With the Stanley Cup finals in full swing, the NHL draft is officially around the corner. On October 6th and 7th, NHL teams will have an opportunity to change the course of their futures. The 2020 draft is exceptionally deep in the top 10. Below is who I think each NHL team will take in the draft based upon who is picking as of October 1st in the first five rounds. This is not who I think each team should select, but who each team will select.

1.New York Rangers- W Alexis Lafreniere

The consensus number one pick, the Rangers will quickly snap up the play driving winger. No room for a surprise here.

2.Los Angeles Kings- C Quinton Byfield

The Kings could go for one of two centers available here. Either German Tim Stutzle, or OHLer Quinton Byfield. Byfield has been more of what the Kings have targeted in the past and I think his upside is potentially greater. For that reason, I think Byfield will be the target here at 2.

3.Ottawa Senators-C Tim Stutzle

The Senators pick is made for them here at three. Sens General Manager Bob Murray has already it clear that he will take whoever is left between Stutzle and Byfield. With Byfield gone, the Sens will take the speedy center.

4.Detroit Red Wings-W Lucas Raymond

This is where the draft gets interesting. The name rumored most to be taken by the Wings here is Cole Perfetti. I see a strong case for him here at four, however, Wings’ General Manager Steve Yzerman is known for both his secrecy and his unpredictableness. The one previous factor of predictability in his choices was that he regularly took players from the CHL. However, with his Moritz Seider pick last season, that theory is off base a bit, though still likely based upon his body of work. My gut tells me he will take one of either Perfetti or Lucas Raymond. Raymond is the better skater and better player one-on-one. I think he fits Yzerman’s mold of prospect here and could be his target at 4.

5.Ottawa Senators-W Cole Perfetti

Bob Murray’s scouting staff loves players from the CHL and if the Wings pass on Perfetti, it’s hard to imagine the Senators doing so here even if there are defenders on the board.

6.Anaheim Ducks-D Jake Sanderson

Most public draft lists have Drysdale ranked higher. However, there is a growing sentiment that some NHL teams have Sanderson higher than Drysdale at this point. Anaheim is potentially one of those players. Sanderson’s size and speed make him an appealing option to many. If Perfetti is still available, I could see the Ducks grabbing here also, but if he’s gone, I think they will lean Sanderson.

7.New Jersey-D Jamie Drysdale

I believe the Devils could target one of OHL center Marco Rossi or defender Jamie Drysdale. They need some young defenders and Drysdale is arguable the best in this draft.  

8.Buffalo Sabres-W Alexander Holtz

The Sabres need scoring depth, and Holtz is the best goal scorer available. We don’t know much about new Sabres’ General Manager Kevyn Adam’s strategy. I could see him going with one of either Holtz or Rossi here.

9.Minnesota Wild-C Marco Rossi

I would be shocked if Rossi is still available at 9, yet I could also Rossi drop a bit due to some potential size concerns from NHL teams. The Wild need a center and if Rossi is here, it’s an excellent pick and fit.

10.Winnipeg Jets-C Anton Lundell

The Jets need a potential number two center and Lundell is potentially closer to NHL ready than others. He’s a two-way guy with some upside.

11.Nashville Predators-C Seth Jarvis

The Preds are rumored to be targeting one of OHL winger Jack Quinn, Russian goalie Yaroslav Askarov, and Jarvis. I think they lean center here and target WHL scoring sensation Jarvis.

12.Florida Panthers-C Dawson Mercer

Panthers’ General Manager Bill Zito is brand new to the game, so predicting is a bit difficult. The Panthers need defenders desperately, but skill is a premium on forwards here. I could see them leaning towards one of Jack Quinn, Radion Amirov, or Dawson Mercer. With some past ties to forwards from the QMJHL, I could see Zito leaning Mercer.

13.Carolina Hurricanes-C Connar Zary

The Canes are typically more analytically minded, but they also need a goalie. I could see them taking Askarov here, but with many teams still reluctant to use a high first-rounder on one, I could see them taking WHL center Connar Zary. Zary projects well in many analytics models, making him a strong candidate for the Canes at 13.

14.Edmonton Oilers-W Jack Quinn

If Quinn is somehow available, there is no way the Oilers can pass on him. McDavid desperately needs scoring wingers and Quinn is considered to be the second-best goal-scorer in the draft.  

15.Toronto Maple Leafs-W Radion Amirov

The Leafs value skill and have a tendency towards smaller forwards. I could see them taking QMJHL center Hendrix Lapierre, but also Russian winger Radion Amirov. Amirov is small but highly skilled.  e makes sense for the Leafs here at 15.

16.Montreal Canadiens-D Kaiden Guhle

The Canadiens wanted to draft a blue-liner last season, but couldn’t pass when Cole Caufield dropped. The Canadiens could target one of Guhle or fellow WHLer Braden Schneider. I think Guhle has the higher upside and makes sense for the Canadiens here.

17.Chicago Blackhawks-G Yaroslav Askarov

In many ways, I would be shocked if Askarov is still here at 17. Yet, crazier things have happened, and depending on where he falls on team lists, Askarov could easily drop to this range. The Blackhawks’ biggest prospect hole is at goalie and I could see them grabbing him here.  

18.New Jersey Devils-C Hendrix Lapierre

After getting their defender with their first pick, I could see the Devils grabbing QMJHL center Hendrix Lapierre. If not for injuries, Lapierre may have been in top ten consideration. He’s worth the risk for the Devils here at 18.

19.Calgary Flames-D Braden Schneider

It’s no secret the Flames want a defender. Schneider is considered by many to be the best available, plus he’s a bit of a throwback defender, a style of player the Flames value.

20.New Jersey Devils-C Dylan Holloway

With their third pick in the first round, I could see the Devils targeting Wisconsin center Dylan Holloway. Hollaway had a tough offensive year as a true freshman in the NCAA, but teams like his two-way play. He’s a different type of player that the Devils’ last two picks, and makes some sense if he’s still available at

21.Columbus Blue Jackets-D William Wallinder

Wallinder is considered one of the “best of the rest” when it comes to blue-liners in this draft. I could easily see the Jackets’ targeting either him or Helge Grans at this pick.

22.New York Rangers-C Marat Khusnutdinov

After taking a winger with their first pick, the Rangers need to target a center. General Manager Jeff Norton has chosen forwards in the first round almost exclusively from Europe during his tenure. Khusnutdinov, a Russian center, is similar to other prospects he has taken in the first.  I could see the Rangers targeting him here.

23.Philadelphia Flyers-C Ridley Greig

Greig, the son of a Flyers’ scout, is a likely target of the Flyers here. His lineage aside, Greig is likely to be taken in this range of the draft.  German winger Lukas Reichel and USHL center Brendan Brisson are also options here.

24.Colorado Avalanche-C Jacob Perreault

The Avs are loaded on defense and have a stocked cupboard of prospects. I think they will lean OHL, like they have in the past, and nab center Jacob Perreault. Winger Tyson Foerster is an option here as well.

25.Washington Capitals-W Lukas Reichel

The Caps like WHLers, but if Reichel is here, I have a hard time imagining them passing. Reichel could easily go significantly earlier. If he does, the Caps could target Tyson Foerster or WHL winger Jake Neighbours also.

26.St.Louis Blues-D Ryan O’Rourke

I’ve tied O’Rourke to the Blues for a while now, and I believe that will continue. The Blues need a blue-liner badly and he makes sense for them here. Justin Barron, a QMJHL blue-liner who is out indefinitely with an injury is also a potential target.

27.Anaheim Ducks-W Tyson Foerster

After selecting a defenseman with their first pick, the Ducks are likely to target a forward. I could see them targeting WHLer Jake Neighbours or OHLer Tyson Foerster. Foerster has climbed a bit in the rankings this season, making him a likely candidate.

28.Ottawa Senators-D Justin Barron

After taking two forwards in the top 10, the Sens will look to target a defender. Justin Barron was injured much of this year and it out indefinitely once again. However, he’s highly skilled and a worth a look late in the first.

29.Vegas Golden Knights-D Helge Grans

The Golden Knights need some defenders and Grans is one of the best available. If they decide to wait until the third to select a blue-liner, one of Brendan Brisson or Mavriq Bourque are center options here as well.

30.Dallas Stars-C Mavriq Bourque

The Stars are likely to target one of Bourque, German winger J.J. Peterka, or Swede Noel Gunler here. Bourque is a natural center and a strong two-way player so I believe the Stars would lean this direction if he is still available.

31.San Jose Sharks-W J.J. Peterka

Sharks GM Doug Murray loves German-born players. Peterka may go higher, but if he’s here, the Sharks will grab him. A second potential target is Swedish winger Noel Gunler.

Round 2

32. Detroit Redwings W Noel Gunler
33. Ottawa Senators C Brendan Brisson
34. San Jose Sharks W Jake Neighbours
35. Los Angeles Kings D Topi Niemela
36. Anaheim Ducks W Ozzy Wiesblatt
37. Nashville Predators D Jeremie Poirier
38. Buffalo Sabres D Tyler Kleven
39. Minnesota Wild C Thomas Bordeleau
40. Winnipeg Jets D Brock Faber
41. Carolina Hurricanes C/W Jan Mysak
42. Nashville Predators W Sam Colangelo
43. Florida Panthers D Daemon Hunt
44. Toronto Maple Leafs D Lukas Cormier
45. Detroit Redwings D Anton Johannesson
46. Chicago Blackhawks W Ty Smilanic
47. Montreal Canadiens C Justin Sourdiff
48. Montreal Canadiens W Luke Tuch
49. Arizona Coyotes Forfeited.
50.  Calgary Flames C J-L Foudy
51. Los Angeles Kings C Roni Hirvonen
52. Ottawa Senators C Dylan Peterson
53. Carolina Hurricanes D Emil Andrae
54. Philadelphia Flyers D Eamon Powell
55. Detroit Redwings D Shakir Mukhamadullin
56. San Jose Sharks D Will Villeneuve
57. Montreal Canadiens D Yan Kuznetsov
58. Boston Bruins W Martin Chromiak
59. Ottawa Senators D Michael Benning
60. Los Angeles Kings W Luke Evangelista
61. Ottawa Senators W Will Cuylle
62. Tampa Bay W Vasily Ponomaryov
     

Third Round

63. Detroit Redwings W Alex Pashin
64. Ottawa Senators C Jack Finley
65. Detroit Redwings W Daniel Torgesson
66. Los Angeles Kings W Tyler Tullio
67. Anaheim Ducks W Brandon Coe
68. Las Vegas Golden Knights C Carter Savoie
69. Carolina Hurricanes D Ian Moore
70. Nashville Predators W Kaspar Simontaival
71. Ottawa Senators D Donovan Sebrango
72. New York Rangers D Jack Thompson
73. Nashville Predators D Joni Jurmo
74. Florida Panthers W Maxim Groshev
75. Colorado Avalanche D Thimo Nickl
76. Edmonton Oilers D Eemil Viro
77. Pittsburgh Penguins C/W Jaromir Pytlick
78. Montreal Canadiens W Zayde Wisdom
79. Chicago Blackhawks W Sean Farrell
80. Washington Capitals C/W Tristen Robins
81. Chicago Blackhawks D Mitchell Miller
82. Vancouver Canucks W Ryan Francis
83. Los Angeles Kings G Nico Daws
84. New Jersey Devils G Jan Bednar
85. Tampa Bay Lightning G Samuel Hlavaj
86. St.Louis Blues C Evan Vierling
87. Florida Panthers W Roby Jarventie
88. St. Louis Blues W Antonio Stranges
89. Boston Bruins D Luke Prokop
90. New York Islanders C Landon Slaggert
91. Vegas Golden Knights D Christoffer Sedoff
92. New York Rangers C Theodore Niederbach
93. Tampa Bay Lightning W Daniil Gushchin
     

Fourth Round

94. Tampa Bay Lightning D Alex Cotton
95. Ottawa Senators W Ethan Cardwell
96. Calgary Flames C/W Connor McClennon
97. Los Angeles Kings C/W Emil Heineman
98. Montreal Canadiens W Brett Berard
99. New Jersey Devils W Zion Nybeck
100. Buffalo Sabres W Ryder Rolston
101. Minnesota Wild G Drew Commesso
102. Montreal Canadiens W Oliver Suni
103. New York Rangers D Wyatt Kaiser
104. Anaheim Ducks G Calle Clang
105. Florida Panthers W Bogdan Trineyev
106. Toronto Maple Leafs W Ville Miettinen
107. Detroit Redwings G Joel Blomqvist
108. Pittsburgh Penguins D Kasper Puutio
109. Montreal Canadiens W Simon Knak
110. Chicago Blackhawks D Michael Krutil
111. Arizona Coyotes W Pavel Novak
112. Los Angeles Kings C Rory Kerins
113. Vancouver Canucks D Ruben Rafkin
114. Columbus Blue Jackets C Dmitry Zlodeyev
115. Carolina Hurricanes W Yevgeni Oksentyuk
116. Philadelphia Flyers C Blake Biondi
117. Washington Capitals D Ronan Seeley
118. Colorado Avalanche W William Dufour
119. St. Louis Blues W Alex Laferriere
120. New Jersey Devils W Egor Sokolov
121. New York Islanders D Zachary Uens
122. Toronto Maple Leafs C Xavier Simoneau
123. Dallas Stars D Samuel Knazko
124. Tampa Bay Lightning D Marc-Antoine Pepin
     

Fifth Round

125. Detroit Redwings W Oskar Magnusson
126. San Jose Sharks W Pavel Gogolev
127. San Jose Sharks W Oliver Okuliar
128. Los Angeles Kings W Cross Hanas
129. Anaheim Duck C Elliot Ekmark
130. New Jersey Devils D Alexander Nikishin
131. Buffalo Sabres G Juho Markkanen
132. Minnesota Wild D Luke Reid
133. Winnipeg Jets W Carson Bantle
134. New York Rangers D Hugo Styf
135. Nashville Predators D Jacob Dion
136. Montreal Canadiens D Noah Ellis
137. Florida Panthers W Cole Sheppard
138. Edmonton Oilers G Nick Malik
139. Pittsburgh Penguins D Jacob Flynn
140. Carolina Hurricanes W Hayden Fowler
141. Chicago Blackhawks W Artyom Galimov
142. Arizona Coyotes W James Hardie
143. Calgary Flames D Isaac Phillips
144. Vancouver Canucks D Ethan Edwards
145. Columbus Blue Jackets C Alexei Tsyplakov
146. St. Louis Blues D Leo Loof
147. Philadelphia Flyers C Parker Ford
148. Washington Capitals C Ilya Usua
149. Colorado Avalanche C Lukas Svejovsky
150. St.Louis Blues D Adam Wilsby
151. Boston Bruins C Bear Hughes
152. New York Islanders W Stephen Halliday
153. Toronto W Matt De St. Phalle
154. Dallas Stars D Simon Kubicek
155. Ottawa Senators G Taylor Gauthier