NHL Draft Guide: Prospect rankings, team previews and insider analysis

Alexis Lafrenière is expected to be the first pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. (Vincent Ethier/CHL)

After an extended wait, the talented players of the next NHL draft class will finally learn their fate this week when the annual event takes place virtually.

Sportsnet's roster of writers and insiders have everything you need to know about the 2020 NHL Draft, including profiles on prospects, Canadian team previews and player rankings.

Sportsnet’s 2020 NHL Draft Prospect Rankings: Final edition

Sportsnet's junior hockey insider Sam Cosentino gives his final rankings of the top 31 players in this year's draft class, plus some honourable mentions.

2020 NHL Mock Draft: All 31 first-round picks with Sam Cosentino

With the order is officially set, Sportsnet's Sam Cosentino runs through a full first-round mock draft, making his predictions for all 31 first-round picks of the 2020 NHL Draft.

NHL Draft Primer: What you need to know about a deep 2020 class

Josh Beneteau rounds up all the information you need before watching the draft including the draft order, which teams could make headlines and how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the event.

Tape To Tape: 2020 NHL Draft Preview

Sportsnet's junior hockey insider Sam Cosentino joins hosts Rory Boylen and Ryan Dixon on the Tape to Tape podcast to discuss the decision the Kings have with pick No. 2 and what the Senators might do with three first round picks. You can listen to the episode wherever you get your podcasts or watch Cosentino's segment on Youtube.

Big Read: Inside the program turning Germany into an NHL Draft powerhouse

Tim Stützle enters the 2020 NHL Draft with a chance to become the highest-drafted German player in NHL history — and to continue the legacy of the Adler Mannheim's renowned development program, which counts Leon Draisaitl and Moritz Seider among its alumni. In this Big Read, Sonny Sachdeva tells the story of the 20-year effort in Mannheim that fuelled Germany's golden generation.

NHL Draft AMA with Sam Cosentino: Is Askarov worth risking a high pick for?

Sportsnet's junior hockey insider Sam Cosentino took fan questions in a recent Reddit AMA, where he shared thoughts on goalies, some sleeper picks to watch for and how the pandemic could impact scouting.

Canadian Team Previews

The seven Canadian NHL teams will be in the thick of things during this year's draft. How will the Senators use their three first-round picks? Can the Canucks improve without a first-rounder of their own? Will the Jets trade Patrik Laine?

Sportsnet's insiders explore those questions and more in these team previews.

Flames 2020 NHL Draft preview: Will Calgary swing for fences with trade?
The Flames are at a crossroads after another disappointing playoff run, which means they could be active on the trade front at this year's draft. Eric Francis looks at how the Flames will approach the event in this preview.

Oilers 2020 NHL Draft preview: Decisions loom over lack of mid-round picks
Ken Holland's second draft since taking over in Edmonton will be focused on finding good players with a limited number of picks. Mark Spector looks at ways the Oilers could still be involved in this preview.

Canadiens 2020 NHL Draft preview: Will Bergevin trade the 16th pick?
The Canadiens surprised a lot of people by upsetting the Pittsburgh Penguins in the playoff qualifying round and enter the 2020-21 season looking to build on that momentum. Could that include trading their first-round pick for more immediate help? Eric Engels explores that and more in this draft preview.

Senators 2020 NHL Draft preview: Ottawa looks for home run with high picks
The Senators have been (re)building for this moment and with two picks in the top five, Ottawa could get two game-changing players. Wayne Scanlan previews what is arguably the most important draft in franchise history.

Maple Leafs 2020 NHL Draft preview: Will Dubas trade first-round pick?
After another disappointing end to the season, the Maple Leafs are once again going all-in to build a Stanley Cup contender. Does that include trading the 15th-overall pick? Luke Fox explores that and more in this preview.

Canucks 2020 NHL Draft preview: Will Benning replenish early-round picks?
After making some big trades for J.T. Miller and Tyler Toffoli, the Canucks enter the draft without a pick until the third round. Iain MacIntyre looks at the challenges facing GM Jim Benning as he looks to build off the team's playoff success.

Jets 2020 NHL Draft preview: With few picks, Cheveldayoff must get creative
The Jets enter this draft with only four picks but one of them is No. 10. Add in that the team may be shopping Patrik Laine, and the Jets could make headlines before the night is done. Ken Wiebe explores the options GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has in this preview.

Prospects of Interest

Sportsnet has profiles of many the players expected to go in the first round in the Prospect of Interest series.

What makes top-ranked Alexis Lafreniere so special?
There's little mystery about who's likely to hear their name called first when the 2020 NHL Draft kicks off, but what is it about Alexis Lafreniere that makes him such a sure thing for first-overall? Emily Sadler breaks down the QMJHL standout's game.

Tim Stützle set to build on Germany’s historic momentum
The 2020 draft might just have the finest German draft class in the country's history, with three DEL skaters looking like they could make the first-round cut. They're led by Tim Stützle, who's risen up the rankings to potentially a top-three spot. Sonny Sachdeva introduces you to the high-flying winger who's drawn comparisons to Mitch Marner and Patrick Kane.

Why Quinton Byfield has the makings of a franchise centre
The No. 2 spot in the 2020 NHL Draft might be the most interesting question of the evening. Will it be Stützle who goes to L.A., or Quinton Byfield, who seemed a lock for that spot for most of the season? With size and skill that have drawn comparisons to MVP and scoring machine Evgeni Malkin, Byfield's potential seems sky high. Mike Johnston tells you everything you need to know about the OHL standout.

Jake Sanderson makes case for top defenceman
No one has risen up draft boards more than Jake Sanderson, who could go in the top five and be the first defenceman taken. Mike Shulman looks at what led to Sanderson's emergence as top prospect in this profile.

Is Marco Rossi Austria’s next big hockey star?
The OHL MVP last season, Rossi is a smart centre who models his game after Pavel Datsyuk and Brayden Point. Josh Beneteau introduces you to Austria's next hockey superstar in this profile.

Top goalie Yaroslav Askarov a rare find
It’s rare to see goaltenders drafted in the first round. But then again, Yaroslav Askarov is a rare find worthy of the high-rated hype. Emily Sadler introduces the top goalie prospect in the draft in this profile.

Could OHL standout Cole Perfetti become the Canadian Kucherov?
As the NHL leans more into dynamic offensive creativity, the value of elite playmakers is sky high. Enter, Cole Perfetti, who's top-end intellect has an impact on and off the ice. Sonny Sachdeva introduces you to the OHL star, who's drawn comparisons to recent Cup winner Nikita Kucherov.

Alexander Holtz vies for claim as top Swede at 2020 NHL Draft
Alexander Holtz might be the best pure shooter in the draft and will give some lucky team another scoring option off the wing. Mike Shulman has more on Holtz and his special shot in this profile.

Lucas Raymond draws Marner, Panarin comparisons
With slick hands and a high hockey IQ, Lucas Raymond will be a highlight-reel mainstay for years. Mike Johnston has more in this profile.

Anton Lundell’s quiet consistency a hidden 2020 gem
Finland has produced plenty of star offensive talent in recent years and centre Anton Lundell is the next player on that list. Sonny Sachdeva profiles this quiet but consistent future star.

Why Jamie Drysdale could be best defenceman in 2020 class
Jamie Drysdale's elite skating could make him the first defenceman off the board in this year's draft. Emily Sadler introduces the Erie Otters blue liner in this profile.

Can Dawson Mercer be another Patrice Bergeron?
Dawson Mercer wants to be the next Patrice Bergeron and some scouts think he can do it. Learn more about this two-way centre in Josh Beneteau's profile.

Is Jack Quinn the draft’s best goal-scorer?
Jack Quinn is one of only eight OHL players in the last 20 years to score 50 goals in his draft season. Mike Johnston profiles this high-scoring winger who could slot into a team's top six soon.

Why Braden Schneider models his game after Shea Weber
Braden Schneider isn't a flashy defenceman, but the big-bodied, right-handed blue liner has the defence aspect of his game down pat. Josh Beneteau breaks down all you need to know about Schneider and how the young rearguard hopes to grow his game after Draft Day.

Kamloops standout Connor Zary a well-rounded centre
Connor Zary will join Jarome Iginla, Shane Doan and Scottie Upshall as the latest Kamloops Blazers forward taken in the first round of the NHL Draft. Mike Johnston introduces you to the latest of the club's top-end products to set his sights on the big leagues.

Kaiden Guhle following in his brother's footsteps
When you watch Kaiden Guhle hit the ice, two things stand out about the defenceman: His size and his skating. What he may lack in pure skill and puck handling, he makes up for in power and athleticism. Emily Sadler has more in this profile of the young defender.

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