The NHL draft is always an exciting time for hockey fans and teams alike. It provides a glimpse into the future of the league, as highly-talented prospects eagerly wait to hear their names called and take the next step in their careers. As the upcoming draft approaches, here are some of the top prospects to watch out for:
1. Alexis Lafrenière: Lafrenière has been regarded as the consensus top prospect for the 2020 NHL draft for quite some time now. The left winger from Rimouski Océanic in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) has an impressive combination of skill, hockey sense, and competitiveness. He dominated the QMJHL during his time and was the first player to win the Canadian Hockey League Player of the Year award twice in a row. Lafrenière has the potential to become a franchise player in the NHL and is likely to be the first overall pick.
2. Quinton Byfield: Byfield is another highly-touted prospect who has garnered significant attention. The center from the Sudbury Wolves in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) possesses incredible size, strength, and skill, making him a force to be reckoned with. Byfield’s ability to contribute offensively and make plays in tight spaces has drawn comparisons to some of the league’s top centers. He has the potential to become a dominant force down the middle for any team lucky enough to select him.
3. Tim Stützle: Stützle, a German forward who played for Adler Mannheim in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL), has been turning heads with his exceptional playmaking ability and high hockey IQ. As an incredibly versatile player, he can excel at both center and wing positions. Stützle’s seamless transition from the German league to international tournaments like the World Juniors showcased his ability to compete at a high level. He is likely to be among the top picks in this year’s draft.
4. Jamie Drysdale: Drysdale is the top-ranked defenseman in this year’s draft class. His offensive abilities, smooth skating, and puck-moving skills make him an exciting player to watch. Drysdale’s ability to create scoring chances from the back end is a valuable asset that NHL teams are always seeking. With his strong defensive awareness and ability to jump into the play, he has the potential to become a top-pairing defenseman at the next level.
5. Cole Perfetti: Perfetti, a center from the Saginaw Spirit in the OHL, has earned a reputation as an elite playmaker and goal scorer. His ability to read the game and create scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates is impressive. Perfetti’s offensive instincts and knack for finding open ice make him a dangerous player in the offensive zone. His strong work ethic and dedication to improving his game only add to his appeal as a top prospect.
These are just a few of the top prospects to watch out for in the upcoming NHL draft, but they represent the exciting future of the league. Each player brings a unique skill set and potential that could make a significant impact on any team fortunate enough to select them. As the draft approaches, hockey fans and teams await with anticipation to see where these young talents will land and how their careers will unfold in the NHL.