It’s way too early to make a definitive declaration, but don’t be surprised if Montreal Canadiens prospect Cole Caufield emerges as the steal of the first round from the 2019 NHL Draft.
He was named the MVP of the IIHF World Under-18 Championships earlier this year and submitted another dominant performance for his country on Saturday.
Squaring off against Canada during the World Junior Summer Showcase in Plymouth, Caufield showed why the Canadiens appeared to be laughing to the bank when he was available with the 15th-overall pick at the 2019 NHL Entry Draft in June, scoring on a pinpoint laser.
It’s a nearly impossible angle that Caufield picked off. While it could be argued that Canadian goaltender Alexis Gravel could’ve done a better job of sealing off the top corner, we’re not really in the business of putting teenagers on blast — at least not until the World Juniors.
“Obviously when you’re in that position you don’t think the shooter’s going to shoot,” said Gravel following America’s 5-3 victory in the final contest of the showcase, according to TSN’s Mark Masters. “The last shot I got scored on like that was three years ago... There’s not many players that can do it.”
The 18-year-old finished the showcase with four goals, three assists and 24 shots on goal in five games.
Caufield is quickly making a name for himself in the hockey world and though he likely dropped in the first round due to his diminutive stature —standing at 5-foot-7 — the NHL has changed. His high-end skill should have Canadiens fans thrilled about the early returns.
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