The 58th annual NHL draft is upon us (albeit months later and in a different format from normal). We are barely two weeks removed from Lord Stanley’s Cup being awarded to the Tampa Bay Lightning for a second time (the 102nd time that Lord Stanley’s Cup was won).
The NHL draft starts tonight and any player born between January 1st 2002 and September 15th 2002 is eligible to be drafted (as well as any player drafted in 2018 draft but not signed). Last year we saw Cole Caufield slip to the Montreal Canadiens, who will be a marquee name to do so tonight?
Dates: October 6th and 7th
Where: NHL Network Studios - Secaucus, New Jersey (but the draft will be held on a video conference call much like the NFL draft)
How to watch: NHL Network; NBCSN
When: 7:00pm (1st round); 11:30am (2nd round – 7th round)
How the draft could play out
The Favorite: Alexis Lafreniere. The talented left wing out of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is the lock for the number one selection tonight. He is the second player to be named CHL player of the year twice in a row (Sidney Crosby is the other).
Next on deck: Who will Los Angeles take with the #2 overall pick, there are two in contention right now for #2 and #3. Tim Stützle (International) is more NHL ready but Quinton Byfield (Canada) could have a higher ceiling, he is a year younger and will require more time to develop but could become the highest drafted African American player in the NHL draft.
This is a name you need to know!— NHL Network (@NHLNetwork) October 6, 2020
Quinton Byfield joined #NHLTonight's Top Prospects show to get ready for the #NHLDraft! pic.twitter.com/rJAT7sodqz
Sleeper: Jacob Perreault. Depending on how the draft plays out he could be a top ten pick or he could slip to the bottom third of the first round. The son of Yanic Perreault has the potential to be one of the best scorers of this draft, he has great hockey acumen, an elite shot and ability to create separation. At 5’11 and 198 pounds, he’s likely still growing and developing and he needs to work on his back-checking.
Teams to watch: New Jersey Devils have three first round picks; the Ottawa Senators have 12 overall picks (most in the draft).
What has me fascinated: Yaroslav Askarov is the top goalie prospect in this draft and it’s not even close. He’s likely one of the top goalie prospects in a few years and if he’s taken in the first round, this will be the first time since 2005 & 2006 (Carey Price & Jonathan Bernier) that goalies were taken in the first round in back to back years (Spencer Knight was taken 13th overall last year). Additionally, if he is taken in the top 10, it will be the first time a goalie was taken in the top ten since 2005 when Carey Price was drafted 5th overall.
First Round Order
- New York Rangers
- Los Angeles Kings
- Ottawa Senators
- Detroit Red Wings
- Ottawa Senators
- Anaheim Ducks
- New Jersey Devils
- Buffalo Sabres
- Minnesota Wild
- Winnipeg Jets
- Nashville Predators
- Florida Panthers
- Carolina Hurricanes (from Toronto)
- Edmonton Oilers
- Toronto Maple Leafs (from Pittsburgh)
- Montreal Canadiens
- Chicago Blackhawks
- New Jersey Devils (from Arizona)
- Calgary Flames
- New Jersey Devils (from Vancouver via Tampa Bay)
- Columbus Blue Jackets
- New York Rangers (from Carolina)
- Philadelphia Flyers
- Washington Capitals
- Colorado Avalanche
- St. Louis Blues
- Anaheim Ducks (from Boston)
- Ottawa Senators (from New York Islanders)
- Vegas Golden Knights
- Dallas Stars
- San Jose Sharks (from Tampa Bay)