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Top 25 Draft Prospects of 2020: Picks 10 & 11

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The Jets have a conundrum to solve.

AHL: FEB 19 Manitoba Moose at Laval Rocket
Kristian Vesalainen on the Moose.
Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Last time on the mock mock draft, I picked traditionally and conservatively for Buffalo and Minnesota. I can’t keep doing that. Someone has to be brave and take the little guys even if what they really want is a big defenceman that combines toughness, skill and some offensive punch, just like Dustin Byfuglien. They don’t make ‘em like that anymore — that’s likely what the Jets’ GM Kevin Cheveldayoff is thinking as he goes over his scouts’ reports.

I genuinely think the Jets are one of the teams likely to toss that pick into a trade for a defender, and they are absolutely a team that will outbid Toronto for whoever is out there. They almost have to, or what are all those highly paid forwards on their roster there for?

But in this mockery of a draft, no one is trading anything, so I have to pick for them using this as the guide:

Last year, the Jets took defender Ville Heinola at 20th, and he was ranked 23rd on McKenzie’s June list. They were so desperate for defence, they played him eight games this year, I guess hoping he was secretly Miro Heiskanen. He isn’t, but he’s a start on rebuilding their defence corps. Back in 2017, they had a second first-rounder after they took Patrik Laine, who they now likely want to trade, and they used that on Logan Stanley, a defender of height who is still in the AHL and about to enter the last year of his ELC.

No matter what the Jets choose, they are setting themselves up to be disappointed, and that’s a state they like to take public. They are disappointed in Laine, in Nikolaj Ehlers, in Vesalainen, and whatever that public divorce with Byfuglien was about, it wasn’t the way you want to end things with one of your stars. If the Oilers weren’t right there being worse, people might notice this trend.

I can’t imagine the Jets logging onto the Zoom call on October 6 and picking Marco Rossi, so he falls a little more in this draft. Maybe I was giving them too much credit in thinking they won’t take Kaiden Guhle. They sure will grab Sanderson if he’s available, though. But I’m saying the Jets will take a compromise pick. A winger, just not a European one. The Jets select Jack Quinn.

Nashville is next, and they want forwards, so they’re lucky their decision is hard, but in a good way. Nashville has built a bit of myth around their star forward Viktor Arvidsson. They like to think they developed him in the AHL because they left him there for two years after he was already good. I’ve always thought they just needed to get used to the idea that he wasn’t a ‘collapse to the net and play defence first kind of guy’. Once they got used to him, his goals seemed really useful.

They now have an excellent AHL team that really does develop players well, and are well placed to believe that they can give Alexander Holtz all the parts of his game he’s lacking (maybe they should just trade for Laine, too). I say they’ll take Holtz, and Rossi will be sitting at home — at least he’s not in a stadium with cameras on him — wondering what the hell a guy has to do to get drafted around here.

Next time, I’ll look at the three teams that are drafting in front of the Leafs and then leave you all with a cliffhanger while I try to figure out who the Leafs should take (I genuinely haven’t given it a thought, and I’m doing this fair, not aiming at any outcome).

Profiles

Quinn’s not going to fall. Neither is Holtz, I don’t think. So how about Rossi. What is it that’s kept him on the board all this time?

2020 NHL Draft Profile: Marco Rossi - Silver Seven
The Austrian centre led the CHL in scoring and was a bulldog in all three zones this year for the local Ottawa 67s

Marco Rossi: 2020 NHL Draft Prospect Profile; An Awesome Austrian Ace - All About The Jersey
Marco Rossi was arguably the best player on arguably the best team in the Ontario Hockey League, the Ottawa 67’s. This 2020 draft prospect profile goes over what Rossi is all about and finds he does a lot of things really well and has few flaws in his game.

2020 NHL Draft Profile: Marco Rossi could be the highest drafted Austrian ever - Hockey Wilderness
The small but feisty Austrian forward has a chance to wreak havoc in the NHL.

Marco Rossi | Hockey Prospects – DobberProspects

2020 NHL Draft Top Prospects: Marco Rossi - Eyes On The Prize
Will Marco Rossi beat out Thomas Vanek to become the highest drafted Austrian of all time?

Pronman’s scouting report: Why Marco Rossi is a top NHL prospect – The Athletic
Corey Pronman shows what to expect if your team drafts Marco Rossi in the 2020 NHL Draft.

DRAFT: Marco Rossi Profile
As part of our Road to the Draft coverage, we profile a player that will be a difference maker ready to take his next step in the NHL

The PPP mock mock draft list

  1. New York Rangers - Alexis Lafreniere
  2. Los Angeles Kings - Tim Stutzle
  3. Ottawa Senators - Quinton Byfield
  4. Detroit Red Wings - Cole Perfetti
  5. Ottawa Senators - Jamie Drysdale
  6. Anaheim Ducks - Lucas Raymond
  7. New Jersey Devils - Yaroslav Askarov
  8. Buffalo Sabres - Jake Sanderson
  9. Minnesota Wild - Anton Lundell
  10. Winnipeg Jets - Jack Quinn
  11. Nashville Predators - Alexander Holtz
  12. Florida Panthers - ???
  13. Carolina Hurricanes
  14. Edmonton Oilers
  15. Toronto Maple Leafs
  16. Montréal Canadiens
  17. Chicago Blackhawks
  18. New Jersey Devils
  19. Calgary Flames
  20. New Jersey Devils
  21. Columbus Blue Jackets
  22. New York Rangers
  23. Philadelphia Flyers
  24. Colorado Avalanche
  25. Washington Capitals