American Jack Hughes and Finland’s Kaapo Kakko headline the class of the future NHL stars who will converge on Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Canada, as NBC Sports presents live, exclusive coverage of the first round of the 2019 NHL Draft on Friday at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. with “NHL Live.”
In addition, NBCSN will televise the NHL Awards this Wednesday at 8 p.m. from Las Vegas, as the NHL celebrates the top performers of the 2018-19 season from the Mandalay Bay Events Center.
NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app will provide streaming coverage of the 2019 NHL Awards and 2019 NHL Draft.
2019 NHL Draft
The 2019 NHL Draft is headlined by American Hughes, a 5-foot-10 center who holds the USA Hockey National Team Development Program record for most career points (228 points in 110 career games; 74 goals, 154 assists). Hughes, who is widely considered as the top prospect in this year’s draft, can become just the eighth American player taken first overall.
Kaapo Kakko (Finland) of TPS (Finnish Liiga), Bowen Byram (Canada) of the Vancouver Giants (Western Hockey League), and Alex Turcotte (U.S.) who is committed to the University of Wisconsin (Big Ten Conference), are also expected to be early first-round selections. Kakko had 38 points (22/16) in 45 games with TPS in Finnish Liiga this season; Byram led the WHL playoffs in scoring (26 points in 22 games; 8/18); and Turcotte had 62 points (27/35) in 37 games this season for the USNTDP. Multiple Americans, including Hughes, Turcotte, Trevor Zegras (Boston University), Cole Caufield (University of Wisconsin), Matthew Boldy (Boston College) and Spencer Knight (Boston College) are also projected to be picked early in the first round.
The New Jersey Devils hold the first overall pick in this year’s draft, followed by the New York Rangers and the Chicago Blackhawks. The Colorado Avalanche (fourth and 16th), Los Angeles Kings (fifth and 22nd), and Buffalo Sabres (seventh and 31st) each have two first-round picks.
Liam McHugh and Kathryn Tappen will host coverage alongside Emmy Award-winning analyst Pierre McGuire and NHL insiders Bob McKenzie, Craig Button and Darren Dreger.
2019 NHL Awards
The 2019 NHL Awards will recognize the best regular-season players in a variety of categories, including most valuable player (Hart Trophy), outstanding goaltender (Vezina Trophy), outstanding defenseman (Norris Trophy) and outstanding rookie (Calder Trophy). The Ted Lindsay Award, which is presented annually to the “most outstanding player” in the NHL as voted by fellow members of the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), will also be awarded.
St. Louis Blues’ Doug Armstrong, Boston Bruins’ Don Sweeney and Carolina Hurricanes’ Don Waddell are finalists for General Manager of the Year, while St. Louis’ Craig Berube, Tampa Bay’s Jon Cooper, and New York Islanders’ Barry Trotz are finalists for the Jack Adams Award, which honors the league’s top head coach. Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby, Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov and Edmonton’s Connor McDavid are all finalists for the Hart Trophy.
2019 NHL Gaming World Championship Grand Final
NBCSN will present coverage of the NHL Gaming World Championship Grand Final immediately following the network’s coverage of the NHL Draft on Friday (11:30 p.m.). The 2019 NHL Gaming World Championship Grand Final will feature a bracket of the winners from each region – Canada, European Union and U.S. – with one final spot determined through a special play-in round-robin of the runner-up from each region.
Big names expected to compete in the Grand Final this week include Erik “EKI” Tammenpää (European winner), Matthew “Top-Shelf-Cookie” Gutkoski (U.S. winner), and Karl “Mg x Nuclear” Caslib (Canadian winner). The winner of the Grand Final will take home the $50,000 grand prize and championship trophy from HyperX Esports Arena in Las Vegas.
NBCSports.com & NBC Sports APP
NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app will stream this week’s NHL coverage to desktops, tablets and connected TVs. The NBC Sports app will stream coverage via “TV Everywhere,” giving consumers additional value for their subscription service, and making high-quality content available to MVPD customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms. Powered by Playmaker Media, the NBC Sports app is available on Apple iOS, Android and select Samsung devices, as well as on Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Win10, Xbox and PlayStation 4.