COHEN: Four Minnesotans Poised For the 2019 NHL Draft
While the Minnesota High School hockey championships are taking place it’s worth noting that there are quite a few Minnesotans poised to get drafted by NHL teams this June in Vancouver. This year there are four of note who have an excellent chance of being drafted.
The first is Bobby Brink. The right winger is a lock to be drafted and he’s a likely first rounder. Where in the first round is the big question? He probably won’t sneak in at the end but counting him in the Top 20 may be a bridge too far as well. In 2017-18, he was at Minnetonka High where he had 13 goals and 44 points in 25 games played. From there he entered the USHL where he would have some good times with the Sioux City Musketeers. He got a taste in that same season getting in 13 games and getting four points.
The 2018-19 season has been a fruitful one for Brink. In 32 games he has an amazing 24 goals and 47 points. Still 17 until July 8th, he’s one of the younger players in the 2019 NHL Draft. At 5-10, 165 pounds, he’s fast, he can dangle it a bit, he’s a goal scorer and all teams need that. When he drives to the net, he can score with a wicked backhand as well. His name will start to pick up steam as the draft draws near.
Drew Helleson plays for the NTDP. He’s a right-shot defenseman who played for Shattuck St. Mary’s in 2016-17. When he was there, he had 37 points in 52 games, not bad, clearly, he had some offensive upside even then. The Farmington, Minnesota native had five goals and 19 points in his first 48 games with the National Team. He’s a really good skater, has safe clears and his puck retrieval is excellent. The blueliner is very good on the penalty kill as well. At 6-2, 181 he’s already pretty strong and will only get better. His stock could continue to rise in the next few months and could be a top 60 player if it all breaks right for the prospect.
Trevor Janicke is another interesting Minnesotan. At 5-10, 184 pounds the Maple Grove native played with the NTDP in 2017-18. He didn’t light the world on fire, but he did well. This season he was the captain for the soon to be defunct, Central Illinois Flying Aces of the USHL. This right winger can block shots, win draws and play some solid defense while adding some offense as well. He had 19 goals and 39 points for Central Illinois in his first 47 games. A two-goal game in early March showed off what he can do in a game. He won a face-off and the puck worked its way around and he ended up deflecting in a shot, that was one of his two goals in that game. He might be drafted in the middle rounds. A lot of teams could use a glue guy.
Grant Silianoff is a very talented left winger who should hear his name called on day two in Vancouver. The Edina native has been filling the net for more than a few years now. After attending Shattuck St. Mary’s, he had a chance to play in the U18 Hlinka Gretzky Cup where he had a goal and four assists in five games.
Now playing for Cedar Rapids, he had a two-game cup of coffee with them in 2017-18 and he had two points. That was a good start. Silanoff may not be a household name right now or even after the NHL Draft but he’s heading down a good path where most people will know about the goals, he scores down the road.
During the 2018-19 season, he had 14 goals and 35 points in his first 42 games. This player has a wrist shot with a lot of bite and he can find the high short side with it. At 5-11, 180 pounds, he can make a nice pass to start off a play down the ice. This player has some upside once he has a chance to get a little more seasoning and man strength down the road. Then the team that drafts him could get more than they bargained for and that’s always a good thing.
The draft is months away, but the anticipation is great. It’s going to be in a Canadian city and that will add to the excitement level.
These four players have some things in common but they’re all different players in their own right. One thing for sure. The players mentioned, their families, friends and future fans will all have something to talk about during and after the big event.