NHL Mock Draft 2020: Updated Outlook for Top 1st-Round Prospects

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistApril 13, 2020

Canada's Alexis Lafreniere kisses the trophy after winning the U20 Ice Hockey Worlds gold medal match between Canada and Russia in Ostrava, Czech Republic, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
Petr David Josek/Associated Press

The NHL draft lottery was supposed to take place earlier in April, but with the sports world at a standstill because of the coronavirus pandemic, the future of the 2019-20 season and upcoming draft remain up in the air.

It's possible the NHL winds up finishing out the season on an abbreviated schedule, though that will be dependent on the advice of health officials.

With that in mind, let's take a look at where the draft stands at the moment. 

                        

Mock Draft

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

2. Ottawa Senators: Quinton Byfield, C, OHL

3. Ottawa Senators (via San Jose): Tim Stuetzle, LW, DEL

4. Los Angeles Kings: Jamie Drysdale, D, OHL

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

5. Anaheim Ducks: Marco Rossi, C, OHL

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

7. Buffalo Sabres: Lucas Raymond, LW, SWE

8. Montreal Canadiens: Cole Perfetti, C, OHL

9. Chicago Blackhawks: Jake Sanderson, D, NTDP

10. New Jersey Devils (via Arizona): Yaroslav Askarov, G, MHL

11. Minnesota Wild: Anton Lundell, C, FIN

12. Winnipeg Jets: Connor Zary, C, WHL

13. New York Rangers: Dawson Mercer, C, QMJHL

14. Florida Panthers: Braden Schneider, D, WHL

15. Columbus Blue Jackets: Jack Quinn, RW, OHL

16. Calgary Flames: Dylan Holloway, C, NCAA

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

18. Nashville Predators: Noel Gunler, RW, SWE

19. Carolina Hurricanes (via Toronto): Mavrik Bourque, C, QMJHL

20. Edmonton Oilers: Hendrix Lapierre, C, QMJHL

21. Ottawa Senators (via New York Islanders): Lukas Cormier, D, QMJHL

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

23. New York Rangers (via Carolina): Jeremie Poirier, D, QMJHL

24. Minnesota Wild (via Pittsburgh): Emil Andrae, D, SWE

25. Philadelphia Flyers: Ridly Greig, C, WHL

26. San Jose Sharks (via Tampa Bay): Kaiden Guhle, D, WHL

27. Colorado Avalanche: Justin Barron, D, QMJHL

28. Vegas Golden Knights: Zion Nybeck, RW, SUPERELIT

29. Washington Capitals: Jacob Perreault, RW, OHL

30. St. Louis Blues: Seth Jarvis, C, WHL

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

              

Alexis Lafreniere, LW, QMJHL

Barring some wildly unexpected development, Alexis Lafreniere will be the top player off the board whenever the draft happens. Where he goes will be up to some lottery balls.

Lafreniere is a superstar in the making, one of the best wing prospects of the last decade and a building block for wherever he winds up. He's the rare wing who is able to dictate the attack because of his next-level passing ability and vision. 

Stephane Dube, Lafreniere's strength coach, said the 18-year-old has continued working to stay in peak shape despite the coronavirus pandemic.

"He's never skipped over any steps...he's just steadily added a lot of power and explosiveness," Dube told Sean Gordon of The Athletic. "All the puzzle pieces kind of fell into place during that second Bantam season, but I'd say what really sets him apart is the mental aspect. He's so strong mentally. He runs on challenges. The harder the task, the bigger the stakes, the more excited he gets."

This is the Lafreniere lottery, no question about it. Don't be surprised if he's on the ice making an instant impact next season as a rookie.

                        

Quinton Byfield, C, OHL

Quinton Byfield has impressed enough people to make this a 1a and 1b class, but he's clearly still second in command behind Lafreniere. The 6'4", 207-pound center has also expressed confidence about getting on the ice next season. 

"I'm very optimistic and confident that I can definitely make the step next year," Byfield told Mark Masters of TSN. "I was blessed with a big body, big frame, which definitely helps me out a lot, and then a good skating ability, so I think I can definitely keep up with them and hopefully make a mark next year."

The Ottawa Senators could go a long way toward becoming a power again if they were able to land the No. 1 and 2 picks.