With training camp underway and the 2019-20 regular season just around the corner, Bob McKenzie of TSN has released his annual preseason draft rankings. This list is compiled from the opinions of ten active scouts around the league and given context by McKenzie, who will update throughout the year. It comes as little surprise to find Alexis Lafreniere leading the group, though none of them listed him as “in a class by himself.”
That may raise some eyebrows after Lafreniere took home the CHL Player of the Year award following his 105-point season with the Rimouski Oceanic, but it speaks to the strength of the players behind him. Those nipping at Lafreniere’s heels? They include power forwards, pure goal scorers, talented playmakers and even a potential franchise goaltender.
- After the trio of high profile restricted free agents all signed contracts over the past week, Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic (subscription required) examines what that will mean for next year’s crop. Mikhail Sergachev and Thomas Chabot are the focus of his musing, each in very different situations in Tampa Bay and Ottawa. LeBrun also gives an update on the ongoing negotiations with Philadelphia Flyers Travis Konecny, noting that there is “at least a path ahead” and giving a potential comparable of Bo Horvat’s $5.5MM average annual value. Horvat signed a six-year, $33MM deal in September 2017 following his first 20-goal campaign.
- Patrik Laine has begun practicing with SC Bern of the Swiss NLA as expected, explaining that he knew the coaching staff and thought it was a perfect place to stay in shape. The team’s head coach is Kari Jalonen, who had Laine on the Finland World Championship roster in 2016 where they won a silver medal. Laine was named the Most Valuable Player of that tournament, scoring seven goals in ten games.