Top 10 Mock Scenarios 7.0


In this series, I’ve been running the Tankathon simulator for the draft lottery on a daily basis and mocking the results for the top 10 leading up to the 2020 NHL draft — or until the actual lottery takes place to determine the official draft order.

There are more than 30 different scenarios within the top-three picks, so this should provide plenty of entertainment for 30-plus days — for at least a month, if not longer, while awaiting the NHL’s plan going forward.

The debut edition elaborated on all the details for this series and provided analysis for each pick. That analysis will continue for every new selection while linking repetitive picks back to their original mock for reference. I’ll try to keep it as fresh as possible and mix in the occasional surprise — along with additional insight — but might also shorten the analysis at times to ensure these mocks are published daily.

Without further ado, let’s reveal the results from my seventh attempt at the Tankathon simulator, which produced this order for the top 10.

1) New Jersey Devils

2) Anaheim Ducks

3) Ottawa Senators (San Jose)

4) Detroit Red Wings

5) Ottawa Senators

6) Los Angeles Kings

7) Buffalo Sabres

8) Montreal Canadiens

9) Chicago Blackhawks

10) New Jersey Devils (via Arizona)

Mock 7.0: The Picks

1) New Jersey Devils — Alexis Lafreniere (LW, Canada,
Rimouski QMJHL)

ANALYSIS: New Jersey is the new Edmonton when it comes to these lotteries — winning for the third time in four years, having previously selected Nico Hischier (2017) and Jack Hughes (2019) first overall. Technically, the Devils already won the 2020 lottery in mock 6.0, but with Arizona’s pick that was top-three protected — thus handing Lafreniere to the Coyotes in return for their 2021 first-round pick, which won’t be lottery protected. But in this scenario, it is the Devils getting lucky again and getting Lafreniere to pair with Hughes for the foreseeable future in what promises to be a dynamic duo. Lafreniere should be able to make more of an immediate impact than Hughes did this season, but they both have triple-digit point potential in their primes — especially as linemates in New Jersey.

2) Anaheim Ducks — Quinton Byfield (LC, Canada, Sudbury OHL)

ANALYSIS: Anaheim also gets lucky for the second time in a row — moving up from fifth to second after picking third in mock 6.0. This would be a huge win for the Ducks, with Byfield being the perfect successor to Ryan Getzlaf, who has become the face of Anaheim’s franchise over the past 15 seasons but may not have many good years left. Getzlaf is turning 35 in May, so the Ducks need a new power centre for the future and Byfield is the ideal fit. Getzlaf could groom and mentor Byfield as part of that torch passing — helping him become mentally stronger for the bigger games, which might be the only knock on Byfield in the present. He hasn’t risen to the occasion at key showcases, but Getzlaf has always been a clutch performer and could certainly help Byfield get over that stage fright. Anaheim would suddenly be in great shape at centre with Byfield and Trevor Zegras (2019 first-rounder, ninth overall) leading the way, along with Sam Steel (2016 first-rounder), Isac Lundestrom (2018 first-rounder) and Bo Groulx (2018 second-rounder). Four first-round picks down the middle — including two taken in the top 10 — would be dynamite for the Ducks.

3) Ottawa Senators (San Jose) — Lucas Raymond (RW, Sweden,
Frolunda SHL)

ANALYSIS: Ottawa takes Raymond for the fourth time, with this being the highest he has gone thus far at third overall. The Senators twice took Raymond fourth, in mock 5.0 and mock 6.0, as did Detroit in mock 4.0. Ottawa also took him fifth in mock 1.0. The repetitiveness of Raymond to the Senators relates to Frolunda, which has provided Ottawa with a couple franchise players over the years in Erik Karlsson and Daniel Alfredsson. Frolunda alums have been the gifts that keep on giving for Ottawa — with this pick acquired as part of the return for Karlsson — and Raymond could be another gem.

4) Detroit Red Wings — Tim Stutzle (LC/LW, Germany, Adler
Mannheim DEL)

ANALYSIS: Detroit takes Stutzle for the third time — previously taking him as high as second in mock 3.0 and also third in mock 2.0. Through seven scenarios, the Red Wings remain the only team to pass on Byfield at second overall but have since succumbed to fan feedback by taking Byfield over Stutzle with a mulligan in mock 6.0. Steve Yzerman won’t be consulting with fans before announcing his selection and it wouldn’t be the least bit surprising to hear Stutzle’s name — especially in this scenario at fourth overall.

5) Ottawa Senators — Marco Rossi (LC, Austria/Switzerland, Ottawa OHL)

ANALYSIS: Ottawa takes Rossi for the third time — a repeat pick from mock 1.0 (fourth) and mock 3.0 (fifth). The Senators consider him something of a homegrown talent. Ottawa is the capital city of Canada, not of Rossi’s native Austria, but he has been developing in Ottawa with the OHL’s 67’s for the past two seasons — right under the nose of Senators general manager Pierre Dorion, who fancies himself a scout first and foremost. Dorion has surely seen plenty of Rossi and he’ll presumably be high on this import who led the entire CHL in scoring by averaging more than two points per game during his draft year.

6) Los Angeles Kings — Jamie Drysdale (RD, Canada, Erie OHL)

ANALYSIS: Los Angeles is locked in on Drysdale, taking him for the fifth time — the most common match through seven scenarios. The Kings have taken him as high as third, in mock 1.0 and mock 3.0, and even contemplated Drysdale over Byfield at second in mock 2.0. Rob Blake is going to be obsessed with Drysdale by the time the draft occurs — whenever that might be, having been officially postponed from June. I’d tell you Drysdale could be the second coming of Drew Doughty, but something tells me you already know that by now — at least those of you following along in this series.

7) Buffalo Sabres — Alexander Holtz (LW/RW, Sweden,
Djurgardens SHL)

ANALYSIS: Buffalo mixes up the monotony of this mock by making a new selection in Holtz, who is an even better sniper than current Sabre and fellow Swede Victor Olofsson. Holtz is a wicked finisher with more weapons than just his one-timer. That isn’t meant as a shot at Olofsson, who is a special scorer in his own right, but Holtz is on another level as a poor man’s Patrik Laine. Buffalo has no shortage of shooters — with Jack Eichel, Jeff Skinner and soon-to-be Dylan Cozens in addition to Olofsson — but there is no such thing as too many goals. The Sabres would be even more potent on the power play, with another Swede Rasmus Dahlin at the top teeing up Holtz and Olofsson to the left and right. Good luck goalies!

8) Montreal Canadiens — Cole Perfetti (LW/LC, Canada,
Saginaw OHL)

ANALYSIS: Montreal takes Perfetti for the third time — previously taking him at this spot in mock 1.0 and mock 4.0. The rationale is all there, with mock 1.0 going into detail and mock 4.0 summing it up short and sweet. Not this short, but there is no point rehashing what has already been best said in that analysis, which should be worth the click either way. All I will say here is that Cole could become an unconventionally popular baby name in the province of Quebec if this selection comes to fruition.

9) Chicago Blackhawks — Jake Sanderson (LD, USA, NTDP U18)

ANALYSIS: Chicago takes Sanderson for the third time — previously taking him in mock 4.0 (ninth) and mock 6.0 (10th). This pick is growing on me as a real possibility for Chicago — for the reasons outlined in that aforementioned analysis. Especially if these top eight prospects are all gone, I’m leaning towards the Blackhawks taking Sanderson over Finnish centre Anton Lundell and Russian goaltender Yaroslav Askarov, who round out the top 10 in my March rankings. This selection would be deemed drafting for need and positional preference over the best player available approach, but it might be right for Chicago.

10) New Jersey Devils (via Arizona) — Jack Quinn (RW,
Canada, Ottawa OHL)

ANALYSIS: New Jersey takes Quinn for the third time — previously taking him at this spot in mock 1.0 and mock 4.0. Again, that analysis holds true. New Jersey is passing on Lundell because he is quite similar to Pavel Zacha and the Devils’ fan base doesn’t see the need for Askarov since they are confident in Mackenzie Blackwood as their goalie of the present and future. Time will tell whether reaching for Quinn was the right move.


Recapping Results for Mock 7.0

1) New Jersey Devils — Alexis Lafreniere (LW, Canada,
Rimouski QMJHL)

2) Anaheim Ducks — Quinton Byfield (LC, Canada, Sudbury OHL)

3) Ottawa Senators (San Jose) — Lucas Raymond (RW, Sweden,
Frolunda SHL)

4) Detroit Red Wings — Tim Stutzle (LC/LW, Germany, Adler
Mannheim DEL)

5) Ottawa Senators — Marco Rossi (LC, Austria/Switzerland,
Ottawa OHL)

6) Los Angeles Kings — Jamie Drysdale (RD, Canada, Erie OHL)

7) Buffalo Sabres — Alexander Holtz (LW/RW, Sweden,
Djurgardens SHL)

8) Montreal Canadiens — Cole Perfetti (LW/LC, Canada,
Saginaw OHL)

9) Chicago Blackhawks — Jake Sanderson (LD, USA, NTDP U18)

10) New Jersey Devils (via Arizona) — Jack Quinn (RW, Canada, Ottawa OHL)

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