With the 2019 NHL Draft in Vancouver now less than five months away, excitement continues to build over the possibility of it being a banner year for American hockey prospects.
U.S. NTDP U-18 center Jack Hughes remains the consensus first overall pick with Finnish winger Kappo Kakko close behind following his country's Gold Medal victory over the Americans at the 2019 World Junior Championship.
As many as eight other Americans could be selected in the first round in Vancouver, including two New England natives. Left wing Matt Boldy (Millis, Mass.) and goaltender Spencer Knight (Darien, Conn.), both teammates of Hughes and committed to Boston College, are projected to be first-round picks.
With the World Juniors in the rearview mirror, NHL scouts will focus their attention on prospects' games with their club teams until the U18 World Championship in April. There is still time for prospects to make a significant climb or take a fall prior to the draft.