NHL Draft 2020: Updated Order, Top Prospects and 1st-Round Mock

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistAugust 3, 2020

Canada's Alexis Lafreniere controls the puck during the U20 Ice Hockey Worlds match between Canada and the United States in Ostrava, Czech Republic, Thursday, Dec. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
Petr David Josek/Associated Press

Alexis Lafreniere is waiting to see which of the eight eliminated teams from the NHL qualifying round he will land with. 

The consensus No. 1 overall prospect in the 2020 NHL draft class will not learn his potential destination until the second lottery that will be held August 10. 

At the moment, the draft order is topped by a placeholder team, and one of the eight losers from the round of 24 will be drawn into that position eventually. 

The seven teams that miss out on the No. 1 pick will be slotted into spots No. 9-No. 15 in inverse order of their points percentage. 

If Lafreniere is the No. 1 pick, the Los Angeles Kings will likely decide between Quinton Byfield and Tim Stutzle at No. 2, and the other player left on the board should go to the Ottawa Senators at No. 3. 

           

2020 NHL 1st-Round Mock Draft

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1. Placeholder Team: Alexis Lafreniere, LW, Rimouski (QMJHL)

2. Los Angeles Kings: Quinton Byfield, C, Sudbury (OHL)

3. Ottawa Senators (from San Jose): Tim Stutzle, LW, Mannheim (Germany)

4. Detroit Red Wings: Marco Rossi, C, Ottawa (OHL)

5. Ottawa Senators: Jamie Drysdale, D, Erie (OHL)

6. Anaheim Ducks: Alexander Holtz, RW, Djurgarden (Sweden)

7. New Jersey Devils: Lucas Raymond, RW, Frolunda (Sweden)

8. Buffalo Sabres: Cole Perfetti, C, Saginaw (OHL)

9. Placeholder Team: Jake Sanderson, D, USA U-18

10. Placeholder Team: Dawson Mercer, C/RW, Chicoutimi (QMJHL)

11. Placeholder Team: Jack Quinn, RW, Ottawa (OHL)

12. Placeholder Team: Anton Lundell, C/LW, HIFK (Finland)

13. Placeholder Team: Seth Jarvis, RW, Portland (WHL)

14. Placeholder Team: Yaroslav Askarov, G, Neva St. Petersburg (Russia)

15. Placeholder Team: Noel Gunler, RW/LW, Gunler (Sweden)

16. Calgary Flames: Dylan Holloway, C, Wisconsin

17. New Jersey Devils (from Vancouver): Rodion Amirov, LW, Ufa (Russia)

18. Nashville Predators: Kaiden Guhle, D, Prince Albert (WHL)

19. Carolina Hurricanes (from Toronto): Hendrix Lapierre, C, Chicoutimi (QMJHL)

20. Edmonton Oilers: Connor Zary, C, Kamloops (WHL) 

21. Ottawa Senators (from NY Islanders): Braden Schneider, D, Brandon (WHL)

22. Dallas Stars: Lukas Reichel, LW, Eisbaren Berlin (Germany)

23. New York Rangers (from Carolina): Jacob Perreault, C, Sarnia (OHL)

24. Minnesota Wild (from Pittsburgh): Mavrik Bourque, C, Shawnigan (QMJHL)

25. Philadelphia Flyers: Jan Mysak, LW, Hamilton (OHL)

26. San Jose Sharks (from Tampa Bay): Justin Barron, D, Halifax (QMJHL)

27. Colorado Avalanche: Ridly Greig, LW, Brandon (WHL)

28. Vegas Golden Knights: John-Jason Peterka, C/RW, EHC Munich (Germany) 

29. Washington Capitals: Brendan Brisson, C, Chicago (USHL)

30. St. Louis Blues: Helge Grans, D, Malmo (Sweden)

31. Anaheim Ducks (from Boston): Tyson Foerster, C, Barrie (OHL)

Positions No. 16-No. 31 based off regular-season points percentage.

      

Top Prospects

Alexis Lafreniere, LW, Rimouski (QMJHL)

The best-case scenario for Lafreniere would be for Edmonton or Pittsburgh to lose and be eligible to win the placeholder position.

The Oilers and Penguins, who were seeded fifth in their respective conferences, go into Monday both down a game in the qualifying round. 

If he lands in either spot, Lafreniere could contend for a Stanley Cup in his rookie season alongside Connor McDavid or Sidney Crosby.

Regardless of where he ends up, though, the 18-year-old should improve the scoring totals of his new team. He posted back-to-back 100-point seasons with Rimouski in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and has garnered praise for his all-around game, per NHL.com's Mike Morreale, who wrote:

"The 18-year-old led all players in the Canadian Hockey League (QMJHL, Ontario Hockey League, Western Hockey League) with 2.15 points per game this season. But as skilled and talented as Lafreniere is, what makes him even more impressive is his relentlessness and willingness to play a hard game and finish checks."

If his offensive skills translate to the NHL as many experts believe they will, Lafreniere should be the front-runner for Rookie of the Year. 

           

Quinton Byfield, C, Sudbury (OHL)

Even though they likely will not land Lafreniere, the Kings are in a great spot to land a top-tier prospect at No. 2. 

Byfield could have the edge over Stutzle because of his physical presence and ability to slide right into an NHL lineup, as NHL.com's Adam Kimelman noted. 

"Byfield has everything a rebuilding team is looking for, with great size (6-4, 215), skill and tremendous skating ability," he wrote. "The 17-year-old said he has been focusing on getting stronger since his season ended, with the goal of being able to handle physical play in the NHL next season." 

At 6'4", the Sudbury Wolves center is the tallest of the top prospects and improved his point total by 21 in his second season in the Ontario Hockey League.

If the teenager lands with the Kings, he would be the fourth straight center taken in the first round by the Kings, joining Alex Turcotte, Rasmus Kupari and Gabriel Vilardi. 

Byfield, who turns 18 on August 19, could hone his craft in Los Angeles while learning under Anze Kopitar and Alex Iafallo before taking the reins of the offense in a few years. 

           

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90

Statistics obtained from EliteProspects.com