2020 NHL Draft: Bell’s Top-93 November Rankings

This is a very good draft.

When updating my rankings, I had a hard time with the top-10, because there are definitely 12 (maybe even 14) players I want in the top-10. This is my first update to my initial preseason rankings and there are some massive changes. To take a look back at my initial rankings, here’s the link:

The biggest change in this edition is the addition of players 63-93 – the third round. Even in these players, there’s some very good talent. Defenseman Daemon Hunt (65) is near the top of that list, and was even given an A rating by NHL Central Scouting – so he may end up going higher come June, and frankly, I may have him too low right now. He’s one I’m going to be paying close attention to.

Daemon Hunt Moose Jaw Warriors
Daemon Hunt of the Moose Jaw Warriors (Nick Pettigrew)

I also rolled out my tiers in this edition. The way I see it now, Alexis Lafrenière and Quinton Byfield are in a league of their own as the top. I considered having them as a separate one and two, but I really think the gap between them is closer than some think.

Tier two and tier three are absolutely fantastic, and in most drafts, many of these players would all be top-five picks. Tier two is 3-5, followed very closely by the third tier: 6-14. The next tiers see the gaps start to grow more between tiers with tier four of 15-20, tier five of 21-36, tier six 37-66 and the remaining players in my third round rounding out tier seven.

Tiers one and two I have a hard time seeing falling out of the top-five, but it’s a long season. I could also see that second tier expanding slightly, but I’m not there yet (but Yaroslav Askarov, Jamie Drysdale and Tim Stützle are making that very hard). In my third tier, I can see some movement within, as I have them all in consideration for the top-10. The fourth tier is quite small, due to the gap I see between them and the tier below. Of course, this will likely change as the season progresses.

Tier five rounds out my current considerations for the first round, and tier six for the second. As I said though, it’s a long season and this will of course change as these player’s season’s progress, and the international competitions continue.

The draft is getting closer – only seven more months to go! There’s still lots of hockey to be played, and there’s a very good chance this list looks very different come summertime, but for now, here are my top-93 prospects ahead of the highly-touted 2020 NHL Draft. For some more rankings, be sure to check out the work of my colleagues Larry Fisher and Andrew Forbes:

2020 NHL Entry Draft Rankings

Round One

Tier One

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

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

Tier Two

3. Lucas Raymond, LW, Frolunda HC J20 (SHL)

4. Anton Lundell, C, HIFK (Liiga)

5. Alexander Holtz, RW, Djugardens J20 (SuperElit)

Tier Three

6. Yaroslav Askarov, G, SKA-1946 St. Petersburg (MHL)

7. Jamie Drysdale, RD, Erie Otters (OHL)

8. Tim Stützle, C, Mannheim U20 (DNL U20)

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

10. Noel Gunler, LW/RW, Lulea HF (SHL)

11. Marco Rossi, C, Ottawa 67’s (OHL)

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

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

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

14. Jan Myšák, C, HC Litvinov (Extralega)

Tier Four

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

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

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

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

19. Jérémie Poirier, LD, Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)

20. Rodion Amirov, LW, Tolpar Ufa (MHL)

Tier Five

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

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

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

24. Vasily Ponomaryov, RW, Krylia Sovetov (MHL)

25. Ty Smilanic, LW, U.S. U18 (NTDP)

26. Kaiden Guhle, LD, Prince Albert Raiders (WHL)

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

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

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

30. Braden Schneider, RD, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)

31. Lukas Cormier, LD, Charlottetown (QMJHL)

Round Two

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

33. Roni Hirvonen, C, Ässät (Liiga)

34. Tyler Kleven, LD, U.S. U18 (NTDP)

35. Emil Andrae, RD, HV71 J20 (SuperElit)

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

Tier Six

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

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

39. Jake Sanderson, LD, U.S. U18 (NTDP)

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

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

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

43. Michael Benning, RD, Sherwood Park Crusaders (AJHL)

44. Helge Grans, RD, Malmö Red Hawks J20 (SuperElit)

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

Carter Savoie Sherwood Park Crusaders
Carter Savoie of the Sherwood Park Crusaders (Target Photography)

46. Shakir Mukhamadullin, LD, Tolpar Ufa (MHL)

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

48. Martin Chromiak, LW, HK Dukla Trencin (Slovakia)

49. Daniel Ljungman, C, Linkoping J20 (SuperElit)

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

51. Noah Delemont, LD, Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL)

52. John-Jason Peterka, LW, EHC Munchen (DEL)

53. Adam Raska, LW, HC Ocelari Trinec (Czech)

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

55. Ryan O’Rourke, LD, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)

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

57. Kasper Puutio, RD, Swift Current Broncos (WHL)

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

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

60. Topi Niemela, RD, Karpat (Liiga)

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

62. Samuel Knazko, LD, TPS U20 (Jr. A SM-liiga)

Round Three

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

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

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

66. William Wallinder, LD, MODO Hockey J20 (SuperElit)

Tier Seven

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

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

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

70. Jack Quinn, RW, Ottawa 67’s (OHL)

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

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

73. Noah Ellis, RD, Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL)

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

Ben Schoen Youngstown Phantoms
Ben Schoen (Scott Galvin/Youngstown Phantoms)

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

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

77. Lleyton Moore, LD, Oshawa Generals (OHL)

78. Lukas Reichel, LW, Eisbaren Berin (DEL)

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

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

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

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

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

84. Charlie Desroches, RD, Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)

85. Anton Johannesson, LD, HV71 J20 (SuperElit)

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

87. Nick Malik, G, HC Frydek-Mistek (Czech2)

88. William Villeneuve, RD, Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)

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

90. Ben King, RW, Red Deer Rebels (WHL)

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

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

93. Lukas Svejkovsky, RW, Vancouver Giants (WHL)

Final Thoughts

If you compare this ranking to my preseason one, you’ll see a number of changes. My biggest riser is Lukas Cormier, going from 48 to 31. There’s no questioning that I had him too low in my first ranking, and he was a player I wanted to ensure I had a good look ahead of these rankings. Frankly, he may rise even more. I think he has the potential to challenge Justin Barron and Jérémie Poirier to round out the top three defenders of this class – there’s no touching Jamie Drysdale though.

A few other big risers include Tim Stützle, Connor Zary, Carter Savoie, and even though they weren’t in my previous rankings, John-Jason Peterka and William Wallinder. Make sure to follow these players as their season’s progress.

Of course, it’s only November. These rankings are still going to fluctuate a great deal before the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, as many rankings out there will as scouts and analysts try to lock down where they place players.

As always, I welcome any thoughts, comments or questions on my rankings. Leave a comment below, or reach out to me on Twitter: @JoshuaBellTHW.