2020 NHL Draft Fantasy Rankings

Peter Harling

2019-12-04

The team at DobberProspects has brought back a popular post we do each year where we rank the top prospects for the upcoming NHL Entry Draft for fantasy hockey purposes.

There are plenty of draft rankings available but this is the only place where you will find a ranking geared towards your fantasy hockey draft. This ranking is a collaboration of rankings submitted by DobberProspects writers Cam Robinson, Jokke Nevalainen, Tony Ferrari, and myself. We also reach out to other prospect experts are are pleased to have received contributions from the following:

Steven Ellis – The Hockey News

Scott Wheeler – The Athletic

Russ Cohen – Hockey Prospect Radio, Sportsology

Ryan Wagman – Mckeens

Brock Otten – OHL Prospects/Mckeens

Will Scouch – Scouching 

The following is a consensus ranking by all ten contributing writers and some comments on each player. The criteria for the rankings is for points only keeper leagues but some multi category comments are found throughout as well

1. Alexis Lafrenière, LW – Rimouski Oceanic (QMJHL)

A premier, point-producing machine of of the forward. Dangerous in one-on-one situations. Scores in a variety of ways. Brings the noise. A king-maker in fantasy. – Cam Robinson

A dominant, point-producing winger who drives play. He is a franchise player who will immediately step in and make an impact in the NHL. His QMJHL numbers are only surpassed by Crosby in his draft year since the lockout. – Tony Ferrari

You can always count on the first overall pick from the NHL Draft to jump straight to the NHL and begin making an impact to your fantasy roster. You can easily make an argument for selecting Byfield first in your fantasy draft, but Lafreniere is the consensus ranked number by all ten writers. – Peter Harling

2. Quinton Byfield, C – Sudbury Wolves (OHL)

It’s relatively clear to me that Byfield may have the highest upside in the draft if things break right. Scary good Malkin-like profile. – Will Scouch

Truly a man child who is proving to be nearly impossible to stop this year because of how versatile his game is. He can beat you with finesse and power. Give him room and he’ll use his speed and power to get by you. Take away his room and he’ll use his strength to go through you. Seems like he possesses the puck for near entire shifts at times. – Brock Otten

A physical specimen who blends exceptional power to a speed-driven, skill game. His quick hands allow him to maneuver in tight spaces, while the long reach propels his puck-protection. A mammoth of a man. Cam Robinson

Listen to a Quinton Byfield profile and interview on the DobberProspects Radio podcast.

3. Lucas Raymond, RW/LW – Frölunda HC (SHL)

An elite offensive winger with high-end upside. Loves to use his excellent skating ability and elite hands to create offense but also owns a dangerous shot. Extremely creative. Amazing effort. – Jokke Nevalainen

An explosive winger who is equally dangerous with his shot or pass.  Moves with quickness and handles the puck at a high-level even at top speed. His puck skills are fluid, controlled and capable of embarrassing. Finishes with accuracy off of a quick release. – Cam Robinson

Can dangle. Great hand-eye coordination. Good balance and upper body strength enables him to shrug off checks. Willing to play in the dirty areas, including by the crease. Crazy hands and puck skills. Near elite wrist shot. Nearly as talented a playmaker. – Ryan Wagman

4. Alexander Holtz, RW/LW – Djurgårdens IF (SHL)

An elite goal-scorer with high-end shot and amazing goal-scoring instincts. 50 goal potential. Can also make plays for line-mates but loves to shoot. Capable of scoring in different ways. – Jokke Nevalainen

The owner of the best shot in the draft class, Holtz will be among the goal-scoring leaders at the NHL level for years to come. – Tony Ferrari

Goal scorer’s goal scorer. Not sure of his overall play, but in offense-only leagues, certainly a solid bet. – Will Scouch

5. Cole Perfetti, C/LW– Saginaw Spirit (OHL)

More like Goal Perfetti. Don’t let his low shooting percentage deter you. Perfetti’s goals are starting to come again and he’s one of the best finishers in the draft.- Scott Wheeler

 “Goal Perfetti” has become “Playmaker Perfetti” as the season has started and he’s dealt with an oddly low shooting percentage. Leading the OHL in assists, his goal-scoring touch is starting to come back. – Tony Ferrari

Such a highly intelligent player. Was a bit snake bitten to start the year but has really turned it on of late. Such a multi-faceted offensive player who defensives have a difficult time containing. The puck just seems to follow him which points to an elite hockey IQ. – Brock Otten

6. Tim Stützle, C/W – Adler Mannheim (DEL)

Stutzle has a chance to be one of those rare fantasy players that has a chance to be as dangerous as a passer as he is as a scorer. That versatility and offensive punch drives him up my board here. – Scott Wheeler

A dazzling offensive forward who can play both at center and wing. Owns elite hands and excellent skating ability. Loves to create for his line-mates but can also finish his chances. Does everything at high speed. – Jokke Nevalainen

Lightning speed and quickness are the name of the game. Quality vision and a nice release round out the profile. High-end IQ. – Cam Robinson

7. Jamie Drysdale, D – Erie Otters (OHL)

Giving Thomas Harley a run for his money as the best defender in the OHL already. His skating ability is such an asset. But he’s also highly intelligent and calculated. Difficult to pin down in his own end because of the routes he takes and because of how quick and efficiently he can start the breakout. – Brock Otten

Some fantasy owners are hesitant when selecting defencemen over highly skilled forwards. You shouldn’t be with Drysdale. He’s going to produce and he’ll probably end up quarterbacking a PP1 at the NHL level. – Scott Wheeler

Calm on the puck. High end vision and a plus passer. Prototype modern puck moving defender. – Ryan Wagman

8. Marco Rossi, C – Ottawa 67’s (OHL)

Slippery as an eel in the offensive end. His feet never stop moving. And he’s ultra aggressive. Combine those two things with his great vision and you have a top notch playmaker who can really make those around him better. Not sure the high end NHL upside is that of a first line player, but I still think he’s going to be a valuable pro. – Brock Otten

He’s still one of the more underrated players in this class. Don’t let the 5-foot-9 height deter you on Rossi. He’s legit, he’s going to stick at centre, and I love his upside.- Scott Wheeler

At the quarter point of the season Rossi is one of the more underrated prospects in the draft. That likely corrects by June, but if not there will be excellent value in fantasy league drafts here – Peter Harling

9. Anton Lundell, C – HIFK (Liiga)

A very smart two-way center who doesn’t do anything flashy most of the time but is extremely effective at driving the play offensively. Owns great offensive tools but they can be masked by his incredible defensive game. – Jokke Nevalainen

The best two-way player in the draft, full stop. He has an elite offensive toolset that often gets discredited because it’s not as dynamic as some players in the 2020 Draft. Has true top-line center potential. He would be higher on this list for multi-cat leagues – Tony Ferrari

Lundell may slip a bit because a lot of what he does won’t show up on a fantasy stat sheet but he’s still one of the safest bets for an NHL career and his offensive game is super underrated . – Scott Wheeler 

10. Connor Zary, C – Kamloops Blazers (WHL)

A puck-possession pivot. Great speed, deft puck skills, and equally dangerous with the shot and pass. – Cam Robinson

Good hand-eye coordination. Quick to the puck. Anticipates the play well. Hands are quick, if short of exceptional. Very good puck control. High offensive IQ. – Ryan Wagman

His skating could use work, but he constantly gets his looks and chances, and can set up linemates very well. Lots of offensive potential with him – Will Scouch

11. Dylan Holloway, C – University of Wisconsin (NCAA)

He has good speed. His stick always down. He has nice touch on his passes. He gets to pucks first in the corners. Second youngest in college hockey. He has good defensive instincts. A Pass first player who can finish too. Russ Cohen

After two seasons of ambiguity playing in the AJHL and now a NCAA freshman, Holloway is flying under the radar in fantasy circles. His size and skill make him more attractive in multi-cat leagues as well as he has Blake Wheeler upside. – Peter Harling

Strong with plus balance. Power forward style player. Can cycle. Likes to drive the net. Has a knack for finding open space and making himself a target. Loves to shoot the puck. Above average top speed. Physicality makes him fun to watch. – Ryan Wagman

12. Noel Gunler, RW/LW – Luleå HF (SHL)

A high-end goal-scorer with an elite release. Excellent goal-scoring instincts and shooting ability but can also make creative passing plays. Effort level and defensive play can be a bit questionable. – Jokke Nevalainen

Possesses a killer instinct and never hesitates to puck a shot on net. Despite that ability, he has a strong distribution game to go along with quick hands. The skating is a work in progress. – Cam Robinson

There’s huge risk in Gunler but there’s also tremendous fantasy reward. He’s a top-10 pick on talent alone. – Scott Wheeler

13. Hendrix Lapierre, C – Chicoutimi Sagueneens (QMJHL)

The second-leading scorer at the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup this past summer, Lapierre just puts up points. He is a good skater and relies on his advanced hockey sense to take advantage of opposing teams. – Tony Ferrari

A premier distributor with quick hands and a mind for creating. Makes plays at a high rate and often with a high degree of difficulty. – Cam Robinson

If it weren’t for injuries, he’d be higher. I think you could snag him later in a fantasy draft and bet on him getting straightened out and look like a genius, but I wouldn’t take that risk particularly early. – Will Scouch

Lapierre doesn’t have the goal scoring prowess that some of the other top names in this draft have (or will have at the next level) but he’s going to fill the assist column. – Scott Wheeler

14. Yaroslav Askarov, G – SKA-Neva St. Petersburg (VHL)

Arguably the best goalie prospect to become eligible for the draft since Carey Price in 2005. A perfect package of size, hockey sense and athleticism to become a franchise goalie at the NHL level. – Jokke Nevalainen

Not usually a fan of having goaltenders this high, but how can you not with Askarov? Have seen him a bunch now Internationally and he’s the real deal. Best goaltending prospect to hit the draft since Carey Price. – Brock Otten

Hits all the markers – size, composure, puck-tracking, elasticity, and a competitive fire. The top goalie prospect I’ve ever scouted. – Cam Robinson

Not all contributors included goalies which gave Askarov a lower rating than deserved. He should be inside the top ten in any draft. – Peter Harling 

15. Rodion Amirov, LW – Salavat Yulaev Ufa (KHL)

An offensive winger who can both make plays and finish them. A great skater with excellent hands. Definite top-six upside. Has adjusted to pro hockey pretty well already. – Jokke Nevalainen

An impressive two-way winger. Competes for every puck and tends to win thanks to his balance and strong core. Has a quick, deadly release to go along with soft hands. – Cam Robinson

Very shifty skater. Has wiggle to his game. Plus finisher. Long reach. Avid forechecker. Soft hands. Upside is higher than some above him, but the wait may be a bit longer. – Ryan Wagman

16. Zion Nybeck, LW/RW – HV71 J20 (SuperElit)

Very good hands. Quick to loose pucks and able to make something happen in a flash. Good on his edges. – Ryan Wagman

Nybeck slides up a ranking like this relative to my actual draft ranking because his fantasy ceiling is higher than his NHL one, driven primarily by the fact that if he makes it he’ll definitely be on the power play and that will drive up his production. – Scott Wheeler

A very talented offensive winger who uses his speed and quickness to generate offense. Very creative, and owns the tools needed to pull those moves off. More of a playmaker but can also finish. – Jokke Nevalainen

When you watch Nybeck, the first things you notice about him is his incredible work ethic and his high top speed. He makes openings through tough areas in the ice due to his poise with the puck and confidence in his own abilities to make a challenging play. – Steve Ellis

17. Jan Mysak, LW/C – HC Litvinov (Czech)

Mysak is set for his second season of pro hockey in the Czech league after proving to be too dominant for the U-19 division, scoring 13 goals and 21 points in just nine games with Litvinov. While he had just seven in 31 games with the big club, Mysak really came alive during the relegation round with nine points in seven games to lead all players – Steve Ellis

Already matching Ondrej Kase’s output in the Czech Extraliga in just about a third of the games, Mysak plays a complete game. He’s a good skater who reads and reacts to the play quite well. – Tony Ferrari

A reliable two-way forward who played at center last season but may be better suited for the wing where he is this season. Can play and excel in all situations. A dual-threat who can both make plays and finish them. – Jokke Nevalainen

18. Jeremie Poirier, D – Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)

He’ll go as far as his brain takes him. His skill is remarkable, but his decisions and “give a s***” meter needs to shift. – Will Scouch

Smooth skating and deceptive with the puck, Poirier oozes offensive ability. He transitions the puck well and has great vision. He has the ability to quarterback a powerplay thanks to his hockey IQ and ability to distribute the puck at a high level. – Tony Ferrari

His best assets and biggest weakness are the same. He is a terrific skater and handles the puck very well. He is highly confident and carries the puck to create chances offensively, but it can also lead him to trouble. That can be corrected with coaching and experience. – Peter Harling

19. Dawson Mercer, RW – Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL)

A smart player who finds and exploits soft spots in defensive coverage. He’s a shifty skater who hunts down pucks in the offensive zone. He is leading draft-eligible players in goals and he could continue to rise as the year goes on. – Tony Ferrari

A late October birthday means the goal scoring winger has only one more year of junior eligibility before he turns pro and can contribute to fantasy rosters. – Peter Harling

I find he cheats for offense a bit, but as an aggressive scoring winger, he’ll score points. Tons of skill and scoring instincts. – Will Scouch

20. Kasper Simontaival, RW – Tappara U20 (Jr. A SM-liiga)

An immensely talented offensive winger who has been dealing with loads of injuries over the past two years. An excellent skater with incredible vision and passing abilities. Also owns a dangerous shot. – Jokke Nevalainen

A player punching below his weight class. The guy can fly and be a great attacking winger in multiple areas of the ice. Lots of fun to watch, but will need to get stronger on his feet. – Will Scouch

21. Antonio Stranges, C/LW – London Knights (OHL)

My tracked data on him is very promising both making plays and getting chances himself. My eyeballs are skeptical, but math don’t lie. – Will Scouch

Magnificently fun player to watch because of his high end skill and , dynamic (although unorthodox) skating ability. I’m just not sure yet how his game will translate to the NHL level. I want to see him become more consistently engaged without the puck and to make consistently better decisions with it. – Brock Otten

Stranges is among the most creative skaters in the draft class. He also possesses a high skill offensive game that relies on finesse and deception. He uses his skating, specifically the 10-2 style, to change the angle and open up new passing and shooting lanes. – Tony Ferrari

22. Emil Andrae, D – HV71 J20 (SuperElit)

A very creative offensive defenseman who loves to join the rush and get involved in the play in the offensive zone. Can make long stretch passes and never seems to panic with the puck. Great hockey sense. – Jokke Nevalainen

Currently producing at over a point-per-game at the SuperElit level as a defenseman, Andrae is a smooth skater and excellent puck mover. He makes crisp passes and has a decent shot from the blue line. – Tony Ferrari

23. Mavrik Bourque, C – Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL)

As a rookie last year he produced 54 points in 64 games at age 16, in his draft year he is now producing at 1.52 points per game pace. This high volume shooter has great fantasy potential. – Peter Harling

Bourque lacks strength but he plays an aggressive game on the inside of the ice by driving the middle to find pockets for his A-level wrist shot (which he has also put in from some tough angles this year). – Scott Wheeler

24. Jacob Perreault, C – Sarnia Sting (OHL)

High end hockey IQ and scoring instincts. Decision making with the puck is a work in progress but he truly understands how to play without the puck in the offensive end. As I had mentioned with Cole Perfetti, the puck just seems to follow him. – Brock Otten

Son of former NHL player Yanic Perreault, Jacob is natural goal scorer. Needs some development on skating and playmaking, may be better suited the wing at a higher level. – Peter Harling

Big shot from a sturdy forward. He is built strong and he uses the strength to put the extra little bit on his shot. Perreault is dangerous from anywhere above the goal line, firing shots from anywhere and everywhere. – Tony Ferrari

25. Justin Barron, D – Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)

Not sure the offensive ceiling is extremely high with Barron. But he could be a true lock down top 3 defender because of his size, strength, smarts, and mobility. Think along the lines of Ryan Suter in his prime. – Brock Otten

Good sturdy rearguard who has a big shot and good mobility. He may not have the same offensive upside as other defenders in this draft but he is a good facilitator from the blue line. – Tony Ferrari

An offensive rearguard who can create at a high-rate during even-strength play. Brings plus-speed and awareness to the offensive side of the game. – Cam Robinson

26. Jaromir Pytlik, C – Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)

Pytlik plays a very pro ready game, excelling deep in the offensive zone, using his size to protect the puck and generate scoring chances. His skating is getting better, which is helping him become an asset in all three zones. His versatility as a center and winger will also make him an attractive draft option. – Brock Otten

A big power forward who can play all three forward positions. A very good skater for his size. Great effort level, can be used in all situations. Very smart and effective both as a goal-scorer and a playmaker. – Jokke Nevalainen

27. Jean-Luc Foudy, C – Windsor Spitfires (OHL)

The young Spitfire has speed to burn. He is a transitional wizard and a patient playmaker. He is too overly hesitant to shoot but has made some strides in that department. If he can get to the middle of the ice more often, he could be a truly dangerous offensive threat consistently. – Tony Ferrari

I’m hoping the slow start is just that, and he’s picked things up. I like Foudy’s potential, so he’s in here for that reason, but I’m keeping a close eye on him. Might be a guy you can take a chance on later than he should go. – Will Scouch

28. Lukas Cormier, D – Charlottetown Islanders (QMJHL)

Cormier has a big time point shot that he is not shy about unleashing. Hard and heavy, if it doesn’t beat the goalie it often produces juicy rebounds for tap in goals and an assist for himself. – Peter Harling

Cormier is a high-end offensive blue-liner who doesn’t get credit defensively. He is the second-highest scoring defender in the CHL and has an 82.6% GF% at even strength. Excellent puck mover and a good shot. – Tony Ferrari

29. Roni Hirvonen, C/W – Ässät (Liiga)

A playmaking forward who is a natural center but has been playing wing this season, and may have to stay there because of his size. Great effort and good skill. Has adjusted well to the pro level already. – Jokke Nevalainen

He might be small at 5-foot-9, but Hirvonen is ready for big boy time in the Finnish Liiga. His 55 points in 50 games blew away any U-17 player in the Finnish U-20 league last season and fell just behind Sebastian Aho (59) and Mikael Granlund (57) – while tying Kaapo Kakko – for production by any player at that age. – Steve Ellis

Lots of people sleeping on Hirvonen, The guy is legit. Smart, hard working two-way player with great speed up the ice. – Will Scouch

30. Ty Smilanic, C/W – U.S. U18 (USDP)

He has good speed. His stick always down. He has nice touch on his passes. He gets to pucks first in the corners. Second youngest in college hockey. He has good defensive instincts. A Pass first player who can finish too. – Russ Cohen

Very agile and sharp edges allows him to escape pressure with ease. Has a really nice pair of hands, soft and creative with great puck control. Good vision and can run the PP from the half-wall. Has impressive straight ahead speed. Plays within system. – Ryan Wagman

Dynamic, raw scorer who has a chance to take huge steps once (or if) he gets stronger. The most talented of this year’s USA Hockey forwards, in my opinion. Scott Wheeler

31 Carter Savoie, LW – Sherwood Park Crusaders (AJHL)

Not getting the hype of other prospects because he plays in Canadian Junior-A to keep his NCAA eligibility, Savoie has been putting up jaw-dropping numbers. He’s an offensive catalyst that should rise up rankings throughout the year. – Tony Ferrari

Older brother of Matt Savoie who applied for exceptional status in the WHL, Carter is right there with Lafreniere and Byfield in draft eligible scoring leaders. Playing in a lower level like the AJHL is a concern but so did Cale Makar and he is pretty good. – Peter Harling

Honorable Mentions:

Ryan O’Rourke, D – Sault Ste. Marie Greynounds (OHL)

He’s fast. A good shot blocker. He has a fast receive and release on his shot. This prospect is a threat short-handed. He will steal the puck on defense. A solid power-play performer, He reads the play well. His puck movement is smooth. – Russ Cohen

Throwback defender who relishes in the opportunity to throw a big hit and make his presence felt in the defensive end. But his offensive game is ever improving. He has a big point shot and improving instincts. Could ultimately end up as a triggerman on a top powerplay unit with the right development. – Brock Otten

Thomas Bordeleau, C – U.S. U18 (USDP)

Arguably the highest upside player on the NTDP, tons of skill with a great shot and good set of feet under him. Might end up being a great AHLer, but he’s got a lot of talent. – Will Scouch

Good on the cycle. Excellent wrist shot a weapon off the rush. An exciting player with the full complement of offensive tools. – Ryan Wagman

One of the top American’s for this draft class, Bordeleau is a sniper with excellent hands. He uses the curl-and-drag to a shot as effectively as anyone. He draws defenders and the goaltender in with it and then makes a play based on what the defense gives him. – Tony Ferrari

Justin Sourdif, C – Vancouver Giants (WHL)

High skill level and very complete game. Drives the net and plays a physical and aggressive game. Once he fills out he will be more effective and dangerous. No holes in his game, a jack-of-all trades, but master of none. – Peter Harling

Sourdif has a big shot. He has a lightning-quick release and the puck jumps off of his stick blade. He is strong on his skates and is able to hold defenders off as he drives the net. Great compete level, his biggest thing will be consistency over the rest of the season once returning from injury. – Tony Ferrari

LATEST PROFILE UPDATES

Name Fantasy Upside NHL Certainty
Jimmy Huntington 5.0 4.0
Gabriel Fortier 6.3 7.0
Maxim Groshev 5.5 3.0
Cole Guttman 5.5 3.5
Maxim Cajkovic 6.7 6.8
Taylor Raddysh 7.0 7.5
Alexander Volkov 7.0 7.7
Alex Barré-Boulet 7.8 6.8
Hugo Alnefelt 7.7 6.2
Ty Taylor 4.0 3.5

LATEST RADIO & DRAFTCASTS

Dobber’s DraftCast Episode 12: We’re Back with 2021 Draft Rankings!

On Episode 12 of Dobber’s DraftCast, host’s Jokke Nevalainen and Tony Ferrari are back from their post-draft mini-break talking about the news from around the hockey and prospect world. From how COVID is affecting leagues around the world to how other’s are going to be starting up in the midst of a pandemic. The main topic of the show is the recently released DobberProspects’ Scouting Team’s 2021 NHL Draft Ranking! The guys break down some of the most intriguing players, where they are ranked, and why!

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