Five years have come and gone since the 2018 NHL Draft, and quite a bit has been learned regarding the top of this particular class. Only a few players selected have developed into stars, but that's not to say there wasn't worthwhile talent worthy of top-10 selections.
The 2018 draft has produced five All-Stars with potentially more in the years to come. Andrei Svechnikov, Brady Tkachuk and Rasmus Dahlin are three of the biggest prospects. Dahlin was originally selected with the No. 1 pick by the Buffalo Sabres, while Svechnikov was picked second by the Carolina Hurricanes.
With five years of data to sift through, we have redrafted the top 10 picks of the 2018 NHL Draft with teams in the exact same order. Here is how it came out:
1. Buffalo Sabres | Andrei Svechnikov | RW
Bengel: There are a few players that warrant consideration for the top pick in this redraft. While Rasmus Dahlin has been tremendous the past two seasons, Andrei Svechnikov makes a ton of sense for the Sabres in this spot. Svechnikov has been a 20-goal scorer in four of his five NHL seasons, including registering a career-high 69 points (30 goals and 39 assists) in 2021-22. Buffalo could definitely use more scoring depth.
Nivison: There is probably a decent case to be made that Rasmus Dahlin should remain the No. 1 overall pick in this draft, despite the fact that he was a late bloomer. However, Andrei Svechnikov has been a consistent offensive threat throughout his career. Buffalo does have former No. 1 overall pick Owen Power on the blue line now, and Svechnikov would slot in very nicely alongside the likes of Tage Thompson or Dylan Cozens. That would give the Sabres a pretty formidable top-six.
2. Carolina Hurricanes | Brady Tkachuk | LW
Bengel: With Svechnikov off the board, the Hurricanes elect to fill their void on the wing with Brady Tkachuk. Tkachuk has developed into one of the league's more talented young goal scorers. Over the past two seasons, the 23-year-old has racked up at least 30 goals in each of the past two seasons with a career-best 35 goals during the 2022-23 campaign. There's few players as gifted in the open ice as Tkachuk.
Nivison: The Hurricanes have looked like a Stanley Cup contender for several years now, but perhaps the biggest flaw in their game is the lack of a reliable finisher on offense. Tkachuk has posted back-to-back 30-goal seasons and looks poised to do even more damage in 2023-24. Tkachuk is knocking on the door of superstardom, and he might be an even better fit for the Canes than Svechnikov. Besides, it's not hard to imagine Tkachuk thriving in Rod Brind'Amour's system built on relentless offensive pressure.
3. Montreal Canadiens | Quinn Hughes | D
Bengel: One thing the 2018 Draft did boast was some terrific defensemen. With the top forwards in Svechnikov and Tkachuk off the board, the Canadiens would have to shift their focus on their blue line, especially considering they lack a top pairing defenseman on their current roster. Quinn Hughes is a terrific playmaker who's among the top young defensemen in the sport. Hughes has tallied back-to-back 60-point seasons and would look great on the Montreal blue line.
Nivison: Quinn Hughes is one of the more underrated defensemen in the NHL, perhaps because he plays on a team that has been aggressively mediocre for the entirety of his career. Over the last three seasons, Hughes has totaled 185 points in 210 games, which is fourth in the league over that span. Last season, Hughes had a plus-20 goal differential at five-on-five, per Natural Stat Trick. The Canadiens' rebuild would be in a much better spot if they had taken Hughes at No. 4 overall.
4. Ottawa Senators | Rasmus Dahlin | D
Bengel: It's really a matter of preference between Hughes and Rasmus Dahlin. For a team that has missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs each of the last six seasons, the Senators have to grab the best player on the board, and that's Rasmus Dahlin. Grabbing another blue-liner would give the Senators a top four of Thomas Chabot, Jakub Chychrun, Jake Sanderson and Dahlin. Dahlin has really taken a huge step over the past two seasons with 126 points during that stretch.
Nivison: What a value the Senators get here by landing Rasmus Dahlin at No. 4 overall. It took a few seasons for Dahlin to get his footing at the NHL level, most likely because the Sabres have been a mess for much of the last decade. Having said that, Dahlin has come on strong in the last two years. In 2022-23, Dahlin finished eighth in Norris Trophy voting with 73 points in 78 games while posting sparkling five-on-five impacts. This is a great consolation prize for Ottawa with Tkachuk going two spots higher in this redraft.
5. Arizona Coyotes | Jesperi Kotkaniemi | C
Bengel: The fifth pick is where this redraft starts to get dicey. The star power has been taken, and now it comes down to positions of need for teams. Obviously, Jesperi Kotkaniemi hasn't lived up to the billing of a third overall pick just yet, but the talent is definitely there. It also doesn't hurt that Kotkaniemi is still just 23 years old despite entering his sixth professional season. Kotkaniemi has really thrived during his last two seasons in Carolina, including a career-high 43 points in 2022-23. The Coyotes certainly could use some scoring behind Clayton Keller.
Nivison: Jesperi Kotkaniemi is not the most flashy player in this draft class, but he has developed into a strong two-way middle-six forward. Going back to 2020-21, his final season with the Canadiens, Kotkaniemi has produced some solid five-on-five impacts. Last year, the Hurricanes controlled 58.5% of the expected goals when Kotkaniemi was on the ice in those situations, according to Natural Stat Trick. The Coyotes could use that kind of stability in their lineup.
6. Detroit Red Wings | Evan Bouchard | D
Bengel: Moritz Seider was a tremendous blue-liner the Red Wings secured at the top of the draft a few seasons ago. However, Detroit could definitely use another top-four defenseman in the fold. Bouchard is a tremendous asset to a team's power-play unit and possesses a spectacular shot from the point. Bouchard has tallied back-to-back 40-point seasons since landing in Edmonton, and he would offer an offensive presence from the blue line for the Red Wings.
Nivison: Moritz Seider, the 2022 Calder Trophy winner, has already proven to be a valuable piece of the Red Wings' blue line. That said, an NHL team can never have too many skilled puck-moving defensemen. That is what Evan Bouchard would bring. Dating back to the start of the 2021-22 season, Bouchard has tallied 83 points in 163 games while working his way up the depth chart in Edmonton. He and Seider would be a stout one-two punch on the back end.
7. Vancouver Canucks | K'Andre Miller | D
Bengel: With Quinn Hughes going to the Canadiens in this redraft, the Canucks would have a huge void to fill on the blue line. While it's not quite as exciting as Hughes or Rasmus Dahlin, K'Andre Miller would be a solid addition for Vancouver. Miller has improved in each of his three seasons with the Rangers and is coming off of a 43-point campaign in 2022-23. The 23-year-old is tremendous defensively and is never out of the play. Adding a blue-liner like Miller is a must for the Canucks.
Nivison: K'Andre Miller has steadily progressed in each of his first three NHL seasons, and he is now a good top-four NHL defenseman. Miller and defensive partner Jacob Trouba did not have an excellent season with the New York Rangers in 2022-23, but Miller is still only 23, and he has shown the ability to play at a high level for long stretches. The Canucks might not be thrilled to lose Quinn Hughes in favor of taking Miller, but their defensive group wouldn't be in a much worse place with this pick.
8. Chicago Blackhawks | Rasmus Sandin | D
Bengel: When the 2018 draft initially happened, the Blackhawks took defenseman Adam Boqvist in an effort to beef up their blue line. Boqvist's tenure in Chicago was short-lived as he was traded to the Blue Jackets as a part of the Seth Jones deal in 2021. In this spot, it makes sense for the Blackhawks to grab another defenseman in the form of Rasmus Sandin. The 23-year-old finished the 2022-23 campaign strong with 15 points (three goals and 12 assists) in the final 19 games with the Capitals, so the Blackhawks opt for the potential here.
Nivison: Let's just say that the Maple Leafs' decision to jettison Rasmus Sandin to the Washington Capitals this past season was an interesting one. In his last two seasons with Toronto, Sandin played in 103 games and posted a 57.9% expected goals share and a 58.6% actual goals share at five-on-five, per Natural Stat Trick. Sandin did struggle adjusting to his new team down the stretch last year, but he was still producing on the stat sheet. The Blackhawks would be thrilled to have a defenseman the caliber of Sandin on their roster these days
9. New York Rangers | Joel Farabee | LW
Bengel: The Rangers grabbed Russian forward Vitaly Kravtsov in the 2018 NHL Draft. While Kratsov doesn't make sense this time around, the Rangers will continue with the tradition of grabbing a forward in the redraft. Joel Farabee has been one of the building blocks for the Flyers over the past couple of seasons. Farabee has made his living around the net since entering the league, and he's fresh off of a career-best 39 points (15 goals and 24 assists) in 2022-23.
Nivison: Reliable goal-scoring was hard to come by in this draft class, and Joel Farabee brings that to the table. Since the 2020-21 season, Farabee has notched 52 goals in 200 games. Farabee may not necessarily be a star, but he has developed into a nice middle-six forward at the NHL level at just 23 years old. Perhaps he would be able to take his game to another level with more skill around him in The Big Apple.
10. Edmonton Oilers | Noah Dobson | D
Bengel: Rounding out the top 10 are the Oilers, who could go in a few different directions with this selection. 2018 pick Evan Bouchard is off the board, but another defenseman makes a ton of sense for them here. Noah Dobson has really made huge strides over the past two seasons with 49- and 51-point campaigns. Dobson possesses one of the better shots around as he really excels shooting the puck from the point. The 23-year-old certainly could thrive on Edmonton's power-play unit much like Bouchard has.
Nivison: Noah Dobson has quietly become a stable two-way defenseman at the NHL level. Ryan Pulock and Adam Pelech get most of the shine on the New York Islanders' blue line, but Dobson is also an extremely valuable piece of that roster. In the last two seasons, Dobson has totaled 100 points in 158 games played. He has also posted a plus-121 five-on-five goal differential, per Natural Stat Trick. With the Oilers losing Evan Bouchard in this redraft, Dobson would be an ideal fit.