Here is the second part of my first crack at this year’s 2020 draft. The next mock draft will be posted after the trade deadline on February 24. Please note that this mock draft doesn’t follow how I have players ranked. Good luck to your favorite team and players!
Here are picks 1-15:
1. Detroit Red Wing: Alexis Lafreniere, LW, Rimouski (QMJHL)
2. Ottawa Senators: Quinton Byfield, C, Sudbury (OHL)
3. New Jersey Devil: Alexander Holtz: RW, Djurgarden (SHL)
4. Los Angeles King: Jamie Drysdale, RHD, Erie (OHL)
5. Anahiem Ducks: Lucas Raymond, LW, Frolunda (SHL)
6. Ottawa Senator (via San Jose): Cole Perfetti, LW, Saginaw (OHL)
7. Montreal Canadiens: Marco Rossi, C, Ottawa (OHL)
8. Chicago Blackhawks: Anton Lundell, C, HIFK (SM-Liiga)
9. New York Rangers: Tim Stutzle, C, Adler Mannheim (DEL)
10. Buffalo Sabres: Dylan Holloway, C, Wisconsin (NCAA)
11. Nashville Predators: Jan Mysak, LW, Hamilton (OHL)
12. Minnesota Wild: Yaroslav Askarov, G, SKA-Neva (VHL)
13. Florida Panthers: Jeremie Poirier, LHD, Saint John (QMJHL)
14. Columbus Blue Jackets: Noel Gunler, RW, Lulea (SHL)
15. *Vancouver/Tampa Bay: Braden Schneider, RHD, Brandon (WHL)
Click below for a more in-depth look at each pick
16. Calgary Flames: William Wallinder, LHD, MODO (Superelit)
Wallinder is a big left-handed defensemen out of Sweden who can skate very well for his size — he’s 6-foot-4 and still growing. An offense-first defensemen, he has a powerful shot and loves to sneak in at the top of the circle and pick off corners. He has great defensive stick skills and uses them well; and he will round out to be a solid new-age defender down the road.
17. Edmonton Oilers: Lukas Cormier, LHD, Charlottetown (QMJHL)
Smaller offense-first D-man, who is an excellent skating defenseman, which are not just a trend anymore, they’re now a must on every blueline. Lukas fits that bill to a tee, and Edmonton might have found a great compliment to Bourchard. He is aggressive in both ends of the ice. Unafraid to make a defense play with his body. Offensively, he makes crisp passes and has a solid shot from the blueline.
18. Philadelphia Flyers: Rodion Amirov, LW, Salavat Yulaev Ufa (KHL)
What do you when you have a cupboard full of up-and-coming pieces at both ends of the ice? I think they take a swing on Amirov. Russian players have been tricky for me, but from what I have gathered, Amirov is a battler, skilled, hard-shooting meanie who will fit the “Broad Street Bullies” team very well. A high-risk, high-reward pick — and why not keep the cupboards stocked.
19. Winnipeg Jets: Conor Zary, C, Kamloops (WHL)
Zary is a meat-and-potatoes player. He works hard, plays the 200-foot game very well and can play the PK, too. In Winnipeg, which is looking for a 2C, Zary could be that for team. They wont need him to be an 80-point player and he will be surrounded by highly-productive wingers to benefit off of his hard work in the corners and along the boards. He also is great at mucking it up in front of the net. A solid get for a Winnipeg, which finds quality in the first round consistently.
20. Carolina Hurricanes: Jake Neighbours, LW, Edmonton (WHL)
Another solid player coming from the WHL, Neighbours is a former 4th-overall pick in the bantam draft. He is a bulldog player, very skilled, has great vision, aggressive, physicality and plays a solid 200-foot game. Neighbours has a great board game and wins most battles and comes away with the puck and usually gets the short-side shot off. He is hard to play against and has some “Corey Perry” to his game. He will fit in well with the young group in Carolina.
21. Vegas Golden Knights: Emil Andrae, LHD, HV71 J20 (SuperElit)
Vegas has made no secrets about wanting a puck-moving defenseman. The easiest way to get one is to draft one. Andrae is a smaller, high-IQ, quick defenseman, who will be skating around guys at the next level. He has a hard, accurate pass and will be a solid power-play QB for the Knights with their array of talent up front.
After taking Holtz with the 3rd pick, the Devils turn around and continue to add to their blueline with the addition of Niemela. He is a solid all around defender who isn’t elite at one thing, but great at everything. Biggest thing for him is his hockey IQ. He is really smart. Positioning is where it needs to be in order to make the right play. He will log huge minutes for the Devils in a few years to add to their growing defense core.
23. Carolina Hurricanes: (Via Toronto Maple Leafs): Justin Barron*, RHD, Halifax (QMJHL)
Justin Barron has been sidelined since December with blood clots, which might cause him to drop in the draft. Because of this, I, too, have him falling. So if a team with two firsts wants to take a shot at him if he is not fully healthy come the draft, why not Carolina? If healthy and playing, I would have him in the top-15, maybe even top-10. He is a super smart, defensively sound, play-making defenseman. He uses his high-end skating to his advantage, and can play on any unit while logging massive minutes. If healthy, he would challenge Drysdale for top defenseman honors in this draft.
24. Colorado Avalanche: Jacob Perreault, C, Sarnia (OHL)
Jacob Perreault is one name you all should be getting familiar with. A goal-scoring (he had 30 last year as a rookie), playmaking, high-IQ, great skating center/winger. He is a very aware player in all three zones, playing smart defensively, who transitions well with hard accurate passes or by using his legs. He has the ability to get open and win board battles in the offensive zone. He and Avs 2019 first-round draftee center Alex Newhook would be a great start to a future second line that could look great behind MacKinnon, Rantanen and Landeskog for years to come.
25. Dallas Stars: Dawson Mercer, RW, Drummondville (QMJHL)
Dallas continue to add to their future forward core by taking Mercer. He was a surprise to make the final Canadian World Junior team. He is a high-energy, in-your-face winger. He battles hard, skates well and finds pucks with ease, it seems.
26. Tampa Bay: Seth Jarvis, RW, Portland (WHL)
Tampa Bay always seems to find talent in the WHL, and here with Jarvis they are getting a skilled, slick-handed winger. He is a great playmaker and is always in high-danger scoring areas making plays. For a smaller guy, he is a strong, balanced skater and is a force on a very good Portland Winterhawks team.
27. Pittsburgh Penguins: Jean-Luc Foudy, C, Windsor (OHL)
Speed is Pittsburgh’s identity, and speed is what they will get in Foudy. He plays a similar game to his older brother Liam, who was a first-round pick by the Blue Jackets in 2018. Jean-Luc will bring speed, slick hands and a hardworking lunch-pail type to the Pens. His IQ and vision are truly elite, especially with some of the passes he manages to pull off with relative ease. His has a good shot and will run you into the ground if you cant stop him. His stock will only rise as the year goes on.
28. New York Islanders: Kasper Simontaival, LW, Tappara (LIIGA)
A smaller guy, but he his skilled like the best of them. He has elite IQ and vision, which allows him to make highlight-reel plays with ease, both in both passing and shooting. Everything about him is deceiving: his speed, his skill, the ability to slow down and speed up. Might take a couple of years for him to make the jump to North America, but he will be worth the wait.
29. Boston Bruins: John-Jason Peterka, LW, Munchen (DEL)
The World Junior Championship showed me that he is a great skater and he can play with high-end skill. That’s a skill in and of itself. I really liked his passing and his finishing ability. The Bruins will love the rawness to his game, where in Bruin fashion, they will hope to add some grittiness to him to go along with his speed and skill.
30. St. Louis Blues: Kaiden Guhle, LHD, Prince Albert (WHL)
Confident. Powerful. Solid IQ. Size. Kaiden has a swagger about him that I really like. He is unafraid to do work or get in your face in the defensive zone. He will also surprise you with his skating ability and his sneaky offensive prowess. Kaiden is an all-around solid two-way defender. James Brown’s “The Boss” is him in a nutshell.
31. Washington Capitals: Tyson Foerster, C, Barrie (OHL)
In typical Washington fashion, another great player slips through the cracks and falls right into their lap. Last year it was Conor McMicheal. And this year they add another OHL stud in Foerster. He has a great accurate shot, good IQ, solid north-south speed and he is good defensively. He finds open ice easily and seems to disappear and reappear in the offensive zone. He just finds areas that elude the defenders.