The NHL draft lottery and the draft itself may be indefinitely postponed, with the league on hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but that doesn't mean we can't have some fun projecting how it might play out.
Below, we'll make predictions for every first-round pick and break down the early selections.
1. Detroit Red Wings: Alexis Lafreniere, LW, Rimouski
2. Ottawa Senators: Quinton Byfield, C, Sudbury
3. Ottawa Senators (via San Jose): Tim Stutzle, LW, Mannheim
4. Los Angeles Kings: Jamie Drysdale, D, Erie
5. Anaheim Ducks: Lucas Raymond, RW, Frolunda
6. New Jersey Devils: Marco Rossi, C, Ottawa
7. Buffalo Sabres: Alexander Holtz, RW, Djurgardens
8. Montreal Canadiens: Cole Perfetti, LW, Saginaw
9. Chicago Blackhawks: Anton Lundell, C, HIFK
10. New Jersey Devils (via Arizona): Yaroslav Askarov, G, Ska-Varyagi
11. Minnesota Wild: Jack Quinn, RW, Ottawa
12. Winnipeg Jets: Jake Sanderson, D, NDTP
13. New York Rangers: Dylan Holloway, C, Wisconsin
14. Florida Panthers: Kaiden Guhle, D, Prince Albert
15. Columbus Blue Jackets: Braden Schneider, D, Brandon
16. Calgary Flames: Connor Zary, C, Kamloops
17. New Jersey Devils (via Vancouver): Noel Gunler, LW, Lulea
18. Nashville Predators: Dawson Mercer, RW, Drummondville
19. Carolina Hurricanes (via Toronto): Mavrik Bourque, C, Shawinigan
20. Edmonton Oilers: Jan Mysak, C, Litvinov
21. Ottawa Senators (via New York Islanders): Ryan O'Rourke, D, Sault Ste. Marie
22. Dallas Stars: Lukas Cormier, D, Charlottetown
23. New York Rangers (via Carolina): Rodion Amirov, LW, Tolpar Ufa
24. Minnesota Wild (via Pittsburgh): Hendrix Lapierre, C, Chicoutimi
25. Philadelphia Flyers: Justin Barron, D, Halifax
26. San Jose Sharks (via Tampa Bay): Seth Jarvis, C, Portland
27. Colorado Avalanche: William Wallinder, D, Modo Jr
28. Vegas Golden Knights: Jacob Perreault, RW, Sarnia
29. Washington Capitals: Brendan Brisson, C, Chicago
30. St. Louis Blues: Jeremie Poirier, D, Saint John
31. Anaheim Ducks (via Boston): Tyson Foerster, RW, Barrie
Let's be honest, the first two picks in this year's draft are likely written in stone: Alexis Lafreniere is the consensus top player in this draft, while Quinton Byfield is an excellent consolation prize.
If Detroit and Ottawa end up with those picks as projected, they likely won't have to think too hard.
So the draft really is going to begin at No. 3. In this case, Ottawa holds that pick, and the question for them will be whether they go with a dynamic winger such as Tim Stutzle or the top defenseman on the board in Jamie Drysdale.
Talent wins out. Stutzle could even be a consideration at No. 2, though with the Senators holding both picks in this scenario, it's a moot point.
"He's pure excitement and plays the game in a similar fashion to Patrick Kane," TSN director of scouting Craig Button told Mark Masters of TSN. "He's quick on his skates and has a fast mind. He's extremely confident and manages to do things in the game offensively that are completely unexpected."
It's the comparison Stutzle also uses when NHL teams ask him to make one, though he doesn't enjoy the exercise "because I think another person needs to say it."
"My teammates always tell me Patrick Kane, but I don't really like to say that about myself, because he's such a great player," he said. "I think other people should make an opinion about that."
That means Ottawa could come out of this draft with a player like Byfield, who projects similarly to Pittsburgh Penguins star Evgeni Malkin, and Stutzle, who has some Kane in his game. Not too shabby.
The Los Angeles Kings won't be sad to see Jamie Drysdale fall to them at No. 4. Upgrading the blue line should be a priority for the Kings, who have addressed the forward position but need to add even more talent on defense.
The team's top four prospects—Alex Turcotte, Rasmus Kupari, Carl Grundstrom and Akil Thomas—are all forwards. Adding Drysdale to young blueliners such as Tobias Bjornfot and Kale Clague would give them plenty to be excited about in Los Angeles.
Note: Draft order via Tankathon.