The NHL Draft is coming up and will be held in Vancouver on Friday. With the top two draft selections seemingly already known in Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko, the rest is rather unpredictable. While there are many first-round selections that will be stars in the NHL, there are a few who raise some red flags heading into the draft.
4. Cole Caufield
The pure goal scorer in Cole Caufield will make him a very good professional player, but it is his size that worries NHL teams. Partner that with the fact that he played alongside the best player in this draft all season in Jack Hughes, some teams may think he had as many goals as he did because of his line-mates. It doesn't help his case that he is only 5-7.
3. Spencer Knight
When a goalie is projected to get drafted in the first round of the NHL Draft, there are always concerns surrounding them. There are no red flags around Spencer Knight per say, but about the position he plays and where he is projected to be selected in the first round. Knight should be a great NHL goaltender, but the concerns will not stop when discussing a goalie with first round potential.
2. Alex Newhook
Alex Newhook has critics simply because of where he played his junior hockey. He played in the British Columbia Hockey League for the Victoria Grizzlies and absolutely tore up the league. However, the BCHL is known as a less talented junior league in Canada, behind the CHL which has three leagues in it, the OHL, the WHL, and the QMJHL. Although he is a talented player, he was not playing against the top competition as other prospects were.
1. Vasili Podkolzin
Vasili Podkolzin is easily a top-five draft pick talent, but it is his contract with the KHL that will scare teams away from drafting him maybe even in the top-15. Podkolzin is under contract for two more seasons with SKA Saint Petersburg and no signs point to him getting out of that deal early to come over to North America. If and when he does decide to come to the NHL, he would still need time to develop and adjust to the North American game.