Tim Stützle, a left wing with Mannheim in Germany’s Deutsche Eishockey Liga, is No. 1 in NHL Central Scouting’s final ranking of International skaters for the 2020 NHL draft.
The draft was scheduled for June 26-27 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, but was postponed due to the coronavirus. On Wednesday, Central Scouting revealed its final list for North American and International skaters and goaltenders. Left wing Alexis Lafrenière of Rimouski in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and Nico Daws of Guelph in the Ontario Hockey League are No. 1 in the final list of North American skaters and goalies, respectively.
When the NHL paused its season March 12 due to the coronavirus, the Red Wings were in last place with 39 points and held the No. 1 pick. The Blackhawks have the ninth overall pick. The NHL draft lottery, which helps determine the final order of the first 15 picks, has also been postponed to a later date.
Stützle (6 foot, 187 pounds) had 34 points (seven goals, 27 assists) in 41 games for Mannheim to be named the DEL’s Rookie of the Year. The 18-year-old also had five assists in as many games and averaged 18:43 in ice time for Germany at 2020 World Junior Championship.
Stützle hopes to be the first German player selected in the top five since Leon Draisaitl was taken third overall in 2014 by the Oilers.
Joining Stützle in the top five are No. 2 right wing Alexander Holtz (5-11, 192) of Djurgårdens in the Swedish Hockey League, No. 3 center Anton Lundell (6-1, 185) of HIFK in Finland’s Liiga, No. 4 left wing Lucas Raymond (5-11, 170) of Frölunda in the SHL and No. 5 left wing Rodion Amirov (6-0, 167) of Salavat Yulaev Ufa in Russia’s KHL. Holtz and Lundell both moved up from one spot from the midterm rankings, and Raymond moved back two to No. 4.
Holtz, a right-shooting right wing, had 16 points (nine goals, seven assists) in 35 games for Djurgårdens. The sniper also had five points (three goals, two assists) in seven games at the WJC.
Lundell, a strong two-way left-handed player who is a solid skater that lacks top-end speed, missed the WJC with an elbow injury, but returned to HIFK’s lineup in January and finished his second Liiga season with 28 points (10 goals, 18 assists) in 44 games.
Raymond, a right-shooting left wing, had 10 points (four goals, six assists) in 33 games for Frölunda. He also had four points (two goals, two assists) to help Sweden win bronze at the 2020 WJC.
Yaroslav Askarov (6-3, 176) of Neva St. Petersburg in Russia’s second division is the No. 1 International goalie. Jan Bednar (6-4, 196) of Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic’s Extraliga is No. 2.
Askarov had a 2.45 goals-against average, .920 save percentage and one shutout in 18 games. He also had a 2.71 GAA and .877 save percentage in five games with two starts for Russia at the WJC.
Bednar had a 4.39 GAA and .884 save percentage 13 Extraliga games. He also had a 3.26 GAA, .873 save percentage and one shutout in 24 games with Banik Sokolov in the Czech Republic’s second division.
Helge Grans (6-2, 206), a right-shot defenseman with Malmo in Sweden’s junior league, is the highest-ranked defenseman on the International list at No. 6. He was No. 21 in the midterm ranking.
Grans had 27 points (four goals, 23 assists) in 27 games, and three points (one goal, two assists) in 21 games with Malmo in the SHL.
No. 1: LW, Tim Stützle (DEL Mannheim)
No. 2: RW, Alexander Holtz (SHL Djurgårdens)
No. 3: LH-C, Anton Lundell (Liiga HIFK)
No. 4: LW, Lucas Raymond (SHL Frölunda)
No. 5: LW, Rodion Amirov (KHL Salavat Yulaev Ufa)
No. 1: Yaroslav Askarov (Russia-2 Neva St. Petersburg)
No. 2: Jan Bednar (Czech Extraliga Karlovy Vary)
No. 3: Joel Blomqvist (Finland Jr. Karpat)
No. 4: Calle Clange (Sweden Jr. Rogle)
No. 5: Amir Miftakhov (Russia-2 Bars Kazan)