image3

2020 Top Prospect: Quinton Byfield is a Monster

April 18th, 2019

The 2019 NHL Entry Draft is coming in June and it will be exciting as always. However today I want to talk about the 2020 draft class, specifically, Quinton Byfield who is projected to go #2 overall behind fellow Canadian Alexis Lafreniere. 


Quinton Byfield is an extremely intriguing prospect, he possesses an elite combination of size, finesse, speed and intelligence that allows him to completely take over at any point in a game. Standing at 6 foot 5 and already over 210 pounds he is an absolute force on the ice at 16 years old. 


Drafted first overall by the Sudbury Wolves last year, he has been extremely impressive in his rookie season. In 64 games Quinton put up 29 goals and 32 assists finishing with a +12 +/-. Then in the playoffs he put up another 8 points in 8 games. Unfortunately for Byfield his Wolves got swept in the second round of the OHL playoffs by the Ottawa 67s. 


Byfield seems to be able to process the game a step quicker than anyone else on the ice. This, combined with his speed is what makes him an especially impressive prospect considering his huge frame. Byfield has very soft hands and can often make moves at incredible speed or in tight spaces. He also possesses elite stickhandling and this combined with his impressive wrist shot and offensive awareness makes him nearly impossible to defend against. 


Watching him play he can score in many different ways, which makes him even more dangerous. While he does like to setup around the hash marks for his go-to wrist shot he also has great vision and playmaking ability. He consistently demonstrates patience and poise with the puck waiting for either a shooting or passing lane to open up. When he get's himself into trouble he simply uses his immense size and skating to shield the puck away from defenders, often making smaller players look like a fly;  he simply swats them away. If there is one thing you can say about Quinton Byfield it's that he appears to have the full package of an elite centerman many teams covet.


Byfield is equally impressive in his own zone, something he attributes to him playing as a defenceman earlier in his career (he wears number 55 as an homage to Sergei Gonchar). For many players at Quinton's age and skillset they have the raw offensive skills and you have to teach them the defensive side of the game to prepare them for the NHL, however for Byfield his elite hockey IQ helps him at both ends of the ice. This, combined with his long reach and impressive skating ability allows him to be in the right position at the right time. It's easy to notice Byfield on the ice, he uses his huge frame to his advantage in his own end by pushing opponents off stride or off the puck completely, something that should help accelerate his ascension to the NHL.


Quinton is also humble and his coaches describe him as a natural leader. When asked about his coaching staff at Sudbury Byfield commented, “The coaches here have given me every opportunity to learn and develop, whether it’s on the PP, PK or being out on the ice late in a game, I’ve had a lot of good learning experiences this year.” 


It is becoming clear that the more time on the ice you give Quinton the better he becomes. Already described as a 200 foot center with speed and a hockey IQ that is off the charts he could very well be the next Eric Lindros. What is most impressive to me is how he improved so much throughout the year, and his overall dedication to improving his game. He's already one of the fastest skaters in the OHL and considering his size that is an impressive feat. 


The debate between who should go first overall in 2020 will be something that will be talked about repeatedly over the next year. Although Lafreniere currently sits above Byfield, there is still plenty of time for him to close the gap. Fact is both players were drafted first overall to their major junior leagues, and both players have been impact players immediately upon their arrival. One point of difference other then their size is Byfield is 10 months younger then Alexis, meaning he has more time to develop to catch up to him. 


Whether it's Alexis Lafreniere or Quinton Byfield the exciting thing for me as a Canadian is having not one but two elite Canadian centerman headlining the 2020 draft class. While they may be competing against each other for the honour of first overall pick, they will most likely get to play together at next years World Junior Hockey Tournament in the Czech Republic. 


Remember the name, Byfield will be a force in the NHL in just a few short years.


-AP

"Byfield has very soft hands and can often make moves at incredible speed or in tight spaces"

Meet The Team!

Alexander Paterson

image4

Title: Owner, Founder, GM, President and Editor

Date of birth: May 29th, 1990 

Hometown: Victoria, British Columbia

Currently Living In: Calgary, Alberta 

Favorite Team: Vancouver Canucks 

Twitter: @Prospect_NHL

Articles Written (24): Petterson, Cozens, Byram, Hughes, Byfield, Steel, Strome, Hughes, Lafrenière, Merkley, Glass, Makar, Heiskanen, Thomas/Kyrou, Mittlestadt, Zadina, Borgstrom, Tkachuk, Seider, Svechnikov, Samsonov, Wahlstrom, Woo and Tampa Bay.


Andrew Vargo

image5

Title: Owner/Assistant GM/Assistant Editor

Date of Birth: April 21st, 1996

Hometown: Calgary, Alberta

Currently Living In: Los Angeles, California

Favorite Team: Calgary Flames

Twitter: @theVarghawk 

Articles Written (20): Hanifin, Newhook, Caufield, Zegras, Brink, Dube, Vesalainen, Tolvanen, Donato, Vilardi, Liljegren, Valimaki, Zavgorodniy, Knight, Turcotte, Podkolzin, McMichael, Kakko and Yamamoto.


Aaron Goldschmidt

image6

Title: Director Of Player Development

Date of birth: March 13th, 1989

Hometown: Chicago, Illinois

Currently Living In: Denver, Colorado

Favorite Team: Chicago Blackhawks

Twitter: @lateinthegoldie 

Articles Written (2): Boqvist, Jokiharju.

Alex McIntyre

image7

Title: Head Scout 

Date of birth: September 15th 

Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 

Currently Living In: Deptford, New Jersey 

Favorite Team: Philadelphia Flyers

Twitter: @Alexon11th 

Articles Written (4): Frost, Hart, Vorobyev, Lyon.


Dillon Dominique

image8

Title: Assistant Scout

Date of birth: August 25th, 1997

Hometown: Massena, New York 

Currently Living In: Massena, New York 

Favorite Team: Montreal Canadiens

Twitter: @DomUn1que

Articles Written (3): Kotkaniemi, Poehling, Brook.

Mike Laking

image9

Title: Assistant Scout

Date of Birth: June, 1979

Hometown: Fredericton, New Brunswick

Currently living in: Fredericton. New Brunswick

Favorite Team: Ottawa Senators

Twitter: @topshelfhkyvids

Youtube Channel: "Top Shelf Hockey"

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJC4kuBvrghSABumDSwl80A

Articles Written (2): Formenton, Batherson.

Mark Bunker

Date of birth : Oct 12 /81 
Hometown: Ottawa 
Currently Living In: Toronto
Favourite Team: Senators

Title: Assistant Scout 

Date of birth: October 12th, 1981  

Hometown: Ottawa, Ontario  

Currently Living In: Toronto, Ontario 

Favourite Team: Ottawa Senators

Twitter: @OttBunks

Articles Written (3): Smith, Cirelli, Benson.

Nick Hunsicker

image10

Title: Assistant Scout

Date of Birth: March 21st, 1996 

Hometown: Quakertown, Pennsylvania 

Currently Living In: Blossburg, Pennsylvania 

Favorite Team: Philadelphia Flyers 

Twitter: @OMGitsNickH

Articles Written (3): R. Suzuki, N. Foote, Wolf.

Kevin Gesterling

image11

Title: Assistant Scout

Date of Birth: January 30th, 1986

Hometown: Cranston, Rhode Island

Currently Living In: Cranston, Rhode Island

Favorite Team: Boston Bruins 

Twitter: @KGesterling1

Articles Written (2): Keyser, Fredric.

Website: electropuck.com

George Clam

image12

Title: Assistant Scout

Date of Birth: June 16th, 1989

Hometown: Arvada, Colorado 

Currently Living In: Erie, Colorado

Favorite Team: Colorado Avalanche

Twitter: @georgeinlimbo

Articles Written (1): The Future Is Bright In Colorado.