9 Best Prospects From The 2020 NHL Draft

Hey Dudes! Today we will be talking about the top 9 prospects from the 2020 NHL draft. If you were looking for our article on which young star will be picked first overall in the 2018, 2019 and 2020 NHL drafts CLICK HERE

 

We decided to create this list because it is always fun to try and predict the future, and each of these young stars will have a bright future in hockey. Keep in mind that each of these prospects is either 15 or 16 as of 2018 so this list is by no means final and will likely change more than a few times in the upcoming years.

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2020 NHL Draft Rankings (MOCK)

9. Quinton Byfield (Center, YORK SIMCOE EXPRESS MN MDGT AAA)

  • Age: 15
  • Height: Six-foot-four
  • Weight: 203 pounds
  • Shoots: Left-handed
  • From: Newmarket, Ont.

Byfield put up huge totals in the Eastern AAA Minor Midget League, leading all scorers with 48 goals and 92 points in 34 games — good for a 22-point lead on the second-highest scorer. Byfield’s 2.71 points-per-game rate is the third-best in league history dating back to the 1999-2000 season and is bested by only Steven Stamkos (2.98) and Taylor Hall (2.88). His scoring is absolutely one of the reasons he is listed in the top 10 prospects of the 2020 NHL draft. Besides scoring, the extra dimension that Byfield has is enormous size. At just 15 years old he’s listed at six-foot-four and 203 pounds.

“He’s not as physical as [Eric] Lindros was, but you look at the way he plays, he’s not a tiger out there, but he’s a real aggressive hockey player who’s got good size and kids can bounce off him. I remember watching Lindros for the first time and asking myself, ‘How can a guy that big be that skilled?’ And that’s the one thing that strikes you about Quinton Byfield when you see him play.” – Jeff Marek (Sportnet)

8. Kasper Simontaival (Center, TAPPARA U18)

  • Age: 16
  • Height: Five-foot-nine
  • Weight: 172 pounds
  • Shoots: Right-handed
  • From: Tampere, Fin.

Simontaival’s skills are obvious. Even though he is smaller than most of the opponents, he was very hard to take off the puck because of his pure skills with both the stick and the skates. He is also surprisingly strong for a player of his size, especially his lower-body strength shows in board battles. The forward’s biggest strengths are his offensive skills. With 37 points in 28 games its easy to see his fire-power and his passing. His vision is high-end, and he will set up great scoring chances for his line mates in every other shift. While he isn’t bad defensively, that side of the game needs a lot of work. He is occasionally a bit lazy in his own end and seems to be just floating around trying to go on a rush. He reminds me of a young Mikko Koivu

7. Alexander Holtz (Forward, DJURGÅRDENS IF J18)

  • Age: 16
  • Height: Six-foot
  • Weight: 183 pounds
  • Shoots: Right-handed
  • From: Saltsjo-Boo, Swe.

The other great Swede in this draft was able to put up more points in both J18 leagues than Lucas Raymond. It is easy to see that his shot is elite compared to most players in his age group. His vision is also fantastic in terms of making plays on the rush. He put up 45 points in 17 games in the J18 Elit League and put up 29 points in 13 games in the J18 Allsvenskan; with more than half of those points coming in the form of goals. Holtz could be that one dark horse player that moves up to being the best player in the 2020 NHL draft.

“I would describe myself as a technically skilled sniper who can also see openings to make good plays” – Alexander Holtz

6. Nick Desantis (Center, SELECTS HOCKEY ACADEMY 15U)

  • Age: 15
  • Height: Five-foot-eight
  • Weight: 145 pounds
  • Shoots: Right-handed
  • From: Collegeville, PA.

Desantis is a prospect that is rarely talked about due to his size and the fact that he plays in midget. However, Desantis is an unbelievably skilled forward that has the scoring touch. In 53 games, Desantis put up a whopping 94 points, including 40 goals. Other than a few YouTube videos there is almost nothing on this prospect. As of right now Desantis is a player that very well might move out of the first round all together, or push his way into the top 10. As of right now, Desantis in the number 6 spot likely will not go higher than this by the time that the 2020 NHL draft rolls around.

5. Brandon Coe (Forward, NORTH BAY BATTALION)

  • Age: 16
  • Height: Six-foot-three
  • Weight: 179 pounds
  • Shoots: Right-handed
  • From: Ajax, Ont.

Coe is one of only a few 16-year-olds to play in the CHL. While he hasn’t put up huge numbers in junior hockey, he has played consistently with North Bay. He has played in 63 games with the Battalion and will gain immeasurable experience from playing against competition that can be as old as 21. While only putting up 23 points in those games, do not be surprised if Coe puts up more than a point per game next season.

4. Kaiden Guhle (Defenseman, OHA EDMONTON PREP)

  • Age: 16
  • Height: Six-foot-three
  • Weight: 175 pounds
  • Shoots: Left-handed
  • From: Sherwood Park, AB.

The only defenseman in this top 10 is a sure-fire prospect. Guhle is a defensive stalwart that uses his size to lean on opposition in the corners. More than likely he will grow a couple more inches and improve his offensive skills (not that they are bad) to become a more well rounded player. He has put up great numbers in midget, however it will remain to be seen if that will translate into the next level. Guhle, will likely place somewhere in the top 15 in the 2020 NHL draft because d-men at this age rarely continue to be dominant all the way up until their draft year (Sean Day).

3. Connor McClennon (Forward, NORTHERN ALBERTA X-TREME PREP)

  • Age: 15
  • Height: Five-foot-nine
  • Weight: 154 pounds
  • Shoots: Right-handed
  • From: Wainwright, AB.

Some might say prep school players are a bit too young to show realistic NHL potential, but we disagree. After all, many of the brightest stars in the NHL, including Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid, turned heads from a young age. In just 31 games, McClennon scored a stellar 26 goals and 67 points in a top tier midget hockey league.

That production was more than enough to convince the Kootenay ICE to take McClennon second overall in the 2017 WHL draft.

2. Marco Rossi (Forward, GCK LIONS U20)

  • Age: 16
  • Height: Five-foot-nine
  • Weight: 154 pounds
  • Shoots: Left-handed
  • From: Feldkirch, AUT.

He may only be 5’9”, but Marco Rossi’s size should not scare away scouts. The young Austrian’s skill is more than apparent. Even before age 15, Rossi was already skating with the Swiss GC Küsnacht U17 Team in 2015-2016. He scored 15 goals and 25 assists for 40 points in just 18 games. In the most recent season for Rossi, he played in the Swiss U20 league, where he put up a more than respectable 51 points in 34 games. If Rossi continues to perform beyond his years against competition one to two years his senior, he could shape up as a top prospect for the 2020 NHL draft.

1. Alexis Lafreniere (Center, RIMOUSKI OCÉANIC)

  • Age: 16
  • Height: Six-foot-one
  • Weight: 185 pounds
  • Shoots: Left-handed
  • From: St. Eustache, QC.

Lafreniere was drafted first overall by Rimouski in 2017 after an 83-point effort with his hometown midget AAA Saint-Eustache Vikings. In his rookie QMJHL season he scored 42 goals as a 16-year-old — something no ‘Q’ player had done since Crosby. Recently, Lafreniere recorded 80 points with the Oceanic, becoming just the second person to reach that mark at his age since Crosby earned 135 points in 2003-04. Lafreniere’s goal and point totals ranked second in QMJHL rookie scoring. The player ahead of him by two in each category was Halifax Mooseheads winger Filip Zadina – a projected top-five pick in the 2018 NHL Draft who’s two years older. In my opinion, this is the only pick that will not change from today up until the 2020 NHL draft.

 

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