NHL Draft 2020: Updated Order, Top Prospects and 1st-Round Mock

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 25, 2020

HAMILTON, ON - JANUARY 16:  Alexis Lafreniere #11 of Team White skates during the 2020 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game against Team Red at FirstOntario Centre on January 16, 2020 in Hamilton, Canada.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Although the 2019-20 NHL season is on hiatus, fans can look toward the future of the league through the 2020 NHL draft.

While the first-round order will still change with the lottery, especially if the season resumes, organizations are already preparing to select the top prospects from around the world ahead of the June 26 draft.

Here is a look at the latest order based on the standings as well as projected picks for the first round.

      

2020 NHL Draft 1st Round Order and Mock Draft

1. Detroit Red Wings: Alexis Lafreniere, LW, QMJHL

2. Ottawa Senators: Quinton Byfield, C, OHL

3. Ottawa Senators (via San Jose): Jamie Drysdale, D, OHL

4. Los Angeles Kings: Tim Stuetzle, C, DEL

5. Anaheim Ducks: Marco Rossi, C, OHL

6. New Jersey Devils: Alexander Holtz, RW, SWE

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7. Buffalo Sabres: Lucas Raymond, LW, SWE

8. Montreal Canadiens: Jake Sanderson, D, NTDP

9. Chicago Blackhawks: Yaroslav Askarov, G, MHL

10. New Jersey Devils (via Arizona): Anton Lundell, C, FIN

11. Minnesota Wild: Jack Quinn, RW, OHL

12. Winnipeg Jets: Cole Perfetti, C, OHL

13. New York Rangers: Connor Zary, C, WHL

14. Florida Panthers: Dawson Mercer, C, QMJHL

15. Columbus Blue Jackets: Dylan Holloway, C, NCAA

16. Calgary Flames: Noel Gunler, RW, SWE

17. New Jersey Devils (via Vancouver): Jan Mysak, C, OHL

18. Nashville Predators: Braden Schneider, D, WHL

19. Carolina Hurricanes (via Toronto): Hendrix Lapierre, C, QMJHL

20. Edmonton Oilers: Mavrik Bourque, C, QMJHL

21. Ottawa Senators (via New York Islanders): Jeremie Poirier, D, QMJHL

22. Dallas Stars: Rodion Amirov, LW, RUS 2

23. New York Rangers (via Carolina): Lukas Cormier, D, QMJHL

24. Minnesota Wild (via Pittsburgh): Kaiden Guhle, D, WHL

25. Philadelphia Flyers: Seth Jarvis, C, WHL

26. San Jose Sharks (via Tampa Bay): Emil Andrae, D, SWE

27. Colorado Avalanche: Justin Barron, D, QMJHL

28. Vegas Golden Knights: Jacob Perreault, RW, OHL

29. Washington Capitals: Zion Nybeck, RW, SUPERELIT

30. St. Louis Blues: Ridly Greig, C, WHL

31. Anaheim Ducks (via Boston): Brendan Brisson, C, USHL

Order via Tankathon.com

       

Top Prospects

Alexis Lafreniere, LW, QMJHL

Although nothing is guaranteed, Alexis Lafreniere is the favorite to go No. 1 no matter who is on the clock.

The Rimouski product was the MVP at the World Junior Championship, is already extremely skilled as a scorer and passer and he should only improve as he grows.

Lafreniere is also getting comparisons to Sidney Crosby, although he doesn't like it.

"He played in Rimouski, and I did too. That's something people say," Lafreniere said, per Tal Pinchevsky of the New York Times. "But I'm not Crosby. I just try to be myself and play my game. If I can watch Crosby play and do things like he do, for sure I will do it to try to get better, but I don't think I'm Crosby."

If the Red Wings end up with the top pick, Lafreniere would be a key part of the rebuild to help the franchise get back to postseason contention.

       

Quinton Byfield, C, OHL

OSHAWA, ON - FEBRUARY 7: Quinton Byfield #55 of the Sudbury Wolves skates during an OHL game against the Oshawa Generals at the Tribute Communities Centre on February 7, 2020 in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada.  (Photo by Chris Tanouye/Getty Images)
Chris Tanouye/Getty Images

Though Lafreniere is the big name in the class, Quinton Byfield has impressed scouts enough to create a question about the No. 1 pick.

Chris Peters of ESPN argued in January that it could be a close battle for the top spot: 

"Over the course of the season, Byfield has definitely closed the gap in a number of ways. It's so surprising because Lafreniere has been exceptional, but Byfield has performed at an exceptionally high level in the OHL and has tantalizing upside. That's the key. He's young and has shown tremendous year-to-year progression, which makes you wonder more about how he projects out."

Byfield has great size at 6'4", 215 pounds, which could help him match up with NHL players quicker than Lafreniere (6'1", 196 pounds).

He was also dominant in the OHL for the Sudbury Wolves, totaling 32 goals and 50 assists in 45 games.

At just 17 years old, Byfield has as much upside as anyone in the class.

      

Jamie Drysdale, D, OHL

Likely the first defenseman off the board, Jamie Drysdale can be a valuable addition to a team thanks to his two-way ability.

The right-hander had 38 assists in 49 OHL games for the Erie Otters and has shown a knack for setting up teammates:

He can drive an offense while also excelling on the defensive end, as she showed for Canada at the World Junior Championship.

Even if it might take some time for the 5'11", 175-pound player to make the leap to the NHL, he should be an early pick thanks to his elite potential. With the Ottawa Senators likely holding two early picks in the first round, they could pair the blue-liner with one of the best forwards in the draft.

       

Yaroslav Askarov, G, MHL

Petr David Josek/Associated Press

Yaroslav Askarov's best chance to showcase his skill didn't go well as he struggled for Russia at the World Junior Championship. He gave up weak goals and was eventually pulled for Amir Miftakhov.

However, he has proved in other competitions that he is still the best goalie prospect in the class.

Askarov has been playing for SKA-Neva St. Petersburg, appearing in the KHL, MHL and VHL while climbing through the ranks of Russian hockey.

It won't be long until the 17-year-old takes his next step toward the NHL, where he can display his impressive instincts and quick glove.

The Chicago Blackhawks could draft him early as the heir for Corey Crawford in net.

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