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NHL Draft

2020 NHL Draft first-round results, analysis

Complete breakdown of all 31 selections, beginning with No. 1 Lafreniere

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

2020 NHL Draft first round recap

Every first round pick from the 2020 NHL Draft

Watch all 31 picks from the first round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft including Alexis Lafreniere, Quinton Byfield and Tim Stuetzle

  • 04:24 •

Thirty-one players were selected in the first round of the 2020 NHL Draft on Tuesday, with rounds 2-7 on Wednesday (11:30 a.m. ET; NHLN, SN1).

Here is analysis of each pick by NHL.com's Adam Kimelman:

 

[RELATED: 2020 Draft Tracker | NHL Trade Tracker]

 

1. New York Rangers - Alexis Lafreniere, LW, Rimouski (QMJHL)

NHL Central Scouting: No. 1 (North American skaters)

Lafreniere (6-foot-1, 193 pounds) led the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with 112 points (35 goals, 77 assists) in 52 games in 2019-20. He won the Jean Beliveau Trophy as the leading scorer in the QMJHL, the Paul Dumont Trophy as QMJHL personality of the year, the Michel Briere Trophy as MVP of the QMJHL, the Canadian Hockey League Top Draft Prospect of the Year Award and the CHL Player of the Year. He had 30 multipoint games and 11 games with at least four points, including a career-high seven points (one goal, six assists) against Quebec on Feb. 16. He scored 42 points (12 goals, 30 assists) in 20 games after returning from the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship in the Czech Republic, where he was named tournament MVP after scoring 10 points (four goals, six assists) in five games to help Canada win the championship. Lafreniere, who turns 19 on Oct. 11, is the third player from the QMJHL chosen No. 1 in the draft in the past eight years. Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (2013 NHL Draft; Halifax) and New Jersey Devils center Nico Hischier (2017 NHL Draft; Halifax) are the others. Pittsburgh Penguins forward Sidney Crosby was the last Rimouski player chosen No. 1 (2005).

[RELATED: Lafreniere says being No. 1 pick an 'unreal feeling'Fantasy projection for Lafreniere ]

NHL.com analysis: The Rangers select the most talented player available in the draft. After dominating players his own age, Lafreniere has the size (6-foot-1, 193 pounds) skill and hockey IQ to make an impact next season as a top-nine forward in New York. He's also got some sandpaper to his game and won't be intimidated by the physicality of the NHL. He's a potential 50-point player next season. Lafreniere is the first Quebec-born player to be taken with the No. 1 pick since goalie Marc-Andre Fleury by the Penguins in the 2003 NHL Draft.

Video: New York Rangers draft F Alexis Lafreniere No. 1

 

2. Los Angeles Kings - Quinton Byfield, C, Sudbury (OHL)

NHL Central Scouting: No. 2 (North American skaters)

Byfield, who scored 82 points (32 goals, 50 assists) in 45 games for Sudbury this season, is the highest-selected Black player in NHL history, ahead of Evander Kane (2009 NHL Draft, Atlanta Thrashers) and Seth Jones (2013, Nashville Predators), each chosen with the No. 4 pick. The 18-year-old was tied for 14th in the Ontario Hockey League in points but was tied for fifth in points per game (1.82) and won 51.9 percent of his face-offs (304-for-586).

[RELATED: Byfield goes to Kings as highest-selected Black player ever in NHL Draft]

NHL.com analysis: Byfield is reminiscent of Joe Thornton at the same age: Great size but a bit thin (6-4, 215), top-end playmaking ability and outstanding skating. As Thornton got older and spent time working with NHL strength and conditioning coaches, he got stronger and became dominant, and it's easy to see Byfield doing the same with the Kings.

Video: Kings draft C Quinton Byfield No. 2

 

3. Ottawa Senators (from San Jose Sharks) - Tim Stuetzle, LW, Mannheim (GER)

NHL Central Scouting: No. 1 (International skaters)

The left-hand shot can play all situations with speed, great vision and some swagger. Stuetzle (6-1, 187) scored 34 points (seven goals, 27 assists) and had 132 shots on goal in 41 games this season for Mannheim of Deutsche Eishockey Liga, the top professional league in Germany. His averages of 0.66 assists per game and 0.83 points per game are the best by an under-18 player in the history of the DEL. The 18-year-old also had five assists and averaged 18:43 of ice time in five games for Germany at the 2020 WJC.

[RELATED: Trebek announces Senators' draft pick]

NHL.com analysis: Stuetzle, who is versatile enough to play center or on the wing, has a skill set that some scouts compare to Patrick Kane. He also has the experience of playing against men in the DEL, where was rookie of the year this season. He should be able to step into a significant role for the Senators in 2020-21. Stuetzle matched Leon Draisaitl (2014 NHL Draft, Edmonton Oilers) as the highest-selected Germany-born player.

Video: Ottawa Senators select F Tim Stuetzle No. 3

 

4. Detroit Red Wings - Lucas Raymond, LW, Frolunda (SWE)

NHL Central Scouting: No. 4 (International skaters)

The 18-year-old scored 10 points (four goals, six assists), had 32 shots on goal, and averaged 9:48 of ice time in 33 games in the Swedish Hockey League in 2019-20. Raymond (5-11, 170) has a nose for the net and has shown himself to be a tremendous asset on the power play and penalty kill. The right-hand shot is the type of player who doesn't wait for the play to happen, but one who creates opportunities.

[RELATED: Raymond says being selected by Red Wings 'dream come true']

NHL.com analysis: The Red Wings need game-breakers, and Raymond has a skill set that's been compared to Mitchell Marner. He already has experience playing against men and will impact Detroit's power play and penalty kill when he arrives in North America.

Video: Red Wings draft F Lucas Raymond No. 4

 

5. Ottawa Senators - Jake Sanderson, D, USA U-18 (NTDP)

NHL Central Scouting: No. 4 (North American skaters)

Sanderson averaged 0.62 points per game with the USA Hockey National Team Development Program Under-18 team this season. Three NTDP U-18 defensemen selected in the first round of the NHL Draft have averaged more points per game: Cameron York (1.03; Philadelphia Flyers, No. 14, 2019 NHL Draft), Quinn Hughes (0.66; Vancouver Canucks, No. 7, 2018 NHL Draft) and Charlie McAvoy (0.64; Boston Bruins, No. 14, 2016 NHL Draft). The son of former NHL forward Geoff Sanderson, he is a mobile puck-mover with a dominant defensive mindset and steadily improving offensive game. The 18-year-old (6-2, 185), who was NTDP captain and will attend the University of North Dakota next season, scored 29 points (seven goals, 22 assists), including three power-play goals, and was plus-13 in 47 games this season. The winner of the Dave Tyler Junior Hockey Player of the Year Award, presented annually by USA Hockey to the most outstanding United States-born player in junior hockey, could be the first player born and trained in Montana to play in the NHL.

[RELATED: Senators make most of three first-round picks at NHL Draft]

NHL.com analysis: Sanderson's coach with the NTDP Under-18 team, Seth Appert, said he "defends like a savage," and his offensive game is improving. He joins a group of young Ottawa defensemen headed by 23-year-old Thomas Chabot that also includes prospects Lassi Thomson (No. 19 pick, 2019) and Jacob Bernard-Docker (No. 26, 2018), each of whom is close to being NHL-ready.

Video: Ottawa Senators select D Jake Sanderson No. 5

 

6. Anaheim Ducks - Jamie Drysdale, D, Erie (OHL)

NHL Central Scouting: No. 3 (North American skaters)

Drysdale (5-11, 175) was named a 2019-20 OHL First-Team All-Star and is capable of running the power play and driving offense with his skating and elite hockey sense. The 18-year-old scored 47 points (nine goals, 38 assists), including 22 on the power play, in 49 games this season. A right-handed shot, Drysdale scored three points (one goal, two assists) and averaged 11:38 of ice time in seven games to help Canada win the 2020 WJC.

NHL.com analysis: The Ducks have done well stockpiling young forwards, and now it's time to do the same with defensemen. Drysdale is considered the most dynamic defenseman in the draft, an outstanding skater who can lead the rush and support the attack. The Ducks were tied for 28th in the NHL with 117 points (28 goals, 89 assists) from defensemen this season; Drysdale has the potential to inject some big-time offense from the back end.

Video: Ducks draft D Jamie Drysdale No. 6

 

7. New Jersey Devils - Alexander Holtz, RW, Djurgarden (SWE)

NHL Central Scouting: No. 2 (International skaters)

Holtz (6-0, 192) is the first right wing born and trained in Sweden to be chosen among the top 10 picks in the NHL Draft in 27 years; the last was forward Niklas Sundstrom, who was selected by the Rangers with the No. 8 pick in the 1993 NHL Draft. The right-hand shot led under-18 skaters in the SHL with 16 points (nine goals, seven assists) in 35 games in 2019-20. A pure goal-scorer with a great selection of shots, the 18-year-old plays a tough, intelligent game. He had 55 shots on goal and averaged 12:53 of ice time. Holtz has good on-ice vision and fine technical skills, gets to the tough areas of the ice, can set up his teammates, and is not just a productive scorer, but also an effective playmaker.

[RELATED: Devils continue rebuild with three first-round picks]

NHL.com analysis: With left-shot centers Hischier and Jack Hughes as the foundation in New Jersey, adding a shoot-first right wing is a smart move for the Devils with the first of their three first-round picks. Holtz is a strong skater and can get a hard, accurate shot off from anywhere in the offensive zone.

Video: New Jersey Devils select F Alexander Holtz No. 7

 

8. Buffalo Sabres - Jack Quinn, RW, Ottawa (OHL)

NHL Central Scouting: No. 7 (North American skaters)

Scouts have taken notice after a solid offseason of training that enabled Quinn (6-0, 176) to become more polished and explosive with the puck on his stick. The 19-year-old is versatile enough to play all three forward positions and has the offensive instincts to execute plays. The right-hand shot was second in the OHL with 52 goals and tied for eighth with 89 points in 62 games this season. Seven other OHL players have scored at least 50 goals in their NHL draft season since 2000-01: Corey Locke (63, 2002-03), Kane (62, 2006-07), Steven Stamkos (58, 2007-08), John Tavares (58, 2008-09), Jeff Skinner (50, 2009-10), Alex DeBrincat (51, 2015-16) and Arthur Kaliyev (51, 2018-19).

NHL.com analysis: The Sabres needed to add top-end goal-scorers, and Quinn is one. His skating improved as the season went on, and he's worked on getting his lower body stronger. Quinn on a line with Jack Eichel or Dylan Cozens (No. 7 pick, 2019) at center in the next season or two could give the Sabres an outstanding offensive attack.

Video: Sabres draft F Jack Quinn No. 8

 

9. Minnesota Wild - Marco Rossi, C, Ottawa (OHL)

NHL Central Scouting: No. 6 (North American skaters)

Rossi led the CHL with 120 points (39 goals, 81 assists) in 56 games in 2019-20, including 34 multipoint games, and was second in points per game (2.14) behind Lafreniere. Despite being small (5-9, 183), Rossi is capable of winning 50-50 puck battles, is strong on face-offs (58.5 percent, fifth among OHL players with at least 1,000 draws), and generates offense with his high hockey IQ, hands and playmaking ability. The 19-year-old was held without a point four times this season.

NHL.com analysis: Rossi plays bigger than his size, with a feistiness and competitive level that's reminiscent of Claude Giroux. Wild general manager Bill Guerin has talked about the need to find a No. 1 center, and Rossi projects to be that player.

Video: Minnesota Wild select F Marco Rossi No. 9

 

10. Winnipeg Jets - Cole Perfetti, C, Saginaw (OHL)

NHL Central Scouting: No. 5 (North American skaters)

After leading all scorers at the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup with 12 points (eight goals, four assists) in five games for Canada, the 18-year-old finished second in the OHL with 111 points (37 goals, 74 assists) in 61 games, including 26 (eight goals, 18 assists) in his final 12 games. A skilled left-hand shot, Perfetti (5-10, 177) finished first in the Western Conference in four categories in the 2019-20 OHL Coaches Poll: smartest player, best playmaker, best stick-handler and best shootout shooter.

[RELATED: Jets call on Hawerchuk's wife to announce pick]

NHL.com analysis: As much as Perfetti's skill level stands out, it's his smarts and high hockey IQ that allow him to always be in the right spot in all three zones. The Jets need depth at center behind Mark Scheifele, and Perfetti has the skill and skating to fill that need in the next season or two, and be a big contributor on the power play. 

Video: Crystal Hawerchuk announces Jets' first-round pick

 

11. Nashville Predators Iaroslav Askarov, G, St. Petersburg (RUS)

NHL Central Scouting: No. 1 (International goalies)

The 18-year-old is an intimidating presence with great poise, athleticism and a quick glove. He has a proven track record in the clutch, helping Russia to six top-three finishes in six international events. Askarov, who has the size (6-3, 176) and compete level to become a No. 1 goalie in the NHL someday, was 12-3-3 with a 2.45 goals-against average and .920 save percentage in 18 games in Russia's minor league. He is the third Russia-born goalie in NHL history to be chosen first at the position, joining Ilya Samsonov (Washington Capitals, No. 22, 2015 NHL Draft) and Andrei Vasilevskiy (Tampa Bay Lightning, No. 19, 2012 NHL Draft).

NHL.com analysis: Some scouts have described Askarov as the best goalie prospect in the draft since Carey Price in 2005. Having Pekka Rinne and Juuse Saros in net gives Nashville the option to allow Askarov to develop at his own pace and grow into what is expected to be a franchise goalie.

Video: Nashville Predators select G Yaroslav Askarov No. 11

 

12. Florida Panthers - Anton Lundell, C, HIFK (FIN)

NHL Central Scouting: No. 3 (International skaters)

A two-way, left-shot forward, Lundell is tough to knock off his skates on the cycle and can protect the puck extremely well and find his teammates in traffic. The 19-year-old (6-1, 185) scored 28 points (10 goals, 18 assists) and had 162 shots in 44 games in 2019-20 averaging 15:49 of ice time in Liiga, Finland's top professional league.

NHL.com analysis: Lundell has experience playing against men and was respected enough to be named an alternate captain as a teenager. His size and two-way ability could give him a chance to play in the NHL as soon as next season and give the Panthers a 1-2 punch of Finnish centers along with Aleksander Barkov.

Video: Panthers draft F Anton Lundell No. 12

 

13. Carolina Hurricanes (from Toronto Maple Leafs) - Seth Jarvis, C, Portland (WHL)

NHL Central Scouting: No. 11 (North American skaters)

Jarvis is a smart, skilled player who executes with pace and excels on the power play as well as the penalty kill. The 18-year-old plays hard, goes to the net, and does everything with purpose. Jarvis (5-10, 175) creates offense with his vision, quickness and playmaking ability, and was second in the Western Hockey League with 98 points (42 goals, 56 assists) and a plus-53 rating in 58 games this season.

NHL.com analysis: Jarvis builds his game around his speed and dynamic offensive skills. He can play center or on the wing and is an outstanding penalty killer. His presence will make the Hurricanes a more dynamic team whenever he's ready for the NHL.

Video: Carolina Hurricanes select F Seth Jarvis No. 13

 

14. Edmonton Oilers Dylan Holloway, C, Wisconsin (Big Ten)

NHL Central Scouting: No. 12 (North American skaters)

Holloway (6-0, 203) is a complete two-way center with great hands, competitiveness and drive to create offense. He was the first college player selected after he scored 17 points (eight goals, nine assists) in 35 games as a freshman in 2019-20. The 19-year-old left-hand shot can play all three forward positions and be effective on the power play.

NHL.com analysis: The top-rated NCAA player should fit well with an Oilers team trying to add offensive talent around Draisaitl and Connor McDavid. Holloway, a committed 200-foot player, will play a bigger role at Wisconsin as a sophomore and get quality coaching from former NHL player Tony Granato.

Video: Oilers draft F Dylan Holloway No. 14

 

15. Toronto Maple Leafs (from Pittsburgh Penguins) - Rodion Amirov, LW, Ufa (RUS)

NHL Central Scouting: No. 5 (International skaters)

A skilled left wing with speed and a high hockey IQ who can play all situations, Amirov (6-0, 167) models his game after Auston Matthews and Nikita Kucherov. The 19-year-old scored 22 points (10 goals, 12 assists) in 17 games with Tolpar Ufa in Russia's junior league and had two assists in 21 games with Salavat Yulaev Ufa of the Kontinental Hockey League in 2019-20, when he was one of seven under-19 skaters to play at least 20 KHL games.

NHL.com analysis: The Maple Leafs could use more skill at left wing to round out their forward group. Amirov is off to a strong start to the 2020-21 season in the KHL with five points (three goals, two assists) in 10 games.

Video: Toronto Maple Leafs select F Rodion Amirov No. 15

 

16. Montreal Canadiens - Kaiden Guhle, D, Prince Albert (WHL)

NHL Central Scouting: No. 8 (North American skaters)

Guhle (6-2, 186) has been effective in all areas of the ice. He is a two-way defenseman with good skating, a hard shot and imposing size. The brother of Ducks defenseman prospect Brendan Guhle, the 18-year-old scored 40 points (11 goals, 29 assists), including 16 on the power play, in 64 games this season.

NHL.com analysis: Guhle's skating allows him to excel in any kind of game, from up-tempo and attacking to grinding and physical. His game improved each of his two full seasons in the WHL, and there's little doubt he'll continue that upward climb and eventually become a top-four defenseman in Montreal.

Video: Canadiens draft D Kaiden Guhle No. 16

 

17. Chicago Blackhawks - Lukas Reichel, LW, Eisbaren Berlin (GER)

NHL Central Scouting: No. 11 (International skaters)

Reichel (6-0, 170) had a breakout season in the DEL in 2019-20, scoring 24 points (12 goals, 12 assists) with 70 shots on goal in 42 games. He averaged 12:58 of ice time and scored four game-winning goals. His averages of 0.29 assists per game and 0.57 points per game are the fourth highest by an under-18 player in league history. The 18-year-old nephew of former NHL center Robert Reichel is a powerful skater, good on the forecheck and can create scoring chances around the net. He scored five points (three goals, two assists) in seven games for Germany playing on a line with Stuetzle at the 2020 WJC.

NHL.com analysis: Reichel is a smart playmaker with good hands who adds more skill to the Blackhawks' forward prospects. He should be able to complement a group that starts with Kirby Dach, the No. 3 pick of the 2019 draft, who had a strong rookie season, and includes Michal Teply (No. 105, 2019), Philipp Kurashev (No. 120, 2018) and Evan Barratt (No. 90, 2017).

Video: Chicago Blackhawks select F Lukas Reichel No. 17

 

18. New Jersey Devils (from Arizona Coyotes) Dawson Mercer, C, Chicoutimi (QMJHL)

NHL Central Scouting: No. 10 (North American skaters)

A right-shot forward capable of playing in all situations, Mercer can generate a lot of offense and is reliable in his own zone. The 18-year-old scored 60 points (24 goals, 36 assists) in 42 games in 2019-20, including 18 points (six goals, 12 assists) in 16 games for Chicoutimi after being acquired in a trade from Drummondville on Jan. 6. Mercer (6-0, 180) is a smart, heads-up skater who finishes checks and is strong on the power play and penalty kill.

NHL.com analysis: After getting a big-time shooter with the selection of Holtz at No. 7, the Devils chose another top-end scorer. Mercer can play center or on the wing and is a strong finisher from below the face-off dots. He should be able to contribute on the power play and the penalty kill when he reaches the NHL in the next two seasons.

Video: Devils draft F Dawson Mercer No. 18

 

The New York Rangers traded the No. 22 pick and the No. 72 pick in the 2020 draft to the Calgary Flames for the No. 19 pick.

 

19. New York Rangers (from Calgary Flames) - Braden Schneider, D, Brandon (WHL)

NHL Central Scouting: No. 9 (North American skaters)

A two-way, right-shot defenseman capable of playing on the power play and penalty kill with great competitiveness and smarts, the 19-year-old is a more physically developed player and finishes checks with authority in all areas of the ice. Schneider (6-2, 202) scored 42 points (seven goals, 35 assists), including 20 on the power play, and was plus-9 in 60 games this season.

[RELATED: Empire State Building lights up for Rangers]

NHL.com analysis: The Rangers moved up to select a defenseman who plays a hard, physical game. Schneider's offensive game is developing and includes a strong shot from the point that could fit on a second power-play unit. He projects to be a top-four defenseman who can play in all situations.

Video: New York Rangers select D Braden Schneider No. 19

 

20. New Jersey Devils (from Tampa Bay Lightning) - Shakir Mukhamadullin, D, Ufa (RUS)

NHL Central Scouting: No. 17 (International skaters)

Mukhamadullin has six points (one goal, five assists) and is averaging 13:03 of ice time in 14 games with Ufa in the KHL in 2020-21. Compared by some NHL scouts to Jay Bouwmeester, the 18-year-old has good offensive instincts and plays a strong two-way game. Mukhamadullin played in three Russian leagues in 2019-20 (KHL; VHL, second division; MHL, junior).

NHL.com analysis: After adding two strong offensive talents, the Devils used their third pick on a big, strong defenseman (6-3, 178). New Jersey has two solid defenseman prospects ready to graduate to the NHL, Ty Smith (No. 17 pick, 2018) and Kevin Bahl (trade from Arizona Coyotes, Dec. 16, 2019), and Mukhamadullin might not need much time to join them with the Devils.

Video: Devils draft D Shakir Mukhamadullin No. 20

 

21. Columbus Blue Jackets - Yegor Chinakhov, RW, Omsk 2 (RUS)

NHL Central Scouting: No. 30 (International skaters) 

Chinakhov (6-0, 178), who was passed over in the 2019 draft, scored 69 points (27 goals, 42 assists) in 56 games in the MHL, Russia's junior league, in 2019-20. The 19-year-old finished fifth in the league in points and was second in assists. Chinakhov ended the regular season on a 10-game point streak (22 points). His father, Vitali, was selected in the 11th round (No. 235) by the Rangers in the 1991 NHL Draft but never played in the NHL.

NHL.com analysis: The Blue Jackets are looking to develop more dynamic offensive players, and Chinakhov is an explosive scorer who already has scored seven points (five goals, two assists) in 12 games in the KHL in 2020-21.

Video: Columbus Blue Jackets select Yegor Chinakhov No. 21

 

The Washington Capitals traded the No. 24 pick and the No. 80 pick in the 2020 draft to the Calgary Flames for the No. 22 pick.

 

22. Washington Capitals (from Calgary Flames) - Hendrix Lapierre, C, Chicoutimi (QMJHL)

NHL Central Scouting: No. 13 (North American skaters)

Lapierre has great hockey sense, compete and playmaking qualities. Limited to 19 games (17 points) in 2019-20 because of head and neck injuries, the 18-year-old may have the highest ceiling of any player chosen in the first round. Lapierre (6-0, 179) scored 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in five games at the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup to help Canada finish second,

NHL.com analysis: The Capitals traded up to select Lapierre, a gifted offensive talent whose 2019-20 season ended Nov. 19 because of the injuries. Lapierre is an outstanding skater who can use his speed to back off opponents and create space for himself. He might have answered the injury questions with five points (three goals, two assists) in his first two games of the 2020-21 QMJHL season.

Video: Capitals draft F Hendrix Lapierre No. 22

 

23. Philadelphia Flyers - Tyson Foerster, RW, Barrie (OHL)

NHL Central Scouting: No. 21 (North American skaters)

His goal-scoring ability stood out at the start of the season, and his play continued to develop during the second half. The 18-year-old finished with 80 points (36 goals, 44 assists) in 62 games. Foerster (6-1, 194) is a gifted offensive player who consistently puts himself in the right areas of the ice to get into scoring position and make plays through traffic. He scored three points (two goals, one assist) and was chosen as player of the game in the 2020 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on Jan. 16.

NHL.com analysis: The Flyers have been looking to add a big-time goal-scorer, and Foerster showed the potential to be that for them with his production in the OHL and performance in the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. His shot is NHL-caliber, and if he can improve his skating, Foerster projects as a top-six forward and threat on the power play.

Video: Philadelphia Flyers select F Tyson Foerster No. 23

 

24. Calgary Flames (from Washington Capitals) - Connor Zary, C, Kamloops (WHL)

NHL Central Scouting: No. 15 (North American skaters)

Zary plays a two-way game, exhibits patience with the puck, and has a sound work ethic. Compared by some to Bo Horvat, Zary (6-0, 178) contributes in all facets of the game. The 19-year-old tied for fifth in the WHL with 86 points (38 goals, 48 assists) in 57 games this season. He tied for third in the league with 15 power-play goals, tied for fourth with three shorthanded goals, and had a game-high three assists at the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. He never went two straight games without a point this season.

NHL.com analysis: The Flames traded down, first from No. 19, and then from No. 22, and still got one of the top offensive talents in the draft. Zary can beat opponents with his quick hands and skill, can score from anywhere on the ice, and will look to develop into a complement to Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau and Elias Lindholm. Zary also can score in bunches; he had six point streaks of at least five games this season, including a season-opening 13-game run.

Video: Flames draft F Connor Zary No. 24

 

25. Colorado Avalanche - Justin Barron, D, Halifax (QMJHL)

NHL Central Scouting: No. 16 (North American skaters)

Barron (6-2, 195) returned Feb. 26 after missing three months because of a blood clot and scored 19 points (four goals, 15 assists) in 34 games. Out indefinitely to begin 2020-21 following a medical procedure in September, the 18-year-old is an exceptional skater capable of making a smooth transition out of the defensive zone. The right-hand shot has scored 81 points (15 goals, 66 assists) and is plus-41 in 153 QMJHL games. Barron's brother, center Morgan Barron, was chosen by the Rangers in the sixth round (No. 174) of the 2017 draft.

NHL.com analysis: When Barron recovers from the surgical procedure related to the blood clot that sidelined him, he should return to showcasing himself as a smart, skilled, right-shot defenseman with poise. Just add him to an outstanding group of young defenseman with the Avalanche, from Cale Makar and Samuel Girard to Bowen Byram, the No. 4 pick of the 2019 draft, who could be in the NHL next season.

Video: Colorado Avalanche select D Justin Barron No. 25

 

26. St. Louis Blues - Jake Neighbours, LW, Edmonton (WHL)

NHL Central Scouting: No. 26 (North American skaters)

Neighbours (5-11, 195) is a tough forward with deceptive speed, good vision and playmaking ability. The 18-year-old has been compared to Oilers forward prospect Tyler Benson, selected in the second round (No. 32) of the 2016 draft. Neighbours can play on the power play and penalty kill. He scored 70 points (23 goals, 47 assists), including 19 on the power play, and had 228 shots on goal in 64 games this season.

NHL.com analysis: Neighbours plays the physical, skilled game the Blues used to win the Stanley Cup in 2019. He can take the puck through a defender or skate around him and get to the net, and has good hands in tight to finish those plays. He projects as a middle-six forward and a net-front presence on the power play.

Video: Blues draft F Jake Neighbours No. 26

 

27. Anaheim Ducks (from Boston Bruins) - Jacob Perreault, RW, Sarnia (OHL)

NHL Central Scouting: No. 17 (North American skaters)

The versatile forward has one of the best shots in the 2020 draft class. Perreault (5-11, 192), the son of former NHL forward Yanic Perreault, scored 70 points (39 goals, 31 assists) in 57 games, leading Sarnia in goals and power-play goals (15) this season. The 18-year-old has an impressive offensive skill set with good vision and ability to make plays off the rush or with accurate passes in the offensive zone.

NHL.com analysis: After taking a defenseman (Drysdale) at No. 7, the Ducks opted for the best remaining goal-scorer. Perreault blends a shooter's mentality with strong skating and creativity with the puck. The prospect of center Trevor Zegras (No. 9 pick, 2019), an elite passer, setting up Perreault could create the foundation for the Ducks in the near future.

Video: Anaheim Ducks select F Jacob Perreault No. 27

 

28. Ottawa Senators (from New York Islanders) - Ridly Greig, C, Brandon (WHL) 

NHL Central Scouting: No. 14 (North American skaters) 

Greig (5-11, 163) scored 60 points (26 goals, 34 assists) in 56 games this season. His father, Mark, was selected No. 15 by the Hartford Whalers in the 1990 NHL Draft, played 125 NHL games, and is an amateur scout for the Flyers. The 18-year-old possesses high hockey IQ and plays with an edge.

NHL.com analysis: With the pick acquired from the Islanders for forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau, the Senators choose a similar agitating player with skill. Greig's combination of speed and sandpaper could make him a solid middle-six forward who can play in all situations. He could be a player who Senators fans love and is hated by fans of the other teams in the League.

Video: Senators draft F Ridly Greig

 

29. Vegas Golden Knights - Brendan Brisson, C, Chicago (USHL)

NHL Central Scouting: No. 20 (North American skaters)

Brisson (5-11, 179) was named the United States Hockey League rookie of the year after finishing second with 59 points (24 goals, 35 assists) in 45 games in his first full season in the league. The 18-year-old averaged 1.31 points per game; among USHL rookies in the past 15 seasons to play at least 20 games, only Hughes for the NTDP (2017-18, 2.00) and forward Jaden Schwartz for Tri-City (2009-10, 1.38) had a higher average. Brisson will play at the University of Michigan in 2020-21.

NHL.com analysis: No player selected in the first round has been exposed to more high-end hockey talent than Brisson, the son of agent Pat Brisson. And Brendan, with a smart, well-rounded game, clearly was paying attention when players like MacKinnon and Tavares came by the house. Vegas is built to win now, so Brisson should get all the time he needs to develop into a future NHL top-nine forward at Michigan.

Video: Vegas Golden Knights select F Brendan Brisson No. 29

 

30. Dallas Stars - Mavrik Bourque, C, Shawinigan (QMJHL)

NHL Central Scouting: No. 22 (North American skaters)

Bourque (5-10, 178), a right-handed shot, tied for fifth in the QMJHL with 21 power-play assists and finished with 71 points (29 goals, 42 assists) in 49 games in 2019-20. The 18-year-old went 300-for-600 (50.0 percent) on face-offs and played in the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.

NHL.com analysis: Dallas started to get younger at forward this season, with more ice time for Denis Gurianov and Roope Hintz, each 23, and 20-year-old Ty Dellandrea (No. 13 pick, 2018) could be ready to follow them into full-time NHL duty next season. But more is needed, and Bourque is a well-rounded forward who projects to be a middle-six forward able to check the opposition's top players and also contribute offensively.

Video: Stars draft F Mavrik Bourque No. 30

 

31. San Jose Sharks (from Tampa Bay Lightning) - Ozzy Wiesblatt, RW, Prince Albert (WHL)

NHL Central Scouting: No. 19 (North American skaters)

The 18-year-old is a smart, tenacious player on the puck, quick to find openings, and excelled after moving to center from right wing late in the season. Wiesblatt (5-10, 183) was second on Prince Albert with 70 points (25 goals, 45 assists) and first with 27 power-play points (10 goals, 17 assists) this season. He's a magnet on the puck, displays good confidence when under pressure, and has good vision at a fast pace.

NHL.com analysis: San Jose drafted 10 players the past two years, so an influx of talent into the prospect pipeline is desperately needed. Wiesblatt is a tenacious player and a puck hound in all three zones.

Video: San Jose Sharks select F Ozzy Wiesblatt No. 31

 

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