NHL 28 Sep 2020 11:50 AM +00:00

NHL 19 Draft: Best Players and Top Draft Steals 2019

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(Image Credit: EA Sports)

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One of the most important factors of Franchise Mode in NHL 19 is the yearly NHL Entry Draft. In the draft, you get to stock your team with valuable prospects who will eventually improve your team either by playing or being traded.

So, we’ve simulated four seasons of Franchise Mode to see who the top picks of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft are, as well as which ones end up as the best players. The simulation came from using the September 13 Roster, with the team being controlled finishing in the playoffs so that the top picks were automatically simulated as they likely would be in any other simulation. Many picks will have roughly followed the Central Scouting Rankings.

It should also be noted that the drafts on NHL 19 aren’t completely filled with real-life prospects, with many created players coming in throughout the rounds. So, the players that can’t be found on an online hockey database have not been given a team as their loadout may appear elsewhere in your simulation. However, using their nationality, position, and draft place, you should be able to find them in your game, possibly under a different name.

Also, the overall ratings and attribute ratings may not be representative of the players in every Franchise Mode simulation because different teams will promote prospects to their NHL lines in different seasons and injuries may hinder development. 

Peyton Krebs (88 OVR in 2022)

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Team: Kootenay Ice, WHLDrafted: 3rd, 1st RoundPotential: Elite medPosition: Left Wing PlaymakerNationality: CanadianHeight: 183cmWeight: 83kgShoots: LeftBest Stats: Offensive Awareness 96, Stick Checking 95, Slap Shot Power 94, Wrist Shot Power 94

Despite being behind two other players in this simulation of the 2019 NHL Draft, Peyton Krebs has surged to become the best player of the class. At 21-years-old, his lofty 91 puck control, 90 deking, and 91 passing will only improve, making him a formidable playmaker. 

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Bowen Byram (87 OVR in 2022)

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Team: Vancouver Giants, WHLDrafted: 2nd, 1st RoundPotential: Elite medPosition: Two-Way DefensemanNationality: CanadianHeight: 183cmWeight: 84kgShoots: LeftBest Stats: Defensive Awareness 95, Stick Checking 90, Puck Control 90

At 21-years-old, Bowen Byram still lacks in user-friendly attributes for a defenseman, as shown by his 82 acceleration, 85 speed, 81 agility, 71 strength, 78 slap shot accuracy, and 77 wrist shot accuracy. However, his lofty 95 defensive awareness and 88 offensive awareness mean that he’s often in the right place at the right time, which will help him to fill stat sheets while his other attributes catch up over time. 

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Ivan Smirnov (87 OVR in 2022)

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Team: N/ADrafted: 123rd, 4th RoundPotential: N/APosition: Offensive DefensemanNationality: RussianHeight: 175cmWeight: 85kgShoots: RightBest Stats: Passing 99, Deking 95, Passing 95, Puck Control 95

Despite being taken in the middle of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, Ivan Smirnov quickly becomes one of the most gifted players in the entire league when it comes to puck skills. With additionally strong ratings of 93 offensive awareness, 90 defensive awareness, 94 endurance, 94 wrist shot accuracy, and 94 slap shot power, this diminutive Russian defenseman is a huge steal early in the fourth round or late in the third – so be sure to keep an eye out. Smirnov’s potential is unknown due to how late he was taken in the draft and the fact that potentials can change with more ice time and strong performances for some players. 

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Shawn Homer (86 OVR in 2022)

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Team: N/ADrafted: 1st, 1st RoundPotential: Elite medPosition: Two-Way DefensemanNationality: USAHeight: 183cmWeight: 93kgShoots: LeftBest Stats: Offensive Awareness 89, Acceleration 89, Agility 89, Speed 89, Shot Blocking 89

Taken with the first overall pick, Shawn Homer isn’t far off of the leader regarding the overall rating. With strong numbers in all attribute columns, the Canadian defenseman grows into a strong, well-rounded player who can play well in all phases of the game. Plus, his 89 acceleration, 89 agility, and 89 speed make Homer one of the fastest defensemen in the league. 

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Kirby Dach (85 OVR in 2022)

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Team: Saskatoon Blades, WHLDrafted: 6th, 1st RoundPotential: Elite medPosition: Power Forward CenterNationality: CanadianHeight: 193cmWeight: 89kgShoots: RightBest Stats: Offensive Awareness 93, Defensive Awareness 91, Wrist Shot Power 91, Slap Shot Power 91

In this simulation on Franchise Mode, the first six picks all had Elite med potential, with Kirby Dach being the last of the those top six. Despite seeing little improvement after his first season post- draft, Dach exploded in 2021 to have the second-highest overall rating of all players from the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. At 85 overall and aged 21, the big center merely needs to up his 79 faceoffs to become a formidable foe up the middle. 

More Top Draftees of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft on NHL 19’s Franchise Mode

Name 2022 Overall Potential Nationality Team, League Drafted (Overall)
Jake Vossenaar85Elite medUSAN/A5th
Kaapo Kakko84Elite medFinnishTPS, Liiga4th
Vitali Volkov84Elite medUkrainianN/A15th
Dylan Cozens82Top 6 medCanadianLethbridge Hurricanes, WHL7th
Michael Vukojevic81Top 4 medCanadianKitchener Rangers, OHL8th
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