As an ongoing special to Burgundy Review, Nathan Chapman (@ncchapman15) has provided the latest installment of his rankings for the upcoming 2020 NHL draft.
Alexis Lafrenière is a generational talent and is the best prospect at the wing position since Alex Ovechkin and is best overall draft eligible since Conor McDavid. His impressive performance at the World Junior Championship where he won a gold medal and tournament MVP honors should erase any doubt on what a tremendously special player he is and will become.
Following him is a very tight group from two through five with the edge to Quinton Byfield because he projects to be a center in the NHL due to his 6-foot-4 frame while rest are likely wingers at the next level.
Yaroslav Askarov is the best goalie prospect since Carey Price despite an uneven performance at the World Junior Championship. The fact that team Russia used a 17-year old in net should speak volumes to his talent level.
The next grouping from 7-14 is mixed with complete centers in Connor Zary, Anton Lundell and Dawson Mercer. Hendrix Lapierre is a special playmaker but has missed a large portion of the season recovering from a concussion. Highly skilled wingers Alexander Holtz, Noel Gunler and likely Marco Rossi round out the group.
The defensemen in this draft class are led by Jamie Drysdale and the next tier 15-23 are full of blueliners. Braden Schneider, Kaiden Guhle and William Wallinder are imposing two-way defensemen with offensive upside. Justin Barron and Jeremie Poirier are more pure offensive defensemen type.
Finally to complete the first round there’s a mix of power forwards such as Rodion Amirov and Jake Neighbours and then high skill plus IQ likely centers in Mavrik Bourque and Jacob Perreault. Defensive options for the backend exist with Jake Sanderson and Helge Grans.
Risers to watch are Jack Quinn, JJ Puterka, Tyson Foerster and Ridley Greig as well as fallers who need to bounce back in Dylan Holloway, Justin Sourdif and Jean-Luc Foudy.
Midseason Top 31 Ranking
1-Alexis Lafrenière, LW Rimouski Oceanic(QMJHL)
2-Quinton Byfield, C Sudbury Wolves(OHL)
3-Lucas Raymond, RW Frolunda(SHL)
4-Cole Perfetti, LW/C Saginaw Spirit(OHL)
5-Tim Stutzle, C Adler Mannheim(DEL)
6-Yaroslav Askarov, G St. Petersburg(VHL)
7-Connor Zary, C Kamloops Blazers(WHL)
8-Alexander Holtz, W Djurgardens(SHL)
9-Noel Gunler, RW Lulea(SHL)
10-Jamie Drysdale, D Erie Otters(OHL)
11-Dawson Mercer, C/RW Chicoutimi Sagueneens(QMJHL)
12-Hendrix Lapierre, C Chicoutimi Sagueneens(QMJHL)
13-Marco Rossi, C/W Ottawa 67’s(OHL)
14-Anton Lundell, C HIFK(Liiga)
15-Braden Schneider, D Brandon Wheat Kings(WHL)
16-Jeremie Poirier, D Saint John Sea Dogs(QMJHL)
17-Rodion Amirov, LW UFA(MHL)
18-Jake Neighbours, LW Edmonton Oil Kings(WHL)
19-Justin Barron, D Halifax Mooseheads(QMJHL)
20-Mavrik Bourque, C Shawinigan Cataractes(QMJHL)
21-Kaiden Guhle, D Prince Albert Raiders(WHL)
22-William Wallinder, D MODO(SuperElit)
23-Jacob Perreault, C Sarnia Sting(OHL)
24-Dylan Holloway, C Wisconsin(NCAA)
25-Jack Quinn, RW Ottawa 67’s(OHL)
26-Shakir Mukhamadullin, D UFA(MHL)
27-John-Jason Puterka, LW Munchen(DEL)
28-Jake Sanderson, D NTDP(USHL)
29-Justin Sourdif, RW Vancouver Giants(WHL)
30-Tyson Foerster, RW Barrie Colts(OHL)
31-Helge Grans, D Malmo(SHL)
HM-Ridley Greig, C Brandon Wheat Kings(WHL)
HM-Ozzy Wiesblatt, RW Prince Albert Raiders(WHL)
HM-Emil Andrea, D HV71(SuperElit)
HM-Carter Savoie, LW Sherwood Park Crusaders(AJHL)
HM-Michael Benning, D Sherwood Park Crusaders(AJHL)
HM-Brendan Brisson, C Chicago(USHL)
HM-Jean-Luc Foudy, RW Windsor Spitfires(OHL)
HM-Zion Nybeck, W HV71(SuperElit)
HM-William Villeneuve, D Saint John Sea Dogs(QMJHL)