The first round of the 2020 Draft has come and gone and there were some very interesting choices made by some teams. Good prospects were found, but there was a lot of talent still left on the table. The Toronto Maple Leafs, picking at #44, have a chance to take advantage of that talent starting on Wednesday morning.
Here are 10 players who either fell out of the first round or who should be in the top half of the second round.
John-Jason Peterka, LW, DEL (Munich)
Ranked in the early 20s by Bob, I’m shocked JJ Peterka didn’t get drafted in the first round. He’s a hardworking player with good shooting and an effective, smart two-way game. He’s the kind of forward Kyle Dubas definitely targets particularly due to his work-ethic and natural athletic talent — Nick Robertson and newly acquired Rodion Amirov are prime examples. He’s one of the Red Bull Hockey Academy early graduates, a system that is gaining recognition as an impressive program. Fun fact on the Red Bull Academy: new Marlies prospect Jeremy McKenna led their 2015-16 team in scoring.
“His unrelenting motor is a force multiplier in every zone. He’s hard on every puck. He’s an eager, willing combatant in board battles. He’s violent, disruptive — a real pain in the ass. He’ll make second and third efforts where other players generally relent. He’s rarely, if ever stationary, constantly scanning the ice when the puck isn’t on his stick.” – EliteProspects
Noel Gunler, RW, SHL (Lulea)
Another player a lot of people were shocked made it out of the first round, but for others, he’s someone whose inconsistency at being an effective player pushed him down. He’s got a lot of talent and potential top-line upside in both scoring and playmaking. He’s definitely someone who will benefit from playing in a men’s league that forces players to work hard on and off the puck. His offensive upside is very hard to pass up, especially in the second round. He’s also teammates with new Leafs prospect Filip Hallander, so you know Dubas has watched him.
“Gunler wrapped up a very strong draft-eligible season that saw him play primarily in the SHL and in a respectable role for a player his age. His 13 points in 45 games were third-most amongst U19 skaters and trailed only Alexander Holtz for draft-eligibles. Gunler is an offensive weapon. He knows where to be on the ice, how to find the soft spots, how to enact the most potential from space. His shot is very good. He has a nose for distributing as well. The off-puck effort remains concerning, but if you can focus him, his upside is very real.” Dobber, Cam Robinson
William Wallinder, LD, Swe J20 (MODO)
Our Mock Draft pick, Wallinder is a classic boom or bust pick that could turn into a big, smooth-skating, puck-moving defenseman. Some Leafs fans really want a big defenseman, ao picking Wallinder would be both a great pick and make so many people mad.
“Wallinder is a puck-rushing defenseman with great size and a left-handed shot. He loves to join the rush and he’s often times even leading the rush. He is a great skater and has good puck skills which allow him to play that type of a role. But sometimes he has a tendency to keep the puck on his stick for too long. His strengths are mostly in transition and on the rush attack, though, as he isn’t the most natural offensive threat in the offensive zone. His biggest weakness can be found at the other end.” Dobber, Jokke Nevalainen
Helge Grans, RD, Swe J20 (Malmo)
The right-shot two-way defenseman with good puck moving ability and upside that no one rated. I would argue he has a better case for the third best defenseman in his draft class than some of the other guys drafted in the first round. He’s playing in the SHL right now and doing pretty well.
“Grans is an offensive defenseman with great size and a right-handed shot which is always valuable. He is a great skater who glides very smoothly and is very good at using his edges. Grans makes very good breakout passes and he loves to join the rush. His passing skills are very good but he also owns a good shot, although he should use it more and work on his accuracy as well.” – Dobber, Jokke Nevalainen
Marat Khusnutdinov, C, MHL (St. Petersburg)
A talented, fast, and smart puck distributor with top-six upside as a centre in the NHL. He’s been ranked around the end of the first round by most rankings, so it’s not unsurprising he’s still around but definitely someone we’ll hope is available at 44. He’s a high-energy player who is so annoying to play against because he’s great at managing the puck, making it really hard for his opponents to keep possession. He’s one of the youngest players in the draft so there’s lots of room to smooth out his raw game.
“As one of the youngest players eligible for the 2020 Draft, Khusnutdinov had a lot to do to prove himself. No matter which way you cut it, he did it all. His main upside is displayed when his team isn’t in possession of the puck. Marat is a hound on the ice and he plays with a high-energy, high-event style. He uses his quick skating to shoot around the ice and pressure puck carriers as soon as they gain control. On offense, he thrives in transitional play, as he can use his speed as well as his low center of gravity to weave through defenders and create space to make things happen.” – Dobber, Dylan Griffing
Jan Mysak, LW, OHL (Hamilton)
A rookie in the OHL after spending half a season playing in the Czech league, Mysak is an explosive skater with a great shot to boot. A reliable player with top-six upside as a complimentary winger, definitely something the Leafs wouldn’t mind throwing into their system. And again, he’s on the younger side of this draft class so there is more room to grow compared to his class.
“He was able to show off the tools that we saw glimpses of in his native Czech Republic when he played in the men’s pro league there. His shot is lethal and he has some explosion is his game. He finds his teammates well and looked more efficient in his skating stride as the year wore on. He still needs to work on being a bit more efficient with his stride but a noticeable improvement has been made. He thinks the game at a high level and he could find a role in an NHL top-six at some point in the future. He may not be a true line driver but he pushes play in the right direction and he has the skill to be a productive scoring winger.” – Dobber, Tony Ferrari
Topi Niemelä, RD, Liiga (Karpat)
Another underrated two-way defenseman who got really good results in a men’s league, having won a job early as a 17-year-old last season when his team expected him to not stick. He’s always played in leagues where he was the youngest player and he’s always succeeded and moved up. He needs a little work on his skating from a standstill and improving some skills, but his natural upside is very encouraging. He’s a right shot and competent defensively, that’s exactly what we want!
“He takes phenomenal care of the puck, can distribute through layers in the neutral zone, isn’t afraid to use the centre of the ice, and just displays a high level of competence with the puck on his stick. Niemela smartly scans the ice with shoulder checks as he skates to collect the puck, then smartly and decisively acts in a way that quickly moves play in the other direction.” – EliteProspects
Jean-Luc Foudy, C, OHL (Windsor)
Foudy is a personal favourite prospect of mine, someone who didn’t play on a great team, had to drag his linemates all season, and still got really good results on the scoresheet and in the underlying numbers. He’s got great vision as a playmaking centre whom I would argue could put up major numbers if he had Nick Robertson on his left wing. He works hard, plays annoying, and focuses on winning the puck at every opportunity. He still needs work on the defensive end, but I think he can get there with some years in the AHL. The tools are all there.
“The reality is that Jean Luc Foudy had a less productive season that he likely hoped for prior to his draft year. His skating remains elite and he can dazzle at times in transition and as he works his way through the offensive zone, zigging and zagging around the attacking zone. The skill and potential are still very high for Foudy. He passed the puck to the middle of the ice in the offensive zone at a near-elite level and he understands that funneling the puck to the slot and net-front area creates the most dangerous chances.” – Dobber, Tony Ferrari
Roni Hirvonen, C, Liiga (Assat)
A small centre who knows how to use his body effectively in puck battles with good speed and projectable skill with middle-six upside. He played as a winger in the Liiga last season and was a top player for Finland in their junior tournaments. I think there’s a lot to like with Hirvonen, especially when you want to look for players with a strong work rate that are reliable at both ends of the ice. He had comparable numbers to Anton Lundell, too. How’s that, Brigs?
“Hirvonen is primarily a playmaker but he also has a decent shot and a good nose for the net. His skating is good but there’s room for improvement. He doesn’t necessarily have high-end skill in any area but his effort level is great and he plays a reliable two-way game. He battles for pucks in the corners and goes to the dirty areas of the ice. He put up a lot of points in the junior league a year ago but I wouldn’t read too much into that. He is on the older side for this draft class and very mature for his age. Hirvonen is currently projected to be drafted in the second round of the 2020 NHL Draft but he could potentially sneak into the first round if he has a strong second half.” Jokke Nevalainen
Daniil Gushchin, RW, USHL (Muskegon)
A very small but very dynamic, tenacious winger with buckets of skill and a gifted offensive creator. He struggled on a bad USHL team and ended up being more of a solo player in the second half of the season. This year, he’s on the OHL Niagara Ice Dogs so he’ll have a much better chance to produce and round out his game on a better team. I would absolutely take the swing on Gushchin because of all the upside and there’s a projectable path for his development. Also, selfishly, I really want to see him in the AHL.
“Daniil Gushchin is one of the most fun players to watch in this year’s draft class. That comes from both a good and bad place. On the good side of things, the Russian import forward is a speedy, skilled winger who has the predatory instinct of the best offensive players in the game. His puck skills are impressive, juking and dodging through traffic as if he were a shifty NFL running back. It can be incredibly fun to watch when he is successful and devastating for the mentality of his opponents as they are often left reaching for air as he maneuvers the ice.”
Canada suspends activities at world junior camp after 2 players contract COVID-19 – CBC.ca
Hockey Canada announced Tuesday that two players at its national junior selection camp have tested positive for COVID-19.
The organization said in a news release that the players, who were not named, are in quarantine at the team’s hotel in Red Deer, Alta.
Hockey Canada said it is suspending all camp activities for the day, including a scheduled intrasquad game.
Players and team personnel will be required to undergo a COVID-19 test before camp activities resume.
Hockey Canada said provincial and local health authorities have been notified of the positive tests.
Fantasy: Waiver Wire – Week 12 – theScore
Find positional rankings, additional analysis, and subscribe to push notifications in the NFL Fantasy News section.
Every Monday during the season, theScore’s Justin Boone runs down the recommended waiver wire pickups.
Rostered percentages are based on Yahoo leagues. Free Agent Budget (FAB) amounts are set off a $100 salary cap. Only players rostered in less than 60% of leagues are considered.
Taysom Hill, Saints
We were excited about Jameis Winston‘s fantasy potential in New Orleans’ offense, but Sean Payton named Hill the starter. Hill went on to finish as a top-12 fantasy quarterback Sunday, rewarding his coach’s faith and giving fantasy managers a new weekly starter at QB.
Hill passed for 233 yards while adding 51 yards and two scores on the ground against a Falcons defense that’s given up the most fantasy points to quarterbacks.
Tougher matchups are on the way, but Hill’s rushing ability will keep him in the QB1 conversation for as long as he’s starting. Based on the latest reports on Drew Brees‘ health, this could be Hill’s job for several weeks.
Derek Carr, Raiders
As we just mentioned, the Falcons are the easiest matchup for fantasy quarterbacks. This week’s beneficiary is Carr.
The Raiders passer is coming off a strong showing against the Chiefs, throwing for 275 yards and recording his seventh multi-touchdown game this season.
Carr should have no problem racking up stats in what’s projected to be the highest-scoring game of Week 12.
Streamer options: Daniel Jones at CIN (28% rostered), Andy Dalton vs. WAS (9% rostered), Baker Mayfield at JAX (31% rostered), Kirk Cousins vs. CAR (42% rostered), Philip Rivers vs. TEN (26% rostered), Alex Smith at DAL (10% rostered)
Injured streamer options (if healthy): Teddy Bridgewater at MIN (39% rostered), Gardner Minshew vs. CLE (13% rostered)
Gus Edwards, Ravens
That leaves Edwards as the last man standing in what was once a three-man committee. Dobbins took a commanding lead in playing time (41 snaps) and production (85 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown) in Week 11, but he’ll now be forced to sit out while Edwards handles the bulk of the work.
Edwards has shown he can perform, whether down the stretch in 2018 or even more recently when he carried the ball 16 times for 87 yards and a score against this same Steelers defense back in Week 8.
Pittsburgh’s ability to stop the run has been greatly diminished by the loss of linebacker Devin Bush, so treat Edwards as an RB2 in what’s likely to be a one-week stint as the frontman in the Ravens’ backfield.
James White, Patriots
However, with Burkhead suffering a torn ACL on Sunday, White was thrust back into a significant role. He led the backfield in snaps while totaling a season-high 83 yards from scrimmage and six catches.
Damien Harris remains the Patriots’ lead back, but White has returned to fantasy relevance as an RB3/flex option moving forward.
J.K. Dobbins, Zack Moss, Salvon Ahmed, Jamaal Williams, Latavius Murray, Wayne Gallman, and Phillip Lindsay are around the 60% rostered mark and should be rostered in almost all leagues.
High-upside backups Alexander Mattison (33% rostered), Boston Scott (29% rostered), Carlos Hyde (46% rostered), and Brian Hill (7% rostered) should be rostered in most leagues.
Flex options: Frank Gore vs. MIA (10% rostered), Adrian Peterson vs. HOU (54% rostered), Kerryon Johnson vs. HOU (16% rostered), Tony Pollard vs. WAS (19% rostered)
Risky flex options: Cam Akers vs. SF (31% rostered), Malcolm Brown vs. SF (28% rostered), Justice Hill at PIT (0% rostered), Jordan Wilkins vs. TEN (10% rostered), Devontae Booker at ATL (10% rostered), Ty Johnson vs. MIA (0% rostered)
Other backups to roster: Sony Michel vs. ARI (25% rostered), Benny Snell Jr. vs. BAL (5% rostered), Joshua Kelley at BUF (28% rostered), D’Onta Foreman at IND (0% rostered), Jeremy McNichols at IND (1% rostered), Samaje Perine vs. NYG (1% rostered), Devine Ozigbo vs. CLE (1% rostered)
Injury stashes: Tevin Coleman at LAR (18% rostered), Rashaad Penny at PHI (4% rostered)
Deeper stashes: Anthony McFarland Jr. vs. BAL (1% rostered), Darrel Williams at TB (2% rostered), Jordan Howard vs. SEA (17% rostered), Royce Freeman vs. NO (1% rostered)
Michael Pittman Jr., Colts
Get ready to see some familiar names in the receiver section because it’s filled with players we recommended last week.
Pittman has clearly asserted himself as the Colts’ top receiving option. In addition to posting stat lines of 4-56-0, 7-101-0, and 3-66-1 over his last three games, the rookie led the receiving corps in snaps by a wide margin this past week.
If he’s still available in your league, Pittman is a WR3 with WR2 upside for the rest of the season.
Tim Patrick, Broncos
Patrick is about to set a record for most consecutive appearances in my waiver wire column, yet he somehow still remains available in 79% of leagues.
Let’s once again remind everyone about Patrick’s weekly production since Courtland Sutton went down. Here are Patrick’s stat lines over the last seven games:
Patrick is now a top-30 receiver in fantasy points per game since Week 3, and he’s just patiently waiting for you to realize his value. Unless you’re stacked at wideout, go and give this guy a home on your roster as a WR3/flex.
Deebo Samuel, Jakobi Meyers, Sterling Shepard, Corey Davis, Curtis Samuel, and Cole Beasley are around the 60% rostered mark and should be rostered in almost all leagues.
Flex options: Allen Lazard vs CHI (42% rostered), Jalen Reagor vs. SEA (28% rostered), Breshad Perriman vs. MIA (11% rostered), Marquez Valdes-Scantling vs. CHI (31% rostered), Denzel Mims vs. MIA (5% rostered), Emmanuel Sanders at DEN (49% rostered), Nelson Agholor at ATL (20% rostered)
Risky flex options: Sammy Watkins at TB (41% rostered), Keelan Cole vs. CLE (28% rostered), K.J. Hamler vs. NO (6% rostered), Josh Reynolds vs. SF (12% rostered), Damiere Byrd vs. ARI (2% rostered), Darnell Mooney at GB (8% rostered), Keke Coutee at DET (0% rostered), Rashard Higgins at JAX (12% rostered), Henry Ruggs, at ATL (31% rostered), Russell Gage vs. LV (7% rostered)
Dart-throw flex options: Marvin Hall vs. HOU (2% rostered), Khadarel Hodge at JAX (0% rostered), Gabriel Davis vs. LAC (1% rostered), Hunter Renfrow at ATL (19% rostered), Anthony Miller at GB (18% rostered), Michael Gallup vs. WAS (44% rostered), Zach Pascal vs. TEN (7% rostered), Jakeem Grant at NYJ (9% rostered), Steven Sims Jr. at DAL (2% rostered), Demarcus Robinson at TB (2% rostered), N’Keal Harry vs. ARI (8% rostered), Tre’Quan Smith at DEN (12% rostered), David Moore at PHI (5% rostered), Willie Snead at PIT (4% rostered), Chris Conley vs. CLE (1% rostered)
Injury stashes: Laviska Shenault vs. CLE (17% rostered), Julian Edelman vs. ARI (28% rostered)
Deep bench stashes: Auden Tate vs. NYG (1% rostered), Cam Sims at DAL (1% rostered), Jalen Guyton at BUF (1% rostered), Dez Bryant at PIT (9% rostered)
Robert Tonyan, Packers
Tonyan is coming off a five-catch, 44-yard, one-touchdown performance against the Colts.
Though his target share is likely to be more volatile now that the Packers’ receiving corps is back to full health, he has a favorable matchup with the Bears.
Chicago’s defense has been strong this year, but it’s giving up the ninth-most fantasy points to tight ends, making Tonyan a solid streamer in Week 12.
Dalton Schultz, Cowboys
Schultz‘s numbers dipped to unplayable fantasy levels after Dak Prescott was lost for the season. Fortunately, he’s had a resurgence in the last few weeks with stat lines of 6-53-0, 4-48-0, and 4-25-1.
Washington is the eighth-best matchup for fantasy tight ends, so Schultz can be played with confidence as a streamer this week.
Austin Hooper, Logan Thomas, and Mike Gesicki are around the 60% rostered mark and should be rostered in almost all leagues.
Streamer options: Jordan Reed at LAR (15% rostered), Jordan Kins at DET (2% rostered), Jimmy Graham at GB (38% rostered), Irv Smith Jr. vs. CAR (8% rostered), Trey Burton at TEN (17% rostered)
Risky streamer options: Jacob Hollister at PHI (0% rostered), Will Dissly at PHI (1% rostered), Chris Herndon vs. MIA (13% rostered), Tyler Eifert vs. CLE (5% rostered)
Week 12 streamers
Favorable fantasy playoff schedules: Seahawks DEF (28% rostered), Browns DEF (59% rostered), Cowboys DEF (13% rostered), 49ers DEF (38% rostered)
Hockey Canada statement on National Junior Team Sport Chek Selection Camp – Hockey Canada
RED DEER, Alta. – The following is a statement on behalf of Hockey Canada from Scott Salmond, senior vice-president of national teams, on Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Selection Camp.
“Hockey Canada confirmed earlier today that two players at Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Selection Camp have tested positive for COVID-19, and have been placed in quarantine at the team hotel in Red Deer.
Upon learning of the positive test this morning, the decision was made to postpone the Red-White game scheduled for this morning at the Westerner Park Centrium, and to suspend all camp activities for today. As per Hockey Canada’s safety protocols, all players, coaches and staff members took mandatory COVID-19 tests upon arrival at camp and have continued to be tested regularly throughout the past ten days. For precautionary reasons, we will also ensure that all players and team personnel go through an additional test before resuming camp activities. The appropriate local and provincial health authorities have been made aware of the situation, and we will continue to work closely with Alberta Health Services. We will have no further comment at this time.”
941 new COVID-19 cases, 10 deaths reported as B.C. continues to shatter records – Global News
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