Jeanner’s 2020 NHL Mock Draft
“Better late than never” is just one way many of the top hockey prospects of 2020 will describe what it feels like to realize soon their dream of being drafted by an NHL club.
It’s draft night for the first round of the 2020 NHL Draft, and although it may be 4 or so months later than usual, the prospects will be just as happy to hear there name called by an NHL club. It has been a much different process for these draft-eligible prospects with most of the interviews with teams being done virtually and with the draft being held virtually for 2020 like all the other major sports have done, it will be somewhat disappointing that these players will not get to cross the stage on national television while receiving their new team colours with a hat and jersey and getting the traditional draft day picture on stage with their new teams brass.
Looking ahead to the draft, it is about as wide open at the top as it has been in years. With the #1 pick all but guaranteed to be Alexis Lafreniere, the draft craziness will start at #2. It is projected by many that Tim Stutzle and Quinton Byfield will be the #2 and #3 picks, but in what order is anyone’s guess. Lots of other questions remain at the top of the board as well, such as which D-Man will end up going first between the highly predicted Jamie Drysdale or US National Development Team member Jake Sanderson. Detroit always finds a way to make sneaky picks and go off the board, so will they stay the course at #4, or will they shake things up early and go off the board with the #4 pick?
This year’s first-round will feature picks from 25 of the 31 NHL clubs, including 4 teams with multiple first-round picks. The New York Rangers and Anaheim Ducks both own 2 picks in this year’s first-round, while the New Jersey Devils and Ottawa Senators will look to continue their rebuilds with 3 picks each in the first round. The Arizona Coyotes, Boston Bruins, New York Islanders, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Vancouver Canucks all do not currently own a first-round pick. Still, nothing is stopping any of these teams from making some moves to trade into the first round to acquire a player they may covet for their future. This year will be a wild year for free agents and prospects, so do not be surprised to see lots of movement in the coming days leading up to free agency, including big moves impacting draft positions.
It’s time to get to my mock draft. After doing my research and putting together some thoughts, I have compiled my first ever complete first-round mock draft. This year’s class has a ton of skill, and no matter which teams end up landing at the top
portion of round 1, they will be extremely thrilled. There are many players I see ending up with different squads but settled on my picks below. I will say, my heart has leaned to the LA Kings taking Stutzle at #2, but could not convince myself to select him before Byfield, whose size and skill accurately represents the LA type player. After moving Dubnyk to San Jose, I would not be surprised to see the Wild now go all-in on Askarov at #9, but their need for help down the middle may be enough to pass on Askarov and chase one of many free agent goaltenders this year, which is the way I see it going down. One other decision I had a tough time making was if, in fact, Drysdale would be the top D-man to go off the board or in the back of my mind was right and that Sanderson would surprise and be the top D-man selected.
Enough about the process, though, let’s get to the Picks…
Jeanner’s 2020 NHL Draft – Final Mock Draft
1. New York Rangers – Alexis Lafreniere, LW (Rimouski – QMJHL)
2. Los Angeles Kings – Quinton Byfield, C (Sudbury – OHL)
3. Ottawa Senators – Tim Stutzle, C (Manheim – DHL)
4. Detroit Red Wings – Cole Perfetti, LW (Saginaw – OHL)
5. Ottawa Senators – Jamie Drysdale, D (Erie – OHL)
6. Anaheim Ducks – Lucas Raymond, LW (Frolunda HC – SHL)
7. New Jersey Devils – Alexander Holtz, RW (Djurgardens IF – SHL)
8. Buffalo Sabres – Marco Rossi, C (Ottawa – OHL)
9. Minnesota Wild – Anton Lundell, C (HIFK Helsinki – SM Liiga)
10. Winnipeg Jets – Jake Sanderson, D (US-Under 18-USAH-NTDP)
11. Nashville Predators – Jack Quinn, RW (Ottawa – OHL)
12. Florida Panthers – Kaiden Guhle, D (Prince Albert – WHL)
13. Carolina Hurricanes (via Toronto) – Yaroslav Askarov, G (SKA 1946 – MHL)
14. Edmonton Oilers – Seth Jarvis, RW (Portland – WHL)
15. Toronto Maple Leafs (via Pittsburgh) – Braden Schnieder, D (Brandon – WHL)
16. Montreal Canadiens – Hendrix Lapierre, C (Chicoutimi – QMJHL)
17. Chicago Blackhawks – Dylan Holloway, LW (University of Wisconsin – NCAA)
18. New Jersey Devils (via Arizona) – Jacob Perreault, RW (Sarnia – OHL)
19. Calgary Flames – Dawson Mercer, RW (Drummondville – QMJHL)
20. New Jersey Devils (Van via TB) – Connor Zary, C (Kamloops – WHL)
21. Columbus Blue Jackets – Ridly Grieg, LW (Brandon – WHL)
22. New York Rangers (via Carolina) – Mavrik Bourque, C (Shawinigan – QMJHL)
23. Philadelphia Flyers – Rodion Amirov, LW (Tolpar UFA – MHL)
24. Washington Capitals – Brendan Brisson, C (Chicago – USHL)
25. Colorado Avalanche – John-Jason Peterka, RW (Salzburg – Austrian)
26. St. Louis Blues – Lukas Reichel, LW (Berlin – DEL)
27. Anaheim Ducks (via Boston) – Justin Barron, D (Halifax – QMJHL)
28. Ottawa Senators (via NY Islanders) – Helge Grans, D (Malmo – Allsvenskan)
29. Vegas Golden Knights – Noel Gunler, RW (Lulea HF – SHL)
30. Dallas Stars – Jan Mysak, C (Hamilton – OHL)
31. San Jose Sharks (via Tampa Bay) – Tyson Foerster, RW (Barrie – OHL)