Well, here it is. Countless hours of viewing and head-scratching has lead to this…
MY FINAL Top 93 rankings for the 2020 NHL draft.
I knuckled down on this, dedicating nearly 15 months, moving the magnets as I evaluated and ranked accordingly. Many Camel plains and cups of coffee were consumed during it. This class is as deep as one can remember, with 55 prospects tracking at first round production. In contrast, just 28 last season were at that clip. Big difference. The Avalanche will have a slew of good choices at pick 25, so lets buckle up for draft day number one and see who is next to don the burgundy and blue.
Enjoy, my friends. Feel free to share and discuss.
- Dylan Peterson – C – USDP
Peterson is a strong big center who excels with the puck. He has good vision and poise when in the offensive zone and often slows the game down, churning his feet, waiting out the defense to find passing seams. He is a great game manager, sets the tempo of his line and drives the play. Great skater for his size and offers good stick-handling and puck protection. Doesn’t boast a huge shot or a killer instinct. He’s a good 200-foot power forward who is yet to grab that next gear offensively. Has good upside, but questions remain around his scoring output.
- Kyle Crnkovic – LW – Saskatoon Blades
A small but dynamic winger, Crnkovic is an offensive weapon who can score just as well as he can pass. He’s super quick on the puck and makes his living sprinting down the wings and creating. He can pull up, curl or deke you in a flash, skating isn’t an issue at all. He’s great at surveying the middle of the ice and can dart passes through tight holes into dangerous areas. Crnkovic has got a quick snappy release that is accurate and he can finish from really tight angles. But being a lighter body, more strength will see it bare more weight. He’s got a good sense for finding holes in the defense and skates into dangerous areas with the puck, or without. His defensive awareness is above average and his skating makes up for any coverage or positional mishaps that may occur. Crnkovic needs to find a way to handle the physicality. Often he can get kept to the outside, at times shows a timidness to engage in scrums and sometimes doesn’t take the risk of getting to dirty net-front areas.
91. Theo Rochette – C – Québec Remparts
Another player who can be frustrating to watch, Rochette went from a potential first-round pick pre-season, but never built off his previous season. Even the change of scenery, going to Quebec, didn’t see him turn the corner and elevate. Rochette is a fantastic passer, one of the best in the 2020 crop. There aren’t many passes that he can’t make, the vision with Rochette is elite. Outside of that, his shot is ok. He’s got good hands and has a quick release but doesn’t get enough pucks on net. Mostly because his skating hasn’t elevated to the next level, either has his size. He struggles to skate into dangerous areas and can’t find it hard to keep up with stellar competition. He’s got a lot to work with, patience and patience.
- Jacob Dion – LHD – Drummondville Voltigeurs
A fast and smart mobile defenseman, Dion is the epitome of offense from the back-end. He’s a great skater with explosive speed and tears through the neutral zone with that speed and flashes of brilliance with the puck. Dion is fantastic leading the rush or creating the extra man. His shot is heavy and he gets it off quickly. He has great vision and his pace and direct attacks make for a lot of passing opportunities. He displays sound defensive positioning and isn’t afraid to close gaps to pressure attackers. He’s not a big kid, he does need to work on his one-on-one defensive strength and correct his decisions under duress in his own end.