From June 10-20, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile one top prospect per day — 11 total — leading up to the 2019 NHL Draft as the Blackhawks prepare to pick third overall.
Position: Right wing
Weight: 162 pounds
Scouting report from Blackhawks vice president of amateur scouting Mark Kelley:
"He just scores goals. I think the comparison to Alex [DeBrincat] is a natural. There are some similarities, but he stands on his own. He's as brave as anyone is on the ice and at the end of the game he's going to have as much impact as anyone."
Scouting report from TSN's Director of Scouting Craig Button:
"I think he's the best goal scorer in this draft. I've watched him do it against everybody and he does it better than anybody. It's easy to look at Alex DeBrincat, I compare Cole Caufield to elite goal scorers."
Caufield describes his own game:
"I think my playmaking does get a little bit overlooked at times just because of the stats and what not. I think I make plays and I make my teammates better and give them more time and space. I think I’m a smart player and I do think that does go overlooked, but there’s nothing wrong with being a goal scorer."
NHL player comparable: Alex DeBrincat
Fit for Blackhawks:
The DeBrincat comparisons are real, and not just because of the size. They’re both elite goal scorers with an underrated playmaking ability. Caufield is a player that probably wouldn’t have garnered this much attention at the top of the draft in years past, but because DeBrincat and others have paved the way, Caufield’s stock continues to rise as a potential perennial 30-plus goal scorer.
The difference between him and DeBrincat is that Caufield is going into the draft with high expectations. That wasn't the case for DeBrincat, who was drafted in the second round and never got the credit he really deserved. DeBrincat entered the NHL with a large chip on his shoulder to try proving the doubters wrong. Caufield will be trying to prove everyone right.
The primary question for the Blackhawks here is whether Caufield is worth passing on all those high-end centers and a potential No. 1 defenseman for. If you consider drafting a winger at No. 3, they must be so good that they change your life. Caufield might. But weighing those other factors and the importance of building up the middle and from the back end, the Blackhawks might be better off in the long term taking the best available center or defenseman — not because of need, but because of value.