Connect with us


The Three Fastest-Rising NHL Draft Picks: Sanderson, Jarvis & Grans

What prospects are rising fastest towards the 2020 NHL Entry Draft?

In Sportsnet’s Newsletter that came into my email Inbox today, Rory Boylen looked at three Draft Picks that were definitely rising in the minds of NHL general managers. [As an aside, I encourage hockey fans to subscribe to that newsletter. It is both free and excellent.]

Boylen noted that, whenever the 2020 NHL Entry Draft happens, Alexis Lafreniere will be chosen first – no contest. He’s the best available. Then, somewhere in an order no one yet knows, sits Quinton Byfield of the Sudbury Wolves and young German prospect Tim Stutzle. After that, who knows?

However, as Boylen pointed out, the 2020 Draft is seen to be both so deep and strong that NHL teams choosing in later rounds are almost certain to get a steal or two. At least, so says Central Scouting’s, David Gregory.

Gregory noted, “Teams are going to get very, very good players as they pick into the second, third, fourth rounds. There’s going to be some real hidden gems there, and a few years from now we’ll be talking about how did that player get taken so late.”

Related: Edmonton Oilers Colby Cave: A Medical Update

Notable Risers Toward the Top of the NHL Draft

Boylen then notes three players who have jumped up the rankings from the last time these same rankings were released.

Prospect #1: Jake Sanderson (Defenseman, United States National Development Team)

Jake Sanderson is the son of former NHL player Geoff Sanderson and was ranked number 11 in North America during the mid-term rankings. However, he’s now moved up to number four. That makes him the second-ranked young defense after Jamie Drysdale. Boylen even noted that Sanderson had risen in the rankings past young center Cole Perfetti, who had 111 points for OHL Saginaw.

Boylen cited Gregory as talking about Sanderson, “His development curve over the course of this year just kept getting better and better, and we’re thinking there may be no ceiling in sight.” Gregory noted that Sanderson had come to the point where he’s simply learned how to dominate a game, which means he’s growing in his on-ice skills and intelligence.

Prospect #2: Seth Jarvis (Center, Portland Winterhawks)

Boylen noted that, when a season begins, Central Scouting grades players rather than rank them to note where these players are projected to finish (A = first-round candidate, B = second- or third-round candidate, etc.). At the time of that grading, the 5-foot-10 Jarvis was graded a ‘B’ prospect. Although he began the season well enough with 24 points in his first 22 games, then he really began to score.

Since January 1, Jarvis has scored 63 points in 26 games and ended the season in the top five of the WHL in both goals and assists. He’s now the 11th-ranked North American skater, and he’ll likely be chosen during the first round of the Draft.

Prospect #3: Helge Grans (Defenseman, Malmo Redhawks)

Boylen described Helge Grans as a smooth-skating, puck-moving, right-shooting defenseman – and we know how prized right-handed defensemen are in the NHL. In fact, Grans showed perhaps the biggest rise in the rankings when he jumped from the 21st-ranked European prospect at the mid-point ranking to the number-six ranked currently. He’s clearly the top young defenseman in Europe. He also has great size at 6-foot-3 and 206 pounds.

Related: Calgary Flames News & Rumors: Rittich, Gaudreau, Giordano & Playoffs

Grans played the season both with the junior team and the senior SHL squad, and he was impressive with both teams. Although he only had three points in 21 games, he doesn’t turn 18 until May so he’s – by all accounts – just a teenager. What makes him so special is that he’s seen as a strong player because he not only was able to stick with Malmo but stand up to the rigors of playing both offensively and defensively against much older and fully-developed Swedish players.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

More News