NHL Draft 2019: Best, worst picks from the first round

It was an entertaining first round at the NHL Draft on Friday with plenty of storylines.

The United States National Team Development Program set a record, there was a run on defenseman and a goalie was taken in the first round for just the third time since 2012.

But that’s not what we’re talking about here. Well, at least not exactly.

We’re talking about the good picks and the bad ones. 

Here are the best and worst picks from the first round in the NHL Draft:

Worst

Moritz Seider, D, Germany, Red Wings: This was the first pick of the Steve Yzerman tenure in Detroit and it was a controversial one. While the Red Wings could use absolutely everything, they took a defenseman at No. 6 which very few people saw coming.

The Red Wings selected Moritz Seider out of Germany, who was ranked anywhere in the 15 to 20 range by draft analysts everywhere.

Anything Detroit can get will surely help the struggling franchise, but the consensus with Seider seems to be he’s not a No. 1 defenseman and taking someone who isn’t going to be your top man on the blue line that high is puzzling. Seider is likely to be a good player and a foundational piece for Detroit, but with Cole Caufield, Vasili Podkolzin and even a guy like Spencer Knight still available, Seider was an odd choice.

Philip Broberg, D, AIK, Oilers: Here’s an incredibly similar player and situation to Seider. It’s not that they’re the same exact player, but they were both valued about 10 picks lower than they were selected and there were several very good players still on the board that could have helped their respective teams win.

This was a very reactionary pick by Edmonton as Seider went off the board and the Oilers clearly wanted someone who could be a top-4 defenseman. They got one in Philip Broberg, but they also could have gotten one by trading back a couple of picks like the Flyers did a few selections later.

Best

Cole Caufield, RW, NTDP, Canadiens: If your team had the chance to get Alex DeBrincat would you want them to take that chance? Of course you would. DeBrincat is a pure goal scorer and a very important piece for the Blackhawks moving forward. He just happens to be kind of short. That’s the calling card of Cole Caufield too as he stands at 5-foot-7.

That’s probably a big reason he wasn’t selected in the top 10 and fell all the way to No. 15 eventually picked by the Canadiens. But this guy can flat-out score as he put 72 pucks in the net in 64 games this season and broke Phil Kessel’s NTDP record of 126 career goals with the team.

Who cares if he’s short? Why wouldn’t you want a guy like that on your team? The Canadiens must have asked the same question because they quickly selected Caufield when they got the chance, and rightfully so.

Vasili Podkolzin, RW, SKA Neva, Canucks: Teams will obviously pause when deciding to select Vasili Podkolzin as he is under contract with his team for the next two years and whoever took him may have to wait, but here’s the thing: Since the Canucks selected him and they themselves are a couple of years away from being a big-time contender, they can wait a bit.

With a couple more years, or even one more year under Elias Pettersson’s belt, another couple of drafts and maybe a free agent addition or two, the Canucks will be in a great position to add a talented player like Podkozlin to their lineup. The winger was seen by many to be a top-3 pick in the draft for a good portion of the process. He has plenty of talent and getting him at No. 10 is a great value for Vancouver.