- Fisher’s Top 350 for April
- Fisher’s Top 300 for March
- Fisher’s Top 217 for February
- Fisher’s Top 217 for January
- Fisher’s Top 186 for December
- Fisher’s Top 186 for November
- Fisher’s Top 124 for October
- Fisher’s Top 124 Preseason Rankings
This month’s risers feature plenty of goal-scoring prowess among the forwards, plus a few defencemen with promising upside. Skill and scoring from top to bottom on this list of prospects for the 2020 NHL draft.
1) Jack Quinn (RW, Canada, Ottawa OHL)
MARCH RANKING: 18
APRIL RANKING: 14
ANALYSIS: Quinn scored 52 goals during his draft year — second most among all CHL players, behind Nick Robertson’s 55 — and although he is one of the older prospects in this draft class, he still scored 52 goals during his draft year. Quinn was playing for an OHL powerhouse, but a 50-goal campaign by a first-time draft eligible is rare and deserving of this bump up towards the top 10. Unlike fellow OHLer Arthur Kaliyev, who had 51 goals as a draft eligible last year, Quinn can score in a variety of ways and has the hockey sense as well as the work ethic to ensure his goals will translate to the NHL.
2) Martin Chromiak (LW, Slovakia, Kingston OHL)
MARCH RANKING: 32
APRIL RANKING: 30
ANALYSIS: Chromiak may only be up two spots from March, but he managed to break into my first round for April, which warrants mention on this list. Chromiak was the lone prospect to enter my top 31 this month, which is no small feat. That is significant since I was fairly settled on that group and wasn’t planning to make any changes — especially since there was hardly any hockey played after last month’s rankings published (March 9). But Chromiak is one of the younger prospects in this draft class and has legit upside with a high ceiling. He might not develop into the next David Pastrnak, but Chromiak could turn into a front-line player. I’m a big fan and had him as a first-rounder heading into the draft year — Chromiak was No. 25 in my preseason rankings, long before he crossed the pond and made a positive impression in the OHL — so I wanted to stay bullish on Chromiak. As a result, Emil Andrae, my top Swedish defenceman, slipped to the top of the second round at No. 32.
3) Tyson Foerster (RW, Canada, Barrie OHL)
MARCH RANKING: 49
APRIL RANKING: 39
ANALYSIS: Foerster took a massive step in his draft year, leading Barrie in scoring by a wide margin and delivering an MVP performance at the CHL Top Prospects Game. I have been comparing him to Barrie alum Tanner Pearson, but Foerster could be an even better pro — more of a scorer, with a wicked release and heavy shot that should bode well for his future. Foerster’s all-around game is impressive, he isn’t a one-trick pony and can play in all situations, so the Pearson comparison remains relevant. But that might be the floor for Foerster.
4) Anton Johannesson (LD, Sweden, HV71 J20)
MARCH RANKING: 69
APRIL RANKING: 51
ANALYSIS: Johannesson has been flying under the radar due to injuries — and subsequently missing out on international tournaments — but he finished strong in flashing his upside on a pairing with potential first-round pick Emil Andrae. Johannesson made up a lot of ground on the top Swedish defenders — Andrae (32), William Wallinder (33) and Helge Grans (42) — and might be the most dynamic among them, with the highest offensive ceiling. Johannesson is the type of high-risk, high-reward prospect that a team could reach for in the first round, especially under these unusual circumstances. He certainly would have benefitted from more exposure at this month’s under-18 worlds — which would have taken place April 16-26 in Plymouth, Mich. — but teams will be projecting Johannesson without that measuring stick and some may be higher on him than others. Time will tell, but keep Johannesson’s name in mind as a first-round sleeper.
5) Shakir Mukhamadullin (LD, Russia, Tolpar Ufa MHL)
MARCH RANKING: 63
APRIL RANKING: 52
ANALYSIS: Mukhamadullin has been up and down and all around my rankings, appearing on the fallers’ list last month and now being back among the risers. Reality is, Mukhamadullin has the potential to be an impact player and that is propping him up again. It is hard to stay down on a teenager with that much raw talent. Raw is the best word to describe Mukhamadullin, who can shoot and hit as well as any defender in this draft class but can be mistake prone and wildly inconsistent from one viewing to the next. One day he is a world-beater — as he was for the championship game at the World Junior A Challenge, scoring the overtime winner — but the next day he looks like a fish out of water. You have to take the good with the bad when it comes to Mukhamadullin, who reminds me a bit of Boris Mironov from my youth. Mukhamadullin can be a beast on his best days, with the size and skating ability to develop into a top-four defender, so it wouldn’t be shocking to see him selected in the top 50.
6) Sam Colangelo (RW, USA, Chicago USHL)
MARCH RANKING: 65
APRIL RANKING: 59
ANALYSIS: Colangelo’s climb continues, cracking my second round for the first time and gaining on his Chicago teammates Sean Farrell (47) and Brendan Brisson (48). That trio torched the USHL on a stacked team put together by Ryan Hardy. It is sometimes tough to tell who the true drivers were there and whose skill-sets will be most successful at the next level — and at the highest level. Colangelo is more of a power forward and less flashy than the other two, but he grows on you the more you watch him. Colangelo looks like he’ll be a player but also looked like a man among boys at the junior level, using his bigger frame to his advantage in a smaller league. It’ll be interesting to watch him transition to the NCAA with Northeastern, but I like Colangelo’s chances of carving out a career.
7) Brett Berard (LW, USA, NTDP U18)
MARCH RANKING: 73
APRIL RANKING: 63
ANALYSIS: Berard led The Program’s draft eligibles in goal scoring and although his total paled in comparison to Cole Caufield’s the year before, Berard lit the lamp at a pretty impressive pace as another undersized winger and one of the youngest prospects in this draft class. If Berard was born a week later, he wouldn’t have been eligible until 2021. That fact will help his stock, with NHL teams knowing Berard has a lot of development ahead of him. He may not be done growing either, considering his younger brother Brady is already listed at 5-foot-11 and 174 pounds to Brett’s 5-9 and 152 (he looks a bit bigger than that to my eye, so perhaps not updated). Brady is more than 17 months younger as a 16-year-old just entering The Program for next season. Their dad, David, is a hockey man too as the head coach for Holy Cross and previously an assistant at Providence, which is where Brett is headed for 2021-22. Brett broke out during his draft year but could really blow up next season before making the leap to college. Don’t be surprised if Berard becomes a second-rounder.
8) Daemon Hunt (LD, Canada, Moose Jaw WHL)
MARCH RANKING: 87
APRIL RANKING: 76
ANALYSIS: Hunt had a tough go in his draft year, sidelined by a freak injury when his arm was sliced by a skate blade and failing to score a single goal while being stuck on one of the WHL’s worst teams. Moose Jaw struggled to score — especially after trading away Brayden Tracey — and Hunt was limited to just 15 assists over 28 games, including four in five games upon returning to the lineup before the season was cut short. That may not sound like a riser, but Hunt is a gamer with good upside. He’ll bounce back and take a big step next season. Hunt was initially listed as an A-grade prospect by Central Scouting — indicative of a first-round talent — and although that was too high for my liking, he deserved to be a bit higher in my rankings. Hunt likely would have been a riser coming out of the under-18 worlds — assuming he would have had a significant role for Canada — so this ranking also reflects that expectation despite the event getting cancelled by coronavirus.
9) Dmitri Ovchinnikov (LW, Russia, Sibirskie Snaipery Novosibirsk MHL)
MARCH RANKING: 100
APRIL RANKING: 80
ANALYSIS: Ovchinnikov continues the trend of prospects that could have boomed at the under-18 worlds, getting named to Russia’s roster while riding a wave of momentum that already had him surging up the rankings in recent months. This undersized dynamo broke out during his draft year and became dominant at the MHL level. With a chance to shine in that best-on-best showcase, Ovchinnikov’s draft stock could have soared — perhaps into the top 50, let alone the top 100. However, without that opportunity, scouts are left to their imagination in gauging how he’d stack up amongst the top talents in his age group from around the globe. This bump is giving Ovchinnikov the benefit of the doubt that he would have been a standout on that stage.
10) Roby Jarventie (RW, Finland, Ilves Liiga)
MARCH RANKING: 106
APRIL RANKING: 88
ANALYSIS: Jarventie hit his stride in the Mestis and produced nicely at that level — especially for a 17-year-old. That is another trend among this month’s risers — many of them were 17 for the entire draft year. Jarventie turns 18 on Aug. 8, followed by Ovchinnikov on Aug. 19, Chromiak on Aug. 20 and Berard on Sept. 9. Those four forwards have youth on their side — being almost a year younger than Quinn by comparison (Sept. 19, 2001 to their 2002 birthdates) — and they could be just scratching the surface of their potential. Jarventie already plays a very North American game as a hard-nosed scorer and he skates well for his size. As he continues to mature physically — still growing into his 6-foot-2 frame — Jarventie is going to become more powerful and that much more difficult to contain around the net and throughout the offensive zone. He should be a top-100 pick based on that upside.
RELATED: THW’s 2020 NHL Draft Guide
NOTE: Here are seven more double-digit risers from within my top four rounds.
William Villeneuve (RD, Canada, Saint John QMJHL)
MARCH RANKING: 83
APRIL RANKING: 73
Adam Raska (LW, Czech Republic, Rimouski QMJHL)
MARCH RANKING: 84
APRIL RANKING: 74
Jack Finley (RC, Canada, Spokane WHL)
MARCH RANKING: 85
APRIL RANKING: 75
Evan Vierling (LC, Canada, Barrie OHL)
MARCH RANKING: 108
APRIL RANKING: 93
Eamon Powell (RD, USA, NTDP U18)
MARCH RANKING: 129
APRIL RANKING: 98
Theo Rochette (LC, Canada/Switzerland, Quebec QMJHL)
MARCH RANKING: 141
APRIL RANKING: 103
Pavel Tyutnev (LC, Russia, Loko Yaroslavl MHL)
MARCH RANKING: 172
APRIL RANKING: 112
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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.