Finally, the 2020 NHL Draft is complete after seven rounds that have seen 216 selections made from the 31 teams. The selection has seen a bit of everything with some expectations fulfilled, several steals, surprises, and other doubtful picks.
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From the 2020 NHL Draft released, some selections stood out, and while some may have been expected, here are the best 2020 NHL Draft prospects;
Alexis Lafreniere (No.1) - Left Wing - Rimouski (QMJHL)
We have to give it to the New York Rangers for acing this and landing on a player ready for the NHL. While it was expected that Alexis would be picked as No. 1 overall, the Rangers will be particularly thrilled for how talented Alexis is. The 18-year-old Canadian is mentally and physically mature and joins the Rangers at the back of an outstanding season at Rimouski and the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship with Team Canada.
The Canadian led the QMJHL to record 112 points in 52 games and for the second season running, he earned the league's MVP honors. He averaged 2.15 points per game which were the highest across all Canada top junior leagues. He joins Kaapo Kakko, 2019's No.2 overall pick, who has struggled to adapt. While patience and time is required, Alexis seems one to hit the ground running.
Quinton Byfield (No.2) - Center - Sudbury (OHL)
Los Angeles Kings were the other lucky team to bag a top prospect. Selected No. 2 overall, the 18-year-old was the highest-drafted black player in the history of the league. Thrilled on his pick and the record, Byfield termed the moment ‘super special' especially with no one in his family having too much knowledge on the sport as he grew up. ‘It shows that you can play every sport.' He said.
Speaking after the selection, Rob Blake, LA Kings' manager, praised him as an ‘exceptional' and ‘talented' player that had a great future ahead. He stated that he looked forward to helping him out in his development to see his promising career flourish.
Byfield posted 143 points in the past two regular seasons in the Ontario League and had a 38+ rating. He admits that the NHL is quite a big jump but he describes himself as a ‘confident' guy to beat the challenge.
Tim Stutzle (No. 3) - Center/Left Wing - Mannheim (DEL)
Tim is one of the most versatile prospects for this year's NHL Draft and Ottawa Senators will see this as a major coup. The 18-year-old German came 3rd overall from the overall picks made. For a player who spent the majority of his season playing on the wing, many pundits believe his attributes are enough to see him hold his place at the Center.
The German is skilled and possesses top speed that makes him dangerous to opponents and special to the Senators. He also boasts great vision and when this is complemented with his speed, he becomes a threat to the offensive zone from the left side. Finally, his sporting IQ is top-notch allowing him to read the game and position himself well, an attribute that goes well with defending.