Prospect Big Board 2.0: Jack Hughes still No. 1, Kirby Dach vaults to No. 3

Like sands through the hourglass, prospect rankings are fluid - especially early in the season, when we're still learning who these players are and what they can do with their opportunities. While the top two prospects on our board have stayed the same from version 1.0, there's been plenty of movement down the rest of this list.

Here's the second edition of theScore's 2019 NHL Prospect Big Board:

1. Jack Hughes

C | 5-foot-10 | 161 lbs | U.S. National Team Development Program
Age: 17 | Previous Rank: 1

GP G A P
14 3 17 20

Someone might try, at some point this season, to say Hughes isn't the No. 1 prospect. Don't buy it. His vision and hockey IQ are off the charts, allowing him to create plays that many of his peers can't even conceive of. That being said, Hughes' combination of speed and acceleration is probably his biggest asset, and could still get better. He also has a great chance of breaking Auston Matthews' USA Hockey National Team Development Program (USNTDP) single-season points record after falling one short last year. If there's a quibble to be had, it's that Hughes should shoot more often.

2. Kaapo Kakko

RW | 6-foot-1 | 181 lbs | TPS (Liiga, Jr. A SM-liiga)
Age: 17 | Previous Rank: 2

GP G A P
16 3 7 10

Don’t brush off Kakko just because he shouldn't or won’t pass Hughes. He’s still in a class by himself compared to the other prospects on this list, and he's started the season strong while playing against men in the Finnish Liiga. Kakko's puck-handling ability is high-end, and he can use it at top speed. Add in his intelligence and patience, and you have an irresistible combination. One interesting thing to watch: Though Kakko's listed as a right winger, he has experience playing center. If he can continue to play the latter position at a high level, it makes him more versatile and valuable.

3. Kirby Dach

Derek Leung / Getty Images Sport / Getty

C | 6-foot-4 | 198 lbs | Saskatoon Blades (WHL)
Age: 17 | Previous Rank: 9

GP G A P
19 11 21 32

It'll be interesting to see if Dach can sustain his hot start across a full season. While his blistering scoring pace will likely level out at some point, his high-end hockey sense should allow him to keep producing. If he does, he'll be an early pick in June. Dach combines size with an excellent skill set, and his passing is terrific - crisp, accurate, and able to get through traffic. He has a very high ceiling.

4. Bowen Byram

D | 6-foot-1 | 192 lbs | Vancouver Giants (WHL)
Age: 17 | Previous Rank: 3

GP G A P
17 5 9 14

Cam York and Matthew Robertson are hot on his heels, but right now Byram's still the top defenseman on this list. His exceptional skating, puck skills, and vision make him the type of dynamic defender that NHL teams are salivating over right now. While he has room to grow, it’s not difficult to project him quarterbacking a power play at the next level.

5. Alex Turcotte

C | 5-foot-11 | 194 lbs | USNTDP
Age: 17 | Previous Rank: 4

GP G A P
3 1 1 2

Turcotte hasn't played much this season due to injury, so he's one to keep an eye on as things progress. When he's at the top of his game, Turcotte's fast, consistent, and reliable at both ends of the ice. He's got excellent offensive instincts that, when combined with his work ethic and skill set, make him an effective playmaker. One of the best descriptions of Turcotte is that he doesn’t have an off switch. He's strong with the puck, and his hockey smarts make him dangerous without it, too.

6. Dylan Cozens

Marissa Baecker / Getty Images Sport / Getty

C | 6-foot-3 | 176 lbs | Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL)
Age: 17 | Previous Rank: 5

GP G A P
16 8 13 21

Dach may have passed him for now, but Cozens is the kind of player who could move up as the season progresses. Last year’s WHL Rookie of the Year plays with (well-earned) confidence, racking up points thanks to his great passing and excellent shot. His skating is strong in all areas - quickness, acceleration, agility - and he appears to enjoy the physical aspects of the game. When you put it all together, you have a strong contender for a top-five pick come draft time.

7. Matthew Boldy

LW | 6-foot-0 | 174 lbs | USNTDP
Age: 17 | Previous Rank: 11

GP G A P
14 12 6 18

Boldy climbs four spots into the top 10, and has the potential to go even higher depending on how the season goes. He's a highly skilled playmaker thanks to his terrific vision, and he's noticeably improved his shot, which wasn't exactly terrible before.

8. Vasily Podkolzin

RW | 5-foot-11 | 165 lbs | SKA-1946 St. Petersburg (MHL)
Age: 17 | Previous Rank: 13

GP G A P
10 5 2 7

Some pundits have Podkolzin ranked as high as No. 2 after his excellent performance at the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup, but it’s too soon to know whether he can play a full season like that. That being said, there’s a lot to like about his game, and it seems like he belongs inside the top 10. He’s tenacious and effective in all three zones, and makes intelligent plays at top speed.

9. Peyton Krebs

Marissa Baecker / Getty Images Sport / Getty

LW | 5-foot-11 | 181 lbs | Kootenay Ice (WHL)
Age: 17 | Previous Rank: 6

GP G A P
18 6 17 23

Krebs is a smart, well-rounded player, and he uses those smarts to react and make good decisions in pressure moments - important traits in an NHL prospect. He's also creative and elusive with the puck, while his high-end vision allows him to read the ice effectively. He could stand to add a little more muscle, but that's something to consider after you draft him, because he handles physical play just fine.

10. Alex Newhook

C | 5-foot-11 | 183 lbs | Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL)
Age: 17 | Previous Rank: 7

GP G A P
45 22 44 66

(*Stats are from 2017-18 season)

It feels like teams are becoming less hesitant to draft guys out of Junior A leagues in the first round, or maybe they’re just getting better at correctly identifying talent in those leagues. One of the things that stands out about Newhook, last year's BCHL Rookie of the Year, is his brain. He's got great hockey sense, which he uses to make quick decisions at game speed. He's also very agile, which is a fun quality in a player who can use it to embarrass opposing defensemen. Combine all that and Newhook's a significant offensive threat. His transition to college hockey should be interesting.

11. Cam York

D | 5-foot-11 | 165 lbs | USNTDP
Age: 17 | Previous Rank: 14

GP G A P
14 2 12 14

York is a strong skater and a dynamic puck-mover with plenty of offensive upside. He's also poised and cool under pressure.

12. Ryan Suzuki

C | 6-foot-0 | 172 lbs | Barrie Colts (OHL)
Age: 17 | Previous Rank: 8

GP G A P
15 6 18 24

Suzuki has excellent vision, and he’s good at capitalizing on the opportunities he sees. One key issue is that he pretty much avoids physical play. He's no slouch in his own end, but one still hopes he'll become more willing to engage when necessary.

13. Trevor Zegras

C | 5-foot-11 | 159 lbs | USNTDP
Age: 17 | Previous Rank: 21

GP G A P
13 6 14 20

Zegras has enjoyed a phenomenal start to the season, and it doesn't appear to be a fluke. As the USNTDP's second-line center (behind Hughes), Zegras is a creative and speedy center who knows how to exploit his opponents.

14. Raphael Lavoie

Minas Panagiotakis / Getty Images Sport / Getty

C/LW | 6-foot-4 | 192 lbs | Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
Age: 18 | Previous Rank: 12

GP G A P
17 11 10 21

One of the older players on this list, Lavoie projects to be a power-forward type. His shot is dangerous, but his foot speed could use improvement.

15. Cole Caufield

C/RW | 5-foot-6 | 154 lbs | USNTDP
Age: 17 | Previous Rank: 16

GP G A P
14 9 4 13

High-end instincts, a terrific release, and incredible skating combine to make Caufield's small stature a non-issue - but it would probably be good if he grew a couple inches, anyway.

16. Arthur Kaliyev

LW | 6-foot-2 | 190 lbs | Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL)
Age: 17 | Previous Rank: 19

GP G A P
17 16 11 27

Kaliyev's a shoot-first forward with an excellent release. He's started the OHL season at nearly a goal-per-game pace, and his puck-protection skills are solid, too.

17. Victor Soderstrom

D | 5-foot-11 | 176 lbs | Brynas IF J18/J20 (J18 Elit/SuperElit)
Age: 17 | Previous Rank: 17

GP G A P
14 1 7 8

Soderstrom's a mobile defenseman with sharp instincts who enjoys controlling the pace of the game. He's also a fast skater who isn’t afraid to get physical despite being on the smaller side.

18. Matthew Robertson

D | 6-foot 3 | 201 lbs | Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)
Age: 17 | Previous Rank: 23

GP G A P
13 2 9 11

Robertson's a talented defender with solid puck skills and a heavy shot. He’s intelligent, strong in one-on-one battles, and can play in all situations.

19. Philip Broberg

D | 6-foot-3 | 198 lbs | AIK J20 (SuperElit)
Age: 17 | Previous Rank: 22

GP G A P
15 0 4 4

Broberg's a powerful skater with a smooth stride who needs to improve his puck skills. He has good playmaking instincts, but he’s still raw and sometimes tries to do too much.

20. Mikko Kokkonen

D | 5-foot-11 | 190 lbs | Jukurit (Liiga)
Age: 17 | Previous Rank: NR

GP G A P
18 1 7 8

A solid two-way defenseman who's started the Liiga season strong, Kokkonen's a force despite not playing top minutes. His positioning and work ethic are both top-notch, while his calm, poised game has clear offensive upside.

21. Moritz Seider

picture alliance / picture alliance / Getty

D | 6-foot-4 | 183 lbs | Adler Mannheim (DEL)
Age: 17 | Previous Rank: NR

GP G A P
15 1 0 1

22. Anttoni Honka

D | 5-foot-10 | 170 lbs | JYP (Liiga)
Age: 18 | Previous Rank: 10

GP G A P
15 1 3 4

23. Albin Grewe

C/RW | 6-foot-0 | 176 lbs | Djurgårdens IF J20 (SuperElit)
Age: 17 | Previous Rank: NR

GP G A P
15 6 14 20

24. Nolan Foote

LW | 6-foot-3 | 187 lbs | Kelowna Rockets (WHL)
Age: 17 | Previous Rank: NR

GP G A P
15 10 5 15

25. John Beecher

C | 6-foot-3 | 203 lbs | USNTDP
Age: 17 | Previous Rank: NR

GP G A P
14 1 8 9

26. Maxim Cajkovic

LW/RW | 5-foot-11 | 187 lbs | Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)
Age: 17 | Previous Rank: 15

GP G A P
19 4 6 10

27. Jakob Pelletier

LW/RW | 5-foot-9 | 161 lbs | Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL)
Age: 17 | Previous Rank: 20

GP G A P
17 9 16 25

28. Robert Mastrosimone

C | 5-foot-10 | 170 lbs | Chicago Steel (USHL)
Age: 17 | Previous Rank: NR

GP G A P
11 8 5 13

29. Nils Hoglander

LW | 5-foot-9 | 185 lbs | Rogle BK (SHL)
Age: 17 | Previous Rank: NR

GP G A P
15 0 2 2

30. Patrik Puistola

LW | 6-foot-0 | 170 lbs | Tappara U20 (Jr. A SM-Liiga)
Age: 17 | Previous Rank: NR

GP G A P
17 9 7 16

31. Simon Holmstrom

RW | 5-foot-11 | 172 lbs | HV71 J20 (SuperElit)
Age: 17 | Previous Rank: 24

GP G A P
7 4 2 6

32. Sasha Mutala

RW | 6-foot-1 | 198 lbs | Tri-City Americans (WHL)
Age: 17 | Previous Rank: 25

GP G A P
12 4 9 13

33. Alex Vlasic

D | 6-foot-6 | 192 lbs | USNTDP
Age: 17 | Previous Rank: NR

GP G A P
14 2 4 6

34. Bobby Brink

C/W | 5-foot-10 | 165 lbs | Sioux City Musketeers (USHL)
Age: 17 | Previous Rank: NR

GP G A P
13 8 14 22

35. Spencer Knight

G | 6-foot-3 | 198 lbs | USNTDP
Age: 17 | Previous Rank: NR

GP W-L-OT GAA SV%
3 2-1-0 2.73 .914

36. Connor McMichael

Graig Abel / Getty Images Sport / Getty

C | 6-foot-0 | 170 lbs | London Knights (OHL)
Age: 17 | Previous Rank: NR

GP G A P
16 10 5 15

37. Phillip Tomasino

C | 6-foot-0 | 181 lbs | Niagara IceDogs (OHL)
Age: 17 | Previous Rank: NR

GP G A P
17 3 5 8

38. Grant Silianoff

C/W | 5-foot-11 | 170 lbs | Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (USHL)
Age: 17 | Previous Rank: NR

GP G A P
11 5 3 8

39. Blake Murray

C | 6-foot-3 | 185 lbs | Sudbury Wolves (OHL)
Age: 17 | Previous Rank: NR

GP G A P
16 4 5 9

40. Ben Brinkman

D | 6-foot-1 | 181 lbs | University of Minnesota (NCAA)
Age: 18 | Previous Rank: NR

GP G A P
5 0 0 0

41. Pavel Dorofeyev

LW/RW | 6-foot-0 | 163 lbs | Stalnye Lisy Magnitogorsk (MHL)
Age: 18 | Previous Rank: NR

GP G A P
10 8 5 13

42. Valentin Nussbaumer

C | 5-foot-11 | 165 lbs | Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL)
Age: 18 | Previous Rank: 18

GP G A P
17 5 7 12

43. Ryan Johnson

D | 6-foot-0 | 161 lbs | Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL)
Age: 17 | Previous Rank: NR

GP G A P
11 1 5 6

44. Tobias Bjornfot

D | 6-foot-0 | 187 lbs | Djurgårdens IF J20 (SuperElit)
Age: 17 | Previous Rank: NR

GP G A P
17 3 4 7

45. Thomas Harley

D | 6-foot-3 | 183 lbs | Mississauga Steelheads (OHL)
Age: 17 | Previous Rank: NR

GP G A P
17 3 10 13

46. Xavier Simoneau

C | 5-foot-7 | 172 lbs | Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL)
Age: 17 | Previous Rank: NR

GP G A P
15 7 10 17

47. Cole Mackay

RW | 5-foot-11 | 185 lbs | Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)
Age: 17 | Previous Rank: NR

GP G A P
19 6 14 20

48. Lassi Thomson

D | 6-foot-0 | 187 lbs | Kelowna Rockets (WHL)
Age: 18 | Previous Rank: NR

GP G A P
17 7 7 14

49. Matvei Guskov

C | 6-foot-1 | 172 lbs | London Knights (OHL)
Age: 17 | Previous Rank: NR

GP G A P
16 3 9 12

50. Dustin Wolf

G | 6-foot-0 | 161 lbs | Everett Silvertips (WHL)
Age: 17 | Previous Rank: NR

GP W-L-OT GAA SV%
17 11-6-0 1.84 .924

Hannah Stuart keeps a close eye on both drafted and draft-eligible prospects and can usually be found trying to learn more about hockey analytics. She has previously written for FanRag Sports, The Hockey Writers, and Hooked On Hockey Magazine, and can also be found at High Heels and High Sticks. Find her on Twitter @HockeyWthHannah.

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