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Prospect and NHL Draft News: American-Based Prospects 2020

Dylan Holloway of the Wisconsin Badgers is expected to be mid-first round NHL 2020 selection.

Jake Sanderson NHL 2020 Draft Prospect

With the opening round of the 2020 NHL draft set to begin two weeks from tomorrow, it is time to round out potential first round talent. So far, the 2020 first-round hopefuls have been broken down geographically, and by league. Today, the focus is American-born players or those prospects playing in the NCAA, USHL, etc.

As noted in a previous feature article, the US National Training and Development Program (USNTDP) saw a record eight first round NHL selections taken in the 2019 NHL Draft. Overall, the USNTDP had 17 players selected last year in Vancouver. Yes, 2019 was an excellent year for young American hockey prospects.

The 2020 NHL Draft will be different for American born prospects or those playing stateside – at least in the 1st round. Such is the cyclical nature of prospect and the draft. Based on a quick consensus of several draft rankings, there are primarily three American players to focus on during the 1st round.

Jake Sanderson: Whitefish, Montana – Univ. of North Dakota / NCAA – 20/21

The first player, Jake Sanderson, was discussed in the Top Defenders feature several weeks ago. Jake was born in Whitefish, Montana but played much of his minor hockey in Calgary. Over the last two seasons, the young defender has played with the USNTDP U17 and U18 U teams. Sanderson is also committed to play with the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks in Grand Forks. The left-handed defenceman is the son of former NHL forward, Geoff Sanderson.

As one of the top defenders available in 2020, it would not surprise if Sanderson were taken in the top 15 picks of the first round.

U.S. Based Forward Prospects

The remaining two prospects playing stateside are Canadian Dylan Holloway and Californian Brendan Brisson. Both of whom add to the lengthy list of potential first round forwards available in the 2020 NHL Draft.

Dylan Holloway: Bragg Creek, Alberta – Wisconsin Badgers (NCAA, Big-10)

Holloway is another player who grew up playing minor hockey in Calgary. After being drafted in the sixth round by the WHL’s Everett Silvertips (2016), Holloway instead opted to play for the Okotoks Oilers in the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL). The junior A route ensured Holloway would keep his NCAA eligibility and by doing so allowed him to attend the University of Wisconsin in 2019/20. The left-handed center had a decent freshman year with the Badgers collecting 7 goals and 8 assists in 33 Big-10 games. Keep an eye on Holloway in the middle to late stages of the 1st round.

Brendan Brisson: Manhattan Beach, California – Chicago Steel (USHL)

Brisson is an October born 2001 player from California. The left winger played last season with the USHL’s Chicago Steel – Brisson has also committed to attend the University of Michigan. As a member of the Steel last season Brisson tallied 59 points (24G, 35A) in just 45 regular season games. The Californian is also the son of former NHL player, now influential agent, Pat Brisson. Described as a late bloomer, Brisson is a smart playmaker with good skating ability. Expect this forward to be taken as a late first or early 2nd round selection.

Stay tuned for more Prospect and NHL Draft coverage as we get closer to the first round! Coverage begins on the evening of Tuesday, October 6th.

NEXT: Prospect and NHL Draft News: Finnish, Russian, and German Talent

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