The 2020 NHL Draft has been tentatively moved to October 9-10 due to the season being canceled. The Draft Lottery took place a couple of months ago and it had some in shock. The biggest surprise was the number one overall pick going to a team that played in the NHL Qualifying Round. A couple of weeks ago, phase two of the NHL Draft Lottery took place and they revealed that the New York Rangers would select first overall. This year’s draft headlined by Alexis Lafreniere has plenty of high-caliber skaters in what is a really good draft class.
Top Five 2020 NHL Draft Prospects
Alexis Lafreniere (Left Wing)
This fall, a lot of people expect the Rangers to draft Lafreniere with the first overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. The 18-year old was a star in the QMJHL, as he had 80 points (42 goals, 38 assists) in 60 games as a rookie. Lafreniere was also was named to the All-Rookie Team, First All-Star Team, Rookie of the Year, and CHL Rookie of the Year. His next two seasons were even better as he collected a 105 and 112 point season.
If his past performances weren’t enough, he shined in the 2020 World Junior Championship for Team Canada. Lafreniere scored 10 points (four goals, six assists) in five games, was named MVP, and led his team to gold. He is a great all-around player with a great hockey IQ. If he is indeed the first overall pick, the Rangers will have a bright future with this kid.
Quinton Byfield (Center)
Quinton Byfield is a top-three pick because of his size, speed, strength, and skill. In the OHL this past season, Byfield had 82 points (32 goals, 50 assists) and was successful in the face-off circle. Over his career, he scored 143 points (61 goals, 82 assists) in 109 OHL games. He is a power-play specialist and plays good defense for his level of offensive skill. He has soft hands with a powerful shot and has great speed for his size. If he can stay consistent and continue his offensive prowess, he’ll be a force to be reckoned with.
Tim Stutzle (Left Wing)
Some would make a case that Tim Stutzle would be the second overall pick. The six-foot-one, 187 pounder has a high hockey IQ with his great vision and playmaking ability on the ice. Stutzle’s ability was shown over in Europe where he scored 34 points (seven goals, 27 assists) in 41 games this past season for the top professional league in Germany. In the U20 league, he scored 23 goals and had 32 assists in just 21 games. Those numbers are something special and that’s why he could go top three in the 2020 NHL Draft. Stutzle is a special player with his speed and smart plays all over the ice. His play will be noticeable as soon as he hits the league and once he gets going, he’ll be tough to stop.
Marco Rossi (Center)
Marco Rossi had a great run going the past couple of years. He helped lead the Ottawa 67s to the OHL Finals last season and had 120 points (39 goals, 81 assists) to win the scoring title. This past season, Rossi and the 67s were on their way to taking home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs until the season was canceled. He’s shown great poise in situational hockey and creates instant offense. Because Rossi’s defense is noticeable on the ice, he could contend for the Selke Trophy in the near future. Having these abilities as center in the NHL will make him valuable in this league for years to come.
The Rangers pick is followed by the Los Angeles Kings, Ottawa Senators, Detroit Red Wings, and the Senators again. These teams will have some great prospects to choose from. Beyond these four 2020 NHL Draft prospects, there are others to consider like Lucas Raymond and Jamie Drysdale. Fans can’t wait until the draft gets underway and see what the future holds for the NHL.
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