After hitting the halfway point in the season and with the World Junior Championship recently coming to an end, now is a great time to take a look at which players may be taken where in the 2020 draft. If you are in to this sort of thing, Tankathon.com is a great tool for simulating the draft lottery. For this first mock draft, I’m using the NHL standings to help determine draft positioning.
1. Detroit Red Wings- W A. Lafreniere
The Wings would love a center, but they will not pass on the best player available. Lafreniere will make the NHL next season and should have an immediate impact.
2. Los Angeles Kings- C Quinton Byfield
The Kings have a plethora of center prospects, but Byfield is the consensus number two prospect in the draft. The power forward is highly skilled and boasts a unique combination of speed and skill. He could jump into an NHL lineup next season.
3. New Jersey Devils- C Tim Stutzle
The Devils are continuing their rebuild, and Stutzle will help move that along. Stutzle plays with pace and a game similar to the Islanders’ Matt Barzal. He could play in the NHL next season as well.
4. Ottawa- C Marco Rossi
Rossi has been on an absolute tear in the OHL this season. He plays for Ottawa in the OHL, so the Sens’ brass should get lots of reps in. Rossi is a potential number one center and may make the NHL jump quickly.
5. Anaheim- C/W Cole Perfetti
Perfetti is a highly skilled forward who can play center or the wing. He’s a natural goal-scorer with high offensive upside.
6. Ottawa- D Jamie Drysdale
After taking a center, the Sens can take the best defender available. Drysdale showed excellent offensive instincts at the World Juniors as an under-ager and elite skating.
7. Montreal- C Anton Lundell
Lundell looks like a solid two-way center. The Canadiens need depth at the position, and Lundell fills an organizational need.
8. Minnesota- W Lucas Raymond
Raymond’s projections have been all over the map lately, but at the very least, he seems like a solid top six forward. He will help fill out the Wild’s top six in the near future.
9. Buffalo Sabres- W Alexander Holtz
Holtz is a goal-scorer, and the Sabres need scoring depth desperately.
10. New York Rangers- C Connor Zary
The Rangers need center depth, and Zary has a good offensive tool set. He’s at least a year away but could be a solid number two option.
11. Chicago Blackhawks- G Yaroslav Akarov
The Hawks need a goalie of the future, and Askarov is one of the best goalie prospects in recent memory.
12. Winnipeg Jets- C Dylan Holloway
Holloway has struggled offensively in the NCAA but looks like a solid two-way center.
13. Nashville Predators- C/W Noel Gunler
Like Holloway, Gunler has had some offensive struggles. However, his skill set screams solid possession player. He’s worth the risk for the Preds.
14. Carolina Hurricanes- C Jacob Perreault
Perreault has climbed the draft charts steadily this season. He’s small, but highly skilled and looks like a top six option.
15. Philadelphia Flyers- W Dawson Mercer
Mercer surprisingly made Canada’s World Junior squad and didn’t look out of place in limited minutes. He looks like a top six offensive forward with excellent speed and creativity.
16. Vegas Golden Knights- W Seth Jarvis
The Knights could go a number of directions, but at this point, I can’t see them passing on Jarvis. Knights GM Kelly McCrimmon loves WHL guys, and Jarvis has shown he can produce and be a future top six winger.
17. New Jersey Devils- D Jeremy Poirier
After taking a forward earlier in the draft, the Devils will look to draft a defender with offensive upside. Poirier fits the bill.
18. Calgary Flames- D Jake Sanderson
The Flames are lacking defensive prospects, and Sanderson is likely the best defender available. He isn’t flashy, but does everything well and looks like a solid second pairing guy.
19. Edmonton Oilers- W Jack Quinn
The Oilers need to continue to surround McDavid with offensive tools. With 37 goals already this year, Quinn seems to have sniping ability that could make him a top six forward.
20. Dallas Stars- W Radion Amirov
The Stars aren’t afraid to draft Russians, and Amirov is a highly skilled forward.
21. Columbus Blue Jackets- C/W Jan Mysak
The Jackets traded away many prospects and picks in their attempt at a Cup run last year. They need to hit some home runs, and Mysak is worth the swing.
22. Carolina Hurricanes- D Lukas Cormier
Cormier is one of the smaller defenders in the draft, but he is excellent at moving the puck and creating offensive chances.
23. Florida Panthers- D Braden Schneider
Schneider was ranked by many at the beginning of the season just outside the top 10. He looks limited offensively, but there is no questioning his size and strength. Schneider looks like a Dale Tallon pick.
24. Colorado Avalanche- C Mavrik Bourque
Bourque is a two-way center, but his offensive ceiling is also climbing. The Avs at the very least would have a middle six forward on their hands.
25. New York Islanders- D Ryan O’Rourke
The Isles could use a two-way defender in their system. O’Rourke has put up decent numbers so far this season and looks like a potential top four defender.
26. Tampa Bay Lightning- D Emil Andrae
The Lightning have two first-rounders and can afford to take a flyer on Andrae. Small but skilled, he reminds many scouts of Senators defender Erik Brannstrom.
27. Pittsburgh Penguins- C Hendrix Lapierre
Lapierre has struggled with injuries. He looked like a potential top ten prospect earlier in the year. He’s worth a shot late in the first round.
28. Tampa Bay Lightning- C/W Jaromir Pytlick
Pytlick is a big, skilled forward who looks similar to other prospects the Lightning have liked in recent years.
29. Boston Bruins- D William Wallinder
The Bruins seem to have a “type” of player at every position in the draft. Wallinder fits that “type” for defender. The 6’3″ defender plays a strong two-way game.
30. St. Louis Blues- C Tyson Foerster
Foerster has put up excellent numbers in the OHL this year. He looks like he could be an offensive producer at the NHL level.
31. Washington Capitals- W Zion Nybeck
The Capitals could use some skilled winger depth. Nybeck is one of the best available. At 5’8″, he’s a bit undersized, but there is doubting his offesnive skills. He would provide excellent organizational depth.