2020 NHL Draft: Reviewing Top 10 Mock Scenarios for Teams

Ten mocks in as many days proved plenty in setting the tone for the top 10 of the 2020 NHL draft.

Those mock scenarios — with the Tankathon simulator producing the draft lottery results — were well received for the most part, but several readers requested that I expand from the top 10 to the top 31, presumably to include their favourite team.

I plan on accommodating — resuming this series with first round scenarios — but, prior to taking that plunge, I wanted to pause and review the top 10 scenarios for the teams as well as the prospects to identify trends and project the most common mock.

Here is how the teams fared in terms of their highest and lowest draft position, plus their most common match and a selection recap.

RELATED: THW’s 2020 NHL Draft Guide

Detroit Red Wings



MOST COMMON: Tim Stutzle (4)

SELECTION RECAP: Tim Stutzle (4), Alexis Lafreniere (3), Lucas Raymond (2), Quinton Byfield (1)

ANALYSIS: Detroit won the Lafreniere sweepstakes more than any other team — three times — and thus remains the favourite to claim the consensus top prospect in 2020. Detroit also took Stutzle more than any other team and higher than any other team — at second overall in mock 3.0 — so the German sensation could be the Red Wings’ target if they lose the lottery. Raymond and Byfield were on Detroit’s radar to a lesser degree — Raymond more so if the Red Wings wound up picking fourth with Lafreniere, Stutzle and Byfield taken in the top three.

Ottawa Senators



MOST COMMON: Lucas Raymond (5)

SELECTION RECAP: Lucas Raymond (5), Marco Rossi (4), Quinton Byfield (3), Jamie Drysdale (3), Alexis Lafreniere (2), Tim Stutzle (2), Alexander Holtz (1)

ANALYSIS: Ottawa has two picks and a wider selection range than Detroit, which produced varying results. Ottawa was high on Raymond for the Frolunda connection and Rossi for the fact he already plays in Canada’s capital city, but Byfield, Drysdale and Stutzle were among the repeat possibilities outside of winning the lottery for Lafreniere. Late in the series, a source indicated the Senators were higher on Stutzle than Raymond — and potentially higher on Stutzle than Byfield — so that may have altered Ottawa’s results had the information been relayed sooner and assuming it is accurate. Holtz was a long-shot, only taken if the Sens were to target both Swedes.

Los Angeles Kings



MOST COMMON: Jamie Drysdale (6)

SELECTION RECAP: Jamie Drysdale (6), Alexis Lafreniere (1), Quinton Byfield (1), Yaroslav Askarov (1), Cole Perfetti (1)

ANALYSIS: Los Angeles was locked in on Drysdale, seeing him as the second coming of Drew Doughty and taking him as high as third overall. Drysdale has drawn favourable comparisons to the Kings’ star defender and has established himself as the best blueliner for 2020. Byfield would be debated with Drysdale at second overall, while Askarov and Perfetti became considerations when L.A. missed out on their big three in Lafreniere, Drysdale and Byfield.

Anaheim Ducks



MOST COMMON: Alexander Holtz (4)

SELECTION RECAP: Alexander Holtz (4), Cole Perfetti (3), Quinton Byfield (2), Jamie Drysdale (1)

ANALYSIS: Anaheim was torn between the draft’s top two snipers in Holtz and Perfetti, with Holtz getting the slight edge as a Swede developing alongside Rickard Rakell and Jakob Silfverberg. Holtz and Perfetti were both seen as perfect finishers for Trevor Zegras on Anaheim’s future top line. Byfield and Drysdale would become Ducks at second and third overall, respectively, with a lottery win.

New Jersey Devils



MOST COMMON: Marco Rossi (5), Jack Quinn (5)

SELECTION RECAP: Marco Rossi (5), Jack Quinn (5), Yaroslav Askarov (2), Alexis Lafreniere (1), Quinton Byfield (1), Lucas Raymond (1), Alexander Holtz (1), Cole Perfetti (1), Noel Gunler (1)

ANALYSIS: New Jersey went all-in on Ottawa 67’s teammates Rossi and Quinn, with the Devils already having four prospects from that junior program. Familiarity was a deciding factor, but Rossi and Quinn would be quality additions with New Jersey’s two picks in the top 10. Askarov also makes sense for the second selection if the Devils aren’t sold on Mackenzie Blackwood as their goaltender of the future. If Rossi is unavailable, one of the Swedish wingers — Raymond or Holtz — could be Jersey bound, while Perfetti and Gunler would be worth taking to round out the top 10. With more lottery luck, Lafreniere and Byfield should be 1-2 on New Jersey’s list.

Buffalo Sabres



MOST COMMON: Tim Stutzle (3), Anton Lundell (3)

SELECTION RECAP: Tim Stutzle (3), Anton Lundell (3), Quinton Byfield (1), Lucas Raymond (1), Alexander Holtz (1), Noel Gunler (1)

ANALYSIS: Buffalo got lucky a couple times with Stutzle sliding to seventh, but the Sabres might need a lottery win to get their guy. Failing that, Lundell is a more realistic target and has ties to two of Buffalo’s key pieces for the future in Henri Jokiharju and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, having won world junior gold together for Finland. The Swedish forwards — Raymond, Holtz and Gunler — could also be on Buffalo’s shortlist. Byfield would be tough to pass on at second overall, but Stutzle could still be Buffalo’s preference in the top three.

Montreal Canadiens



MOST COMMON: Cole Perfetti (4)

SELECTION RECAP: Cole Perfetti (4), Alexis Lafreniere (2), Anton Lundell (2), Lucas Raymond (1), Alexander Holtz (1)

ANALYSIS: Montreal would love to land Lafreniere — and the league would welcome that scenario — but a second sniper by the name of Cole would be quite fitting. Perfetti and Caufield would fill all the nets while flanking Nick Suzuki in the future. Lundell is another Finn of potential interest for the Canadiens, while the Swedes — Raymond and Holtz — could also become Habs if the preferred options are off the board.

Chicago Blackhawks



MOST COMMON: Jake Sanderson (3)

SELECTION RECAP: Jake Sanderson (3), Alexander Holtz (2), Quinton Byfield (1), Tim Stutzle (1), Cole Perfetti (1), Yaroslav Askarov (1), Seth Jarvis (1)

ANALYSIS: Chicago may address an organizational need on left defence by taking Sanderson as Duncan Keith’s successor, but the Blackhawks could be content with whoever falls to them. Holtz and Perfetti would be among those candidates, with Stutzle more of a dream scenario. Byfield would certainly require a lottery win as a lock for the top five — and presumably the top three. Askarov can be envisioned in Chicago’s crease as a long-term solution. Jarvis would be a reach in the top 10 but has the upside to warrant consideration.

Arizona Coyotes



MOST COMMON: Alexis Lafreniere (1), Marco Rossi (1)

SELECTION RECAP: Alexis Lafreniere (1), Marco Rossi (1)

ANALYSIS: Arizona needs a lottery win to retain their pick, which was top-three protected as part of the Taylor Hall trade. That condition would see the Coyotes defer their 2021 first-round pick to the Devils, without lottery protection in that case. It is an unlikely scenario — only occurring twice over these 10 mocks — but Arizona could still secure a franchise player in 2020, or at least a front-liner like Rossi.

Most Common Mock for Teams

1) Detroit Red Wings — Alexis Lafreniere (LW, Canada, Rimouski QMJHL)

2) Ottawa Senators — Quinton Byfield (LC, Canada, Sudbury OHL)

3) Ottawa Senators (San Jose) — Lucas Raymond (RW, Sweden, Frolunda SHL)

4) Los Angeles Kings — Jamie Drysdale (RD, Canada, Erie OHL)

5) Anaheim Ducks — Alexander Holtz (LW/RW, Sweden, Djurgardens SHL)

6) New Jersey Devils — Marco Rossi (LC, Austria/Switzerland, Ottawa OHL)

7) Buffalo Sabres — Anton Lundell (LC, Finland, HIFK Liiga)

8) Montreal Canadiens — Cole Perfetti (LW/LC, Canada, Saginaw OHL)

9) Chicago Blackhawks — Jake Sanderson (LD, USA, NTDP U18)

10) New Jersey Devils (Arizona) — Jack Quinn (RW, Canada, Ottawa OHL)

THE WILD CARD — Tim Stutzle (LC/LW, Germany, Adler Mannheim DEL)

ANALYSIS: Stutzle will obviously be going in the top 10 and probably in the top five. If Detroit loses the lottery and doesn’t select first overall, that would be the likeliest landing spot for Stutzle. If Detroit wins the lottery, then Ottawa becomes a possibility — providing that source proves trustworthy in suggesting the Senators have Stutzle ranked ahead of Raymond on their list of targets. Failing that, Buffalo makes a lot of sense for Stutzle, but the Sabres would seemingly need to win the lottery or trade up to take him. The lottery results will surely shake up the top 10, which was the premise for this series, but these selections were the most common matches for the respective teams through 10 mocks.

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