Bleacher Report's Final 2020 NHL Mock Draft
The 2020 NHL draft opens with the first round at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday. Rounds 2 through 7 will be held the following day, beginning at 11:30 a.m. ET.
The NHL Central Scouting Bureau's ranking of this year's top prospects included North American players such as left wing Alexis Lafreniere of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's Rimouski Oceanic and center Quinton Byfield of the Ontario Hockey League's Sudbury Wolves. Left wing Tim Stuetzle of Mannheim in Germany topped its listing of the best European players.
Where could those prospects land? We'll make our best guess with our final mock draft for the opening round. We've taken into account each prospect's strengths and the roster needs of each club.
1. New York Rangers: Alexis Lafreniere
Elimination from the playoff qualifying round was a bitter pill for the New York Rangers. Winning Phase 2 of the draft lottery and the opportunity to select left wing Alexis Lafreniere should bring some measure of relief.
Ranked as this year's top prospect, the 18-year-old has the skills of a future superstar. He tallied 105 points in 61 games during his sophomore campaign with the QMJHL's Rimouski Oceanic, followed by his league-leading 112 points over 52 games in 2019-20.
This has been a significant year for Lafreniere. The 6'1", 192-pound left wing joined Sidney Crosby as one of two players to win the Michel Briere Memorial Trophy as QMJHL MVP in consecutive years. In January, he was named MVP during Canada's gold-medal run at the 2020 World Junior Hockey Championship.
Jean-Francois Damphousse of NHL Central Scouting believes every aspect of Lafreniere's game could be considered elite. He considered the youngster's vision and playmaking among his best assets.
The Rangers are already deep at left wing with Artemi Panarin and Chris Kreider. They could surprise us by taking Quinton Byfield, but they'll likely go with the top prospect in Lafreniere and deal with the logjam at left wing another day.
2. Los Angeles Kings: Quinton Byfield
The Los Angeles Kings moved up two spots to second overall during Phase 1 of the draft lottery. It puts them in a perfect position to land center Quinton Byfield of the Ontario Hockey League's Sudbury Wolves.
Byfield, 18, is a 6'4", 214-pound center. He recorded 61 points in 64 games during his rookie season (2018-19) with the Wolves, becoming the OHL and CHL Rookie of the Year. He followed up with 82 points in 45 games as a sophomore.
On June 23, Sportsnet's Mark Johnson reported Byfield models his game after Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin. He also cited NHL Central Scouting's David Gregory, who praised the young center's size, strength, soft hands and vision.
With Anze Kopitar having turned 33 on Aug. 24 and Jeff Carter in the twilight of his career, the Kings must find eventual replacements for their top two centers. Byfield has the skills to become the successor.
3. Ottawa Senators: Tim Stuetzle
On Sep. 13, 2018, the Ottawa Senators acquired a 2020 first-round pick from the San Jose Sharks as part of the return for defenseman Erik Karlsson. The draft lottery determined that pick would be third overall, which the Senators could use to select left wing Tim Stuetzle of Adler Mannheim in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga.
Stuetzle, 18, was ranked the top European skater by NHL Central Scouting. The 6'1", 187-pounder netted 34 points in 41 games last season and was named his league's Rookie of the Year.
During an interview with NHL.com's Adam Kimelman on April 8, the NHL's director of European scouting, Goran Stubb, lauded Stuetzle as an "exceptional talent." He singled out the youngster's speed, maturity and understanding of the game.
The Senators are building up an impressive pool of promising young talent, led by Brady Tkachuk, Drake Batherson, Logan Brown and Erik Brannstrom. Stuetzle could quickly blossom into one of their brightest stars, filling a big role among their top-six forwards.
4. Detroit Red Wings: Jamie Drysdale
Despite finishing with this season's worst record, the Detroit Red Wings wound up with the fourth overall selection during Phase 1 of the draft lottery. Nevertheless, they could select a fine young defenseman in Jamie Drysdale of the OHL's Erie Otters.
Ranked the No. 3 skater and the top defenseman among North American skaters, the 18-year-old Drysdale netted 40 points in 63 games as a rookie with the Otters in 2018-19 and 47 points in 49 games as an OHL sophomore.
Despite a slender 5'11", 175-pound frame, Drysdale is a highly skilled, right-shot blueliner. During an April 8 interview with NHL.com's Adam Kimelman, NHL Central Scouting senior manager David Gregory praised the young rearguard's vision and hockey sense.
"Jamie Drysdale is the type of player that every team is looking for," he said.
A lack of skilled blue-line depth crippled the Red Wings in 2019-20. Along with last year's first-round pick, Moritz Seider, Drysdale could give them a strong pair of talented young defensemen.
5. Ottawa Senators: Jake Sanderson
The Ottawa Senators hold two picks in the top five, having acquired the San Jose Sharks' first-rounder as part of the return for defenseman Erik Karlsson in 2018. With Phase 1 of the draft lottery determining their pick would be fifth overall, the Senators could use it to select defenseman Jake Sanderson of the USA Hockey National Team Development Program.
Sanderson, 18, is the son of former NHL forward Geoff Sanderson. He's committed to the University of North Dakota for 2020-21.
Ranked fourth among North American skaters, Sanderson captained USA Hockey's NTDP under-18 and under-17 teams. He's considered an excellent skater, and his scouting report commends his shrewd hockey sense as a contributor who plays a smart defensive game.
The rebuilding Senators were among the league's worst defensive clubs in 2019-20, giving up 3.35 goals and 33.6 shots per game. They must improve their blue-line depth if they intend to become a serious playoff contender. Sanderson's skills and leadership potential could one day help them reach that goal.
6. Anaheim Ducks: Cole Perfetti
The Anaheim Ducks' days as a Western Conference powerhouse are behind them.
With the ninth overall pick last year, they selected promising center Trevor Zegras. They could opt for another center this year by taking Cole Perfetti of the OHL's Saginaw Spirit.
A gifted offensive forward, the 18-year-old led all rookies in goals (37) and points (74) in 2018-19. This season, he ranked second in OHL scoring with 111 points and was named one of the league's second-team All-Stars.
The Ducks have struggled offensively in recent years. With Ryan Getzlaf (35) and Adam Henrique (30) aging, they'll need some promising centers to one day take their places. After they selected Zegras last year, Perfetti could be another solid addition.
7. New Jersey Devils: Alexander Holtz
The lottery balls dropped in the New Jersey Devils' favor in 2017 and 2019. They landed the first overall picks in those years and selected centers Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes, respectively. Sitting with the seventh overall selection this year, the Devils could shift to the wing by selecting Alexander Holtz of Djurgardens IF in Sweden.
Ranked second among European skaters, the 18-year-old spent most of last season with Djurgardens in Sweden's top professional league. He also helped his country win a bronze medal at the 2020 World Junior Hockey Championship.
Holtz is considered a natural goal scorer with excellent offensive instincts. He can play either wing and can play a heavier game around the opposing net.
The Devils need a reliable scorer to play alongside Hischier or Hughes in the coming years, and Holtz could prove a natural fit in New Jersey.
8. Buffalo Sabres: Marco Rossi
It was a season of upheaval for the Buffalo Sabres. They failed to reach the playoffs for the ninth consecutive year, culminating in a purge of their front office and minor league coaching staff. They're selecting among the top eight for the eighth straight year and hold the eighth overall selection for the fourth time in that span. That pick could be used to select center Marco Rossi of the OHL's Ottawa 67's.
The 19-year-old was the leading scorer among all Canadian Hockey League players this season with 120 points in 56 games. He was named the OHL's Most Outstanding Player.
NHL Central Scouting ranked Rossi sixth among North American skaters, citing his excellent skating, offensive abilities and hard work in all three zones. He can also skate at center or on the wing.
The Sabres acquired Eric Staal from the Minnesota Wild, but they still need more offensive depth beyond Jack Eichel's line. It might take a couple of years for Rossi to make his mark, but he could blossom into a scorer alongside Eichel or as a dependable second-line center.
9. Minnesota Wild: Anton Lundell
This is the first time the Minnesota Wild have a pick in the top 10 since they selected defenseman Matt Dumba seventh in the 2012 draft. This time, they could look at bolstering their forward lines by selecting Anton Lundell of HIFK.
Lundell, 19, spent last season in the Finnish Elite League, netting 28 points in 44 games. He helped his country win gold at the 2018 Under-18 World Championship and at the 2019 World Juniors.
The 6'1", 185-pound center is ranked third among European skaters. He's considered a mature, two-way playmaking forward.
With the Wild trading Eric Staal to Buffalo and opting not to re-sign Mikko Koivu, they need more skilled depth at center. Lundell's all-around acumen and hockey smarts could be just what Minnesota is looking for.
10. Winnipeg Jets: Kaiden Guhle
The Winnipeg Jets selected defenseman Ville Heinola with their first-round pick in the 2019 draft. They could make it two in a row by selecting Kaiden Guhle of the Western Hockey League's Prince Albert Raiders.
Guhle is ranked eighth among North American skaters and third among defensemen. He helped the Raiders win the WHL championship in 2018-19 and finished sixth among their leading scorers this season with 40 points.
The 18-year-old rearguard possesses decent size (6'2", 186 lbs) and considerable skill. He's an excellent skater with a strong shot who can also play a physical style.
With the departures since last summer of Jacob Trouba, Dustin Byfuglien, Tyler Myers and Ben Chiarot, the Jets must replenish their depleted defense corps. Adding Guhle with Heinola could give them some much-needed long-term talent on the blue line.
11. Nashville Predators: Lucas Raymond
The last time the Predators had the 11th overall pick, they selected Kevin Fiala in the 2014 NHL draft. They could look to the left side again by selecting Lucas Raymond of Frolunda HC in Sweden.
Raymond is considered an explosive winger with excellent speed and puck-control skills. He finished fourth among NHL Central Scouting's rankings of European skaters.
The 18-year-old Swede is said to have good hockey smarts and is effective in traffic. He spent most of last season with Frolunda in Sweden's top professional league.
With Fiala now playing for the Minnesota Wild and Mikael Granlund an unrestricted free agent, the Predators could use some skilled depth at left wing. With another year of seasoning in Sweden, Raymond could one day fill that role. His all-around abilities would make him useful in all situations.
12: Florida Panthers: Braden Schneider
It's been another disappointing season for the Florida Panthers. They were eliminated from the qualifying round of the playoff tournament and parted ways with longtime general manager Dale Tallon. His successor, Bill Zito, should consider selecting defenseman Braden Schneider of the WHL's Brandon Wheat Kings.
At 6'2" and 202 pounds, Schneider is a physical blueliner. He plays well at both ends of the rink and is considered a complete package who can control play.
The Panthers have struggled on the blue line in recent years, and Schneider could develop into the physical presence they need.
13: Carolina Hurricanes: Yaroslav Askarov
The Toronto Maple Leafs' first-round pick belongs to the Carolina Hurricanes, as it was part of June 2019's Patrick Marleau trade. With the selection, the 'canes should consider picking goaltender Yaroslav Askarov of SKA-Neva in Russia's second division.
Askarov is ranked as the top European goaltender among this year's prospects. He became the second-youngest goalie to start a KHL game when he made 23 saves in a win for SKA in November at 17 years old.
The 6'3", 176-pound Askarov is mobile and reads the play well. TSN's Craig Button praised his composure, assuredness and "defiance in the face of challenges."
Goaltending has been an Achilles' heel for the Hurricanes for several years, though they have considerable depth throughout the rest of their roster and in their prospect pipeline. Adding Askarov could provide a welcome boost between the pipes.
14. Edmonton Oilers: Jack Quinn
To the chagrin of Edmonton Oilers fans, their team didn't win the draft lottery for the fifth time since 2010. Nevertheless, the Oilers are sitting in a good position to land a quality player with the 14th pick, and they could give consideration to right wing Jack Quinn of the OHL's Ottawa 67's.
The 6'0", 176-pounder possesses a powerful shot and blazing speed. Scouts also singled out his responsible defensive play.
Finding suitable wingers to play alongside superstars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl has proved difficult for the Oilers. Quinn probably won't be NHL-ready for another year or two, but he has the speed and scoring touch to one day blossom into a star.
15. Toronto Maple Leafs: Justin Barron
The Toronto Maple Leafs acquired the 15th overall pick from the Pittsburgh Penguins as part of the Kasperi Kapanen trade. With that selection, they could choose defenseman Justin Barron of the QMJHL's Halifax Mooseheads.
The 6'2", 195-pounder has good size and strong skating ability. He also moves the puck well and plays a good physical game. He was named to the QMJHL's All-Rookie team in 2017-18 with 21 points in 51 games. He led all Mooseheads blueliners in scoring with 19 points in just 34 games last season.
It's no secret Toronto has had difficulty finding good right-shot defensemen. Barron won't fill that role right away for the Leafs, but he has the potential to become a solid top-four NHL defenseman.
16. Montreal Canadiens: Dawson Mercer
The Montreal Canadiens missed an opportunity for a shot at the first overall pick in the second draft lottery by upsetting the Pittsburgh Penguins in the qualifying round. Nevertheless, they're still in a good position to select a quality prospect, such as Dawson Mercer of the QMJHL's Chicoutimi Sagueneens.
Mercer tallied 60 points in 42 games last season split between the Sagueneens and the Drummondville Voltigeurs. He's ranked 10th among North American skaters and played for Canada's gold-medal team at the 2020 World Junior Championship.
Mercer would be joining a deep core of young Canadiens forwards including Nick Suzuki, Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Cole Caufield. His versatility could make him a useful addition to their lineup.
17. Chicago Blackhawks: Helge Grans
A porous defense corps has been the Chicago Blackhawks' Achilles' heel in recent years. They need more skilled young defensemen in their system, and one option could be selecting Helge Grans of the Malmo Redhawks of the Swedish Hockey League.
The 18-year-old Grans spent 2019-20 split between Malmo's junior club, where he had 27 points in as many games, and their pro club, where he had three points in 21 contests. Central Scouting had him 21st among European skaters in its midterm report, but he rose to sixth overall in its final ranking.
At 6'2" and 206 pounds, Grans is considered a big, strong defenseman who moves the puck well and also plays responsibly in his own zone. He's had some international tournament experience, playing for Sweden at the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup and the 2018 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Grans will need a couple of years of seasoning before he's ready for the NHL. With his size and skills, he could become a good pickup for the Blackhawks' defense corps.
18 New Jersey Devils: Jacob Perreault
The Devils have three picks in this year's draft. This one was part of the return from the Arizona Coyotes in last December's Taylor Hall trade, and they could use it to select right wing Jacob Perreault of the OHL's Sarnia Sting.
Perreault is the son of former NHL center Yanic Perreault, and the 18-year-old winger is ranked 17th among North American skaters. He was named to the OHL's First All-Rookie Team in 2017-18 after scoring 30 goals and 55 points. Perreault finished second on the Sting last season with 39 goals and 70 points in 57 games.
At 5'11" and 192 pounds, Perreault is considered a natural goalscorer with a quick, accurate shot. He also has good playmaking skills. His natural position is at right wing, but he can also play center.
The Devils have a need for young wingers with offensive skills in their prospect pipeline, and Perreault could become a promising scorer at the NHL level.
19. Calgary Flames: Jeremie Poirier
A deep defense corps was among the Calgary Flames' strengths in recent years. But with several veterans due to become unrestricted free agents, they could look to boost their blue-line depth for the future. Jeremie Poirier of the QMJHL's Saint John Sea Dogs could be a tempting choice.
Poirier finished last season first among QMJHL defensemen with 20 goals and tied for second in points with 53 in 64 games played. He also had three points in five games for Canada in the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup. The 18-year-old blueliner is ranked 18th among North American skaters and sixth among their defensemen.
A mobile defenseman with terrific offensive skills, Poirier is a creative puck-mover who loves to join the rush. He has a terrific shot, which would make him a strong contributor in power-play situations.
Poirier must improve the defensive aspects of his game, but his offensive abilities make him too good to overlook. With their blue line in transition, the Flames could see him as a future power-play quarterback.
20. New Jersey Devils: Hendrix Lapierre
This is the Devils' third and final pick in this round. It originally belonged to the Vancouver Canucks, but they shipped it to the Tampa Bay Lightning last year in the J.T. Miller trade. The Devils acquired it as part of the return in the Blake Coleman deal in February.
Should the Devils select two wingers with their previous two picks, they could use this one to select Hendrix Lapierre of the QMJHL's Chicoutimi Sagueneens. Though the 18-year-old center spent most of 2019-20 sidelined by a spinal injury, he tallied 17 points in 19 games and 45 points in 48 games as a rookie in 2018-19. He's ranked 13th among North American skaters.
Lapierre is a terrific skater with a strong work ethic and all-around skills. He also trains in the offseason with NHL regulars Kris Letang, Anthony Duclair and Jonathan Drouin. If he can overcome his spinal injury and regain his form, he could have a bright NHL career.
The Devils have two good young centers in Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes. With Travis Zajac now 35, they could use a skilled two-way center. With two higher picks in this round, they can afford to take a chance on Lapierre.
21. Columbus Blue Jackets: Seth Jarvis
A lack of scoring depth, especially at the center position, is an issue for the Blue Jackets. Their 2.57 goals per game in 2019-20 ranked 28th and proved their undoing in the playoffs. They could use their first-round pick to select Seth Jarvis of the WHL's Portland Winterhawks to address that issue over the long term.
Ranked 11th among North American skaters, Jarvis finished second among WHL scorers with 98 points and third in goals with 42 in 58 games played. It was a significant improvement over his 16-goal, 39-point performance of the previous season.
At 5'10" and 175 pounds, Jarvis isn't a big center, but he possesses dazzling speed, a terrific shot and impressive stickhandling and playmaking skills. He also plays a responsible defensive game.
Jarvis probably won't be NHL-ready for another year or two, but he could provide the Jackets with some much-needed offense at center. If he continues to develop as he did in 2019-20, he could become a first-line player.
22. New York Rangers: Dylan Holloway
Winning the draft lottery and the first overall selection overshadowed the fact that the Rangers have an additional pick in the first round. They acquired this one from the Carolina Hurricanes as part of the return in the Brady Skjei deal at the Feb. 24 trade deadline.
The Rangers could use some long-term depth at center as potential future replacements for Mika Zibanejad and Ryan Strome. This pick could be used to select University of Wisconsin center Dylan Holloway.
Ranked 12th among North American skaters, the 19-year-old scored eight goals and 17 points in 35 games as a freshman in 2019-20. The 6'0", 203-pounder uses his size very well to compete physically for the puck. He's considered to have power forward ability and can also skate at left wing.
Holloway is expected to continue his college career in 2020-21, and he could turn into a top-six forward on the Rangers' scoring lines in a few years.
23. Philadelphia Flyers: Rodion Amirov
The Philadelphia Flyers have skilled youth already on their roster in goalie Carter Hart and defensemen Ivan Provorov, Travis Sanheim and Philippe Myers. They could turn their focus in this year's draft toward adding a young forward such as Rodion Amirov of the KHL's Salavat Yulaev Ufa.
Amirov, 19, is ranked fifth among European skaters. He split last season between Ufa and their junior club, where had 10 goals and 22 points in 17 games. He was named a tournament all-star at the 2019 Under-18 World Championship with six goals and nine points in seven games for Russia.
A good two-way left winger, the 6'0", 177-pound Amirov is a fleet-footed skater with a good shot. He can shake off defenders with his speed and use his stickhandling to generate scoring chances.
With Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek in their early 30s and Sean Couturier now 27, the Flyers should look toward bringing in some skilled youth to their forward lines. Selecting Amirov could be a good step in that direction.
24. Washington Capitals: Connor Zary
With Nicklas Backstrom and Lars Eller in their early-30s, the Washington Capitals could consider looking at eventual replacements for those two centers. One option could be Connor Zary of the WHL's Kamloops Blazers.
Ranked 15th among North American skaters, the 19-year-old has steadily improved in his three seasons with the Blazers. Following a 29-point rookie performance in 2017-18, he had 67 points in 63 games as a sophomore and 86 points in 57 contests in 2019-20, finishing fifth among WHL scorers.
The 6'0", 178-pound Zary plays a smart, fast-paced, two-way style. He's a good playmaking center with a strong competitive spirit.
Zary will need some seasoning to improve his strength and skating. With the right development, he could become a reliable, hardworking center on the Capitals' second or third lines.
25. Colorado Avalanche: John-Jason Peterka
The Colorado Avalanche haven't had much success selecting forwards in recent drafts. Since selecting Mikko Rantanen in 2015, Tyson Jost is the only one thus far to crack the roster on a full-time basis. They could attempt to break that streak by selecting John-Jason Peterka of Germany's Munich EHC.
Peterka is ranked seventh among European skaters. The 18-year-old right wing made his debut in Germany's top pro league last season, tallying 11 points in 42 games. He also acquitted himself well at the 2020 World Junior Championship, scoring four goals and six points in seven games.
A creative, speedy winger with a good shot, Peterka likes to drive to the net to create scoring chances. The 5'11", 192-pounder also possesses a strong work ethic.
Peterka might not blossom into a scoring star like Rantanen. However, he could become a good fit as a second- or third-line winger for the Avalanche.
26. St. Louis Blues: Noel Gunler
The future of St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko is in question after undergoing his third shoulder surgery. With youngsters Robert Thomas and Jordan Kyrou now in the lineup, the Blues could look to restock their pipeline with promising wingers such as Lulea's Noel Gunler of the Swedish Hockey League.
Gunler is ranked ninth among European skaters. The 18-year-old right wing tallied four goals and 13 points with Lulea in 2019-20. In the previous season, he netted 27 goals and 46 points in 31 games with their junior team.
At 6'2" and 176 pounds, Gunler is a tall, slender forward with good offensive ability. He has a quick shot, good hockey sense and is a skilled passer. His consistency and skating need work, but that should improve as he matures.
It's not a bad idea for the Blues to add more scoring prospects even if Tarasenko makes a full recovery and Thomas and Kyrou continue their development. Gunler could prove to be a good addition to their ranks in a few years.
27. Anaheim Ducks: William Wallinder
The Anaheim Ducks got this pick from the Boston Bruins as part of the return in last February's Ondrej Kase trade. Assuming they select a forward with the No. 6 pick, they could turn their attention toward their defense corps by taking MODO's William Wallinder of the Swedish Hockey League.
Ranked 14th among European skaters and third among defensemen, the 18-year-old split last season between MODO and their junior club. While he had just two points in 18 games with the pro club, he netted 24 points in 37 games in his final season as a junior.
At 6'4" and 191 pounds, Wallinder is a big, mobile blueliner. He's an excellent skater who likes to join the rush and has good playmaking skills.
Wallinder needs to develop his overall game and use his big body to his advantage, especially in defensive situations. Given time, he could blossom into a very effective NHL defenseman.
28. Ottawa Senators: Tyson Foerster
The Ottawa Senators acquired this pick from the New York Islanders as part of the return in the Jean-Gabriel Pageau trade at the Feb. 24 trade deadline. As they hold the third and fifth overall selections, they could trade this pick for an established player. Assuming they don't, they could use it to select right wing Tyson Foerster of the OHL's Barrie Colts.
Ranked 41st among North American skaters at midseason, the 18-year-old jumped 20 spots to finish 21st. He led the Colts in 2019-20 with 36 goals and 80 points in 62 games as an OHL sophomore. He also finished 16th among all OHL skaters in points.
At 6'2" and 194 pounds, Foerster is a big-bodied winger with a booming shot who can score from different angles. His skating needs work, but his overall offensive skills make him an enticing late-round possibility.
The Senators could have two can't-miss NHL prospects with their higher picks in this round. Foerster will need more time to develop, but he has top-six winger potential.
29. Vegas Golden Knights: Topi Niemela
The Vegas Golden Knights remain in win-now mode, but they have an opportunity to select a prospect in this draft who could be part of their long-term future. That player could be Topi Niemela, who plays for Karpat in the Finnish Elite League.
Niemela is ranked eighth among European skaters. The 18-year-old defenseman spent most of 2019-20 with Karpat, collecting seven points in 43 games.
At 5'10" and 156 pounds, Niemela isn't a big blueliner but has good two-way ability and quickness. He moves the puck well and uses his finesse in defensive situations.
Niemela will need more time to develop his game and add some muscle to his slender frame. Still, the Golden Knights can afford to be patient with him. His two-way potential could make the wait worthwhile.
30. Dallas Stars: Mavrik Bourque
Coming off their run to the Stanley Cup Final, the Dallas Stars haven't been this low with their first-round pick since selecting 28th in the 2005 draft. They got a good player that year in defenseman Matt Niskanen and will hope for similar luck this time around.
The Stars could find themselves a quality center in Mavrik Bourque of the QMJHL's Shawinigan Cataractes. Ranked 22nd among North American skaters, the 18-year-old was the Cataractes' leading scorer with 71 points in 49 games. He finished ninth among QMJHL scorers.
Bourque plays a fast-tempo style with excellent stickhandling and playmaking abilities. The 5'10", 178-pound center reads the ice well and makes his linemates better with his offensive skills.
With Tyler Seguin now 28 and Joe Pavelski 36, the Stars will need some skilled offensive players to eventually replace those two centers. Bourque has the ability to perhaps become one of them.
31. San Jose Sharks: Lukas Reichel
The San Jose Sharks acquired a first-round pick from the Tampa Bay Lightning as part of the return in the Barclay Goodrow deal at the Feb. 24 trade deadline. Here, the Sharks could land a good prospect in left wing Lukas Reichel of Eisbaren Berlin in Germany.
Reichel had a solid debut in Germany's top professional league last season with 12 goals and 24 points in 42 games. The 18-year-old winger also tallied three goals and five points in seven games for Germany at the 2020 World Junior Championship.
Ranked 11th among European skaters, Reichel is an excellent skater and playmaker. He is a workhorse who checks well and makes smart plays. He also has good hockey genes; his uncle, Robert Reichel, played 830 games in the NHL.
The Sharks must restock their prospect pipeline after trading away picks and prospects for veterans such as Erik Karlsson and Evander Kane. Reichel's skills could make him one of their promising youngsters.