NHL Draft First Round Recap

On Tuesday night, the NHL got a step closer to the 2020-21 season by holding the first round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. The New York Rangers earned the coveted first overall selection this summer, and to no surprise selected Alexis Lafreniere, who was the consensus first overall pick. Let’s take a look at who was picked in the first round.

1st Overall: New York Rangers- Alexis Lafreniere, F, Rimouski Oceanic (QMJHL)

To absolutely nobody's surprise, the Rangers took Lafreniere with the first overall pick. Lafreniere is slated as a generational talent, and his unique combination of playmaking, hands, and speed make him the undisputed best player in this draft. Lafreniere will slot right into the Rangers lineup. Rangers fans, get your jerseys now, as he will be the next NHL rookie superstar.

2nd Overall: Los Angeles Kings- Quinton Byfield, F, Sudbury Wolves (OHL)

Second overall was not a slam dunk by any means, but the Kings made an excellent choice by taking Quinton Byfield. With an excellent blend of size, strength and playmaking, he should be a star in this league.

3rd Overall: Ottawa Senators (via San Jose)- Tim Stützle, F, Adler Mannheim (Germany)

Stützle's stock significantly rose after he dominated with Adler. An excellent pick for Ottawa, he should be one of the top guys for this team for years to come. Stützle becomes one of the many Germans selected in the opening round in the last few seasons.

4th Overall: Detroit Red Wings- Lucas Raymond, F, Frolünda (Sweden)

Raymond's hockey sense and hands are off the charts. The Red Wings got a good one in Raymond. His speed and hands alone should do the trick, there is reason to believe that Raymond could be huge for Detroit.

5th Overall: Ottawa Senators- Jake Sanderson, D, USNDTP

Sanderson is a very stealthy player on both ends of the ice. He is competitive, but subtle. Ottawa addressed needs on both offense and defense in this draft in just two picks already. Sanderson will be a strong member of this defensive core.

6th Overall: Anaheim Ducks- Jamie Drysdale, D, Erie Otters (OHL)

Drysdale right away addresses the gaping hole on defense for Anaheim and goes right into the mold for the team. A smooth skater who can quarterback a power play, Drysdale is an awesome pick.

7th Overall: New Jersey Devils- Alexander Holtz, F, Djurgardens (Sweden)

As a Devils fan, let me just say this is the player who I wanted the Devils to take from the beginning. As an analyst, Holtz fits the offense very nicely. He has a lethal shot, and is exactly what the Devils are looking for. A pure sniper, he has had time to season his play in Sweden. He trained with Jesper Bratt too, which helps. I hope I am screaming Holtz's name for years to come.

8th Overall: Buffalo Sabres- Jack Quinn, F, Ottawa 67's (OHL)

Jack Quinn may be one of the best pure scorers in the draft. He can score in so many ways, and Buffalo needs a scoring forward to complement Jack Eichel in the lineup and make him want to stay in Buffalo.

9th Overall: Minnesota Wild- Marco Rossi, F, Ottawa 67's (OHL)

Scouts say Rossi is very Nicklas Backstrom-like, which I'm sure the Minnesota Wild would take (although they technically already had him in goalie form). Great playmaking, great hockey sense, any team would be lucky to have Rossi, he could have gone anywhere in the last three picks.

10th Overall: Winnipeg Jets- Cole Perfetti, F, Saginaw Spirit (OHL)

Very surprising that Perfetti fell to tenth. A very unique playmaker, Perfetti can fit well into the Winnipeg Jets offense with all their high-octane skill up front. Perfetti can play center or wing, and do it well.

11th Overall: Nashville Predators- Yaroslav Askarov, G, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL)

The best goalie available in this draft, not much else to say. He was drawing comparisons to every goalie ever drafted in the first round. Great pick for Nashville, who now finds Pekka Rinne as the odd man out amongst Askarov, Juuse Saros and him.

12th Overall: Florida Panthers- Anton Lundell, F, HIFK (Finland)

A very methodical player, crafty, and skilled. Could play well with Barkov in the Sunshine state. Lundell was the best player available at 12, so it was a good pick on the Panthers' end.

13th Overall: Carolina Hurricanes (via Toronto)- Seth Jarvis, F, Portland Winterhawks (WHL)

Jarvis is able to shed attackers with ease, and uses his short stature to his advantage. He is a gifted passer and shooter, and the Hurricanes are lucky to have him.

14th Overall: Edmonton Oilers- Dylan Holloway, F, Wisconsin (NCAA)

The first pure college player drafted in this draft (Jake Sanderson will be going to college, however), Holloway will look to make a name for himself in Edmonton. A speedy playmaker, he will be a good fit.

15th Overall: Toronto Maple Leafs (via Pittsburgh)- Rodion Amirov, F, Ufa (KHL)

This is a sneaky good pick for the Leafs. Could they find a diamond in Amirov, who knows, but for now, Amirov is a very skilled player.

16th Overall: Montreal Canadiens- Kaiden Guhle, D, Prince Albert Raiders (WHL)

A very good defender and has an offensive mind, Guhle can go right into the top-six for the Canadiens.

17th Overall: Chicago Blackhawks- Lukas Reichel, F, Eisbären Berlin (Germany)

This is a sleeper good pick for Chicago. A solid forechecker and backchecker, he could be the most surprising player in the first round.

18th Overall: New Jersey Devils (via Arizona)- Dawson Mercer, F, Chicoutimi (QMJHL)

I like this pick. A point-a-game player in the QMJHL, he may be NHL ready in a few years, and I cannot wait to see him don the red and black. According to sources, this is a great value pick.

19th Overall: New York Rangers (via Calgary)- Braden Schneider, D, Brandon (WHL)

The Rangers traded up for this pick, and chose Schneider with it. A good defenseman, we will see how he does in the league.

20th Overall: New Jersey Devils (from Tampa Bay via Vancouver)- Shakir Mukhamadullin, D, Ufa (Russia)

After my initial displeasure, I was reassured that this pick is not as much of a reach as it seems. 13 points as a defenseman in 18 games in the tight-checking MHL is great, and one of the most prolific scoring outlooks, and while people are mad about this, I am okay with this pick. It is nice to get a big D-man in the draft, and if he can iron out some of the kinks I have been told about, this will look like a smart pick.

21st Overall: Columbus Blue Jackets- Yegor Chinakhov, F, Omsk (Russia)

These analyses are going to get lazier, but Chinakhov absolutely dominated the Russian junior league, so he could be good with the Blue Jackets.

22nd Overall: Washington Capitals (from Calgary, from Rangers, via Carolina)- Hendrix Lapierre, F, Chicoutimi (QMJHL)

Lapierre fell VERY far and the Capitals netted him at 22. Could be the steal of the draft. A former QMJHL Offensive Rookie of the Year, which they don't give out for nothing.

23rd Overall: Philadelphia Flyers- Tyson Foerster, F, Barrie (OHL)

A good shot and a bigger body, Foerster is a great pick for the Flyers. Could be a name to remember going forward.

24th Overall: Calgary Flames (via Washington)- Connor Zary, F, Kamloops (WHL)

A sneaky shot and quick hands, he can grab passes with the best of them and will be a nice Calgary Flame.

25th Overall: Colorado Avalanche- Justin Barron, D, Halifax (QMJHL)

How did the Avalanche sneak away with another offensive defenseman? Barron, a lethal shot, and great playmaking ability, fits in well with the high-octane offense in the Mile High City. I like this pick.

26th Overall: St. Louis Blues- Jake Neighbours, F, Edmonton (WHL)

A brick wall, a great forward, this could be another sleeper, I enjoy sleeper picks and I think Neighbours is just that.

27th Overall: Anaheim Ducks (via Boston)- Jacob Perreault, F, Sarnia (OHL)

Perreault fell a bit too. Ducks netted a good one, who we could see lighting up the scoresheet in a few years.

28th Overall: Ottawa Senators (via Islanders)- Ridly Greig, F, Brandon (WHL)

Greig is an interesting case, and becomes the third Senator drafted in the first round. He has been more than a point per game player in his career, and the prospect pool for Ottawa is looking DANGEROUS.

29th Overall: Vegas Golden Knights- Brendan Brisson, F, Chicago (USHL)

Brisson is a very quick skater, and a good pick for Vegas after dominating the USHL with Chicago. We could definitely see him making the jump into the NHL sooner rather than later.

30th Overall: Dallas Stars- Mavrik Bourque, F, Shawinigan (QMJHL)

Mavrik Bourque is a good pick for the stars, he is a good scorer, and the Stars will need some scoring in their prospect pool going forward.

31st Overall: San Jose Sharks (via Tampa Bay)- Ozzy Wiesblatt, F, Prince Albert (WHL)

The final pick of the first round was Ozzy Wiesblatt. I like his name, and looking at his stats, he is a smooth skater who can produce on the scoresheet, netting 70 points in 64 games with Prince Albert.

That about does it for my analysis, this was a nice draft and I am happy with the Devils' picks to boot. We are now one step closer to the 2020-21 season!


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