The No.29 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft originally belonged to the San Jose Sharks. On February 26, 2018, they traded it to the Buffalo Sabres as a part of the trade that sent Evander Kane to the Sharks. On February 24, 2019, the Sabres traded the pick to the Anaheim Ducks for Brandon Montour.
The pick had a condition on it that the Ducks would receive the higher of the two picks (either San Jose’s or the St. Louis Blues) and with the Blues winning, Anaheim gets the No.29 pick.
Anaheim used the No.9 overall pick to select centre Trevor Zegras, which means they will likely look for blueline help with their second first-round pick. The Ducks’ top D-prospects right now include Josh Mahura (No.85 Pick in 2016) and Jacob Larsson (No.27 Pick in 2015). Mahura turned pro last season after four years in the WHL. Mahura showcased his offensive ability by scoring 69 points (22G / 47A) in 60 games with the Regina Pats. He split 2018-19 between the AHL and NHL, producing 19 points (1G / 18A) in 40 games with San Diego and five points (1G / 4A) in 17 games with Anaheim. Larsson played 49 games with the Ducks this year, picking up five assists. He is a solid defensive-defenseman but doesn’t offer a lot on the offensive end of the ice.
With the No.29 Overall Pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, the Anaheim Ducks select…
Tobias Björnfot — D — Sweden
Björnfot fits exactly the type of defenseman that the Ducks like. He has good size (6-foot, 203 lbs.) and skates very well. He can play a shutdown role but also contributes on the offensive end and can play on the power-play. Sounds a lot like current Ducks’ defenseman Hampus Lindholm.
Björnfot spent most of the season in Sweden’s U20 league, where he was named the league’s best defenseman and led all Djurgårdens IF J20 defensemen in goals (11) and points (22) in 39 games. He also played in seven games in Sweden’s top league but did not register a point. He will likely spend all of the 2019-20 season in the SHL. Björnfot turned in a rock-solid performance in the U18 World Juniors despite only picking up one assist in seven games.
The Swedish defenseman might not put up points in the NHL like he did in the U20 league but he plays a simple game and does everything well. He will quickly earn the trust of the Ducks coaching staff.
His skating provides a lot of his value. His ability to lead a rush, pinch off the blueline and close on his checks is very good. His feet allow him to make stops and transition pucks. He has solid defensive acumen and generally is trusted by coaches to play tougher minutes. His puck game is average. He can have the odd flash offensively due to his feet and above-average vision. His skill level doesn’t overly impress, but there were times, particularly in the second half of the season, he showed more confidence making creative plays. — Corey Pronman (The Athletic)
Björnfot is a very capable two-way defenseman with few weaknesses in his game. A strong skater who reads the game well and contributes both offensively and defensively. Also a good leader and he competes hard on every shift. Can be used on the powerplay, but stands out more in his own end with this solid play. — Elite Prospects
- #30 — HockeyProspect.com
- #36 — Future Considerations
- #27 — ISS Hockey
- #7 — NHL Central Scouting (EU Skaters)