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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


OHL Prospect Profile: Joshua Kavanagh

The undisputed top defenceman from Northern Ontario, Josh Kavanagh displays everything an OHL team could want from a young defender; skating, intelligence, and offensive upside. An elite prospect who will represent Team NOHA at the 2019 OHL Cup, Kavanagh has showcased a mature and highly talented game that should translate well into the major junior level.

– Joshua Kavanagh –

Sudbury Wolves (NOHA) | Right Defence | 2019 OHL Draft Eligible

Hanmer, Ontario | 6-foot-1, 170-pounds | May 6th, 2003

Josh Kavanagh is an elite, puck-moving defenceman who has honed his transition game while remaining reliable on the defensive side in all situations as well. A smooth and effortless skater, Kavanagh covers the ice well and holds good gaps against opponents on the rush. An intelligent defender with intriguing upside, Kavanagh will be a highly sought after defender at the 2019 OHL Draft.

Related: Check out Prospect Pipeline’s 2019 OHL Draft Rankings.

As a member of the GNML’s Sudbury Minor Midget Wolves, Kavanagh has been a leader from the back end all year long, playing at well over a point-per-game rate while also leading the Wolves to several long runs at some of Ontario’s biggest Minor Midget tournaments.


  • Two-Way Abilities
  • Skating
  • Sense & Intelligence

Kavanagh displays all the traits of a promising new-era defenceman. A smooth skater, Kavanagh shows off multiple options when breaking out of his own zone, whether through a slick tape-to-tape pass, a simple chip, or by skating the puck through the neutral zone himself. He judges plays very well and is able to process when it is beneficial to join the rush.

Related: Don’t miss out on any of our 2019 OHL Prospect Profiles

Kavanagh possesses an effective shot from the blue line by getting it on and off his stick in an instant and excelling at getting his shots on net through traffic. On the back end, he shows a strong understanding of his position and uses an effective combination of body and stick positioning to eliminate passing lanes and force opponents away from the center lane. An intelligent prospect, Kavanagh is also a tremendous decision-maker with and without the puck.

Area of Improvement:

  • Physicality

While Kavanagh possesses solid size for his age, there remains the potential for a more physical side to his game as he continues to solidify his frame. Although he isn’t afraid to take opponents into the boards during an incoming rush or get in the middle of a battle for a loose puck, Kavanagh could add another element to his game by making opponents look out for a strong body check.

While we mentioned that Kavanagh epitomizes the new-era defenceman, a stronger physical aspect would make him a much more intimidating defender to go up against, especially as he prepares to move forth in a major junior career. With this point being raised, it’s important to note that this is not an aspect of Kavanagh’s game that will hold him back, but rather a side that could increase his value further.

Future Potential:

The undisputed top defenceman from Northern Ontario, Josh Kavanagh displays everything an OHL team could want from a young defender; skating, intelligence, and offensive upside. An elite prospect who will represent Team NOHA at the 2019 OHL Cup, Kavanagh has showcased a mature and highly talented game that should translate well into the major junior level.

With a number of high-end puck moving defenceman in this year’s draft class, it will be tough to pinpoint where Kavanagh may be drafted, but one could expect to hear his name called somewhere in the 30-50th overall range.

OHL Prospect Profile: Chase Stillman

Chase Stillman is an offensive dynamo who can be relied upon in all situations to play a significant role. Stillman should be considered as a late-second or early-third round pick for the 2019 OHL Draft, although his NCAA commitment may alter his final destination.

– Chase Stillman –

Sudbury Wolves (NOHA) | Centre | 2019 OHL Draft Eligible

Peterborough, Ontario | 5-foot-10, 174-pounds | March 29th, 2003

Chase Stillman is a highly-skilled and intelligent two-way centre who makes a significant difference for the Wolves at both ends of the ice. On a high-scoring and fast paced team, Stillman has consistently been one of the most impactful leaders on the team, displaying an impressive offensive ceiling as both a scorer and playmaker.

Related: Check out Prospect Pipeline’s 2019 OHL Draft Rankings.

Making a significant impact in league games, where the Wolves play amongst 2001, 2002, and 2003-born players, Stillman remains amongst the league leaders in points, well over a two point-per-game pace. As well, Stillman has been a major reason for Sudbury’s success in Ontario’s Minor Midget tournaments this year, making two semi-final appearances.


  • Intelligence and Awareness
  • Two-Way Responsibility
  • Shot & Playmaking

Stillman is a reliable centre who displays an admirable work ethic in all three zones. He is a leader by example, backchecking hard to support his defencemen and working hard along the boards to retrieve the puck. A visibly intelligent prospect, Stillman is always aware of his surroundings and takes smart routes to the play.

Related: Don’t miss out on any of our 2019 OHL Prospect Profiles.

He showcases excellent vision as a playmaker, slipping tape-to-tape passes through traffic and through lanes that many do not recognize as available. As a scorer, Stillman is able to beat goaltenders with a quick and accurate release to a lethal snap shot, or by positioning himself in the right spots to make himself a passing option.

Area of Improvement:

  • Strength & Puck Protection

Like all prospects for the 2019 OHL Draft, Stillman in continuing to grow and mature, making himself stronger on the ice and more intimidating to face one-on-one. With that said, Stillman could focus on improving his puck protection abilities by using his edges to give himself a stronger center of gravity.

Further, he could utilize his entire frame by placing the puck on the far side of the defender and leaning up against his opponent to better shield off the area surrounding the puck. Skating with a wider stride would also do wonders for Stillman’s already solid ability to shield off opposing defencemen

Future Potential:

All in all, Chase Stillman should be considered one of the top prospects from the Northern region for the 2019 OHL Draft. A Providence College commit, Chase’s father, Cory, is currently the Head Coach of the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves. Chase has also impressed scouts by tallying three goals over his first three Jr. A games, as a member of the NOJHL’s Rayside-Balfour Canadians. He was also recently selected to represent Ontario at the 2019 Canada Winter Games.

Stillman is an offensive dynamo who can be relied upon in all situations to play a significant role. Stillman should be considered as a late-second or early-third round pick for the 2019 OHL Draft, although his NCAA commitment may alter his final destination.

NHL Prospect Profile: Blake Murray

Blake Murray is an exciting center who is trusted to play in all situations. He can put up noteworthy offensive numbers, win his majority of faceoffs, and play a shutdown role on the penalty kill. An all-around player, Murray should be a top-20 pick at the 2019 NHL Draft.

– Blake Murray –

Sudbury Wolves (OHL) | Center | 2019 NHL Draft Eligible

Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada | July 5, 2001 | 6-foot-2, 179-pounds

Blake Murray provided a reason to watch the last place Sudbury Wolves in 2017-18, who won just 17 games all year. Murray, the 7th overall pick at the 2017 OHL Priority Selection, quickly rose up the Wolves’ depth chart, earning top-six minutes as well as significant power play and penalty kill time. He finished the year with 21 goals and 44 points in 57 games, leading all U17 OHL players in points-per-game.

Murray is a big center who excels is virtually every aspect of the game, from faceoffs to playmaking, and sniping goals to penalty killing. He showcases excellent hockey sense and vision of the ice, allowing himself to be a skillful passer. Murray has a strong shot with a very deceptive release and has the creativity to dangle goaltenders in tight.


  • Hockey Sense
  • Shot and Puck Skills
  • Two-Way Play

Blake Murray is a coach’s dream player. He can be trusted to be put on the ice under any circumstances and give his team a better chance of winning. He makes the players around him better, and impressed so quickly with the Wolves that he was moved up to their top-six almost immediately. He ultimately wound up leading the team in both goals and points as a 16-year-old.

Blake Murray led the Wolves in goals and points in ’17-18 and is expected to be a leader for the team as a 17-year-old. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

Murray understands the game extremely well and can read and react to a developing play instantaneously. His wrist shot is unique, with a curl-and-drag release that proved to be deceptive for OHL goaltenders. He is also tremendous with the puck, scoring a number of highlight reel worthy goals in ’17-18. Further, he was trusted to center the team’s penalty kill with great success all year long, a testament to his all-around abilities.


  • Agility

It’s a tough task to find a weakness, or even an area of improvement, in Murray’s game. He does everything exceptionally, but if there’s one aspect of his game that could help boost his draft stock, it would be his skating ability. Don’t take this the wrong way, Murray is already a marvelous skater with above average speed, but his agility with the puck could use some improvement.

Although Murray possesses a silky pair of mitts, his legs can become stiff when he reaches his top speed. That is, his east-west movement with the puck decreases when he gets going. If Murray can advance his ability to weave and dangle while at top speeds, he could truly be considered a flawless prospect. Keep an eye on his point totals this year if he lines up alongside David Levin or Quinton Byfield.

Future Potential:

Blake Murray forecasts as a potential first-line center at the NHL level who can be relied upon to produce oodles of offence as well as to take the defensive zone draws in crucial times. He can excel in all situations and is the definition of an all-around center. His style is comparable to Ryan O’Reilly of the St. Louis Blues. Heading into the ’18-19 season, Murray projects to be a Top-20 pick at the 2019 NHL Draft.