2020 NHL Draft Preview

Photo credits: Garrett James Photography

The 2020 NHL Entry Draft takes place this week with Round 1 tonight and Rounds 2 through 7 starting tomorrow morning.

Like every year at the draft, there are plenty of BCHL players expected to be taken. Today we will take a look at the players ranked by NHL Central Scouting, plus a few outside of the list that have a chance to be selected.

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Ethan Bowen (F) – Chilliwack Chiefs

Ranked #119 among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting.

The 18-year-old is entering his third full season in the BCHL. He’s coming off a year where he missed significant time due to a wrist injury, but still managed to put up 39 points in 41 games. Bowen started with the Chiefs as an affiliate when he was 15-years-old and played alongside his brother Ryan at the 2018 RBC Cup where Chilliwack won a national championship as the host team. Bowen is expected to begin play at the University of North Dakota after this year’s BCHL season.

At 119 on Central Scouting’s list, Bowen could be a mid to late round pick.

Click here to read his NHL Draft Q&A.

Danny Weight (F) – Penticton Vees

Ranked #142 among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting.

Weight, the son of longtime NHL player and Stanley Cup champion Doug Weight, played just one season in the BCHL, but made an impact in his short time in the league. Last year with the Vees, he finished in the top-10 in league scoring with 60 points in 58 games. Weight is currently at Boston College, waiting for the green light to start his freshman year in the NCAA.

This is Weight’s second year of eligibility, having already gone through the draft process last year. The Lattingtown, N.Y. native is expected to go in the mid to late rounds.

Click here to read his NHL Draft Q&A.

Kyler Kovich (F) – Nanaimo Clippers

Ranked #168 among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting.

Kovich enjoyed a breakout year offensively for the Clippers last year, more than doubling his offensive totals from his rookie season. The Coquitlam, B.C. product finished 2019-20 with 18 goals, 21 assists and 39 points. His strong play last year also resulted in him getting a scholarship to Cornell University. This offseason, Kovich was given a leadership role ahead of his third season in Nanaimo when he was named team captain for 2020-21.

Kovich is expected to be selected somewhere in the later rounds of the draft.

Click here to read his NHL Draft Q&A.

Trey Taylor (D) – Vernon Vipers

Ranked #216 among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting.

The 6-foot-2, 185-pound defenceman is entering his third season with the Vipers. In 52 games last year, Taylor put up six goals and 12 assists for 18 points. He was also a key part of the Vipers run to the Fred Page Cup Final in 2019, notching six points in 21 playoff games. Last year, Taylor committed to Clarkson University.

The 18-year-old could be a late-round pick.

Click here to read his NHL Draft Q&A.

Ryan Helliwell (D) – Langley Rivermen

Unranked in NHL Central Scouting’s Final Rankings.

Another player on the list preparing for his third season in the league, Helliwell has received buzz for the 2020 draft since the start of his BCHL career. The 18-year-old saw a significant increase in production last year compared to his rookie season, especially in the goal-scoring department. After going goalless in his rookie season, Helliwell put seven on the board in 2019-20 and added another 16 assists for 23 points in 48 games. He is committed to the University of Notre Dame next season.

Although he was left off Central Scouting’s Final Rankings, Helliwell could be a late-round pick.

Click here to read his NHL Draft Q&A.

Jackson Glassford (G) – Alberni Valley Bulldogs

Unranked in NHL Central Scouting’s Final Rankings.

Glassford was solid in net for the Bulldogs last year in his rookie season. He made 21 appearances in 2019-20 and put together a record of 12-7-1. He ended the season with a .915 save percentage and a goals-against average of 3.25. His best stretch in the BCHL was from Dec. 7 to Jan. 4 when he won five straight starts, while facing over 30 shots in each of those games.

Another player who was ranked midseason, but was left off of the Final Rankings, Glassford has a chance to be a late-round pick.

Click here to read his NHL Draft Q&A.

Cade Alami (D) – Surrey Eagles

Unranked in NHL Central Scouting’s Final Rankings.

Like Weight, this is also Alami’s second year of eligibility at the draft. The 6-foot-7 defenceman from Bedford, N.Y. had four goals and nine assists for 13 points in his rookie year, while playing in all 58 regular-season games. He also chipped in with another three points in Surrey’s seven-game win over the Chilliwack Chiefs in the first round of the BCHL Playoffs. Alami is committed to Providence College and will play there next season.

Alami could be taken in the late rounds of the draft.

Click here to read his NHL Draft Q&A.

Talon Zakall (D) – Merritt Centennials

Unranked in NHL Central Scouting’s Final Rankings.

Zakall is another defenceman who enjoyed a breakout year last season playing for his hometown team in Merritt. After posting 10 points in 2018-19, the 18-year-old had six goals and 23 assists in his sophomore season to finish with 29 points to lead all Centennials blueliners. He also became somewhat of a power-play specialist with 10 of those points coming on the man advantage. On top of his success on the ice, Zakall also excelled in the classroom and was named the BCHL High School Player of the Month for November.

Zakall wasn’t ranked on any of NHL Central Scouting’s lists during the season, but has a chance to be selected in the late rounds.

Click here to read his NHL Draft Q&A.

John Evans (F) – West Kelowna Warriors

Unranked in NHL Central Scouting’s Final Rankings.

The Surrey, B.C. product turned heads across the league in his rookie season in West Kelowna last year. He was the fourth-leading scorer among BCHL rookies in 2019-20 with 50 points and tied for third in goals among rookies with 22. His performance was good enough to land him on the BCHL’s All-Rookie Team.

Evans wasn’t on any rankings for Central Scouting, but his strong finish to last season gives him a chance to be a late-round pick.

Nick Ardanaz (D) – West Kelowna Warriors

Unranked in NHL Central Scouting’s Final Rankings.

Evans’ teammate in West Kelowna, Ardanaz also made the BCHL’s All-Rookie Team after a strong 2019-20 campaign. The Langley, B.C. native finished as the league’s second-highest rookie defenceman last year after putting up 32 points and playing in all 58 regular-season games. His 28 assists were also second-most among rookie blueliners. Ardanaz is committed to the University of New Hampshire.

Ardanaz also wasn’t on NHL Central Scouting’s rankings last year, but received more and more attention as the year progressed. He could be a late-round pick.

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The league also has several players ranked by NHL Central Scouting who are on BCHL rosters for the upcoming 2020-21 season.

These players include:

Matteo Costantini (F) – Penticton Vees (ranked 95th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting)
Ryan McGuire (F) – Penticton Vees (ranked 105th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting)
David Sacco (F) – Trail Smoke Eaters (ranked 141st among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting)
Carter Loney (F) – Salmon Arm Silverbacks (ranked 167th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting)
Kienan Draper (F) – Chilliwack Chiefs (ranked 186th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting)
Paul DorĂ© (F) – Salmon Arm Silverbacks (ranked 187th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting)

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