2020 NHL Draft

2020 NHL Mock Draft: Post-Lottery (1-31)

Steve Kournianos  |  8/10/2020 |  Nashville  |  [hupso]

Team Pick Player Team (League) HT WT
NYR 1 Alexis Lafreniere, LW Rimouski, QMJHL 6’1 193
The Rangers leapfrog into the top spot and draft not only the best prospect of his class, but also the most dominant draft-eligible since Auston Matthews in 2016. A natural wing, Lafreniere plays a mean, spirited game to compliment his world class puck skills. He’s ready for the league right now but a reasonable adjustment period should be expected.
LAK 2 Quinton Byfield, C Sudbury (OHL) 6’4 215
The Kings own a collection of impressive assets, but a hulking playmaker who adds strength, faceoff prowess and multi-situational versatility isn’t one of them. If Byfield isn’t built like a linebacker by now, he probably won’t have to wait much longer to get there. Solid, fearless, and willing to keep the puck on a string  for half a shift just to tire out an entire opposing unit, Byfield most certainly displays the traits of a future franchise center. The points — 82 in 45 games — are gaudy from a junior league standpoint, but Byfield is 17 years old for another week, meaning he may have already checked that OHL block and is ready for some hands-on learning as an NHL’er. He carried a thin Sudbury squad for most of the past two seasons.
OTT 3 Tim Stutzle, C/W Mannheim (DEL) 6’1 187
The most excitable forward available, Stutzle was Rookie of the Year in the adult-age Deutschen Eishockey Liga and led Germany at the world juniors. Blessed with speed, sick hands, and an intense compete level, Stutzle’s game is geared for North American hockey, which allows the Sens to slowly blend him in alongside talented youngsters at every position, potentially as early as next season.
DET 4 Marco Rossi, C Ottawa (OHL) 5’9 183
It was unfortunate that the Red Wings lost out on a top-three pick despite owning the league’s worst record by a significant margin. Nonetheless, they are far from settling by drafting Rossi — an Austrian-born scoring machine who finished as the OHL’s leading scorer and won the top player award. Rossi’s vision and IQ are off the charts, but he also owns a deadly shot and was one of the leagues better two-way centers. The size thing may seem like a turn off but watch him play and it becomes completely irrelevant.
OTT (SJ) 5 Jake Sanderson, LHD U.S. U18 (NTDP) 6’2 185
A tough call to make regardless of how stacked a prospect pool the Senators have, but in the end, they opt for the defenseman who can impact the game or or off the puck. Although Jamie Drysdale is considered to be more explosive and creative, Sanderson’s smoothness, high hockey IQ and stickhandling should not be overlooked. He too possesses elite skating abilities in addition to providing a smothering, physical presence. Another area where Sanderson doesn’t get enough credit for is his passing and he is more than capable at threading the needle across distances or through traffic.
ANA 6 Jamie Drysdale, RHD Erie (OHL) 5’11 175
The ongoing rebuild in Anaheim has delivered several top-end talents, but none of their defense prospects can match up with Drysdale’s quick and aggressive nature from the back end. He was Erie’s top player from wire to wire and was used in all situations. The fact that Team Canada entrusted him with key minutes during a grueling march to WJC gold was just one example of Drysdale’s reputation as a premier puck mover who can more than just skate and shoot.
NJD 7 Alexander Holtz, RW Djugardens (SHL) 6’0 192
The first of New Jersey’s three first-round picks obviously is the most critical, and selecting one of top snipers to come out of Sweden in the last several decades would be a huge boost to the Devils’ attack. Holtz is one of the draft’s purest finishers and his shot-release combination is absolutely lethal. Holtz has ideal size and the necessary balance to maintain his reputation as a goal scorer, and his compete level and shift-to-shift consistency are both exemplary.
BUF 8 Lucas Raymond, LW Frolunda (SHL) 5’11 170
Radical changes to the front office and scouting department notwithstanding, the Sabres have enjoyed periods of brief success while developing several notable prospects. The addition of a scorer like Raymond will make that group even stronger, and his nonstop motor, high IQ, and smothering neutral-zone coverage make him dependable off the puck . Buffalo is one of the NHL’s busiest teams when it comes to mining Sweden for elite talent, so selecting either Holtz or Raymond shouldn’t come as a shock. Doesn’t hurt that Raymond has the pucks skills to bring fans out of their seats.
MIN 9 Anton Lundell, C HIFK (SM-Liiga) 6’1 185
When it comes to profound changes in its front office, few can catch up with Minnesota, which will receive its highest first-round pick since Matt Dumba went seventh overall in 2012. Although the NHL roster seems as if it’s loaded with expensive graybeards, the truth is the Wild has quietly accumulated an impressive prospect pool. In Lundell, they’ll be selecting a smart and mature 200-foot center with a sick wrister who excelled in Finland’s elite SM-Liiga throughout last season.
WPG 10 Seth Jarvis, C/W Portland (WHL) 5’10 175
The Jets need major help on defense, but the option to either reach for a defender or trade yourself out of the top 10 is strongly inadvisable. While some might say Winnipeg doesn’t need additional firepower up front, the reality is that Jarvis should fits Paul Maurice’s style like a glove. He shredded a tough league like the WHL to a tune of 98 points in only 58 games and was a real leader on Portland. He’s incredibly gifted with the puck but Jarvis also throws his weight around when matched up against bigger defenders.
NAS 11 Jack Quinn, RW Ottawa (OHL) 6’0 176
A prolific goal scorer with an assortment of trick plays and highlight-reel moves, Quinn was a key component in an Ottawa attack that led the entire CHL in scoring. Although he shared power-play time with a talented playmaker like Marco Rossi, Quinn spent most of his 52-goal campaign on the 67’s second line away from his draft peer. He’s a serious threat no matter the strength, to include killing penalties and when transitioning quickly from a defensive-zone draw. Although the Preds already have a handful of notable finishers in their system (Eeli Tolvanen, Phil Tomasino), Quinn has the kind of potential that helps forwards get nods for the Selke and a Richard in the same season.
FLA 12 Dawson Mercer, C/W Chicoutimi (QMJHL) 6’0 180
Another season in South Florida that ended in disappointment has already led to a mutual separation with GM Dale Tallon, so expect the Panthers to be eager to add versatility to a prospect pool loaded with offensive talent. In Mercer, they would be drafting not only one of the top 200-foot players available, but one with a high motor who can provide speed, flash and pizzazz when necessary.
CAR (TOR) 13 Cole Perfetti, LW Saginaw (OHL) 5’11 177
At least one top-rated prospect should be expected to slide down a few spots on draft day, usually for one or a cluster of reasons. If skating prowess is at a premium, then Perfetti would be a likely candidate. If so, the Hurricanes likely jump at the opportunity to snag him. Considered by many to be one of the smartest forwards from the 2020 crop, Perfetti is a deadly dual-threat type who can blister the puck with pinpoint accuracy or split the seam in half with a no-look dart onto a teammate’s blade. His 74 assists and 111 points were second only to fellow 2020 draft prospect Marco Rossi in the entire OHL, and Saginaw’s next-highest scorer trailed him by a healthy 31 points. Perfetti is more elusive and slippery than explosive and speedy, but he must have done something right to score with as much impunity as he did at multiple levels.
EDM 14 Yaroslav Askarov, G SKA-Neva (VHL) 6’3 176
Askarov is the most coveted goalie prospect since Carey Price, which says a lot when you consider Spencer Knight held that same distinction a season ago. Whether teams like to draft goalies high in the first round or not, the truth is that no prospect between the pipes has accomplished what Askarov has done at the under-17 and under-18 levels, and that includes the aforementioned Knight. And although the Oilers have several goalie prospects (including Russian Ilya Konovalov) and also could use a forward to make up for the loss of Jesse Puljujarvi, it’s doubtful they will ever be in a position to draft a potential star goalie like Askarov.
PIT 15 Dylan Holloway, C/W Wisconsin (Big-10) 6’1 203
The Pens obviously were hoping to land Alexis Lafreniere, but they know as well as anybody that they can’t rely solely on draft lotteries to ice a contending team. Although the farm system has been depleted after years of fueling Cup runs with the trading of prospects and draft picks, keeping this pick rather than shipping it to Minnesota means Pittsburgh would have their first-round pick in consecutive drafts for the first time since 2011 and 2012. Last year they grabbed tough winger Samuel Poulin, and Holloway plays a similar 200-foot game built on physicality, lengthy puck possession and slick plays from in tight.
MTL 16 Brendan Brisson, C Chicago (USHL) 5’11 179
The son of NHL super-agent Pat Brisson, Brendan destroyed the USHL to win Rookie of the Year honors. He also was the leading scorer among an impressive field at the under-20 World Junior “A” Challenge. With Chicago, Brisson was a top player on a loaded teams which had five of USHL’s seven-best scorers; with each one benefitting from Brisson’s hard work along the boards and playmaking. Remember, this slot is the first of over a dozen draft picks owned the Habs, including three in the second round alone. The demand to nab a franchise-changing prospect is minimal under the given circumstances, but Brisson’s maturity and familiarity with the market should benefit all parties involved.
CHI 17 Rodion Amirov, RW Tolpar (MHL) 6’0 167
The “Russian Factor” likely plunges this top-10 caliber talent into the later stage of the first round, which in this case would be a blessing for the Hawks, who are one of the NHL’s leaders in terms of drafting prospects from Russian leagues. Amirov split his season between the KHL and the junior-age MHL, and it was during his time in the latter where he proved to be too good for teenage competition. Russia has required his services at several under-20 international events in each of the last two seasons, so expect to see Amirov suiting up for his country at the next world junior championship.
NJD (ARI) 18 Noel Gunler, RW Lulea (SHL) 6’2 176
If the Devils are of the opinion that owning three first-round picks affords them more draft flexibility, then snatching up an insanely talented winger with a question mark or two could work out for them in a big way. Blessed with ideal size, soft hands, and a picture-perfect shot and release, Gunler did an adequate job while serving as a fourth liner on the SHL’s top team. He can be a bit of a floater or stay on the periphery without starting or stopping much, and Sweden has never been keen on inviting him to championship tournaments. If the lad has in fact matured and can add some spark to his game, look out.
CGY 19 Braden Schneider, RHD Brandon (WHL) 6’2 202
A hard-hitting blueliner with wheels and length for days, Schneider is a highly-respected prospect in scouting circles who many feel deserves to be placed alongside Jake Sanderson and Jamie Drysdale in the debate for top defenseman in the 2020 draft class. He may not be a high-volume shooter or deliver creative set-ups, but Schneider’s no-nonsense approach served him well as the No. 1 defenseman for the Wheat Kings. The Flames definitely like their defenseman to move the puck, and devastating open-ice hits can be a significant added bonus.
NJD (VAN) 20 Kaiden Guhle, LHD Prince Albert (WHL) 6’2 186
After going with Swedish wingers with each of their first two picks, the Devils can finally address their need for a two-way defenseman. Guhle, much like Schneider, is your prototypical, modern-day WHL defenseman who mixes in solid positional play with physicality and multi-directional mobility. He played a huge role for a Memorial Cup-bound Raiders squad in his draft-1 season before anchoring the top pairing in 2019-20. Guhle definitely is the kind of defenseman you want on the ice to cover the slot late in a close game.
CBJ 21 William Wallinder, LHD MODO J20 (Superelit) 6’4 191
Size, strength, and mobility with a tinge of abrasiveness seems to be a requirement to patrol the backline for John Tortorella’s Blue Jackets, and no Swedish defenseman was able to combine all four with as much consistency as Wallinder. He was a major minute eater for MODO’s junior team while sandwiching in a stint in the adult-age Allsvenskan. Wallinder is a graceful skater with a long stride who takes the puck for a skate with confidence, but he also lets opponents detect his presence with hard checks, active stick work, and an occasional face wash.
OTT (NYI) 22 Connor Zary, C Kamloops (WHL) 6’0 178
One of the leading point-getters among first-year draft eligibles in the WHL, Zary drove the bus for a resurgent Kamloops squad that relied on his 200-foot play and toughness off the puck to impact shifts. Ottawa already has several 200-foot centers in their pipeline, but they also have the luxury of taking a chance on a prospect known for his character and leadership, in addition to having keen vision and sharp playmaking abilities.
DAL 23 Thomas Bordeleau, C U.S. U18 (NTDP) 5’10 175
Being the top scorer and first-line center for a vaunted program like the NTDP always means something in draft circles, but Bordeleau was more than just a playmaker and offense-first pivot. He killed penalties, took most of the critical draws, and got involved in physical battles against older, stronger collegiate opponents. The Stars seem to favor mature players who let their pucks skills and actions on the ice speak for themselves, and few pivots in this class were able to handle the stress of a top-line role in a composed manner while delivering high-end plays. Drafting Bordeleau would have a local twist as well, as Thomas was born in Houston while his father Sebastien played in the AHL for the Aeros.
NYR (CAR) 24 Marat Khusnutdinov, C SKA-1946 (MHL) 5’11 176
This energetic center was one of the MHL’s most productive forwards at even strength despite being relegated to a depth role on an insanely stacked team. His scope of responsibility increased dramatically while playing for Team Russia’s under-18 program, and Khusnutdinov’s relentless puck pursuit, playmaking, and open-ice execution were critical to gold-medal wins at the U18 Ivan Hlinka and the U20 World Jr. “A” Challenge. The Rangers might feel inclined to draft a big-body center with this pick, but Khusnutdinov plays a lot bigger than his listed measurements and has a low center of gravity to maintain balance through traffic.
VGK 25 Mavrik Bourque, C Shawinigan (QMJHL) 5’10 178
A highly-skilled playmaker with soft hands with big-play proclivity, Bourque’s creativity and vision are at the forefront of his distinctive style. He utilizes a lot of trickery, such as passes of the no-look, behind-the-back, saucer, and bank variety. Although the Golden Knights have a strong collection of center prospects led by Cody Glass and Peyton Krebs, the addition of Bourque gives them added flexibility and the opportunity to move him to the wing in order to showcase his goal-scoring abilities.
PHI 26 Justin Sourdif, LW Vancouver (WHL) 5’11 173
One of the more underrated forwards available, Sourdif was a heart-and-soul winger for a thin Vancouver squad that relied heavily on his production to keep their playoff hopes alive. But not for one second should you label him as a “gritty” type or “glue guy” — Sourdif has legit puck skills and he reveals them at opportune moments such as 1-on-1’s rather than look like a hot dog or puck hog. Physicality is a big part of Sourdif’s game, and he will not back down from a challenge. Not only does he deliver hard open-ice hits, but Sourdif can be a menace along the boards and gladly serve as a net-front presence., which sounds like the kind of player Flyers fans can get used to.
WAS 27 Lukas Reichel, LW Eisbaren Berlin (DEL) 6’0 170
Another high-profile scorer from Germany who earned his keep in the Deutschen Eishockey Liga, Reichel is a 200-foot winger with a nasty wrist shot and release whose 18.5 shooting percentage was 10th in the league among players with 65 or more shots. Like Tim Stutzle, Reichel smoked it on the international stage and proved to be just as valuable and productive as his notable linemate. After focusing on defense at so many recent drafts, the Caps need to continue to build up their forwards ranks, and teaming Reichel up with a super-scorer like 2019 first rounder Connor McMichael would be another step in the right direction.
SJ (TB) 28 J.J. Peterka, RW Red Bull Munich (DEL) 5’11 192
The Sharks missed out on a potential franchise pick when they traded their 2020 first rounder to Ottawa in the Erik Karlsson deal. In need of a upgrade in firepower but also owning a good track record with prospects coming out of the Fatherland, the Sharks probably jump at the chance to grab Peterka, whose instant offense and hunger for the puck while playing in the adult-age Deutschen Eishockey Liga and for Team Germany at multiple international events was quite tantalizing. Peterka can serve in a dual-threat role but his finishing abilities are off the charts. Considering how unstoppable his line can be while playing alongside the likes of Lukas Reichel and Tim Stutzle, it’s easy to see why a team picking late in the first round would want to claim Peterka as one of its own.
COL 29 Jacob Perreault, RW Sarnia (OHL) 5’11 192
One of the draft’s most prolific snipers and one of the best sharp-angle finishers available, Perreault tallied a team-best 39 times and also won the fastest skater competition at the CHL Top Prospects Game. Finding consistency in his efforts away from the puck and taking advantage of his speed are two critical areas that Perreault needs to work on. His shot and hands, however, are near elite. Jacob also has NHL bloodlines, as his father Yanic appeared in 859 games and was a faceoff specialist for most of his career.
STL 30 Ryan O’Rourke, LHD Sault Ste Marie (OHL) 6’0 178
The Soo had issues all season with defensive-zone coverage and goaltending, yet it was O’Rourke who was always asked to put out fires while being matched up against opposing top lines. That in itself sounds like the exact kind of prospect the defending Stanley Cup champions would welcome with open arms, does it not? He can transition from slot defender and crease clearer to puck rusher and playmaker rather quickly, and O’Rourke’s ability to wear multiple hats is why he’s been part of high-profile events like the World under-17 Hockey Challenge, U18 Hlinka, and the CHL Top Prospects Game.
ANA (BOS) 31 Daniel Torgersson, RW Frolunda J20 (Superelit) 6’3 199
The Ducks have accumulated a lot of skill from recent draft hauls, but they’ll need a few more big boys with smarts and versatility if they want to hang with the powerhouses of the western conference. Torgersson is the kind of well-framed winger who forced himself into top-line roles on a very deep Frolunda junior team that featured the likes of Lucas Raymond, Karl Henriksson, and Theo Niederbach. He is a relentless forechecker and knows how to protect the puck off the cycle, but Torgersson’s shot-release combination is his most effective weapon — he led the J20 Superelit with a mind-numbing 31.7 shooting percentage.

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