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The Anaheim Ducks could benefit from a little bit of luck at the NHL Draft Lottery. If given the opportunity, drafting Quinton Byfield could be a game-changer.
The date of the 2020 NHL Draft lottery is still very much up in the air. The league seemed to be pushing for a June draft, but with no official announcement, and Gary Bettman still intent on letting the season resume, everything is a big question mark. Nevertheless, we still have the stats from this season, and the Anaheim Ducks currently have an 8.7% chance to win the second overall draft pick in this year’s draft lottery.

While that is only the fifth-best odds, weirder things have happened in correlation with the NHL Entry Draft. However, if the balls do fall in Anaheim’s favor, the consensus says that Quinton Byfield is inexplicably the best player on the board. While the Ducks have needs they need to fill with their early first-round pick, passing up on an elite player like Byfield would be absolute insanity.

When there is a superstar on the board, it’s time to forget about needs and draft a potential franchise cornerstone. But, what makes this 17-year-old Newmarket, Ontario native so special?

Quinton Byfield Profile
Born: August 19, 2002 (17yo) Newmarket, ON, CAN

Nation: Canada

Draft Year Team: Sudbury Wolves (OHL)

Position: C

Shoots: L

Height: 6’4”/194 cm

Weight: 214 lbs/ 97 kg

Notable Accomplishments
2018-19:
CHL Rookie of the Year
OHL First All-Rookie Team
OHL Rookie of the Year
2019-20:
CHL Top Prospects Game
Hlinka Gretzky Cup Silver Medal
U20 WJC Gold Medal
From a young age, Quinton Byfield has set himself apart from the rest of his teammates. He has not only set himself apart as an elite talent but as a future superstar and generational talent of the NHL. At just 14 years old, he put up an impressive 108 points with the York Simcoe Express Bantam AAA, separating himself and the rest of the league (aside from teammate Ty Collins) by almost 50 points.

Since his time in the ETABHL, however, Byfield has seen tremendous growth and has added many notable accomplishments to his resume. Since entering the OHL, the young center has drawn a lot of positive attention to himself. In only his first season with the Sudbury Wolves, he led his entire team in points with 61 (29g, 32a.)

Not only did he impress the OHL, who awarded him Rookie of the Year, but he impressed the CHL as well, beating out players in the WHL, OHL, and QMJHL for CHL Rookie of the Year. He was also selected to be a part of the OHL’s First All-Rookie Team.

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Continuing upon his success, he was invited to take part in the CHL Top Prospects 2019-20 Game. Playing for Team Red, Byfield donned the coveted “C” on his sweater. His team would ultimately fall by a score of 5-3 to Team White. Later in the year, he would appear with Team Canada at the WJC. However, his ice time was limited, and he didn’t have the opportunity to produce many results for his team. Nevertheless, he still walked away from the event with the Gold Medal.

Quinton Byfield Would be a Game Changer for the Anaheim Ducks
Quinton Byfield is everything the Anaheim Ducks could ever want in a prospect. He has the size, strength, speed, and talent to completely change the dynamic of the struggling SoCal waterfowl. Fans love Trevor Zegras, but if they had the opportunity to draft Byfield, there is no question that he would dethrone Zegras as the darling of the Anaheim Ducks prospect pool.

While he is not yet even 18-years-old, the young center has the potential to go pro following the 2020 NHL Draft. He seems to be one of the most NHL ready players of the first round with room to grow. Whatever team drafts him, he will likely find himself slotting in as their first-line center early in his career.

Byfield’s skill set is vast, and he has still not even scratched the surface of his full potential. He is a strong skater, which allows him to be incredibly agile. His high-end hockey IQ, paired with his remarkable vision and hands of gold, makes him one of the coveted top prospects for this year’s draft.

While Byfield is primarily a playmaker, he can adapt to his situation and score goals when the need arises. He is constantly improving his game and never settles for being less than stellar. Going back to his skills as a playmaker, the Newmarket native always plays the game several steps ahead of everyone else. He can almost always anticipate the movement of his linemates, setting them up and leaving them in a prime position to get the puck in the back of the net.

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The young center definitely has the skills to be an NHL superstar, but he also has the physicality that goes with it. Some scouts have said that while his physicality is years above his teammates, he also has a lot of room to grow into it as well. He is great at forcing turnovers and getting in quickly on the forecheck.

Byfield’s offensive skills speak for themselves, but the 17-year-old plays a very strong two-way game as well. He isn’t afraid to use his size and strength to help the defense down low. To add to that, he is also positionally sound. While this isn’t a stat that matters as much in today’s game, he is pretty good in the faceoff circle too.

Drafting a player like Byfield would certainly require a little bit of luck. However, his presence in the Anaheim Ducks system would fast track the impending rebuild on Bob Murray‘s horizon. He provides skills that are seriously lacking in the Ducks system, even with players like Sam Steel, Trevor Zegras, and Max Comtois.

The words “score” and “Byfield” go hand in hand. He would be an absolute game-changer, and should the Ducks somehow, (by the grace of the hockey gods,) wind up in a prime position to draft second overall, it would be a mistake not to draft Quinton Byfield.