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.
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|