If the season ended today the Blues would be drafting top-6! In the event the coaching & goaltending keep the Blues in the basement for much of the season, at least they'll have the hope of landing some special talent in the 2019 draft. Here is an early look at Pronman's top guys for next years draft, per The Athletic: SPECIAL PROSPECT Jack Hughes, C, USNTDP-USHL Hughes is one of the best skating forwards I’ve seen in the past decade. I’m not sold he’s Connor McDavid/Nathan MacKinnon level, but he’s one small notch below. He brings elite speed to go along with elite puck skills and great vision. He’s the ultimate playmaker who drives play like few others. His physicality remains his biggest weakness as a small, slight center, but everything else about his game screams top level player. He’s not a generational prospect, but projects to be an average/quality first overall prospect. ELITE PROSPECT I didn’t want to create another tier, but in the elite prospect group, I would say the No. 2-4 prospects have a mild separation from the rest. Further, I don’t think the gap between Kaapo Kakko to Jack Hughes is that large and, if Kakko continues to play at the level he’s shown all season, he could start to generate a debate. Kaapo Kakko, LW, TPS-Liiga Kakko’s been playing a major role for TPS to start the season, being a top-line forward for his Liiga team. His skill level and playmaking are high-end and border on elite. He can beat defenders 1-on-1 with ease, maneuvers very well in small areas and can create offense out of nothing. He won’t wow you with physicality or speed, both are about average for me and he needs to bulk up quite a bit, but he has the potential to be a premier playmaker off the wing in the NHL due to his skill. He also has a very good shot and can beat goalies from a distance. Kirby Dach, C, Saskatoon-WHL Dach has the kind of tools you dream of when thinking of an ideal prospect. A 6-foot-4, right-handed center, with high-end puck skills and hockey sense who can skate competently is the kind of prospect you can easily see impacting the NHL. He’s been on fire to start the WHL season, and I’ve been very impressed by his offensive creativity and ability to see the ice. Matt Boldy, LW, USNTDP-USHL Boldy’s development has been something to behold as a guy who wasn’t considered a top guy in his age group a few years ago is now considered one of the very best prospects in the 2019 class. His skill level is very high and his hockey IQ is elite. His creativity is ridiculous and his ability to make unique plays with consistency is quite noticeable. Since first coming into the USNTDP, he’s shot up two inches to 6-foot-2, and his skating, considered a weakness by some scouts I talked to last season, hasn’t seemed that affected — if anything, it’s improved. Trevor Zegras, C, USNTDP-USHL When I talk to my USA based sources about Zegras, the word Clayton Keller gets thrown around quite a bit. He’s got a ton of high-end tools. His speed, puck skills and vision all get plus grades. He can drive play and create chances with frequency but needs to bulk up and be better in battles. He’ll be the No. 2 center on the NTDP behind Hughes, but a careful observation of his abilities will reveal a player who can be a game breaker in the pros. Vasili Podkolzin, RW, St. Petersburg-MHL Podkolzin is a very fun player to watch. He’s very skilled and can make unique plays as a puck handler and passer, but it’s the energy he brings to every shift that is noticeable. He’s a fierce competitor, who battles hard for every puck and always believes he has a lane to take pucks to the net. His stride is a little weird but powerful, and he can get up the ice with above-average speed.