NHL Draft 2020: 1st-Round Mock Predictions and Latest Order
Featured Columnist March 18, 2020 0 Comments Comment Bubble Icon
While the current NHL season is suspended due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, teams should be in prepare-for-the-future mode even amid uncertainty about the rest of the 2019-20 campaign.
With that in mind, here is a look at first-round mock selections for the 2020 NHL draft, which is still scheduled to take place June 26-27 ( order of picks is from Tankathon):
1. Detroit Red Wings: Alexis Lafreniere, LW, Rimouski (QMJHL)
2. Ottawa Senators: Tim Stutzle, C/LW, Adler Mannheim (DNL U20)
3. Ottawa Senators (via San Jose Sharks): Quinton Byfield, C, Sudbury (OHL)
4. Los Angeles Kings: Anton Lundell, C, Hifk (LIIGA)
5. Anaheim Ducks: Marco Rossi, C, Ottawa (OHL)
6. New Jersey Devils: Alexander Holtz, RW, Djurgardens (SHL)
7. Buffalo Sabres: Jamie Drysdale, D, Erie (OHL)
8. Montreal Canadiens: Lucas Raymond, RW, Frolunda (SHL)
9. Chicago Blackhawks: Cole Perfetti, C/LW, Saginaw (OHL)
10. New Jersey Devils (via Arizona Coyotes): Jake Sanderson, D, USA U18 (NTDP)
11. Minnesota Wild: Dylan Holloway, C, University of Wisconsin
12. Winnipeg Jets: Yaroslav Askarov, G, Ska-Varyagi (MHL)
13. New York Rangers: Dawson Mercer, RW, Drummondville (QMJHL)
14. Florida Panthers: Braden Schneider, D, Brandon (WHL)
15. Columbus Blue Jackets: Mavrik Bourque, C, Shawinigan (QMJHL)
16. Calgary Flames: Connor Zary, C, Kamloops (WHL)
17. New Jersey Devils (via Vancouver Canucks): Noel Gunler, LW, Lulea (SHL)
18. Nashville Predators: Jack Quinn, RW, Ottawa (OHL)
19. Carolina Hurricanes (via Toronto Maple Leafs): Rodion Amirov, C, Tolpar Ufa (MHL)
20. Edmonton Oilers: Shakir Mukhamadullin, D, Tolpar Ufa (MHL)
21. Ottawa Senators (via New York Islanders): Kaiden Guhle, D, Prince Albert (WHL)
22. Dallas Stars: Vasili Ponomaryov, C, Shawinigan (QMJHL)
23. New York Rangers (via Carolina Hurricanes): Jacob Perreault, C, Sarnia (OHL)
24. Minnesota Wild (via Pittsburgh Penguins): Lukas Cormier, D, Charlottetown (QMJHL)
25. Philadelphia Flyers: Jeremie Poirier, LHD, Saint John (QMJHL)
26. San Jose Sharks (via Tampa Bay Lightning): Jan Mysak, C, Hamilton (OHL)
27. Colorado Avalanche: Jake Neighbours, LW, Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)
28. Vegas Golden Knights: Seth Jarvis, C, Portland (WHL)
29. Washington Capitals: Justin Barron, D, Halifax (QMJHL)
30. St. Louis Blues: Thomas Bordeleau, C, USA U18 (NTDP)
31. Anaheim Ducks (via Boston Bruins): William Wallinder, D, MoDo U-20 (Sweden)
Perhaps the one seemingly sure thing leading up to this draft is Alexis Lafreniere is likely going to go No. 1 overall.
Landing that pick would be a significant development for a Detroit Red Wings team that hasn’t been to the playoffs since the 2015-16 campaign. The recent drought is all the more notable because it has come after Detroit made the playoffs 25 straight years and won four Stanley Cup titles during that span.
Lafreniere would be quite the consolation prize to another disappointing season.
Mike Morreale of NHL.com noted the dynamic 18-year-old tallied 112 points with 40 power-play points in 52 QMJHL games this season. The 6’1″, 194-pound left wing posted 297 points in 173 QMJHL games as he played his way up draft boards.
“The big winger is ready for the NHL today and has all the makings of the first-line winger who can put up points and drive the play for his team for a long time to come,” Sean Leahy of NBC Sports wrote in January while pointing to Lafreniere’s ability to “slow the game to pick it apart” with “fantastic command of the puck.”
That is the type of presence the Red Wings have missed in recent seasons, and he will be under plenty of pressure to live up to expectations.
Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Marc-Andre Fleury and Taylor Hall are among those who have been selected No. 1 overall and are currently playing in the NHL, which underscores the type of expectations that will be in place for Lafreniere.
He would be a key addition for the Red Wings or any team.