Mock Draft 2020 and the Toronto Maple Leafs Big Decision

DALLAS, TX - JUNE 23: (l-r) Kyle Dubas and Brendan Shanahan of the Toronto Maple Leafs handle the draft table during the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines Center on June 23, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - JUNE 23: (l-r) Kyle Dubas and Brendan Shanahan of the Toronto Maple Leafs handle the draft table during the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines Center on June 23, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
Alexis Lafreniere the likely first overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, where the Toronto Maple Leafs pick 15th. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

The 2020 NHL Draft is a chance for the Toronto Maple Leafs to prepare for their future. We feature two mock drafts to get you prepared for the big event.

The NHL’s 2020 Entry Draft will not be the celebration of youth in the sport at the Bell Centre in Montreal. Instead, it will be all business for the Toronto Maple Leafs and the other 30 teams as they meet virtually in October to conduct the selection process.

After losing what would have been the 13th overall draft choice to the Carolina Hurricanes, Toronto didn’t have any picks in the first round. That was until they made a big trade involving Kasperi Kapanen. Part of the return in that deal was the Pittsburgh Penguins first-round pick. That now gives Kyle Dubas a shot at finding a stud with the 15th overall selection.

In this article, you will get two very different perspectives of what the Maple Leafs and the rest of the league will do with their first-round picks. The first mock draft is from Jeff Borsuk, a former U Sports scout who enjoyed far too many of the free muffins the OHL teams offered their binder carrying visitors.

The second mock draft is from rising star Kyle Cushman. He is one of the hosts of the KMN Show on Spotify.

Jeff Borsuk’s Draft Board

1. New York Rangers – Alexis Lafreniere (LW)

This is the easiest pick to predict. Alexis Lafreniere is the consensus best player in the draft. He is supremely talented with an NHL ready game. He should step right onto the Rangers top six and make an impact as a rookie. He is a game-changing player who holds the distinction of being the only player other than Sidney Crosby to be a two-time CHL Player of the Year.

2. Los Angeles Kings – Quinton Byfield (C)

Like Lafreniere, Quinton Byfield is a player with an NHL ready game. He plays strong on the puck and uses his size to bully his way past defenders. The 6’4″ center plays the game fast and has excellent handles. He also features a lightning-quick release on his wrist shot. This former first overall pick of the Sudbury Wolves in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection will likely be the top center of his NHL team in the future.

3. Ottawa Senators – Tim Stutzle (C/LW)

There isn’t just one skill set that will stand out most to NHL fans who watch Tim Stutzle for the first time. He is multi-talented with fluffy-soft mitts and explosive speed. His lateral quickness is off the charts. The 6’0″ German-born forward is a pass-first player who can create chances on his own thanks to his exciting style of play.

4. Detroit Red Wings – Lucas Raymond (RW/LW)

By drafting Lucas Raymond, there’s a chance for him to quickly become one of the best players in Detroit. Raymond is a strong two-way player who should get plenty of minutes on special teams. He is a creative playmaker with tight dangles. With Frölunda HC J20 in the SuperElit league, Raymond played 9 games and scored 3 goals and 11 assists. With the pro club in the SHL, he dressed for 33 games and scored 4 goals and had 6 helpers.

5. Ottawa Senators – Jamie Drysdale (D)

With the Senators already adding a forward in Stutzle, taking Jamie Drysdale gives them some backend help as well. He has top-pairing potential thanks to his hockey IQ and skating ability. This makes him a nightmare to deal with one-on-one. Drysdale has no fear of being an aggressive defender. He attacks puck handlers directly and forces them to make mistakes.

6. Anaheim Ducks – Alexander Holtz (RW)

Alexander Holtz might possibly be the most natural goal scorer in the draft. Both his wrist and slap shot have eyes. Holtz is sure to add a much-needed scoring punch to the Anaheim Ducks. Drafting in the sixth position, this would be an excellent pick-up.

7. New Jersey Devils – Cole Perfetti (C/LW)

Cole Perfetti has proven that he can be a goal-scoring machine. He notched 37 goals in each of his two seasons with the Saginaw Spirit. It was impressive as a rookie, with him also adding 37 assists. This past season, he worked on improving his teammates production as well and it paid off. Perfetti had 74 assists for a total of 111 points this season. Paired with Nico Hischier, the Devils should have a scary top line.

8. Buffalo Sabres – Marco Rossi (C)

If Perfetti’s point total makes General managers salivate then they’d love Marco Rossi. He finished the season with the Ottawa 67’s as the CHL’s top point-getter. In 56 games he recorded 39 goals and 81 assists for a total of120 points. As much as the Sabres would love to have another elite center playing behind Jack Eichel, Rossi may not be NHL ready. If he doesn’t play in the league, he could very well return to play in the Swiss league next season.

9. Minnesota Wild – Jake Sanderson (D)

Just like Rossi, Jake Sanderson looks like he might play one more year outside the NHL before getting his shot. He has a high ceiling but with the Minnesota Wild already having a formidable blue line, they can afford to be patient with Sanderson’s development. As the top rated defenseman in the U.S. National U-18 Team program, the son of Geoff Sanderson is an offensive defenseman.

10. Winnipeg Jets – Anton Lundell (C)

Anton Lundell is a 6’2″ Finnish center. He is a dependable backchecker with a powerful slapshot. Having already played professionally in Finland for HIFK of the Liiga, Lundell brings a high hockey IQ to the ice along with his calm demeanor.