Several of the top-rated prospects for the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, coming up on October 6-7, spoke to the media today and there was no shortage of interesting quotes, courtesy of OHL insider Mark Scheig. Saginaw forward Cole Perfetti was certainly confident and didn’t mince his words when discussing his ideal NHL landing spot. “If I was under a head coach where I had to dump the puck in every time I go out over the red line and get on the forecheck, it would be frustrating and I wouldn’t be able to express how I really am as a player,” Perfetti stated. While many NHL teams have abandoned the dump-and-chase offense, it might not have been the best idea for the young forward to state so emphatically that he could have issues in a system different from the one he is used to. NHL GM’s probably would have preferred to hear him say that he is willing to work at fitting in to any offensive structure and that his ability can adapt to new systems. Although Perfetti’s talent will be the final determinant of his draft slot, he may have rubbed some interested executives the wrong way with his bold statement. We will find out for sure come draft day if the potential top-five pick falls down the draft board.
- Defenseman Jake Sanderson has flown up draft boards since the start of this season to the point that he is now considered a consensus top-10 or at least top-15 pick. That of course means that the U.S. National Team Development Program product has slipped past the realm of possibility for the Columbus Blue Jackets at No. 21 overall. Jake’s father, Geoff Sanderson, was an inaugural member of the Blue Jackets and played four seasons with the team, during which time Jake was born. Sanderson told the media today that he has indeed met with Columbus and there is a lot of familiarity still with the organization and the city. To make this pairing a reality, the Blue Jackets would absolutely need to trade up in the first round. However, they will likely wait until the draft has begun to see if such a move is even worth it. Sanderson revealed that he has also met with the New Jersey Devils twice and the cost for Columbus to move ahead of them at No. 7 is likely too high. If he does slip by the Devils, the race could be on for Columbus to move up the draft board.
- Have the Detroit Red Wings tipped their hand as to their selection at No. 4 overall? With Alexis Lafreniere locked in as the No. 1 pick to the New York Rangers and Quinton Byfield and Tim Stutzle going in some order at No. 2 and No. 3, the first real draft order question comes with Detroit’s pick. However, it seems like the mystery may have already been solved. Amidst existing rumors that the Red Wings had keyed in on OHL forward Marco Rossi as their selection, the Red Wings loaned one of their top prospects, Michael Rasmussen, to the Graz 99ers, the same team that Rossi is currently training with. Then today, Rossi reported that he has talked with the Red Wings not once or twice but three times. And while other prospects have noted that Detroit GM Steve Yzerman has merely been listening in on video calls with his computer screen off, Rossi stated that he has had several “good” chats directly with Yzerman. This is far from an absolute confirmation that the Red Wings will go Rossi at fourth overall, there is certainly enough evidence to make a strong case.