2020 NHL Draft: Latest Expert Mocks for Quinton Byfield, More Top Prospects

Jake RillSenior Analyst IIIApril 14, 2020

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

Alexis Lafreniere is likely to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NHL draft. He is the most talented player in the class, and most mocks are predicting him to be the first off the board. And that should happen whether it's the Detroit Red Wings or another team that owns the top selection.

From there, though, the draft is much less clear, which has been reflected in various mocks of late. While it's easy to tell which prospects are in the top tier of this class, there are many different scenarios for how the early part of the first round could unfold.

Here's a look at when mocks are predicting several top prospects to be selected in this year's draft.

              

Quinton Byfield, C, Sudbury (OHL)

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With Lafreniere likely to be off the board, the team that owns the No. 2 pick will have several top prospects to choose from.

It's probable that the selection will belong to the Senators, who have the second-worst record in the NHL and also own the first-round pick of the Sharks as part of the Erik Karlsson trade in September 2018.

There's a good chance Ottawa could draft Quinton Byfield at No. 2, which NHL.com's Adam Kimelman and Mike G. Morreale are both predicting to happen.

Kimelman praised Byfield's size (6'4", 215 lbs) and skating skills, comparing him to Penguins center Evgeni Malkin.

"As good as Byfield is now, he still can add strength and go from outstanding to elite," he wrote.

The Athletic did a mock draft in which each team's respective beat writer made the selection for the team they cover. In that mock, Senators writer Hailey Salvian agreed with Kimelman and Morreale, predicting Ottawa to take Byfield at No. 2.

However, NHL.com's Guillaume Lepage thinks Byfield will go a bit later, as he's projecting the 17-year-old center to go to the Kings at No. 4.

             

Tim Stutzle, C/LW, Adler Mannheim (DNL U20)

Tim Stutzle is another player the Senators will likely be considering with one of their two early selections, as he's the top player from a German league in this year's class.

It's possible the 18-year-old could go as high as No. 2 in the draft, as Lepage is predicting in his mock. Kimelman has him going to Ottawa at No. 3, which is also the selection Salvian made for the team in The Athletic's beat writer mock.

"The Senators have lacked high-end skill, and Stutzle would bring that to the table at forward," Salvian wrote.

Like Byfield, it seems unlikely Stutzle will fall below the No. 4 pick. That's where Morreale is predicting the left-winger will be drafted, as he has him going to the Kings. He praised his "speed, great vision and swagger," in his mock.

And as Kimelman pointed out, Stutzle could have a smooth transition to the NHL as he faced tough competition in Germany that should have him prepared to make an impact in the league.

             

Jamie Drysdale, RHD, Erie (OHL)

HAMILTON, ON - JANUARY 16:  Jamie Drysdale #4 of Team Red skates during the 2020 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game against Team White at FirstOntario Centre on January 16, 2020 in Hamilton, Canada.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

The best defenseman in this year's draft class, Jamie Drysdale could go to any team that is looking for a defensive boost early in the draft. So when he gets selected could depend a lot on the needs of the teams with the top selections.

Salvian said she was tempted to pick Drysdale to go No. 3 to the Senators in The Athletic's beat writer mock before deciding Ottawa would select Stutzle. But it's still possible the Senators would consider the 18-year-old, and Morreale and Lepage have them picking him at No. 3.

Kimelman has Drysdale falling to No. 5, predicting the Ducks will draft him. However, he's still high on the defenseman.

"Drysdale is a complete player, able to skate the puck out of his zone and lead the breakout or smartly and accurately pass the puck up the ice," he wrote. "He always keeps a good gap and uses his stick and body positioning in the defensive zone to keep opponents to the outside."

In The Athletic's mock draft, Drysdale went No. 4 to Los Angeles, as Kings beat writer Lisa Dillman thinks the team could use a defensive boost to help Drew Doughty.