One of the factors that could determine if the New York Rangers trade or use their 22nd pick of the first round might be who is available at that pick. There are a handful of players that are ranked in the top 15 of this draft class that could fall far enough for the Rangers to select. Here is a look at three such prospects:’
Hendrix Lapierre, C, Chicoutimi-QMJHL
The issue that scares many from ranking him higher is his injury issue as Lapierre has had three concussions in a two-year span. However, Lapierre told The Athletic that the latest concussions were re-diagnosed as a neck injury. This has led some scouts to advise to select him the first round but also admitting that he has borderline top 10 talent. This had led to most experts referring to his projected selection in the NHL Entry Draft as the “most unpredictable.”
Dawson Mercer and Hendrix Lapierre giving us a glimpse of what's to come from them this season: pic.twitter.com/H34eLkAdsP
— Future Scope Hockey (@FSHockeycenter) September 25, 2020
LaPierre is officially listed at six feet tall, 181 pounds, and has a left-handed shot. Lapierre was a highly touted player coming out of bantam and midget AAA hockey. So much so that Chicoutimi drafted him first overall in the 2018 QMJHL Entry Draft.
Brendan Holmes at DraftGeek had this to say about Lapierre’s talent: Lapierre is among the best playmakers in the 2020 Draft Class and that’s in large part due to his elite passing ability. Hendrix’s passing ability is a trifecta of strength, precision, and creativity, as he can make difficult passes with regularity to find teammates both in the slot and across the seam in the offensive zone. He has the rare skill of being equally accurate on both his backhand and forehand with his passes, which allows him to catch defenders and goaltenders by surprise with some of the passes he can make. When you combine this passing ability with his puck skills, Lapierre becomes extremely dangerous as a puck distributor.
Dylan Holloway – C – University of Wisconsin
Taking Hollaway could eventually reunite him with former teammate now Blueshirt prospect K’Andre Miller. So how would a player who is ranked from 10th to 20th by most scouts fall to the Rangers? First, Holloway did not have a great freshman year at Wisconsin as he didn’t put up huge scoring numbers after dominating the AJHL the season prior. The second is that this year’s draft is loaded with forwards.
— Karley Marotta (@Karley_Marotta) October 1, 2020
Steve Kourinas of the Draft Analyst wrote this about Holloway: “Once he has the puck under control, Holloway features a relatively wide skating base and accelerates with a powerful stride and above-average straight-line speed. His first step is quick, and he can make instant directional changes, tight turns, and pivot on a dime while moving at top speed, all while maintain control of the puck during these difficult maneuvers. His skating most certainly is a strong suit and his escapability along the boards while taking hard shoves reveals his elite balance.”
Jack Quinn – RW – Ottawa 67’s (OHL)
Quinn is a six-foot, right-shot wing born in September 2001, who scored 52 goals and 89 points in 62 OHL games. The reason why a player who is solidly ranked as a top 20 players might fall to the Rangers comes in a quote from an anyomous NHL scout who told the Athletic: “Quinn is an older prospect without much of a great track record, and using a high pick on him would worry me a lot. He’s good, but that one could be a bit of a mirage.”
Quinn has been a bit under the radar player as he never played internationally for Canada and was the 39th pick in his OHL Draft. However, last season his 52 goals were good enough for second in the league, behind only Toronto Maple Leafs’ draft pick Nicholas Robertson.
#MeetTheFuture: Jack Quinn
The @Ottawa67sHockey forward has a hard and accurate shot he can unleash on the move or with a quick release in tight scoring 52 @OHLHockey goals to finish second in the #CHL and first among #NHLDraft prospects.
— CanadianHockeyLeague (@CHLHockey) September 27, 2020
Corey Pronmon of the Athletic wrote this about Quinn: “he can certainly shoot it at a high level, but he’s also a player with a lot of skill and IQ. He can beat defenders with his hands, find teammates very well and score from a distance giving his game a lot of dimensions. The main reason for his sudden rise in prospect stock has been the continued improvement in his skating to being arguably above-average when it used to be a weakness for him. Quinn is solid off the puck, plays the penalty kill for Ottawa and is a player who coaches and scouts universally praise for all the dimensions in his game.”
The 2020 NHL Entry Draft will be the 58th NHL Entry Draft. The draft is scheduled for October 6–7, 2020 and will be held virtually via video conference call from the NHL Network Studios in Secaucus, New Jersey.