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Behind the Bench, October 7th Junior Hockey News

Published: Tuesday, 6 Oct 2020  
By: Michael Moore



>>>SPECIAL EDITION<<<

Rather than our typical notes from Coach Littler this week, Victorious Hockey is proud to bring the details behind the top five North American Junior Hockey Players selected in last night's NHL Draft. 

The most peculiar thing about all the North Americans (with the exception  of Alexis Lafreniere) is that they progressed through multiple levels of Junior/NCAA hockey before becoming a top ten NHL draft selection. Lafreniere was the only player to move from Youth hockey to the NHL via one level of Junior hockey. 

Let this serve as evidence to those of you playing youth and/or those of you playing in Juniors- it is a process. It is up to you to work hard and progress. It does not happen over night, even at the top.

BREAKDOWN OF THE TOP NORTH AMERICAN JUNIORS DRAFTED IN THE 2020 NHL DRAFT 

Pick No.1: New York Rangers – Alexis Lafreniere, Left Wing 
Age: 18 | Ht: 6-1 | Wt: 193 | Shot: L
Stats: 52 GP, 35 G, 77 A
PROGRESSION: Youth: Saint-Eustache Vikings (QMAAA) > Major Junior: Rimouski Océanic (QMJHL)

"As a puck-carrier, Lafrenière is a master at bending the defensive front and driving the puck through openings. He always maintains the same grip on his stick, forcing the opposition to guess if he's thinking shot or pass. Similarly, Lafrenière doesn't need to choose between pace or patience when determining his plans of attack; he can serve both masters at once." -EliteProspects 2020 NHL Draft Guide

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Pick No.2: Los Angeles Kings – Quinton Byfield, Center 
Age: 18 | Ht: 6-4 | Wt: 215 | Shot: L
Stats: 45 GP, 32 G, 50 A
PROGRESSION: Youth: York Simcoe Express (ETAHL) > Junior A: Newmarket Hurricanes (OJHL) > Major Junior: Sudbury Wolves (OHL)

“In a perfect world, Byfield grows into a face-of-the-franchise level player. In a reasonably disappointing scenario, he matures into a steady 25-30 goal scorer for a decade plus. Byfield may not have any one attributes that is the best in this NHL draft class, but his combination of skills can be argued to be the best. He is a true five-tool player (skating, shot, puck skills, smarts, physicality).” – Ryan Wagman, Rotoworld Hockey

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Pick No.5: Ottawa Senators – Jake Sanderson, Defense 
Age: 18 | Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 185 | Shot: L
Stats: 47 GP, 7 G, 22 A
PROGRESSION: Youth: Edge School (CSSHL) > Junior: USNTDP (USHL) > College: North Dakota Fighting Hawks (NCAA D1)

"When the Senators realized how deep this draft class was, they stockpiled picks and kept both No. 3 and No. 5. They ended up with two excellent, albeit different, players. Joining Stutzle is Sanderson, a big physical defenseman -- an area of need for the organization. Sanderson is more of a defensive blueliner, compared to the other top defenseman, Jamie Drysdale, who plays a more offensive game. Sanderson's selection marks the third straight year the Senators have drafted a University of North Dakota player." - Emily Kaplan, ESPN

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Pick No.6: Anaheim Ducks – Jamie Drysdale, Defense 
Age: 18 | Ht: 5-11 | Wt: 175 | Shot: R
Stats: 49 GP, 9 G, 38 A
PROGRESSION: Youth: Toronto Marlboros (GTHL) > Junior A: St. Michael's Buzzers > Major Junior: Erie Otters (OHL)

"He's a brilliant skater, capable of quarterbacking a power play with ease and generating results both ways through the neutral zone. More of a playmaker than a shooter, Drysdale is adaptable first and foremost. He's going to make the best decision regardless, no matter the situation. He's the only defenceman in this year's draft with clear No. 1 defenceman upside." - EliteProspects 2020 NHL Draft Guide

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Pick No.8: Buffalo Sabres – Jack Quinn, Right Wing 
Age: 19 | Ht: 6-0 | Wt: 176 | Shot: R
Stats: 62 GP, 52 G, 37 A
PROGRESSION: Youth: Kanata Lasers (HEO) > Junior A: Kanata Lasers (CCHL) > Ottawa 67's (OHL)

"This isn't a big reach for GM Kevyn Adams and the Sabres but a reach nonetheless, as most mock drafts had Quinn going outside the top 10. Thus, he was not the best player available. That said, he's a fleet skater with one of the better shots among the top dozen prospects. This is good news for a team that really needed to deepen its prospect pool on the wing, and even better news for Jack Eichel, who would certainly like some dynamic scoring talent on his wing sooner rather than later." - Greg Wyshynski, ESPN

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We want to hear from you. If there are any questions, concerns, or if you just want to have a conversation, please feel free to contact us directly. Good Luck and Great Hockey!

Thank you,
Team VHC 
  

Author: Michael Moore
Michael is a professional hockey scout and advisor with Victorious Hockey helping North America’s top hockey prospects fulfill their ultimate playing potential.


* Disclaimer: This site may contain advice, opinions and statements from various authors and information providers. Views expressed in this article reflect the personal opinion of the author, Michael Moore, and not necessarily the views of JuniorHockey.com. JuniorHockey.com does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement or other info provided in the article, or from any other member of this site.
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