The Washington Capitals will make their first selection in the first round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft with the 24th overall pick this Tuesday night. To set the stage, 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.
Justin Barron – Born on November 15, 2001 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Barron is a right handed shooter who has played with the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL since the 2017-18 season.
For the 2019-20 season, he scored 4 goals and recorded 18 assists, but was only able to play in just 34 games thanks to a blood clot issue.
Barron was slated to be Captain for the 2020-21 season that has, so far, been postponed due to Covid.
He produces points in one of two ways: through the rush and with his shot from the blue line. He is considered to be a Jack-of-all-trades defender who is good in every area of the ice.
Jeremie Poirier – Born on June 02, 2002 in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Quebec, Poirier is a left handed shooter who has played with St John Sea Dogs of the QMJHL since the 2018-19 season. He had 20 goals and 33 assists for 53 points in 64 games during the 2019-20 season.
He is considered to be an offensive defenseman with good puck skills, hockey sense and game-breaking ability. He is a skilled, puck moving defender who skates well with the puck. His hockey IQ makes him dangerous in the offensive zone and effective in the defensive zone.
Shakir Mukhamadullin – Born on January 10, 2002 in Ufa, Russia, Mukhamadullin is a left handed shooter who is presently playing with Salavat Yulaev Ufa, the same team at where Caps prospect, Alex Alexeyev, has been lent.
In 13 games this season so far, he has scored 1 goal and has 5 assists. He played at various levels during the 2019-20 season, to include Tolpar Ufa in the MHL, Toros Neftekamsk in the VHL, and Salavat Yulaev Ufa in the KHL.
He played more games in the KHL in 2019-20 than anywhere else and recorded 1 assist. He has also represented Russia internationally. He is a tall defenseman who can skate well. He has size, smarts, and a great shot.
Ryan O’Rourke – Born on May 16, 2002 in Pickering, Ontario, O’Rourke is a left handed shooter who was with Soo Greyhounds in the Ontario Hockey League for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons.
He is considered to be strong defensive defenseman but has a good slap shot and is a strong skater. His battle level is considered high and he never takes a shift off.
Topi Niemela – Born on March 25, 2002 in Oulu, Finland, Niemela is a right handed shooter who played primarily with Kärpät in the top Finnish League (Liiga). He also represented Finland in international competition in 2019-20.
He is currently playing in the Under 20 league, scoring 1 goal and recording 2 assists in 3 games. He is considered to have a simple but effective game. He is also mobile and quick but not flashy.
Helge Grans – Born on May 10, 2002 in Ljungby, Sweden, Grans is a right handed shooter who played for the Malmo Redhawks and divided his time between their Swedish Hockey League (SHL) team and their Junior 20 Super Elite team during the 2019-20 season.
Grans played in 27 games at the Junior 20 Super Elite level, scoring 4 goals and recording 23 assists. He played in 21 games at the SHL level in 2019-20 and scored 1 goal and recorded 2 assists.
In 2020-21, he has played in 3 games with the Malmo Redhawks at the SHL level, scoring 1 goal and recording 1 assist. He has also represented Sweden internationally. He is considered to be an offensive defenseman with great size. He skates well, has a long reach, an active stick, and good habits with his footwork.
Emil Andrae – Born on February 23, 2002 in Västervik, Sweden, Andrae is a left handed shooter who has played for the HV71, divided his time between their Swedish Hockey League (SHL) team, their Junior 20 Super Elite team, and their Junior 18 team during the 2019-20 season.
Andrae played in 40 games at the Junior 20 Super Elite level in 2019-20, scoring 11 goals and recording 27 assists for 38 points overall. He played in 10 games at the SHL level. He has spent the 2020-21 season at the SHL level and has recorded 1 assist in 4 games. He has also represented Sweden internationally.
He is undersized but he is great at handling the puck and is a great stick handler. He doesn’t lose speed when skating with the puck. He’s got excellent vision from the point and can make great plays to set up his teammates with high-danger chances.
Lukas Cormier – Born on March 27, 2002 in Ste-Marie-de-Kent, New Brunswick. Cormier is a left handed shooter and has been with the Charlottetown Junior Islanders in the QMJHL since the 2018-19 season.
During the 2019-20 season, he scored 6 goals and recorded 30 assists. So far in the 2020-21 season, has scored 2 goals and earned 3 assists in 2 games.
He projects to be an offensive defenseman. He has a great shot and can move the puck well. He has good hockey sense, puts effort in the defensive zone, and makes plays to help the team.
Braden Schneider – Born on September 20, 2001 in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Schneider is a right handed shooter who has played with the Brandon Wheat Kings in the Western Hockey League since 2017-18.
Schneider has been an alternate captain for the last two seasons. In 2019-20, he scored 7 goals and had 35 assists for 42 points overall in 60 games.
He is a mobile two way defenseman. His size allows him to impose his will with thunderous hits, overpowering one-hand pushes, and crosschecks. He has quick feet for his size. He’s composed and doesn’t over-do the physicality or take needless penalties.
By Diane Doyle