2020 NHL Draft: Bell’s Top 155 Final Rankings

Well, it wasn’t the ending to the season we expected but what a ride it was.

While hockey seasons across the globe were cut short, there was more than enough hockey to provide a glimpse into the NHL’s future. With that in mind, I’m extremely happy to release my final rankings for the 2020 NHL Draft.

Leading the pack is Alexis Lafrenière, which shouldn’t be surprising. Lafrenière comes into this draft with one of the best draft-eligible resumes of all-time, and at least the best since Connor McDavid.

CHL Player of the Year (soon-to-be two-time winner), World Junior Championship MVP, two-time QMJHL MVP, Hlinka Gretzky and World Junior gold medals, the list goes on and on. We get it – you’re good, Alexis.

Related: FREE 2020 NHL Draft Guide

After that, it could get interesting. I believe that Quinton Byfield is right there, locked at number two, but it’s looking like that spot could be stolen by Tim Stützle. But then there’s Lucas Raymond, Marco Rossi, and Jamie Drysdale who could all challenge Byfield and Stützle for a top-three selection.

After that, there are so many questions.

Is Yaroslav Askarov going to be a top-five pick? Are Jake Sanderson or Seth Jarvis going to be top-10 picks? Is Anton Lundell going to stumble because of his skating? Is Noel Gunler going to fall because of his “compete level”? Is Zion Nybeck (who set records in the SuperElit) going to be passed over in the first round because of size and skating?

Seth Jarvis Portland Winterhawks
Seth Jarvis of the Portland Winterhawks. (Keith Dwiggins/Portland Winterhawks)

In my rankings, I have players set how I would take them. These are the players I would feel most comfortable taking at that spot, assuming the others above them are gone. That being said, and I can’t stress this enough, I do not believe this is how they will be drafted.

I think Sanderson will jump in the top-10. I currently have two defenders in my top-21 – there’s no way that happens. I could see four or five defensemen going in the top 20 (Drysdale, Sanderson, and then potentially Kaiden Guhle and Emil Andrae), but I just don’t think that will be the best bet in the long run.

You can preach “best player available” all you’d like, but teams draft on need all the time. Especially when it’s a defenseman or a big centreman, both of whom will likely go higher than how I ranked them here, in general.

Overall, I feel good about how I have my top 155 laid out. I was able to see all of these guys play this season and I feel comfortable with where I have them. Could some bust? Sure. And some will. Looking at the numbers from past drafts, it happens. But basing my list on players who I think have the highest ceiling and, possibly more importantly, the path of least resistance to get to that ceiling, this is how I think they stack up right now.

Of course, you’re probably wondering about tiers. For me, it’s as follows:

  • Tier 1: 1-2
  • Tier 2: 3-6
  • Tier 3: 7-11
  • Tier 4: 12-21
  • Tier 5: 22-47
  • Tier 6: 47-86
  • Tier 7: 87+

If you checked out Larry Fisher’s top-500 final rankings (which you should if you haven’t), you would have read that his 21-45 tier was the hardest to nail down. My 22-47 tier is the same. These are all players that I think could go in the first round and I wouldn’t be surprised if they did (well, nine of them). But it was tough to finalize which players to include in the first round and which were just outside.

Other than that, I could probably add a tier in between 87 and 155, but at that point, it’s a bit too nitpicky for me. I’m content with the giant final tier as it stands. At that point in the draft, it’s pretty wide open in my opinion.

Speaking of Fisher’s final rankings, keep an eye out for Andrew Forbes’ final efforts as well, which should be coming out soon. In the meantime, here are his latest rankings from March.

Before we dive in, I want to thank everyone who has followed along with my rankings this year. There are more and more public rankings every season and I was one of those for 2019-20. But the support has been incredible and whether you agree with how I rank these players or not, I thank you for your time checking them out. It’s greatly appreciated.

Also, I want to invite anyone who has any questions about my rankings (or anything else) to ask away. Drop a comment at the bottom of the page or shoot me a message on Twitter: @JoshuaBell31. Even if you just want to talk about some prospects, feel free to reach out.

2020 NHL Entry Draft Rankings

Round One

1. Alexis Lafrenière, LW, Rimouski Océanic (QMJHL)

2. Quinton Byfield, C, Sudbury Wolves (OHL)

3. Lucas Raymond, LW, Frölunda HC (SHL)

4. Tim Stützle, C, Mannheim (DEL)

5. Marco Rossi, C, Ottawa 67’s (OHL)

6. Jamie Drysdale, D, Erie Otters (OHL)

7. Anton Lundell, C, HIFK (Liiga)

8. Cole Perfetti, C, Saginaw Spirit (OHL)

9. Alexander Holtz, RW, Djugårdens (SHL)

10. Rodion Amirov, LW, Salavat Yulaev Ufa (KHL)

11. Yaroslav Askarov, G, SKA-Neva St. Petersburg (VHL)

12. Jan Myšák, LW, Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL)

13. Noel Gunler, LW/RW, Luleå HF (SHL)

14. Seth Jarvis, RW, Portland Winterhawks (WHL)

15. Dylan Holloway, C/W, University of Wisconsin (NCAA)

Dylan Holloway University of Wisconsin
Dylan Holloway of the University of Wisconsin (Greg Anderson/UW Athletics)

16. Jake Sanderson, D, U.S. U18 (NTDP)

17. Connor Zary, C, Kamloops Blazers (WHL)

18. Dawson Mercer, RW, Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL)

19. Tyson Foerster, C, Barrie Colts (OHL)

20. Mavrik Bourque, C, Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL)

21. Jack Quinn, RW, Ottawa 67’s (OHL)

22. Emil Andrea, D, HV71 J20 (SuperElit)

23. John-Jason Peterka, LW, EHC München (DEL)

24. Marat Khusnutdinov, C, SKA-1946 St. Petersburg (MHL)

25. Lukas Cormier, D, Charlottetown Islanders (QMJHL)

26. Zion Nybeck, RW, HV71 J20 (SuperElit)

27. Kasper Simontaival, LW, Tappara U20 (Jr. A SM-liiga)

28. Jacob Perreault, RW, Sarnia Sting (OHL)

29. Hendrix Lapierre, C, Chicoutimi Sagueneens (QMJHL)

30. William Wallinder, D, MODO Hockey J20 (SuperElit)

31. Roni Hirvonen, C, Ässät (Liiga)

Round Two

31. Lukas Reichel, LW, Eisbären Berin (DEL)

33. Carter Savoie, LW Sherwood Park Crusaders (AJHL)

34. Kaiden Guhle, D, Prince Albert Raiders (WHL)

35. Vasily Ponomaryov, RW, Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL)

36. Braden Schneider, D, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)

37. Jérémie Poirier, D, Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)

38. Thomas Bordeleau, LW, U.S. U18 (NTDP)

39. Topi Niemelä, D, Karpat (Liiga)

40. Theodor Niederbach, C, Frölunda J20 (SuperElit)

41. Justin Barron, RD, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)

42. Alexandr Pashin, LW, Tolpar Ufa (MHL)

43. Brendan Brisson, C, Chicago Steel (USHL)

44. Jaromir Pytlik, C, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)

45. Martin Chromiak, LW, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)

46. Jake Neighbours, LW, Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)

47. Helge Grans, D, Malmö Red Hawks J20 (SuperElit)

Helge Grans Malmö Redhawks
Helge Grans of the Malmö Redhawks (Malmö Redhawks)

48. Ridley Greig, C/LW, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)

49. Ryan O’Rourke, D, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)

50. Ty Smilanic, LW, U.S. U18 (NTDP)

51. Jean-Luc Foudy, C, Windsor Spitfires (OHL)

52. Roby Järventie, LW, KOOVVEE (Mestis)

53. Ozzy Wiesblatt, RW, Prince Albert Raiders (WHL)

54. Veeti Miettinen, RW, Blues U20 (Jr. A SM-liiga)

55. Daniil Gushchin, RW, Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL)

56. Sean Farrell, F, Chicago Steel (USHL)

57. Joni Jurmo, D, Jokerit U20 (Jr. A SM-liiga)

58. Antonio Stranges, LW, London Knights (OHL)

59. Sam Colangelo, RW, Chicago Steel (USHL)

60. Emil Viro, D, TPS (Liiga)

61. Tristan Robins, C, Saskatoon Blades (WHL)

62. Yevgeni Oksentyuk, RW/LW, Flint Firebirds (OHL)*

Round Three

63. Emil Heineman, LW, Leksands IF J20 (SuperElit)

64. Will Cuylle, LW, Windsor Spitfires (OHL)

65. Luke Tuch, LW, U.S. U18 (NTDP)

66. Luke Evangelista, RW, London Knights (OHL)

67. Zayde Wisdom, C, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)

68. Alexander Nikishin, D, MHK Spartak Moskva (MHL)

69. Connor McClennon, RW, Winnipeg Ice (WHL)

70. Adam Raska, LW, Rimouski Océanic (QMJHL)

71. Daniel Ljungman, C, Linköping J20 (SuperElit)

72. Michael Benning, D, Sherwood Park Crusaders (AJHL)

73. Justin Sourdiff, C, Vancouver Giants (WHL)

74. Tyler Tullio, C, Oshawa Generals (OHL)

75. Daemon Hunt, LD, Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)

76. William Villeneuve, D, Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)

William Villeneuve Saint John Sea Dogs
William Villeneuve of the Saint John Sea Dogs (Dan Culberson/Saint John Sea Dogs)

77. Dylan Peterson, C, U.S. U18 (NTDP)

78. Blake Biondi, RW, Hermantown U.S. High School (USHS-MN)

79. Daniel Torgersson, LW/RW, Frölunda HC J20 (SuperElit)

80. James Hardie, LW, Missisauga Steelheads (OHL)

81. Luke Reid, D, Chicago Steel (USHL)

82. Brett Berard, F, U.S. U18 (NTDP)

83. Joel Blomqvist, G, Karpat U20 (Jr. A SM-liiga)

84. Anton Johannesson, D, HV71 J20 (SuperElit)

85. Rory Kerins, C, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)

86. Yan Kuznetsov, D, University of Connecticut (NCAA)

87. Maxim Groshev, W, Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk (KHL)

88. Eamon Powell, D, U.S. U18 (NTDP)

89. Pavel Novak, RW, Kelowna Rockets (WHL)

90. Tyler Kleven, D, U.S. U18 (NTDP)

91. Oliver Suni, RW, Oshawa Generals (OHL)

92. Kasper Puutio, D, Swift Current Broncos (WHL)

93. Jack Finley, C, Spokane Chiefs (WHL)

Round Four

94. Jack Thompson, D, Sudbury Wolves (OHL)

95. Nico Daws, G, Guelph Storm (OHL)*

96. Evan Vierling, C, Barrie Colts (OHL)

97. Mitch Miller, D, Tri-City Storm (USHL)

98. Charlie Desroches, D, Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)

99. Colby Ambrosio, C, Tri-City Storm (USHL)

100. Ruben Rakfin, D, Windsor Spitfires (OHL)

101. Samuel Knazko, D, TPS U20 (Jr. A SM-liiga)

102. Drew Commesso, G, U.S. U18 (NTDP)

103. Xavier Simoneau, C, Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL)*

104. Ben Schoen, RW, Youngstown Phantoms (USHL)

105. Dmitri Ovchinnikov, F, Sibirskie Snaipery Novosibirsk (MHL)

106. Théo Rochette, C, Chicoutimi Sagueneens (QMJHL)

107. Alex Cotton, D, Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL)*

Alex Cotton Lethbridge Hurricanes
Alex Cotton of the Lethbridge Hurricanes. (Erica Perreaux/Lethbridge Hurricanes)

108. Simon Knak, LW, Portland Winterhawks (WHL)

109. Oskar Magnusson, C/RW, Malmö Redhawks J20 (SuperElit)

110. Cross Hanas, LW, Portland Winterhawks (WHL)

111. Ryan Francis, RW, Cape Breton Eagles (QMJHL)

112. Samuel Hlavaj, G, Sherbrooke Phoenix (QMJHL)*

113. Ethan Cardwell, C, Barrie Colts (OHL)

114. Alex Laferriere, RW, Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL)

115. Lleyton Moore, D, Oshawa Generals (OHL)

116. Pavel Tyutnev, C, Loko Yaroslavl (MHL)

117. Nick Malik, G, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)

118. Noah Ellis, D, Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL)

119. Alex Gaffney, C, Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL)

120. Carson Bantle, LW, Madison Capitols (USHL)

121. Šimon Kubíček, D, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL)

122. Logan Morrison, C, Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL)

123. Hugo Styf, D, MODO Hockey J20 (SuperElit)

124. Brandon Coe, RW, North Bay Battalion (OHL)

Round Five

125. Juuso Mäenpää, C, Jokerit U20 (Jr. A SM-liiga)

126. Donovan Sebrango, D, Kitchener Rangers (OHL)

127. Michal Gut, C, Everett Silvertips (WHL)

128. Oliver Okuliar, LW, Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL)*

129. Jacob Dion, D, Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL)

130. Bogdan Trineyev, F, MHK Dynamo Moskva (MHL)

131. Ryder Rolston, RW, Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL)

132. Shakir Mukhamadullin, D, Tolpar Ufa (MHL)

133. Noah Delemont, D, Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL)

134. Ivan Didkovsky, F, MHK Dynamo Moskva (MHL)

135. Jan Bednar, G, HC Karlovy Vary (Czech)

136. Ville Ottavainen, D, Kitchener Rangers (OHL)

137. Lukas Svejkovsky, C/RW, Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL)

138. Elliott Ekmark, C, Linköping J20 (SuperElit)

139. Leo Lööf, Färjestad BK J20 (SuperElit)

140. Maxim Bertozkin, LW/RW, Loko Yaroslavl (MHL)

141. Dmitri Zlodeyev, C, MHK Dynamo Moskva (MHL)

142. Matej Kaslik, C, Malmo Redhawks J20 (SuperElit)

143. Brock Faber, D, U.S. U18 (NTDP)

Brock Faber USNTDP
Brock Faber of the USNTDP (Rena Laverty)

144. Egor Sokolov, RW/LW. Cape Breton Eagles (QMJHL)*

145. Thimo Nickl, D, Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL)

146. Calle Clang, G, Rögle BK J20 (SuperElit)

147. Oliver Tärnstöm, C, AIK J20 (SuperElit)

148. Artur Akhtyamov, G, Irbis Kazan (MHL)

149. Luke Prokop, D, Calgary Hitmen (WHL)

150. Gunnarwolfe Fontaine, F, Chicago Steel (USHL)*

151. Christoffer Sedoff, D, Red Deer Rebels (WHL)

152. Amir Miftakhov, G, Bars Kazan (VHL)*

153. Victor Mancini, D, Frölunda J20 (SuperElit)

154. Yaroslav Likhachyov, W, Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (QMJHL)*

155. Marco Stacha, D, HK Dukla Trencin (Slovakia)

*Indicates overager

Final Thoughts

So there you have it. Bell’s Final Rankings for the 2019-20 season. I won’t release any more rankings for this draft, but I’ll still have features and prospect profiles leading up to it (whenever it may be). But for this year’s rankings, this is it until I one day in the distant future review them and see how I did.

As I look at my rankings, there are a few things that stand out to me. I know that defenders and goaltenders are likely to go higher than I have them. As I said at the beginning, I don’t think the players will be drafted how I have them ranked. Defenders will go higher, goalies might go higher, bigger players will go higher, and some of the Europeans will go lower (especially in the first round).

I did my best to look at potential as I saw it. How easily could these players step to the next level? How much do they have to improve to get there? I also put a lot of time into considering context. What team did they play on, in what league? Who were their linemates? How were they used? There are so many questions when looking at prospects and trying to gauge player talent and projectability. This is something I’ll be looking to improve every single day that I’m fortunate enough to write about prospects and cover the draft.

All that being said, I stand by my rankings heading into the draft. This was a ton of work this year, perhaps even more than I bargained for to start, but definitely worth it.

As I said at the top, feel free to ask any questions about my rankings. Why player A is above player B, what are my thoughts on player C that I left off my top-155, what do I think about player D, anything! Drop a comment below or shoot me a message on Twitter: @JoshuaBellTHW. And again, thanks for reading!

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