- Fisher’s Top 500 Final Rankings
- Final Rankings for Goaltenders
- Final Rankings for Defencemen
- Final Rankings for Forwards
Strange as it is, July is upon us and we’re still months away from the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.
In a normal, non-COVID year, we’d be declaring winners and losers from the draft by now, while reflecting on how our rankings and mocks fared. But, reality is, everything is on hold at the moment and thus remains a guessing game in the present.
We still don’t even know who will be picking first overall since a placeholder team won the recent draft lottery to prolong that suspense — the real winner will be determined following the play-in round in August.
At least we know who will be picked first overall — that being consensus wire-to-wire top prospect Alexis Lafreniere, unless 2020 has yet another shocker in store for us come October or whenever this draft winds up taking place. Circle the weekend of Oct. 23-24 on the calendar as a likely target for the NHL — providing all goes well with the Stanley Cup playoffs — but continue to expect the unexpected.
And, yes, that likely means hockey will be played again by draft eligibles — at least the Europeans — prior to the draft, which also means I’ll likely be publishing an updated final rankings (2.0 of sorts) in the month of the draft. So stay tuned!
July is typically the dog days of summer from a scouting perspective — a time to transition between draft years. For me, that would have meant getting up to speed on the 2021 class and prepping for the annual Hlinka Gretzky Cup in August prior to publishing my preseason rankings.
Unfortunately, that best-on-best showcase to launch the draft year has been cancelled and those rankings are sure to be challenging as a result — especially for me, as someone who maintains tunnel vision on the current draft class before shifting my focus to the next year. That, admittedly, means putting a ton of stock in the Hlinka as a starting point for my rankings.
Without that eye test for the perceived top prospects — excluding all the late birthdays, of which there are plenty again for 2021, and the absence of NTDP players, with The Program expected to produce several first-rounders for 2021 after a down year in 2020 — my preseason rankings will be a bit of a crapshoot based on limited viewings, albeit ample research and networking.
I’ve seen the WHL class and I’m familiar with what that league has to offer for 2021 — since that is my scouting region, being based in Kelowna — but, even here, I’m not watching those kids overly close until their draft year arrives. My eyes were locked on the 2020 class until this season came to a sudden halt in March.
Despite all the downtime to date, I have been reluctant to look ahead to 2021 because 2020 is still the current draft year, with an abundance of video readily available for review. But I will obviously need to start multitasking in July and the months to come — as will all the NHL scouts.
However, in light of these dog days that we’re entering in the scouting world without the Hlinka to look forward to, I wanted to review and further analyze my final rankings for 2020 as they stand today.
In this series, I’ll be breaking down my rankings by position, by league and by country, but I’ll start with the overagers. I previously ranked my top 217 overagers back in February, but that warranted updating since I’ve spent some of this down time taking a closer look at the prospects who were passed over in previous draft years.
Throughout this series, 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 overagers in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft:
DRAFT RANGE: 33
FIRST ROUND: 0
89) Evgeniy Oksentyuk (RW/LC, Belarus, Flint OHL)
92) Nico Daws (G, Canada, Guelph OHL)
94) Alex Cotton (RD, Canada, Lethbridge WHL)
96) Egor Sokolov (RW, Russia, Cape Breton QMJHL)
112) Iaroslav Likhachev (RW, Russia, Blainville-Boisbriand QMJHL)
128) Samuel Hlavaj (G, Slovakia, Sherbrooke QMJHL)
129) Amir Miftakhov (G, Russia, Bars Kazan VHL)
131) Gunnarwolfe Fontaine (LW, USA, Chicago USHL)
132) Trevor Kuntar (LW/LC, USA, Youngstown USHL)
134) Axel Rindell (RD, Finland, Jukurit Liiga)
135) Adam Wilsby (LD, Sweden, Sodertalje Allsvenskan)
156) Artyom Galimov (LC, Russia, Ak Bars Kazan KHL)
157) Pavel Gogolev (LW, Russia, Guelph OHL)
158) Xavier Simoneau (LW/LC, Canada, Drummondville QMJHL)
159) Billy Constantinou (RD, Canada, Sault Ste. Marie OHL)
176) Kristian Tanus (LC/LW, Finland, Jukurit Liiga)
177) Joonas Oden (LW/RW, Finland/USA, KooKoo Liiga)
178) Dmitri Sheshin (RW, Russia, Magnitogorsk MHL)
179) Yegor Chinakhov (RW, Russia, Omskie Yastreby MHL)
180) Nikolai Mayorov (LW, Russia, Cedar Rapids USHL)
181) Mathieu De St. Phalle (RW, USA, Chicago USHL)
193) Ilya Solovyov (LD, Belarus, Saginaw OHL)
200) Mike Vorlicky (RD, USA, Wisconsin NCAA)
201) Vojtech Strondala (LC, Czech Republic, Stadion Litomerice Czech2)
202) Benjamin Baumgartner (LC, Austria, Davos NLA)
203) Maxim Musorov (RW/LW, Kazakhstan, Snezhnye Barsy Astana MHL)
211) Samuel Johannesson (RD, Sweden, Rogle SHL)
212) Parker Ford (RC, USA, Providence College NCAA)
213) Zach Uens (LD, Canada, Merrimack College NCAA)
214) Declan Carlile (LD, USA/Canada, Merrimack College NCAA)
215) Daniel Baker (LD, Canada, Medicine Hat WHL)
216) Gage Goncalves (LC, Canada, Everett WHL)
217) Luke Toporowski (LW, USA, Spokane WHL)
218) Victor Ostman (G, Sweden, Chicago USHL)
219) Jakub Dobes (G, Czech Republic, Omaha USHL)
220) Alexei Tsyplakov (LW, Russia, St. Petersburg MHL)
221) Alexander Gordin (RW/LW, Russia, St. Petersburg MHL)
231) Oliver Okuliar (LW, Slovakia, Lethbridge WHL)
234) Alex Young (RC, Canada, Canmore AJHL)
235) Danny Weight (LC/LW, USA, Penticton BCHL)
244) Robert Calisti (LD, Canada, Sault Ste. Marie OHL)
245) David Aebischer (RD, Switzerland, Gatineau QMJHL)
257) Adam Klapka (RW, Czech Republic, Tri-City USHL)
259) Jimmy Dowd Jr. (RD, USA, Chicago USHL)
271) Daniil Gutik (LW, Russia, Loko Yaroslavl MHL)
272) Danil Alalykin (LW, Russia, Tolpar Ufa MHL)
274) Pavel Yelizarov (LD, Russia, Tolpar Ufa MHL)
276) Adam Liska (LW, Slovakia, Severstal Cherepovets KHL)
277) Robert Dzugan (LW/LC, Slovakia, Cedar Rapids USHL)
278) Albin Sundsvik (LC, Sweden, Skelleftea SHL)
279) Nils Aman (LC, Sweden, Leksands J20)
284) Aleks Haatanen (LW/RW, Finland, Pelicans Mestis)
285) Lassi Lehtinen (G, Finland, Lukko Liiga)
291) Michael Gildon (LW, USA, Ohio State NCAA)
292) Sam Stange (RW, USA, Sioux City USHL)
293) Lynden Breen (LC, Canada, Fargo USHL)
298) Mason Lohrei (LD, USA, Green Bay USHL)
299) Jordan Power (LD, Canada, Lincoln USHL)
308) Danila Galenyuk (LD, Russia, St. Petersburg KHL)
309) Ilya Morozov (LD, Russia, Sibir Novosibirsk KHL)
310) Ilya Mironov (LD, Russia, Loko Yaroslavl MHL)
311) Daniil Pylenkov (LD, Russia, Vityaz Podolsk KHL)
318) Ilya Usau (LC, Belarus/USA, Prince Albert WHL)
319) Bear Hughes (RC, USA, Spokane WHL)
320) Taylor Gauthier (G, Canada, Prince George WHL)
326) Conner Hutchison (LD, USA, Penticton BCHL)
327) Dylan Jackson (RW, Canada, Dubuque USHL)
328) Ty Jackson (LC, Canada, Dubuque USHL)
329) Garrett Pinoniemi (LC, USA, Sioux Falls USHL)
330) Ben Meehan (LD, USA, Cedar Rapids USHL)
331) Jacob Flynn (RD, USA, University of Connecticut NCAA)
332) Ryan Siedem (RD, USA, Harvard NCAA)
333) Jeremie Bucheler (RD, Canada, Northeastern NCAA)
334) Justin Lee (LD, Canada, Denver NCAA)
335) Brady Meyer (LD/LC, USA, Minnesota-Duluth NCAA)
336) Thomas Schweighardt (RD, USA, Cedar Rapids USHL)
337) Iivari Rasanen (LD, Finland, Muskegon USHL)
338) Albert Lyckasen (RD, Sweden, Linkoping J20)
339) Ludvig Hedstrom (LD, Sweden, Djurgardens J20)
342) Oscar Lawner (LW/RW, Sweden, Farjestad J20)
343) Petteri Puhakka (LW, Finland, Karpat U20)
344) Aleksi Matinmikko (RD, Finland, Assat Liiga)
345) Otto Latvala (RD, Finland, HPK Liiga)
346) Louis Crevier (RD, Canada, Chicoutimi QMJHL)
347) Justin Bergeron (LD, Canada, Rimouski QMJHL)
348) Christopher Merisier-Ortiz (LD, Canada, Baie-Comeau QMJHL)
349) Max Golod (LW, Canada, Erie OHL)
350) Chad Yetman (RW, Canada, Erie OHL)
353) Logan Stein (G, USA, Waterloo USHL)
354) Cameron Rowe (G, USA, Des Moines USHL)
357) Creed Jones (G, Canada, Rimouski QMJHL)
358) Cole McLaren (G, Canada, Halifax QMJHL)
363) Jere Huhtamaa (G, Finland, Merrimack College NCAA)
364) David Mudrak (RD, Slovakia, TPS U20)
365) Alex Brannstam (LD, Sweden, Djurgardens J20)
366) Oleg Boiko (LC/LW, Kazakhstan, Snezhnye Barsy Astana MHL)
367) Jan Sir (LC, Czech Republic, Benatky nad Jizerou Czech2)
368) Jakub Rychlovsky (LW, Czech Republic, Benatky nad Jizerou Czech2)
369) Dmitri Rashevsky (LW/RW, Russia, Dynamo St. Petersburg MHL)
376) Simon Gnyp (LD, Germany, Kolner Haie DEL)
381) Xavier Parent (LW, Canada, Sherbrooke QMJHL)
382) Tag Bertuzzi (LW, Canada, Hamilton OHL)
383) Louka Henault (LD, Canada, Windsor OHL)
384) Riley McCourt (LD, Canada, Flint OHL)
385) Spencer Kersten (RW, Canada, Princeton NCAA)
386) Matt Verboon (RW/LC, Switzerland/Canada, Colgate NCAA)
388) Tarun Fizer (RW, Canada, Victoria WHL)
389) Logan Barlage (RC/RW, Canada, Lethbridge WHL)
390) Tristen Nielsen (LW/LC, Canada, Vancouver WHL)
391) Josh Williams (RW, Canada, Edmonton WHL)
392) Ben McCartney (LW, Canada, Brandon WHL)
393) Eli Zummack (RW/RC, Canada, Spokane WHL)
394) Jaydon Dureau (LW, Canada, Portland WHL)
395) Jonas Brondberg (LD, Denmark, Portland WHL)
404) Eric Uba (RW, Canada, Guelph OHL)
407) Sergei Popov (LW, Canada/Russia, Owen Sound OHL)
410) Justin Nolet (LD, Canada, Sarnia OHL)
411) Tucker McIntosh (LD, Canada, Ottawa Jr. Senators CCHL)
425) Mack Guzda (G, USA/Canada, Owen Sound OHL)
426) Oleg Zaitsev (LC, Russia, Dynamo Tver VHL)
427) Nikita Rtischev (RW, Russia, Zvezda Moskva VHL)
428) Valeri Orekhov (LD, Kazakhstan, Barys Nur-Sultan KHL)
429) Yannick Bruschweiler (LW, Switzerland, Zurich Lions NLA)
430) Linus Oberg (RW/RC, Sweden, Orebro SHL)
431) Martin Lang (LW, Czech Republic, Moose Jaw WHL)
432) Vladimir Alistrov (LW, Belarus, Edmonton WHL)
433) Jonathan Brinkman (LW, Denmark, Medicine Hat WHL)
434) Phillip Schultz (LC/LW, Denmark, Victoria WHL)
435) Brett Budgell (LC, Canada, Charlottetown QMJHL)
436) Brooklyn Kalmikov (LW, Canada, Victoriaville QMJHL)
437) Felix Lafrance (LW, Canada, Cape Breton QMJHL)
443) Eemil Erholtz (RW/LW, Finland, Sport Liiga)
444) Jami Krannila (LC, Finland, St. Cloud State NCAA)
446) Brayden Krieger (LW/LC, Canada, Brooks AJHL)
447) Cody Monds (RW, Canada, Victoria BCHL)
458) Jimmy Mettler (LD, USA, Harvey Prep U.S. High School)
463) Roman Basran (G, Canada, Kelowna WHL)
466) Amir Garayev (LW, Russia, Kapitan Stupino MHL)
467) Ilya Altybarmakyan (LW/RW, Russia, St. Petersburg MHL)
468) Stas Petrosyan (RW, Russia, Altay Ust-Kamenogorsk MHL)
469) Ilya Safonov (LC, Russia, Bars Kazan VHL)
470) Denis Pochivalov (RC, Russia, Torpedo-Gorky VHL)
471) Maxim Marushev (RC, Russia, Bars Kazan VHL)
472) Yegor Chizhikov (RW/LW, Russia, Almaz Cherepovets MHL)
475) Vladimir Sartakov (G, Russia, Avto Yekaterinburg MHL)
476) Vladimir Galkin (G, Russia, Avto Yekaterinburg MHL)
477) Jesper Myrenberg (G, Sweden, Vasteras Allsvenskan)
478) Kari Piiroinen (G, Finland, Windsor OHL)
479) Austen Swankler (LW/LC, USA, Erie OHL)
480) Kyen Sopa (RW, Switzerland, Erie OHL)
486) Chad Nychuk (LD, Canada, Brandon WHL)
487) Orrin Centazzo (LW/LC, Canada, Kamloops WHL)
488) Ryan Chyzowski (LW, Canada, Medicine Hat WHL)
489) David Kope (RW, Canada, Edmonton/Kelowna WHL)
490) Holden Katzalay (RC, Canada, Vancouver WHL)
491) Michael Horon (LW, Canada, Prince Albert WHL)
496) Brett Chorske (RC, USA, Wenatchee BCHL)
499) Elis Hede (LC, Finland, Chicago USHL)
500) Timo Bakos (LC, Germany, Sioux Falls USHL)
Fisher’s Final Thoughts
On one hand, this isn’t an overly strong draft for overagers — as evidenced by none in my top 75 and only 33 in my draft range. On the other hand, it wouldn’t be surprising to see more overagers drafted than usual — perhaps upwards of 50. That is because NHL scouts have seen more of those older prospects and have seen them perform in playoff situations, so that evaluation is more complete in a sense. Time will tell, but if the over-under is set at 40, I’d be tempted to take the over this year.
As always, it is important to note that rankings are not the same as a mock draft. These overagers are ranked by career potential, not necessarily by where I see them going in the draft.
For example, goaltender Nico Daws (92) is a better bet than Evgeniy Oksentyuk (89) to be the first overager off the board in 2020 — potentially in the second round or even in the top 50. Egor Sokolov (96) could be next — also a candidate for the top 75, if not the second round — as a double-overager with an NHL-calibre shot as well as NHL size that may make him more coveted than the smaller, flashier Oksentyuk among forwards.
Fellow Russian import and double-overager Pavel Gogolev (157), who I had ranked in my top 100 for his original draft year (96th for 2018), is another candidate to be the top overager for 2020 and certainly to crack the top 100 in his final year of eligibility. I wound up a bit too low on Gogolev and another Russian forward Artyom Galimov (156), who was named the KHL’s rookie of the year. They are my 12th- and 13th-ranked overagers but could be among the top five taken. In hindsight, they probably should have been around 130 with another Russian overager in goaltender Amir Miftakhov (129). That would have placed them inside my top 10 at eighth and ninth, respectively.
With Oksentyuk, it was love at first sight for me — watching him dazzle for Belarus at last year’s under-18 world championship. He had that “it” factor — that “wow” factor — from my first viewing and sustained his strong showing throughout that tournament. Oksentyuk was a revelation there and I was confident enough in what I saw to rank him in my fifth round (153rd for 2019)‚ but it was a small sample size in the big picture, so I wasn’t shocked that Oksentyuk went undrafted — considering his small stature and lack of overall exposure.
His backstory, as I understand it, is quite similar to Artemi Panarin — coming from humble beginnings and not afforded the same opportunities as his peers growing up — so Oksentyuk was flying under the radar as a result. Not anymore, though, not after starring as an import in the OHL, so I fully expect Oksentyuk to be selected the second time around. His performance on this side of the pond over the course of a near-full season is now worthy of a top-100 pick in my opinion.
I tend to rank overagers, high-schoolers and goaltenders conservatively, so Oksentyuk could have been much higher for me had he been a first-time eligible. I probably would have placed him at the end of my second round in that 55-60 range with fellow undersized forwards Veeti Miettinen (55), Daniil Gushchin (56), Sean Farrell (57), Ty Smilanic (58) and Pavel Novak (59). Oksentyuk could be as good as those guys — possessing a similar skill-set and ceiling.
Iaroslav Likhachev (112) is another Russian import that I’m really fond of as my fifth-ranked overager. Like Gogolev, I also had Likhachev in my top 100 for his draft year (91st for 2019) based on the upside that I saw in spurts, but he displayed that potential with much more consistency in making significant strides this season. I like his chances of getting selected the second time around.
While we’re on Russian forwards, I’m also a fan of Dmitri Sheshin (178) and Yegor Chinakhov (179) — both of whom I had ranked within my draft range for 2019, with Sheshin in the third round at 90 and Chinakhov in the fifth round at 143, just behind Galimov (141) and just ahead of Oksentyuk (153). All those guys were very much on my radar a year ago, but the same can’t be said for another Russian forward in Nikolai Mayorov (180), who emerged as a pleasant surprise for Cedar Rapids and scored his way into my draft range with 24 goals in 39 USHL games.
Speaking of the USHL, Gunnarwolfe Fontaine (131) and Trevor Kuntar (132) are legit talents that I felt comfortable ranking ahead of Galimov and Gogolev among my top-10 overagers for 2020. The other USHLer in my draft range is Fontaine’s teammate Mathieu De St. Phalle, who flanked Brendan Brisson and Farrell on the top line for that stacked Chicago Steel team.
That covers 11 of the 20 forwards within my draft range, but I’ll shout-out a handful more in Xavier Simoneau (158), who I had as high as the second round at one point in my 2019 rankings; fancy Finn Kristian Tanus (176), who continues to be a productive playmaker at every level; Vojtech Strondala (201), whose performance against Canada at the World Juniors shouldn’t have gone unnoticed as another kid who I had in my top 100 for much of 2019 (101st for my final rankings); Benjamin Baumgartner (202), who dominated the Division 1 World Juniors for Austria and also did a lot of damage for Davos; and Maxim Musorov (203), who is always a standout for Kazakhstan in international showcases. It would be a shame if those five are passed over again, but there are no guarantees for overagers in the NHL draft.
As for defencemen, I have 10 within my draft range — led by Alex Cotton (94) in Lethbridge, who was almost as impactful as Calen Addison from the back end for the Hurricanes this season. He is the only over-age blueliner in my top 100, but I realize that I might be sleeping on Samuel Johannesson (211), who was shockingly ranked in the first round by HockeyProspect.com (31). That was a reach, no doubt, but I probably should have had Johannesson up with fellow Swede Adam Wilsby (135), who is my third-ranked overager among defencemen — right there with Finn Axel Rindell (134) in the fifth round. Those two are both offensive minded, as is Johannesson. Any or all of those three could be taken in the top 100. Worth noting, Johannesson and Rindell are right-handed, which always helps a defender’s draft stock.
Cotton, who exploded for 67 points this season, and Billy Constantinou (159) are also right-handed. Constantinou already had the talent to be taken in the second or third round last year, but character concerns seemingly got him red-flagged by all 31 NHL teams. A year can make a big difference for teenagers and, by all accounts, Constantinou matured on and off the ice this season, so he shouldn’t be overlooked again.
Ilya Solovyov (193) also impressed in the OHL as a Belarusian import with Saginaw, so he could hear his name called as a compatriot of Oksentyuk. That move overseas worked well for both of them, as they look to follow in the footsteps of fellow Belarusian Vladislav Kolyachonok, who was Oksentyuk’s teammate in Flint after being drafted by Florida in last year’s second round.
Rounding out the defenders within my draft range are a few NCAA prospects — another righty in Mike Vorlicky (200), plus Merrimack teammates Zach Uens (213) and Declan Carlile (214) — as well as Daniel Baker (215), who broke out for Medicine Hat in the Dub. Some don’t see a whole lot of separation between Baker and Cotton, while Carlile closed the gap on Uens in the second half as the more impressive of the two in recent viewings.
Last but not least, the goaltenders. I only ranked three within my draft range, but it’s likely at least five will be selected and possibly more than 10 based on the fact that older netminders are further along in their development. The bigger sample size and longer evaluation period can be appealing for NHL teams, knowing full well that goalies tend to be late bloomers. But we all know goaltending prospects are voodoo regardless of their age, which has teams taking them later and later it seems — rather than making those early reaches that too often become busts.
Daws could be that guy this year — or he could be the next Jordan Binnington. It’s almost impossible to predict, but I personally wouldn’t pick Daws in the second round and would wait until the middle rounds for fellow overagers Samuel Hlavaj (128) and Amir Miftakhov (129), who I have ranked at the top of the fifth round. I’m sure some eager teams will snatch up at least two of those three overagers in the top 100, but that will be too high for my liking.
I’m honestly not sold on any of the goaltenders available for 2020 — overagers or first-time eligibles — aside from Yaroslav Askarov as a first-rounder and bona fide top-10 prospect. I’m confident that he’ll be a franchise goalie, but we’ll see how many others from 2020 make it to the NHL and develop into starters. I’d take the under on five becoming starters. I’d be tempted to take the under even at three.
But you can safely bet that there will be more than three over-age goaltenders selected in 2020 — and more than 13 goalies taken in total. You can take the over at 15 and probably even at 20, considering two-thirds of the 31 teams typically grab a goaltender every year.
So who are the other overagers of note? Two imports from the USHL immediately come to mind, having just missed the cut for my draft range. Those being Sweden’s Victor Ostman of Chicago (218) and the Czech Republic’s Jakub Dobes of Omaha (219). Both are big goalies, offering ideal frames to work with. NHL teams continue to target size between the pipes, so they are among the likeliest candidates to be selected at 6-foot-3 and 6-foot-4, respectively.
Even before them, I think of Taylor Gauthier in Prince George. He is “only” 6-foot-2 but stood on his head and stole several points for a struggling team this season after surprisingly going undrafted in 2019 when I had him ranked in the fourth round (114). I should have been higher on Gauthier (320) for 2020 and would use a mulligan to bump him up to 230 — moving Gauthier ahead of Brock Gould (231), a first-time eligible from Moose Jaw. Given the choice between those two WHLers, I’d still take my chances with Gauthier.
From 320 to 230 may seem like a massive leap — with 90 spots nearly equivalent to three rounds — but Gauthier would only be overtaking five goaltenders in making that jump and just one other overager. Gauthier would go from my 21st-ranked goaltender (seventh among overagers) to 16th (sixth). At 21st, he’d be on the bubble of getting drafted — the odds might still be in his favour historically, indicative of 20-plus goalies getting selected annually — but he’d be closer to a lock at 16th. I wouldn’t declare Gauthier a lock, but I would give him 60-40 odds for 2020. Whether he is the seventh or sixth overager, I’d assume that many will get drafted this year.
The lone overager overtaken in that scenario would be Finland’s Lassi Lehtinen (285) — a triple-overager trying to repeat the rare feat of fellow Finn Veini Vehvilainen, who finally got picked as a triple-overager in 2018 (sixth round, 173rd by Columbus) and has been trending towards the NHL ever since. The fourth time should be the charm for Lehtinen as well, but he’s listed at six-foot even and that likely explains why he’s been overlooked three times.
Rounding out my top 10 for over-age goaltenders with the potential to be drafted are USHLers Logan Stein (353) and Cameron Rowe (354) as well as QMJHLers Creed Jones (357) and Cole McLaren (358). That is technically 11 for those counting, so let’s make it a dozen by also mentioning Finnish import Jere Huhtamaa (363) of Merrimack College. Do 10 of those 12 get selected in 2020? That might be a stretch, but I’d take the over at six — at a half dozen.
As for skaters outside my draft range that might be underrated in my final rankings, I’ll take this opportunity to single out 6-foot-8 right-handed defender Louis Crevier (346) from the QMJHL and dynamic Russian forward Dmitri Rashevsky (369), who finished second in the MHL scoring race, as two that could easily be 100 spots higher in hindsight. That still wouldn’t get them into my draft range, but they should be knocking on the door and could certainly be selected in 2020.
So could a few more overagers that missed the cut for my top 500 — Artyom Zhuk, Eric Engstrand and Kristof Papp come to mind as a trio of talented forwards. Upon further review, look for those omissions to make an appearance in the 2.0 version of my final rankings that will publish in early October.
Get the latest NHL Draft & Prospect rankings, news and analysis
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.