NHL 20 Draft: Best Players and Top Draft Steals 2020

The 2020 NHL Draft is teeming with talent: this is how good the star picks become a few seasons down the line.


The first draft in NHL 20 Franchise Mode is a great one, and if you’ve chosen one of the best teams to rebuild, it’s well-worth stacking up on first-round draft picks for 2020.

If you follow the NHL, you’ll know that there are tremendous talents coming through in the form of Alexis Lafrenière and Quinton Byfield, but which players are the best picks in NHL 20?


For this simulation, the 10 October Roster was used, moving the game forward to the 2023/24 season to see which 2020 NHL draftees developed the highest overall ratings. 

However, due to how development works in the game, some of the best picks haven’t grown into particularly lofty OVR ratings by this point, with the talent on NHL lines and the development rates in the juniors and minors inhibiting some players.

So, while these are ordered by OVR, if you land yourself any of these top NHL 20 draft steals of 2020, you’ll likely be able to develop them at a faster rate than they have shown in this simulation. 

Some of the top draft steals of 2020 in NHL 20 are generated players, but in these games, you can often find the same kind of player in the same scouting area but under a different name, so you can sometimes use their nationalities as a guide.

Jordan Adamski (90 OVR in 2023)

Potential: Elite med
Position: Defenseman
Type: Two-Way Defenseman
2020 Selection: 1st Round, 2nd Overall
Nationality: American
Best Stats: 93 Defensive Awareness, 92 Shot Blocking, 91 Stick Checking, Offensive Awareness

Taken second overall in the first round of the 2020 draft in NHL 20, Jordan Adamski is the has the highest overall rating of his class by the start of the 2023/24 season. At 21-years-old, the two-way defenseman is among the best at his position in NHL 20. 

With 90 slap shot power, 90 wrist shot power, 91 offensive awareness, 91 stick checking, 92 shot blocking, and 93 defensive awareness, Adamski is an incredibly valuable player at both ends of the ice. 

Alexis Lafrenière (88 OVR in 2023)

Potential: Elite high
Position: Left Wing
Type: Playmaker
2020 Selection: 1st Round, 1st Overall
Nationality: Canada
Best Stats: 96 Offensive Awareness, 94 Durability, 93 Defensive Awareness

Alexis Lafrenière goes first overall in NHL 20’s 2020 draft and will almost certainly go first overall in the real 2020 NHL Entry Draft. 

Set to become one of the premier playmakers in the NHL, he racked up 37 goals and 105 points for the Rimouski Océanic last season – as a 17-year-old – got 80 points for them in the QMJHL the season before, and hit the 70-point mark by the 32nd game of this season while also playing as the team’s captain.

In NHL 20, Lafrenière is the best player in most simulations of the 2020 draft, boasting Elite high potential. The left winger’s strengths are in his hockey IQ and athleticism, boasting 96 offensive awareness, 93 defensive awareness, 90 acceleration, 90 speed, 90 agility, and 94 durability. 

Paul Moore (88 OVR in 2023)

Potential: Elite med
Position: Defenseman
Type: Offensive Defenseman
2020 Selection: 1st Round, 4th Overall
Nationality: Norway
Best Stats: 94 Passing, 93 Offensive Awareness, Puck Control, Slap Shot Power, Wrist Shot Power

Paul Moore is one of the generated players on this list. Hailing from Norway, Moore is a prolific offensive defenseman with incredible puck skills, senses, and shooting. 

Taken fourth overall in the 2020 draft on NHL 20, he boasts 94 passing, 93 puck control, 93 deking, 92 hand-eye, 93 offensive awareness, 93 wrist shot power, and 93 slap shot power. 

Moore has some way to go regarding his shooting accuracy, but he’s a great blueliner to have with 91 acceleration, 91 agility, 91 speed making the right-shot defenseman one of the fastest defensemen in NHL 20 by the 2023/24 season.

Gary Millen (86 OVR in 2023)

Potential: Elite med
Position: Defenseman
Type: Defensive Defenseman
2020 Selection: 1st Round, 6th Overall
Nationality: American
Best Stats: 94 Body Checking, 94 Shot Blocking, 94 Body Checking

This simulation of the 2020 NHL Draft featured many high-potential defensemen, with American Gary Millen going sixth overall. 

Millen is a solid defensive defenseman but is a bit lacking with 87 defensive awareness. But given Millen’s 94 shot blocking, 93 stick checking, 94 body checking, 92 strength, 93 aggressiveness, and towing frame of 193cm and 96kg, he’s still a very good blueline option.

Topi Lehtivuori (86 OVR in 2023)

Potential: Elite low
Position: Right Wing
Type: Two-Way Forward
2020 Selection: 2nd Round, 33rd Overall
Nationality: Finnish
Best Stats: 97 Stick Checking, 97 Aggressiveness, 96 Body Checking

Despite his Elite low potential, Topi Lehtivuori develops into one of the best of the 2020 draft class by the time the 2023/24 season comes around. 

Simply put: the Finn is a freak. He weighs 100kg, is 196cm tall, and has absurdly high ratings of 97 stick checking, 97 aggressiveness, 96 body checking, 95 shot blocking, and 95 strength. 

If Lehtivuor – or his like – is brought into your draft simulation, he’s certainly worth picking up late in the first round or early in the second. 

Alexander Holtz (86 OVR in 2023)

Potential: Elite med
Position: Right Wing
Type: Two-Way Forward
2020 Selection: 1st Round, 7th Overall
Nationality: Swedish
Best Stats: 94 Slap Shot Power, 93 Wrist Shot Power, 92 Hand-Eye, Offensive Awareness

Expected to go in the top-five of the NHL 2020 Entry Draft, Alexander Holtz has been very impressive while playing men’s ice hockey for Djurgårdens IF in the SHL. 

Still only 17-years-old at the time of writing, Holtz notched seven goals and 11 points from 22 games in the SHL this season. He’s also a prominent feature of the Sweden U20s team. 

By the start of the 2023/24 campaign, Holtz has a good overall rating of 86 and some very useable attribute ratings. He’s a bit slow off of the mark, but makes up for it with 94 slap shot power, 89 slap shot accuracy, 93 wrist shot power, 89 wrist shot accuracy, 92 offensive awareness, and 91 deking.

Cole Perfetti (84 OVR in 2023)

Potential: Elite med
Position: Center
Type: Playmaker
2020 Selection: 1st Round, 8th Overall
Nationality: Canadian
Best Stats: 95 Discipline, 93 Slap Shot Power, 92 Wrist Shot Power, Durability

Seen by many as a top-three prospect in the upcoming 2020 NHL Entry Draft, Cole Perfetti went a little bit later in this NHL 20 Franchise Mode simulation. 

Playing for the Saginaw Spirit in the OHL, Perfetti notched 37 goals and 37 assists in 63 games last season. This season, the versatile forward looks set to blitz that tally as he already has 66 points through 39 games.

By the start of the 2023/24 season in NHL 20, Perfetti has developed fairly well with many user-friendly attribute ratings. 

The center’s 90 offensive awareness, 90 acceleration, 90 speed, 91 agility, 92 durability, and 95 discipline are his best ratings.

Tucker Tynan (84 OVR in 2023)

Potential: Starter med
Position: Goaltender
Type: Hybrid
2020 Selection: 2nd Round, 58th Overall
Nationality: American
Best Stats: 92 Angles, Rebound Control, Recover, Vision

Tucker Tynan was enjoying a decent season as the starter for the Niagara IceDogs in the OHL, but on 12 December, he suffered a horrifying injury that came in the form of a deep laceration to his leg which required surgery. 

Coming into the NHL 2020 Entry Draft, Tucker Tynan isn’t as highly-rated as the first round-bound Yaroslav Askarov or the likes of Joel Blomqvist or Jan Bednar, but in NHL 20, he quickly reaches a deployable overall rating of 84. 

In this NHL 20 simulation, by the start of the 2023/24 season, Tynan boasts strong ratings of 92 angles, 92 rebound control, 92 recover, 92 vision, 88 durability, and 87 glove low. 

Quinton Byfield (83 OVR in 2023)

Potential: Elite med
Position: Center
Type: Power Forward
2020 Selection: 1st Round, 9th Overall
Nationality: Canadian
Best Stats: 91 Offensive Awareness, 89 Slap Shot Power, Wrist Shot Power

If used early on, Byfield develops at a much quicker rate than this simulation would suggest. In the 2020 Draft, if it wasn’t for Alexis Lafrenière, Byfield would almost certainly be the top prospect of the class. 

In NHL 20, Byfield is a unique set-up, coming in as a power forward at center with a huge 198cm, 105kg frame and very strong speed ratings. Of all of the players in NHL 20’s 2020 draft, Byfield might just be the most useful player to pick-up. 

Waiting behind a rather stacked center corps for the Nashville Predators in this playthrough, Byfield’s attributes haven’t developed as well as they could. That said, he still has decent speed with 88 acceleration, 88 agility, and 88 speed.

Those were the best prospects to come through the NHL 2020 Draft in this simulation on NHL 20 Franchise Mode. In the table below, you’ll find a few more prospects who reach usable overall ratings with a few years of being drafted. 

NamePotentialPickNationalityOverallBest Attributes
Marco RossiTop 6 med1st Round (12)Austrian8397 Discipline. 94 Agility, Speed, Acceleration
Sean McCabeTop 4 med1st Round (11)American8389 Defensive Awareness, Shot Blocking. 88 Aggressiveness
Lucas RaymondElite med1st Round (5)Swedish8189 Wrist Shot Power. 88 Discipline, Offensive Awareness, Speed
Jan BednarStarter med6th Round (165)Czech8091 Breakaway, Five Hole. 90 Agility, Speed

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Ben Chopping

Will give almost any game a chance, particularly those that include wildlife, monsters, or prehistoric creatures of any kind.

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