This series is further analyzing my final rankings for the 2020 NHL Draft by position, by league and by country.

Today will focus on the forwards — starting with the overall group before sorting them by centres, right wingers and left wingers. I’ll provide the totals within my top 500, within my draft range (top 217), and within my first round, followed by the full lists and finishing with my thoughts.

Without further ado, here are my final rankings for forwards in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft:

TOTAL: 294

DRAFT RANGE: 133

FIRST ROUND: 21


1) Alexis Lafreniere (LW, Canada, Rimouski QMJHL)

2) Lucas Raymond (RW, Sweden, Frolunda SHL)


3) Tim Stutzle (LC/LW, Germany, Adler Mannheim DEL)

4) Quinton Byfield (LC, Canada, Sudbury OHL)

6) Alexander Holtz (LW/RW, Sweden, Djurgardens SHL)

7) Cole Perfetti (LW/LC, Canada, Saginaw OHL)

8) Marco Rossi (LC, Austria/Switzerland, Ottawa OHL)

11) Anton Lundell (LC, Finland, HIFK Liiga)

12) Rodion Amirov (LW, Russia, Salavat Yulaev Ufa KHL)

13) Noel Gunler (RW/LW, Sweden, Lulea SHL)

14) Jan Mysak (LW, Czech Republic, Hamilton OHL)

15) Jack Quinn (RW, Canada, Ottawa OHL)

16) Dylan Holloway (LC, Canada, Wisconsin NCAA)

17) Connor Zary (LC, Canada, Kamloops WHL)

18) Seth Jarvis (RW, Canada, Portland WHL)

19) Hendrix Lapierre (LC, Canada, Chicoutimi QMJHL)

20) Dawson Mercer (RW, Canada, Chicoutimi QMJHL)

26) John-Jason Peterka (LW, Germany, Munchen DEL)

27) Alexander Pashin (RW, Russia, Tolpar Ufa MHL)

28) Brendan Brisson (LC/LW, USA/Canada, Chicago USHL)

29) Tyson Foerster (RW, Canada, Barrie OHL)

32) Martin Chromiak (LW, Slovakia, Kingston OHL)

33) Mavrik Bourque (RC, Canada, Shawinigan QMJHL)

34) Jacob Perreault (RW/RC, Canada/USA, Sarnia OHL)

35) Thomas Bordeleau (LC, USA/Canada, NTDP U18)

36) Vasily Ponomarev (LC, Russia, Shawinigan QMJHL)

37) Kasper Simontaival (RW, Finland, Tappara Liiga)

40) Marat Khusnutdinov (LC, Russia, SKA-1946 St. Petersburg MHL)

41) Zion Nybeck (RW, Sweden, HV71 J20)

42) Roni Hirvonen (LC, Finland, Assat Liiga)

43) Lukas Reichel (LW/RW, Germany, Berlin DEL)

44) Sam Colangelo (RW, USA, Chicago USHL)

46) Theodor Niederbach (RC, Sweden, Frolunda J20)

49) Carter Savoie (LW, Canada, Sherwood Park AJHL)

50) Jake Neighbours (LW, Canada, Edmonton WHL)

51) Ridly Greig (LC/LW, Canada, Brandon WHL)

53) Luke Tuch (LW, USA, NTDP U18)

54) Roby Jarventie (RW, Finland, Ilves Liiga)

55) Veeti Miettinen (RW, Finland, Kiekko-Espoo U20)

56) Daniil Gushchin (RW, Russia, Muskegon USHL)

57) Sean Farrell (RW/LC, USA, Chicago USHL)

58) Ty Smilanic (LW/LC, USA, NTDP U18)

59) Pavel Novak (RW, Czech Republic, Kelowna WHL)

60) Ozzy Wiesblatt (RC/RW, Canada, Prince Albert WHL)

61) Tristen Robins (RC, Canada, Saskatoon WHL)

63) Jean-Luc Foudy (RC, Canada, Windsor OHL)

64) Jaromir Pytlik (RC, Czech Republic, Sault Ste. Marie OHL)

65) Luke Evangelista (RW, Canada, London OHL)

66) Brandon Coe (RW, Canada, North Bay OHL)

67) Justin Sourdif (RW, Canada, Vancouver WHL)

68) Jack Finley (RC, Canada, Spokane WHL)

72) Daniel Ljungman (LC, Sweden, Linkoping J20)

73) Emil Heineman (LW, Sweden, Leksands J20)

74) Daniel Torgersson (RW, Sweden, Frolunda J20)

75) Dmitri Ovchinnikov (LW, Russia, Sibirskie Snaipery Novosibirsk MHL)

77) Brett Berard (LW, USA, NTDP U18)

79) Ty Tullio (RC, Canada/USA, Oshawa OHL)

81) Connor McClennon (RW, Canada, Winnipeg WHL)

86) Blake Biondi (RC, USA, Hermantown U.S. High School)

87) Evan Vierling (LC, Canada, Barrie OHL)

88) Antonio Stranges (LW/LC, USA, London OHL)

89) Evgeniy Oksentyuk (RW/LC, Belarus, Flint OHL, overager)

90) Adam Raska (LW, Czech Republic, Rimouski QMJHL)

96) Egor Sokolov (RW, Russia, Cape Breton QMJHL, overager)

97) Juuso Maenpaa (LC, Finland, Jokerit U20)

98) Oliver Suni (RW, Finland, Oshawa OHL)

102) Zayde Wisdom (RC, Canada, Kingston OHL)

103) James Hardie (LW, Canada, Mississauga OHL)

104) William Dufour (RW, Canada, Drummondville QMJHL)

105) Dylan Peterson (RC, USA/Canada, NTDP U18)

106) Landon Slaggert (RW/LC, USA, NTDP U18)

108) Cross Hanas (LW, USA/Canada, Portland WHL)

109) Oskar Magnusson (LC/RW, Sweden, Malmo J20)

110) Bogdan Trineyev (RW, Russia, Dynamo Moskva MHL)

111) Pavel Tyutnev (LC, Russia, Loko Yaroslavl MHL)

112) Iaroslav Likhachev (RW, Russia, Blainville-Boisbriand QMJHL, overager)

113) Ryan Francis (RC/RW, Canada, Cape Breton QMJHL)

114) Theo Rochette (LC, Canada/Switzerland, Quebec QMJHL)

115) Will Cuylle (LW, Canada, Windsor OHL)

116) Rory Kerins (LC, Canada, Sault Ste. Marie OHL)

117) Ethan Cardwell (RC, Canada/USA, Barrie OHL)

122) Carson Bantle (LW, USA, Madison USHL)

130) Maxim Groshev (RW, Russia, Reaktor Nizhnekamsk MHL)

131) Gunnarwolfe Fontaine (LW, USA, Chicago USHL, overager)

132) Trevor Kuntar (LW/LC, USA, Youngstown USHL, overager)

145) Patrick Guay (LW/LC, Canada, Sherbrooke QMJHL)

146) Brady Burns (LC, Canada, Saint John QMJHL)

147) Colby Ambrosio (RC, Canada, Tri-City USHL)

148) Alex Laferriere (RW, USA, Des Moines USHL)

149) Ryder Rolston (RW, USA, Waterloo USHL)

150) Joe Miller (RW, USA, Blake U.S. High School)

151) Grant Slukynsky (LC, USA/Canada, Warroad U.S. High School)

152) Artem Shlaine (LC, USA/Russia, Shattuck St. Mary’s U.S. High School)

153) Mark Hillier (LC, Canada, St. Andrew’s College High School)

154) Elliot Ekmark (LC, Sweden, Linkoping J20)

155) Oliver Tarnstrom (LC, Sweden, AIK J20)

156) Artyom Galimov (LC, Russia, Ak Bars Kazan KHL, overager)

157) Pavel Gogolev (LW, Russia, Guelph OHL, overager)

158) Xavier Simoneau (LW/LC, Canada, Drummondville QMJHL, overager)

161) Hayden Fowler (RW, Canada, Erie OHL)

162) Ben Schoen (RC/RW, USA, Youngstown USHL)

163) Alex Gaffney (LC, USA, Muskegon USHL)

166) Matej Kaslik (LC, Slovakia, Malmo J20)

167) Mikael Pyyhtia (LC, Finland, TPS U20)

168) Ivan Didkovsky (LW, Russia, Dynamo Moskva MHL)

169) Dmitriy Zlodeev (LC/LW, Russia, Dynamo Moskva MHL)

170) Maxim Beryozkin (LW/RW, Russia, Loko Yaroslavl MHL)

176) Kristian Tanus (LC/LW, Finland, Jukurit Liiga, overager)

177) Joonas Oden (LW/RW, Finland/USA, KooKoo Liiga, overager)

178) Dmitri Sheshin (RW, Russia, Magnitogorsk MHL, overager)

179) Yegor Chinakhov (RW, Russia, Omskie Yastreby MHL, overager)

180) Nikolai Mayorov (LW, Russia, Cedar Rapids USHL, overager)

181) Mathieu De St. Phalle (RW, USA, Chicago USHL, overager)

182) Lucas Mercuri (RC, Canada, Salisbury U.S. High School)

183) Jack Smith (LC, USA, St. Cloud Cathedral U.S. High School)

184) Simon Knak (RW, Switzerland, Portland WHL)

185) Michal Gut (LC, Czech Republic, Everett WHL)

186) Kyle Crnkovic (LW, Canada, Saskatoon WHL)

187) Valentin Demchenko (RW, Belarus, Baie-Comeau QMJHL)

188) Raivis Ansons (LW, Latvia, Baie-Comeau QMJHL)

189) Senna Peeters (RW/LW, Belgium, Halifax QMJHL)

190) Josh Lawrence (RC, Canada, Saint John QMJHL)

191) Logan Morrison (RC, Canada, Hamilton OHL)

196) Lukas Svejkovsky (RW/RC, USA/Czech Republic, Medicine Hat WHL)

197) Cole Shepard (LW/LC, Canada, Vancouver WHL)

201) Vojtech Strondala (LC, Czech Republic, Stadion Litomerice Czech2, overager)

202) Benjamin Baumgartner (LC, Austria, Davos NLA, overager)

203) Maxim Musorov (RW/LW, Kazakhstan, Snezhnye Barsy Astana MHL, overager)

206) Tomas Chlubna (RW, Czech Republic, Dukla Jihlava Czech2)

209) Isak Garfve (RC/LW, Sweden, Mora J20)

212) Parker Ford (RC, USA, Providence College NCAA, overager)

216) Gage Goncalves (LC, Canada, Everett WHL, overager)

217) Luke Toporowski (LW, USA, Spokane WHL, overager)

220) Alexei Tsyplakov (LW, Russia, St. Petersburg MHL, overager)

221) Alexander Gordin (RW/LW, Russia, St. Petersburg MHL, overager)

222) Vladimir Mashkov (RW, Russia, Omskie Yastreby MHL)

223) Jackson Kunz (LW, USA, Shattuck St. Mary’s U.S. High School)

224) Winter Wallace (LW, USA, Shattuck St. Mary’s U.S. High School)

225) Riley Duran (RC, USA, Lawrence Academy U.S. High School)

226) Alex Jefferies (RW, USA, The Gunnery U.S. High School)

231) Oliver Okuliar (LW, Slovakia, Lethbridge WHL, overager)

234) Alex Young (RC, Canada, Canmore AJHL, overager)

235) Danny Weight (LC/LW, USA, Penticton BCHL, overager)

236) Ethan Bowen (LC, Canada, Chilliwack BCHL)

237) Wyatt Schingoethe (LC, USA, Waterloo USHL)

238) Chase Yoder (LW/LC, USA, NTDP U18)

239) Josh Pillar (RC/RW, Canada, Kamloops WHL)

240) Ben King (RC/RW, Canada, Red Deer WHL)

241) Owen Pederson (LW, Canada, Winnipeg WHL)

242) Reid Valade (RW, Canada, Kitchener OHL)

243) Tanner Dickinson (LC, USA, Sault Ste. Marie OHL)

247) Jakub Kolenic (RW, Slovakia, Zvolen)

248) Veeti Korkalainen (RW, Finland, KooKoo U20)

249) Florian Elias (LW, Germany, Mannheim U20)

250) Maxim Krovyakov (RC, Russia, SKA-1946 St. Petersburg MHL)

251) Anton Kosolapov (RW, Russia, Dynamo Moskva MHL)

252) Jackson Hallum (LW, USA, St. Thomas Academy U.S. High School)

253) Carsen Richels (LW, USA, Blaine U.S. High School)

256) Ryan Kirwan (LW, USA, Madison USHL)

257) Adam Klapka (RW, Czech Republic, Tri-City USHL, overager)

260) Robbie Fromm-Delorme (RW, Canada, Portland WHL)

264) Charles Beaudoin (RW, Canada, Shawinigan QMJHL)

265) Elliot Desnoyers (LW, Canada, Moncton QMJHL)

266) Jake Uberti (RC, Canada, Niagara OHL)

271) Daniil Gutik (LW, Russia, Loko Yaroslavl MHL, overager)

272) Danil Alalykin (LW, Russia, Tolpar Ufa MHL, overager)

273) Danil Aimurzin (RC, Russia, Tolpar Ufa MHL)

276) Adam Liska (LW, Slovakia, Severstal Cherepovets KHL, overager)

277) Robert Dzugan (LW/LC, Slovakia, Cedar Rapids USHL, overager)

278) Albin Sundsvik (LC, Sweden, Skelleftea SHL, overager)

279) Nils Aman (LC, Sweden, Leksands J20, overager)

284) Aleks Haatanen (LW/RW, Finland, Pelicans Mestis, overager)

288) Ivan Ivan (LC/LW, Czech Republic, Cape Breton QMJHL)

289) Jakub Konecny (LC, Czech Republic, Sparta Praha U20)

290) Tobias Handl (LW, Czech Republic, Olomouc Czech)

291) Michael Gildon (LW, USA, Ohio State NCAA, overager)

292) Sam Stange (RW, USA, Sioux City USHL, overager)

293) Lynden Breen (LC, Canada, Fargo USHL, overager)

294) Stephen Halliday (LW, Canada/USA, Dubuque USHL)

295) Cameron Berg (LW, USA, Muskegon USHL)

296) Joel Maatta (LC, Finland, Sioux City USHL)

297) Josh Doan (RC/RW, USA/Canada, Chicago USHL)

300) Ryan Alexander (LC, Canada, St. Michael’s OJHL)

301) Ryan Tverberg (RC, Canada/USA, Toronto Jr. Canadiens OJHL)

302) Matteo Costantini (LC, Canada, Buffalo Jr. Sabres OJHL)

303) Cole Hansen (RW, USA, Blaine U.S. High School)

304) Aidan Thompson (LC/LW, USA, Berkshire U.S. High School)

312) Maxim Nevolin (RW, Russia, Almaz Cherepovets MHL)

313) Kirill Kondyrev (LC, Russia, Vityazi Chekhov MHL)

314) Nikolai Smirnov (RW, Russia, Russkie Vityazi Chekhov MHL)

315) Ilya Rychkov (RW, Russia, SKA-1946 St. Petersburg MHL)

318) Ilya Usau (LC, Belarus/USA, Prince Albert WHL, overager)

319) Bear Hughes (RC, USA, Spokane WHL, overager)

322) Carter Souch (LW, Canada, Edmonton WHL)

327) Dylan Jackson (RW, Canada, Dubuque USHL, overager)

328) Ty Jackson (LC, Canada, Dubuque USHL, overager)

329) Garrett Pinoniemi (LC, USA, Sioux Falls USHL, overager)

340) Oscar Tellstrom (LW, Sweden, Vannas Division 1)

341) Alexander Ljungkrantz (LW, Sweden, Brynas J20)

342) Oscar Lawner (LW/RW, Sweden, Farjestad J20, overager)

343) Petteri Puhakka (LW, Finland, Karpat U20, overager)

349) Max Golod (LW, Canada, Erie OHL, overager)

350) Chad Yetman (RW, Canada, Erie OHL, overager)

366) Oleg Boiko (LC/LW, Kazakhstan, Snezhnye Barsy Astana MHL, overager)

367) Jan Sir (LC, Czech Republic, Benatky nad Jizerou Czech2, overager)

368) Jakub Rychlovsky (LW, Czech Republic, Benatky nad Jizerou Czech2, overager)

369) Dmitri Rashevsky (LW/RW, Russia, Dynamo St. Petersburg MHL, overager)

370) Stanislav Rangayev (LW/RW, Russia, Ladia Togliatti MHL)

371) Stepan Steshenko (RW/LW, Russia, Ladia Togliatti MHL)

372) Nikita Shuidin (RW, Russia, SKA-1946 St. Petersburg MHL)

373) Grigori Ponkratov (RW, Russia, Kapitan Stupino MHL)

374) Semyon Demidov (LW, Russia, Russkie Vityazi Chekhov MHL)

375) Ignat Kokhanin (RW/LW, Russia, Dynamo St. Petersburg MHL)

377) Samuel Eriksson (LW/RW, Sweden, Farjestad J20)

378) Calle Spaberg Olsen (LW, Norway, Rogle J20)

379) Stefano Bottini (LW/RW, Switzerland/Canada, Lugano U20)

380) Jay Huisman (LW, Netherlands, Zoetermeer Panters BeNeLiga)

381) Xavier Parent (LW, Canada, Sherbrooke QMJHL, overager)

382) Tag Bertuzzi (LW, Canada, Hamilton OHL, overager)

385) Spencer Kersten (RW, Canada, Princeton NCAA, overager)

386) Matt Verboon (RW/LC, Switzerland/Canada, Colgate NCAA, overager)

387) Keanu Derungs (LW, Switzerland, Victoria WHL)

388) Tarun Fizer (RW, Canada, Victoria WHL, overager)

389) Logan Barlage (RC/RW, Canada, Lethbridge WHL, overager)

390) Tristen Nielsen (LW/LC, Canada, Vancouver WHL, overager)

391) Josh Williams (RW, Canada, Edmonton WHL, overager)

392) Ben McCartney (LW, Canada, Brandon WHL, overager)

393) Eli Zummack (RW/RC, Canada, Spokane WHL, overager)

394) Jaydon Dureau (LW, Canada, Portland WHL, overager)

397) Jack Williams (RW, USA, Muskegon USHL)

398) Matt Choupani (RC, Canada, Des Moines USHL)

399) Cole Cormier (LC, Canada, Quebec QMJHL)

400) Alexandre Doucet (LC, Canada, Val-d’Or QMJHL)

401) Cameron Butler (RW, Canada, Peterborough OHL)

402) Cameron Tolnai (LC, Canada, Ottawa OHL)

403) Riley Piercey (RW, Canada, Flint OHL)

404) Eric Uba (RW, Canada, Guelph OHL, overager)

405) Declan McDonnell (RW/RC, USA, Kitchener OHL)

406) Vitali Pinchuk (LC, Belarus, Kingston OHL)

407) Sergei Popov (LW, Canada/Russia, Owen Sound OHL, overager)

415) Simon Andersson (LC, Sweden, MODO J20)

419) Lukas Stehlik (LC, Czech Republic, Litvinov U20)

420) Samuel Krajc (RW/LW, Slovakia, Dukla Trencin)

421) Roman Faith (LW, Slovakia, Kosice)

426) Oleg Zaitsev (LC, Russia, Dynamo Tver VHL, overager)

427) Nikita Rtischev (RW, Russia, Zvezda Moskva VHL, overager)

429) Yannick Bruschweiler (LW, Switzerland, Zurich Lions NLA, overager)

430) Linus Oberg (RW/RC, Sweden, Orebro SHL, overager)

431) Martin Lang (LW, Czech Republic, Moose Jaw WHL, overager)

432) Vladimir Alistrov (LW, Belarus, Edmonton WHL, overager)

433) Jonathan Brinkman (LW, Denmark, Medicine Hat WHL, overager)

434) Phillip Schultz (LC/LW, Denmark, Victoria WHL, overager)

435) Brett Budgell (LC, Canada, Charlottetown QMJHL, overager)

436) Brooklyn Kalmikov (LW, Canada, Victoriaville QMJHL, overager)

437) Felix Lafrance (LW, Canada, Cape Breton QMJHL, overager)

438) Dawson Stairs (LW/RW, Canada, Saint John QMJHL)

439) Pier-Olivier Roy (LW, Canada, Gatineau QMJHL)

440) Payton Mount (RW, Canada, Seattle WHL)

441) Matthew Rempe (RC, Canada, Seattle WHL)

442) Joona Kiviniemi (LW, Finland, Karpat U20)

443) Eemil Erholtz (RW/LW, Finland, Sport Liiga, overager)

444) Jami Krannila (LC, Finland, St. Cloud State NCAA, overager)

446) Brayden Krieger (LW/LC, Canada, Brooks AJHL, overager)

447) Cody Monds (RW, Canada, Victoria BCHL, overager)

455) Blake Perbix (RW, USA, St. Cloud Cathedral U.S. High School)

456) Matt Gleason (LC, USA, Cretin-Derham Hall U.S. High School)

457) Cy LeClerc (LC/LW, USA, Islanders Hockey Club U.S. High School)

466) Amir Garayev (LW, Russia, Kapitan Stupino MHL, overager)

467) Ilya Altybarmakyan (LW/RW, Russia, St. Petersburg MHL, overager)

468) Stas Petrosyan (RW, Russia, Altay Ust-Kamenogorsk MHL, overager)

469) Ilya Safonov (LC, Russia, Bars Kazan VHL, overager)

470) Denis Pochivalov (RC, Russia, Torpedo-Gorky VHL, overager)

471) Maxim Marushev (RC, Russia, Bars Kazan VHL, overager)

472) Yegor Chizhikov (RW/LW, Russia, Almaz Cherepovets MHL, overager)

473) Ivan Zinchenko (LC, Russia, Vityazi Chekhov MHL)

474) Timur Zakirov (LW/RW, Russia, Sputnik Almetievsk MHL)

479) Austen Swankler (LW/LC, USA, Erie OHL, overager)

480) Kyen Sopa (RW, Switzerland, Erie OHL, overager)

481) Andrei Bakanov (LW, Russia, Guelph OHL)

482) Kyle McDonald (RW, Canada, Windsor OHL)

487) Orrin Centazzo (LW/LC, Canada, Kamloops WHL, overager)

488) Ryan Chyzowski (LW, Canada, Medicine Hat WHL, overager)

489) David Kope (RW, Canada, Edmonton/Kelowna WHL, overager)

490) Holden Katzalay (RC, Canada, Vancouver WHL, overager)

491) Michael Horon (LW, Canada, Prince Albert WHL, overager)

492) Noah Boyko (RC, Canada, Lethbridge WHL)

493) Jakob Brook (RW/LW, Canada, Regina WHL)

494) Kyrell Sopotyk (LW, Canada, Kamloops WHL)

495) Luke Mylymok (LW/LC, USA/Canada, Salmon Arm BCHL)

496) Brett Chorske (RC, USA, Wenatchee BCHL, overager)

497) Nick Cafarelli (RC/RW, USA, Wenatchee BCHL)

498) Primo Self (RW, USA, Cowichan Valley BCHL)

499) Elis Hede (LC, Finland, Chicago USHL, overager)

500) Timo Bakos (LC, Germany, Sioux Falls USHL, overager)

Centres

TOTAL: 111

DRAFT RANGE: 57

FIRST ROUND: 8

3) Tim Stutzle (LC/LW, Germany, Adler Mannheim DEL)

4) Quinton Byfield (LC, Canada, Sudbury OHL)

8) Marco Rossi (LC, Austria/Switzerland, Ottawa OHL)

11) Anton Lundell (LC, Finland, HIFK Liiga)

16) Dylan Holloway (LC, Canada, Wisconsin NCAA)

17) Connor Zary (LC, Canada, Kamloops WHL)

19) Hendrix Lapierre (LC, Canada, Chicoutimi QMJHL)

28) Brendan Brisson (LC/LW, USA/Canada, Chicago USHL)

33) Mavrik Bourque (RC, Canada, Shawinigan QMJHL)

35) Thomas Bordeleau (LC, USA/Canada, NTDP U18)

36) Vasily Ponomarev (LC, Russia, Shawinigan QMJHL)

40) Marat Khusnutdinov (LC, Russia, SKA-1946 St. Petersburg MHL)

42) Roni Hirvonen (LC, Finland, Assat Liiga)

46) Theodor Niederbach (RC, Sweden, Frolunda J20)

51) Ridly Greig (LC/LW, Canada, Brandon WHL)

60) Ozzy Wiesblatt (RC/RW, Canada, Prince Albert WHL)

61) Tristen Robins (RC, Canada, Saskatoon WHL)

63) Jean-Luc Foudy (RC, Canada, Windsor OHL)

64) Jaromir Pytlik (RC, Czech Republic, Sault Ste. Marie OHL)

68) Jack Finley (RC, Canada, Spokane WHL)

72) Daniel Ljungman (LC, Sweden, Linkoping J20)

79) Ty Tullio (RC, Canada/USA, Oshawa OHL)

86) Blake Biondi (RC, USA, Hermantown U.S. High School)

87) Evan Vierling (LC, Canada, Barrie OHL)

97) Juuso Maenpaa (LC, Finland, Jokerit U20)

102) Zayde Wisdom (RC, Canada, Kingston OHL)

105) Dylan Peterson (RC, USA/Canada, NTDP U18)

109) Oskar Magnusson (LC/RW, Sweden, Malmo J20)

111) Pavel Tyutnev (LC, Russia, Loko Yaroslavl MHL)

113) Ryan Francis (RC/RW, Canada, Cape Breton QMJHL)

114) Theo Rochette (LC, Canada/Switzerland, Quebec QMJHL)

116) Rory Kerins (LC, Canada, Sault Ste. Marie OHL)

117) Ethan Cardwell (RC, Canada/USA, Barrie OHL)

146) Brady Burns (LC, Canada, Saint John QMJHL)

147) Colby Ambrosio (RC, Canada, Tri-City USHL)

151) Grant Slukynsky (LC, USA/Canada, Warroad U.S. High School)

152) Artem Shlaine (LC, USA/Russia, Shattuck St. Mary’s U.S. High School)

153) Mark Hillier (LC, Canada, St. Andrew’s College High School)

154) Elliot Ekmark (LC, Sweden, Linkoping J20)

155) Oliver Tarnstrom (LC, Sweden, AIK J20)

156) Artyom Galimov (LC, Russia, Ak Bars Kazan KHL, overager)

162) Ben Schoen (RC/RW, USA, Youngstown USHL)

163) Alex Gaffney (LC, USA, Muskegon USHL)

166) Matej Kaslik (LC, Slovakia, Malmo J20)

167) Mikael Pyyhtia (LC, Finland, TPS U20)

169) Dmitriy Zlodeev (LC/LW, Russia, Dynamo Moskva MHL)

176) Kristian Tanus (LC/LW, Finland, Jukurit Liiga, overager)

182) Lucas Mercuri (RC, Canada, Salisbury U.S. High School)

183) Jack Smith (LC, USA, St. Cloud Cathedral U.S. High School)

185) Michal Gut (LC, Czech Republic, Everett WHL)

190) Josh Lawrence (RC, Canada, Saint John QMJHL)

191) Logan Morrison (RC, Canada, Hamilton OHL)

201) Vojtech Strondala (LC, Czech Republic, Stadion Litomerice Czech2, overager)

202) Benjamin Baumgartner (LC, Austria, Davos NLA, overager)

209) Isak Garfve (RC/LW, Sweden, Mora J20)

212) Parker Ford (RC, USA, Providence College NCAA, overager)

216) Gage Goncalves (LC, Canada, Everett WHL, overager)

225) Riley Duran (RC, USA, Lawrence Academy U.S. High School)

234) Alex Young (RC, Canada, Canmore AJHL, overager)

235) Danny Weight (LC/LW, USA, Penticton BCHL, overager)

236) Ethan Bowen (LC, Canada, Chilliwack BCHL)

237) Wyatt Schingoethe (LC, USA, Waterloo USHL)

239) Josh Pillar (RC/RW, Canada, Kamloops WHL)

240) Ben King (RC/RW, Canada, Red Deer WHL)

243) Tanner Dickinson (LC, USA, Sault Ste. Marie OHL)

250) Maxim Krovyakov (RC, Russia, SKA-1946 St. Petersburg MHL)

266) Jake Uberti (RC, Canada, Niagara OHL)

273) Danil Aimurzin (RC, Russia, Tolpar Ufa MHL)

278) Albin Sundsvik (LC, Sweden, Skelleftea SHL, overager)

279) Nils Aman (LC, Sweden, Leksands J20, overager)

288) Ivan Ivan (LC/LW, Czech Republic, Cape Breton QMJHL)

289) Jakub Konecny (LC, Czech Republic, Sparta Praha U20)

293) Lynden Breen (LC, Canada, Fargo USHL, overager)

296) Joel Maatta (LC, Finland, Sioux City USHL)

297) Josh Doan (RC/RW, USA/Canada, Chicago USHL)

300) Ryan Alexander (LC, Canada, St. Michael’s OJHL)

301) Ryan Tverberg (RC, Canada/USA, Toronto Jr. Canadiens OJHL)

302) Matteo Costantini (LC, Canada, Buffalo Jr. Sabres OJHL)

304) Aidan Thompson (LC/LW, USA, Berkshire U.S. High School)

313) Kirill Kondyrev (LC, Russia, Vityazi Chekhov MHL)

318) Ilya Usau (LC, Belarus/USA, Prince Albert WHL, overager)

319) Bear Hughes (RC, USA, Spokane WHL, overager)

328) Ty Jackson (LC, Canada, Dubuque USHL, overager)

329) Garrett Pinoniemi (LC, USA, Sioux Falls USHL, overager)

366) Oleg Boiko (LC/LW, Kazakhstan, Snezhnye Barsy Astana MHL, overager)

367) Jan Sir (LC, Czech Republic, Benatky nad Jizerou Czech2, overager)

389) Logan Barlage (RC/RW, Canada, Lethbridge WHL, overager)

398) Matt Choupani (RC, Canada, Des Moines USHL)

399) Cole Cormier (LC, Canada, Quebec QMJHL)

400) Alexandre Doucet (LC, Canada, Val-d’Or QMJHL)

402) Cameron Tolnai (LC, Canada, Ottawa OHL)

406) Vitali Pinchuk (LC, Belarus, Kingston OHL)

415) Simon Andersson (LC, Sweden, MODO J20)

419) Lukas Stehlik (LC, Czech Republic, Litvinov U20)

426) Oleg Zaitsev (LC, Russia, Dynamo Tver VHL, overager)

434) Phillip Schultz (LC/LW, Denmark, Victoria WHL, overager)

435) Brett Budgell (LC, Canada, Charlottetown QMJHL, overager)

441) Matthew Rempe (RC, Canada, Seattle WHL)

444) Jami Krannila (LC, Finland, St. Cloud State NCAA, overager)

456) Matt Gleason (LC, USA, Cretin-Derham Hall U.S. High School)

457) Cy LeClerc (LC/LW, USA, Islanders Hockey Club U.S. High School)

469) Ilya Safonov (LC, Russia, Bars Kazan VHL, overager)

470) Denis Pochivalov (RC, Russia, Torpedo-Gorky VHL, overager)

471) Maxim Marushev (RC, Russia, Bars Kazan VHL, overager)

473) Ivan Zinchenko (LC, Russia, Vityazi Chekhov MHL)

490) Holden Katzalay (RC, Canada, Vancouver WHL, overager)

492) Noah Boyko (RC, Canada, Lethbridge WHL)

496) Brett Chorske (RC, USA, Wenatchee BCHL, overager)

497) Nick Cafarelli (RC/RW, USA, Wenatchee BCHL)

499) Elis Hede (LC, Finland, Chicago USHL, overager)

500) Timo Bakos (LC, Germany, Sioux Falls USHL, overager)

Right Wingers

TOTAL: 87

DRAFT RANGE: 42

FIRST ROUND: 7

2) Lucas Raymond (RW, Sweden, Frolunda SHL)

13) Noel Gunler (RW/LW, Sweden, Lulea SHL)

15) Jack Quinn (RW, Canada, Ottawa OHL)

18) Seth Jarvis (RW, Canada, Portland WHL)

20) Dawson Mercer (RW, Canada, Chicoutimi QMJHL)

27) Alexander Pashin (RW, Russia, Tolpar Ufa MHL)

29) Tyson Foerster (RW, Canada, Barrie OHL)

34) Jacob Perreault (RW/RC, Canada/USA, Sarnia OHL)

37) Kasper Simontaival (RW, Finland, Tappara Liiga)

41) Zion Nybeck (RW, Sweden, HV71 J20)

44) Sam Colangelo (RW, USA, Chicago USHL)

54) Roby Jarventie (RW, Finland, Ilves Liiga)

55) Veeti Miettinen (RW, Finland, Kiekko-Espoo U20)

56) Daniil Gushchin (RW, Russia, Muskegon USHL)

57) Sean Farrell (RW/LC, USA, Chicago USHL)

59) Pavel Novak (RW, Czech Republic, Kelowna WHL)

65) Luke Evangelista (RW, Canada, London OHL)

66) Brandon Coe (RW, Canada, North Bay OHL)

67) Justin Sourdif (RW, Canada, Vancouver WHL)

74) Daniel Torgersson (RW, Sweden, Frolunda J20)

81) Connor McClennon (RW, Canada, Winnipeg WHL)

89) Evgeniy Oksentyuk (RW/LC, Belarus, Flint OHL, overager)

96) Egor Sokolov (RW, Russia, Cape Breton QMJHL, overager)

98) Oliver Suni (RW, Finland, Oshawa OHL)

104) William Dufour (RW, Canada, Drummondville QMJHL)

106) Landon Slaggert (RW/LC, USA, NTDP U18)

110) Bogdan Trineyev (RW, Russia, Dynamo Moskva MHL)

112) Iaroslav Likhachev (RW, Russia, Blainville-Boisbriand QMJHL, overager)

130) Maxim Groshev (RW, Russia, Reaktor Nizhnekamsk MHL)

148) Alex Laferriere (RW, USA, Des Moines USHL)

149) Ryder Rolston (RW, USA, Waterloo USHL)

150) Joe Miller (RW, USA, Blake U.S. High School)

161) Hayden Fowler (RW, Canada, Erie OHL)

178) Dmitri Sheshin (RW, Russia, Magnitogorsk MHL, overager)

179) Yegor Chinakhov (RW, Russia, Omskie Yastreby MHL, overager)

181) Mathieu De St. Phalle (RW, USA, Chicago USHL, overager)

184) Simon Knak (RW, Switzerland, Portland WHL)

187) Valentin Demchenko (RW, Belarus, Baie-Comeau QMJHL)

189) Senna Peeters (RW/LW, Belgium, Halifax QMJHL)

196) Lukas Svejkovsky (RW/RC, USA/Czech Republic, Medicine Hat WHL)

203) Maxim Musorov (RW/LW, Kazakhstan, Snezhnye Barsy Astana MHL, overager)

206) Tomas Chlubna (RW, Czech Republic, Dukla Jihlava Czech2)

221) Alexander Gordin (RW/LW, Russia, St. Petersburg MHL, overager)

222) Vladimir Mashkov (RW, Russia, Omskie Yastreby MHL)

226) Alex Jefferies (RW, USA, The Gunnery U.S. High School)

242) Reid Valade (RW, Canada, Kitchener OHL)

247) Jakub Kolenic (RW, Slovakia, Zvolen)

248) Veeti Korkalainen (RW, Finland, KooKoo U20)

251) Anton Kosolapov (RW, Russia, Dynamo Moskva MHL)

257) Adam Klapka (RW, Czech Republic, Tri-City USHL, overager)

260) Robbie Fromm-Delorme (RW, Canada, Portland WHL)

264) Charles Beaudoin (RW, Canada, Shawinigan QMJHL)

292) Sam Stange (RW, USA, Sioux City USHL, overager)

303) Cole Hansen (RW, USA, Blaine U.S. High School)

312) Maxim Nevolin (RW, Russia, Almaz Cherepovets MHL)

314) Nikolai Smirnov (RW, Russia, Russkie Vityazi Chekhov MHL)

315) Ilya Rychkov (RW, Russia, SKA-1946 St. Petersburg MHL)

327) Dylan Jackson (RW, Canada, Dubuque USHL, overager)

350) Chad Yetman (RW, Canada, Erie OHL, overager)

371) Stepan Steshenko (RW/LW, Russia, Ladia Togliatti MHL)

372) Nikita Shuidin (RW, Russia, SKA-1946 St. Petersburg MHL)

373) Grigori Ponkratov (RW, Russia, Kapitan Stupino MHL)

375) Ignat Kokhanin (RW/LW, Russia, Dynamo St. Petersburg MHL)

385) Spencer Kersten (RW, Canada, Princeton NCAA, overager)

386) Matt Verboon (RW/LC, Switzerland/Canada, Colgate NCAA, overager)

388) Tarun Fizer (RW, Canada, Victoria WHL, overager)

391) Josh Williams (RW, Canada, Edmonton WHL, overager)

393) Eli Zummack (RW/RC, Canada, Spokane WHL, overager)

397) Jack Williams (RW, USA, Muskegon USHL)

401) Cameron Butler (RW, Canada, Peterborough OHL)

403) Riley Piercey (RW, Canada, Flint OHL)

404) Eric Uba (RW, Canada, Guelph OHL, overager)

405) Declan McDonnell (RW/RC, USA, Kitchener OHL)

420) Samuel Krajc (RW/LW, Slovakia, Dukla Trencin)

427) Nikita Rtischev (RW, Russia, Zvezda Moskva VHL, overager)

430) Linus Oberg (RW/RC, Sweden, Orebro SHL, overager)

440) Payton Mount (RW, Canada, Seattle WHL)

443) Eemil Erholtz (RW/LW, Finland, Sport Liiga, overager)

447) Cody Monds (RW, Canada, Victoria BCHL, overager)

455) Blake Perbix (RW, USA, St. Cloud Cathedral U.S. High School)

468) Stas Petrosyan (RW, Russia, Altay Ust-Kamenogorsk MHL, overager)

472) Yegor Chizhikov (RW/LW, Russia, Almaz Cherepovets MHL, overager)

480) Kyen Sopa (RW, Switzerland, Erie OHL, overager)

482) Kyle McDonald (RW, Canada, Windsor OHL)

489) David Kope (RW, Canada, Edmonton/Kelowna WHL, overager)

493) Jakob Brook (RW/LW, Canada, Regina WHL)

498) Primo Self (RW, USA, Cowichan Valley BCHL)

Left Wingers

TOTAL: 96

DRAFT RANGE: 34

FIRST ROUND: 6

1) Alexis Lafreniere (LW, Canada, Rimouski QMJHL)

6) Alexander Holtz (LW/RW, Sweden, Djurgardens SHL)

7) Cole Perfetti (LW/LC, Canada, Saginaw OHL)

12) Rodion Amirov (LW, Russia, Salavat Yulaev Ufa KHL)

14) Jan Mysak (LW, Czech Republic, Hamilton OHL)

26) John-Jason Peterka (LW, Germany, Munchen DEL)

32) Martin Chromiak (LW, Slovakia, Kingston OHL)

43) Lukas Reichel (LW/RW, Germany, Berlin DEL)

49) Carter Savoie (LW, Canada, Sherwood Park AJHL)

50) Jake Neighbours (LW, Canada, Edmonton WHL)

53) Luke Tuch (LW, USA, NTDP U18)

58) Ty Smilanic (LW/LC, USA, NTDP U18)

73) Emil Heineman (LW, Sweden, Leksands J20)

75) Dmitri Ovchinnikov (LW, Russia, Sibirskie Snaipery Novosibirsk MHL)

77) Brett Berard (LW, USA, NTDP U18)

88) Antonio Stranges (LW/LC, USA, London OHL)

90) Adam Raska (LW, Czech Republic, Rimouski QMJHL)

103) James Hardie (LW, Canada, Mississauga OHL)

108) Cross Hanas (LW, USA/Canada, Portland WHL)

115) Will Cuylle (LW, Canada, Windsor OHL)

122) Carson Bantle (LW, USA, Madison USHL)

131) Gunnarwolfe Fontaine (LW, USA, Chicago USHL, overager)

132) Trevor Kuntar (LW/LC, USA, Youngstown USHL, overager)

145) Patrick Guay (LW/LC, Canada, Sherbrooke QMJHL)

157) Pavel Gogolev (LW, Russia, Guelph OHL, overager)

158) Xavier Simoneau (LW/LC, Canada, Drummondville QMJHL, overager)

168) Ivan Didkovsky (LW, Russia, Dynamo Moskva MHL)

170) Maxim Beryozkin (LW/RW, Russia, Loko Yaroslavl MHL)

177) Joonas Oden (LW/RW, Finland/USA, KooKoo Liiga, overager)

180) Nikolai Mayorov (LW, Russia, Cedar Rapids USHL, overager)

186) Kyle Crnkovic (LW, Canada, Saskatoon WHL)

188) Raivis Ansons (LW, Latvia, Baie-Comeau QMJHL)

197) Cole Shepard (LW/LC, Canada, Vancouver WHL)

217) Luke Toporowski (LW, USA, Spokane WHL, overager)

220) Alexei Tsyplakov (LW, Russia, St. Petersburg MHL, overager)

223) Jackson Kunz (LW, USA, Shattuck St. Mary’s U.S. High School)

224) Winter Wallace (LW, USA, Shattuck St. Mary’s U.S. High School)

231) Oliver Okuliar (LW, Slovakia, Lethbridge WHL, overager)

238) Chase Yoder (LW/LC, USA, NTDP U18)

241) Owen Pederson (LW, Canada, Winnipeg WHL)

249) Florian Elias (LW, Germany, Mannheim U20)

252) Jackson Hallum (LW, USA, St. Thomas Academy U.S. High School)

253) Carsen Richels (LW, USA, Blaine U.S. High School)

256) Ryan Kirwan (LW, USA, Madison USHL)

265) Elliot Desnoyers (LW, Canada, Moncton QMJHL)

271) Daniil Gutik (LW, Russia, Loko Yaroslavl MHL, overager)

272) Danil Alalykin (LW, Russia, Tolpar Ufa MHL, overager)

276) Adam Liska (LW, Slovakia, Severstal Cherepovets KHL, overager)

277) Robert Dzugan (LW/LC, Slovakia, Cedar Rapids USHL, overager)

284) Aleks Haatanen (LW/RW, Finland, Pelicans Mestis, overager)

290) Tobias Handl (LW, Czech Republic, Olomouc Czech)

291) Michael Gildon (LW, USA, Ohio State NCAA, overager)

294) Stephen Halliday (LW, Canada/USA, Dubuque USHL)

295) Cameron Berg (LW, USA, Muskegon USHL)

322) Carter Souch (LW, Canada, Edmonton WHL)

340) Oscar Tellstrom (LW, Sweden, Vannas Division 1)

341) Alexander Ljungkrantz (LW, Sweden, Brynas J20)

342) Oscar Lawner (LW/RW, Sweden, Farjestad J20, overager)

343) Petteri Puhakka (LW, Finland, Karpat U20, overager)

349) Max Golod (LW, Canada, Erie OHL, overager)

368) Jakub Rychlovsky (LW, Czech Republic, Benatky nad Jizerou Czech2, overager)

369) Dmitri Rashevsky (LW/RW, Russia, Dynamo St. Petersburg MHL, overager)

370) Stanislav Rangayev (LW/RW, Russia, Ladia Togliatti MHL)

374) Semyon Demidov (LW, Russia, Russkie Vityazi Chekhov MHL)

377) Samuel Eriksson (LW/RW, Sweden, Farjestad J20)

378) Calle Spaberg Olsen (LW, Norway, Rogle J20)

379) Stefano Bottini (LW/RW, Switzerland/Canada, Lugano U20)

380) Jay Huisman (LW, Netherlands, Zoetermeer Panters BeNeLiga)

381) Xavier Parent (LW, Canada, Sherbrooke QMJHL, overager)

382) Tag Bertuzzi (LW, Canada, Hamilton OHL, overager)

387) Keanu Derungs (LW, Switzerland, Victoria WHL)

390) Tristen Nielsen (LW/LC, Canada, Vancouver WHL, overager)

392) Ben McCartney (LW, Canada, Brandon WHL, overager)

394) Jaydon Dureau (LW, Canada, Portland WHL, overager)

407) Sergei Popov (LW, Canada/Russia, Owen Sound OHL, overager)

421) Roman Faith (LW, Slovakia, Kosice)

429) Yannick Bruschweiler (LW, Switzerland, Zurich Lions NLA, overager)

431) Martin Lang (LW, Czech Republic, Moose Jaw WHL, overager)

432) Vladimir Alistrov (LW, Belarus, Edmonton WHL, overager)

433) Jonathan Brinkman (LW, Denmark, Medicine Hat WHL, overager)

436) Brooklyn Kalmikov (LW, Canada, Victoriaville QMJHL, overager)

437) Felix Lafrance (LW, Canada, Cape Breton QMJHL, overager)

438) Dawson Stairs (LW/RW, Canada, Saint John QMJHL)

439) Pier-Olivier Roy (LW, Canada, Gatineau QMJHL)

442) Joona Kiviniemi (LW, Finland, Karpat U20)

446) Brayden Krieger (LW/LC, Canada, Brooks AJHL, overager)

466) Amir Garayev (LW, Russia, Kapitan Stupino MHL, overager)

467) Ilya Altybarmakyan (LW/RW, Russia, St. Petersburg MHL, overager)

474) Timur Zakirov (LW/RW, Russia, Sputnik Almetievsk MHL)

479) Austen Swankler (LW/LC, USA, Erie OHL, overager)

481) Andrei Bakanov (LW, Russia, Guelph OHL)

487) Orrin Centazzo (LW/LC, Canada, Kamloops WHL, overager)

488) Ryan Chyzowski (LW, Canada, Medicine Hat WHL, overager)

491) Michael Horon (LW, Canada, Prince Albert WHL, overager)

494) Kyrell Sopotyk (LW, Canada, Kamloops WHL)

495) Luke Mylymok (LW/LC, USA/Canada, Salmon Arm BCHL)

Fisher’s Final Thoughts

With the volume of forwards among my top 500, it’s best to break them down by tiers — starting at the top, where Alexis Lafreniere is alone at No. 1 followed by the trio of Lucas Raymond (2), Tim Stutzle (3) and Quinton Byfield (4) in a 2-5 tier that also includes the top defenceman, Jamie Drysdale (5).

Alexis Lafrenière Rimouski Oceanic
Alexis Lafreniere of the Rimouski Oceanic. (Vincent Ethier/CHL)

Lafreniere is the total package and he’s ready to make an immediate impact in the NHL — more so than Jack Hughes, the first overall selection from 2019 who wasn’t as physically mature as Lafreniere and isn’t a candidate for this season’s Calder. I fully expect Lafreniere to be a top-line forward from Day 1 and to produce 60-plus points as a rookie in taking a run at next season’s Calder. To no surprise, Lafreniere was my No. 1 prospect for 2020 from start to finish — solidifying his status as the consensus top prospect with an exclamation mark at the World Juniors as that tournament’s most valuable player. Call me crazy, but Lafreniere reminds me a bit of Nathan MacKinnon — for his competitiveness, though he doesn’t possess that blazing speed. I do feel Lafreniere will be that level of impact player in his prime — and perhaps sooner than later.

Raymond went wire-to-wire as my No. 2, with nobody impressing me more than Raymond did at last year’s under-18 worlds when he scored a hat trick including the overtime winner in the gold-medal game. That performance, which came against this year’s top goaltending prospect Yaroslav Askarov, was unrivalled in terms of dynamic dominance. Raymond is a nicer skater than Elias Pettersson and I see a lot of similarities in their offensive skill-sets despite Raymond being a winger. I see Raymond exploding in the SHL the way Pettersson did during his draft-plus-one campaign before taking the NHL by storm the following season. Raymond’s playmaking abilities have also drawn comparisons to Mitch Marner, but I believe Raymond’s shooting is underrated and that he’ll be more of a scoring threat than Marner — making more of an overall impact for the team that drafts him.

Stutzle is the next-best talent in my eyes. I totally see the Patty Kane comparisons — Stutzle has that kind of flair and he’s fun to watch. I’ve become a big fan, with Stutzle overtaking Byfield as my No. 3 following his stellar showing at the World Juniors. I do think Stutzle could stick at centre in the NHL and I certainly wouldn’t object to Los Angeles taking him second overall. He’d be my guy for the Kings, especially given their German connections.

As you can surmise from my rankings, I’m not Byfield’s biggest fan. I see the size and tools that could turn him into the best player from this draft class a decade from now. There is no denying that sky-high ceiling, but I have my doubts about whether Byfield is driven enough to reach those heights and achieve his full potential. He has been underwhelming in many of my viewings, including on the biggest stages of his career to date — last summer’s Hlinka, the World Juniors, and the CHL Top Prospects Game. Underwhelming is probably an understatement and that is concerning. Ryan Getzlaf overcame similar red flags from his junior days — developing more drive and determination as a pro — but somebody like Dylan Strome is just average thus far despite seeming capable of much more. I feel like Byfield is going to be one of those guys that leaves us wanting more as a pro — he’ll be really good, just not great — and that will go back to a lack of motivation, combined with mediocre hockey sense. He’s been blessed with the natural gifts, but those two traits — motivation and hockey sense — are difficult to teach or coach out of an athlete. If that doesn’t come naturally with maturity, Byfield may never get to that elite level.

Quinton Byfield Sudbury Wolves
Quinton Byfield of the Sudbury Wolves. (Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

My next tier (6-8) is a forward trio that is essentially a pick ’em between Alexander Holtz (6), Cole Perfetti (7) and Marco Rossi (8). Holtz and Perfetti are arguably the two best goal-scorers in this draft class, though Perfetti turned into more of a playmaker as a centre for Saginaw this season. I still see Perfetti as a winger in pro, where his shot will be his main weapon — becoming a better Alex DeBrincat for comparison sake. I see Holtz as Patrik Laine-lite — as a true triggerman — while Rossi is a poor man’s Sidney Crosby as an all-around talent that works for every point he produces. If Byfield had Rossi’s drive, he’d be drawing comparisons to Eric Lindros as the next big thing.

I have 10 more forwards among my tier of first-round locks (9-20): Anton Lundell (11), Rodion Amirov (12), Noel Gunler (13), Jan Mysak (14), Jack Quinn (15), Dylan Holloway (16), Connor Zary (17), Seth Jarvis (18), Hendrix Lapierre (19) and Dawson Mercer (20). I like them in that order, but with 10 in a row, they are quite interchangeable. For example, Quinn, Jarvis and Mercer could be ranked ahead of Gunler, Mysak, Holloway, Zary and Lapierre without much resistance from me. I wouldn’t really bat an eye at those alterations, but I do like Lundell and Amirov at the top of that forward group.

From there, I have a run of defencemen before getting into more forwards within my tier of first-round contenders (21-45): John-Jason Peterka (26), Alexander Pashin (27), Brendan Brisson (28), Tyson Foerster (29), Martin Chromiak (32), Mavrik Bourque (33), Jacob Perreault (34), Thomas Bordeleau (35), Vasily Ponomarev (36), Kasper Simontaival (37), Marat Khusnutdinov (40), Zion Nybeck (41), Roni Hirvonen (42), Lukas Reichel (43) and Sam Colangelo (44). Those 15 forwards all made strong cases to crack my top 31 and I see them all as worthy first-rounders. I’m higher than most on Pashin — he’s one of my boys for this year’s draft — and perhaps a little too low on Khusnutdinov as well as Reichel. Those two could have been a bit higher — a handful of spots or so — but that 34-44 range was extremely close for me. This tier kept me up at night and I lost sleep over finalizing that order, but I’m still content with how it turned out more than a month later.

John Jason Peterka EHC Muenchen
John-Jason (J.J.) Peterka of EHC Red Bull Munchen. (GEPA pictures/ City-Press)

I tightened that tier for my final rankings — it had extended to 53 the previous month — but Theodor Niederbach (46), Carter Savoie (49), Jake Neighbours (50) and Ridly Greig (51) remain first-round contenders in my mind as the next four forwards to start my tier of second-round candidates (46-80). That larger tier features a total of 25 forwards, including Luke Tuch (53), Roby Jarventie (54), Veeti Miettinen (55), Daniil Gushchin (56), Sean Farrell (57), Ty Smilanic (58), Pavel Novak (59), Ozzy Wiesblatt (60), Tristen Robins (61), Jean-Luc Foudy (63), Jaromir Pytlik (64), Luke Evangelista (65), Brandon Coe (66), Justin Sourdif (67), Jack Finley (68), Daniel Ljungman (72), Emil Heineman (73), Daniel Torgersson (74), Dmitri Ovchinnikov (75), Brett Berard (77) and Ty Tullio (79). There are going to be several steals among that group — mark my words — and I wouldn’t be shocked if many of them were taken in the top 50. But who falls out of my top 50? That speaks to the depth of this draft class.

Greig and Neighbours were both in Bob McKenzie’s first round — his rankings are compiled by polling 10 NHL scouts — while fellow WHLer Robins has generated a lot of online momentum as a riser and I’ve often compared him to Brayden Point, who was a third-round steal back in 2014. That group is a real mix of power forwards — with the likes of Tuch, Jarventie, Coe, Finley and Torgersson — as well as smaller finesse forwards such as Miettinen, Gushchin, Farrell, Novak and Ovchinnikov. Despite those discrepancies in size and playing style, they are equally impressive and all likeable in their own right.

The further you go, the harder it is to draw those dividing lines between tiers — they become blended and eventually turn into a crapshoot. Case in point, my next tier of potential third-rounders (81-97) includes eight forwards that weren’t far off from second-round consideration. Be it the first name in that tier, Connor McClennon (81), or the last, Juuso Maenpaa (97), there isn’t much separation by this stage of my rankings. This tier has some intrigue to it, featuring my top two overagers in Evgeniy Oksentyuk (89) and Egor Sokolov (96) as well as my top high-schooler in Blake Biondi (86). Those three could certainly go higher than I have them ranked — I’m always conservative when it comes to overagers, high-schoolers and goaltenders — and the remaining three forwards within this tier are no slouches either in Evan Vierling (87), Antonio Stranges (88) and Adam Raska (90).

Evgeniy Oksentyuk Flint Firebirds
Evgeniy Oksentyuk of the Flint Firebirds. (Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

The final forward in my top 100 is Oliver Suni (98) and, again, it was darn difficult to draw that dividing line between him and fellow Finn Maenpaa (97). I basically gave up on tiering from there, taking the high road by suggesting 98-157 was a giant tier in consideration for filling out the fourth and fifth rounds. I won’t bother relisting all 33 of the forwards within that range — or tier, if you can still call it that — but, in reality, those are just numbers next to the names and there isn’t a whole lot of variance in terms of their talent levels. Take the next two names in Zayde Wisdom (102) and James Hardie (103) versus the last two names in overagers Artyom Galimov (156) and Pavel Gogolev (157) — there are more than 50 spots between them, but it is debatable which two are the better prospects. Ditto for Ryan Francis (113) and Theo Rochette (114) versus Brady Burns (146) and Colby Ambrosio (147) with a full round between them. If they were listed as a run of four in the fourth round, would that raise any eyebrows? The answer is no.

You get the drift, but cases can be made for the likes of Dylan Peterson (105) and Will Cuylle (115) belonging in a higher tier since they were among my biggest fallers over the course of the draft year. For the record, McKenzie still has those two in his top 50, which is where I had them in my preseason rankings. But those outliers are few and far between in my top 150 — most those prospects from 98-157 are reasonably ranked in relation to the consensus.

I do have some regrets in those later rounds. Burns and Ambrosio could have been a round higher in hindsight, and I would have kept Lukas Svejkovsky (196) in that range at the expense of Patrick Guay (145). Svejkovsky, who has been invited to USA Hockey’s World Junior camp, was an inadvertent faller for me. I had Svejkovsky as high as 97 in February and he had been a pretty consistent fourth-rounder through March — he was 114 with those rankings publishing on March 9, right around the time the draft year came to a sudden halt — but slipped to 146, 184 and ultimately 196 due to some reshuffling on my part and through no fault of his own.

Svejkovsky only played one more game following my March rankings — assisting on the overtime-winning goal for Medicine Hat on March 10 — so I’d use a mulligan to move Svejkovsky back up, perhaps all the way to 109 in the fourth round with Cross Hanas (108) or more likely to 138 in the fifth round, slotting ahead of WHL defender Simon Kubicek. Instead, Svejkovsky wound up paired with his former Vancouver teammate Cole Shepard (197) in the seventh round. Guay, on the other hand, could slide to 159 in the sixth round with Xavier Simoneau (158) or tumble to 191 in the seventh round with Josh Lawrence (190). Those seem like massive swings based on the numbers — Svejkovsky from 196 to 138 and Guay from 145 to 191 — but they really aren’t in the big picture.

That should provide plenty of perspective on my rankings from a forwards standpoint. I’m satisfied with the dividing line for my draft range — I like all the prospects in my top 217 and would gladly select any of them in this year’s draft — but it becomes a numbers’ game when you’re ranking 500 players. It doesn’t get any easier by expanding your rankings, let’s put it that way.

Even going beyond my draft range, how much is separating these Swedish forwards: Elliot Ekmark (154) and Oliver Tarnstrom (155) versus Oscar Tellstrom (340) and Alexander Ljungkrantz (341)? We’re talking about almost 200 spots there — 186 spots to be precise, that being the equivalent of six rounds — but, trust me, those four are much closer than they appear. We can play that game all day long — ranging from Russians Dmitriy Zlodeev (169) and Maxim Beryozkin (170) versus Maxim Krovyakov (250) and Anton Kosolapov (251) to high-schoolers Lucas Mercuri (182) and Jack Smith (183) versus Riley Duran (225) and Alex Jefferies (226) or more boldly Blake Perbix (455) and Matt Gleason (456) — but, rest assured, the margins are slimmer than the numbers suggest.

In all honesty, 500 wasn’t enough to account for all the quality forward prospects available in 2020. I already have a handful of first-time eligibles and a few overagers as omissions that will likely make the cut for the 2.0 version of my final rankings to be published in the month of the draft. Those being William Hallen, Petr Hasek, Sergei Kuznetsov, Josef Kolacek and Mateusz Szurowski as first-time eligibles, plus Artyom Zhuk, Eric Engstrand and Kristof Papp as overagers.

That’s a nice little spoiler for those of you still following along, but that is getting way off track. All you need to know is this 2020 class is loaded with elite forwards in the top 10 — the top 20, really — and that there are going to be a bunch of bargains in the middle rounds and right through the end of this year’s draft.

Lastly, I’ll highlight three groupings that could be among those bargains: Joe Miller (150), Grant Slukynsky (151), Artem Shlaine (152) and Mark Hillier (153) as high-schoolers in my fifth round; Valentin Demchenko (187), Raivis Ansons (188) and Senna Peeters (189) as QMJHL imports at the top of my seventh round; and Ryan Alexander (300), Ryan Tverberg (301) and Matteo Costantini (302) as tier-II juniors from Ontario (OJHL) that “just” missed my draft range. I’m really interested to see how many of those 10 get drafted because all 10 could be players down the road — you heard it here first!

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