Source:nhl.nbcsports.com

6 Biggest Winners of the 2020 NHL Draft

Many sectors have faced a rough time in 2020, and the sports section is no exception. The 2020 NHL draft, which started in October, has come to an end. The NHL draft usually occurs every June, but there were delays caused by the ongoing pandemic.

The draft happened virtually, and it took longer than the usual time. This time, day two was fascinating compared to the first round. Of course, some expected picks probably did not make it in the 2020 NHL draft.

Some players were dropped unexpectedly, and the lucky ones got selected. Although the future is still unpredictable, the 31 teams are comfortable with the picks. There must be a winner and a loser in a competition, so the participants must all work hard to win.

In our list of winners, we have mentioned the teams that won and individual players, trades, and all the other participants of the draft. Take a look.

1. Ottawa Senators

Source:sportsnet.ca

According to the post “Melnyk: ‘Nonsensical’ trading 2 picks for No. 1,” Eugene Melnyk didn’t support the idea of trading Ottawa Senators’ top two first-round picks (third and fifth picks) for the number one in the overall selection.

The Senators selected German centre Tim Stutzle in the third pick, American defence Jake Sanderson on the fifth, and Canadian Centre Ridly Greig on the 28th overall pick.

However, some argue that the Senators should have considered Jamie Drysdale (ranked six overall) over Sanderson.

Besides that, Ottawa is in the right place as they have a prospective star blueliner. When in the same team, the trio can play a very crucial role in rebuilding the team.

The senators announced the purchase of Matt Murray, the goaltender in the second round. Murray was formerly a player at Pittsburgh.

He is undoubtedly a risk to the team as he is coming during a tough season. However, the team hopes that his change of scenery might bring a positive impact on his career.

Murray is only 25 years, meaning that he has all the potential to grow together with the rest of the young team members of Ottawa.

Since Murray has two Stanley cups under his name, the team sees him as a motivator to the rest of the players, who should get inspired by his achievement at a young age.

2. New Jersey Devils

Source:allaboutthejersey.com

In the first round, the devils had three picks: Alexander Holtz at the seventh, Dawson Mercer on the 18th, and Shakir Mukhamadullin on the 20th.

The set back is that none of these will play in the National Hockey Team come next season. However, Alexander Holtz seems to have top-line potential, and Shakir has the possibility of being a top-two defenseman in some days to come.

The Devils took chances with their goaltender Nico Dawns in the third round, hoping for success. Dawns has a very high potential, although Netminders tend to be more of a project. Dawns’ potential was evident during the draft.

Mirco Mueller was not qualified by the Devils, despite being the 18th overall pick in the NHL entry draft in 2013. This loss forces him to become an unrestricted free agent. Since he was selected, Mueller has not lived up to his potential.

3. Minnesota Wild

Source:pinterest

The Wilds were lucky that Marco Rossi was readily available, and they took advantage of that when they got picked at ninth overall. He has significant offensive potential, and the reason he didn’t get a higher draft is due to his reduced size.

Minnesota needed a lot of help on their center position, which is why they were lucky for Rossi’s availability who plays at the center. That made them address their need fast by landing the best player.

The Wilds exchanged Luke Kunin and Adam Wilsby with Nick Bonino, Marat Khusnutdinov of 37th, and Eemil Viro of 69th picks. These three were from Nashville.

It was a loss to give up Kunin because he is only 22 years old, meaning he has many potentials. Bonino is great at defence, and he can unveil his full potential as the second or third-line center.

The Wilds drafting Khusnutdinov could not go unnoticed, as they did so to add another center. However, unlike Rossi, Khusnutdinov should be considered a project because he might not play in the next NHL season.

4. Carolina Hurricanes

Source:cardiaccane.com

Carolina took advantage of Toronto Maple Leafs when they were desperate to clear cap space in 2019. Toronto surrendered their first pick by giving up Patrick Marleau to Carolina, who was on his final contract. That led to the Maple losing in the qualifying round, which was an advantage to Carolina. They only lost money.

Carolina also took Seth Jarvis. Although Seth is undersized, he can contribute both offensively to help the Hurricanes defensively. They also took Noel Gunler, a 41st overall pick, who is a potential steal. Although he is a gamble, he can still fit as a first-rounder.

5. The New York Rangers

Source:bluelinestation.com

The Rangers had a massive stroke of lottery luck, which saw them to position one overall pick. That was a huge win. If that pick turns out according to their plans and expectations, all the other players they picked in this class will never be a big deal.

However, selling Lias Andersson after making him the number 7 overall pick in the draft was a big loss. That was a tough decision to make, and it will take the team time to accept the loss. Thankfully, the team got the No. 60 overall pick in the 2020 NHL draft, which they used it to select William Cuylle.

6. Crystal Hawerchuk

Source:chl.ca

The win was a big moment for Crystal, given that it came just two months after her husband succumbed to stomach cancer. The team selected Cole Perfetti using the 10th overall pick of the 2020 draft. The Jets fans were pretty excited about the move. It will be a great moment for Cole Perfetti and the entire Hawerchuk family.

Final Words

Undoubtedly, 2020 was never easy. The NHL teams conducted the draft some months later than the regular dates, and it was still successful. Running the draft virtually was not an easy task, but we are thankful that it happened. The challenge remains to the winners, who have to keep practicing to improve their skills and stay top of the game.


Ricardo is a freelance writer specialized in politics. He is with foreignpolicyi.org from the beginning and helps it grow. Email: richardorland4[at]gmai.com