NHL Mock Draft 2020: Latest Expert Picks for Quinton Byfield, Top Prospects

Jake RillSenior Analyst IIIMay 15, 2020

OSHAWA, ON - FEBRUARY 7: Quinton Byfield #55 of the Sudbury Wolves protects the puck from Giovanni Vallati #11 of the Oshawa Generals during an OHL game at the Tribute Communities Centre on February 7, 2020 in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada.  (Photo by Chris Tanouye/Getty Images)
Chris Tanouye/Getty Images

With the first pick in the 2020 NHL draft, a team is likely going to select Alexis Lafreniere, an 18-year-old left winger. From there, things are much less predictable.

This year's NHL draft class is filled with talented prospects who are poised to make an impact upon entering the league, despite the fact they had less time to impress organizations than their predecessors because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Still, there is plenty of anticipation for the NHL draft, although the event won't take place in late June as originally scheduled.

After a mock for the first round, we'll take a look at where experts are predicting several top prospects to land early.

                  

NHL Mock Draft, 1st Round

1. Detroit: Alexis Lafreniere, LW, Rimouski (QMJHL)

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

2. Ottawa: Quinton Byfield, C, Sudbury (OHL)

3. Ottawa (via San Jose): Tim Stutzle, C/LW, Adler Mannheim (DNL U20)

4. Los Angeles: Jamie Drysdale, RHD, Erie (OHL)

5. Anaheim: Marco Rossi, C, Ottawa (OHL)

6. New Jersey: Alexander Holtz, RW, Djurgardens (SHL)

7. Buffalo: Cole Perfetti, C/LW, Saginaw (OHL)

8. Montreal: Lucas Raymond, RW, Frolunda (SHL)

9. Chicago: Anton Lundell, C, HIFK (Liiga)

10. New Jersey (via Arizona): Yaroslav Askarov, G, Ska-Varyagi (MHL)

11. Minnesota: Connor Zary, C, Kamloops (WHL)

12. Winnipeg: Jake Sanderson, LHD, USA U18 (NTDP)

13. N.Y. Rangers: Dylan Holloway, C, University of Wisconsin

14. Florida: Noel Gunler, LW, Lulea (SHL)

15. Columbus: Lukas Cormier, LHD, Charlottetown (QMJHL)

16. Calgary: Dawson Mercer, RW, Drummondville (QMJHL)

17. New Jersey (via Vancouver): Jeremie Poirier, LHD, Saint John (QMJHL)

18. Nashville: Jack Quinn, RW/LW, Ottawa (OHL)

19. Carolina (via Toronto): Rodion Amirov, Tolpar Ufa (MHL)

20. Edmonton: Jacob Perreault, C, Sarnia (OHL)

21. Ottawa (via N.Y. Islanders): Braden Schneider, RHD, Brandon (WHL)

22. Dallas: Jan Mysak, C, Hamilton (OHL)

23. N.Y. Rangers (via Carolina): Mavrik Bourque, C, Shawinigan (QMJHL)

24. Minnesota (via Pittsburgh): Emil Andrae, LHD, HV71 J20 (SHL)

25. Philadelphia: Hendrix Lapierre, C, Chicoutimi (QMJHL)

26. San Jose (via Tampa Bay): Roni Hirvonen, C, Assat (SM-Liiga)

27. Colorado: Zion Nybeck, RW, HV71 J20 (SHL)

28. Vegas: Antonio Stranges, C/LW, London (OHL)

29. Washington: Vasili Ponomaryov, C, Shawinigan (QMJHL)

30. St. Louis: Thomas Bordeleau, C, USA U18 (NTDP)

                    

Expert Mock Predictions

Quinton Byfield, C, Sudbury (OHL)

It's unlikely any team will draft Quinton Byfield at No. 1 over Lafreniere. However, there's a strong possibility the center will immediately follow his fellow Canadian off the board at No. 2, and that's what many mock drafts are predicting.

The Athletic did a first-round mock draft, with beat writers making the picks for the teams they cover, and Hailey Salvian has the Ottawa Senators selecting Byfield with the No. 2 pick, the first of their three first-round selections.

Corey Pronman, The Athletic's NHL prospects expert, thinks the decision would make sense for Ottawa.

"A No. 1 center is arguably the hardest thing to find, and Byfield has all the potential to become that," he wrote. "He is exactly what Ottawa needs to complement everything else it has acquired during its rebuild and becomes a foundational part of its rebuild."

Larry Fisher of the Hockey Writers and Joe Haggerty of NBC Sports also have the 17-year-old getting picked No. 2 by the Senators. So don't be surprised when the 6'4" Byfield is the second player selected in this year's draft.

                 

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

Tim Stutzle should be a top-10 pick in this year's draft. However, where he is selected is up for debate, as different mocks have him getting drafted at various picks.

It's possible the speedy 18-year-old could be drafted as high as No. 3, which is where Salvian has the Senators drafting him.

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

Others aren't quite as high on the German. Haggerty has the Los Angeles Kings drafting him at No. 4, while Fisher projects him to fall to the No. 7 pick for the Buffalo Sabres. Both teams make sense as fits, as either would benefit from adding a player like Stutzle, who faced tough competition while playing for Adler Mannheim in the DEL.

Whether he goes at No. 3 will depend on what the team stationed there needs. If it's an offensive player, then there's a good chance Stutzle could be the one getting drafted.

                 

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 should be a top-five pick. And it's possible he could even go as high as No. 3.

That's where Fisher and Haggerty have the 18-year-old coming off the board. If Ottawa adds Byfield and Drysdale, it would then have a future franchise player for each end of the ice.

"Drysdale is a smooth-skating, playmaking defenseman in the mold of many others that have gone in the first round the past few seasons," Haggerty wrote. "He's not the biggest at 5-11, 175, but he's the best D-man in this draft."

If the Canadian doesn't get selected within the first three picks, it's unlikely he will fall far. The Athletic's Lisa Dillman thinks the Kings would use the No. 4 pick on him should the draft unfold that way.

Drysdale isn't likely to be on the board for long, and it would come as a great surprise if he's still available after the first five picks of the draft.