NHL Mock Draft 2020: Outlook for Alexis Lafreniere and Top 1st-Round Picks

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistApril 27, 2020

Canada's Alexis Lafreniere celebrates 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 2019-20 NHL season is at a standstill because of the coronavirus pandemic, and even if the league does come back, it appears unlikely that there will be time to play out the remainder of the regular season.

So while the draft lottery will not take place for the time being, we at least have a solid idea of which teams will land where at the event.

With that in mind, let's take a quick look at the top prospects in this class and assess where they might end up.

                             

Mock Draft

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

2. Ottawa Senators: Quinton Byfield, C, OHL

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

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

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

                  

Top Prospects

Alexis Lafreniere

Alexis Lafreniere is the top pick in this draft in a walk. The only question is, where will he ply his trade? 

"Growing up, it's the dream of every hockey player," he told reporters in a conference call on April 8. "And to see how close we are right now, it's pretty exciting. I think we're all excited for the draft. And for the team that's going to draft me, I'm going to be really happy to join them."

Lafreniere is an 18-year-old scoring wizard who can dictate the pace of an entire offense from the wing—a true hockey unicorn. He has an elite shot, good passing vision and smarts beyond his years, which should make him an instant-impact star at the next level. 

"What separates him from the pack is his compete level," NHL Central Scouting regional scout J.F. Damphousse said. "He's willing to play physical. He battles every game, and any time the game is on the line, you want him on the ice."

            

Quinton Byfield, C, OHL

Quinton Byfield has established himself as the second pick in this class by a long shot, a big hulking 6'4" scorer who had 82 points in 45 games for Sudbury of the OHL. He said the waiting game has been "difficult" but could not complain. 

"It's definitely going to be a bit difficult," the 17-year-old said. "But everyone's in the same boat. Nobody's going to have been playing hockey for six months."

The best possible outcome for Lafreniere and Byfield would be to link up if the Ottawa Senators get the Nos. 1 and 2 picks in the draft.