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Future Watch: Projecting the Top 10 picks at the 2020 draft

A Canadian one-two punch could be followed by a skillful Swede. Who takes top spot in the 2020 draft projection?
Rimouski Oceanic

Rimouski Oceanic

1. Alexis Lafreniere
LW, Rimouski (QMJHL)
Battling for the league scoring crown as March began, he’ll be a beast in the ‘Q’ next season and a key part of Canada’s 2020 WJC team.
SCOUT SAYS: “He’s a big, skilled player who moves well and handles the puck well. What I like the most is that he’s got great hockey sense and anticipation.”

2. Quinton Byfield
C, Sudbury (OHL)
No. 1 pick in 2018 OHL draft had heavy expectations on his shoulders, but the big kid from north of Toronto has managed to fulfill them.
SCOUT SAYS: “He has been able to step in and contribute right away. He’s been their best player. I wouldn’t call him a power forward, but he can be that skill player with power.”

3.Alexander Holtz
RW, Djurgarden (Swe.)
Has been on radar for a while due to prolific goal-scoring talents. Won gold with Sweden at World Under-17 Challenge, leading team in points.
SCOUT SAYS: “He’s a specimen with his hands and shooting ability. One of those guys you don’t see in a game and then suddenly he has two goals. Pro shot already. He’ll bury it.”

4. Jamie Drysdale
D, Erie (OHL)
Swift blueliner is a foundational piece for rebuilding Otters. Doesn’t have a lot of talent around him but has put up decent offensive numbers.
SCOUT SAYS: “Very skilled defenseman in terms of his ability to move the puck. Passes it well, but he also skates it out well. Prototypical modern-day D-man. He fits that ideal.”

5. Anton Lundell
C, HIFK (Fin.)
Centered effective scoring line for Finland at 2019 WJC. Great blend of size and skill. Has put up impressive numbers against men in the Liiga.
SCOUT SAYS: “He looks like a top-five pick. Hockey sense is top-notch. He’s skilled and not afraid to battle, even in the men’s league. Does a lot of the same things as Kaapo Kakko.”

6. Lucas Raymond
RW, Frolunda (Swe.)
Along with Holtz, he’s the cream of the crop in what looks like a great draft class for the Swedes – keep an eye out for Noel Gunler, too.
SCOUT SAYS: “More of an all-around guy than Holtz. Naturally makes players around him good. Creates on his own, but also makes average guys good.”

7. Dylan Holloway
C, Okotoks (AJHL)
Looked fantastic at World Jr. A Challenge for Canada West, where he earned a bronze medal as one of the team’s top scorers.
SCOUT SAYS: “Really good skater. Really good hockey sense. Solid work ethic and knows where to be in all three zones. He can shoot the puck, and he plays with imagination.”

8. Kaiden Guhle
D, Prince Albert (WHL)
Taken first overall in 2017 WHL bantam draft, he has developed into a very good blueliner for a team that has ruled the league this season.
SCOUT SAYS: “For being 16, he gets his ice time. His skating sets him apart. He has balance, quickness and acceleration. He can carry the puck out or make a good first pass.”

9. Will Cuylle
LW, Windsor (OHL)
Leading all OHL rookies in shots on goal, he’s part of a Spitfires rebuild that also includes fellow 2020 prospect Jean-Luc Foudy.
SCOUT SAYS: “More of a shooter. Give him the puck and he’ll score goals. Good skater who competes hard. He just needs to add more elements to his game.”

10. Jake Sanderson
D, U.S. NTDP (USHL)
Son of ex-NHLer Geoff Sanderson, and he’s got wheels, too. North Dakota commit headlines NTDP class that includes Tyler Kleven, Ty Smilanic.
SCOUT SAYS: “He’s the clear-cut NTDP guy for me. Does it all. Skates, defends, moves the puck with poise and breaks up plays. The next thing to see is how much offense he has.”

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