Washington Capitals Draft Candidates For 2020 NHL Entry Draft – Centers


Photo: NHL

The Washington Capitals will make their first selection at #24 in the first round of the 2020 NHL Entry draft, held this Tuesday night. NoVa Caps is examining the players generally ranked between 20-29, based on most recent draft lists and mock drafts, and preparing player profiles for those players.

The players reviewed will be grouped by position, with centers being discussed in this piece. Wingers are discussed here.  Defensemen were discussed here.


CENTERS

Hendrix Lapierre – Born in Gatineau, Quebec on February 9, 2002, Lapierre has played the last two seasons with Chicoutimi Saguenéens in the QMJHL. Due to injuries, he was only able to play in 19 games, but recorded 17 points (2 goals and 15 assists).

Lapierre suffered a concussion in February 2019 and missed nearly a month. He appeared to suffer another concussion in October 2019, but returned in November only to miss more time. He finally consulted with three specialists and underwent an MRI and X-rays and was subsequently diagnosed with injuries to the vertebrae, which were causing his headaches.

He was finally cleared to play, but then the season ended due to COVID-19.  Prior to his injuries, he was considered to have Top 10 pick potential.  He dominated at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, helping Canada to a Silver medal.

Elite Prospects Profile:


Brendan Brisson – Born in Manhattan Beach, California on Oct 22, 2001, he is the son of NHL agent Pat Brisson. He attended Shattuck-St Mary’s, the high school in Fairbault, MN, where Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, and Zach Parise attended.

In 2019-20, Brisson played for the Chicago Steel, a junior hockey team in the USHL, scoring 24 goals and recording 35 assists for 59 total points in 45 games. He also represented the USA in their Under 19 team during 2019-20, scoring 5 goals with 7 assists in 6 games.

Brisson is considered to be a great playmaker with great acceleration.  He is committed to the University of Michigan.

Elite Prospects Profile:


Mavrik Bourque – Born in Pleesisville, Quebec on January 8, 2002, Bourque played for the Shawinigan Cataractes during the 2019-10 season, scoring 29 goals and 42 assists for 71 points in 49 games.

Bourque missed some time last season and was about to return when the season was suspended due to Covid-19.

He is considered to be an extremely smart player, with a great hockey sense. He not only can make the right play with the puck in the offensive zone, but he can make plays that no one else even sees.

Elite Prospects Profile:


Thomas Bordeleau – Born in Houston, Texas on January 3, 2002, Bordeleau played AAA hockey in Quebec, but played his last two seasons with the United States National Team. He was with the Under 18 team in 2019-20, where he played in 47 games and had 16 goals and 30 assists. Bordeleau also played with the US Team National Development program’s junior team, where he had 7 goals and 11 assists in 19 games.

He has lived and played hockey in Canada, Switzerland, and the US, as his father, Sebastien, played his own professional hockey career in the NHL, AHL, and Swiss League. His grandfather was also a professional hockey player who had played in the NHL.

Despite being small in size, he uses exceptional speed and puck protection habits to make an impact in the offensive zone.

Elite Prospects Profile:


Ridly Greig – Born in Lethbridge, Alberta on August 8, 2002, Greig played the 2018-19 and 2019-20 season with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League. Long time Caps fans remember that team as the one where Eric Fehr used to play.

Grieg scored 26 goals and had 34 assists for 60 points in 56 games.

He is a player with a lot of energy and, if there’s a scrum, he’ll be involved and will even create them at times. He blends both skill and grit. He may not be an outright bruiser but will certainly be a pest.

Elite Prospects Profile:


Dawson Mercer –  Mercer was was born in Carbonear, Newfoundland on October 27, 2001. In 2019-20, he played with two different teams in the QMJHL, the Drummondville Voltigeurs and the Chicoutimi Saguenéens. He scored a total of 24 goals and recorded 36 assists for 60 points total in 42 games. He will likely return to Saguenéens for the 2020-21 season.

Mercer played the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons with Drummondville. He represented Canada in the IIHF World Junior Games for 2020. He picks apart defenses similar to how NFL quarterbacks pick apart defenses.

Elite Prospects Profile:


Jan Mysak – Born in Litvinov, Czech Republic on June 24, 2002, Mysak has played both center and wing. He split time between HC Litvinov in the Czech League and the Hamilton Bulldogs in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). He scored 5 goals and 4 assists in 26 games with Litvinov and 15 goals and 10 assists in 22 games with Hamilton.

Mysak has represented the Czech Republic in international competition including the IIHF World Junior Games of 2020.

He excels most in the offensive zone as a forechecker. He is a sniper who can get off his shot without hesitation but has also developed playmaking habits to complement his goal scoring ability.

Elite Prospects Profile:


Marat Khusnutdinov – Born in Moscow, Russia on July 17, 2002,  Khusnutdinov spent the 2019-20 season with SKA-1946 St. Petersburg in the MHL, where he scored 13 goals and had 25 assists for 38 points overall in 44 games.

Khusnutdinov represented Russia in international competition on several occasions. He  played two games with SKA St Petersburg in 2020-21.

He’s an undersized center who’s been very impressive when representing Russia on the international stage.  He captained the Russians to the gold medal at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, scoring three points in five games. He is an explosive skater and has excellent hands.

Elite Prospects Profile:


References:
NHL.Com
The Athletic

By Diane Doyle

About Diane Doyle

Been a Caps fan since November 1975 when attending a game with my then boyfriend and now husband.
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