He is a former prospects writer for ESPN.com and worked briefly for the Associated Press and McKeens Hockey. graduate to the NHL. Traded/not signed: Cole Fraser (RHD), Zach Gallant (C), Brady Gilmour (C), Axel Holmstrom (C),Reilly Webb (RHD),Lane Zablocki (C). The rankings are a consolidation of 11 different Key additions: Ilya Nikolayev (C), Jakob Pelletier (LW) The move proved critical, as it allowed the Jets to bolster the top of the prospect pool with Ville Heinola, the purest offenseman the franchise has ever drafted, and his dynamic skating ability and impressive shot power will compliment the skilled wingers with the parent club. The system that produced Quinn Hughes and Thatcher Demko in 2019-20 doesn't figure to be slowing down. 1 overall pick (2020). The B/R ice hockey team got together in the aftermath of the Lightning's championship to take a look at where all 31 teams stand in terms of their farm systems, just days before the 2020 NHL draft. Draft ranking Every ranking has a little bit of bias. WebThis is the list of players selected in the 2021 NHL Entry draft. A pair of impressive 1999-born Finnish wingers produced excellent post-draft campaigns, as Eetu Pakkila was the leading goal scorer in the Jr. A SM-Liiga, and center Aarne Talvitie was among the best NCAA freshman scorers and the key to Finland capturing WJC gold before a torn ACL ended his season prematurely. 1 netminder Jonathan Quick. So with all that in mind, I give you early look at the Consolidated Draft Rankings for the 2021 Entry Draft. New prospects. The only thing the system is lacking is a bonafide No. 1 pick in the 2020 draft supercharged a prospect pool that was dealing with some high-profile prospect graduations, including Kaapo Kakko and Adam Fox. Graduated: Dennis Cholowski (LHD), Filip Hronek (RHD), Michael Rasmussen (C) Problems begin, however, when an objective assessment is made on the progress of the farm system as a whole. Some of the top NCAA performers also belong tothe organization, as Providence winger Jack Dugan was the school's second-highest scoring freshman with 39 points and free-agent defenseman Jimmy Schuldt was a Hobey Baker finalist. Honorable Mentions: Carl Grundstrom, Jaret Anderson-Dolan, Tyler Madden, Kale Clague, There's alsoa string of the best young defensemen the European elite leagues have to offer in Nils Lundkvist, Yegor Rykovand Tarmo Reunanen, the latter bouncing back from multiple injuries to lead all under-21 rearguards in scoring in Finlands SM-Liiga. Finnish teenagerVille Heinola has all the makings of a top-pairing defenseman thanks to his demeanor and intelligence, and he's joined at the position by Dylan Samberg and Declan Chisholm, among others. Log in here. GM Kyle Dubas sure likes his speed and skill, which is obvious in the manner Toronto hasdrafted since hejoinedthe organization as an assistant general manager in 2014. And although mums the word on the health of 2017 first-rounder Gabe Vilardi, he still is one of the top playmakers among all NHL prospects. Yikes. Additionally, the Canes have a bunch of AHL-seasoned blue-chippers, plus kids like Warren Foegele and Lucas Wallmark, neither of whom didn't look out of place during their respective NHL call-up. 2 goaltending prospect in hockey behind the recently drafted Yaroslav Askarov and is a foundational piece for the Rangers going forward. A critical need for centers throughout the organization was addressed in each of the last two drafts, and this next generation of Canadiens should be good enough to eventually bring the Habs back to respectability. He signed a professional contract on the day the Kings' season was shut down because of the pandemic and has since been loaned to a team in Germany. Draft rankings intend to predict NHL success, not the actual order on draft day. Can the Lions fix their defense? Need more? 12 Vols lose starting PG Zeigler to torn ACL, Out of dark, Rodgers vows decision coming soon, Survey: Vikes, Fins, Raiders top FA report cards, Lakers' Davis out vs. OKC with right foot injury, Red Wings lock up Larkin with 8-year extension, The triumph of Michael B. Jordan and Jonathan Majors in Creed III, What NBA Finals runs from LeBron, Giannis can teach Jayson Tatum, NBA Power Rankings: Kevin Durant's return could rock the West, A new home for Michael Thomas? Nils Lundkvist were drafted 22nd and 28th, respectively, in 2018 and are highly regarded offensive talents from the back end. 329m goal: Felix the only men's contender for Chelsea's Goal of the Month, UFC 285's Shevchenko by the numbers: It all adds up to domination, A battle for No. Not far behind is center AlexNewhook, who is a blur on skates, had 42 points in 34 games as a college freshman and was named the NCAA's top freshman for 2019-20. 'Im just prepared for anything': Jets' Patrik Laine says he isn't sure what future holds, Recapping what all seven Canadian teams did this offseason, St. Louis, the Blues and the Stanley Cup come together in perfect harmony, Maple Leafs, Senators six-player swap is a win-win as Zaitsev, Ceci start anew, Phil Kessel excited to begin next phase in Arizona: 'I think it's going to be great', Even an offseason ACL tear suffered by promising defenseman, Flames secure goaltending tandem, re-sign David Rittich to two-year deal, Mike Babcock, Bruce Boudreau and 4 other NHL coaches on the hot seat in 2019-20, Comparing the San Jose Sharks to well actual Sharks, The top 32 moments of Sidney Crosby's career. Buffalo also has in its possession one of the leagues top goaltending prospects in Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, who was named the OHLs Most Outstanding Player and led Finland to gold at the world juniors. While it seems like roster spots are at a premium at both the NHL and AHL levels, its a problem any team would like to have especially coming off a visit to the Eastern Conference finals and an AHL championship for theCharlotte affiliate. Right winger Drake Batherson is a 2017 draft pick who was an AHL All-Star in 2019-20 and averaged better than a point per game. Cheveldayoff also deserves credit for making deadline deals without surrendering any of his prized prospects from either the minors or abroad. Meanwhile, defenseman, Noah Dobson, a 2018 draftee, did arrive on Long Island and appeared in 34 games. Urho Vaakanainen, who has a high hockey IQ and makes good decisions. Look at the uptick in their AHL fortunes. News was more promising out of Sweden, where German-born goal scorer Dominik Bokk was third among SHL teenagers with eight goals and 23 points for Vaxjo. If Dach can make the team out of camp, hes versatile enough to play wing and contribute to the power play. Graduated: Miro Heiskanen (LHD), Roope Hintz (LW) Sens fans are all too familiar with the process of getting hyped over a prospect and seeing him develop into an NHL star, only to watch himleave the organization over money shortly thereafter. Still, a handful of young defensemen could ultimately provide Chicago's backbone on the blue line, namely collegiate standout Ian Mitchell and 6'4", 208-pound behemoth Alec Regula. Unfortunately for the general public, they tend to keep us in the dark about the inner workings, which is why its up to us to figure out where theprospects stand and how each teams success with player development can be measured. Winger Martin Kaut is a sturdy playmaker who was among the AHLs top teenage scorers last season and Shane Bowers, a 2017 first-round pick of Ottawas acquired in the Matt Duchene deal, was one of Hockey Easts top two-way centers; heis signed to play this season with the AHLs Colorado Eagles. Although 2018 top pick Evan Bouchard looked green in his nine-game NHL stint, he led the OHLs London Knights in playoff scoring and produced eight points in eight AHL postseason matches. A slow start from winger Ryan Donato likely convinced the Bruins to trade their best prospect to Minnesota for Charlie Coyle, and there wasnt much going on among the forwards once he left. TRADE GRADES: Sabres buy low on Jeff Skinner's high-end scoring help. Graduated: None Lest anyone forget, Lafreniere completed his third season with Rimouski Oceanic in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in March with 35 goals and 112 points in 52 games. In the end, however, Sakic made out like a bandit, turning his maligned center into three stud prospects in centers Shane Bowers and Vladislav Kamenev and defender Samuel Girard. The Stars also left a lot of talent on the table to take two-way center Ty Dellandrea with the 14th pick in this year's draft. Goal-scoring winger Filip Zadina and center Joe Veleno the last two first-round picks made by predecessor Ken Holland are among the elite of the elite. The organizations biggest surprise may have been the play of undrafted signee Mitch Reinke, a puck-moving defenseman who led San Antonio with 33 assists and was second with 45 points. Slick center Rasmus Kupari was one of the top teenage point producers in the SM-Liiga, and second rounders Akil Thomas (2018) and Arthur Kaliyev (2019) were two of only nine 100-point scorers in the OHL last season. Right winger Vasili Podkolzin is 19 and a powerful, two-way forward who'll reach the NHL sometime in 2020-21. Of all their prospects, however, the most intriguing appears to be Swedish speedster Joakim Nygard, a winger who is not Calder eligible but was signed to a one-year deal in the offseason. Franchise center John Tavares bid adieu to the Isles, leaving the team in the hands of 21-year-old star Mathew Barzal. Much like the Avalanche, the Canes were able to inject youth into a lineup that enjoyed playoff success, yet still maintained one of the leagues deeper farm systems. Of course, neither are seasoned enough be considered saviorsand playing time will be at a premium for those in a depth capacity. It looks like both will be off the opening-night roster for the fifth consecutive year. Goalie Cayden Primeau produced his second consecutive all-star season for Northeastern and nearly backstopped Team USA to WJC gold which is crazy to think considering the South Jersey native was drafted late in the seventh round in 2017. NHL readiness and experience Generally speaking, a player who is among the best team performers in the AHL usually is one of the first to receive an in-season promotion. Copyright 2023 Sporting News Holdings Limited. In goal, Adin Hill has split time between the NHL and AHL the past three seasons, including an NHL shutout in 2018-19. LW Alexis Lafreniere, No. Already boasting an impressive prospect pool and fresh off a 25-point improvement in the standings, Montreal nabbed one of the top goal-scoring prospects in recent draft history by selecting Cole Caufield 15th overall. Not only did the Senators receive Calder Trophy-caliber rookie reasons from Brady Tkachuk and Colin White, but the ongoing rebuild allowed the likes of goalie Joey Daccord and forwards Drake Batherson, Logan Brown and speedy Alex Formenton, to experience the rigors of the NHL first hand. The only problem is that its comprised mostly of goalies and defensemen. The Kings have the best farm system in hockey and Byfield is the best prospect in it. But they also did well with some of their other picks, which helped fuel a championship for their AHL affiliate. But of all their prospects, goalie Igor Shestyorkin may be the most intriguing, as hes dominated the KHL for several years and could be earmarked as Henrik Lundqvists long-awaited replacement. 1, a loaded LPGA field and more to watch in golf this week, How to watch PGA Tour's Arnold Palmer Invitational on ESPN+, Disputed loan at center of Commanders probe, Everything you need to know about F1's 2023 season, F1 season preview: Who's hot and who's not, Breaking down the latest in 2024 football recruiting, from top commits to March visits, Oral history: When Barcelona, Real Madrid played four Clasicos in 18 days back in 2011, LIVE Transfer Talk: Gvardiol, Bellingham named Real Madrid's top transfer targets, Roundtable: Early takeaways from Kyrie Irving joining Luka Doncic in Dallas, an extremely strange year for NHL prospects, Ranking the top 100 NHL prospects: Two Rangers and Red Wings in the top 10, Make-or-break time: Six NHL prospects who must take the next step this season, Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information. Who will win each 2023 conference tournament? Another impressive OHL prospect was hard-shooting Russian defender Dmitri Samorukov, who notched 28 points in 24 playoffs games helping Guelph advance to the Memorial Cup. Critical to their success was 2016 second-rounder Tyler Benson, who led the team in scoring during the regular season and playoffs, and a duo of puck-moving defenseman in 2015 draftees Caleb Jones and Ethan Bear. The Sharks seem to always make the most out of late-round picks, but first-rounders from 2013 (Mirco Mueller) and 2014 (Nikolay Goldobin) no longer are with the organization. Meanwhile, the Rangers still have to get Nils Lundkvist under contract after he put together one of the greatest U20 seasons by a defenseman in SHL history in 2019-20. Want more? A goalie now not qualifies as an NHL prospect if he has performed 10 games inside the NHL in any marketing campaign, everyday season and playoffs combined, or 25 video games total; or reaches age 27 through Sept. 15. (From: Pronman: 2019-20 NHL Farm System Rankings). Gifted winger Kristian Vesalainen and towering defenseman Logan Stanley were hot topics around the trade deadline but ultimately stayed put, as did top 2018-19prospects Sami Niku and Mason Appleton. Moving forward, Tampa remains comfortably stable with AHL-proven talent in Syracuse such as 2017 first-rounder Cal Foote, who tied for the team lead among defensemen with 10 goals. Draft Odds & Ends. Nylander, on the other hand, has game-breaking potentialbut his time as Sabres property was nothing short of underwhelming. Traded/not signed: Brendan Lemieux (LW, NYR). Subbanwere acquired via trade. There's lots to like across the board for the Flyers, who were the Eastern Conference's No. 5. And Montreals good luck with Finnish prospects seems to be continuing following Jesperi Kotkaniemis breakout rookie season, as winger Jesse Ylonen and center Joni Ikonen looked strong as teenagers in the SM-Liiga, where they also signed coveted free agent defense prospect Otto Leskinen from. A couple of skilled forwards, Owen Tippett andGrigori Denisenko are close to making impacts with the Panthers. Additionally, Florida owns two puck-possession monsters in wingers Grigori Denisenko and Aleksi Heponiemi, with the latter posting a WHL-best 90 assists the most in the league by a player of any age in 21 years. Traded/not signed: Brendan Guhle (LHD,ANA), Alex Nylander (RW, CHI). The organization also appears to be high on defenseman Josh Mahura, a third-rounder in 2016 who showed advanced puck-moving abilities during a 17-game midseason stint. 26 Feb Feb COL | CBJ | DAL | DET | EDM | FLA Although rosterspots will be at a premium, the Capitals have proven to be successful when ripening their prospects in the minors before handing them a critical role on a perennial contender. A catastrophic first-round loss inthe playoffs notwithstanding, the Bolts still possess a strong collection of prospects even after the graduations of impressive rookies Anthony Cirelli (sixth in Calder Trophy voting) and Mathieu Joseph (26 points in 70 games.) The Los Angeles system is forward heavy, with the vast majority of their best prospects being natural centers. Eventual draft position did not factor in these rankings, and we should all come to accept the fact that there is no example of the first 10 players picked in a draft (in any sport) who turned out to become the 10 best pro players from that draft. Additionally, GM's who run teams with a top-heavy prospect pool do not have the same flexibility as those with depth at every position. And players are only considered for prospect status if they are 25 or younger. All three should be top threats for their respective nations at this years IIHF World Junior Championship. As the parent clubs star players move closer to their mid-30s, only four of the Penguins' top-20 scorers in the AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton were original draftees;2017 fifth-rounder Linus Olund is the only one who was picked since 2015. NHL prospect rankings: Top 50 players in NHL pipelines for 2019-20. MORE: How the Matt Duchenetrade gave Avalanche much-needed direction. Vasili Podkolzin is 19 and a powerful, two-way forward who'll reach the NHL sometime in 2020-21. There always are disagreements, and teams have a history of going against consensus opinions to draft a player they obviously value more than others. Key additions: Bowen Byram (LHD),Drew Helleson (RHD),Alex Newhook (C) Karlsson (C) Traded/not signed: Radovan Bondra (RW), John Dahlstrom (LW), Blake Hillman (LHD), Henri Jokiharju (RHD, BUF), Anthony Louis (C), Spencer Watson (RW). The Bruins are an elite team who not only graduated game-changers to the NHL level, but also own quality top-end prospects flooding their pipeline. And it'sironic that Dallas had to make two trades to land goalie Jake Oettinger in the first round of the 2017 draft, only to see 2016 fifth rounder Colton Point pass him on the depth chart. The summertime trade that sentKasperi Kapanen to the Pittsburgh Penguins provided a reward to the Toronto farm system in 2018 draft pickFilip Hallander, 20, who remains on loan to a team in the Swedish Hockey League. There's both quantity and quality in the mix for the Oilers, who may have a future defensive pairing in consecutive first-round picks Evan Bouchard (2018) and Philip Broberg (2019). Watch more top videos, highlights, and B/R original content. NHL free agency 2019: Complete list of all 31 teams' UFA, RFA players, 2018-19 rank: 6th Carolina already isn't far from elite status in the NHL, and it's only getting better with what's coming. Key additions:Taro Hirose (LW, UDFA), Albert Johansson (LHD), Oliwer Kaski (RHD), Ryan Kuffner (LW, UDFA), Robert Mastrosimone (LW), Moritz Seider (RHD) If not, theres no harm in keeping the Marlies stocked for another Calder Cup run. Almost bydefault, Poulin automatically vaults to the top of the prospect depth chart, one which has been thinned in recent years via deadline deals and draft-day hijinks. Also,Pavel Dorofeyevis a solid bet on the wing. Few teams have a pool with as many quality goaltenders, beginning with undrafted Cal Petersenwho should start the season in the NHL and looks like a legitimate challenger to dethrone No. Graduated: Henrik Borgstrom (C) This 30-day project counts down to the NHL organization with the best collection Is it only a coincidence that Denvers Emilio Pettersson, their sixth-round pick from last year, was one of the nations top freshman scorers? They have quality European forwards in Vitalii Abramov, Alexander Texier, Jonathan Davidsson and Kirill Marchenko, but the youth and talent level up at the parent club increases the likelihood they end up elsewhere. Vasili Podkolzin, Vancouver Canucks. WebNHL Releases Final Prospect Rankings for 2021 NHL Draft Three players from University of Michigan ranked among top six in North America Evan Bouchard was a wise choice at 10th overall in 2018 because he gives Edmonton a much-needed playmaking dimension from the blue line, and 2015 draftee Ethan Bear arguably is the most NHL-ready of the remaining youth on defense. Can the Lions fix their defense? Waddell also more than replenished the losses of Saarela and Roy at the 2019 draft with the selections of skilled forwards Ryan Suzuki and Patrik Puistola. It took a while to pinpoint how a team that hasnt had a playoff appearance in almost eight years cant seem to impress the masses when it comes to its prospects. Key additions:Jonathan Dahlen (LW),Andrew Shortlidge (G, UDFA) One of the prospects with a legitimate chance to see significant NHL action this season is sniping winger Victor Olofsson, a former seventh-round pick who scored 30 goals as an AHL rookie plus two more in six NHL games. Sizing up the player of the year winners in all 32 Division I men's conferences. The above-listed Turcotte is the best of the bunch, but not by a lot. Key additions:Victor Soderstrom (RHD) But Vegas under GM George McPhee have done well in filling gaps with quality prospects. Right wingerVasili Podkolzin is 19 and a powerful, two-way forward who'll reach the NHL sometime in 2020-21. He's followed at the top of the list by 2019 first-rounder Philip Tomasino, who had 40 goals and 100 points in 62 games with two OHL teams in 2019-20. No team took to the trade route to beef up their prospect cupboard as much as the Rangers, who for the first time in 14 years appear committed to a lengthy rebuild. The move certainly will be monitored for several years, but what shouldnt be lost in the post-draft hysteria is that Yzerman had already inherited an excellent group of young talent and had the flexibility to roll the dice. Additionally, they added a premier playmaking center in Trevor Zegrasthis year and a hard-working scorer in Brayden Tracey via the first round of thisyears draft. MORE: Jets' window to win depends on threeunanswered questions. Your eyes don't deceive you. Start spreadin' the news. Carolina graduated Andrei Svechnikov, but still have Martin Necas and Jake Bean to headline an incredibly deep pool. Center Robert Thomas is looking more and more like a steal from the late part of the 2017 draft's first round, where the Blues also plucked skilled power winger Klim Kostin. Traded/not signed: Chase Priskie (RHD, FA-CAR). Despite some recent graduations and trades of the Rays top prospects, they still have a solid farm system and are one of the best in the league in developing talent. Behind him, defenseman Josh Mahura is a potential top-pair talent who's split two seasons between the NHL and AHL. Graduated: None Traded/not signed: Jacob Golden (LHD),Ales Stezka (G). Are PSG better off without Neymar in big games? The progress of every notable name within Washingtons improving prospect pool appears to be moving in concert with the success of the parent club; as soon as lineup issues occur, a contingency involving a prospect is executed. Key additions:Tobias Bjornfot (LHD), Carl Grundstrom (LW),Arthur Kaliyev (LW),Alex Turcotte (C) This ranking may come off as a surprise, but Calgarys the sleeping giant when it comes to drafting. Graduated: Warren Foegele (LW), Andrei Svechnikov (RW),Lucas Wallmark (C) MORE: Flames secure goaltending tandem, re-sign David Rittich to two-year deal, 2018-19 rank: 20thKey additions: Matthew Boldy (LW), Vladislav Firstov (LW),Mat Robson (G, UDFA), Nico Sturm (C, UDFA) Even an offseason ACL tear suffered by promising defenseman Juuso Valimaki shouldnt dampen the mood, as a full year of recovery leaves room for improving his overall understanding of the league. Where you rank the Predators can come down to how you feel about Finnish wingerEeli Tolvanen, who was picked 30th overall in 2017. Key additions: Anttoni Honka (RHD), Chase Priskie (RHD), Patrik Puistola (RW),Ryan Suzuki (C) Although Cozens is the lone forward within the pipeline with star potential, the system as a whole is well balanced and offers the parent club immediate relief when necessary. 1 defender at the world juniors. The group is expanding, but it still pales in comparison to the collections of young talent being accumulated by the leagues other 30 teams. McDavid aside, the only Oilers prospect from the 2015 draft onwards to appear in at least 20 games was Jesse Puljujarvi, whocurrently waits in Europe for the Oilers to meet his trade demands. However, fans are growing impatient, even if they know all about sniper Eeli Tolvanen and heady puck rusher Dante Fabbro, Nashvilles two best prospects who appeared briefly in late-season action. Women's Champ Week predictions: Which teams will win the auto bids in all 32 conferences? In fact, you have to go all the way back to 1970 to find a Blues draft class that didnt produce at least one NHL player with 100 games or more under his belt. Note: To maintain prospect eligibility, a player must still have rookie status. He'll probably be wearing red, white and blue in 2021-22. Alexis Lafreniere joins the fray as the No. Metrics to measure success vary, but sometimes the best way to judge a teams prospect is to objectively ask the question, What is this players ultimate potential?, SN's TOP 50: Ranking the NHL's best prospects for 2018-19. 12 Vols lose starting PG Zeigler to torn ACL, Out of dark, Rodgers vows decision coming soon, Survey: Vikes, Fins, Raiders top FA report cards, Lakers' Davis out vs. OKC with right foot injury, Red Wings lock up Larkin with 8-year extension, The triumph of Michael B. Jordan and Jonathan Majors in Creed III, What NBA Finals runs from LeBron, Giannis can teach Jayson Tatum, NBA Power Rankings: Kevin Durant's return could rock the West, A new home for Michael Thomas? Although there is a significant amount of force to that argument, the truth is that New Jersey is an organization on the rise and the prospect pool is deep enough to help fuel a sustained run towards perennial playoff contention. Traded/not signed: Zach Fisher (RW), D'Artagnan Joly (RW). Still, Fenton may have been on the job for just over a year, but it looks like his 2019 draft, headlined by Boldy and playmaking winger Vladislav Firstov, should set his successor up for success in later years. He's a centerpiece along with defenseman Moritz Seider, who was picked sixth overall in 2019 and spent 49 games in the AHL, posting 22 points. The everyday lineup for this upcoming season will be based on the health of several oft-injured veterans, but these kids are ready to assume responsibility if called upon. Key additions: Philip Broberg (LW), Ilya Konovalov (G),Raphael Lavoie (RW), Joakim Nygard (LW) Welcome to the 2021 edition of my ranking of every NHL teams prospect pools. But his blend of size, speed and creativity should fit nicely with New Jersey's up-tempo attack. Conversely, the Buffalo Sabres may have drafted Dylan Cozens seventh overall, but they graduated Rasmus Dahlin and Casey Mittelstadt, in addition to trading Alex Nylander, all in one year. Key additions: Pavel Dorofeyev (LW), Kaedan Korczak (RHD), Peyton Krebs (C), Jimmy Schuldt (LHD) MORE:Maple Leafs, Senators six-player swap is a win-win as Zaitsev, Ceci start anew, 2018-19 rank: 25th Where other teams are rich and getting richer at forward, the Sharks seem content to build from back to front. COL | CBJ | DAL | DET | EDM | FLA Subban's top five quotes: 'I dont play for New York', 2018-19 rank: 3rd Graduations and trades Prospects who were good enough to establish themselves as NHL regulars ultimately impact the depth chart in every direction. Systems are most often graded on the backs of their top three or four prospects, but I also place a good deal of value on the depth of systems. Traded/not signed:Brett Davis (C), Liam Hawel (C), Markus Ruusu (G). Not all of them will be playing center at the next level, but if you're going to be heavy at one position, that's certainly not a bad area to focus. William Eklund, C/W, Djurgrdens IF (SHL) 2. Several players who ranked highly in personal pre-draft rankings were afforded a longer leash in the event of a perceived plateau in development. NHL DRAFT 2019:Team-by-team grades|Winners and losers, 2018-19 rank: 9th 1 goalie Alex Nedeljkovic and puck rusher Adam Fox. The Blackhawks' season was the hockey equivalent of a cold shower, as they missed the playoffs for the first time in 10 years. And it's not like GM Steve Yzerman traded all of them away. C prospects showcase the upside to make the NHL, but either need more development time or are more likely to fill out depth roles. And adding a crown jewel in 2020 No. Still, a handful of young defensemen could ultimately provide Chicago's backbone on the blue line, namely collegiate standout Ian Mitchell and 6'4", 208-pound behemoth Alec Regula. Left wing Tyler Benson played seven games at the NHL level in 2019-20 and is a good puck-handler, while lanky 6'4" centerRaphael Lavoie has high-end skill and a quick-release shot that make him dangerous. Whats ironic is that both players were selected fourth overall in their respective draft years years in which Colorado lost the draft lottery. Ilya Samsonov was the blue-chipper in the wings, but he made a dent in the NHL in 2019-20 and isn't going anywhere. The Ducks' profile is driven by the presence of one high-end talent in Trevor Zegras, who was picked ninth overall in 2019 andtopped B/R's recent listof the league's best prospects. Center Henrik Borgstrom leads Florida's crew of playmaking neophytes, and speedy winger Owen Tippett is good enough to make the club out of camp for the second year in a row. Graduated: Zach Aston-Reece (LW) Better with age: The top 32 moments of Sidney Crosby's career. 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