The Journey: Draft Worthy Rookie Defenders in 2020

Dave Hall

2020-04-04

Welcome back for this week’s edition of The Journey. It was a quiet week in the hockey world, aside from the OHL Bantam Draft which took place on Friday afternoon. With the first selection, the North Bay Battalion took 16-year-old Ty Nelson, who is a swift-skating blueliner playing out of the GTHL with the Toronto Jr. Canadiens. Keep your eyes peeled in the coming year's dynasty league owners, as the next batch has arrived.

Last week, I dove into a few draft worthy rookie forward prospects who could make a splash in the 2020 season. Since many of you likely have some time on your hands to plan out your fantasy team’s future, I thought I would continue the trend and gravitate to the blue line.

There is a crop of very skilled defenders on their way to the big leagues in the next few seasons, and 2020-21 will definitely showcase a few of those names. With that in mind, If you are looking for your next Quinn Hughes or Cale Makar in next year’s draft, you may be out of luck. Do not worry though, 2020 will still see a solid group of fantasy-worthy rookies on the backend for your drafting needs.

Here are four defenders you should keep on your radars for deep in your drafts next season. All of these defenders have played 10 games or fewer at the NHL level.

Evan Bouchard – Edmonton Oilers

Despite the Oilers already branding some young talent on their blueline, Bouchard should be in the conversation to make the jump come October. The Ontario native will be heading into his second pro season after enjoying a respectable AHL rookie campaign in 2019-20. This was a year that saw him finish third among rookie defenders with seven goals and 29 helpers, while leading the way with 139 shots on target.

Bouchard carries an absolute cannon and does not shy away from utilizing it. He is a giant offensive threat and could immediately boost both the Oilers’ even-strength and power-play unit numbers. He carries NHL-ready size and plays a well-r