NHL Draft 2020: Current 1st-Round Order, Mock and Sleeper Prospects to Know

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorApril 11, 2020

KELOWNA, BC - MARCH 02:  Seth Jarvis #24 of the Portland Winterhawks warms up on the ice against the Kelowna Rockets  at Prospera Place on March 2, 2019 in Kelowna, Canada. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
Marissa Baecker/Getty Images

The back end of the NHL draft's first round has unearthed some gems over the past decade.

Boston Bruins right wing David Pastrnak, who co-leads the NHL with 48 goals, went 25th overall in the 2014 draft. No one in his draft class has scored more goals.

Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov, who scored 27 goals for the 2017-18 Stanley Cup champion Caps, was selected 26th overall in 2010. And the New York Islanders' Brock Nelson, who has scored 19 or more goals in each of his past six seasons, went 30th overall in 2010.

This year's draft prospect pool isn't short on talent who can make names for themselves like those three pros, and we'll take a look at a few below in addition to offering a mock draft.

                   

2020 NHL Mock Draft 

1. Detroit Red Wings: LW Alexis Lafreniere, Rimouski Oceanic (QMJHL)

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2. Ottawa Senators: C Quinton Byfield, Sudbury Wolves (OHL)

3. Ottawa Senators (from San Jose Sharks): C Tim Stutzle, Adler Mannheim (DEL)

4. Los Angeles Kings: C Cole Perfetti, Saginaw Spirit (OHL)

5. Anaheim Ducks: D Jamie Drysdale, Erie Otters (OHL)

6. New Jersey Devils: C Marco Rossi, Ottawa 67's (OHL)

7. Buffalo Sabres: RW Alexander Holtz, Djurgardens IF Hockey (SHL)

8. Montreal Canadiens: LW Lucas Raymond, Frolunda HC (SHL)

9. Chicago Blackhawks: C Anton Lundell, HIFK (Liiga)

10. New Jersey Devils (from Arizona Coyotes): G Yaroslav Askarov, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL)

11. Minnesota Wild: D Jake Sanderson, United States Under-18 National Team

12. Winnipeg Jets: RW Noel Gunler, Lulea HF (SHL)

13. New York Rangers: RW Jack Quinn, Ottawa 67's (OHL)

14. Florida Panthers: F Dylan Holloway, Wisconsin Badgers (NCAA)

15. Columbus Blue Jackets: LW Rodion Amirov, Salavat Yulaev Ufa (KHL)

16. Calgary Flames: D Kaiden Guhle, Prince Albert Raiders (WHL)

17. New Jersey Devils (from Vancouver Canucks): RW Dawson Mercer, Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL)

18. Nashville Predators: C Connor Zary, Kamloops Blazers (WHL)

19. Carolina Hurricanes (from Toronto Maple Leafs): D Braden Schneider, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)

20. Edmonton Oilers: C Mavrik Bourque, Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL)

21. Ottawa Senators (from New York Islanders): C Seth Jarvis, Portland Winterhawks (WHL)

22. Dallas Stars: LW Jan Mysak, HC Litvinov (Czech)

23. New York Rangers (from Carolina Hurricanes): C Hendrix Lapierre, Chicoutimi Sagueneens (QMJHL)

24. Minnesota Wild (from Pittsburgh Penguins): D William Wallinder, MODO Hockey J20 (Allsvenskan)

25. Philadelphia Flyers: D Justin Barron, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)

26. San Jose Sharks (from Tampa Bay Lightning): C Jacob Perreault, Sarnia Sting (OHL)

27. Colorado Avalanche: D Jeremie Poirier, Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)

28. Vegas Golden Knights: F John-Jason Peterka, EHC Munchen (DEL)

29. Washington Capitals: F Lukas Reichel, Eisbaren Berlin (DEL)

30. St. Louis Blues: C Thomas Bordeleau, United States Under-18 National Team

31. Anaheim Ducks (from Boston Bruins): Ridly Greig, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)

Draft order via Tankathon.

                

C Seth Jarvis, Portland Winterhawks (WHL)

Only two Western Hockey League players finished in the top five in goals and assists last season: Adam Beckman of the Spokane Chiefs and Seth Jarvis of the Portland Winterhawks.

Jarvis tallied 42 goals and 56 assists for 98 points, good enough for second in the league. The 5'10", 172-pound right wing did his damage in just 58 games.

That production helped Jarvis jump from No. 19 to No. 11 on the NHL's 2020 draft prospect rankings for North American skaters.

Jarvis improved during the season, with Winterhawks head coach Mike Johnston offering an explanation why to NHL.com deputy managing editor Adam Kimelman on Feb. 27:

"It was about mid-November when I saw that he was carrying an extra weight on his shoulders. I found it was similar [to last season] in that the wear and tear and the scrutiny and everything else weighs on you. But after Christmas he was a different person. He came back [this season] after Christmas and was a different player."

Jarvis went on a tear after the holidays, scoring 28 goals in 29 games.

John Williams of NHL Central Scouting also offered some quick insight into Jarvis to Kimelman:

"His compete level is what really draws you to him when you initially see him. That's been there from the time he came into the league a year ago as a 16-year-old. Like a lot of the really good players, if his offensive game is not going he does other things to help the team win. He can make defensive plays, he's a good penalty killer, anything that helps his team win. ...I think he's got a high hockey IQ and that's what allows him to be successful offensively, too."

Jarvis appears to be a lock for the first round, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see him land in the top 20.

                

C Jacob Perreault, Sarnia Sting (OHL)

Jacob Perreault finished tied for 10th in the OHL with 39 goals in 57 games last season, one year after amassing 30 goals during his first junior-league campaign.

The Hinsdale, Illinois, native has been a star for the Sarnia Sting, and he has the chance to be a top scorer for his future NHL home as well.

Perreault is universally regarded as a first-round candidate. Major hockey-scouting sites list him in the top 31 at worst, per Elite Prospects, and NHL's Central Scouting as him 17th among North American skaters.

McKeen's Hockey (h/t Rotoworld) offered the following praise of Perreault in a February 11 scouting report:

"At the heart of Perreault's game is his speed and creativity with the puck. He loves to lead the attack and be the one with the puck on his stick as the Sting push across the blueline. He backs down defenders with his ability to create in transition and he has the puck skill to create additional space for himself. Perreault also has a great shot and release which he can use while in full stride or when cutting to the middle. His goal scoring instincts are excellent without the puck and the puck seems to follow him in the offensive zone because of his anticipation and awareness."

However, McKeen's also noted areas for improvement, including growth in his two-way game, movement without the puck and performance on the backcheck.

Armand Klisivitch of the Puck Authority also made an important point about Perreault's position on Apr. 7, writing that he's listed as a center but spent much of his time last year on the wing. Klisivitch expected more of the same whenever Perreault lands in the NHL.

Ultimately, the 5'11", 198-pound forward offers some tremendous offensive potential. If he can clean up other aspects of his game, then he could be a massive steal for a team at the end of Round 1.

                 

D Jeremie Poirier, Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)

Any team looking for a top-scoring defenseman doesn't have to search much further than the Saint John Sea Dogs' Jeremie Poirier, who led all QMJHL defenders with 20 goals.

The 6'0", 196-pound defenseman is the sixth-best player at his position among North American skaters, per NHL Central Scouting.

His strength is his offensive game, and Craig Eagles for QMJHL.com provided the following scouting report on Poirier's skill on that end:

"Poirier is an exceptional skater, has a solid first pass and possesses a truly dynamic release. The kid can really fire a puck. But Poirier is the most dangerous in open ice, when following up or jumping into the play. Nevertheless, he has scored from all over the ice this season."

But Poirier has room for improvement in his own zone. 

Brayden Olafson of Dobber Prospects wrote on January 24 that "top-notch defensive play isn't quite there" and that "the left-handed defenseman's defensive aptitude presents one of the bigger holes in his CV." 

Sam Cosentino of Sportsnet said Poirier could be "a Tyson Barrie-type defenceman" better off playing on the wing.

Barrie, a Toronto Maple Leafs' defenseman, has notched 12 or more goals in five of his past seven seasons.

Poirier himself acknowledged that he has room for improvement.

"If you want to play in the NHL one day, you can't just play offensively," Poirier told Eagles. "You have to be good in both zones. I know I'm not going to be a huge penalty killer in my life, but if I can work on my defensive game and keep improving that aspect, it will definitely help me in my future."

However, Poirier's offensive potential should be more than enough to land him in the back end of the first round. He's also just 17, so it's not as if his defensive game is a finished product. More productive work there could go a long way toward a long and successful pro career.