- Fisher’s Top 500 Final Rankings
- Final Rankings for Overagers
- Final Rankings for Defencemen
- Final Rankings for Forwards
This series is further analyzing my final rankings for the 2020 NHL Draft by position, by league and by country.
Today, I’m taking a closer look at the goaltenders available this year. I’ll provide the total within my top 500, within my draft range (top 217), and within my first round, followed by the full list and finishing with my thoughts. The prospects are listed by their final ranking.
Without further ado, here are my final rankings for goaltenders in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft:
DRAFT RANGE: 13
FIRST ROUND: 1
10) Yaroslav Askarov (G, Russia, SKA-Neva St. Petersburg VHL)
83) Joel Blomqvist (G, Finland, Karpat U20)
84) Drew Commesso (G, USA, NTDP U18)
91) Nick Malik (G, Czech Republic, Sault Ste. Marie OHL)
92) Nico Daws (G, Canada, Guelph OHL, overager)
125) Jan Bednar (G, Czech Republic, Karlovy Vary Czech)
126) Calle Clang (G, Sweden, Rogle J20)
127) Dylan Garand (G, Canada, Kamloops WHL)
128) Samuel Hlavaj (G, Slovakia, Sherbrooke QMJHL, overager)
129) Amir Miftakhov (G, Russia, Bars Kazan VHL, overager)
160) Aidan Campbell (G, USA/Canada, Erie OHL)
204) Vsevolod Skotnikov (G, Russia, Krasnaya Armiya Moskva MHL)
205) Artur Akhtyamov (G, Russia, Irbis Kazan MHL)
218) Victor Ostman (G, Sweden, Chicago USHL, overager)
219) Jakub Dobes (G, Czech Republic, Omaha USHL, overager)
232) Brock Gould (G, USA, Moose Jaw WHL)
233) Devon Levi (G, Canada, Carleton Place CCHL)
270) Will Cranley (G, Canada, Ottawa OHL)
285) Lassi Lehtinen (G, Finland, Lukko Liiga, overager)
317) Yegor Guskov (G, Russia, Loko Yaroslavl MHL)
320) Taylor Gauthier (G, Canada, Prince George WHL, overager)
321) Garin Bjorklund (G, Canada, Medicine Hat WHL)
351) Brett Brochu (G, Canada, London OHL)
352) Tucker Tynan (G, USA, Niagara OHL)
353) Logan Stein (G, USA, Waterloo USHL, overager)
354) Cameron Rowe (G, USA, Des Moines USHL, overager)
355) Antoine Coulombe (G, Canada, Shawinigan QMJHL)
356) Fabio Iacobo (G, Canada, Victoriaville QMJHL)
357) Creed Jones (G, Canada, Rimouski QMJHL, overager)
358) Cole McLaren (G, Canada, Halifax QMJHL, overager)
359) Jesper Vikman (G, Sweden/Finland, AIK J20)
360) Hugo Ollas (G, Sweden, Linkoping J20)
361) Isak Posch (G, Sweden, Leksands J20)
362) Juho Markkanen (G, Finland, SaiPa U20)
363) Jere Huhtamaa (G, Finland, Merrimack College NCAA, overager)
396) Noah Grannan (G, USA, NTDP U18)
424) Zachary Paputsakis (G, Canada, Oshawa OHL)
425) Mack Guzda (G, USA/Canada, Owen Sound OHL, overager)
450) Colin Purcell (G, USA, Youngstown USHL)
451) Grant Riley (G, USA, Janesville NAHL)
452) Owen Parker (G, USA, Nichols U.S. High School)
453) Lassi Lehti (G, Finland, St. Andrew’s College High School)
454) Hudson Hodges (G, USA, Moorhead U.S. High School)
463) Roman Basran (G, Canada, Kelowna WHL, overager)
464) Bryan Thomson (G, Canada, Lethbridge WHL)
465) Brayden Peters (G, Canada, Calgary WHL)
475) Vladimir Sartakov (G, Russia, Avto Yekaterinburg MHL, overager)
476) Vladimir Galkin (G, Russia, Avto Yekaterinburg MHL, overager)
477) Jesper Myrenberg (G, Sweden, Vasteras Allsvenskan, overager)
478) Kari Piiroinen (G, Finland, Windsor OHL, overager)
Fisher’s Final Thoughts
This isn’t a great year for goalies, but there is a great goalie available at the top of this list in Yaroslav Askarov (10), who has been touted as the best goaltending prospect to come through the draft since Carey Price went fifth overall in 2005. Askarov is a strong candidate to crack the top 10 — perhaps even the top five — and could be better than fellow Russian first-rounders Andrei Vasilevskiy and Ilya Samsonov in the years to come.
As you can see, I don’t have any other goaltenders ranked in my top 75, but I’m anticipating at least a couple will be taken in the second round — in the top 62. Nico Daws (92) could be the second netminder off the board as an overager, but I prefer Finland’s Joel Blomqvist (83) and Drew Commesso (84) from The Program. They are next on my list and I would take them both before Daws and Nick Malik (91), though those four are in the same tier for me (81-97).
Then there is a bit of separation between my top five and the next five, who are all grouped together at the top of my fifth round — those being Jan Bednar (125), Calle Clang (126) and Dylan Garand (127) as first-time eligibles, plus Samuel Hlavaj (128) and Amir Miftakhov (129) as overagers.
Bednar was the second overall pick in the recent CHL Import Draft and is planning to cross the pond to backstop Acadie-Bathurst in the QMJHL next season, following the path of fellow Czech Malik, who joined OHL Sault Ste. Marie to finish off his draft year. Hlavaj, who hails from Slovakia, was also a QMJHL import with Sherbrooke, while Garand established himself as the top goaltending prospect from the WHL.
Clang is Sweden’s best for 2020 and Miftakhov outperformed Askarov at the World Juniors, which should ensure the elder Russian gets drafted in 2020 after getting passed over in 2018 and 2019. For the record, I had Miftakhov mocked for both those years, so I’ve always been a fan of him and hopefully the third time will be the charm for his sake. I also had Hlavaj ranked and mocked for his draft year in 2019.
I quite like my top 10 as a whole — I’d be shocked if any of them went undrafted in 2020, though the order of selection is subject to change with the exception of Askarov being a lock as No. 1 — but I feel there is a drop off or less certainty beyond that. In fact, I only felt comfortable ranking three more within my draft range — for a total of 13 — even though it’s likely 20-plus goaltenders will get selected in 2020.
Aidan Campbell (160) has the size and upside that should appeal to NHL teams, while Russia continues to produce talented ’tenders with a couple first-time eligibles of interest in Vsevolod Skotnikov (204) and Artur Akhtyamov (205). Those two could go significantly higher than I have them ranked — as seventh-rounders — but I’m not completely sold on either of them.
Outside my draft range, the next four overagers should be good bets to get drafted in USHL imports Victor Ostman of Sweden (218) and Jakub Dobes of the Czech Republic (219) as well as Finland’s Lassi Lehtinen (285) and Taylor Gauthier from WHL Prince George (320).
The next three first-time eligibles are also likely candidates to hear their names called in Brock Gould from WHL Moose Jaw (232), Devon Levi as the CJHL’s goaltender of the year (233) and Will Cranley from OHL Ottawa (270). Gould and Cranley have the size like Campbell and offer that ideal frame to work with, while Levi simply stops the puck and wins.
That takes us to 20 goaltenders total. It’s a guessing game on the rest, but Cameron Rowe (354) comes to mind as a USHL overager. I could see him getting drafted the second time around.
Garin Bjorklund from WHL Medicine Hat (321) and Brett Brochu from OHL London (351) also intrigue me as first-time eligibles — as does Tucker Tynan of OHL Niagara (352), who had been in my draft range prior to his gruesome injury. Antoine Coulombe (355) and Fabio Iacobo (356) caught my eye from the QMJHL as well.
Looking overseas, I was regrettably low on Finland’s Juho Markkanen (362), who has NHL bloodlines as the son of former Oilers goaltender Jussi Markkanen. Juho is 6-foot-2 and appears promising, so it wouldn’t be surprising if he got drafted and he should have been ranked up there with Lehtinen in hindsight. Much like Gauthier should have been ranked up there with Gould, as mentioned in my final thoughts for the overagers.
There are three Swedes ranked in the same range as Markkanen and I wouldn’t be shocked if one or more of them were selected as well — those being Jesper Vikman (359), Hugo Ollas (360) and Isak Posch (361). Ollas is huge and has been getting the most hype of the three as a result.
Now we’re at 30, with the remaining 20 being a real crapshoot. Yegor Guskov (317) is the other Russian first-time eligible of note, but he is undersized and dropped off after a strong showing at the World Junior A Challenge.
I had limited viewings for the following seven first-time eligibles, but they were intriguing enough to warrant ranking: Noah Grannan (396) as Commesso’s partner with The Program, Zachary Paputsakis from OHL Oshawa (424), Colin Purcell from USHL Youngstown (450), Grant Riley from NAHL Janesville (451), plus three high-schoolers in Owen Parker (452), Finnish import Lassi Lehti (453) and Hudson Hodges (454). I have a feeling a few of them are going to get drafted as projects.
The only other first-time eligibles are Bryan Thomson (464) and Brayden Peters (465), who just beat out Blake Lyda and Koen MacInnes among WHLers. I like all four of them, but it became a numbers’ game towards the end with Lyda and MacInnes narrowly missing the cut.
Also coming close to making my top 500 were three Russian overagers in Gleb Nosov, Arseni Akhmetov and Daniil Isayev as well as two OHLers in overager Kai Edmonds and first-time eligible Tye Austin.
Rounding out this list are 10 overagers that I would label longer shots to get drafted in 2020: Logan Stein from USHL Waterloo (353), Creed Jones from QMJHL Rimouski (357), Cole McLaren from QMJHL Halifax (358), Jere Huhtamaa as a Finnish import for Merrimack College (363), Mack Guzda from OHL Owen Sound (425), Roman Basran from WHL Kelowna (463), Russia’s Vladimir Sartakov (475) and Vladimir Galkin (476), Sweden’s Jesper Myrenberg (477) and Kari Piiroinen as a Finnish import for OHL Windsor (478).
I would imagine we’ll see between 20 and 30 goaltenders get drafted in 2020, as per usual, and I would hope most of those selections come from this list.
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Larry Fisher is a senior writer and head scout for The Hockey Writers, having been an at-large contributor for THW since August 2014. Fisher covers both the NHL and the WHL, specializing in prospects and NHL draft content, including his annual mock drafts that date back to 2012. Fisher has also been a beat writer for the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets since 2008, formerly working as a sports reporter/editor for The Daily Courier in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada from 2008-2019. Follow him on Twitter: @LarryFisher_KDC.