2020 NHL Draft Ranking: November’s Top-62

We’ve flown through the opening quarter of the 2019-20 hockey season, as the month of November is quickly dwindling. Yet, before it comes to an end, we’re releasing our 2020 NHL Draft Ranking for the month — an article which highlights the top-62 prospect eligible for selection.

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Yes, the month of November is quickly dwindling, however, we’re attempting to inject life into the stanza by releasing our fourth 2020 NHL Draft Ranking of the 2019-20 season. In our latest ranking, we’ve once again rated 62 prospects to provide you with more information as well as a greater understanding of this campaign’s incredibly deep and talented crop of young players.

One aspect which you will surely identify within this month’s ranking is that fact that there was a great deal of change since our October ranking was released. Now, this change isn’t found deep in the second round or even the first round alone, but as high as the top-10 overall. With more than a month’s time having passed since our October 2020 NHL Draft Ranking was released, we were afforded with ample time to evaluate and rank each and every prospect prior to publishing this month’s edition.

Rory Kerins of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Rory Kerins, ranked 60th overall in November, has impressed time and time again for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds this season. (Photo Credit: Terry Wilson/OHL Images.)

For example, two stunning Swedish defenders in Emil Andrae and Helge Grans jumped considerably within our November ranking, and so too did a trio of OHLers by the names of Ryan O’Rourke, Tyson Foerster, and Rory Kerins. On the other hand, a number of prospects whose stocks were soaring early on during the 2019-20 season have begun to fall back to Earth. Namely there are Antonio Stranges, Will Cuylle and Daniel Ljungman — three excellent young players who have been somewhat slow out of the gate yet boast the abilities necessary to be selected in the first round of the 2020 NHL Draft come draft day.

In addition to these notable ascensions and dips were a plethora of other movements, all of which you will find in our top-62 ranking for the month of November below. As always, be sure to cross-reference this month’s ranking with those released in the past to see how your favourite prospect’s status has changed over time.

With this being said, check out out top-62 players for the month. As always, feel free to comment on this ranking in the field below the post!

First Round

Rank

Player Position 2018-19 Team Height Weight
1 Alexis Lafreniere LW Rimouski Oceanic (QMJHL) 6’1”

192lbs

2

Quinton Byfield C Sudbury Wolves (OHL) 6’4” 215lbs
3 Alexander Holtz RW/LW Djurgardens IF J20 (SuperElit) 6’0”

183lbs

4

Anton Lundell C/LW HIFK (Liiga) 6’1” 183lbs
5 Jamie Drysdale D Erie Otters (OHL) 5’11”

165lbs

6

Lucas Raymond RW Frolunda HC J20 (SuperElit) 5’10” 165lbs
7 Marco Rossi C Ottawa 67’s (OHL) 5’9”

179lbs

8

Cole Perfetti C Saginaw Spirit (OHL) 5’10” 185lbs
9 Tim Stutzle C Jungadler Mannheim (DNL U20) 5’11”

165lbs

10

Justin Barron Halifax Mooseheads 6’2” 187lbs
11 Yaroslav Askarov G SKA-1946 St. Petersburg (MHL) 6’3”

163lbs

12

Noel Gunler RW/LW Lulea HF (SHL) 6’1”  176lbs
13 Hendrix Lapierre C Chicoutimi Sagueneens (QMJHL) 5’11”

175lbs

14

Dawson Mercer RW Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL) 6’0” 172lbs
15 Emil Andrae D HV71 J20 (SuperElit) 5’9”

183lbs

16

Justin Sourdif C Vancouver Giants (WHL) 5’11 165lbs
17 Helge Grans D Malmo Redhawks J20 (SuperElit) 6’3”

192lbs

18

Zion Nybeck RW HV71 J20 (SuperElit) 5’8” 176lbs
19 Ty Smilanic LW U.S U18 Team (US NTDP) 6’1”

178lbs

20

Dylan Holloway C Okotoks Oilers (AJHL) 6’0” 192lbs
21 Kaiden Guhle D Prince Albert Raiders (WHL) 6’3”

187lbs

22

Ryan O’Rourke D Sault Ste.Marie Greyhounds (OHL) 6’2” 180lbs
23 Kasper Simontaival RW Tappara (Liiga) 5’9”

172lbs

24

Mavrik Bourque C Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL) 5’10” 165lbs
25 Connor Zary C Kamloops Blazers (WHL) 6’0”

174lbs

26

Jake Sanderson D U.S. U18 Team (US NTDP) 6’1” 170lbs
27 Roni Hirvoven C Assat (Liiga) 5’9”

165lbs

28

Martin Chromiak LW HK Dunkla Trencin (Tipsport Liga) 6’0” 179lbs
29 Antonio Stranges C/LW London Knights (OHL) 5’10”

170lbs

30

Jeremie Poirier D Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL) 6’0” 195lbs
31 Seth Jarvis RW Portland Winterhawks (WHL) 5’9”

165lbs

Round Two

Rank

Player Position 2018-19 Team Height Weight
32 Dylan Peterson C U.S. U18 Team (US NTDP) 6’4”

185lbs

33

Tyson Foerster  C Barrie Colts (OHL) 5’11” 175lbs
34 Jake Neighbours LW Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL) 5’11”

201lbs

35

Logan Morrison  C Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL) 5’11” 170lbs
36 Alexander Pashin  F Tolpar Ufa (MHL) 5’7”

155lbs

37

Jaromir Pytlik C Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds (OHL) 6’3” 196lbs
38 Tyler Tullio  C Oshawa Generals (OHL) 5’9”

165lbs

39

Jacob Perreault C Sarnia Sting (OHL) 5’11” 198lbs
40 Luke Tuch  LW U.S.U18 Team (US NTDP) 6’2”

205lbs

41

Jean-Luc Foudy C Windsor Spitfires (OHL) 5’11” 170lbs
42 Lukas Cormier D Charlottetown Islanders (QMJHL) 5’8”

170lbs

43

Theo Rochette C Chicoutimi Sagueneens (QMJHL) 5’10” 160lbs
44 Lleyton Moore D Oshawa Generals (OHL) 5’9”

165lbs

45

Jan Mysak LW HC Litvinov (Tipsport Extraliga) 6’0” 176lbs
46 Luke Evangelista RW London Knights (OHL) 5’11”

165lbs

47

Ozzy Wiesblatt  RW Prince Albert Raiders (WHL) 5’10” 195lbs
48 Daniel Ljungman  C Linkoping JC H20 (SuperElit) 6’0”

161lbs

49

Will Cuylle LW Windsor Spitfires (OHL) 6’2” 201lbs
50 Daniil Gushchin RW Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL) 5’8”

161lbs

51

Lukas Reichel F Eisbaren Berlin (DEL) 6’0” 170lbs
52 Rodion Amirov LW Tolpar Ufa (MHL) 6’0”

170lbs

53

Michael Benning D Sherwood Park Crusaders (AJHL) 5’9” 170lbs
54 Braden Schneider D Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL) 6’2”

210lbs

55

Veeti Miettinen RW Kiekko-Espoo U20 (Jr. A SM-Liiga) 5’9” 160lbs
56 Topi Niemela D Karpat (Liiga) 6’0”

165lbs

57

Tyler Kleven  D U.S. U18 Team (US NTDP) 6’4” 201lbs
58 Vasili Ponomaryov  C Shawinigan Catarctes (QMJHL) 6’0”

176lbs

59

Carter Savoie LW Sherwood Park Crusaders (AJHL) 5’9” 170lbs
60 Rory Kerins C Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 5’11”

172lbs

61

Hayden Fowler C Erie Otters (OHL) 5’10” 185lbs
62 Ryan Francis RW Cape Breton Eagles (QMJHL) 5’9”

172lbs

2020 NHL Draft Ranking: October’s Top-62

We’re already a month into the 2019-20 season, which means that it is time to unveil our 2020 NHL Draft Ranking for the month of October. In this edition, we’ve expanded our ranking to include a whopping 62 players!

The 2019-20 hockey season is in full swing, which means that the time has come to reveal our second 2020 NHL Draft Ranking of the campaign. Although it’s been a mere month since we last convened, there has been a great deal of change within our ranking — particularly in the 11-25th overall range. While some prospects have slipped slightly, others have risen owing to their red-hot starts or consistency at both ends of the ice.

At the top of the board, however, there was no change since our September Ranking was released. For the time being, Alexis Lafreniere of the Rimouski Oceanic holds down the top spot — although Quinton Byfield of the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves doesn’t trail far behind. Following Lafreniere and Byfield are a pair of lethal Swedish forwards in Lucas Raymond and Alexander Holtz — one a playmaker and the other a pure sniper who can both change the course of any given game. Seizing the fifth-overall spot in the month’s ranking is Anton Lundell, a fiery Finnish forward whose strength lies in his on-ice versatility.

Byfield_TW_CHL_8677 (Photo Credit: CHL Images)
Quinton Byfield exploded out of the gate to begin his 2019-20 OHL season, a major reason why he’s going to challenge Alexis Lafreniere for first overall in the 2020 NHL Draft. (Photo Credit: CHL Images)

New to October’s Ranking is the introduction of an additionally ranked 32 prospects — each of which coming together to form our projected second-round of the 2020 NHL Draft at this point of the season. Continuing on with the trend set by those ranked in the top-31, you’ll find that a large number of prospects ranked in the 31-62nd overall range compete in the CHL’s Quebec Major Junior League. With this being said, the 2020 NHL Draft could come to be regarded as one of the QMJHL’s strongest prospect classes in recent history, as the league will put forth a deep arsenal of players home to different positions and potentials on the ice.

In all, the 2020 NHL Draft remains poised to present one of the deepest and most highly skilled classes of prospects that we have seen in quite some time. With players of first-round talent surely to be selected in the second-round and beyond, each and every NHL organization will truly hold the ability to acquire a game-changing player when they take to the stage on draft night in Montreal, Quebec.

The Top-62 Prospects

As mentioned above, we’ve expanded our top-31 ranking into a top-62 version, as we are now incorporating the players we’re projecting to be chosen in the second-round of the 2020 NHL Draft. For ease of reading, we’ve separated the first and second rounds into two separate tables. If you’d like to cross-reference October’s Draft Ranking with our initial top-32 ranking released in September, be sure to follow the link below.

And now, without any further ado, here is our 2020 NHL Draft Ranking for the month of October. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below!

Round One

Rank

Player Position 2018-19 Team Height Weight

1

Alexis Lafreniere LW Rimouski Oceanic (QMJHL) 6’1”

192lbs

2 Quinton Byfield C Sudbury Wolves (OHL) 6’4”

215lbs

3

Lucas Raymond RW Frolunda HC J20 (SuperElit) 5’10”

165lbs

4

Alexander Holtz RW/LW Djurgardens IF J20 (SuperElit) 6’0” 183lbs
5 Anton Lundell C/LW HIFK (Liiga) 6’1”

183lbs

6

Jamie Drysdale D Erie Otters (OHL) 5’11” 165lbs
7 Tim Stutzle C Jungadler Mannheim (DNL U20) 5’11”

165lbs

8

Cole Perfetti

C Saginaw Spirit (OHL) 5’10” 185lbs
9 Marco Rossi C Ottawa 67’s (OHL) 5’9”

179lbs

10

Hendrix Lapierre C Chicoutimi Sagueneens (QMJHL) 5’11” 175lbs
11 Yaroslav Askarov G SKA-1946 St. Petersburg (MHL) 6’3”

163lbs

12

Noel Gunler RW/LW Lulea HF J20 (SuperElit) 6’1”  176lbs
13 Justin Barron Halifax Mooseheads 6’2”

187lbs

14

Antonio Stranges C/LW London Knights (OHL) 5’10” 170lbs
15 Dylan Holloway C Okotoks Oilers (AJHL) 6’0”

192lbs

16

Justin Sourdif C Vancouver Giants (WHL) 5’11 165lbs
17 Zion Nybeck RW HV71 (SuperElit) 5’8″ 176lbs

18

Kaiden Guhle D Prince Albert Raiders (WHL) 6’3” 187lbs
19 Emil Andrae D HV71 J20 (SuperElit) 5’9”

183lbs

20

Helge Grans D Malmo Redhawks J20 (SuperElit) 6’3” 192lbs
21 Jacob Perreault C Sarnia Sting (OHL) 5’11”

198lbs

22

Dawson Mercer RW Drummondville Voltiguers (QMJHL) 6’0″ 172lbs
23 Ty Smilanic LW U.S U18 Team (US NTDP) 6’1”

178lbs

24

Kasper Simontaival RW Tappara (Liiga) 5’9” 172lbs
25 Jake Sanderson D U.S. U18 Team (US NTDP) 6’1”

170lbs

26

Martin Chromiak LW HK Dunkla Trencin (Tipsport Liga) 6’0” 179lbs
27 Connor Zary C Kamloops Blazers (WHL) 6’0”

174lbs

28

Luke Tuch  LW U.S.U18 Team (US NTDP) 6’2” 205lbs
29 Dylan Peterson C U.S. U18 Team (US NTDP) 6’4”

185lbs

30

Lleyton Moore D Oshawa Generals (OHL) 5’9” 165lbs
31 Will Cuylle LW Windsor Spitfires (OHL) 6’2”

201lbs

Round Two

Rank Player Position 2018-19 Team Height Weight
32 Seth Jarvis RW Portland Winterhawks (WHL) 5’9” 165lbs
33 Mavrik Bourque C Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL) 5’10” 165lbs
34 Jaromir Pytlik C Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds (OHL) 6’3” 196lbs
35 Roni Hirvoven C Assat (Liiga) 5’9” 165lbs
36 Daniel Ljungman  C Linkoping JC H20 (SuperElit) 6’0” 161lbs
37 Logan Morrison  C Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL) 5’11” 170lbs
38 Alexander Pashin  F Tolpar Ufa (MHL) 5’7” 155lbs
39 Tyler Tullio  C Oshawa Generals (OHL) 5’9” 165lbs
40 Jean-Luc Foudy C Windsor Spitfires (OHL) 5’11” 170lbs
41 Ryan O’Rourke D Sault Ste.Marie Greyhounds (OHL) 6’2” 180lbs
42 Jeremie Poirier D Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL) 6’0” 195lbs
43 Jake Neighbours LW Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL) 5’11” 201lbs
44 Jan Mysak LW HC Litvinov (Tipsport Extraliga) 6’0” 176lbs
45 Rodion Amirov LW Tolpar Ufa (MHL) 6’0” 170lbs
46 Luke Evangelista RW London Knights (OHL) 5’11” 165lbs
47 Lukas Cormier D Charlottetown Islanders (QMJHL) 5’8” 170lbs
48 Ozzy Wiesblatt  RW Prince Albert Raiders (WHL) 5’10” 195lbs
49 Michael Benning D Sherwood Park Crusaders (AJHL) 5’9” 170lbs
50 Theo Rochette C Chicoutimi Sagueneens (QMJHL) 5’10” 160lbs
51 Braden Schneider D Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL) 6’2” 210lbs
52 Topi Niemala D Karpat (Liiga) 6’0” 165lbs
53 Tyler Kleven  D U.S. U18 Team (US NTDP) 6’4” 201lbs
54 Veeti Miettinen RW Kiekko-Espoo U20 (Jr. A SM-Liiga) 5’9” 160lbs
55 Tyson Foerster  C Barrie Colts (OHL) 5’11” 175lbs
56 Vasili Ponomaryov  C Shawinigan Catarctes (QMJHL) 6’0” 176lbs
57 Carter Savoie LW Sherwood Park Crusaders (AJHL) 5’9” 170lbs
58 Daniil Gushchin RW Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL) 5’8” 161lbs
59 Oliver Suni RW Oshawa Generals (OHL) 6’2” 187lbs
60 Alexander Nikishin  D MHK Krylia Sovetov Moskva (MHL) 6’3” 196lbs
61 Reid Valade RW Kitchener Rangers (OHL) 5’10” 165lbs
62 Noah Delemont D Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL) 5’9” 165lbs

NHL Prospect Profile: Quinton Byfield

Quinton Byfield of the Sudbury Wolves is one of the top prospects eligible for the 2020 NHL Draft. Learn about what skills make Byfield such a dominant young force by reading his prospect profile, here.

– Quinton Byfield –

Sudbury Wolves (OHL) | Centre | 2020 NHL Draft Eligible

Newmarket, Ontario | Aug. 19th, 2002 | 6-foot-4, 215-pounds

Quinton Byfield has long been destined to become a star player at the NHL-level, as the native of Newmarket, Ontario has displayed virtually zero holes in his game while continuing to improve his broad skill-set at a rapid pace. A former standout with the York Simcoe Express of the ETA, Byfield buried 38 goals and 92 points in 34 regular season games ahead of the 2018 OHL Draft — an event during which Byfield heard his name called with the first overall selection.

Since ascending to the OHL-level, Byfield has become a dominant force for the Sudbury Wolves. In fact, in his rookie season of 2018-19, Byfield became a driving force within the Wolves’ offence as well as a responsible two-way centre to boot. In the attacking zone, Byfield collected 29 goals and 61 points en route to the Emms Family Award as the OHL’s Rookie of the Year. Further, in his defensive end, Byfield routinely used his towering frame to dispossess opposing forwards while also enjoying significant time on the penalty kill too.

In short, there are many reasons why Byfield was chosen first overall in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection, and a great many reasons more as to why he will be seriously considered by the NHL franchise who holds the first overall selection in the 2020 NHL Draft.

Strengths:

  • Skating Speed and Strength
  • Shot Strength, Release, and Accuracy
  • Innate Physicality
  • On-Ice Vision
  • Special Teams Abilities

As mentioned above, the true strength of Byfield’s game lies in his well-rounded skill set and versatility on the ice. As a tremendous skater known for his smooth stride and incredible acceleration, Byfield can create separation between himself and the fastest of opponents and features the agility necessary to change direction without losing his momentum. This foundational skill allows Byfield to protect the puck with ease when combined with his size — a mixture which makes Byfield virtually unstoppable once he hits full speed.

Related: NHL Draft — Canadian Player Profiles

Having rushed into the opposing zone and created time and space for himself, Byfield stands as a versatile and unpredictable offensive threat. Owing to the strength of his shot and its lightning-quick release, Byfield can pound the puck on goal in the blink-of-an-eye and is remarkably consistent in his accuracy. Even if unable to beat an opposing goaltender cleanly, Byfield’s heavy shot can generate a slew of rebounds for his teammates to pounce upon. Further, there are Byfield’s playmaking abilities — his on-ice vision and creativity stand at an elite level and make him unpredictable given the fact that opposing defenders must respect both his ability to pass the puck as well as shoot it.

Perhaps the most impressive facet of Byfield’s game is his ability to play in all situations with relative ease. As a rookie in Sudbury, Byfield routinely killed penalties as well as saw time on the Wolves’ top power play unit and was remarkably effective in doing so. Actively being coached to become a well-rounded and capable player in al three zones of the ice, Byfield’s on-ice maturity in addition to his intimidating size will make him a wildly attractive prospect ahead of the 2020 NHL Draft.

Weaknesses:

  • Physical Play

Given his towering 6-foot-4 and 215-pound frame, it may come as somewhat of a surprise to see “physical play” listed as Byfield’s area for improvement. However, while Byfeild certainly uses his size well when it comes to protecting the puck, he would do well to use his incredible strength on a more frequent basis on the defensive side of the puck. Quick to use his stick to poke the puck free — a tactic which works quite well, mind you — Byfield would benefit if willing to throw his weight around on a more frequent basis.

 

Once he reaches the NHL-level in a few years’ time, Byfield will need to rely on his size on a consistent basis in addition to his elite-level skill set if he wishes to enjoy persistent success. So, why not begin to play and perfect an NHL-style of hockey at the OHL-level — doing so will surely allow Byfield to enjoy a much smoother transition to hockey’s highest level.

Future Potential:

Once he reaches the NHL-level and is a few seasons into his career, Byfield will stand eerily reminiscent to a smooth-skating version of Evgeni Malkin. Blessed with incredible size and strength, Byfield will likely come to be referred to as the next generation’s power-forward — a player known for his size but one who also features soft hands, on-ice versatility, and the confidence necessary to thrive regardless of the situation of pressure placed upon him.

So, although Alexis Lafrenière of the QMJHL’s Rimouski Oceanic will receive considerable consideration by the franchise which holds the first overall selection in the 2020 NHL Draft, so too will Byfield. And, given Byfield’s significant growth as a player this past season, it appears as though the choice between Lafrenière and Byfield on draft day will be much more difficult than originally thought.

2020 NHL Draft Ranking: September’s Top-31

Although the 2020 NHL Draft remains 10 months away, the time has come to unveil our second Draft Ranking of the 2019-20 season — September’s Top-31 Prospects.

With pre-season hockey well underway and the 2019-20 regular season upon us, the time has come to unveil our 2020 NHL Draft Ranking for the month of September.

Since publishing our off-season 2020 NHL Draft Ranking in June, a great deal of change has taken place. Although the NHL Draft itself remains a whopping ten months away, prospects eligible for the upcoming Entry Draft have already begun to battle for seeding as they enter into what will be arguably the most important campaign of their respective playing careers… to date.

Related: All NHL Draft Rankings

For most, the first opportunity to impress during the 2019-20 campaign came during the annual Hlinka Gretzky Cup — a tournament held in early August which saw Team Russia claim the Gold Medal over Team Canada in a hard-fought championship game. All throughout the event, players from eight powerhouse hockey nations strove to showcase their unique abilities while establishing themselves as high-end NHL prospects. For some players, excellent showings in the event allowed them to vault up various draft rankings, while others stumbled in the spotlight and have slipped slightly as a result.

Cole Perfetti of the Saginaw Spirit. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Cole Perfetti wasted little time before establishing himself as a premier talent eligible for the 2020 NHL Draft. (Photo Credit: Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

However, it is important to remember that players are evaluated over the course of the entire season rather than during strictly one tournament alone. This reality will allow a vast numbers of prospects to dramatically improve their skills and abilities ahead of the the 2020 NHL Draft — after all, everyone develops at a different pace both physically an technically.

With this being said, let’s dive into September’s Draft Ranking to attain a greater understanding of this year’s draft class — after all, it is absolutely loaded with high end talent.

The Top-31 Prospects

Well, here it is — our second NHL Draft Ranking of the 2019-20 season. As mentioned above, be sure to check out our off-season Draft Ranking to gain a greater understanding of how each and every prospect has either progressed or regressed to kick-off the current campaign. There’s a whack of elite talent eligible for the 2020 NHL Draft, so be sure to take a moment and familiarize yourself with the names below.

As we progress through the campaign, we’ll also begin to include in-depth prospect profiles for the majority of the players which you see below.

And, as always, feel free to drop a comment on our ranking below the article to kick-start the conversation surrounding this year’s crop of talented youngsters.

Rank Player Position 2018-19 Team Height Weight
1 Alexis Lafreniere LW Rimouski Oceanic (QMJHL) 6’1” 192lbs
2 Quinton Byfield C Sudbury Wolves (OHL) 6’4” 215lbs
3 Lucas Raymond RW Frolunda HC J20 (SuperElit) 5’10” 165lbs
4 Alexander Holtz RW/LW Djurgardens IF J20 (SuperElit) 6’0” 183lbs
5 Anton Lundell C/LW HIFK (Liiga) 6’1” 183lbs
6 Tim Stutzle C Jungadler Mannheim (DNL U20) 5’11” 165lbs
7 Cole Perfetti C Saginaw Spirit (OHL) 5’10” 185lbs
8 Jamie Drysdale D Erie Otters (OHL) 5’11” 165lbs
9 Hendrix Lapierre C Chicoutimi Sagueneens (QMJHL) 5’11” 175lbs
10 Marco Rossi C Ottawa 67’s (OHL) 5’9” 179lbs
11 Justin Barron Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL) 6’2” 187lbs
12 Dylan Holloway C Okotoks Oilers (AJHL) 6’0” 192lbs
13 Yaroslav Askarov G SKA-1946 St. Petersburg (MHL) 6’3” 163lbs
14 Noel Gunler RW/LW Lulea HF J20 (SuperElit) 6’1”  176lbs
15 Kaiden Guhle D Prince Albert Raiders (WHL) 6’3” 187lbs
16 Justin Sourdif C Vancouver Giants (WHL) 5’11 165lbs
17 Dawson Mercer RW Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL) 6’0” 172lbs
18 Ty Smilanic LW U.S U18 Team (US NTDP) 6’1” 178lbs
19 Jacob Perreault C Sarnia Sting (OHL) 5’11” 198lbs
20 Zion Nybeck RW HV71 J20 (SuperElit) 5’8” 176lbs
21  Emil Andrae D HV71 J20 (SuperElit) 5’9” 183lbs
22 Helge Grans D Malmo Redhawks J20 (SuperElit) 6’3” 192lbs
23 Kasper Simontaival RW Tappara (Liiga) 5’9” 172lbs
24 Antonio Stranges C/LW London Knights (OHL) 5’10” 170lbs
25 Jake Sanderson D U.S. U18 Team (US NTDP) 6’1” 170lbs
26 Will Cuylle LW Windsor Spitfires (OHL) 6’2” 201lbs
27 Martin Chromiak LW HK Dunkla Trencin (Tipsport Liga) 6’0” 179lbs
28 Connor Zary C Kamloops Blazers (WHL) 6’0” 174lbs
29 Dylan Peterson C U.S U18 Team (US NTDP) 6’4” 185lbs
30 Lleyton Moore D Oshawa Generals (OHL) 5’9” 165lbs
31 Seth Jarvis RW Portland Winterhawks (WHL) 5’9” 165lbs

20 Honourable Mentions

Although they weren’t able to crack the top-31 in this month’s edition, keep a close eye on these 20 honourable mentions — all of which have the talent and potential to develop into first round selections come June of 2020.

HM Rodion Amirov LW Tolpar Ufa (MHL)
HM Michael Benning D Sherwood Park Crusaders (AJHL)
HM Mavrik Bourque C Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL)
HM Lukas Cormier D Charlottetown Islanders (QMJHL)
HM Noah Delemont D Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL)
HM Jean-Luc Foudy C Windsor Spitfires (OHL)
HM Daniil Gushchin RW Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL)
HM Roni Hiroven  C Assat (Liiga)
HM Tyler Kleven D U.S U18 Team (US NTDP)
HM Logan Morrison C Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL)
HM Jan Mysek LW HC Litvinov (Tipsport Extraliga)
HM Alexander Nikishin D MHK Krylia Sovetov Moskva (MHL)
HM Jake Neighbours LW Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)
HM Jaromir Pytlik C Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds (OHL)
HM Jeremie Poirier D Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)
HM Vasili Ponomaryov C Shawinigan Catarctes (QMJHL)
HM Theo Rochette C Chicoutimi Sagueneens (QMJHL)
HM Braden Schneider D Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)
HM Ty Tullio C Oshawa Generals (OHL)
HM Ozzy Wiesblatt RW Prince Albert Raiders (WHL)

2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup: The Top-9 Performers

The first major international tournament of the 2019-20 season — the Hlinka Gretzky Cup — is in the books. Who were the top performers of the tournament, and who shone the brightest? Find out, here.

The first major international tournament of the 2019-20 hockey season is officially in the books, as Team Russia knocked off Team Canada to claim the Gold Medal at the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup. This Cup, which is held annually, signals the beginning of the 2019-20 season, as the crop of young prospects eligible for the upcoming 2020 NHL Draft will begin to take their respective game’s to the next level in hopes of being chosen by an NHL franchise.

Related: 2020 NHL Draft Ranking — Offseason Edition

However, the elite of the elite who competed within this year’s Hlinka Gretzky Cup should have little issue in attracting the attention of numerous NHL organizations. Widely regarded as one of the strongest and deepest draft classes in recent history, the 2002-born crop of NHL prospects varies widely in position and age — yet more than fifteen of which hold the skill set and potential necessary to evolve into dynamic and game changing players at hockey’s highest level.

Not surprisingly, it was these players who wowed the hockey world during the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup.

Despite their varying nationalities, upwards of fifteen players stated their cases as legitimate NHL prospects with blindingly bright futures in the game. However, who exactly were these top performers and what did they put forth in order to be included within this “top performers’ article?

Let’s take a closer look.

The Top Performers

The 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup proved to be an outstanding display of skill and ability, as a number of jaw-dropping goals were scored and highlight-reel saves were made. However, consistency is the key in the world of hockey prospects, and these youngsters listed below in particular exuded exactly such throughout this year’s Hlinka Gretzky Cup.

Yaroslav Askarov

Team: Russia

Tournament Statistics: 4GP: 1.25 GAA, 960% SVP

It’s been a tremendous 24 months for Russian goaltender Yaroslav Askarov, as the youngster has led his nation to a medal in four major international tournaments — the most significant of which being a Gold Medal in the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup. Described by Craig Button of TSN as a potentially generational goaltender, Askarov has done nothing other than solidify this belief through his incredibly consistent and capable play despite the continually improving strength of his competition.

Already projected by many independent scouting services as a potential top-15 choice in the 2020 NHL Draft, Askarov put forth an impressive display all throughout the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup. Utilizing his impressive 6-foot-3 frame to his advantage, Askarov regularly stymied his opponents owing to his stellar mobility within the crease and his ability to cut down shooting angles with a sense of calm typically reserved for seasoned veterans. Slated to star for SKA-1946 St. Petersburg of the MHL in 2019-20, it goes without saying that Askarov will be a constant in international competition for Russia now and long into the future.

Quinton Byfield

Team: Canada

Tournament Statistics: 5GP: 3G, 2A

The first overall choice in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection wasted little time before showcasing himself on the international stage, using his size, strength and skill to dominate his opponents on a game by game basis. Owing to his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame, Byfield commanded possession of the puck for his nation and was seemingly impossible to knock off of the puck when in possession — which was the majority when he was on the ice.

The defining moment of the tournament for Byfield came in Team Canada’s round robin victory over Team Czech Republic, when the native of Newmarket, Ontario put his electrifying skill and creativity on display. After receiving a pass to the right of his opponents’ goal, Byfield routinely put the puck between his legs before firing a crafty shot to the far side of the net. Despite the complexity of the play itself, Byfield’s elite skill set and confidence made the play itself appear remarkably easy — a goal which came to define has play throughout the tournament.

Martin Chromiak

Team: Slovakia

Tournament Statistics: 4GP: 2G, 3A

In his second showing at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, Martin Chromiak displayed the elite skill set which made him the second overall pick in the recent 2019 CHL Import Draft. Although he won’t report to the Kingston Frontenacs this coming season, Chromiak’s abilities will surely be on full display for the hockey world to enjoy in the years to come.

Despite his average stature, Chromiak plays a big game on the ice owing to his stable and purposeful skating stride. Not afraid to take the puck to the net, Chromiak can protect possession with relative ease and drive hard to the goal in order to generate offensive opportunities for his team. What’s more is that Chromiak boasts soft hands, ample confidence with the puck, and the ability to thrive when short-handed as well as on the power play. This impressive versatility — which was on full display during the Hlinka Gretzky Cup — has added even greater value to Chromiak’s stock as an NHL prospect.

Noah Ellis

Team: USA

Tournament Statistics: 4GP: 2G, 2A

It wasn’t a spectacular showing for the United States at this year’s Hlinka Gretzky Cup, however, there was one particular bright spot worth noting. On defence for the U.S.A. stood Noah Ellis — a sizeable and well-rounded defender who brought stability and a sprinkling of offensive flair to his nation’s blue line. Although somewhat of an unknown in America’s ever-growing hockey program, Ellis competed tirelessly on a game-by-game basis during the Hlinka Gretzky Cup and proved why he recently committed to play for the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the NCAA in two season’s time.

Standing 6-foot-1 and 185-pounds, Ellis’ intimidating frame was on full display for Team U.S.A. throughout the tournament, as the youngster acted as a pillar on his team’s blue line while helping to fuel his nation’s transition game. Known for his calmness under pressure and ability to fire crisp first passes, Ellis was crucial in driving Team U.S.A.’s offensive attack and was able to contribute too — adding a team-best two goals and two assists for a total of four points.

Hendrix Lapierre

Team: Canada

Tournament Statistics: 5GP: 3G, 8A

Hendrix Lapierre was chosen by the Chicoutimi Saguenéens first overall in the 2018 QMJHL Entry Draft, and for good reason. In his rookie season of major-junior play in 2018-19, Lapierre blasted home 13 goals and a total of 45 points in just 48 games played — an output which saw him take home the Michel Bergeron Trophy as the league’s Offensive Rookie of the Year. Fortunately for Team Canada during the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, Lapierre continued his torrent offensive pace by collecting a whopping 11 points in a mere five tournament contests.

The facets of Lapierre’s game which shone the brightest during the Hlinka Gretzky Cup were the native of Gatineau, Quebec’s purposeful skating stride, speed, and confidence when in possession of the puck. As a strong and stable skater, Lapierre displayed his willingness to charge hard to the goal in search of offensive opportunities. Once in close, Lapierre routinely showcased his crisp and accurate wrist shot. Moreover, Lapierre’s raw skating speed allowed him to close and maintain gaps with ease as well as act as a menace on both the penalty kill and power play. Once of greater strength, Lapierre will surely become an impact player within the professional ranks for years to come.

Brad Lambert

Team: Finland

Tournament Statistics: 3GP: 3G, 0A

Although of Canadian descent, Brad Lambert has spent the last few years of his life competing in Finland and therefore skates for Team Finland in international competition. In a few years’ time, however, Canada will surely be wishing for Lambert to suit up for their nation — the late 2003-born forward has all the makings of a future superstar at the NHL-level. Despite competing against players two years older than him at the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, Lambert showcased an elite package of skill and ability which will see him in contention for first overall come the 2022 NHL Draft.

In his three games played for Team Finland at this year’s tournament, Lambert totalled three goals — all of which coming in a quarterfinal matchup against a highly competitive squad from Switzerland. Despite skating as the second-youngest player within this year’s cup, Lambert’s sizzling shot and ability to pound the puck on-goal with authority helped to springboard Finland to a semi-finals matchup with Team Russia. Although Finland would ultimately place fourth in the tournament, Lambert — alongside Aatu Räty — stand as two gems within their nation’s developmental program.

William Eklund

Team: Sweden

Tournament Statistics: 5GP: 1G, 5A

Team Sweden took home the Bronze Medal at this year’s Hlinka Gretzky Cup, but they surely wouldn’t have been able to do so without the tenacious play put forth by William Eklund. Consistently one of the hard-working players on the ice, Eklund netted one goal and four assists in his five games played during the tournament — a number of which came during crucial points in time. In fact, not only did Eklund score a game-tying goal late in the third-period against the United States, but he also fashioned a jaw-dropping assist which gave his nation an early 1-0 lead in their Bronze Medal battle with Finland.

What aspects of Eklund’s game stood out the most, you ask? Well, firstly there was Eklund’s unwavering energy level and determination to generate offence with each passing shift. Tenacious in his pursuit of the puck and virtually impossible to dis-possess once in possession, Eklund displayed an outrageous ability to protect the puck despite his small stature and the innate ability to use the aggression of his opponents against them. Having created time and space for himself, Eklund’s creativity and confidence with the puck shone bright — the youngster executed highlight-reel passes with apparent ease and wasn’t afraid to blast his shot on-goal when opponents failed to respect its velocity and lethality.

Alexander Pashin

Team: Russia

Tournament Statistics: 5GP: 7G, 1A

Although Cole Perfetti led the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup in goal scoring with eight, Alexander Pashin’s tallies were arguably more valuable given their timeliness. In fact, not only did Pashin record a hat-trick in Team Russia’s 4-1 victory over Team Finland in the semi-finals, but the youngster added another two of his seven total goals in the Gold Medal game versus Team Canada. Known for his lighting quick release and ability to pick corners with impressive velocity, Pashin’s goal scoring prowess proved to be nothing short of critical to Team Russia’s U18 success.

 

While he is of a smaller stature given his 5-foot-8, 155-pound frame, Pashin has continued to display the ability to raise his game to the next level when the situation demands. As a big time player who excels on the international stage, Pashin should quickly become a staple within Tolpar Ufa’s lineup when he returns to the MHL in Russia for the upcoming 2019-20 campaign. If able to play with both poise and consistency against physically intimidating competition, Pashin could draw comparisons to Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning ahead of the 2020 NHL Draft.

Cole Perfetti

Team: Canada

Tournament Statistics: 5GP: 8G, 4A

On ice intelligence is increasingly being viewed as more valuable than size and strength in the world of hockey — a fact which will undoubtedly play into Cole Perfetti’s favour ahead of the 2020 NHL Draft. Widely viewed as one of the smartest and easily adaptable prospects poised to compete in the OHL this coming campaign, Perfetti can process any given play at a remarkable speed and has the ability to stand one step ahead of his competition as a direct result.

This reality was on full display throughout the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, as Perfetti regularly outsmarted his opponents in all three zones of the ice. This ability proved to be most effective in the offensive zone, as Perfetti routinely evaded his foes before moving to open spaces in order to take passes and fire his vastly underrated shot on goal — decision making which allowed him to single-handedly drive Team Canada’s offensive game. Once stronger and of greater foot-speed, Perfetti will be down-right unstoppable.

Five Honourable Mentions

Here are an additional five players who enjoyed tremendous showings throughout the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup. In short, all of which should be viewed as elite prospects ahead of their respective NHL Drafts.

  • Jamie Drysdale – Team Canada: (5GP: 0G, 5A)
  • Roni Hirvonen – Team Finland: (3GP: 4G, 1A)
  • Daniel Ljungman – Team Sweden: (5GP: 4G, 1A)
  • Aatu Räty – Team Finland: (3GP: 2G, 2A)
  • Justin Sourdif – Team Canada: (5GP: 1G, 4A)

The Top 2002-Born OHLers to Watch in 2019-20

The 2020 NHL Draft will be loaded with elite talent, and a great deal of which will come from the Ontario Hockey League. In fact, the 2002-born group of OHL prospects is one of the strongest classes which they league has ever developed. So, which players should you keep an eye on throughout the 2019-20 OHL campaign? Look no further.

The upcoming 2020 NHL Entry Draft — and the first round in particular — will be absolutely loaded with elite talent from the Ontario Hockey League.

In fact, the 2002-born class of OHL prospects is one of the strongest crops which the league has produced in quite some time, as there are prospects at each position of the ice who hold the potential to become star players at the NHL level. Up front stand the likes of Quinton Byfield, Cole Perfetti, Jacob Perreault and Antonio Stranges, while defenders by the names of Jamie Drysdale, Lleyton Moore, and Donovan Sebrango can protect as well as attack. In goal there is Tristan Lennox, a netminder widely regarded as the top Canadian goaltending prospect in decades — although, he is not eligible until the 2021 NHL Draft.

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The 2018 OHL Priority Selection featured one of the deepest draft classes in league history. (Photo Credit: Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

In short, there will be a plethora of young talent on display throughout the OHL this coming season, with a number of top NHL prospects set to display their skill in local barns throughout Ontario and into the U.S. However, are you unsure of which teams to target and which players to watch this coming campaign?

Don’t fret, we’ve got you covered.

Below, you’ll meet the top 2002-born players to watch this coming OHL season and learn about their past success’ and exactly what abilities make them unique. Further, we’ve listed an additional five prospects to monitor throughout the coming season, as these honourable mentions could develop into first round talents come to the end of the 2019-20 OHL season.

The Top-10 2002-Born Players to Watch

Here are, arguably, the top ten 2002-born prospects set to grace OHL ice this coming season.

Below, you’ll find what team each prospect played for in 2018-19, their respective statistics, as well as where each youngster will need to improve — if at all — if they wish to take the next step forward in their personal developments.

Quinton Byfield

2018-19 Team: Sudbury Wolves

2018-19 Statistics: 64GP: 29G, 61PTS

Although Alexis Lafreniere is widely expected to be chosen first overall in the 2020 NHL Draft, Quinton Byfield holds the skill and ability to challenge Lafreniere for the prestigious distinction. A towering centre given his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame, Byfield is blessed with terrific size and knows exactly how to use it at both ends of the ice in order to benefit the Sudbury Wolves. What’s more, however, is the fact that Byfield is a tremendous skater in addition to his size, as the youngster features a smooth stride and explosive acceleration.

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Quinton Byfield of the Sudbury Wolves. (Photo Credit: CHL Images)

It is Byfield’s size, skating stride, and natural offensive abilities which will make him a player worth watching throughout the 2019-20 OHL campaign. A ferocious competitor, Byfield displayed the ability to lead his team single-handedly as a rookie and will surely stand substantially improved in his sophomore campaign. In addition to Byfield’s blistering offensive game and of note is the youngster’s two-way play, as the native of Newmarket, Ontario is surprisingly responsible and strong within his defensive end.

Will Cuylle

2018-19 Team: Windsor Spitfires

2018-19 Statistics: 63GP: 26G, 41PTS

In his rookie season with the Windsor Spitfires in 2018-19, Wil Cuylle took significant strides in justifying his trade from the Peterborough Petes. Across his initial 63 regular season games played in the OHL, Cuylle posted 26 goals and 41 points — a total which stood as the sixth highest output on the Spitfires’ roster. Now, with the 2019-20 campaign rapidly approaching, Cuylle will look to further establish himself as one of the top young power-forwards in the league.

Will Cuylle of the Windsor Spitfires. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

Boasting a 6-foot-2, 200-pound frame, Cuylle has the size necessary to command and protect the puck in the offensive zone. Having created separation from his opponents, Cuylle features a deceptive yet crisp shot which has the ability to beat goaltenders cleanly in the blink of an eye. Further, Cuylle is not afraid to go to the net in search of rebounds or loose pucks — a willingness which makes him a versatile and incredibly potent goal-scoring threat on a nightly basis.

Jamie Drysdale

2018-19 Team: Erie Otters

2018-19 Statistics: 63GP: 7G, 40 PTS

As an absolute stud during his tenure with the Toronto Marlboros of the GTHL, the Erie Otters knew exactly what the were getting when they selected Jamie Drysdale fourth-overall in the 2018 OHL Draft. A confident and smooth-skating defender, Drysdale acclimated to the OHL-level with little issue in his rookie season — hammering home seven goals and a whopping 33 assists in the process. The one blemish on Drysdale’s initial OHL campaign? A sour -24 plus/minus rating which stood as the poorest mark on his team.

Jamie Drysdale of the Erie Otters. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Jamie Drysdale of the Erie Otters. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

However, come the 2019-20 season, expect Drysdale to take to the ice as a dramatically improved two-way player. Already one of the best 2002-born defencemen in the nation, greater size and strength accumulated this past offseason should lead Drysdale to improved play at both ends of the ice. Defensively, greater strength and speed will allow Drysdale to seize the puck and fuel his team’s transition game more so than before, while an increased level of confidence alongside experience will see Drysdale become a lethal threat on the opposing blue line.

Jean-Luc Foudy

2018-19 Team: Windsor Spifires

2018-19 Statistics: 63GP: 8G, 49 PTS

Jean-Luc Foudy took the OHL by surprise in 2018-19, as the former tenth-overall selection quickly became a consistent offensive force in his rookie campaign with the Windsor Spitfires. A former standout with the Toronto Titans of the GTHL, Foudy put his playmaking abilities on full display this past season — accumulating 41 assists against eight goals scored. The driving factors behind Foudy’s playmaking prowess are his vision and confidence when in possession of the puck — two traits which allow Foudy to excel with impressive consistency.

Jean-Luc Foudy of the Windsor Spitfires. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Jean-Luc Foudy of the Windsor Spitfires. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

As Foudy takes to the ice in his second season with the Spitfires, it goes without saying that these traits will be once again amplified owing to the considerable success which he enjoyed as a rookie. If able to continuously dissect opposing defences and set up his equally skilled teammates in the process, don’t be surprised if Foudy joins his older brother Liam as a first round NHL Draft pick.

Tristan Lennox

2018-19 Team: Saginaw Spirit

2018-19 Statistics: 15GP: 2.79GAA, .907% SVP

The OHL is regularly loaded with elite young talent, however, no goaltender will be more valuable this upcoming season than Tristan Lennox of the Saginaw Spirit. Although he isn’t a towering presence in-goal, Lennox is a sizeable netminder who commands his crease with both confidence and poise. The one aspect of Lennox’s game which truly separates him from his competition is the youngster’s raw athleticism, as the native of Mississauga, Ontario features explosive movements and lightning-quick reflexes.

Tristan Lennox of the Saginaw Spirit. Photo by Natalie Shaver/OHL Images

In his rookie campaign with the Spirit, Lennox appeared in 15 regular season games as well as seven playoff contests. Although defined as Saginaw’s backup goaltender during the regular season, Lennox was thrust into the starting role in the postseason when Arizona Coyotes prospect Ivan Prosvetov fell victim to an unfortunate suspension. Despite facing an excellent foe in the eventual OHL champion Guelph Storm, Lennox was simply brilliant and single-handedly held the Spirit in their third-round matchup until the bitter end. In short, Lennox will be one of the top goaltenders in the OHL in 2019-20.

The most impressive fact? Lennox isn’t eligible for the NHL Draft until the 2020-21 season.

Logan Morrison

2018-19 Team: Hamilton Bulldogs

2018-19 Statistics: 47GP, 14G, 34PTS

Although he missed a considerable portion of the 2018-19 OHL campaign due to injury, Logan Morrison stands poised to breakout in his sophomore season. Across his 47 games played with the Bulldogs as a rookie, Morrison potted 14 goals and collected a total of 34 points — an output which stood as the ninth-most amongst all OHL rookies. Nabbed by the Bulldogs in the first round of the 2018 OHL Draft, Morrison features a versatile two-way skill set which should allow Hamilton to flourish this upcoming campaign.

Forward #9 Logan Morrison of the Hamilton Bulldogs
(Photo Credit: Brandon Taylor/OHL Images)

What’s more is that given the subtractions from the Bulldogs’ roster ahead of the 2019-20 season, Morrison will surely receive ample playing time in his first year of NHL Draft eligibility. If able to maintain his health while generating chemistry with his pre-existing line mates as well as new teammates, Morrison could rise significantly within respective draft rankings ahead of the NHL’s 2020 event.

Cole Perfetti

2018-19 Team: Saginaw Spirit

2018-19 Statistics: 63GP: 37G, 74PTS

Despite blasting home 37 goals and an OHL-best 74 points as a freshman, Cole Perfetti was unable to capture the Emms Family Award in 2018-19 as the league’s Rookie of the Year. Not only was this decision highly controversial, but it will undoubtedly serve as additional motivation for Perfetti as he embarks upon his sophomore season in the OHL. Come the 2019-20 campaign, expect Perfetti to be as explosive and productive offensively as he was in his initial year of play at the major-junior level.

Cole Perfetti of the Saginaw Spirit. Photo by Natalie Shaver/OHL Images
Cole Perfetti of the Saginaw Spirit. Photo by Natalie Shaver/OHL Images

Although his supporting cast in Saginaw this coming season will arguably be weaker than it was in 2018-19, Perfetti’s jaw-dropping vision, composure with the puck, and ability to play a complete two-way game should lead to a wealth of success for the native of Whitby, Ontario. Drafted by the Spirit with the fifth-overall selection in the 2018 OHL Draft, it is without question that Perfetti held the talent to be chosen second-overall — technicalities, however, led Perfetti to Saginaw and on the road to an incredible OHL career.

Jacob Perreault

2018-19 Team: Sarnia Sting

2018-19 Statistics: 63GP: 30G, 55PTS

Jacob Perreault’s rookie campaign in the OHL was simply sensational, as the 18th overall selection in the 2018 OHL Draft burst onto the scene in Sarnia and became an instant difference maker. Founded upon his strong frame, skating strength, and natural two-way abilities, Perreault quickly became a staple within the Sting’s attack owing to his owing to his vision and goal scoring prowess. Come to the end of the 2018-10 season, Perreault had hammered home 30 goals alongside 25 assists — an output which afforded him 55 points on the year.

Jacob Perreault of the Sarnia Sting. Photo by Luke Durda/OHL Images
Jacob Perreault of the Sarnia Sting. (Photo Credit: Luke Durda/OHL Images)

Come the 2019-20 season, expect Perreault to take yet another substantial step forward in his personal development. Sure to return to Sarnia stronger, faster, and more deadly, Perreault holds the ability to become not only a consistent goal-scorer but an elite centre-man to boot. Not afraid to mix things up physically either, Perreault’s team-oriented approach should bode well for a Sting roster soon to be laden with electrifying young talent.

Antonio Stranges

2018-19 Team: London Knights

2018-19 Statistics: 66GP: 13G, 34PTS

Could Antonio Stranges be the next coming of Mitch Marner in London?

Well, based upon Stranges’ elite puck-handling skills and creativity while in possession, it certainly goes without saying that he has the potential to do so. Although his rookie season with the Knights wasn’t exactly blistering — 13 goals and 34 points in 66 regular season contests — Stranges regularly displayed the jaw-dropping talent requisite of a future star player at the NHL-level. Now, as he enters into his sophomore campaign in the OHL, the question facing Stranges will be whether or not he can elevate his game.

Antonio Stranges of the London Knights. Photo by Luke Durda/OHL Images
(Photo Credit: Luke Durda/OHL Images)

If the past is any evidence in this regard, expect Stranges to explode this upcoming season. Sure to garner greater and more consistent playing time in a variety of situations, Stranges should quickly become a staple within the Knights’ offensive attack capable of creating and scoring goals in the blink of an eye. Although he is widely expected to be chosen in the late-first to early-second round of the upcoming 2020 NHL Draft, Stranges’ elite skill-set could push his stock much higher than initially anticipated.

Tyler Tullio

2018-19 Team: Oshawa Generals

2018-19 Statistics: 60GP: 15G, 42PTS

A former teammate of Perfetti while skating for the Vaughan Kings of the GTHL, Ty Tullio burst onto the OHL scene for the Oshawa Generals in 2018-19 and enjoyed a surprisingly productive campaign. Drafted by the Generals with the 11th overall selection in the 2018 OHL Draft, Tullio jumped into Oshawa’s lineup and immediately became a versatile offensive threat. Come to the end of his rookie season, Tullio had netted 15 goals and 42 points — an output which ranked as the eighth-best within a deep Generals’ roster.

Tyler Tullio of the Oshawa Generals. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Photo Credit: Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

Although concerns surrounding his size have long lingered, Tullio has cast aside any and all doubters owing to his impressive play over the past few years. Sure to return to the ice in 2019-20 faster and stronger than in his rookie season, Tullio will have the opportunity to develop into a vastly underrated two-way star alongside his equally talented teammates. If able to take lofty step forward in his personal progression, Tullio will stand as a hidden gem within the upcoming 2020 NHL Draft.

Five Honourable Mentions to Monitor

Although they aren’t as high profile per se as the prospects listed above, these five prospects are glowing with NHL potential. If able to enjoy successful sophomore seasons, these five youngsters could quite easily be considered as first round talent come the 2020 NHL Draft.

Butler quickly became a goal scoring threat in his rookie campaign with the Petes, and could very well score 25+ in his second season in Peterborough.

Although he played sheltered minutes in 2018-19, Hardie still managed to light the lamp with consistency — he should become a fixture offensively in Mississauga this season.

Traded to Oshawa by the Niagara IceDogs last season, Moore is a terrific skater who can process the game at an elite level. Expect him to log major minutes on the Generals’ blue line.

The late first round pick stepped into the Greyhounds’ lineup as a rookie and had an instant impact. Solid in his own zone, expect O’Rouke’s offensive output to grow as a sophomore.

Sebrango was a pleasant surprise for the Rangers as a rookie, providing offence while limiting his opposition. Expect him to flourish alongside increased playing time in 2019-20.