May 26, 2020

Twenty-Twenty: Draft Mailbag v1

You asked, we answered.

We took to Twitter to solicit your questions in regards to the 2020 NHL Draft — from process to prospects, to unknowns to underrated. From Ty Tullio to Rodion Amirov to Alexander Holtz and beyond, our scouts at FC Hockey took to answering your queries.

Here are your questions. Here are our answers.

“There are so many elements about the conclusion of the 2019-20 NHL season that are simply unknowns to this point, the NHL Draft Lottery being one of them and, as a result, the NHL Draft order. If I were to offer a suggestion as to how to approach the draft, and in particular its order, I would suggest: Keep the process the exact same. You’ve already determined that seven teams will not participate further. Add the additional eight teams that will not survive the ‘play-in’ portion. From there, you have your 15-team field for the NHL Draft Lottery. Go ahead and run it using the standard system, using winning percentage to determine the lottery order. The remainder of the order, the non-lottery portion, is determined by the results in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Will this be the approach? No idea, but to me it makes a lot of sense.” — Aaron Vickers, managing editor (@AAVickers)

“Jarvis proved down the line that his exceptional play was no fluke, steadily improving all facets of his game and adding to his already formidable toolbox by becoming a front line player. It’s the type of year and projection you dream about when looking at prospects and his ceiling looks higher than anticipated offensively but his play away from the puck is solid as well. In my books I think he’s a fringe top 10 guy who projects as an offensive driver as a pro.” — Justin Froese, head Western Scout (@FroeseFC)

“As a skilled, yet very well-rounded forward, Mercer certainly possesses the talent to be a top-10 selection. That being said, there’s many high-end prospects at the top of the draft this year, and the chances of him sneaking through are quite low. The 6-foot center will most likely be selected at midpoint of the first round, between the 12th and 20th spot. I expect him to be one of the best value pick in that range.” — Andy Lehoux, Eastern scout (@AndyLehoux1)

“We can’t speak to where others have ranked him, but we do like his offensive tools and his defensive awareness. It is a not often seen combination, which excites us. He has had some impactful games in the KHL already but often had limited ice time and was not at display in many international tournaments.” – Dennis Schellenberg, head European scout (@Scouting Factory)

“In three years, I believe that Alexander Holtz could be a front figure for his NHL team — especially in the offensive part of the game. He has one of the best shots in the entire 2020 NHL Draft class, and is never afraid of using it. Besides his shot, he has great vision and sees the ice well. He finds free space for himself and also sets up teammates to scoring chances. Holtz seems to adapt himself to the surroundings. In the long run, he could be a player that is relevant of winning individual awards like the Maurice ‘Rocket’ Richard, and could play a similar part for his future team like Steve Stamkos has made for the Lightnings for the past 10 years.” — Fredrik Haak, European scout (@Haag86)

“Tullio can definitely be counted among the most underrated forwards in the draft, at least from the OHL. An agile skater, with solid two-way game, Tullio has a solid range of tools that, when combined with his competitiveness, makes him a nice little pick up for a team picking him in the late second round and on. I’m a fan of Tullio’s skating ability as I found him to be agile, and while not the fastest skater on the ice, he can flash some good speed in bursts. Where my hesitation lies is in the consistency of his play. Some of my viewings I felt he was watching the play happen around him rather than being an active participant. If Tullio isn’t the most underrated a few others I feel can give him a run for his money in that category including Evan Vierling, Ethan Cardwell and Yevgeni Oksentyuk.” — Dylan Galloway, head Eastern scout (@DylanGalloway_)

“From what I have seen, the second-best goalie of the draft is Joel Blomqvist. Not an overly flashy goalie, but extremely efficient. His technical skills are not Askarov elite level, but not that far either. Very light feet, mobile, fluid, it seems easy for him to play the position. A lot to like the more and more you watch him.” — Simon Rouillard, goaltending consultant (@FCHockey)

“The San Jose Sharks made one of the most notably risky picks in recent years when they selected Ryan Merkley 21st overall in 2018. They’re a team without a lot of picks, including having only Tampa Bay’s first rounder this year and not their own, and it seems like they’re willing to swing big on talented guys who might be sliding for other reasons. I would also keep an eye on the New York Rangers. They’ve made a ton of picks in the past few drafts and they have Carolina’s first on top of their own, so they might be willing to really go off the board and reach for someone they like a lot.” — Derek Neumeier, Western scout (@Derek_N_NHL)

“The Ottawa Senators might be an interesting team to watch in this range. They have three first-round picks, with this lowest one coming from the New York Islanders in the Jean-Gabriel Pageau trade. If they don’t trade this selection (which might be an option for them), they could make a risker pick or a surprising choice after taking two projected top-five picks. An often-injured Hendrix Lapierre? A smaller Zion Nybeck? A player that no one is looking at for the first round? This could be the best chance for a surprising selection, especially since they still have four selections in the second. Their third first-rounder is definitely one I’ll be keeping an eye on.” — Josh Bell, Eastern scout (@JoshuaBellTHW)

“For me, the team that will surprise us the most is the Minnesota Wild, who have the Pittsburgh Penguins first round selection. Over the past few seasons, the Wild have built up quite a solid farm system which includes Adam Beckman, Alexander Khovanov, Kirill Kaprizov, Damien Giroux and Calen Addison. Given their draft tendencies, I can see the Wild selecting Marat Khusnutdinov from SKA-1946 St. Petersburg, since the Wild spend quite a bit of time evaluating the Russian market. But, what the Wild could really use is a defenseman. Perhaps the Wild draft Jeremie Poirier (Saint John), Braden Schneider, Emil Andrae, Lukas Cormier, Justin Barron or William Wallinder.” — Josh Tessler, Eastern scout (@JoshTessler_)

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