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NHL Mock Draft 2020: Projecting Best Fits for Quinton Byfield, Elite Prospects

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistApril 28, 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

The NHL season is on hiatus, which means that both the NHL draft lottery and NHL draft remain in limbo. It's unclear when either event will take place, but it's never too soon for a good ol' mock draft.

So, below, we'll line up the top prospects with some of their best landing spots, along with taking a longer look at the best players available.

                

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

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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

                                    

Alexis Lafreniere is the consensus top pick in this draft, and it won't matter what team is picking. 

"He makes plays that you don't even think those plays are possible, and he still makes them," NHL Central Scouting Bureau regional scout J.F. Damphousse told the Associated Press (h/t ESPN). 

"What separates him from the pack is his compete level," he added. "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."

The 18-year-old is the Scouting Bureau's top-ranked prospect after scoring 112 points (35 goals, 77 assists) in the 2019-20 season for Rimouski. Those numbers weren't a fluke—he had 105 points (37 goals, 68 assists) the season prior. And his 42 goals in the 2017-18 season was the most by a Quebec Major Junior League player since Sidney Crosby (54) in the 2003-04 season.

When your scoring prowess evokes memories of Crosby, well, you're one hell of a prospect. 

NHL @NHL

Top prospects Alexis Lafreniere and Tim Stuetzle make their case to be the top pick in the 2020 #NHLDraft. https://t.co/8SyMJ5sGm7

Tim Stutzle was the second prospect in the Bureau's rankings and the top international prospect, though there seems to be a divide about whether he or Quinton Byfield should be the second player on the board. 

That, of course, could be a moot point if a team like the Ottawa Senators ends up with the Nos. 2 and 3 picks. They'd be in a position to simply draft both (and would be wise to do so, giving them a future top-line pairing that would blister teams with both size and speed).

Defensemen Jamie Drysdale is the fourth player in the rankings and is also a strong contender to be a top-five pick.

Stutzle, meanwhile, is likely to become just the second German-born player to be a top-five selection, following in the footsteps of after Leon Draisaitl.

NHL Public Relations @PR_NHL

Looks like No. 1-ranked international skater Tim Stuetzle of @adlermannheim catches a lot of @EdmontonOilers games. He lists Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl as two players he models his game after. Full story: https://t.co/UVUWwPpZs4 #NHLDraft https://t.co/TeRdncCOk9

"Stutzle played a very mature game the whole season and impressed more and more playing regular shifts with a top team," NHL director of European scouting Goran Stubb told Dana Wakiji of NHL.com. "Tim had a big role on the team, used in all game situations. An exceptional talent with a great set of tools including speed and excellent understanding of the game."

Byfield is no slouch himself.

"Quinton is special because of the way he can skate for a 6'4" guy and the way he can make players around him a lot better," his coach and former NHL forward Cory Stillman told Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com. "I can't answer whether or not he'll be playing in the NHL next season, but he's going to be a great NHL player once he's there."

As for the top goalie, Russia's Yaroslav Askarov tops the Central Scouting list and is a strong contender to be off the board in the first 10 picks. A goalie-needy team such as the New Jersey Devils would make sense as a landing spot.

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