The DobberProspects’ Scouting Team 2020 Draft Rankings are a collaborative effort from the scouting team assembled at DobberProspects. These are a real-world draft ranking rather than a Fantasy Hockey focused ranking. For your fantasy hockey needs, the DobberProspects Fantasy Prospect Report and Fantasy Guide are the best sources to get you ahead of the game in your league whether you play in a simple year-to-year league or you’re involved in a decade long keeper league, the DobberProspects’ Fantasy Guides are your one-stop-shop for winning your league!
The DobberProspects scouting team has been hard at work. The 2020 NHL Draft will be a unique one, to say the least. The 2019-20 seasons across the world were shut down, halted due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. The NHL returned to bring us summer hockey. The only issue with that, at least when it comes to the draft, is that it pushed the offseason back. The first big event of every offseason is the draft. So the event originally scheduled for June 26-27 at the Bell Centre in Montreal will now be held October 6-7, completely virtually.
The extra time gave everyone a bit more time to break down some video, analyze the numbers, and really fine-tune their rankings. The DobberProspects team is no different. After a scouting meeting lasting hours, most of which was recorded and edited down for the latest episode of Dobber’s DraftCast, the team came away with our final rankings for the 2020 NHL Draft. DobberProspects’ managing editor and draft aficionado Cam Robinson will be back later this week with his personal final rankings for the 2020 NHL Draft so be sure to keep your eyes out for that! His June “Final” Rankings can be found here.
There was a discussion at number one but the group remained on Lafrenière. Byfield has a boatload of potential but the near-lock for NHL stardom with Lafrenière was too much to pass up. The top-five was fairly unanimous but the order was debated a bit. The top ten was a long discussion and the group felt like they could have settled a number of ways. With a few players not as favored as some other rankings, the first round has a few surprises fallers and omissions. Players like Perreault and Bourque made their mark as they slide up the board.
With the entire top-50 getting a short scouting report, the DobberProspects team provided their perspectives on some of the best players in the draft class. From top prospects like Lafrenière, Byfield, and Raymond to some of the team’s favorites like Khusnutdinov, Tullio, and Robins, we have done our best to explain our reasoning and give context to our analysis. Be sure to check out all of the player profiles for the top-100, all linked to their names in the Top-100 chart at the bottom of the page!
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Let us know what you think! Without further ado, discuss, debate, and dissect the rankings! Enjoy!
Tony Ferrari: Alexis Lafrenière is the best player in this year’s draft as of today. While there could be a debate as to whether Byfield could be the better prospect long-term, Lafrenière is an absolutely dominant force. He has one of the best offensive minds in the draft and his physical maturity and elite-level skill give him the ability to generate offensive chances unlike nearly any other player in this draft. He drove shot differentials 150% better than many of the top prospects in this class as well. He is a two-time CHL Player of the Year, three-time QMJHL first-team All-Star, a Hlinka-Gretzky Championship, and a World Junior gold medalist. There is virtually nothing that Lafrenière hasn’t accomplished at this stage in his career. Going first overall will likely be another notch in his belt.
Tony Ferrari: The sky-high potential that Quinton Byfield possesses is what makes him one of the most interesting and intriguing prospects in a few years. The Sudbury Wolves star has the size, speed, and strength to be a dominant force and the skill and touch to be an incredible finesse player. The uber skilled playmaker makes everyone on the ice with him better and does an excellent job of creating offense. He uses his frame and physicality to enhance his skill by shielding defenders from the puck and forcing opponents into errors by applying pressure and leaning on an opponent rather than going to the big hit as many expect a player his size to do. Skill is and always will be his best trait. While he’s unlikely to go first-overall, the young Canadian center’s upside should at least warrant consideration at the top spot.
Jokke Nevalainen: Raymond is a play-driving winger who can control the pace of the game. He is calm and confident with the puck because he knows he can trust his quick hands and feet to get out of trouble. His passing abilities, vision and creativity make him an excellent playmaker who can create something out of nothing. He competes hard, doesn’t give up much defensively, and also owns a deadly wrist shot. Raymond benefitted from the extended offseason as he gained more muscle and strength to his frame. As a bigger and stronger player, he is now prepared to play an expanded role at the SHL level. He could push for an NHL job in 2021-2022.
Jokke Nevalainen: Stützle is a fun player to watch because his game is all about speed. He plays fast and thinks the game quickly. He can skate circles around the offensive zone and look for weaknesses in the defensive team’s structure. He’s an excellent playmaker who utilizes his skills and vision to create scoring chances. He’s not much of a scoring threat himself right now because he’s unable to breach the middle of the ice and his shot is not that great either. But those are areas that he can work on to become a more well-rounded offensive threat. He could push for an NHL job in 2021-2022.
Jacob Barker: In a season in which he produced a CHL-leading 120 points in just 56 games, Rossi’s insane puck skills and offensive awareness dazzled his name into the top tier of the draft class. Although he is often criticized for being undersized, Rossi’s physical frame and no-fear mentality mean that he plays much bigger than he is. His high hockey IQ in all three zones combined with an unmatched work ethic means he is able to force turnovers and create plays in transition at a high level. Although he isn’t the quickest player in the draft class, Rossi has great agility and edge work that he uses to create space on the ice in a variety of situations. Rossi projects as a top-line center that can drive his line and produce at a near point-per-game rate at the next level.
Jokke Nevalainen: Holtz is a natural goal-scorer if there ever was one. He has the ability to get himself open for a shot, and once he gets the puck, it doesn’t stay on his stick for long. His shot is incredibly powerful and accurate, making it difficult for goalies to stop even when they see it coming. He’s been able to score a ton of goals from distance but what will truly unlock his potential in the NHL will be getting closer to the blue paint before firing those shots. He’s shown the willingness and ability to be a competent defensive player, and his playmaking abilities are also underrated. He could push for an NHL job in 2021-2022.
Caitlin Berry: The epitome of the fast, new-age, puck-moving defender, Drysdale is the best defensive prospect out of the OHL this year. He is an excellent skater who can push the pace of the game and is capable of driving offensive with his elite hockey sense. He is confident with the puck on his stick and is excellent in transition, able to find open teammates and create scoring chances with ease. Defensively, Drysdale can read the game quickly and use his skating and quick stick to create turnovers and cut off passing lanes. He does not shy away from the physical aspects of the game; however, he is slightly undersized and thus will need to add some strength for his physical game be effective at the next level. Drysdale possesses all the tools to be a franchise level defenseman in the NHL.
Tony Ferrari: On the rise from about December on, Jake Sanderson’s assertation of himself as a top-10 prospect came at the Biosteel All-America game in January. His defensive game was always his called card. He defends transitions as well as almost anyone in the draft and has high-level defensive IQ. His size, strength, and smooth skating make him dangerous in all three zones. As one of the best transitional defenders in the draft, Sanderson began to round out his offensive game as his confidence grew throughout the season. He might be the most complete defender in the entire draft class.
Caitlin Berry: This season Cole Perfetti has proven himself as an excellent playmaker as well as an elite scorer. He has made a name for himself as a goal scorer during his OHL career; his shot possesses both accuracy and power, combined with a quick release. His vision and offensive awareness are outstanding. He is creative with the puck, and with skilled stickhandling, he can fool defensemen and goaltenders alike. Perfetti is an agile skater, able to make quick cuts and changes direction with ease. He is often criticized for his speed and acceleration, though, which are good but not quite NHL-level yet. However, his vision and smarts often make up for this deficiency, and with reports that he’s been focusing on developing his explosiveness in the extended off-season, expect Perfetti to be picked inside the top-10 in this draft.
Eetu Siltanen: The best 200-foot player available in the draft. Very smart two-way center with pretty good offensive skills and amazingly responsible defensive game for a teenager. Lundell’s hockey IQ is excellent; he reads plays and is just always in the right position. He is a playmaker with good hands, but has a solid wrist shot and can score when he gets a chance. Pretty strong along the boards and good on the face-off circle (53,5% in Liiga, 19-20). He’s a “diesel” skater; he has pretty good top speed but lacks some acceleration and agility. Some have also criticized him for not being very visible or “flashy”, but his 28 points in 40 games is 6th highest PPG in Liiga during a draft-eligible season (since 2000-01). He just might be your future Selke Trophy winner. He’ll probably play the 20-21 season in Liiga and make the jump for the NHL after that.
Daniel Tiffany: The most highly touted prospect at the goalie position since Carey Price. Russian phenom Yaroslav Askarov blends great positioning and incredible athleticism to make difficult saves look easy. Since bursting onto the scene at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky cup, Askarov has proven to be an X-Factor game in and game out. His stats back it up at both the international and club level. His success in international play, along with the Russian junior league (MHL) and the Russian second league (VHL) has made him a can’t miss goalie prospect. Now as an 18-year-old, Yaroslav Askarov has played three KHL games and continued his greatness leading up to the draft. Askarov is a top-10 talent for the NHL draft and has the potential to be a future superstar NHL goaltender.
Dylan Griffing: Amirov is simply one of the best two-way players eligible for the 2020 Draft. Despite a lack of strength and size, he reads the ice well in the defensive zone to be in the right areas, block lanes, and apply pressure. Despite low production in the KHL last season, his offensive game is far from flawed. He dominates possession, is strong on zone entries, and displays patience and poise with the puck on his stick to make smart passes. Since all of the Russian leagues have started already, Amirov is at an advantage of being able to get in ever more KHL experience before the NHL Draft, and he has gotten off to a hot start.
Tony Ferrari: One of the biggest risers from preseason to draft day, Seth Jarvis has become a favorite among scouts both publically and on the team side of things. The uber skilled winger has incredible creativity and a willingness to try things that most players aren’t. His passing can carve defenses apart and his ability to get into good shooting positions is impressive as an undersized winger. His shot is accurate and his quick release makes it more dangerous but he may struggle to be a major goal-scoring threat at the next level.
Brayden Olaf: A technically mature forward with laser vision and familiarity of the offensive zone that puts top defenders on their heels, Mercer has the potential to develop into a lethal top-six playmaker in the NHL. With his strengths in the areas of puck retrieval, and seamlessly forecasting the movement of play across the entire playing surface, he has emerged as a player with a strong aptitude for the center position. Additionally, the Chicoutimi forward possesses a hard and accurate snapshot that he is not in the least bit shy of utilizing. His ability to place himself in high-danger scoring areas makes him a dual-threat at the QMJHL level, although these tools must develop along with the rest of his game in order to remain effective at a higher level.
Brayden Olaf: A spontaneous forward who works night-in and night-out to make his teams’ winning bid a success, Bourque is the type of player who can be selected with relatively low-risk thanks to his strengths that make him adaptable to many situations. He is tactically skilled with the puck on his stick and has the ability to work himself out of trouble in the offensive and defensive zones, maintaining positive momentum to further develop a play. Comparatively, his play without the puck is also a strength. Borque uses his body and modest reach to close passing lanes, rush opponents, and create havoc for oppositions who attempt any kind of a controlled setup. Although his success is predominantly earned by making effective split-second decisions, some growth with respect to his patience with the puck would elevate his game entirely to the next level.
Tony Ferrari: Coming into the year, Zary was expected to put up some big numbers in the WHL. Improving his scoring output from 67 to 86 points and 24 to 38 goals, Zary did exactly what was expected and did it in six fewer games than the year prior. His skating has been knocked but the worry seems to be overblown because he reads the ice so well and creates space for himself and teammates with his good hands and solid edges. He may not possess top-line upside like some other players in this range but the stable center should be a capable middle-six center at the NHL-level.
Tony Ferrari: With his sky-high potential, Jacob Perreault could be a top-10 talent from this draft class in a decades time. His shot is among the best in the draft with Holtz being the only player with a clear-cut better shot. Perreault shoots from a variety of angles and hand positions, deceiving goaltenders with regularity. The Sarnia Sting right-winger came into the year with his biggest flaw being his skating and his speed. He instantly showed improvement in that area of the game. While his stride does still have some technical issues, he has grown into his stride and looks to be at least an above-average skater. His creativity as a playmaker makes him dangerous all over the offensive zone, with a willingness to use the ice and pass from below the goal line to generate dangerous chances. Already proving that improvement is in the cards, Perreault could be the high-upside prospect of choice outside the top-12.
Jokke Nevalainen: Gunler has potential to be a top ten player out of this draft class but his play without the puck is incredibly worrisome and could keep him outside the NHL unless it changes drastically. His shot release is arguably the best in this draft class as he can get shots off faster than anyone without hurting the power or accuracy of the shot. He’s also a great playmaker who can utilize his skills and vision to create scoring chances. He has good size and his skating is good as well. He’s capable of highlight-reel plays but he can also go games without doing much of anything on the ice. His weaknesses haven’t really improved over the last year and a half which begs the question – will they ever?
Jokke Nevalainen: Grans has the size and skating ability that every team covets, and having a right-handed shot obviously doesn’t hurt either. His performance at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup was a black mark on his draft season but everything he did with Malmö was almost the opposite of that. He was a great offensive player in the junior league and after being promoted to the SHL, he adjusted his game to be more of a two-way player. His adjustment went better than expected and it seemed like he truly found his game there. He will likely need two more years in Sweden before he’s pushing for an NHL job but there’s a lot of potential in his game.
Tony Ferrari: If your team’s prospect pool lacks a truly elite defensive blueliner, Braden Schnieder may be your guy. He has some offensive upside, particularly as a facilitator from the point or a dangerous shooter from the home plate area where he scores on nearly 23% of his shots. He doesn’t press himself into offensive duties very often though so neither can be expected on a nightly basis. What makes Schneider special is his ability to prevent defensive zone entries and get the puck out immediately when the puck does get into his zone. He leads with his stick in transitional defending and has no issue closing with the body. Gap control is a strength, something junior age defenders often so. While he may not get the love he deserves, Schneider certainly deserves consideration in the mid-late first-round.
Jacob Barker: Quinn saw his draft stock rise dramatically after posting an impressive 52 goals in 62 games for the 67s this past season. Despite often being cast into the shadow of teammate Marco Rossi, most of Quinn’s production came in even-strength situations, where he played on Ottawa’s second line without him. His scoring ability is one of the best in the draft class, which combined with his offensive instincts allow him to drive his line offensively and create scoring opportunities for himself and others. Along with showcasing his high hockey IQ in all three zones, Quinn also possesses a lethal shot that he’s able to release both off the rush and when established in the offensive zone. Quinn projects as a top-line point producer at the NHL level, with the team drafting him hoping he can translate his game into a consistent 35+ goal producer.
Clare McManus: The top NCAA draft-eligible is a complete forward with excellent hands, vision, and effective skating abilities. From his powerful stride and edgework and agility, once he has the puck on his stick, he has the ability to make flashy plays offensively. In addition, he is also confident in creating passing and shooting lanes. One thing Holloway is very productive at is protecting the puck down low, especially in the cycle. Defensively, he plays smart and brings a physical game.
Jeff Rea: Lukas Reichel is a 6’0, 172lb winger who has graduated through the Eisbären Berlin program. He established himself amongst DEL rookies with an impressive 12 goals and 24 points in 42 games. Reichel processes the game at a high level. He has a natural ability to read the flow of play, anticipate and time his movement and find open ice in the offensive zone. Reichel plays in high traffic areas and transitions the puck well and generates offense with apparent ease, despite his somewhat modest offensive skillset. He skates well-enough, can finish, and moves the puck effectively, however. He handles the puck capably and has a deceptive release. Reichel needs to physically develop in order to excel at the next level. His ability to instinctively react and consistently impact play is what makes him a unique talent with first round upside.
Tony Ferrari: An aggressive defender who closes gaps quickly and tries to shut down offense before it gets a chance to even get going. His willingness to step up into the neutral zone to engage physically is what allows him to have so much success shutting down opponents. He is known as a competitor who has little hesitation when it comes to getting under his opponent’s skin. He has a big shot but he needs to hit the net more with it if he wants to use it as often as he did down the stretch. He needs to become a bit more comfortable as a puck mover but the frame, tools, and defensive base are there and teams will want to see what they can get out of the Prince Albert defender.
Brayden Olaf: Easily one of the biggest question-mark’s in the draft is the projection of Chicoutimi center Hendrix Lapierre, who only a year ago was viewed, in consensus, as one of the players with the highest growth potential in the 2020 class. Although it can likely in part be attributed to nagging post-concussion symptoms, Lapierre’s play did not develop as expected over the first few months of the 2019-20 campaign. On good nights, Lapierre can be in full control of the play during his entire shift, utilizing poise, patience, and a calculated share of game-breaking speed and puck protection to frustrate opponents, while on other nights he can appear tentative and disengaged in all aspects. Unfortunately, the one thing that can be said about Lapierre with confidence is that what we’ve seen from him most recently is almost certainly not exactly who he is as a player.
Tony Ferrari: The Czech import arrived in Hamilton after the World Junior Championships and immediately hit the ground running. He showed off his two-way game and an excellent shot at the OHL level. His time in Czech men’s leagues to start last season did not bode as well, with limited playing time and a lack of production. These factors likely played a role in his move to North America. His chemistry with 2019 second-round pick, Arthur Kaliyev, wasn’t immediate but once they seemed to click, they became a very dangerous duo that could cause the rest of the OHL problems. There’s risk involved with taking Mysak but the skill and speed are intriguing.
Dylan Griffing: Marat Khusnutdinov defines high-energy, high-tempo, aggressive hockey. He’s an undersized center who lacked key production in the MHL last season, which is off-putting to some, but his pure skill is just next-level. On offense, he’s a creative dynamo, combining his pure speed, clean edgework, and vision to move the puck all around the ice. On defense, he can only be described as a workhorse. He hounds puck carriers to disrupt play and create turnovers. He was moving up and down the lines with inconsistent powerplay time last season, but he has become a true top-six player for SKA-1946 this year.
Jokke Nevalainen: Niemelä surprised everyone – including himself and his coach – when he cracked Kärpät’s Liiga roster at the start of his draft season. He was considered an injury call-up option but received a chance to play in preseason and never gave his coaching staff any reason to send him back to the junior team. He has been more of a puck-moving defenseman in junior but at the men’s level, he adjusted his style to focus more on his defensive game and to play a simpler and safer style that allowed him to stay at the top level in Finland despite his youth and being on a stacked team. He will need another two or three years before he’s ready to push for an NHL job but his combination of skating and smarts will take him there eventually.
Jokke Nevalainen: Andrae is undersized but he plays a more physical style than his bigger counterparts out of Sweden. He doesn’t back down from any situation and he’s not afraid to play the body when it’s needed. But his biggest strengths are obviously on the offensive side of things where he excels with the puck on his stick, especially in the offensive end. He has ice in his veins when he patrols the blueline with the puck and he’s rarely rushed to make a bad decision. Defensively, he’s surprisingly good as well, especially on rush defense where he closes gaps quickly and stops attacks before they even start. He’s not the greatest skater which is a bit of a concern with his size but he’s proven to be a capable defenseman at the SHL level already which definitely removes some doubts in that area.
Clare McManus: The University of Michigan commit had a great season with the US National U18 Team. He is an undersized skilled forward with good skating abilities and elite vision. With his hands and strong agility, he can enter the zone ably. Bordeleau is also known for being an elite and shifty playmaker. He reads the opposition well and can change the pace of play to get the puck to a teammate. While he is more of a playmaker, he owns a wicked and accurate shot that he does use to his advantage. Defensively, he still needs work, as well as building up stronger muscle.
Jeff Rea: JJ Peterka exploded out of Red Bull Academy and established himself as a legitimate first round talent with EHC Münich of the DEL. The heavy 5’11, 192lb left-winger plays a simple north-south game and excels in transition and on the forecheck. He moves well, is positionally responsible and is capable of generating offense through his skating, quick release, tendency to take the puck to the net and penchant for driving the net. He’s strong on his skates and plays with urgency and tenacity. Peterka established himself as a capable complimentary winger and professional this season, before being selected by London in the CHL Import Draft. He excelled at the WJC for Germany, where his offensive potential was more evident.
Brayden Olaf: With the best puck-moving defensemen in the NHL trading at a premium, the potential projection of Jeremie Poirier simply seems too great to overlook at this point in the draft. His concoction of confidence, high-end puck skill, edgework, and decent overall skating ability make the Sea Dogs defenseman a potentially game-breaking player. In a team system where plentiful offense was deemed the optimal path to victory, Poirier sacrificed growth in much of his defensive game in order to embody the skills that best aligned with the team’s vision. This strategy has yielded a player who may be, at best, four years away from serving meaningful time on an NHL roster. Fortunately, the left-shot blueliner has displayed strong mindfulness for the flow of play at the opposite end of the ice, which lends one to believe his defensive development can be a matter of when, not if.
Clare McManus: One thing you notice when watching Brisson play is his shot and prodigious ability to finish. He is so sound in the slot area, especially on the man-advantage. Brisson’s hand, speed, and vision combine for a package of elite playmaking abilities. Defensively, he is not very physical but he maintains his defensive responsibilities using his active stick to force turnovers. Brisson is also noteworthy on transition play up ice.
Clare McManus: Gushchin had a terrific year with the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the USHL, putting up 47 points in 42 games, while also leading his team in points. The undersized winger may have some concerns in the defensive zone, as he sometimes puck watches and doesn’t move his feet, but on offense, Gushchin brings speed and nifty stickhandling abilities. He can open up passing lanes and generate offensive scoring opportunities for his teammates. Down low and in tight areas, he is effective on both the playmaking and goal-scoring side. This upcoming season he will take his skills to the OHL with the Niagara IceDogs.
Tony Ferrari: High energy, high pace, and entertaining hockey is his brand. Wiesblatt is one of the more interesting players in the draft as he shows high-end skill from time-to-time but seems to lack it in moments of need. His motor is nonstop which leads to his line generating a lot of chances, particularly when he is given offensive teammates. He plays a solid two-way game, pressuring his opponents to generate turnovers. His speed gives him the ability to separate and create space in the offensive end of the ice.
Jokke Nevalainen: Niederbach missed the entire 2018-2019 season because of a knee injury, and because of that, had to make the jump directly from the U16 league to the U20 league. A jump like that is difficult to make, especially after coming back from a long-term injury. But he managed to have a great season despite all that. His numbers may not jump off the page but considering his past season and the fact he spent most of the season on the third line, they are very impressive. He’s a high-end thinker of the game who can create offense out of nothing. A natural playmaker but he’s also shown goal-scoring potential at times. Needs to add strength to his frame and work on the defensive side of things, he’ll need a few years in Sweden before pushing for an NHL job – but the upside is very high here.
Eetu Siltanen: I like to say that he’s small but dangerous. A skilled winger with good offensive tools. Simontaival’s a good skater; he has good agility and acceleration but could improve his top speed a bit. Undersized player but actually pretty strong and not afraid of the physical game. He has good hands and skill, combined with very good hockey IQ and vision. He also possesses a good wrist shot and can score goals. Defending is not bad, but still needs some improvement. I’d say he’s pretty risky but has a good upside. I’m a bit concerned about his slow development during the last couple of years – mostly because of the injuries he’s had – but after two or three seasons in Liiga, he could be ready to make the jump for the NHL.
Jokke Nevalainen: Wallinder is a puck-rusher who loves to take the puck in his own end and carry it to the opposing end while stick-handling in the middle. He’s a big player, yet has the skating ability and hands to be able to play that style. Problems for him are at both ends of the ice. Once he gets to the offensive end, he hasn’t shown the ability to create much offensively there. And his biggest weaknesses are arguably in his own end where his abilities and effort leave a lot to be desired. It’s rare to see players his size who can skate the puck up the ice so well, so it’s easy to fall in love with that part of his game. But at the end of the day, he needs to start doing more things at both ends to eventually play in the NHL.
Caitlin Berry: O’Rourke was named Captain of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds at just 17-years-old, which speaks volumes about his character. He plays a mature game, is adaptable and poised under pressure, and can be relied upon in all situations. His two-way play is aided by a strong skating ability; while not the fastest, he is agile and has a powerful stride. Possessing good size and strength, O’Rourke plays a physical game and is tough to beat one-on-one due to his excellent positioning. Offensively, he has a powerful shot, and his strong vision and passing make him an effective puck-mover. A jack-of-all-trades kind of player, no aspect of his game really stands out as elite, for which he may be criticized. However, O’Rourke had the highest average time on ice on the Greyhounds roster last season and will be a solid pick in this draft due to his high floor.
Caitlin Berry: Foudy has become a very polarizing player in this draft. A slick, speedy centreman, Foudy’s skill, creativity, and vision stand out when watching him play. He is an elite skater with excellent acceleration and edgework, leading to an evasiveness that can easily beat defenders on the rush. An effective playmaker, Foudy has strong passing skills and an ability to read the play and anticipate his teammates’ movements. After underperforming this year, he has been labeled a perimeter player as he has been known to circle the offensive zone looking for plays rather than utilise his teammates. Occasionally, Foudy has shown an unwillingness to attack the center of the ice, although this improved somewhat this season. With an uptick in goals this year, however, he has begun to show some adaptability in his game, and his raw offensive tools make him a risk worth taking in this NHL Draft.
Jacob Barker: Foerster’s 2019-20 campaign for Barrie (36 goals and 80 points in 62 games) helped scouts identify him as a strong offensive winger in the 2020 draft class. His rocket of a shot makes him incredibly dangerous in a variety of offensive situations, particularly his wicked one-timer from the top of the circle. Other than his shot, Foerster does not play an overly flashy style. Despite that, his improving skating ability and high hockey IQ allow him to make smart plays in transition and put himself in the right areas to produce offensively. Foerster has a well-rounded game that projects as a top-six offensive threat at the next level.
Daniel Tiffany: Joel Blomqvist comes in as the second-best goaltender prospect eligible for the 2020 NHL Draft. Blomqvist has a prototypical NHL build, with great size and technique, it’s hard to find a better positional goaltender then Blomqvist. The Finnish puck stopper has had some success internationally but has really made a name for himself in the Finnish junior league. In his draft year, Blomqvist rocked a .931 save percentage and was the top goalie in the Jr. A SM-Liiga. Along with that, he made his Liiga debut, the top league in Finland. Blomqvist has the potential to be a reliable starting goalie at the NHL level.
Tony Ferrari: Another second-half riser from out west, Robins busted onto the scene this year with 73 points in his draft year. He may be slightly undersized but he plays anything but small. He throws the body along the boards and doesn’t hesitate to get into a battle. He has a heavy release on his shot. He is a crafty playmaker, not necessarily making the flashiest plays offensively but remaining effective and efficient. He is on the older side for the draft class but this ‘late-bloomer’ should be off the board shortly after day two starts.
Dylan Griffing: In the offensive zone, Pashin is a threat at all times. With possession, he uses a combination of speed and stickhandling to create space for himself and play passes from the boards. Without the puck, he’s always working to get open in dangerous areas to create offense for his team. Pashin is a very fun player, however, there are plenty of issues that arise in his game. His size is an area of concern, listed at 5’7”, and his defensive game is frankly non-existent. His lack of defensive fortitude is what really drags him down the list. He missed out on quite a lot of practice and experience over the offseason for unknown reasons, but he’s back into the MHL this year and has been off to a strong start.
Tony Ferrari: Motor, creativity, and craftiness all help make Tyler Tullio one of the most well-regarded second-round ranked players in the draft. His versatility as a forward allows him to play all three positions if needed and his responsible two-way play led you to believe that he could have a long-term future as a center if he can get a bit bigger and stronger. The Generals forward has the ability to play up-and-down the lineup. He has the offensive skill, finishing ability, and touch to play in a team’s top-six and the motor, drive, and willingness to engage physically to play in the bottom-six. His puck skills are high-level and his passing is accurate and crisp. There really isn’t much to dislike about Tullio’s game overall, he just lacks an elite upper-gear that is often required to go in the first round. Someone is going to get a good NHLer in Tullio.
Jokke Nevalainen: Torgersson is a big power winger who makes his living in front of the net. He’s not only big but also very strong on his skates, making it very difficult to move him. He also doesn’t need a lot of room to put the puck into the net when given the chance. Additionally, Torgersson is a very reliable defensive player who could eventually play a defensive role in the NHL while also contributing offensively, especially on the power play. He may not be driving a line or creating much offense on his own but he can be a great complementary player when put on a line with two skilled players. He’ll likely need two or three years in Sweden before pushing for an NHL job but there’s a lot to like here.
Tony Ferrari: With a near-flawless stride, Faber has steadily glided up draft boards all year. The U.S. National Team Development Program defender was a steadying force on the back end, making whatever partner he had better. He is excellent in transition, skating through the neutral zone effortlessly. His offensive game is a work in progress, with good fundamental passing and a knack for keeping pucks in the zone. He lacks the upper echelon offense but his steady game in the defensive zone and effectiveness in transition provides more than enough value to justify selecting Faber near the beginning of day two.
Clare McManus: While he dealt with a plethora of injuries this year, when not injured, he can be a very reliable forward. Smilanic is a solid skater with a strong 200-foot game. The Quinnipiac University commit has great hands and vision and uses these skills to create scoring opportunities, as well as chances for his teammates. Defensively, he maintains his defensive responsibilities, working hard along the wall, covering the cycle game, and keeping his feet moving to break up plays.
Tony Ferrari: Greig is one of the best combinations of skill and pest in the draft class. He isn’t a booming hitter but his willingness to mix it up and get under his opponent’s skin are all the more annoying for his opponent when he is also contributing on the scoreboard. He plays with a speed and vigor that attracts coaches and the puck skills to make it in the modern game. His ceiling may not be as high as some of the other players in this range but he should get into the lineup and contribute in the bottom six as a coach favorite.
Jokke Nevalainen: Nybeck is a very skilled offensive winger who loves to create offense and make plays. He’s a very creative player who isn’t afraid to take some chances but also understands when it’s appropriate to take them. However, he’s badly undersized and not the greatest skater. That combined with his playing style, and it’s difficult to see how exactly his game will translate to the NHL. He needs to find new ways to get past defenders at the men’s level, and once he gets to the offensive zone, he needs to find ways to stay on the puck despite his vertical limitations. There’s a lot of flash in his game and eventually, he could be able to put it all together and make it in the NHL. But he’s definitely a long-term project and a risky one at that.
Be sure to check the podcast out here! We have over three hours of our scouting meeting where we established these rankings and discussed a number of prospects that didn’t make the cut. The discussion and debate from the group were really interesting and provides a ton more context and reasoning for the rankings and placement of the players! For any fantasy hockey needs, the DobberProspects Fantasy Prospect Report and Fantasy Guide are the best sources to get you ahead of the game in your league! Whether you want to know which of players to target in your prospect draft or you just need to know who to target in a trade to put your team over the top for next season, check out the DobberProspects Fantasy Prospect Report and Fantasy Guide! Thanks for reading, enjoy the podcast!
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