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Prospect and NHL Draft News: Canadian Teams Draft Overview (Part II)

How do things shape up for the Leafs, Canucks and Jets heading into the 2020 NHL Draft.

In Part I of the Canadian team’s draft overview, the focus was squared upon the Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Montreal Canadiens, and Ottawa Senators. Today, in Part II, the focus shifts to the remaining three Canadian teams including the Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, and Winnipeg Jets.

Related: Every NHL Team’s Most Likely Offseason Trade Piece: [Part 3]

Toronto Maple Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs have at least one pick in each round, except the 3rd. In total, the Toronto has 11 selections in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. The Leafs have one selection in the 1st, 2nd & 5th rounds, two selections in the 4th round, and three picks in the 5th and 7th rounds. With somewhat of a back end heavy group of picks, but perhaps the Leafs can entice a few teams to make deals with an assortment of picks, if they so choose.

As noted in yesterday’s draft feature, the Leafs have the 15th overall pick – wedged right between the Edmonton Oiler (14) and Montreal Canadiens (16) 1st round selections. The Leafs have a well-balanced top prospect pool in terms of skaters, but not much in the way of goaltending depth. If, and that is a big if, Yaraslav Askarov falls to 15, would the Leafs consider taking the highly touted Russian goaltender? Further would Leaf Nation be happy with that choice?

Vancouver Canucks

Vancouver is another Canadian team light on picks in 2020 – especially in the early, premium rounds (specifically the 1st & 2nd rounds). The Canucks will need to wait until pick #81 in the 3rd round to make their first 2020 draft selection. The acquisition of JT Miller in 2019 cost the Canucks this years first round pick, and they sent the 2nd round selection to the LA Kings by adding Tyler Toffoli at the deadline.

After round three, the Canucks have a pick in each round thereafter. For me to try and guess what player they might target at #81 would be foolish. That said, with a good nucleus of great young players will the Canucks try and move up into the top two rounds? Further, what would they need to give up to acquire a selection in the top 62 picks? 

Winnipeg Jets

The Winnipeg Jets made five selections during the 2019 NHL entry draft. This year, the Jets are limited to a total four picks in 2020 – a first, second, fifth and sixth rounds. The Jets sent a 3rd round selection to Ottawa in the Dylan Demelo trade – a 4th round pick was spent on Simon Bourque from the Canadiens in 2018 – the 7th round pick was a part of the deal for Matt Hendricks from the Minnesota Wild.

The Jets do have a premium pick in the first round with the 10th overall selection. As you can see from the TSN tweet above, Winnipeg also has a handful of defensive prospects in the stable, so they may be inclined to take a very good forward. The easy player to connect to the Jets is hometown kid, Seth Jarvis who plays for the Portland Winterhawks. A smaller but dynamic player, Jarvis can be electric. The other name to keep an eye is if a player like Alexander Holtz were to get close to that 10th selection. It might be a stretch, but on several draft rankings Holtz slides to or around that spot. If Holtz were to slide down that would be very fortuitous for the Jets.

There is clearly some disparity in the amount of 2020 draft picks between the Canadian NHL teams. The Eastern Canadian teams including Montreal, Ottawa, and even Toronto have plenty of selections to create opportunities as they see fit. Conversely, the Oilers, Jets, and Canucks may be looking to add a few picks with limited selections available heading into 2020.

Yarslov Askarov goalie prospect NHL 2020
Yarsolav Askarov goalie prospect NHL 2020

Will we see some Canadian teams swap picks in the next 10 days? Only time will tell. Stay tuned!

NEXT: Prospect and NHL Draft News: Canadian Teams Draft Overview [Part I]

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