Prospects are always a hot commodity around the National Hockey League, overseas in Europe, in Canadian junior hockey, and in the United States. As we look towards the start of next season, there are several elite-level prospects ready to burst onto the scene at the NHL level. Here’s my ranking of the top-10 prospects heading into 2020-21.
Brodie and Bogosian Headline Toronto’s Defensive Overhaul
When people think of the Toronto Maple Leafs, a few things come to mind. The club carries a rich and storied history in the center of the hockey universe-Toronto. They also possess the likes of elite-level players such as Auston Matthews, John Tavares, William Nylander, and Mitch Marner, to name a few. Heading into the 2020-21 campaign, the Leafs’ defensive corps will have a new and improved outlook, spearheaded by the likes of newcomers T.J. Brodie, and Zach Bogosian.
The Boston Bruins 2019-2020 season came to an end in disappointing fashion. They suffered an early playoff exit after an impressive regular season. There were, however, some positives, such as the play of prospects Jack Studnicka and Jeremy Lauzon. While Studnicka only appeared in two regular-season games, Lauzon was a crucial piece down the stretch.
Montreal Canadiens Defense Taking Shape Ahead of 2020-21 Season
When the 2019-2090 National Hockey League regular season was brought to an abrupt halt due to COVID-19, the Montreal Canadiens had a 31-31-9 record through 71 games. After the commissioner’s office in conjunction with the player’s association (PA) adopted an expanded postseason format in the summer, the Canadiens were given a second wind. The Habs rallied and pulled off an improbable upset defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins in the qualification round in four games (3-1) officially advancing to the Stanley Cup Playoffs before losing in six games to the Philadelphia Flyers.
As the Boston Bruins look towards the future, they have many prospects in Providence looking to make their mark. One player who is just beginning his professional career is Jack Ahcan, who signed a two-year entry level contract with the team in May.
The offseason is also a time for reflection and retooling for 31, soon to be 32, general managers across the league. In the case of Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion, this fall has certainly been one of the ages.
Senators Have Franchise-Altering Draft with Stuetzle & Sanderson
The 2020 NHL Entry Draft will go down in history as one of the deepest drafts in recent memory. Hockey fans from around the globe were treated to high impact names such as Alexis Lafreniere, Jamie Drysdale, Lucas Raymond, Alexander Holtz, Quinton Byfield, Jack Quinn, and numerous others. These players will all have new zip codes in the coming years under the bright lights of the National Hockey League.
So far this offseason, the Boston Bruins have been one of hockey’s quietest teams. Although they signed Craig Smith to a three-year deal, the defending President Trophy winners have only made minor additions.