Good evening hockey fans! The 2020 NHL draft kicks off the beginning of a very exciting week of offseason action in the National Hockey League before free agency begins this Friday (October 9th @ 12pm EST). Tonight’s draft is considered to be one of the deepest pool of young talent in recent memory. Let’s take a look at how the first round of the draft unfolded & I’ll provide some analysis for the top ten picks in the draft as well as a couple of wild cards:
All 31 picks
The Top 10
Alexis Lafreniere (1st overall New York Rangers) Lafreniere was obviously the concensus number one overall pick without a doubt. He has at a young age all the skills and talent to be an elite NHL superstar the moment he laces up his skates for the New York Rangers. Lafreniere has a deadly wrist shot as well as exceptional play making abilities as well. His skating abilities and stride allows him to get separation quickly in open ice. Lafreniere will be a star in this league for years to come.
Quinton Byfield (2nd overall, Los Angeles Kings) Byfield was definitely the next best pick after Alexis Lafreniere. Byfield is a big bodied center listed at 6 feet 4inches with a great combination of size, speed, and skill. His big size playing the center ice position as well as his speed will definitely work to his advantage.
Tim Stutzle (3rd overall, Ottawa Senators)
Stutzle is the next up and coming star from Germany. It’s very well possible he can become the next Leon Draisatl. He has definitely put up a lot of great numbers every league he’s played in so far and dominating them. This season in particular he turned 18 and played very well against grown men. Stutzle is the complete package as he’s an excellent skater, very fast, great hands, great hockey IQ, and his best assets are his stick handling and playmaking ability.
Lucas Raymond (4th overall, Detroit Red Wings)
Raymond definitely has potential to be a big game changer and an offensive star for the Detroit Red Wings. He is know to be a special play maker, great vision, and has a great shot to go along with skating ability. The sky is the limit with this young Swede.
Jake Sanderson (5th overall, Ottawa Senators)
Sanderson is a very exciting pick for the Sens to add to their D corps in the future. His skating ability stands out and is as good as his father, former NHL player Geoff Sanderson. Defensively, his skill set is considered to be elite especially his gap play. Sanderson has the potential to be a 1st pairing defenseman but needs to improve his offensive game a bit.
Jamie Drysdale (6th overall, Anaheim Ducks)
Drysdale is considered to be one of the best skaters in this draft with good speed. He’s very good creating offensive chances off the rush and making plays to set up his teammates. Drysdale is considered to be a two-way defenseman but has room for growth getting stronger, improving his shot, and working on his overall defensive game.
Alexander Holtz (7th overall, New Jersey Devils)
This was one of my favorite picks of the night for sure. Alexander Holtz is a pure goal scorer with a lot of offensive potential for years to come. Holtz has a great shot and is very accurate, smooth skating ability, and exceptional puck handling skills. Holtz’s shot stands out the most and looks like a bona fied first line winger in the NHL. He would look great playing with either Nico Hischier or Jack Hughes for sure.
Jack Quinn (8th overall, Buffalo Sabres)
Quinn is a dynamic up and coming offensive forward for the Buffalo Sabres. He’s a prolific goal scorer, very physical, and very strong on the forecheck. Quinn’s game should translate very well at the NHL level.
Marco Rossi (9th overall, Minnesota Wild)
Rossi has the potential to be a first line center man in the NHL. He plays a full 200 foot game, is an exceptional playmaker, and has a very great hockey sense. Rossi does need to improve on his skating and speed to maximize his potential.
Cole Perfetti (10th overall, Winnipeg Jets)
Perfetti has an elite passing ability, and has both the vision and patience to be one of the best playmakers in the league. His instincts and vision are his best assets for sure. Perfetti handles the puck very well and can be deceptive with it. The only knock on Perfetti’s game is his skating ability.
Shakir Mukhamadullin (20th overall, New Jersey Devils
Mukhamadullin has a lot of upside and potential to be a first pairing NHL defenseman. He is a physical presence, crease clearer, has size, booming shot, and is very polished and well poised. His physicality is his best assets and he knows how to defend well especially with his stick. The Devils in my opinion got a great young defensemen who can potentially play on their first defensive pairing for years to come.
Hendrix Lapierre (22nd overall, Washington Capitals)
The pick of Lapierre for the Capitals was very interesting. There has been a lot of concerns about his health and his ability to remain healthy due to some concussion problems. Otherwise before these issues, Hendrix Lapierre was projected as a top 10 pick with elite talent that could make him a potential first line center. If Lapierre can stay healthy, then the Capitals may have a future first line center man for years to come.