For prospects eligible to be selected in the 2020 draft, right now is a time of uncertainty. Those who may go in the top few picks often want to challenge for an NHL roster spot immediately, but it’s not clear exactly when training camp will even start. The NHL is hoping to get the 2020-21 season underway in December, but there’s no telling exactly when games will actually begin at this point.
Earlier this summer, Alexis Lafreniere, the consensus top prospect, decided he will not play in Europe and instead spend the offseason training. Today, Scott Wheeler of The Athletic reports that another top prospect has come to the same conclusion. Marco Rossi, who was ranked sixth by NHL Central Scouting among North American skaters and is expected to go in the top-10 picks, will not sign with a European club for the start of the season and is instead training in the hopes of making an NHL roster right away. Wheeler adds that he believes Rossi does have the talent to make the NHL right away. The Austrian-born center scored 120 points in 56 games for the Ottawa 67’s this season.
- Another future NHL draft pick has made a decision on where he’ll play down the road, as Maddox Fleming commits to the University of Notre Dame. Fleming, 16, is a top prospect for the 2022 draft and will be joining USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program for the next two seasons. Notre Dame would come after that, though it’s important to remember that commitments are often changed. Fleming already stands 5’11” 174-lbs and recorded 52 points in 42 games for the prestigious Shattuck St. Mary’s prep team this season.
- Victor Soderstrom may be the next top NHL prospect being loaned out to another league to get some game action, as the Arizona Coyotes defenseman has been linked to AIK in Sweden by Johan Svensson of Expressen. Soderstrom played in the SHL the last two seasons, but is expected to compete for a spot on the Arizona roster as soon as this year. The 11th overall pick from 2019 has quickly turned into one of the best defensive prospects in the world, landing 15th overall in Wheeler’s recent list of the top drafted prospects.