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Preseason Draft Ranking, Bob McKenzie Style

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

The 2020 NHL Draft campaign opens with naming rights belonging to Alexis Lafreniere.

Whether it remains the Alexis Lafreniere Draft, well, that’s another question.

First, though, let’s start with the indisputable: The Rimouski Oceanic left winger is the unanimous No. 1 on TSN’s 2020 NHL Draft Pre-Season Top 20 Rankings. Ten out of 10 NHL scouts surveyed by TSN put Lafreniere first on their lists entering the 2019-20 season.

“Elite competitive instincts and all the attributes – size, skill, skating, hockey sense, goal scoring, playmaking, you name it – you look for in a No. 1 NHL winger, he has all of them,” one NHL scout said.

Yes, but we have heard the same thing in past years only to see a unanimous pre-season No. 1 lose the title by the time the draft rolls around, which is scheduled for June 26-27 in Montreal.

Three years ago, Nolan Patrick entered 2016-17 as the unanimous pre-season No. 1, but by season’s end he was surpassed by Switzerland’s Nico Hischier. Could Lafreniere face a similar challenge from any of the other top prospects in a highly talented 2020 top end?  It includes No. 2 centre Quinton Byfield, No. 3 right winger Lucas Raymond and a pair of special scorers in a dead heat at No. 4, centre/left winger Cole Perfetti and left winger Alexander Holtz?


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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com