The NHL Draft is finally here! A star studded draft class enters the NHL starting tonight, with players like Alexis Lafreniere and Quinton Byfield looking like franchise cornerstone and other players like Tim Stutzle, Jake Sanderson, and Cole Perfetti also looking like future stars. While the draft is later than usual, the hype is still real.
Refresh your browser for all of the picks and transactions for tonight’s first round
1) The New York Rangers select Alexis Lafreniere, Rimouski, QMJHL
No shock here. Lafreniere is a generational talent, and joins the Rangers club and their blockbuster signing from last year, Artemi Panarin.
2) The Los Angeles Kings select Quinton Byfield, Sudbury, OHL
Byfield is the second of those two generational talents, and is a perfect fit for the Kings. His game has garnered a ton of comparison to Kings’ mainstay Anze Kopitar, and now the two will play together.
3) The Ottawa Senators select Tim Stutzle, Mannheim, DEL
Stutzle has been playing in a top league in his native Germany, and he has all the looks of a superstar. Ottawa’s first of two top five picks is a feather in the cap for them and German hockey as a whole.
4) The Detroit Red Wings select Lucas Raymond, Frolunda HC, SHL
If there’s one thing the Red Wings have historically been able to do, it’s develop Swedish hockey players. Nick Lidstrom, Niklas Kronwall, Henrik Zetterberg, the list goes on. Raymond projects to be a star just like those names, which is what the Red Wings desperately need.
5) The Ottawa Senators select Jake Sanderson, United States National Development Team (USNDT)
The first defenceman off the board is a bit of surprise, although not a stretch. Sanderson was the second blueliner on many teams board, behind Jamie Drysdale, but Sanderson projects to be a top shutdown guy. He’ll pair nicely with Erik Brannstrom once both of those guys make the NHL.
6) The Anaheim Ducks select Jamie Drysdale, Erie, OHL
Speak of the devil. Drysdale, for me, is the top defenceman on the board. While the Ducks could’ve used a high scoring forward, you cannot go wrong with a dynamic potential top defenceman like Drysdale.
7) The New Jersey Devils select Alexander Holtz, Djurgårdens IF, SHL
A bit off the board I think, but still not a bad pick for the Devils. Holtz compares favorably to Filip Forsberg at the next level, and joining guys like Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes will help him a ton.
8) The Buffalo Sabres select Jack Quinn, Ottawa 67s, OHL
A bit of a surprise here. Quinn was second in the OHL scoring race last year before play was halted due to the pandemic. He seems to compare to David Pasternak at the next level. Buffalo gets a scoring wing to pair with their franchise face, Jack Eichel.
9) The Minnesota Wild select Marco Rossi, Ottawa 67s, OHL
Rossi becomes the third Austrian born player in history to go first round. The Wild needed a top center, especially with Mikko Koivu leaving, and they get a potential one here.
10) The Winnipeg Jets select Cole Perfetti, Saginaw, OHL
Perfetti should have gone a bit earlier than this. As a Red Wings fan, this is who I really wanted. A dynamic playmaker with great hockey IQ, Perfetti has a legitimate chance to become a star in Winnipeg.
11) The Nashville Predators select Yaroslav Askarov, SKA St. Petersburg, KHL
The first goaltender off the board in this draft. Askarov is one of, if not the best, goaltending prospects in recent NHL history in my opinion. With Pekka Rinne heading into the twilight of his career, Askarov is an amazing insurance policy.
12) The Florida Panthers select Anton Lundell, HIFK, Finnish Liiga
Lundell projects to be a 1C in the NHL and it isn’t hard to see why. He’s a very calculated player with excellent positioning and excellent vision on the ice. Nice pick here.
13) The Carolina Hurricanes select Seth Jarvis, Portland Winterhawks, WHL
The first pick from the Western Hockey League goes, and Jarvis is definitely not a bad pick. Jarvis bloomed late due a late season surge for Portland. In a best case scenario, this is a Brayden Point-type player.
14) The Edmonton Oilers select Dylan Holloway, University of Wisconsin, NCAA
Kenny Holland said he’d be shocked if he took a defenceman, and he stayed true to his word. Holloway is a hound defensively, with a relentless backcheck and a disruptive stick that jams passing lanes. This is a player Holland tends to like, so as a Wings fan, this doesn’t shock me.
15) The Toronto Maple Leafs select Rodion Amirov, Salavat Yulaev Ufa, KHL
Second KHLer off the board here. Amirov looks to be a nice compliment to the current core Toronto has. Amirov, who just turned 19, also won the silver medal at the 2019 U18 World Juniors.
16) The Montreal Canadiens select Kaiden Guhle, Prince Albert Raiders, WHL
Montreal definitely needs depth on the blueline, with Shea Weber aging and guys like Karl Alzner having been busts. As the third blueliner off the board, there are going to be some high expectations from Guhle.
17) The Chicago Blackhawks select Lukas Reichel, Eisbaren Berlin, DEL
Reichel is a nice two way winger who’s very competitive around the net. Maybe not a top guy, but one of those important depth players in the middle six. A nice fit for the Blackhawks.
18) The New Jersey Devils select Dawson Mercer, Chicoutimi Saguenéens, QMJHL
Devils go forward again with the second of their third picks. Mercer may or may not be a top line guy, but he could definitely slot in their middle six and contribute nicely. Mercer is also a high character guy as well, so this is not a bad selection.
19) The New York Rangers select Braden Schneider, Brandon Wheat Kings, WHL*
*The Calgary Flames have traded the 19th overall pick to the New York Rangers in exchange for picks 22 and 72
After adding the top player in the draft at #1, the Rangers trade up for the best defenceman at pick 19. Schneider is an absolute animal defensively who just won’t let offensive players breathe. The Rangers add a very competitive player to their increasingly impressive talent pool.
20) The New Jersey Devils select Shakir Mukhamadullin, Salavat Yulaev Ufa, KHL
The Devils traded for PK Subban last offseason, but are in need of futures on the back end. Mukhamadullin has a big shot, and a nice offensive touch that will definitely be welcomed by New Jersey’s young core.
21) The Columbus Blue Jackets select Yegor Chinakhov, Avangard Omsk, KHL
Way off the board here for Columbus, but that’s not uncommon around this stage of the NHL Draft. Chinakhov has a very nice offensive game, with high end puck skills and high-end vision. Chinakhov isn’t bad defensively either, with a disruptive stick able to jam passing lanes.
22) The Washington Capitals select Hendrix Lapierre, Chicoutimi Saguenéens, QMJHL**
*The New York Rangers traded picks 22 and 72 to the Calgary Flames in exchange for pick 19
**The Calgary Flames traded pick 22 to the Washington Capitals in exchange for picks 24 and 80
Lapierre has slipped a bit due to injury concerns, but Lapierre was once regarded as a top 10 pick. Had there been a combine, Lapierre is probably in the top 10. However, Washington pounces on a potential steal here.
23) The Philadelphia Flyers select Tyson Foerster, Barrie Colts, OHL
Foerster brings a combination of grit and scoring ability to the Flyers that will really compliment their main core. Foerster will attempt to fix his issues with skating, but they also need to be mindful of his perceived maturity issues as well. If all goes well, this is a great pick.
24) The Calgary Flames select Connor Zary, Kamloops Blazers, WHL**
**The Washington Capitals traded picks 24 and 80 to the Calgary Flames in exchange for pick 22
The Flames finally pick, and they grab a Swiss Army knife of a forward. He is incredibly versatile and able to play down the middle or on the wing, and he is an asset on the power play.
25) The Colorado Avalanche select Justin Barron, Halifax Mooseheads, QMJHL
As if the Avalanche needed more defenceman, they had a very nice piece in Justin Barron. His former coach had high praise for his character, and Barron brings size and speed to the Avs prospect pool. Joe Sakic hits on another pick here.
26) The St. Louis Blues select Jake Neighbours, Edmonton Oil Kings, WHL
St. Louis is getting as guy who loves to be physical and up in the face of his opponents. He made his debut in the WHL at 15 years old, and projects to be a middle six piece for the Blues.
27) The Anaheim Ducks select Jacob Perreault, Sarnia Sting, OHL
Perreault has an incredibly good shot. He is one of, if not the best, pure snipers in this draft. That, combined with his explosive speed, makes this a nice late round selection for Anaheim.
28) The Ottawa Senators select Ridly Greig, Brandon Wheat Kings, WHL
Greig is a physical guy but also has the ability to produce points. A two way guy who can contribute on the man advantage and kill penalties, he could be a nice compliment to third overall pick Tim Stutzle, who may play on the wing in the NHL.
29) The Vegas Golden Knights select Brendan Brisson, University of Michigan, NCAA
First off, as a Michigan fan, I am very excited for Brendan here. The Knights are getting a player who compares to Pierre-Luc Dubois at the next level in the best case scenario. Bob McKenzie has him as the second best American player in the draft as well.
30) The Dallas Stars select Mavrik Bourque, Shawinigan Cataractes, QMJHL
Bourque was really highly regarded in pre draft rankings, but falls this far to the Stars. He’ll need some time, but he has the potential to be something special for Dallas if they can be patient.
31) The San Jose Sharks select Ozzy Wiesblatt, Prince Albert Raiders, WHL
And the Sharks go off the board to end the first round of the 2020 NHL Draft. He is very good in transition and has elite decision making. So, not a bad pick overall. Thank Barclay Goodrow for this one.
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