Anaheim Ducks 2019 Draft Prospect Profile: Cole Caufield

ST. PAUL, MN - SEPTEMBER 19: Team Leopold forward Cole Caufield (14) celebrates his 3rd period goal during the USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game between Team Leopold and Team Langenbrunner on September 19, 2018 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN. Team Leopold defeated Team Langenbrunner 6-4.(Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ST. PAUL, MN - SEPTEMBER 19: Team Leopold forward Cole Caufield (14) celebrates his 3rd period goal during the USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game between Team Leopold and Team Langenbrunner on September 19, 2018 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN. Team Leopold defeated Team Langenbrunner 6-4.(Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

The Anaheim Ducks have acquired a first-round pick from the Buffalo Sabres today. With that pick, they should consider drafting Cole Caufield.

As the season begins to wind down for the Anaheim Ducks, for the first time in a long time attention isn’t going to be shifting to the playoffs, rather towards the future via the draft. While everyone is gushing over the offensive abilities of Jack Hughes, or the total package that is Kappo Kakko, or the playmaking ability of Alex Turcotte, my attention is drawn to an 18-year-old from Stevens Point, a fairly small town in Wisconsin that to this point has produced 2 players drafted into the NHL, neither of which has played a game in the NHL yet.

That player is Cole Caufield, a diminutive forward, standing 5’7 on a good day and weighing 165 pounds soaking wet. Size is a major concern for NHL scouts, but I truly believe that with his skillset that Cole Caufield is going to follow in the footsteps of Martin St. Louis, Johnny Gaudreau, Mats Zuccarello, Cam Atkinson, Brian Gionta, and most recently Alex Debrincat, in succeeding despite their size, finding ways to maximize their other skills to make up for their stature.

Caufield is currently ranked 15th on Central Scouting’s list of North American Skaters, putting him projected as a mid to late first round pick, assuming he doesn’t fall down the draft boards a bit. For comparison, Alex Debrincat was 21st among North American Skaters during his draft year and was selected 39th overall. That ranking makes him a slightly lower draft pick than the Ducks are expecting to draft. However, with the Anaheim Ducks recent acquisition of a first round pick from the Buffalo Sabres, the thought of acquiring Caufield has become more plausible.

Why Should the Anaheim Ducks Consider Drafting Him?

When you look at Caufield you’re going to hear Alex Debrincat brought up a lot, and for good reason. They’re roughly the same size, they both play a fairly similar style of hockey that focuses on quick offensive plays and elusiveness, but that doesn’t mean that they play soft. You’re not going to see Caufield shying away from the dirty areas in front of the net.

More from Draft

While he may not lay out the big hits or overpower his opponents, he’s slippery and has a knack for finding loose pucks in front of the net and an uncanny ability to find a way to bury those loose pucks. Caufield has some impeccable positioning that results in him, time and time again, being in the right place at the right time to pick up a rebound or find just enough open ice to receive a pass. It’s a trait that’s not easily taught, and Caufield has it in spades.

He’s not just a player who finds himself in the right spots either, Caufield has great skating ability, paired with the ability to get in and out of his cuts at a frantic pace and leaves him able to turn on a dime. This leaves him consistently pulling a “Houdini” act where defenders think they have a beat on him, only to find him behind them before they know it.

Equal to Caufield’s skating ability is what he can do with the puck on his stick. He’s got shockingly good vision, leading to him finding open passing lanes that shouldn’t be available, and even more impressive is his shot. Caufield has a wrist shot that will leave his team’s fanbase in awe, with an incredibly quick release, and pinpoint laser accuracy, he has the shot to be an elite scorer at the NHL level.

Caufield also possesses patience with the puck, waiting for a passing lane to open up, or the goalie to bite on his move to open up a bit of net for him to shoot at. Caufield’s offense is his bread and butter and is quite comparable to that of Alex Debrincat (who has 34 goals and 28 assists at the time of writing this article.)

Caufield’s size could pose problems in the NHL however, one of the things that makes him so impressive as a prospect is his motor, he backchecks, he takes the puck off of opponent’s sticks, and isn’t a slouch in the defensive zone either, how that will translate to the faster speed of the NHL, the more powerful opponents he will play and the physicality of the NHL is the one question mark that plagues Caufield. Whoever gets the chance to draft Cole Caufield is in for a treat, and a player like that, who works his tail off, is offensively gifted, and never gives up, is bound to succeed in the NHL, and I would be overjoyed if that was with the Anaheim Ducks.

Next. Trade Deadline Rumblings and Observations. dark

Now it’s your turn to answer the question we’ve been asking the staff over the past few days! If the Anaheim Ducks lose out on Hughes or Kakko, who do you hink they should draft? Or, who do you think they should draft with their second first-round pick if they do draft high this year? Let us know by leaving a comment down below!