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2019 U18 Worlds: Notes from Day 1

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Some notes and reflections on the play of prospects who will be selected in the 2019 Draft

NHL: NHL Draft Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The 2019 IIHF U18 World Championship is underway in Sweden. Here are some notes from day one of the U18 Worlds on prospects who are eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft.


  • Vasily Podkolzin (F) | #2 NHL Central Scouting (European Skaters) - Podkolzin was kept off the board in Russia’s 6-2 win over the Czech Republic, but did register four shots in the first game of the 2019 Worlds. He is widely considered to be the third-best prospect available in the 2019 NHL Draft.
  • Ilya Nikolaev (F) | #9 NHL Central Scouting (European Skaters) - Nikolaev was ranked as the 4th-best European skater by NHL central scouting at the midterm. The center picked up a goal and put four shots on net for Russia yesterday. Nikolaev (also spelled as Nikolayev) scored six goals and notched two assists in 12 games in the MHL this season. He also appeared in three games with SKA St. Petersburg.
  • Cole Caufield (F) | #8 NHL Central Scouting (North American Skaters) - Caufield started his 2019 Worlds with a bang. He scored a hat trick and picked up 10 shots against Sweden. Caufield was ranked #13 at the midterm by NHL central scouting; Bob McKenzie has him ranked 18th in the 2019 Draft. Caufield is a 5-foot-7 winger. He has committed to the University of Wisconsin.
  • Alex Turcotte (F) | #4 NHL Central Scouting (North American Skaters) - Turcotte picked up a goal and a secondary assist for Team USA in their big win over Sweden yesterday. Turcotte had 53 points in 30 games with the U.S. National Development Team this season. He’s a natural center and, like Caufield, has committed to the University of Wisconsin.
  • Spencer Knight (G) | #1 NHL Central Scouting (North American Goaltenders) - Knight is a big deal. It’s been a long time since a goaltending prospect has been created the kind of buzz that he has over the past few years; he’s expected to be the first goalie off the board in the 2019 Draft. Knight started his tournament in Sweden by stopping 29 of the 30 shots that the host nation sent his way.
  • Ville Heinova (D) | #4 NHL Central Scouting (European Skaters) - Heinova picked up two minor penalties and put four shots on goal in Finland’s loss to Canada yesterday. Heinova is a 5-foot-11 left-handed defenseman who picked up 14 points in 34 games playing with and against men in the Liiga on Lukko. He also had four points in seven postseason games in the Liiga this year.
  • Brayden Tracey (F) | #21 NHL Central Scouting (North American Skaters) - Tracey scored two goals on three shots in Canada’s 5-3 statement win over Finland yesterday. Stacey, a 6-foot winger from Calgary, scored 36 goals and notched 45 assists in 66 games with the Moose Jaw Warriors this season. Tracey was the 73rd ranked North American skater at the midterm.
  • Peyton Krebs (F) | #10 NHL Central Scouting (North American Skaters) - Krebs picked up a goal, a primary assist, and notched two shots on goal for Canada yesterday. Krebs is Team Canada’s captain at the U18 Worlds. The 5-foot-11 smooth-skating forward had 68 points in 64 games with the Kootenay Ice this season.
  • Michal Teply (F) | #14 NHL Central Scouting (European Skaters) - The Czech Republic’s big left winger picked up a primary assist and four shots in yesterday’s 4-3 loss against Belarus. Teply was ranked as the 52nd-best prospect by McKenzie. He’s a 6-foot-3 winger who picked up two assists in 15 games in the Czech senior league this year.