2019 NHL Draft: Biggest winners and losers from Vancouver

2019 NHL Draft (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
2019 NHL Draft (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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2019 nhl draft
Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images /

The 2019 NHL Draft in Vancouver is over. Here are the biggest and winners and losers from a crazy two days on the west coast.

Many fans and pundits were disappointed with the lack of surprises and blockbuster trades on the first day of the 2019 NHL Draft in Vancouver. Nobody was surprised to see Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko go first and second overall to the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers, respectively. After those two picks, there were only a handful of first-round selections that caught folks off guard.

There was very little trade activity on the first day of the draft, too. Fans were anxiously awaiting what appeared to be inevitable trades for big-named players like Tyson Barrie, Shayne Gostisbehere, and P.K. Subban, among others.

Sure enough, a handful of blockbuster trades came in during the early hours of the second round. Subban and J.T. Miller have found new homes, while the Toronto Maple Leafs finally found a taker in the final year of Patrick Marleau‘s contract. Rejoice, NHL fans. You finally got to witness the annual trade frenzy during draft weekend.

At the draft, a handful of teams did a wonderful job in addressing their roster weaknesses, finding excellent value picks after round one. On the flip side, a handful of general managers botched numerous opportunities to improve their rosters, add extra draft selections and/or receive top value for their best trade chips.

The draft is now behind us, and everybody will soon shift their focus over to free agency, which is just over a week away now. But now’s a good time to reflect on which players, GMs and players came out as major winners in the 2019 draft, and which ones went down as losers in Vancouver.