Who emerged as the biggest winners and losers from Round 1 of the 2020 NHL Draft?
The first round of the 2020 NHL Draft is over. It happened on Tuesday, Oct. 6. Picks were made and so were some mistakes. The second round of the draft will start with plenty of skilled players still on the board.
Who emerged from Tuesday as the biggest winners and losers? Let’s take a look at the five biggest winners and losers from the first round of the 2020 NHL Draft.
Winner: Minnesota Wild
The Minnesota Wild didn’t do what I thought they would do. I thought they wouldn’t be able to pass up the temptation of drafting Yaroslav Askarov or Anton Lundell if both were available. For the record, either one would have been a brilliant pick by the Wild.
Instead, the Wild drafted Marco Rossi, one of the best pure offensive players in the draft. Rossi should give the Wild a huge lift offensively. I’m not 100% sure he’ll stick at center, but I’m far more optimistic he will than I was as recently as January of 2020.
Don’t let Rossi’s small stature fool you. He’s a surprisingly physical player and he plays with a huge chip on his shoulder. Basically, he’s a smaller Evgeni Malkin. If you piss Rossi off, you’re going to pay one way or another. He’ll make you pay by scoring a goal and then proceed to dish out a hit on you from out of nowhere.
Loser: Ottawa Senators
The Ottawa Senators had a chance to have a historic night and they fell quite short. Tim Stutzle was a very good pick with the third overall pick. I personally would have gone with Lucas Raymond or Marco Rossi, but Stutzle has a unique offensive upside that neither of them have.
With their second pick, the Senators went with Jake Sanderson. I like Jake, but he wasn’t drafted for his offense. He was drafted for his defense. When you draft a defenseman early in the first round because of his defense and not because of his offense, you’re asking for trouble. Sanderson will likely be a second pairing defenseman, but imagine if the Senators drafted another skilled forward. Or even Jamie Drysdale.
The third pick was their worst one, as they reached for Ridly Greig. Many had him as a second round pick.