With video viewing of past games about all we can do at this point and no tournaments or fresh data to provide insight on for visitors of our website we at Draft Prospects Hockey thought it would be a good idea to provide hockey prospect and draft fans a comprehensive mock draft to digest as we wait for the game to come back.
With the unknown of the COVID-19 virus this mock draft is based on the presumption that there will be no NHL playoffs this season and that the draft will be based on points percentage at the time the league was called to a halt on March 12, 2020. Hence any conditional picks based on teams making the playoffs or how far they go in the playoffs are now null and void. As an example, the 14th overall selection Tampa Bay previously acquired from Vancouver with a condition and then was traded to New Jersey in the Blake Coleman trade had the condition that Vancouver makes the 2020 playoffs or the pick is deferred to 2021, that selection, 14th overall in this draft still belongs to Vancouver with their first round pick in 2021 now going to New Jersey as that condition was not met. We know there will likely be a lottery, but we do not know what that will look like so for this exercise we will order by final points percentage standings.
Final 2019-20 NHL Standings Draft Order.
Points percentage is in parenthesis.
First tie breaker is regulation wins (RW) then regulation and overtime wins (ROW).
San Jose (0.450)
Los Angeles (0.457)
New Jersey (0.493)
Buffalo (0.493) – More ROW than NJ
NY Rangers (0.564) – More RW than CAL
Nashville (0.565) – More RW than VAN
Florida (0.565) – More RW than NSH and VAN
Toronto (0.579) – More RW than CBJ
NY Islanders (0.588)
Tampa Bay (0.657)
Colorado (0.657) – More RW than TBL
St Louis (0.662)
DraftPro staff participants – Teams represented:
Dan Stewart (Director) – Tampa Bay, Detroit, Florida, Winnipeg.
Joel Lander (Europe) – Boston, New Jersey, Dallas, Anaheim
Juliusz Dąbrowski (Europe/Video) – Los Angeles, Colorado, Columbus
Matt Morrison (Ontario/Video) – Ottawa, Nashville, St. Louis,
Jared Brown (Ontario/Video) – Toronto, Montreal, Washington, New York Islanders
Jon Ahlstedt (Europe/Video) – Arizona, New York Rangers, Philadelphia,
Spencer Loane (Mid-West USA) – Chicago, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Carolina
Murray Caldwell (Western Canada) – Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver
Terry Wheaton (Mid-West USA) – Minnesota, San Jose, Vegas
With the 1st Overall selection in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft the Detroit Red Wings select …
1 DETROIT RED WINGS – ALEXIS LAFRENIERE, LW, RIMOUSKI OCEANIC (QMJHL), 6’1”, 192
The rebuilding Red Wings are starved for high-end talent but with this lucky bounce of ping pong balls are overjoyed to add a formidable scoring forward to the organization. Lafreniere will bring some game-breaking offense with his elite mind, impressive puck skill and an NHL ready shot. Lafreniere will slid immediately into the top six and expectations are for a strong rookie NHL season next year.
2 OTTAWA SENATORS – QUINTON BYFIELD, C, SUDBURY WOLVES (OHL), 6’4”, 214
With Quinton Byfield the Ottawa Senators get the number one center they have been looking for. An elite point producer with a strong two-way game. Byfield has a big frame and can fly at top speed. Quinton makes everyone around him better and should be able to step into the lineup and make an impact right away.
3 OTTAWA SENATORS (FROM SJS)- JAMIE DRYSDALE, RD, ERIE OTTERS (OHL), 5’11”, 170
With back to back picks right out of the gate the Ottawa Senators select right shot defender Jamie Drysdale. Jamie had a terrific year including a strong performance with a gold medal winning team Canadian World Jr team. Jamie is an elite skater with great edge work and vision. He can run the top power play unit and kill penalties at a high level. Drysdale’s compete and skating should allow him to transition to the NHL as a top pair defender sooner rather than later.
4 LOS ANGELES KINGS – TIM STUTZLE, C/LW, ADLER MANNHEIM (DEL), 6’0”, 187
Speed and skill up front is what the Kings want and Stutzle provides that at an elite level. He has proven that he can deliver his A-game in the professional league in Germany (DEL) where he gathered 34 points (7G, 27A) in 41 games. He has a great shot and is a very dangerous weapon on the Power Play which he can quarterback as well. His offensive toolset is very impressive but he’s also responsible in his own half of the ice. He plays with a good amount of intensity and his determination will drive him to become a star in the NHL in the near future
5 ANAHEIM DUCKS – LUCAS RAYMOND LW/RW, FRÖLUNDA INDIANS (SHL), 5’10”, 165
Like the rival from California the Anaheim Ducks is locking for high-end players with speed and talent. So with the number five pick the Ducks will pick Lucas Raymond. Raymond is that top six winger with great speed, elite hands and vision who can be your setup guy both at even strength and on the power play. Raymond plays with high intensity and battles hard for the pucks and can also in the future be an excellent force on the penalty kill.
6 NEW JERSEY DEVILS – MARCO ROSSI, C, OTTAWA 67 (OHL). 5’9”, 179
With the number six pick the New Jersey Devils select Marco Rossi. Rossi is this two-way force with elite hands and vision, who plays the game much bigger then the lack of size will suggest. He can be that guy that you as a coach can trust no matter what kind of situation it is in the game and he will deliver.
7 BUFFALO SABRES – ALEXANDER HOLTZ, RW, DJURGARDENS IF (SHL), 6’0”, 183
With the seventh pick, Buffalo selects winger Alexander Holtz. Holtz will be a guy that can provide some goal-scoring support in Buffalo’s top-six for a playmaking center like Jack Eichel. There’s a potential 40 goal scorer available for Buffalo here as Holtz is a guy that can score goals from anywhere, whether that’s the perimeter or not, one of the best goal-scorers available in this year’s draft. Holtz has underrated hockey IQ, his vision, and his ability to deliver passes accurately to his teammates. There’s tons of PP and goal-scoring upside at the NHL level that a team will seriously look at with Holtz.
8 MONTREAL CANADIENS – COLE PERFETTI, C/LW, SAGINAW SPIRIT (OHL), 5’10, 177
Montreal pick up the small but highly skilled and dynamic offensive weapon forward out of Saginaw. Montreal needs more skill on their team to punch them forward in becoming a playoff team and Perfetti can help in every offensive aspect when it comes to producing for his team. Look for him to be a key contributor to the Habs PP for years to come. The quickness in his hands to shift around defenders paired with his ability to feed his teammates in the soft areas of the ice and find the open man cannot be understated. The type of forward that can make creative skilled plays in the Ozone which is an area of the game the Habs struggled in this past season. Perfetti would fit perfectly on a line with the former 1st round pick, Cole Caulfield, and they could prove to be a dangerous duo with Perfitti’s playmaking ability and Caulfield’s goal scorer instincts, put Kotkaniemi down the middle for his 200-foot game and size to get them the puck and there’s Montreal’s future top line potentially.
9 CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS – ANTON LUNDELL, C, HIFK, (LIIGA), 6”1”, 183
Personally, most think the Blackhawks will go with the best player available here. Obviously they picked Kirby Dach last year so they might look at another position rather than a center once again, but I think they might like that Lundell could be NHL ready to start next season like Dach was this year. Lundell plays a well-rounded game at the pro level and one of the top leagues in the world already, and he has some of the best hockey sense in the draft as well. He won’t wow you with his skating, but his edgework, agility, and speed have taken steps forward in his draft year. Chicago hopes they are getting a potential 70-point first line center in the future which is easily a steal at this spot.
10 NEW JERSEY DEVILS (FROM ARI) – YAROSLAV ASKAROV, G, SKA-NEVA ST. PETERSBURG (VHL) 6’3”, 176
With the second pick the Devils go with the best goalie in this draft and maybe the best goalie prospect in several years. Askarov is that goalie who can steel games on a bad night and also win championship in the long run. Askarov is this big butterfly goalie who reads and tracks the puck extremely well, and also is mentally strong.
11 MINNESOTA WILD – JACK QUINN, RW, OTTAWA 67’S (OHL), 6’0”, 179
Minnesota is excited to select Jack Quinn. Jack put in the work last summer and made a name for himself this season as a goal scorer and play maker. He is versatility at playing all three forward positions and instincts to execute plays, can play with an edge supporting is team in 3 zones, also tough to defend 1-1 and find open lanes to unleash his shot. Elite skating and speed should will help the wild fill a big need on the right wing.
12 WINNIPEG JETS – JAKE SANDERSON, D, USA U-18 (NTDP), 6’1”, 186
The Jets brass are ecstatic to see the highly talented two-way blueliner still available on the board when their time to pick comes up. This solidly built, highly mobile, smooth skating defender makes a strong first pass, can carry the puck as well as defend his own zone but it is his smarts and intelligence, they are most excited about. They feel with Dylan Samburg, Sami Niku, Ville Heinola and now Sanderson in their stable their top four defenders of the future are all in the system.
13 CALGARY FLAMES – HENDRIX LAPIERRE, C, CHICOUTIMI SAGUENÉENS (QMJHL), 6’0”, 181
When this players game is elevated to playing with people with a similar skill set, his elite skill sets become very noticeable. At the Hlinka last year he was a top performer. Playing a 200-foot game, he back checks with speed, creates turn overs, moves the puck, timely passes with authority. Great work ethic when it comes to board battles for the puck. Knows where to play without the puck & has the vision to jump into a lane for a pass or shot. Displays patience, understands the break outs, stick handles between the screen door and front door, offensive awareness, anticipation, superior player. This player would be the element that the flames were missing this past season.
14 NEW YORK RANGERS – NOEL GUNLER, RW, LULEÅ HF (SHL), 6’2”, 174
With this pick, the NYR are proud to select Noel Gunler. Gunler who perhaps has the best shot in the whole draft could bring a lot of firepower to the Rangers. Gunler has an underrated processing of the game, he’s good in both ends of the ice, fantastic at driving puck possession and he’s efficient on the boards. The Rangers pick the best player available in this case.
15 VANCOUVER CANUCKS – RODION AMIROV, LW, TOLPAR (MHL), 6’0”, 170
With Vancouver nearly missing playoffs due to Brock Boeser injury, the Canucks needed to make sure this does not occur again. So with their first selection they will make is from Russia, Amirov is a highly intelligent hockey player that will add to an already elite front end. Playing in the KHL he could be able to jump into the Canucks lineup out of training camp. His explosive skating allows him the ability to jump into a rush to create lanes of opportunities as astute play maker. He creates turnovers, turning them into scoring opportunities. A highly skilled stick handler making excellent passes through traffic. Excellent hand eye coordination he can tip or deflect a hard shot. He has a laser wrist shot. Responsible in all 3 zones.
16 NASHVILLE PREDATORS- CONNOR ZARY, C, KAMLOOPS BLAZERS (WHL), 6’0”, 181
With the 16th selection the Nashville Predators are pleased to draft strong center Connor Zary out of Kamloops. Zary had a big year down the middle for the club improving his two-way game and defensive positioning. Connor came out of the gates flying offensively and earned himself an invite to the Canadian World Junior camp showing he can hang with the top players in the Country. He has a quick snap shot and gets into the dirty areas to score goals. Nashville is thrilled with the pick and feel they have set themselves up to get a top 2 line center with a high motor. Zary also brings some grit and physical presence to his play and should fit perfect in those tough Western Conference battles.
17 FLORIDA PANTHERS – SETH JARVIS, RW, PORTLAND WINTERHAWKS (WHL), 5’10”, 172
Florida’s scouting staff and Amateur Scouting Directors Jason Bukala and Jari Kekalainen are always looking to add high end skill to their system first and foremost. And this Jarvis pick gives the Panther just that, elite offensive skill and creativity off the wing as the explosive forward destroyed the competition during the second half of the Western Hockey League season.
18 COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS – DYLAN HOLLOWAY, C/LW, U. OF WISCONSIN (NCAA), 6’0″, 192
The Blue Jackets are a very blue-collar type team and they take pride in their work ethic and 200-foot game. Dylan will blend in nicely into John Tortorella’s coaching style as he brings a lot of speed, tenacity and grit into his game. His powerful stride combined with great playmaking ability and a sneaky good shot demolished the AJHL last season for a total of 88 points in 53 games. This season in the NCAA he was almost 0.5 point per game player but with his physical maturity he’s been already fairly dominant at this stage of his career.
19 CAROLINA HURRICANES (FROM TOR) – JAN MYSAK, C/LW, HAMILTON BULLDOGS (OHL), 6’0″, 176
We saw how much value Carolina got in last year’s draft, and if Mysak slips to Carolina I think this a perfect fit for them and I can see them going for value here once again. I think Mysak’s style compares favorably to Martin Necas and some of his stats when he started off the season in the Czech League were similar to Necas’ as well. He is a very high IQ forward who looks to utilize the first option he has available. Thanks to his fantastic vision, he can find passing lanes on the fly and quickly. He is a very reliable player in his own zone and can disrupt a numerous amount of plays along the half wall. Great finisher and playmaker at whichever position he plays at and he owns a tremendous motor, he is also a really good skater as well.
20 EDMONTON OILERS – HELGE GRANS, D, IF MALMO REDHAWKS (SUPERELIT), 6’3”, 192
Having a lot of injuries this past season to our D, we required someone that could play solid minutes in all situations, bringing size that matters in our division. Edmonton selects Helge Grans from Sweden. He plays PP & PK, brings impressive puck control and movements, drawing forwards towards him. They like his confident and calm control to make the play or pass in tight. So smart when he draws the opponent to him on the PP, this opens up lanes for passes, or drives past the defender with a deke for a shot. Heavy slap shot, smooth clean wrist shots, big man with power to wire the wrister for deflections or tips. Elite ability at getting pucks through to the net. Doesn’t mind the rough part of the game, he delivers solid body checks. With maturity he could bring some much-needed physicality to the Oilers. Our fans are going to love his speed, IQ, persistent, determination, anticipation, puck skills.
21 OTTAWA SENATORS (FROM NYI) – TYSON FOERSTER, C/RW, BARRIE COLTS (OHL), 6’1″, 194
With their 3rd pick of the first round the Ottawa Senators take the best player available in Tyson Foerster. The Barrie Colts leading point producer had a break out year in the OHL. Tyson brings a high motor and passion for the game every shift. He is an absolute weapon on the power play. Tyson no doubt has the best one timer in the draft and has an NHL release. He can score from anywhere on the ice using a number of different angles to release the puck. He is a hound on the forecheck and has an aggressive stick causing turnovers. Foerster is a future top 6 winger and is not a liability defensively either. He played the penalty kill all year and at times was even moved to center to help shut down games. Getting a big body high octane winger to play alongside Quinton Byfield and Brady Tkachuk down the road is an intriguing and hopeful vision for the club.
22 DALLAS STARS – DAWSON MERCER, RW, CHICOUTIMI SAGUENEENS, (QMJHL), 6’0”, 179
The Dallas Stars are proud to select from the Q, Dawson Mercer. In Dawson Mercer the Stars think that they are getting a complete hockey player. Mercer are doing everything great with or without the puck. great skating, great hands and IQ, Dallas thinks that Mercer can play everywhere in the lineup and doesn’t need to be pair with a special type of player to make it get going and be effective. We are looking forward to the future where we can see a line off Gurianov-Hintz-Mercer who can run over the opponents with speed and skill.
23 NEW YORK RANGERS (FROM CAR) – EMIL ANDRAE, D, HV71, (SHL), 5’9”, 183
Rangers continue to walk down the Swedish path in the 2020 draft. Andrae is an extremely smart offensive defenseman. He’s creative with the puck, can creative offense from any situation and you never see him making any hasty decisions with the puck. He can quarterback your powerplay but is also very good in the defensive aspect of the game. Even if he won’t win you many puck battles, his stick-on-puck play is very strong.
24 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS – JEAN- LUC FOUDY, C, WINDSOR SPITFIRES (OHL), 5’11”, 174
The Golden Knight’s are happy to select Jean-Luc Foudy from Windsor of the OHL. Adding to our depth down the middle is always a good think to get better. Jean brings us blazing speed, puck control and play making ability / vision. A pass first center, that can back off D-man entering the offensive zone opening up ice for his pinpoint passing. Has shown responsibility in the defensive end supporting the D. Should be able to jump in the lineup in a couple of years with a complete 200 ft game.
25 MINNESOTA WILD (FROM PIT) – BRADEN SCHNEIDER, D, BRANDON WHEAT KINGS (WHL), 6’2”, 202
Minnesota is extremely pleased to select Braden Schneider from Brandon Wheat kings of the WHL. Braden is a strong physical stay at home defenseman that controls his gap well, pushes the play wide and controls the corners. As a two-way right-hand shot capable of playing the power play and penalty kill with great competitiveness and smarts. This season Braden has shown he can as contribute to the offence by jumping into the play and quarterbacking the power play. The right-handed shot is a big plus and has continued to improve is speed.
26 PHILADELPHIA FLYERS – ZION NYBECK, LW, HV71 (SHL), 5’8”, 178
The Philadelphia Flyers are happy to select Zion Nybeck. Nybeck is an undersized skillful winger but don’t get fooled by his size, he’s not a punching bag and he will deliver hits himself. Nybeck is fantastic at creating goalscoring opportunities from his wing, he processes the game quickly and always knows what to do with the puck. His hands allow him to make difficult plays and he also has a deadly wrister. Nybeck has been tearing up every league he’s entered, the SHL will be the next one. If Nybeck is able to put it all together, he will become an elite player, the sky is the limit.
27 WASHINGTON CAPITALS – MAVRIK BOURQUE, C, SHAWINIGAN CATARACTES (QMJHL), 5’10”, 178
Washington takes the best player available and steal Bourque at #27. Bourque continued on from his strong rookie campaign in the Q last year while proving to be the go-to arsenal weapon for Shawinigan this year. Bourque has a high hockey IQ in the Ozone and when it comes to setting his teammates up in goal scoring opportunities. Has the speed and edge work with his skating ability to make up for his size. Also proved back at the Hlinka tourney he can play in a depth role. Potential to be a top 6 forward for the Caps.
28 SAN JOSE SHARKS (FROM TBL) – KAIDEN GUHLE, D, PRINCE ALBERT RAIDERS (WHL), 6’2”, 188
The San Jose Sharks are happy to select Kaiden Guhle form the Prince Albert Raiders, a safe stay at home defenseman that can support our other offensive D-man. His game should develop into a Shea Weber type game with a big shot from point and imposing size. Strong gap control, long reach and physical in his own end, makes simple break out plays. Once Kaiden fills out and improves his foot speed he will make a great addition to our blue line.
29 COLORADO AVALANCHE – LUKAS REICHEL, LW, EISBÄREN BERLIN (DEL), 6’0″, 172
The Avs are over the moon to select Lukas Reichel at this point of the draft. The German-native has been an over a 0.5 point per game player in the professional German league, playing in a top six role as a 17yo. He was also a key player for the German National team and did extremely well against the top U20 competition. What stands out about Reichel is his ability to process the game at an elite level, he can easily find open ice in the offensive zone playing against men already. He’s also a very well-rounded skater and has very good top end speed. He doesn’t have an overly terrifying hard shot, but his shot accuracy gets the job done. His playmaking and creative passing game shows signs of a great playmaker in the making. In the next few seasons I would imagine he will marinate in the DEL to then later fly over the pond and start playing for the AHL affiliate team.
30 ST. LOUIS BLUES – BRENDAN BRISSON, C, CHICAGO STEEL (USHL), 6’0”, 180
Due to the strength of previous draft picks, the St Louis Blues are able to select the best player available and not target a specific position. The Blues select strong 2-way center Brendan Brisson from the Chicago Steel. Brendan was a monster in the USHL this season finishing first as the rookie scoring leader. Brendan was the top line center most of the season and was an important part to the power play. Brisson really made a name for himself at the Jr A Challenge where he finished with 12 points in 6 games. Brendan is a strong skater and excels in the offensive zone when given space with the puck. He battles in the dirty areas and plays with some grit. Brisson has a nice scoring touch around the net and can shoot the one timer allowing him to score from distance. His high motor lets him to play a sound defensive game and be relied upon for big face offs. Brendan will have the perfect role model to follow in St Louis as I can see his game rounding into a player such as Ryan O’Reilly down the road.
31 ANAHEIM DUCKS (FROM BOS)- JEREMIE POIRIER, D, SAINT JOHN SEA DOGS (QMJHL), 6’0”, 192
With the last pick of the first round the Anaheim Ducks are proud to select from the Saint John Sea dogs Jeremie Poirier. In Poirier the Ducks thinks that we have selected are future QB of the powerplay. Poirier is a Offensive defenseman with an excellent wrist shot from the point witch can beat the goalies from distance he also has great hands witch he often shows on tight areas on the blueline great on quarterbacking the powerplay isn’t afraid on attacking the slot and to activate in to the rushes
32 DETROIT RED WINGS – LUKAS CORMIER, D, CHARLOTTETOWN ISLANDERS (QMJHL), 5’10”, 170
After taking the premier talent available in the draft at number one overall, Amateur Scouting Director Kris Draper and company see a name that they had rated much higher fall to them at the beginning of round two and are ecstatic to announce Lukas Cormier as their next pick. They see the highly offensively creative and fleet-footed defenseman as a potential top four NHL guy down the road after a few years of putting on muscle and further defensive zone development.
33 OTTAWA SENATORS- JUSTIN BARRON, RD, HALIFAX MOOSEHEADS (QMJHL), 6’2”, 187
With their first pick in the second round the Ottawa Senators are proud to select Justin Barron from Halifax. Justin is a player most had rated a lot higher at the beginning of the season. However, after missing a chunk of the season to recover from health issues he drops into Ottawa’s lap as they add a fourth high-end piece to the rebuild. Barron is a big right shot defender that has a solid all-around game. More of an offensive defensemen Justin has a great first pass and is able to skate the puck out of trouble if need be. His explosive edges allow him to lead the rush with ease and jump into the play as a 4th forward at times. Barron thinks the game at a high level and is able to play on the power play and penalty kill. I think Justin will have a chance to develop and really focus on translating his offense to the next level. Could be a potential power play and top 4 defender in the future.
34 SAN JOSE SHARKS- JACOB PERREAULT (5-11, 200), RW, SARNIA STING (OHL), 5’11”, 198
San Jose Sharks are happy to steal Jacob Perrault from the Sarnia String of the OHL – The versatile right wing, possesses one of the best shots of the draft class. Was able to put great number even on a lower talented team this year. Is a thread to score from anywhere in the Ozone which demands attention from opponents which opens up the ice and passing lanes. Shot first instinct will be a great asset for a play make center. Plays hard between the dots in his end providing a 200 ft game.
35 LOS ANGELES KINGS – WILLIAM WALLINDER, D, MODO (SUPERELIT), 6’4″, 192
The Kings select one of the most promising Swedish defenders of this year’s NHL Draft, William Wallinder. He plays a very strong two-way game, likes to jump into offensive rushes or leap into an open area in the offensive zone to create scoring chances. His shot from the point can go through a maze of players but he can also move the puck upwards the ice with his fine skating and puck handling skills. Defensively he’s very solid and can play tough along the boards or box out opponents blocking the goalie’s view on the puck. If everything goes well with his development, we should see him in a top 4 defensive role in the next few years.
36 ANAHEIM DUCKS – RONI HIRVONEN C, ÄSSET, (LIIGA), 5’9″, 163
With our third pick in this draft the Anaheim Duck are proud to select from Ässet Roni Hirvonen. In Roni Hirvonen we think that we are getting one of our two top centers for the future. Hirvonen is a great 200-foot center with good playmaking ability and leadership. Great skater and good hands combined with great effort level. He optimizes his wingers thanks to a great vision. He is small but doesn’t shy away from playing hard along the boards and also can sacrifice his body if he must.
37 NASHVILLE PREDATORS (FROM NJD)- SHAKIR MUKHAMADULLIN, D, TOLPAR UFA (MHL), 6’2, 170
The Nashville Predators are pleased to select Russian defender Shakir Mukhamadullin from Tolpar UFA. Shakir is a long, lanky defender that has a rangy reach. A great skater using his long strides to break the puck out or escape trouble. At times he can get a little offense driven but as he develops his high risk should round out. Mukhamadullin was a big part of the Russian team that competed in the Jr A Challenge. Shakir was the power play quarterback and has a cannon of a one timer from the top of the umbrella. Due to his size and skating Shakir may be NHL ready sooner rather than later with the hopes of him turning into a top 4 mobile defender for the Predators.
38 BUFFALO SABRES – TOPI NIEMELÄ, RD, KÄRPÄT (LIIGA), 6’0”, 163
Buffalo has a plethora of LHD in their system already, so I think going with the RHD that has top-4 upside is probably the move here for them. Niemelä could be someone who goes higher in the draft this year because of how well he has developed in a pro league this year. Niemelä is a two-way, puck-moving defenseman who plays a pretty mature game and has an intriguing set of physical tools for his age already. He is a great skater in every direction and doesn’t need much time to recover when defending since he can turn his body quickly. Though he didn’t play much of an offensive role as a pro this year, his minutes only increased as the year went on since he became such a reliable defender for Kärpät.
39 MONTREAL CANADIENS – JAKE NEIGHBOURS, LW, EDMONTON OIL KINGS, (WHL), 6’0, 195
Montreal is ecstatic to have Neighbours fall to them at pick #39. We feel that Neighbours plays that hard-nose style of game that our more skilled players will benefit from playing with him. Neighbours conducts himself on the ice with great maturity and leads by example with his terrific work ethic in all three zones, the way Montreal likes to play. We envision Neighbours playing in our top 6 one day with the effectiveness of retrieving pucks in the dirty areas and working it out to our skilled players. More development in his skating and skill will see him succeed in this role but with his work ethic we see him at worse becoming a top 9 forward.
40 MONTREAL CANADIENS (FROM CHI) – JOHN-JASON PETERKA, RW, EHC MUNCHEN, (DEL), 5’11, 192
Montreal goes back to their European scouts to pick up Peterka and are thrilled to have a player with already one full seasoning of playing against men now in our farm system. Montreal sees the ceiling of Peterka to become an impactful goal scoring winger due to his speed, quick release, and high skill level. We see no harm in picking up another player who has knack for goal scoring and become a potential 25 goal scorer in the NHL. One or two more years of consistent offensive output in the top German league we think will greatly increase his development before bringing him overseas to play in North America.
41 ARIZONA COYOTES – KASPER SIMONTAIVAL, RW, TAPPARA U20 (JR. A SM-LIIGA), 5’9”, 172
Arizona Coyotes proudly select Tappara’s right winger, Kasper Simontaival. Arizona has a lot of depth, so they take a swing at a potential homerun in the second round. Talentwise he is one of the biggest talents in this draft but injuries has slowed his development down a bit. He’s dominant in every game you watch in the Liiga juniors, but you’d still hope for more since it’s only the juniors but it’s mostly his production with the National Team that impresses you. Simontaival is a speedy right-handed winger who owns high-end hands and a great wrist shot, he’s great at protecting the puck despite his size and can come out of the corners with the puck. On top of that he processes the game on an elite-level which makes him a big threat in the offensive zone, he is a player who can dominate games with both his skillset and his reading of the game. He knows where to be on the ice to create most damage and therefore I think his defensive game is also a bit underrated, he doesn’t need to take that much of a responsibility in the Juniors. Simontaival could be Arizona’s homerun guy.
42 MINNESOTA WILD- RIDLY GREIG, C, BRANDON WHEATKINGS (WHL), 5-11, 164
Minnesota Wild is happy to pick an under the radar center Ridly Greig from the Brandon of the WHL. Ridly has high level offensive instincts and hockey IQ, excellent puck handling and puck protection skills in the Ozone & during break-out plays. A good skater with breakaway speed who plays a strong game at both ends of the rink that can quarterback the power play. Has the ability to open up the ice or find soft area to create offence. Once Ridly gets stronger his shot and board play will get better which we hope will make his game a bigger threat down the middle.
43 WINNIPEG JETS – THOMAS BORDELEAU, C, NTDP U18 (USHL), 5’9″, 179
The Jets scouting department have been closely following the NTDP all season seeing some underrated prospects on the roster and are happy to select this highly skilled playmaking centre with their second-round pick. They love the compete and attitude coupled with his ability to feed pucks to his line mates and think they might have just nabbed a future top six contributor after a couple more development seasons at the University of Michigan.
44 CALGARY FLAMES – JACK FINLAY, C, SPOKANE CHIEFS (WHL) HT 6.5 WT 207
Calgary Flames scouting staff have monitored this player in his development since his years in POE in BC. Jack continues to improve in all aspects of his game and shows a lot of promise. This year was a break out year for putting up points. A very large man with a big long reach, a man that makes his home in front of the net on the PP. Shows a lot of confidence when on the power play. Impossible to move when battling for space in front of the net, his big body makes it tough on goalies to see around him. Shows a set of strong soft hands when in close. Uses his body effectively to shield pucks when driving to the net. High IQ getting to right place at the right time. Brings to the table some specialty tools.
45 CAROLINA HURRICANES – DANIL GUSHCHIN, RW, MUSKEGON LUMBERJACKS (USHL), 5’8”, 161
Carolina adds another highly skilled winger to an already deep prospect pool. Gushchin is a very flashy offensive winger who normally reads plays very well and has pretty good hockey sense. His playmaking abilities and puck skills are tremendous, and there’s times where Gushchin’s hands are moving quicker than his feet, even at top speed. His first few steps are explosive, his agility is high-end, and all the movements in his skating are very sharp, so that makes up for an extremely shifty forward at top speed and a nightmare to defend at top speed as well.
46 LOS ANGELES KINGS (FROM VAN) – ROBY JÄRVENTIE, LW, KOOVEE (MESTIS), 6’2″, 185
Los Angeles is proud to select from Ilves program, Roby Jarventie. With this selection the Kings are getting a strong winger with size, great hands and very good top end speed. He’s great at moving the puck up the ice through the neutral zone and creating plays once he crosses the blue line. He’s probably one of the best puck protectors in this year’s draft class. He connects very well on one-timers and has a dangerous wrist shot.
47 NASHVILLE PREDATORS- YAN KUZNETSOV, LD, UNIV OF CONNECTICUT (NCAA) 6’3, 201
Nashville is able to select another strong defender in Yan Kuznetsov. Yan was a force on the Connecticut blue line this year and made big strides in his shut down game and penalty killing. Yan was a late addition to the Jr A Challenge and was immediately thrust into a top pair shut down role for the Russians. A big heavy defender that has great edge work and a solid stride. He has a high IQ and is able to break the puck out with the smart pass consistently. Offensively Yan is able to jump into the rush and will probably do so more as he develops. Yan is close to NHL ready due to his size, strength and motor. Already playing in North America has helped Yan adjust to the style of play and could benefit an NHL team adding a top 4 defender down the road.
48 FLORIDA PANTHERS- RYAN O’ROURKE, LD, SAULT ST MARIE GREYHOUNDS (OHL), 6’0”, 178
Dale Tallon and company are very happy with this pick and see the two-way O’Rourke as someone that one day could be a staple on the backend playing in all situations and becoming that “leads by example” on ice and locker room voice. O’Rourke has been just that during his time in Sault Ste. Marie even being named team Captain at seventeen years old, a rarity in the OHL. He plays 5 on 5, PP and PK, moves the puck well, will join the offensive attack and defends with strong physicality.
49 OTTAWA SENATORS (FROM CBJ)- DANIEL TORGERSSON, LW, FROLUNDA J20 (SUPERELIT) 6’3, 205
Ottawa is pleased to select big forward Daniel Torgersson from Frolunda J20. Daniel is a hulking winger that can play with speed and strength down both wings if versatility is needed. He has quick hands for a big guy and a heavy release. Daniel should provide a big winger with some scoring touch to the top six of the lineup down the road. Safe part of the pick is Daniel can play a solid checking game with a physical presence if moved down the line up.
50 TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS – VASILIY PONOMAREV, C, SHAWINIGAN CATARACTES, (QMJHL), 5’10, 180
Maple Leafs fill their need for depth down the middle picking up the 200-foot natural centreman out of Shawinigan. After seeing their 4th round pick in last years draft (Abramov) succeed playing in his DY +1 and in his 2nd year playing in the QMJHL, the Leafs see Ponomarev’s skill and offensive hockey IQ to take a big jump next year for Shawinigan just like Abramov did. Ponomarev has shown flashes of the skill level he possesses in his hands but the Leafs organization coming away loving his 200-foot and complete game away from the puck. We’ve added more Europeans and more Russians into our organization over the years and we think Ponomarev’s character will fit in perfectly with our group. His underrated skill level could push him to play up in the lineup but we have Ponomarev envisioned to centre our third line for years to come.
51 DETROIT RED WINGS (FROM EDM) – MARTIN CHROMIAK, LW, KINGSTON (OHL), 6’0” 181
Stevie Yzerman and former cup hoisting teammate Kris Draper who now run the Detroit draft table love what they see available to them with their second pick in round two. The power winger from Slovakia joined Kingston mid-season and instantly formed chemistry with standout and elite future prospect Shane Wright to become one of the league’s top offensive duos. The Wings love the skill/power combo the strong skating Chromiak brings to the table and see him one day as a potential top six forward.
52 OTTAWA SENATORS (FROM NYI)- OZZY WEISBLATT, RW, PRINCE ALBERT (WHL), 5’11, 183
Ottawa Senators are happy to snag another offensive weapon down the wing Ozzy Weisblatt from Prince Albert of the WHL. Ozzy brings a high compete level to every shift and has a high motor. He has a quick stick on the forecheck and really uses his speed and pressure to get in the forecheck and cause turnovers. Ozzy has a nice set of hands and is able to score in tight under pressure. He is able to play with a bit of an edge and bring a physical presence to the game. The Senators are happy to select another potential top nine winger with some grit to the lineup. At the very least the Sens are getting a quick skating energy player that can kill penalties and chip in with some secondary scoring.
53 OTTAWA SENATORS (FROM DAL)- JACOB TRUSCOTT- D, USNDTP (U18), 6’1, 170
The Ottawa Senators select Jacob Truscott from the NDTP. Jacob is a tall left shot puck moving defender that had a great set of wheels on him. With the Sens adding Drysdale and Barron to the right-side selecting Truscott gives them a left puck mover to add to the group. Jacob was used as a shutdown defender and as well on the power play at times this season. He has a great feel for the game in his own end and is able to shut off lanes with his long reach and smart positioning. Jacob really makes a difference up front as he can break the puck out with his feet or a stretch pass. Once in the zone or on the power play Truscott is excellent at using his skating to create space and walk the line before he finds a lane to get a shot off. Once open he can fire the slap shot as well. The Sens look to add a potential 4/5 defender that has some upside and a high ceiling offensively.
54 CAROLINA HURRICANES – WILLIAM VILLENEUVE, D, SAINT JOHN SEA DOGS (QMJHL), 6’1”, 163
Villeneuve is a quality two-way defenseman who makes good decisions with the puck and delivers crisp passes with the puck as well. Jeremie Poirier was actually his defensive partner this season, and while Villeneuve was still able to produce good numbers offensively, he was relied upon much more in all situations as opposed to Poirier. His offensive game only improved more and more as the season went on. A very safe pick for Carolina at this spot even though there have been some questions regarding his long-term upside.
55 LOS ANGELES KINGS (FROM VGK) – PAVEL NOVAK, RW/LW, KELOWNA ROCKETS (WHL), 5’9″, 170
With the Kings next pick they select the dynamic Czech winger, Pavel Novak. After a very good performance in the 2019 Hlinka tournament, Pavel decided to join the Kelowna Rockets in the WHL and boost his draft stock. He played in 55 games, scored 25 goals and assisted 33 times which gives a total of 58 points. He’s a very underrated two-way forward, with a great wrister and great offensive instincts. He’s got quick feet and generates very good speed with and without the puck. He’s able to stickhandle by his opponents or beat them with a nice move. He’s great on special teams and he plays with a lot of passion and high energy. A very entertaining, dependable and offensively gifted player gets picked up by the Kings.
56 CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS (FROM PIT) – ANTONIO STRANGES, C/LW, LONDON KNIGHTS (OHL), 5’10”, 170
Stranges was teammates with both Adam Boqvist and Alec Regula in London, Boqvist now playing full-time with Chicago and Regula now being one of their prospects as they acquired him via trade with Detroit, so there are some connections there already that make this pick a little bit easier for Chicago. Stranges is a highly skilled forward who can use his puck skills and creativity to evade tight situations where it looks impossible to do so. His hands are probably, if not arguably, the best in this draft. On skill alone, he definitely is a first-round prospect, but there have been concerns over his production this year that caused him to drop in people’s rankings. If he pans out, he’ll be a really nice pick for Chicago at this spot.
57 PHILADELPHIA FLYERS – VEETI MIETTINEN, RW, KIEKKO-ESPOO U20 (JR. A SM-LIIGA), 5’9”, 159
Skillful winger who has an elite shot but is also able to set up plays. His edgework gives him an advantage in the offensive zone where he can create scoring chances out of nothing. His two-way game is underrated, Miettinen thinks the game two or three steps ahead and he’s good in both ends, he often intercepts passes and is a great forechecker. Miettinen has dragged his team through the season, he’s been dominant in every game and he’s basically done it by his own. I think many would rate Miettinen much higher if he would have played in Mestis or Liiga but since he wants to go over to the NCAA he was not given that chance and hence is slightly under the radar.
58 DETROIT RED WINGS (FROM WSH) – MARAT KHUSNUTDINOV, C, SKA-1946 ST. PETERSBURG (MHL), 5’11”, 176
Detroit knows they need to add some defenders to the mix but with so many highly talented forwards ranked ahead of the defenders available on their draft board they go with the best talent available which is also an organizational need; a skilled potential top six NHL centre. They love Khusnutdinov’s skill as a playmaker for sure but the intangibles like his compete and desire to win are what seal the deal.
59 TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING – LUKE TUCH, LW, NTDP U18 (USHL), 6’2″, 203
Tamps GM Julien BriseBois leaves the drafting primarily up to Amateur Scouting Director Al Murray and with good reason as Al’s drafting track record speaks for itself. The Lightning are very happy to see this big power winger still on the board when their first selection comes up in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. They love the that he hunts for pucks, uses his size the right way to protect the puck and drive it towards the net and has speed that many guys his size are missing.
60 SAN JOSE SHARKS (FROM COL) – TY SMILANIC, C, NTDP U18 (USHL), 6’0″, 177
San Joes Shanks are please to select Ty Smilianic from the NTDP program, Ty is a goal shooter that can play center or wing. A heavy sniper shot who looks to shoot first, if the shooting lane is not open he can change the release angle or make crisp passes to open line mates. His 200 ft game needs to be improved, but his game is all about puck possession.
61 MONTREAL CANADIENS (FROM STL) – TYLER KLEVEN, D, NTDP U18 (USHL), 6’4, 200
The Montreal Canadiens go back to their American scouts to pick up the big physical defenseman Tyler Kleven. The Habs organization have been targeting more and more Americans within the past three drafts and have seen some early success in Jordan Harris, Cayden Primeau and Ryan Poehling developing through the NCAA. They envision Kleven becoming a sturdy reliable shutdown defender on the second pairing. More development in his offensive play and skating while in the University of North Dakota program will benefit him.
62 BOSTON BRUINS – ALEXANDER PASHIN, F, TOLPAR UFA (MHL), 5’7, 154
With our first pick in this draft the Boston Bruins loves the similarities they see in Alexander Pashin to current All-Star Bruin Brad Marchand. While not a carbon copy, both have a pest like quality that opponents hate to play against as well as immense skill level. Pashin has an elite release on his shot, great speed and excellent work showing he isn’t afraid to go into the dirty areas or to battle along the walls with bigger players. Pashin has smooth hands where he can make great passes in tight areas and are slippery players which can make quick turns to get rid of the defenseman
63 DETROIT RED WINGS- DREW COMMESSO, G, NTDP U18 (USHL), 6’2, 187
Detroit knows that a high-end puck stopping prospect needs to be on their shopping list at the 2020 NHL Draft and with the first pick in the third round they are happy to see the NTDP product there for the taking. They like his cool, calm demeanor, his athleticism and his hybrid style fits well in the organization. They also like the fact he is going to Boston University next year where fellow Wings picks Robert Mastrosimone, Ethan Phillips and Kasper Kotkansalo are also developing and that he should see ample playing time as they are a team without a true starter.
64 OTTAWA SENATORS- SAM COLANGELO, RW, CHICAGO STEEL (USHL) 6’2, 205
The Ottawa Senators are pleased to select Sam Colangelo from the USHL. Sam is a big power forward that has a nose for the net. Colangelo is a good skater for his size and it allows him to play the game any style. His big frame gives him the chance to protect the puck and create space for his line. Colangelo was great for the USA at the World Jr A Challenge in a checking role where he really took his competitive drive and physical play to another level. His production continued on a record setting Chicago Steel team once returning from the tournament. Sam has a great release and can find the corners through traffic off the rush. Colangelo should get more opportunities on the power play and penalty kill at North Eastern. Sam could develop into a secondary scoring option for the Senators down the road as they add another big presence on the wing.
65 DETROIT RED WINGS (FROM SJS) – JONI JURMO, JOKERIT JR. (JR. A SM-LIIGA), 6-4, 190
The Wings love the skating and size combo as well as the obvious offensive abilities that this puck moving defenseman, which is a major organizational need during this rebuild, has and feel he brings top four NHL blueliner upside to the table. He reminds them of fellow Finnish defender Antti Tuomisto whom they drafted early in round two last year and whom they have watched progress well during his time in the U20 junior league. The Wings feel they might very well have a high upside sleeper pick with this selection.
66 LOS ANGELES KINGS – EEMIL VIRO, D, TPS (LIIGA), 6’0″, 168
The Kings select the two-way mobile defender from TPS in Finland, Eemil Viro. He’s a big minute muncher on the international stage and in his U20 TPS club playing on the top defensive pair as he should be. He’s an athletic defender with a lot of power in his stride. He’s terrific at moving the puck up the ice and has a very accurate and crisp pass. As a puck moving defender he has the ability to create chances on his own with his strong puck skills and fine offensive instincts. Defensively he’s very reliable and consistent, positions himself well without the puck and battles hard on the boards. He gets his shots on net but he’s doesn’t have a lot of power in it and could work on that to become an even greater offensive threat in the future. The Kings will let him mature as a top defender in the Liiga and hope he turns patrols their top four in a few years.
67 ANAHEIM DUCKS – ANTON JOHANNESSON, D, HV71 J20 (SUPERELIT), 5’9″, 154
With our fourth pick in this draft, the Anaheim Ducks thinks that they have grabbed a steal in Anton Johannesson. With some injury troubles in 18/19 Johannesson was a little hidden but when he was healthy he was highly productive playing on the best defensive pair in the J-20 league with Emil Andrae. Johannesson is an offensive defenseman with elite mobility and footwork. Johannesson is a typical modern defenseman who loves to walk the blueline with ice water in his veins with the puck on his stick and shows great patience to hold on to the puck until he gets the opens lanes to shot or to passes the puck. He loves to join rushes, but he also has a good first pass to start the breakaway.
68 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS (FROM NJD) – DAEMON HUNT, D, MOOSE JAW WARRIORS (WHL), 6’0″, 198
The Vegas Knight are pleased to pick Daemon Hunt from the Moose Jaw Warriors of the WHL. Vegas was surprised Daemon was still available and a player we had high on our list. Daemon is a strong two-way D-man that can jump into the play, but what impresses Vegas the most is his defensive play. Even though his team had a negative +/- Daemon was a pillar in the Dzone and still had the most points of any D-man on the team. A Very mobile D-man, with great vision and positioning. Breaks the puck out using his feet or accurate first pass. Not afraid to be physical and use his big body to defend. The freak injury will not be set back for Daemon.
69 CAROLINA HURRICANES (FROM BUF) – SEAN FARRELL, LW, CHICAGO STEEL (USHL), 5’9″, 179
Carolina goes for value early on in the third round with Farrell here. Farrell is a well-rounded playmaking winger who can also play a little bit of center, but he’ll translate to a winger at the NHL level with how he attacks the outside lanes. He is very tenacious when it comes to loose pucks and he can win just about any loose puck battle with the speed he has. A very shifty and explosive skater with quick first steps. He proved to be one of the Steel’s best play drivers this season, and that’s something in his game that really stood out to me considering how good this team was this season. The Canes think there’s some nice upside in Farrell’s game that can make him a value pick at this spot like I mentioned before, and he’ll begin his college hockey career with Harvard in the fall.
70 MONTREAL CANADIENS – JAROMIR PYTLIK, C, SAULT STE. MARIE GREYHOUNDS (OHL), 6’2, 200
Montreal’s organization come away ecstatic with Pytlik falling into their lap at #70. While draft pick Jacob LeGuerrier develop his game this past season in the Soo, Pytlik stood out with his tenacious work ethic in all three zones and ability to play a complete and reliable 200-foot game down the middle. He can utilize his powerful stride to attack off the rush and play north-south hockey while also possessing a pro build already to play off the cycle and utilize his body to protect and control pucks along the boards. Montreal hopes he can develop his offensive game and skill level to the next level to become a potential second line centre but has shown to have the work ethic and reliability to play down the lineup.
71 CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS – MICHAEL BENNING, D, SHERWOOD PARK (AJHL), 5’9”, 177
With the signing of Ian Mitchell for the Blackhawks, the future on D is looking very bright in Chicago. Even though Benning is another RHD which means he would likely slot in behind Boqvist and Mitchell if he makes the NHL in the future, I think you just cannot pass him up in the third round since he could turn out to be a first-round talent if he pans out. And it helps since it creates more depth at that position for Chicago, which is necessary on the blueline. It’s hard to say that Benning is a two-way player just yet since he isn’t complete defensively, but there is a lot of things to like in his defensive play. There’s a lot of mobility in his game which makes him more effective and efficient in transition. Moves the puck well and overall his positioning at both ends of the ice is solid.
72 WASHINGTON CAPITALS (FROM ARI) – JUSTIN SOURDIF, RW, VANCOUVER GIANTS, (WHL), 5’11, 173
Washington happily snags Sourdif before he drops any further. The Capitals organization have been targeting players out of the WHL lately in the past two drafts. Drafting players like Brett Leason, Riley Sutter, and Alex Kannok-Leipert, they all share a common attribute, work ethic. Washington goes with another winger with a high work ethic and drive level in and around the net. Sourdif will need to get stronger to play his style of play for Washington but the Caps love his ability to pot goals from within the front of the net and work for the puck in the dirty areas. Some development in his skating is needed but Washington is happy to get another hard working Western Canadian out of the WHL.
73 NASHVILLE PREDATORS (FROM MIN) – CARTER SAVOIE, LW, SHERWOOD PARK (AJHL) 5’10, 181
Nashville is pleased to select Carter Savoie from Sherwood Park of the AJHL. With Savoie dropping the Preds are thrilled to select a potential top six winger who had a great year where he was a goal scoring machine putting up 53 goals in 54 games. Although he was quiet at the World Jr A Challenge, you could see the package that scouts are enamored with. Savoie has an edge to his game and isn’t afraid to mix it up and create energy for his team. What stands out the most to me is his wrist shot and release through traffic. Savoie will be heading off to Denver where he will learn to become more dynamic defensively. With more minutes on the power play Savoie could turn into a real goal scoring threat for the Predators down the road.
74 OTTAWA SENATORS (FROM WPG)- EVAN VIERLING, C, BARRIE COLTS (OHL), 6’0, 168
With the 74th pick the Senators are thrilled to select Evan Vierling from the Barrie Colts. Evan was a bit of a mystery this draft just a year after being selected second overall in the OHL draft to Flint. After being traded to Barrie, Evan was an immediate go-to option for the Colts. He was thrust into the 1st line center role where he created some real chemistry with first round selection Tyson Foerster. Evan is a playmaking center with elite vision that makes everyone around him better. He has soft hands and can score from around the net despite being a pass first center. He plays the power play and penalty kill and will be relied upon to take the important draws for the Colts next season. With a later pick the Sens could be stealing a perfect second line center to line up behind Byfield in the future.
75 CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS (FROM CGY) – CARSON BANTLE, LW, MADISON (USHL), 6’4”, 201
Chicago typically does not go for players from the USHL in the draft that often, excluding the NTDP, but they see the potential value with this pick. Though Bantle has the size and naturally plays a power forward style, he isn’t your typical power forward. He is a very well-rounded multidimensional forward with good hockey sense and adds a strong compete level to his game. He’s got good positional awareness and supports his teammates on both sides of the puck. Since he has a big frame and is so strong on his skates, it allows him to protect the puck much easier. There’s sneaky upside with him and there’s a bunch of tools in his game already that will translate to higher levels, especially college right now where he could become a top-six forward at that level.
76 NEW YORK RANGERS – THEODOR NIEDERBACH, C, FRÖLUNDA HC (SUPERELIT), 5’11”, 172
The New York Rangers proudly selects Theodor Niederbach from Frölunda HC. Niederbach is a playmaking center with elite hands and vision. He can carve up any defense and he’s fantastic on the PP where he excels. He is a play driver who’s also good in the defensive area of the game. The Rangers think Niederbach has a better chance of making it to the NHL as a winger rather than a center, and think it will suit him better as he needs to take more responsibility the more he moves up in the system. Niederbach played zero games last season and of course that affects this season as well. With this pick, the Rangers may have put in a homerun when we look back in a couple of years.
77 VANCOUVER CANUCKS – MAXIM GROSHEV, RW, NEFTEKHIMIK NIZHNEKAMSK (KHL) 6’2”, 196
Vancouver is pleasantly surprised to see this big winger still available. This big tough kid from Russia has the potential to play a top nine role, play a consistent, do-it-all style. The Canucks think he will one day soon become a strong addition to help our goal scorers find the back of the net in a secondary role. He brings consistency, dependability, and solid vision. Like a Timex watch he can take a beating and keep on ticking. Willing to battle in the hard areas and do what it takes to win by playing a team game.
78 NASHVILLE PREDATORS- LUKE EVANGELISTA, RW, LONDON KNIGHTS (OHL) 5’11, 165
The Nashville Predators are pleased to select Luke Evangelista from the London Knights. Luke is a high IQ forward that really impacts the game from the wing with his playmaking. His production took a big step forward this year and should take another one next year as his role becomes more pivotal. Evangelista will need to mature and fill out, but could turn into a really smart top six winger at the pro level. Being coached by the Hunters on what will be a good London team next year will be another factor teams are looking at due to the track record of pros the system had produced. Luke will have the compete level and understanding to also add intangibles like penalty killing to his game.
79 FLORIDA PANTHERS – DYLAN PETERSON, C, NTDP U18 (USHL), 6’4”, 192
The Panthers are extremely excited to select the big power centre from the National Team Development Program U18 squad as they see a future middle six two-way centre who utilizes his size to play the power game, wins a lot of battles for pucks, uses his speed well to protect pucks and can produce some secondary scoring chances. He is a smart kid and the Panthers will give him plenty of time to develop as he heads off to Boston University in the fall.
80 LOS ANGELES KINGS (FROM CBJ) – ALEXANDER NIKISHIN, D, SPARTAK MOSKVA (KHL), 6’3″, 196
The Kings are pleased to select the Russian defender from Spartak Moskva, Alexander Nikishin. Aalready a regular in the KHL, playing over 30 games in the big boys league this season. He plays a hard and very physical type of game often delivering devastating open ice body checks. He’s a good skater and can handle the puck but his defensive game and heavy shot from the blue line are his greatest weapons. He’s pretty good at breaking out the puck from his own zone and is aware of his defensive positioning in all areas of the ice. He’s going to have time to round out his game playing at home in Russia and the Kings will be waiting for him when the time is right to join the NHL.
81 COLORADO AVALANCHE (FROM TOR) – BRETT BERARD, LW, NTDP U18, (USHL), 5’9″, 152
The Avs select from the NTDP, the skilled and smooth skating left winger, Brett Berard. His ability to keep puck possession is remarkable and his stickhandling and hand-eye coordination is at a very high level. He’s very clever and finds ways to create plays with limited space. He’s got a quick release and likes to surprise the goalie with shots from tricky angles. He displays all of his strengths on the PowerPlay where he plays a key role. The Avs see a top 6 playmaking forward in Berard and they’re hoping he will be able to develop into that role in a few seasons.
82 EDMONTON OILERS – KYLE CRNKOVIC, C, SASKATOON BLADES (WHL), 5’6”, 159
The Edmonton Oilers are pleased to announce Kyle Crnkovic from the WHL Saskatoon Blades, everyone knows we like speed and puck skills. Kyle is a tiny but elusive winger that is hard to slow down or check because of his speed and agility. Played in all situations. Great IQ and vision allow him to set up passes or spring himself through openings. Could easily be the fastest skater we have seen this year in the WHL. Balanced and not as easy to knock off the puck as you would think. The hope is that he adds some muscle and provides Edmonton with a homerun here in the third round.
83 NEW YORK ISLANDERS – WILL CUYLLE, LW, WINDSOR SPITFIRES (OHL), 6’3, 204
The Islanders take Will Cuylle with their first pick of the draft and continue to stock up on potential goal scoring wingers to develop into their top six forward group. Islanders are in a tough spot with this pick as they’d love to get a natural centreman but have had to sit and watch a plethora of centres go before their first pick. Nevertheless, they are excited and see the upside in Cuylle’s offensive talent and his size will fit in perfectly with their rough and tough style of play. They think Cuylle has the potential to become a consistent 20 goal scorer in the NHL. Islanders will like to continue developing his skating ability to get it up to NHL level and help round out his game away from the puck.
84 NEW YORK RANGERS (FROM DAL) – JOEL BLOMQIVST, G, KÄRPÄT JR. (JR. A SM-LIIGA), 6’1, 205
The Rangers have their future goalie tandem settled with Georgiev and Shestyorkin, getting a goalie like Blomqvist at this point of the draft is something they can’t say no to though. Blomqvist is a calm netminder, he has an active glove hand and dynamic movement both laterally through the crease and when coming off to face his shooter. His angles are almost played at perfection and you can see that in both his close-range play or when the opponents make cross-ice passes. His rebound control is amazing, and he never seems to give the shooter a second chance. The Rangers feel Blomqvist could be a starting netminder in the future. Insurance in case of injury or possible a future big-time trade chip.
85 CAROLINA HURRICANES – DMITRI OVCHINNIKOV, C/RW, SIBIRSKIE (MHL), 5’10”, 161
The Canes add to a current bounty of young talent in their system. They feel comfortable that this skilled forward might be a few years away from North America but excited that the reward for patience might be substantial. Ovchinnikov only got better as the season went on in the MHL, and that allowed for a promotion to the KHL for a couple games. He is an explosive forward who attacks open ice with speed and is extremely difficult to contain at top speed. He has to be up there for one of the fastest players in the draft as well. A really nice pass-first playmaker with tremendous upside.
86 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS – WYATT KAISER, D, ANDOVER (MN USHS), 5’11”, 173
The Knights select Wyatt Kaiser from Andover High School from the Minnesota 2A High School league. Kaiser is a player that could have played a full season in the USHL with Dubuque but choose to return to Andover after 11 games with Dubuque for his Senior year of high school. Outstanding skater and puck control making him an offensive threat. He plays in all situations and quarterbacks the PP. High end awareness/IQ, passing and shot, but his leadership and character sets him apart. Should play a full year with Dubuque of the USHL next season before joining the Univ of Minnesota-Duluth. Vegas believes Wyatt will be an impact D-man after playing for UMass.
87 PITTSBURGH PENGUINS – EMIL HEINEMAN, LW, LEKSANDS IF J20 (SUPERELIT), 6’1”, 185
Heineman tore up the Swedish Junior League this year and Pittsburgh hopes they mined for gold with this pick. The SuperElit is a league known for producing hidden gems through the draft and developing them into quality NHL players. Heineman played well enough to earn some time in the SHL as he played 11 games there this season, finishing with two goals where he played quite well in most of those games. He is such a frustrating player to evade as an opposing player with his speed, his high motor, how he can use his stick effectively to poke pucks free and then transition them quickly the other way. A really nice skater too as he has smooth edgework, a nice and long stride through open ice.
88 TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (FROM PHI) – SIMON KUBICEK, D, SEATTLE THUNDERBIRDS (WHL), 6’2″, 194
Al Murray steps up to the mic and announces, “The Tampa Bay Lightning select from Seattle of the WHL, Simon Kubicek.” But that sentence does nothing to express how excited the scouting staff of Tampa truly are to get their hands on this big, rangy, mature, two-way defender this late in the third round. They see a potential top four guy who can play it any way you want. Physically tight defensive play or a fast skating, quick puck moving game.
89 MONTREAL CANADIENS (FROM WAS) – MITCHELL MILLER, D, TRI-CITY STORM (USHL), 5’10, 180
Montreal is pleasantly surprised to see Mitchell Miller slip all the way down to them. Miller has the offensive instincts, creativity and vision to pinch in for an offensive chance while also having the hockey sense to maintain tight gaps in his own end and use his wider build to engage physically. He’s an efficient passer and uses his intelligence when moving the puck in all three zones. Miller was the top defender for his Tri-City team in the USHL and proved to be a valuable leader. He has top 4 upside projecting to be a two-way defender.
90 TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING – BRANDON COE, RW, NORTH BAY BATTALION (OHL), 6’3”, 185
Tampa continues to pick players off their draft board who they have ranked much higher than where they are selecting them, as do most teams, and are excited by the blend of size, power and offensive abilities they get in this pick. They love his surprisingly strong mobility, net-front presence on the powerplay and that he brings a hard-nosed style to the table. They feel Coe is just scratching the surface of his potential and that they might have just picked up the next Alex Killorn.
91 FLORIDA PANTHERS (FROM COL) – BROCK FABER, D, NTDP U18, (USHL), 6’0″, 194
Dale Tallon and company add another defensive prospect with this pick, and they are excited to bring in someone with the no-nonsense defense first approach that Faber plays with. He can make a strong first pass and even joins the rush when the opportunity is there to contribute offense but make no mistake about it the Panthers draft him here mostly for his poised, physical, and highly intelligent defensive play.
92 ST. LOUIS BLUES- EAMON POWELL, RD, USNDTP (U18) 5’11, 165
St Louis is pleased to select Eamon Powell from the U18 team. Eamon is the perfect insurance plan in case they lose Alex Pietrangelo to free agency this summer. While he will not be able to replace the All-star defender, the Blues love the game and potential Powell showed this season. Eamon is a steady right shot defender who is smooth and calculated in his transition game, great on the penalty kill and battling in his own end. Eamon is a one man break out because of his excellent speed and edge work. The Blues Brass thought Eamon’s underrated game really allowed Sanderson to let go a little on the top pair without becoming a liability.
93 BOSTON BRUINS – TYLER TULLIO, C, OSHAWA GENERALS (OHL) 5’9, 161
With the final pick of this mock draft the Bruins organization has decided to go with skilled center Tyler Tullio. In Tyler we think that we are getting a great two-way center man with smooth hands great vision and a underrated shot, We also thinks that Tyler has showed that he also can play a hard style of hockey away from the puck and hare not shy from going in to physical battles which the Bruins just love to see in their prospects.