There’s not much of a debate about who’s going to be selected first overall in the 2020 NHL Draft. However, there is a very interesting debate surrounding who the Los Angeles Kings will select with the second-overall pick.
Quinton Byfield and Tim Stutzle are the two names you’ll be hearing as a Kings fan, basically right up until the draft actually takes place. They’re both outstanding forwards with huge upside and this article will look to give a quick summary of what each player could bring to the team.
Byfield has been considered the likely second-overall pick for about a year now. He scored 32 goals and 82 points in 45 OHL games with the Sudbury Wolves this season, in his second year since being selected first-overall in the 2018 OHL draft.
He’s a huge center, at 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds and will only continue to get stronger. Byfield skates well and can carry the puck through the neutral zone and he’s deadly because not only is he a strong passer, but he’s also got a nice, hard shot. Combine this with the fact that he’s able to score on the rush and he’s always a threat when he’s on the ice.
When he’s in the offensive zone, he’s able to use his body to keep control of the puck very well and once he’s got good control, it’s hard to get the puck off of him.
Stutzle, on the other hand, played in Germany this year, where he had 34 points in 41 games while playing against men in the DEL. He’s emerged as a top talent in this draft more recently and is now challenging Byfield for the second-overall spot.
He played on the wing in the DEL but is able to play center. Stutzle is very shifty and never panics with the puck, rarely losing control of it when he has possession. He can carry the puck through the neutral zone well but is probably even more exciting to watch once he’s in the offensive zone.
Stutzle can make great passes into difficult areas and he can draw in opposing players to create ice for teammates before giving them the puck. He plays with a lot of intensity, he’s a very strong skater both with and without the puck and he’s hard on the forecheck. Basically, there’s a lot to like with Stutzle as well.
The Kings can’t really go wrong with either of these players. As for my thoughts, I’ll start by saying I’m aware I have bias towards OHL players because I get to see them play more. But after watching Byfield this year, I just think it would be a really, really difficult decision to pass on the chance to pick him. He’s just about everything you could want in a player and in almost any other year, he’d be a first-overall pick.
That said, the more I see of Stutzle the more I like him and he’s so fun to watch. I’ll go back and watch more of each of them now that we know where the Kings are picking and see if I feel more strongly towards one player or the other down the road. As of now though, like probably a lot of other people, I’m really not sure where I stand.
Either way, the Kings are going to get a star.
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Here's today's poll question (results and discussion will be posted in a future article):
Who do you hope the Kings select with the second-overall pick?