam Robinson – Dobber Prospects – Dec. 20th: “Strong outlets, good compete level and defensive positioning. He’s adjusted well to the increased workload in the Liiga this season. A deft two-way player who likely projects as a defense-first player at the next level.”
Scott Wheeler – The Athletic – Nov. 6th: “Kokkonen moves effortlessly in all four directions, closes gaps quickly, rarely gets exposed and is sneaky-strong in puck battles. He looks exactly like what you’d want a modern NHL defenceman to look like.”
Steve Kournianos (@TheDraftAnalyst) – Sporting News – June 29th: “One of the top junior-age defenders in Finland, Kokkonen is a poised, mobile playmaker with a high IQ who usually is summoned to take care of the tougher tasks. His skating ability allows him to carry the puck through or around traffic, but he’ll only do it if the situation presents itself.”
Ranked #78 by THE ATHLETIC
Ranked #105 by HOCKEYPROSPECT.COM
Ranked #52 by FUTURE CONSIDERATIONS
Ranked #70 by MCKEEN’S HOCKEY
Ranked #10 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (EU Skaters)
Ranked #47 by ELITEPROSPECTS.COM
Ranked #67 by TSN/McKenzie
Round 4#115 Overall:
Mikhail Abramov – C
RUS 5’11” 161 lbs
Why was hockeyprospect.com so high on him? they had this to say about him after seeing a mix of his games in the QMJHL and in international play:
Abramov is a good skater, has quick feet and is fluid on his skates. He encountered some difficulty along the boards when facing Charlottetown defensemen… He showed some good awareness in the defensive zone and supported his defense well down low. He also showed good anticipation to read plays.
NextGen Prospects had this to say:
Abramov is an energetic player that stays involved in the play. He pressures the puck when opponents have it, supports the puck well when teammates have it, and controls it well when it’s on his own stick. He has no issues taking passes in stride, on his backhand, off his skates, from behind, or off a bank off the boards.
The Moscow-born winger looks to be more of a distributor than a finisher. He doesn’t get much power behind his shot, and as such isn’t a threat to score from range. Up close, however, he can be dangerous
Scott Wheeler looked at him as a potential sleeper:
Though he played centre all season and the position benefits his ability to hang onto the puck, delay and find the open teammate, given his size, I suspect that he will have to switch to the wing to be successful at the next level (especially because faceoffs are already not a strength at the junior level). Abramov has the skill to make that move though. He’s evasive along the wall, stepping around defenders with sharp edgework and the ability to open up his hips and avoid contact, plus his outside-in vision would complement a shooting centre who’s able to get to the slot quite well. I’d like to see Abramov use his shot a little more because he showed real flashes this season of effortlessly picking corners of the net and surprising goalies with how quickly it snaps off of his blade despite not having the strength to power it past them. He obviously needs to get stronger, too. Nonetheless, players with Abramov’s skill level are worthwhile picks in round 4-7 — and he’s likely to be there due to concerns about his size.
Ranked #96 by THE ATHLETIC
Ranked #53 by HOCKEYPROSPECT.COM
Ranked #122 by FUTURE CONSIDERATIONS
Ranked #185 by MCKEEN’S HOCKEY
Ranked #63 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (NA Skaters)
Ranked #91 by ELITEPROSPECTS.COM
Puck Skills: 55
Physical Game: 35
Hockey Sense: 60
Abramov was a huge part of Victoriaville’s offense this season and transitioned to North America well. He’s a great playmaker with high-end vision. Abramov is always looking to make a play. He makes a lot of passes through seams and does so at a quick pace. If anything, he tries a little too much to make the nice play as he passes up shots and stays on the perimeter too much. Abramov has a good shot and getting to shooting opportunities would increase his value. He’s not a stationary player, as he skates quite well and can get by defenders with speed. Some scouts like his compete level, but I would not call him a physical player; and he’s not the biggest player.
Nicholas Abruzzese – C
USA 5’9″ 160lbs
Ranked #259 by FUTURE CONSIDERATIONS
Ranked #208 by MCKEEN’S HOCKEY
Ranked #122 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (NA Skaters)
A friendly face ties it up late in the 3rd period for the Steel. Robert Mastrosimone, off a pretty feed from Nick Abruzzese, puts home the one-timer.
— Stars n’ Stripes Hockey (@StarsStripesHKY) January 21, 2019
Nick Abruzzese goes to work and finds Todd Goehring pic.twitter.com/rMHBLdN99Q
— USHL (@USHL) March 25, 2018
— USHL (@USHL) December 16, 2018
Elite Prospects’ Rinkside blog had this to say:
For Abruzzese, he really started to make a jump when he travelled to play for the North Jersey Avalanche.
“There’s a lot to balance when you play travel hockey. You miss a lot of school but doing all that travelling helps you work on time management,” Abruzzese opined. “I owe a lot to the guys there, the coaches there. I think they helped me become a better player and help shape me to become the player I am today.”
The biggest issue in regard to Abruzzese is his age. He’s soon to be 20 and some aren’t giving him the credit he deserves even though he led his team in scoring.
“I think with scouts there’s definitely that because it’s my third year going through the draft process and not getting a lot of exposure the first two years. I think I’m just a late bloomer and I am patient with the process just trying to focus on getting better every day and not focusing on whatever players are in front of me and just trying to be the best player I can be.”
He also led the USHL in scoring as well with 29 goals and 80 points in 62 games. He had seven goals and seven assists in 11 playoff games as well. Some teams like older players because there’s a chance they can get to the NHL a bit quicker because they’re a bit more physically mature. Some worry that a player has reached his zenith by this age and then upside won’t be as high as a player a few year’s younger.
Round 5#146 Overall:
Michael Koster – D
USA 5’9″ 172 lbs
Ranked #74 by THE ATHLETIC
Ranked #255 by FUTURE CONSIDERATIONS
Ranked #93 by MCKEEN’S HOCKEY
Ranked #69 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (NA Skaters)
Round 6No Picks
Round 7#204 Overall:
Kalle Loponen – D
FIN 5’10” 186 lbs
Ranked #142 by FUTURE CONSIDERATIONS
Ranked #177 by MCKEEN’S HOCKEY
Ranked #64 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (EU Skaters)
DraftSite Scouting Report:
Undersized defender who plays with the jam of a bigger man due to his core strength. Good skater with good hands who is skilled in both receiving pucks and passing them on at full speed.can spin away from forechecking pressure and use his strong wrists to quickly get the biscuit up ie in transition. Can make thread the needle to the long pass out. Know when to pinch on the attack, and will join rushes. Will walk the blue and get the puck to his forwards. Can place pucks over shot blockers and has a hard pass. Long term developmental guy.
2019-04-18 at Canada – Finland, U18 World Championship by Lassi Alanen
Loponen was listed as the seventh defenceman in Finland’s tournament opener against Canada, but he was used a lot at even-strength and got some shifts on the penalty kill.
Loponen showed good mobility and overall skating ability. For the most part, he was able to keep up with the pace of the game and didn’t panic under pressure. Loponen delivered multiple good breakout passes and was once able to show his powerful slap shot. Defensively, Loponen isn’t afraid to take risks and play physical while defending against a rush, as he laid one big hit onto a bigger Canadian forward. His positional game is still a work in progress, though.
2019-02-01 at KeuPa HT – Hermes, Mestis by Lassi Alanen
Loponen was featured in Hermes’ top defensive pairing and played north of 25 minutes in their 3-4 loss against KeuPa HT. He got a primary helper on the opening goal of the game, as his shot from the point was redirected by his teammate.
Loponen kept his game simple for the most part throughout the entire game. He showed pretty good acceleration and also decent mobility. Loponen jumped on the rush a couple of times and clearly showed eagerness to help his forwards, but he didn’t end up getting much done offensively at even-strength. He does have a dangerous release in his arsenal and his slap shot is quite powerful. Loponen was featured on the top power-play unit and he made a few nice plays on the man advantage.
At 5-11, Loponen has a smallish frame, but he is already pretty bulky and did not shy away from physical play. He was rather aggressive at defending in the neutral zone and successfully pinched in at his opponent’s blue line multiple times. In his own end, Loponen was struggling quite a lot with keeping up with the play. He made multiple bad defensive reads and did not perform very well under pressure.
That being said, Loponen has put up very respectable numbers as a defenceman playing against men in the second-best Finnish pro league. He could get some consideration in the later rounds in the upcoming draft.
#U18: RHD Kalle Loponen (Ranked No. 82) is having a great game. He scores his second of the game off a feed from C Roni Hirvonen (2020 Draft), who blew past Tobias Bjornfot. Not only does Loponen use his speed, but he hits the bullseye upstairs off the pass. pic.twitter.com/IAG4PRrLC5
— Steve Kournianos (@TheDraftAnalyst) February 9, 2019
— Jokke Nevalainen (@JokkeNevalainen) February 9, 2019