ISS October Top 31


October ISS Hockey Top 31 Ranked Prospects for 2020 NHL Draft

1Lafrenière, Alexis10/11/2001RimouskiQMJHLLWL6.01203
2Raymond, Lucas3/28/2002
3Drysdale, Jamie
4Lundell, Anton
HIFK Helsinki
5Holtz, Alexander 1/23/2002Djurgardens SweELWR6.00 183
6Perfetti, Cole
7Byfield, Quinton DE
8Lapierre, Hendrix DE
9Holloway, Dylan (Fr.)
10Barron, Justin
11Rossi, Marco
12Stutzle, Tim
13Smilanic, Ty
USA U18NTDPCR6.00160
14Schneider, Braden
15Amirov, Rodion DE
16Sanderson, Jake
USA U18NTDPDL6.00150
17Gunler, Noel
18Guhle, Kaiden DE
Prince AlbertWHLLDL6.02.5*186
19Mukhamadullin, Shakir
20Ponomarev, Vasily
21Poirier, Jeremie
Saint JohnQMJHLDL6.00.25*199
22Sourdif, Justin
23Kleven, Tyler
USA U18NTDPLDL6.02.25183
24Pashin, Alexander
UFA TolparR-MHLCL5.08154
25Foudy, Jean-Luc DE
26Perreault, Jacob
27Pytlik, Jaromir
S.S. MarieOHLLWR6.02191
28Zary, Connor
29Neighbours, Jake
30Ratzlaff, Jake DE
Rosemount HSMN-HSDR6.01.75*197
31Hirvonen, Roni
1Askarov, Yaroslav
St. PetersburgMHLGR6.04176
2Garand, Dylan DE
Published October 2, 2019


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85 thoughts on “ISS October Top 31

  1. says:

    Hey ISS world, I think you have a pretty solid list of first round talent. Just a couple of things that I would like to ask. On many lists I have seen Domi as high as 10 and this is probably the lowest I’ve seen him. I’d that based in how scouts believe his game will transition to the NHL, or size, or some other factor. Also what do you see him panning out to be in the NHL? Solid top 6 forward?

    Also, how come Nurse is ahead of Lindholm and Monahan. I thought Lindholm was considered to be right behind Barkov, and that Monahan was considered to be right behind Lindholm. So in regards to this question, do you think Lindholm will project to being an average first liner in the NHL, and with Sean Monahan, do you think he has the talent of being a scoring first liner or more like a solid two way second line centre.

    Thanks and I always enjoy seeing your rankings.

  2. says:

    I’m surprised to see Horvat at the 10th, it’s interesting.
    I would like to know a bit more about Michael McCarron. Does he looks like a Milan Lucic?
    I Thought Morrissey would have a better ranking, may be instead of Horvat. Does Morrissey lost some ranks at the end of the season?

    And finally, who could be the biggest surprise and be drafted really lower in these 30 prospects?


    1. Hi Dave,

      Horvat has been gaining steam all season, and was lights out in the OHL playoffs. He is a complete player, and has quality leadership skills out there as well. Would be a solid pick up for any team….In terms of McCarron, I don’t think he is quite the physical player that was Lucic coming into the draft, but there may be some more offensive upside…..Morrisey is a good player, but our scouts felt he belonged at 21….As for the final question, you will need to pick up our draft guide and find out.

  3. CurrenR says:

    Curtis Lazar seems like a guy that can become a very solid player in the NHL. I noticed that he is little bit higher on this list than most. What makes him so high compared to other players?

  4. says:

    Nichushkin in Dinamo 10 000 000$

  5. says:

    –]No one else seems to have Horvat so high–why?

    Why so low on Mantha? 50 goals even in the Q is impressive

    1. Our scouts believe Horvat has all the around tools to be an immediate contributor in the NHL. His game well rounded, has solid leadership skills and his work ethic is terrific. Can’t speak for others, but our guys think Horvat will be a force….I won’t really comment much on Mantha, because I have not seen him play a lot, but I have been impressed with I have seen. I would not look so much as goals, and look at ceiling and role in the NHL. It’s not a knock at him at all, but guys like Nick Kypreos scored more than 50 goals in Jr., so not always wise to look only at stats.

    2. says:

      With Mantha, it doesn’t always look like he cares or is working hard. They said the same about Mario, but it’s a concern.

  6. TendyLife33 says:

    I follow all major hockey leagues quite closely, and it’s such a treat to have my favourite teams in their respectable leagues, have so much top talent this year. Mooseheads’ MacKinnon, Drouin and Fucale, Traktor’s Nichuskin, Barkov from Tappara, and Lindholm from Brynäs. I’ve been spoiled watching these guys this year. That being said, I don’t think Drouin is as close of a talent to MacKinnon. Seeing every game, I believe Nate is and will be the far suprerior player. Jo has sick hamds but IMO, Nate will be more complete.

    1. Hi Tendylife33. It is a great time of year to be a hockey fan with the NHL season winding down and playoff time in the CHL and NCAA. Lot of great hockey to watch all over the place….In terms of Drouin and Mackinnon, it’s a tough debate. Mackinnon is a poweful player, with exceptional speed and talent. Drouin’s vision, hockey sense and creativity are off the charts. With that said, I actually agree with you in terms of ceiling for each player. Mackinnon’s explosion, and doing everything with speed is a very special quality, and those flashes of #87 do exist. If he can be a bit more consistent, and let the game come to him a little more, he could be scary good.

  7. Alex Hood says:

    I like the rankings. I’m certainly loving the potential of a few sleepers in this draft class. First is JT Compher. I think he’s be a steal at 25th because of his versatility and work ethic. I see an all business, hard working kid who seems to have no glaring weaknesses. The kind of steady player that just plainly helps teams win. I also like Kerby Rychel as a sleeper. Strong skater, has a “sandpaper element” to his game, and can play in any and all situations and has great awareness and vision on the ice. Excited to see where these two go as they can be the steals of the first round. The only critique I have with these rankings is Sasha Barkov at 7th. I love the way he plays the game and commits to his defensive end. Great, balanced skill set that will only get better from here. Probably more of a top 5 skater. If he goes to the right organization, watch out for him to be future star of the NHL.

    1. Hi Alex. Great feedback on the players. We like Compher a lot, and he is arguably the best US prospect in the draft, other than Jones of course. Rychel is a player that competes in all areas of the ice, and will certainly be a good piece to any team. We like Barkov quite a bit as well, but with the emergence of Drouin, Nichuskin and Nurse, Barkov has been pushed down the rankings. He is still a top prospect, but this is a deep top end, and guys will probably be moving up and down right up until the June draft.

      1. Alex Hood says:

        I couldn’t agree more that this is a deep top end. I’m loving how dynamic the players are this year though. A great mix of all styles of play at so many different stages in the draft. There seems to be a little something for everyone in this year’s class. What do you think of Mirco Mueller? I see that he isn’t in your top 30 and he’s also missing on some of the mock drafts. I’ve caught a couple of Everett games and this kid seems to have a below-the-radar skillset and can be just the puck-moving d-man that so many teams need. Another one that I’m seeing slide quite often is Oliver Bjorkstrand, talk about skill. The kid has an offensive upside that I’d put up against nearly anyone in this draft(keyword: nearly). He seems to do two things especially that stand out in my eyes: the speed of the game and lack of space don’t slow his skill down. He knows how to play in tight corners and at full speed. Can’t wait to see where his game goes once he gets stronger.

        1. Thanks Alex. In terms of Mueller, he is a solid player, with hockey sense and a solid first pass. I have not seen him play often, but have been impressed with his skill level. I don’t see him as a top end guy, but should fall into a 4-6 role….Bjorkstrand has some high end talent, but has to put on some muscle. He is built like an RNH, and maybe even thinner. A lot of work to do in that area.

        2. ISShockey says:

          To add to what Alex Voihanski said, we have Mueller ranked at #46 as a solid 2nd rounder. We have Bjorkstrand ranked #74, making him a projected solid 3rd rounder.

    2. says:

      Rychel will be a steal in the bottom half of the 1st, IMO.

  8. ISShockey says:

    Several pundits have questioned our selection of Valery Nichushkin as our #2 rated player. Scouting is an interesting profession, as it usually comes down to the opinion of one person against the opinion of another.

    ISS has been doing this for over a decade and has gained an exemplary reputation in the industry for its work. We have one of the largest scouting staffs of any hockey operation in the world. We are not alway right, but we are always honest and call it like we see it.

    Regarding Nichushkin’s move to #2 in our ISS Top 30, we thought it would make sense to discuss our reasoning. Also keep in mind that we are talking about 17 year old “boys”, so being in the top 30, top 10, top 5, top anything is an incredible achievement. Our job is to help our customers to make the best decisions they can when it’s their time to make their draft selections at the June NHL draft. There is still plenty of time between now and then to see these prospects in action, so movement will still occur in our ISS Top 30.

    So we can use one word to describe Nichushkin: “UPSIDE”

    This 17 year old is already playing in the KHL, the second best league in the world. He’s already 6’4″ and 204 lbs. We project him to be 6’5″ and 225 lbs. An experienced scout can see from his on ice swagger that he’s going to develop into a great hockey player. He has all the tools offensively (creativity, size, dynamic hands, and is a natural sniper). He is literally a highlight reel, with an ability to amaze with an up-ice rush.

    His main issue right now is consistency shift to shift. We predict that he will overcome that as part of his development as he gets older and more mature.

    We’ve been watching Nichushkin since he was 15, and we have been continually impressed by his development. If you’re not in any way convinced, take a look at this highlight video from a KHL game yesterday:

    In hockey,

    ISS Hockey

    1. says:

      I wouldn’t apologize for a 2nd for putting Nichushkin in the 2nd slot. A skilled power forward is gold in the NHL. You cannot win a Cup without one and there aren’t very many to go around. Of course, the bigger issue with Nichushkin is the KHL. With a draft as deep as this one, you can’t afford to spend a top 10 pick on someone who many never play in No. America. I would either take Nichuskin #2 (behind MacKinnon) or in the 2nd round depending on how he answers the question “Son, where do you want to play hockey?” I would be more likely to question Jones at number 1 than Nuchuskin at 2. Jones just gets beat too often on the defensive end for my liking. Yes, you can teach defense easier than you can teach offense, but that question still remains for me.

  9. says:

    Minnesota talent pool a little shallow this year?

    1. Need a little more clarity on the question. Are you talking Wild prospects or current NHL lineup? Or are you talking about state of Minnesota prospects?

      If you are talking Wild, both system and current have lots of talent. Their system is loaded with high end prospects like Coyle, Granlund, Dumba, Zucker, Lucia and more. Don’t need to mention the current talents they have, but they certainly will make some noise in the West this year.

      As for MN Hockey. I would not say talent pool is thin, but may not be as deep as other years. Some MN players should go into the top 2-4 rounds though like Hudson Fasching, Connor Hurley and Teemu Kivihalme. Plenty of others as well for the later rounds.

  10. says:

    With Jonathan Drouin play at the world JR’s he should be in the top 2. He has proven he can play with the top players, with his play on the top line he has show that he is a divers player. He play as a set up man or play as the key man. He has show that his defensive play is top notch.

    1. Drouin had a very strong WJC

      1. Sorry, pressed send a little too early. Drouin had a very strong WJC, and certainly did not look out of place playing with top guys. With that said, you can’t base things on one tournament. Have to look at the entire package, and what the ceiling of each player will be. Drouin may find himself in the top 3, but that will be determined on much more than WJC.

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