2019 NHL Draft: Forbes’ Top 124 for January

It’s been nearly five months since my preseason rankings came out for the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. While some that sit atop the list remain the same – there are a number players rising and falling throughout the list. In August, we started with the top 93 prospects for the upcoming draft, but took it one round further this time around with the top 124 prospects.

Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko once again led the way in the top two spots of this month’s rankings, with major movement skyrocketing Vasili Podkolzin into the top five along with Trevor Zegras and Matthew Boldy into their respective spots in the top 10.

Jack Hughes, 2019 NHL Draft
Jack Hughes is still the outright number one overall pick in January’s rankings. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)

With a number of rankings out there – including those from fellow THW writers Ryan Pike and Larry Fisher – this list is just another opportunity to flood your head with draft-eligible names as the draft draws closer.

With that in mind, I’ve provided you with my top 124 prospects. While I haven’t had the opportunity to watch each of these players play live – being from southwestern Ontario – I am relying on the few opportunities I have had as well as video and other input in making up January’s draft rankings for THW.

January Rankings – Top 124

No. Player Pos. 2018-19 Primary Team
Preseason Rank
1 Jack Hughes C U.S. National Development Team (USHL) 1 (-)
2 Kaapo Kakko RW TPS (Liiga) 2 (-)
3 Bowen Byram D Vancouver Giants (WHL) 3 (-)
4 Dylan Cozens C/RW Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL) 6 (+2)
5 Vasili Podkolzin RW SKA-1946 St. Petersburg (MHL) 22 (+17)
6 Kirby Dach C Saskatoon Blades (WHL) 5 (-1)
7 Trevor Zegras C U.S. National U18 Team (USDP) 15 (+8)
8 Matthew Boldy LW U.S. National U18 Team (USDP) 17 (+9)
9 Alex Turcotte C U.S. National U18 Team (USDP) 4 (-5)
10 Peyton Krebs LW Kootenay Ice (WHL) 7 (-3)
11 Ryan Suzuki C Barrie Colts (OHL) 11 (-)
12 Raphael Lavoie C/RW Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL) 10 (-2)
13 Alex Newhook C Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL) 8 (-5)
14 Victor Soderstrom D Brynäs IF (SHL) 23 (+9)
15 Cole Caufield C/RW U.S. National U18 Team (USDP) 18 (+3)
16 Cam York D U.S. National U18 Team (USDP) 32 (+16)
17 Matthew Robertson D Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL) 9 (-8)
18 Arthur Kaliyev LW Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL) 13 (-5)
19 Jakob Pelletier LW Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL) 27 (+8)
20 Philip Broberg D AIK (Allsvenskan) 73 (+53)
21 Moritz Seider D Adler Mannheim (DEL) 47 (+26)
22 Anttoni Honka D JYP (Liiga) 14 (-8)
23 Mikko Kokkonen D Jukurit (Liiga) 21 (-2)
24 Nolan Foote LW Kelowna Rockets (WHL) 16 (-8)
25 Albin Grewe C/RW Djurgårdens IF (SHL) 24 (-1)
26 Nils Höglander LW Rögle BK (SHL) 25 (-1)
27 Tobias Bjornfot D Djurgårdens IF (SHL) 20 (-7)
28 Alex Vlasic D U.S. National U18 Team (USDP) 29 (+1)
29 Spencer Knight G U.S. National U18 Team (USDP) 40 (+11)
30 John Beecher C U.S. National U18 Team (USDP) 42 (+12)
31 Samuel Poulin LW Sherbrooke Phoenix (QMJHL) 39 (+8)
32 Simon Holmström RW HV71 J20 (SuperElit) 38 (+6)
33 Kaedan Korczak D Kelowna Rockets (WHL) 86 (+53)
34 Lassi Thomson D Kelowna Rockets (WHL) 49 (+15)
35 Yegor Spiridonov LW Stalnye Lisy Magnitogorsk (MHL) 45 (+10)
36 Connor McMichael C London Knights (OHL) NR
37 Bobby Brink RW Sioux City Musketeers (USHL) NR
38 Robert Mastrosimone C Chicago Steel (USHL) 75 (+37)
39 Pavel Dorofeyev LW/RW Stalnye Lisy Magnitogorsk (MHL) NR
40 Ville Heinola D Lukko (Liiga) NR
41 Daniil Gutik LW Loko Yaroslavl (MHL) 33 (-8)
42 Valentin Nussbaumer C/W Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL) 19 (-23)
43 Marshall Warren D U.S. National U18 Team (USDP) 43 (-)
44 Maxim Cajkovic RW/LW Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL) 34 (-10)
45 Drew Helleson D U.S. National U18 Team (USDP) 36 (-9)
46 Nicholas Robertson C/LW Peterborough Petes (OHL) NR
47 Artemi Knyazev D Chicoutimi Saguenéens (QMJHL) 35 (-12)
48 Ilya Nikolayev F Loko Yaroslavl (MHL) NR
49 Thomas Harley D Mississauga Steelheads (OHL) NR
50 Michal Teply LW Bili Tygri Liberec (Czech) 76 (+26)
51 Oleg Zaitsev C Red Deer Rebels (WHL) 37 (-14)
52 Vojtech Strondala C HC Kometa Brno (Czech) 44 (-8)
53 Sasha Mutala RW Tri-City Americans (WHL) 30 (-23)
54 Ryan Johnson D Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL) NR
55 Martin Hugo Has D Tappara U20 (Jr. A SM-Liiga) 65 (+10)
56 Nathan Légaré RW Baie-Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL) NR
57 Phillip Tomasino C Niagara IceDogs (OHL) 78 (+21)
58 Egor Afanasyev F Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL) NR
59 Henri Nikkanen C Jukurit (Liiga) 55 (-4)
60 Jamieson Rees C Sarnia Sting (OHL) NR
61 Matvei Guskov C London Knights (OHL) 66 (+5)
62 Nikita Alexandrov C Charlottetown Islanders (QMJHL) 41 (-21)
63 John Farinacci C U.S. National U18 Team (USDP) NR
64 Billy Constantinou D Kingston Frontenacs (OHL) NR
65 Leevi Aaltonen LW KalPa (Liiga) 57 (-8)
66 Luke Toporowski LW Spokane Chiefs (WHL) 51 (-15)
67 Marcus Kallionkieli F Sioux City Musketeers (USHL) NR
68 Harrison Blaisdell F Chilliwack Chiefs (BCHL) 72 (+4)
69 Ryder Donovan C Duluth East High (USHS-MN) 59 (-10)
70 Josh Williams RW Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL) 62 (-8)
71 Massimo Rizzo C/LW Penticton Vees (BCHL) 69 (-2)
72 Henry Thrun D U.S. National U18 Team (USDP) 88 (+16)
73 Patrik Puistola LW Tappara U20 (Jr. A SM-Liiga) NR
74 Blake Murray C Sudbury Wolves (OHL) 12 (-62)
75 Judd Caulfield F U.S. National U18 Team (USDP) 84 (-9)
76 Vladislav Firstov F Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL) NR
77 Colten Ellis G Rimouski Océanic (QMJHL) 67 (-10)
78 Case McCarthy D U.S. National U18 Team (USDP) 48 (-30)
79 Michael Vukojevic D Kitchener Rangers (OHL) 26 (-53)
80 Dmitri Sheshin F Stalnye Lisy Magnitogorsk (MHL) NR
81 Matias Maccelli LW Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL) 60 (-21)
82 Dustin Wolf G Everett Silvertips (WHL) NR
83 Dillon Hamaliuk LW Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) 85 (+2)
84 Hugo Alnfeldt G HV71 J20 (SuperElit) 83 (-1)
85 Vladislav Kolyachonok D Flint Firebirds (OHL) NR
86 Antti Saarela LW/RW Lukko U20 (Jr. A SM-Liiga) NR
87 Graeme Clarke RW Ottawa 67’s (OHL) 61 (-26)
88 Marcel Barinka C Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL) NR
89 Ben Brinkman D University of Minnesota (NCAA) 31 (-58)
90 Nikola Pasic C/LW Linköping HC J20 (SuperElit) NR
91 Semyon Chistyakov D Tolpar Ufa (MHL) NR
92 Taylor Gauthier G Prince George Cougars (WHL) 89 (-3)
93 Kim Nousiainen D KalPa U20 (Jr. A SM-Liiga) NR
94 Mads Søgaard G Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL) NR
95 Ilya Mironov D Loko Yaroslavl (MHL) 46 (-49)
96 Simon Lundmark D Linköping HC J20 (SuperElit) 63 (-33)
97 Yaroslav Likhachyov RW Gatineau Olympiques (QMJHL) NR
98 Karl Henriksson C Frölunda HC J20 (SuperElit) NR
99 Mikhail Abramov C/RW Victoriaville Tigres (QMJHL) NR
100 Kalle Loponen D Kärpät U20 (Jr. A SM-Liiga) 91 (-7)
101 Hunter Jones G Peterborough Petes (OHL) NR
102 Xavier Parent LW Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL) 58 (-44)
103 Reece Newkirk C Portland Winterhawks (WHL) NR
104 Jordan Spence D Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL) NR
105 Trevor Janicke RW Central Illinois Flying Aces (USHL) NR
106 Nolan Maier G Saskatoon Blades (WHL) 90 (-16)
107 Alex Beaucage RW/LW Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (QMJHL) 93 (-14)
108 Xavier Simoneau C Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL) NR
109 Nikita Okhotyuk D Ottawa 67’s (OHL) 70 (-39)
110 Alex Campbell C Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL) NR
111 Michael Gildon F U.S. National U18 Team (USDP) NR
112 Egor Serdyuk RW Victoriaville Tigres (QMJHL) NR
113 Shane Pinto F Lincoln Stars (USHL) NR
114 Danil Antropov RW Oshawa Generals (OHL) 50 (-64)
115 Roman Bychkov D Loko Yaroslavl (MHL) NR
116 Trent Miner G Vancouver Giants (WHL) NR
117 Cole Moberg D/F Prince George Cougars (WHL) NR
118 Lev Starikov D Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL) 52 (-66)
119 Arvid Costmar C Linköping HC J20 (SuperElit) NR
120 Daniil Misyul D Loko Yaroslavl (MHL) NR
121 Grant Silianoff F Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (USHL) 54 (-67)
122 Isaiah Saville G Tri-City Storm (USHL) NR
123 Vladislav Mikhailov C MHK Dynamo Moskva (MHL) 56 (-67)
124 Aku Räty F Kärpät U20 (Jr. A SM-Liiga) NR

With five months between the preseason list and this month’s rankings, there were some major risers and fallers on the list above. That said, there is still time for players to change their fate when it comes to my rankings with a few months left in their respective seasons.

Post-Ranking Quick Hits

With the top 124 now ranked, there are a few notes worth taking a look at.

  • London Knights’ forward Connor McMichael was the highest player to make his debut on my rankings. He missed out on the preseason ranks, but debuted in January just outside the first round at 36th overall. Through 43 games this season with the Knights, McMichael has 27 goals and 51 points.
  • Kaedan Korczak and Philip Broberg both climbed 53 spots on this month’s rankings to 33rd and 20th overall respectively. Korczak has 19 points in 45 games in Kelowna this season while Broberg has eight in 31 games with AIK.
  • Still one of my sleepers later in the draft, 17-year-old Brett Budgell is quietly having a good season with the Charlottetown Islanders of the QMJHL. He has 15 goals and 26 points in 43 games, but continues to play a blue-collar type of game. He finished ranked 170th on this month’s list.

    Philip Broberg, 2019 NHL Draft
    Philip Broberg made a huge jump in this month’s rankings to sit 20th overall in January. (Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images)

As always, I look forward to your thoughts on this month’s rankings. Are there players missing from this list – or some that maybe shouldn’t be on it in your opinion? Be sure to leave your thoughts by commenting below or via email at andrew@thehockeywriters.com.