Happy Saturday, folks. We are almost a full year removed from 2019-20's opening puck drop, and the league has finally crowned its champion. Congratulations to the Tampa Bay Lightning on their much-deserved win.
With the season officially over, we can now turn our attention to the ever-so anticipated, and much overdue NHL Entry Draft. This has blossomed into one of the more interesting drafts of all time, for a few reasons. Aside from the fact that this draft is nearly impossible to get a solid gauge on a concrete ranking, there could also be a significant amount of recency bias heading in, thanks to it being pushed back nearly four months. European and KHL seasons ran as scheduled. As such, players such as Anton Lundell, Lucas Raymond and Alexander Holtz (just to name a few) have been able to offer sample sizes as to how they have been developing. At this age, four months can be significant.
So, without further adieu, I have decided to (finally) take a stab at a Mock Draft. I have been following this draft class, especially those projected in the first two rounds, fairly closely, and have a decent gauge on where things could go. Before I get started, let me state that this draft left me with many tough decisions. I do not think I have seen the same mock draft twice, and mine will be no different. Here is basically how my tiers stacked up to others:
- Picks 1-3: The consensus picks – Choose your order.
- Picks 4-11: The meat of the draft – Generally the same contestants, but a different order every time.
- Picks 11-25: The great debate – Filled with a solid group of players who could fall or jump in any direction.
- Picks 25-31: The gambler’s zone – Some of these players may fall outside the first-round, some may sneak in. Place your bets.
Please find me on Twitter @hall1289 to let me know how I did, as I am sure mine does not reflect yours on the dot. Or even close to it.
- New York Rangers – Alexis Lafreniere, LW, QMJHL
No large explanation here – Highly skilled. Highly versatile. Consensus number one pick.
- Los Angeles Kings – Quinton Byfield, C, OHL
Large body with high offensive upside. Has everything in his toolkit to become the best player in this draft class. Rumors have floated that the Kings are interested in other players here, but for me, the pros far outweigh the cons to make this a simple pick.
- Ottawa Senators – Tim Stutzle, LW, DEL
He has smooth hands, high offensive IQ, terrific skating abilities, and a competitive edge to his game. He is able to play both on the wing a