Post-Lottery NHL Mock Draft 2020

NHL Mock Draft: 2020 Post-Lottery Edition

11. Nashville Predators: LW – Jack Quinn

Jack Quinn can honestly go anywhere from 5th overall to 16th overall depending on the order of the draft and what scouting teams say. He is seen by many as the best goal-scorer in this draft due to his 52 goals this season. No disrespect to Alexander Holtz, who has an absolute laser of a shot that I find to be more precise, but Quinn’s shot has the velocity and power to be deadly at the next level. One thing that is different this year, and has afforded him much more success, is the release of his shot. He is able to let his shot go at a much faster rate and that makes him extremely deadly in the slot with time and space.

I really like Quinn’s maturity when it pertains to his two-way game. Having spent most of last year in a checking role for the 67s, Quinn had become far more conscientious of the defensive side of the game. It allowed him to play some good minutes on the PK for Ottawa, while also being quite solid at creating a strong forecheck and causing a plethora of turnovers in the neutral zone.

His combination of size, speed and skill may tempt a team with multiple 1st round picks to take a chance on him in order to fill a void in their organization. I personally believe that he has bonafide top-6 potential, and that his size and mature two-way game will make him indispensable on a competitive roster. Will he become a legit scoring threat in the NHL and a bonafide top-6 winger in the same ilk as a Mark Stone or JT Miller ? Well that remains to be seen. However, it would be safe to say that he has the potential to get there, and that has many GMs salivating.

12. Florida Panthers: LD – Kaiden Guhle

Guhle is a very quiet yet effective defender for the Prince Albert Raiders, and is known for his solid two-way play and his reliable three-zone coverage. The first thing that strikes you when it comes to Guhle is how much ground he covers on the ice, due to his long reach and good skating. Out of all the defensemen ranked in the first round, Guhle’s total, yet unspectacular package could make him rise on the lists of other scouts, possibly into the top-15.

I have him going at this rank due largely in part to his fluid skating, long reach and safe overall play. The offensive potential is there to play a similar style of play to that of Jacob Slavin, but that will largely be dictated by his ability to continue producing on the power play. His shot and vision should make him a solid secondary guy on the power play, and his vision and passing will likely keep him there for the length of his career.

Guhle’s defensive game remains his main attributes, as he is great at boxing out opponents, throwing solid hits and starting the counter-attack with a strong first pass. With this selection, we feel Florida can really shore up their defensive corps and add some mobility on the backend, while also being a force physically once he fills out.

Ultimately, he projects as a safe and fluid top-4 D, and that’s a solid value at this point in a draft.

13. Carolina Hurricanes (Tor):  G – Yaroslav Askarov

The best goaltender in the draft simply cannot be ignored at this rank. He has legit top-5 goaltender potential and has really grown over the last year. His lateral movements are incredibly smooth and controlled, which is rare for a goalie this young. He also reads the play very well and understands the play very quickly as it develops, which prompts him to play the puck a fair bit.

Askarov has been impressive at his age in almost every single tournament or league he’s played in, except the most recent World Junior Championship. That tournament was a very up-and-down event for the 17-year old netminder. He looked very nervous and didn’t perform like many expected, however prior to the tournament and especially after the tournament, Askarov was on a mission. In his few games in the KHL, he looked extremely confident and fluid.

Making incredible saves, primarily due to his strong lateral movements and his cat-like reflexes in net, Askarov showed exactly why many peg him as a future franchise goaltender. He has the speed, size, competitiveness, mobility, and flexibility to be one of the best goaltenders in the NHL within the next 3-5 years. This would be the missing piece in Carolina’s excellent prospect pool in my opinion. He would easily come and supplant Kotchetkov as the team’s best goalie prospect in the organization, and, at 13th overal, you can’t pass up such a talent. An elite goaltender that could step into the #1 goalie role as early as 2023, while their core all hit maturity is a very attractive notion.

14. Edmonton Oilers: LW – Rodion Amirov

Amirov is a little bit of an under-the-radar player at the moment, as he didn’t get the prime visibility that other draft prospects got at the World Junior Championship, but, rest assured, he is a great value to have at the 14th selection for any team.  Perhaps some may feel like Seth Jarvis would be the pick here, but I believe that the Oilers have a very similar player in Kailer Yamamoto and would likely push for a high-end talent that could bring a different aspect to their top-6.

The best way one could characterize his game would be to call Amirov a puck-hound, as he iers in constant pursuit of the puck and uses his great skating and long-strides to effectively neutralize his opponents and strip them of the puck. Amirov also possesses a very good set of hands to go with very strong skating. He can beat you 1-on-1 along the boards or in the middle of the offensive zone and deke goaltenders out of their pants if given the space.

One thing to like about Amirov’s game is how he creates space for himself using solid puck-protection skills and his great hands. He can fit anywhere in a top-6 and has the upside to really excel as the games get tighter. In my limited viewings of Amirov (I’ve only watched him 10-15 times) I always came away with an Alexander Radulov vibe, as they share the same key characteristics in their game, albeit Radulov possesses a harder shot and bigger build. If all goes well and Amirov comes over to North America, he’ll bring his work ethic and bulldog-style and his electric offensive talents with him.

15. Toronto Maple Leafs (Pitt): RD – Braden Schneider

With the news having just come out that Toronto has acquired this pick in the Kasperi Kapanen trade to Pittsburgh, the most obvious pick for them (being as deep as they are at forward) is Braden Schneider. The physical, rugged, mobile RD that have been asking Dubas to select for years.

Schneider would bring a lot of what the Leafs are lacking on the back-end. A high-tempo, physical and punishing game. The sturdy rearguard could easily come in and stabilize a competitive top-4  in the NHL. He is solid in transition, tracks the puck well in the defensive zone and is great at clearing the garbage in front of the net. Schneider is one of the most physically mature players in this draft ( 6’2 202 lbs at last count) and would likely be able to transition to the NHL quicker than some players do to his physical nature, which is an attractive notion for Leafs fans.

Where I believe Schneider thrives is on the transition from D-zone to O-Zone, as his first pass is excellent, and he’s not shy to carry the puck out himself. His side and strength make him very hard to push off the puck, while his mobility helps him attack open lanes in the neutral zone with ease.

His decision making is questioned by many, but most defensemen at this age are ripe with brain farts to begin with, and only get better with proper coaching (so shouldn’t be a problem with Keefe). Another very underrated aspect of his game is his clearing of the crease. He is very apt to establish position in front of his goaltender and inhibit opposing players from entering the blue paint or approaching the goalie. He is quickly able to establish inside position, use his low centre of gravity to absorb an initial check, and then pushes off the opposing forward to the outside. A very attractive aspect of his game I believe Leafs fans would like to have more of on their backend.

However, Schneider is not just a physical defensive specimen; he has offensive tools that are noteworthy, most certainly his passing game. Schneider is very good at zone exits via pass, as his tape-to-tape passes seemed to find his teammates without fail this season. Furthermore, he has a very underrated wrist shot that seems to have eyes in traffic. He can easily man the Leafs 2nd PP wave down the road due to his offensive tools, though I do not believe he will be a QB per say.

In my estimation, Schneider is a good value pick here for the Leafs and could serve to really round out their defensive core, as they have heavily invested term and money with their top-6 forwards. RD is one of the hardest positions to trade for in the NHL, and Dubas essentially trades Kapanen for Schneider; an excellent example of asset management.

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