2020 NHL Draft: Complete results, list of picks for Rounds 1-7

The 2020 NHL Draft has come to an end. After a four-month delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 216 selections were made virtually for the first time ever by all 31 teams.

As expected, Alexis Lafreniere was selected first overall by the New York Rangers, followed by the Los Angeles Kings taking Quinton Byfield at No. 2. The Ottawa Senators had two choices in the first five picks and went with Tim Stuetzle and Jake Sanderson and got a little help from Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek.

[NHL, NHLPA aim to start next season on Jan. 1]

Here are the full results of the 2020 NHL Draft.

2020 NHL Draft

Round 1

1. New York Rangers – Alexis Lafreniere, LW, Rimouski (QMJHL)

“Byfield has immense potential, but so does Lafreniere, and Lafreniere is as ready to produce in his first post-draft season as any prospect since Connor McDavid. I see him playing second line left wing behind Artemi Panarin right away. The rebuild on Broadway is over.” – Ryan Wagman, Rotoworld Hockey

2. Los Angeles Kings – Quinton Byfield, C, Sudbury (OHL)

“In a perfect world, Byfield grows into a face-of-the-franchise level player. In a reasonably disappointing scenario, he matures into a steady 25-30 goal scorer for a decade plus. Byfield may not have any one attributes that is the best in this NHL draft class, but his combination of skills can be argued to be the best. He is a true five-tool player (skating, shot, puck skills, smarts, physicality).” – Ryan Wagman, Rotoworld Hockey

3. Ottawa Senators (from SJS) – Tim Stuetzle, C/LW, Mannheim (DEL)

“The dynamic Deutschlander is a natural winger who can play up the middle. Both can play right away, while Stuetzle is more certain to play a central role immediately. He has first line puck skills and an incredibly well-refined game, while also holding the distinction of being arguably the best skater in the NHL draft” – Ryan Wagman, Rotoworld Hockey

4. Detroit Red Wings – Lucas Raymond, LW, Frolunda (SHL)

5. Ottawa Senators – Jake Sanderson, D, USA U-18 (USNTDP)

“[Sanderson] is a 25 minute/game player, who plays in all situations, skates like the wind, and moves the puck with grace and skill.” – Ryan Wagman, Rotoworld Hockey

6. Anaheim Ducks – Jamie Drysdale, D, Erie (OHL)

“Drysdale could finally allow the Ducks to move on from the regret of letting Shea Theodore go to Vegas to allow the Ducks to keep Josh Manson and Sami Vaatanen. Drysdale is easily the best skating blueliner in this NHL draft and is right up there with the Quinn Hughes‘ and Cale Makar’s of the world in that regard. Many like Drysdale as much, or more, than Sanderson, but both project as first pairing defenders for a long time to come.” – Ryan Wagman, Rotoworld Hockey

7. New Jersey Devils – Alexander Holtz, RW, Djurgardens (SHL)

“Holtz has an NHL frame, and projects to offer a bit of everything at a high end level, even if his shot is currently his best weapon.” – Ryan Wagman, Rotoworld Hockey

8. Buffalo Sabres – Jack Quinn, RW, Ottawa (OHL)

9. Minnesota Wild – Marco Rossi, C, Ottawa (OHL)

“His low center of gravity also helps to diminish concerns about his lack of height. Rossi is very close to NHL ready.” – Ryan Wagman, Rotoworld Hockey

10. Winnipeg Jets – Cole Perfetti, C, Saginaw (OHL)
11. Nashville Predators – Yaroslav Askarov, G, St. Petersburg (VHL)
12. Florida Panthers – Anton Lundell, C, HIFK (liiga)
13. Carolina Hurricanes (from TOR) – Seth Jarvis, C, Portland (WHL)
14. Edmonton Oilers – Dylan Holloway, C/LW, Wisconsin (NCAA)
15. Toronto Maple Leafs (from PIT) – Rodion Amirov, LW, Ufa Salavat Yulayev (KHL)
16. Montreal Canadiens – Kaiden Guhle, D, Prince Albert (WHL)
17. Chicago Blackhawks – Lukas Reichel, LW, Eisbaren Berlin (DEL)
18. New Jersey Devils (from ARZ) – Dawson Mercer, C/RW, Chicoutimi (QMJHL)
19. New York Rangers (from CGY) – Braden Schneider, D, Brandon (WHL)
20. New Jersey Devils (from VAN via TB) – Shakir Mukhamadullin, D, Ufa Salavat Yulayev (KHL)
21. Columbus Blue Jackets – Yegor Chinakhov, RW, Avangard Omsk (KHL)
22. Washington Capitals (from CGY via NYR via CAR) – Hendrix Lapierre, C, Chicoutimi (QMJHL)
23. Philadelphia Flyers – Tyson Foerster, RW, Barrie (OHL)
24. Calgary Flames (from WSH) – Connor Zary, C, Kamloops (WHL)
25. Colorado Avalanche – Justin Barron, D, Halifax (QMJHL)
26. St. Louis Blues – Jake Neighbours, LW, Edmonton (WHL)
27. Anaheim Ducks (from BOS) – Jacob Perreault, RW, Sarnia (OHL)
28. Ottawa Senators (from NYI) – Ridly Greig, C, Brandon (WHL)
29. Vegas Golden Knights – Brendan Brisson, C, Chicago (USHL)
30. Dallas Stars – Mavrik Bourque, C, Shawinigan (QMJHL)
31. San Jose Sharks (from TB) – Ozzy Wiesblatt, RW, Prince Albert (WHL)

Round 2

32. Detroit Red Wings – William Wallinder, D, Modo Jr (Sweden Jr)
33. Ottawa Senators – Roby Jarventie, LW, Koovee (Mestis)
34. Buffalo Sabres (from SJS) – J.J. Peterka, RW, Munchen (DEL)
35. Los Angeles Kings – Helge Grans, D, Malmo (SHL)
36. Anaheim Ducks – Sam Colangelo, RW, Chicago (USHL)
37. Minnesota Wild (from NSH via NJ) – Marat Khusnutdinov, C, St. Petersburg (KHL)
38. San Jose Sharks (from BUF) – Thomas Bordeleau, C, USA U-18 (USNTDP)
39. Minnesota Wild – Ryan O’Rourke, D, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)
40. Winnipeg Jets – Daniel Torgersson, LW, Frölunda (Sweden Jr)
41. Carolina Hurricanes (from NYR) – Noel Gunler, RW, Lulea (SHL)
42. Nashville Predators – Luke Evangelista, RW, London (OHL)
43. Florida Panthers – Emil Heineman, LW, Leksand (SHL)
44. Ottawa Senators (from TOR) – Tyler Kleven, D, USA U-18 (USNTDP)
45. Los Angeles Kings (from DET via EDM) – Brock Faber, D, USA U-18 (USNTDP)
46. Chicago Blackhawks (from PIT via VGK) – Drew Commesso, G, USA U-18 (USNTDP)
47. Montreal Canadiens – Luke Tuch, LW, USA U-18 (USNTDP)
48. Montreal Canadiens (from CHI) – Jan Mysak, C, Hamilton (OHL)
49. No selection (Originally Arizona Coyotes*)
50. Calgary Flames – Yan Kuznetsov, D, Connecticut (NCAA)
51. Detroit Red Wings (from LAK via VAN) – Theodore Niederbach, C, Frolunda Jr (Sweden Jr)
52. Pittsburgh Penguins (from OTT via CBJ) – Joel Blomqvist, G, Karpat (liiga)
53. Carolina Hurricanes – Vasiliy Ponomarev, C, Shawinigan (QMJHL)
54. Philadelphia Flyers – Emil Andrae, D, HV71 (Sweden Jr)
55. Detroit Red Wings (from WSH) – Cross Hanas, LW, Portland (WHL)
56. San Jose Sharks (from COL via WSH) – Tristen Robins, RW, Saskatoon (WHL)
57. Tampa Bay Lightning (from MTL via STL) – Jack Finley, C, Spokane (WHL)
58. Boston Bruins – Mason Lohrei, D, Green Bay (USHL)
59. Toronto Maple Leafs (from OTT via NYI) – Roni Hirvonen, C, Assat (liiga)
60. New York Rangers (from LAK via VGK) – William Cuylle, LW, Windsor (OHL)
61. Ottawa Senators (from DAL via VGK) – Egor Sokolov, LW, Cape Breton (QMJHL)
62. Tampa Bay Lightning – Gage Goncalves, C, Everett (WHL)

*Coyotes forfeit pick No. 49 due to punishment for violating NHL pre-combine testing rules.

Round 3

63. Detroit Red Wings – Donovan Sebrango, D, Kitchener (OHL)
64. Toronto Maple Leafs (from OTT) – Topi Niemela, D, Karpat (liiga)
65. Minnesota Wild (from DET via SJ) – Daemon Hunt, D, Moose Jaw (WHL)
66. Los Angeles Kings – Kasper Simontaival, RW, Tappara Jr (Finland Jr)
67. Anaheim Ducks – Ian Moore, D, St. Mark’s School (USHS)
68. Vegas Golden Knights (from NJ) – Lukas Cormier, D, Charlottetown (QMJHL)
69. Carolina Hurricanes (from BUF) – Alexander Nikishin, D, Spartak (KHL)
70. Detroit Red Wings (from MIN via NSH) – Eemil Viro, D, TPS (liiga)
71. Ottawa Senators (from WPG) – Leevi Merilainen, G, Karpat Jr (Finland Jr)
72. Calgary Flames (from NYR) – Jeremie Poirier, D, Saint John (QMJHL)
73. Nashville Predators – Luke Prokop, D, Calgary (WHL)
74. Florida Panthers – Ty Smilanic, C, USA U-18 (USNTDP)
75. Colorado Avalanche (from TOR) – Jean-Luc Foudy, C, Windsor (OHL)
76. San Jose Sharks (from EDM) – Danil Gushchin, LW, Muskegon (USHL)
77. Pittsburgh Penguins – Calle Clang, G, Kristianstad (Sweden Jr)
78. Columbus Blue Jackets (from MTL) – Samuel Knazko, D, TPS Jr (Finland Jr)
79. Chicago Blackhawks – Landon Slaggert, LW, USA U-18 (USNTDP)
80. Calgary Flames (from WSH via ARI via COL) – Jake Boltmann, D, Edina (USHS)
81. Chicago Blackhawks – Wyatt Kaiser, D, Andover (USHS)
82. Vancouver Canucks – Joni Jurmo, D, Jokerit Jr (Finland Jr)
83. Los Angeles Kings (from CBJ via OTT via TOR) – Alex Laferriere, RW, Des Moines, USHL
84. New Jersey Devils (from CAR) – Nicolas Daws, G, Guelph (OHL)
85. Tampa Bay Lightning (from PHI via SJ) – Maxim Groshev, RW, Nizhnekamsk (KHL)
86. St. Louis Blues (from WSH via MTL) – Dylan Peterson, C, USA U-18 (USNTDP)
87. Florida Panthers (from COL) – Justin Sourdif, RW, Vancouver (WHL)
88. St. Louis Blues – Leo Loof, D, Farjestad Jr (Sweden Jr)
89. Boston Bruins – Trevor Kuntar, C, Boston College (NCAA)
90. New York Islanders – Alexander Ljungkrantz, LW, Brynas Jr (Sweden Jr)
91. Vegas Golden Knights – Jackson Hallum, C, St. Thomas (USHS)
92. New York Rangers (from DAL) – Oliver Tarnstrom, C, AIK Jr (Sweden Jr)
93. Tampa Bay Lightning – Jack Thompson, D, Sudbury (OHL)

Round 4

94. Philadelphia Flyers (from TB via DET) – Zayde Wisdom, RW, Kingston (OHL)
95. Florida Panthers (from OTT) – Michael Benning, D, Sherwood Park (AJHL)
96. Calgary Flames (from SJ via MTL via BUF) – Daniil Chechelev, G, Chekhov-2 (Russia Jr)
97. Detroit Red Wings (from LAK) – Sam Stange, RW, Sioux Falls (USHL)
98. San Jose Sharks (from MTL via ANA) – Brandon Coe, RW, North Bay (OHL)
99. New Jersey Devils – Jaromir Pytlik, C, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)
100. Edmonton Oilers (from SJ via BUF) – Carter Savoie, LW, Sherwood Park (AJHL)
101. Nashville Predators (from MIN) – Adam Wilsby, D, Skelleftea (SHL)
102. Montreal Canadiens (from WPG) – Jack Smith, C, Sioux Falls (USHL)
103. New York Rangers – Dylan Garand, G, Kamloops (WHL)
104. Anaheim Ducks (from NSH via PHI) – Thimo Nickl, D, Drummondville (QMJHL)
105. Florida Panthers – Zachary Uens, D, Merrimack (NCAA)
106. Toronto Maple Leafs – Artur Akhtyamov, G, Irbis Kazan (Russia Jr)
107. Detroit Red Wings (from EDM) – Jan Bednar, G, Sokolov (Czech Rep-2)
108. Pittsburgh Penguins – Lukas Svejkovsky, C, Medicine Hat (WHL)
109. Montreal Canadiens – Blake Biondi, C, Hermantown (USHS)
110. Chicago Blackhawks – Michael Krutil, D, Sparta Jr (Czech Rep Jr)
111. Arizona Coyotes – Mitchell Miller, D, Tri-City (USHL)
112. Los Angeles Kings (from CGY) – Juho Markkanen, G, Kettera (Finland-2)
113. Vancouver Canucks – Jackson Kunz, LW, Shattuck-St. Mary’s (USHS)
114. Columbus Blue Jackets – Mikael Pyyhtia, LW, TPS Jr (Finland Jr)
115. Carolina Hurricanes – Zion Nybeck, LW, HV71 (SHL)
116. Tampa Bay Lightning (from PHI) – Eamon Powell, D, USA U-18 (USNTDP)
117. Washington Capitals – Bogdan Trineyev, RW, Dynamo Moscow-2 (Russia Jr)
118. Colorado Avalanche – Colby Ambrosio, C, Tri-City (USHL)
119. St. Louis Blues – Tanner Dickinson, C, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)
120. New Jersey Devils (from BOS) – Ethan Edwards, D, Spruce Grove (AJHL)
121. New York Islanders – Alex Jefferies, LW, The Gunnery (USHS)
122. Toronto Maple Leafs (from VGK) – William Villeneuve, D, Saint John (QMJHL)
123. Dallas Stars – Antonio Stranges, LW, London (OHL)
124. Montreal Canadiens (from TB) – Sean Farrell, C, Chicago (USHL)

Round 5

125. Vegas Golden Knights (from DET) – Jesper Vikman, G, AIK (Sweden Jr)
126. Edmonton Oilers (from SJ via OTT) – Tyler Tullio, RW, Oshawa (OHL)
127. New York Rangers (from SJ) – Evan Vierling, C, Barrie (OHL)
128. Los Angeles Kings – Martin Chromiak, RW, Kingston (OHL)
129. Anaheim Ducks – Artyom Galimov, LW, Kazan (KHL)
130. New Jersey Devils – Artem Shlaine, C, Shattuck-St. Mary’s (USHS)
131. Buffalo Sabres – Matteo Costantini, C, Buffalo Jr. Sabres (OJHL)
132. Detroit Red Wings (from MIN) – Alex Cotton, D, Lethbridge (WHL)
133. Winnipeg Jets – Anton Johannesson, D, HV71 Jr. (Sweden Jr)
134. New York Rangers – Brett Berard, LW, USA U-18 (USNTDP)
135. Philadelphia Flyers (from NSH) – Elliot Desnoyers, LW, Halifax (QMJHL)
136. Montreal Canadiens (from FLA) – Jakub Dobes, G, Omaha (USHL)
137. Toronto Maple Leafs (from FLA via TOR) – Dmitry Ovchinnikov, C, Novosibirsk-2 (Russia Jr.)
138. Edmonton Oilers – Maksim Berezkin, LW, Yaroslav-2 (Russia Jr.)
139. Colorado Avalanche (from PIT) – Ryder Rolston, RW, Waterloo (USHL)
140. Los Angeles Kings (from CAR via MTL) – Ben Meehan, D, UMass-Lowell (NCAA)
141. Chicago Blackhawks – Isaak Phillips, D, Sudbury (OHL)
142. Arizona Coyotes – Carson Bantle, LW, Michigan Tech (NCAA)
143. Calgary Flames – Ryan Francis, RW, Cape Breton (QMJHL)
144. Vancouver Canucks – Jacob Truscott, D, USA U-18 (USNTDP)
145. Columbus Blue Jackets – Ole Julian Bjorgvik-Holm, D, Mississauga (OHL)
146. Minnesota Wild (from STL via CAR) – Pavel Novak, RW, Kelowna (WHL)
147. Tampa Bay Lightning (from PHI) – Jaydon Dureau, LW, Portland (WHL)
148. Washington Capitals – Bear Hughes, C, Spokane (WHL)
149. Pittsburgh Penguins (from COL) – Raivis Ansons, RW, Baie-Comeau (QMJHL)
150. St. Louis Blues – Matthew Kessel, D, UMass (NCAA)
151. Boston Bruins – Mason Langenbrunner, D, Sioux City (USHL)
152. New York Islanders – William Dufour, RW, Drummondville (QMJHL)
153. Florida Panthers (from TOR via VGK) – Kasper Puutio, D, Everett (WHL)
154. Dallas Stars – Daniel Ljungman, C, Linkoping Jr. (Sweden Jr)
155. Ottawa Senators (from TB) – Eric Engstrand, LW, Malmo (SHL)

Round 6

156. Detroit Red Wings – Kyle Aucoin, D, Tri-City (USHL)
157. Tampa Bay Lightning (from OTT) – Nick Capone, RW, Connecticut (NCAA)
158. Ottawa Senators (from SJ) – Philippe Daoust, C, Moncton (QMJHL)
159. Carolina Hurricanes (from LAK) – Lucas Mercuri, C, Des Moines (USHL)
160. Anaheim Ducks – Albin Sundsvik, C, Skelleftea (SHL)
161. New Jersey Devils – Benjamin Baumgartner, C, Davos (Swiss)
162. Dallas Stars (from BUF via CAR via FLA) – Yevgeni Oksentyuk, LW, Flint (OHL)
163. St. Louis Blues (from MIN) – Will Cranley, G, Ottawa (OHL)
164. Winnipeg Jets – Tyrel Bauer, D, Seattle (WHL)
165. New York Rangers – Matt Rempe, C, Seattle (WHL)
166. Nashville Predators – Luke Reid, D, Chicago (USHL)
167. Colorado Avalanche (from FLA) – Nils Aman, C, Leksand (SHL)
168. Toronto Maple Leafs – Veeti Miettinen, RW, K-Espoo Jr. (Finland Jr)
169. Edmonton Oilers – Filip Engaras, C, New Hampshire (NCAA)
170. Pittsburgh Penguins – Chase Yoder, C, USA U-18 (USNTDP)
171. Montreal Canadiens – Alexander Gordin, RW, Neva St. Petersburg (Russia-2)
172. Chicago Blackhawks – Chad Yetman, C, Erie (OHL)
173. Arizona Coyotes – Filip Barklund, C, Örebro Jr. (Sweden Jr)
174. Calgary Flames – Rory Kerins, C, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)
175. Vancouver Canucks – Dmitry Zlodeyev, C, Dynamo Moscow 2 (Russia Jr)
176. Columbus Blue Jackets – Samuel Johannesson, D, Rogle (SHL)
177. Toronto Maple Leafs (from CAR) – Axel Rindell, D, Jukurit (liiga)
178. Philadelphia Flyers – Connor McClennon, RW, Winnipeg (WHL)
179. Washington Capitals – Garin Bjorklund, G, Medicine Hat (WHL)
180. Toronto Maple Leafs (from COL) – Joe Miller, C, Chicago (USHL)
181. Ottawa Senators (from STL via EDM) – Cole Reinhardt, LW, Brandon (WHL)
182. Boston Bruins – Riley Duran, C, Lawrence Academy (USHS)
183. New York Islanders – Matias Rajaniemi, D, Lahti (liiga)
184. Vegas Golden Knights – Noah Ellis, D, Des Moines (USHL)
185. Dallas Stars – Remi Poirier, G, Gatineau (QMJHL)
186. Tampa Bay Lightning – Amir Miftakhov, G, Kazan (KHL)

2020 NHL Draft Round 7

187. Detroit Red Wings – Kienan Draper, RW, Chilliwack (BCHL)
188. Chicago Blackhawks (from MTL via OTT) – Louis Crevier, D, Chicoutimi (QMJHL)
189. Toronto Maple Leafs (from SJ) – John Fusco, D, Harvard (NCAA)
190. Los Angeles Kings – Aatu Jamsen, RW, Lahti Jr. (Finland Jr)
191. Vancouver Canucks (from ANA) – Viktor Persson, D, Kamloops (WHL)
192. Arizona Coyotes (from NJD) – Elliot Ekefjard, RW, Malmo Jr. (Sweden Jr)
193. Buffalo Sabres – Albert Lyckasen, D, Vita Hasten (Sweden Jr)
194. St. Louis Blues (from MIN) – Noah Beck, D, Fargo (USHL)
195. Toronto Maple Leafs (from WPG via MIN) – Wyatt Schingoethe, C, Waterloo (USHL)
196. San Jose Sharks (from NYR) – Alex Young, C, Colgate (NCAA)
197. New York Rangers (from NSH) – Hugo Ollas, G, Linkoping Jr. (Sweden Jr)
198. Florida Panthers – Elliot Ekmark, C, Linkoping Jr. (Sweden Jr)
199. Carolina Hurricanes (from TOR) – Alexander Pashin, RW, Ufa 2 (Russia Jr)
200. Edmonton Oilers – Jeremias Lindewall, RW, Modo Jr. (Sweden Jr)
201. San Jose Sharks (from PIT) – Adam Rask, RW, Rimouski (QMJHL)
202. Nashville Predators (from PHI via MTL) – Gunnarwolfe Fontaine, LW, Northeastern (NCAA)
203. Detroit Red Wings (from STL via CHI via MTL) – Chase Bradley, LW, Sioux City (USHL)
204. Arizona Coyotes – Ben McCartney, LW, Brandon (WHL)
205. Calgary Flames – Ilya Solovyov, D, Minsk (KHL)
206. San Jose Sharks (from NYR via VAN) – Linus Oberg, C, Örebro (SHL)
207. Anaheim Ducks (from CBJ) – Ethan Bowen, C, Chilliwack (BCHL)
208. Carolina Hurricanes – Ronan Seeley, D, Everett (WHL)
209. Nashville Predators (from PHI) – Chase McLane, C, Penn State (NCAA)
210. San Jose Sharks (from WSH) – Timofey Spitserov, RW, Muskegon (USHL)
211. Washington Capitals (from PIT via COL) – Oskar Magnusson, LW, Malmo (SHL)
212. Florida Panthers (from TOR via STL) – Devon Levi, G, Carleton Place (CCHL)
213. Toronto Maple Leafs (from BOS) – Ryan Tverberg, C, Toronto JC (OJHL)
214. New York Islanders – Henrik Tikkanen, G, IPK (Finland-2)
215. Vegas Golden Knights – Maxim Marushev, C, Bars Kazan (Russia-2)
216. Buffalo Sabres (from DAL) – Jakub Konecny, C, Sparta Jr. (Czech Rep. Jr)
217. Tampa Bay Lightning – Declan McDonnell, RW, Kitchener (OHL)

2020 NHL Draft order procedure

2020 NHL Draft Round 1
Picks 1-15: Determined by Phases 1 and 2 of 2020 NHL Draft Lottery
Picks 16-27: Teams eliminated in Rounds 1 and 2 of 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, in inverse order of 2019-20 regular season points percentage
Picks 28-29: Teams eliminated in 2020 Conference Finals, in inverse order of 2019-20 regular season points percentage
Pick 30: Team eliminated in 2020 Stanley Cup Final
Pick 31: 2020 Stanley Cup champion

2020 NHL Draft Rounds 2-7
Picks 1-7: Teams who did not participate in the Return To Play, in inverse order of 2019-20 regular season points percentage
Picks 8-15: Teams eliminated in 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers, in inverse order of 2019-20 regular season points percentage
Picks 16-27: Teams eliminated in Rounds 1 and 2 of 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, in inverse order of 2019-20 regular season points percentage
Picks 28-29: Teams eliminated in 2020 Conference Finals, in inverse order of 2019-20 regular season points percentage
Pick 30: Team eliminated in 2020 Stanley Cup Final
Pick 31: 2020 Stanley Cup champion

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    Ducks hire former Leafs, Islanders assistant Greg Cronin as head coach

    Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

    ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Anaheim Ducks have hired veteran NHL assistant and AHL head coach Greg Cronin to be their new head coach.

    Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek announced the decision to hire the 60-year-old Cronin, who will be a first-time NHL head coach.

    Cronin has 12 years of experience as an NHL assistant with the Toronto Maple Leafs and in two stints with the New York Islanders. The Massachusetts native has been the head coach of the AHL’s Colorado Eagles since 2018, and he spent six years as a collegiate head coach at Northeastern.

    Verbeek called Cronin “the ideal fit” to take over a young, rebuilding team.

    “I felt we needed a teacher of the finer points of the game, and someone who has worked extensively over time with talented young players, helping them develop into successful NHL players,” Verbeek said. “Greg has done all that and more.”

    Cronin replaces Dallas Eakins, whose contract wasn’t renewed in April after the Ducks finished their fourth consecutive losing season of his tenure. Anaheim finished in last place in the overall NHL standings at 23-47-12.

    The Ducks never finished higher than sixth in the Pacific Division during Eakins’ four years in charge. They’ve missed the playoffs in a franchise-record five straight seasons, and Anaheim was the NHL’s worst defensive team of the 21st century by several measures during the just-completed season.

    Cronin takes over a struggling team that is still loaded with young talent, including the No. 2 overall pick in the upcoming draft and a wealth of farm prospects seemingly ready to break into the NHL. Anaheim has a solid long-term base with playmaking center Trevor Zegras, two-time All-Star Troy Terry and promising forward Mason McTavish.

    Cronin has never led an NHL bench, but he interviewed for the Boston Bruins’ vacancy a year ago.

    He becomes only the Ducks’ fourth permanent head coach since Henry and Susan Samueli bought the franchise from Disney in 2005, joining Randy Carlyle, Bruce Boudreau and Eakins.

    Canadiens sign Cole Caufield to 8-year, $62.8 million extension

    David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports

    MONTREAL — The Montreal Canadiens signed Cole Caufield to an eight-year, $62.8 million contract extension.

    The deal, which will pay the 22-year-old winger an average annual salary of $7.85 million, runs through the 2030-31 season.

    Caufield scored 26 goals and added 10 assists in 46 games in 2022-23 before he underwent season-ending surgery on his right shoulder in February.

    Despite missing nearly half the season, Caufield led the Canadiens in goals for the second consecutive season, tied with Nick Suzuki.

    Montreal selected Caufield in the first round (15th overall) of the 2019 draft.

    Since making his NHL debut in 2020-21, the forward has 84 points (53 goals, 31 assists) in 123 NHL games.

    Vegas Golden Knights come back to beat Florida Panthers in Game 1 of Stanley Cup Final

    Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

    LAS VEGAS – Back in the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in five years and trailing the Florida Panthers less than 10 minutes into Game 1, the Vegas Golden Knights sent a very clear message.

    “We were ready,” Jonathan Marchessault said.

    Ready and dominant. Vegas rallied from an early deficit, got the go-ahead goal from Zach Whitecloud with just over 13 minutes left and arguably the best save of the playoffs from Adin Hill and beat Florida 5-2 Saturday night to take the lead in the best-of-seven series.

    “We kept out composure, and it was good,” said Marchessault, one of six original Knights players left from the start of the franchise in 2017 who scored the tying goal in the first period. “We just wanted to play the right way and be disciplined, and tonight we were able to be the better team.”

    Whitecloud put Vegas ahead, a crucial penalty kill followed and captain Mark Stone scored an insurance goal that was reviewed for a high stick and confirmed. Reilly Smith sealed it with an empty-netter to make the score look more lopsided than the game.

    The combination of that offense and Hill’s 33 saves put Vegas up after a feisty opener between Sun Belt teams who wasted little time getting acquainted with big hits during play and plenty of post-whistle pushing and shoving.

    “It’s exactly what we expected,” said Vegas defenseman Shea Theodore, who scored his first goal of the playoffs and ended a 27-game drought dating to March 7. “That’s how they wanted to play. We were just trying not to play into it.”

    That stuff is just beginning. Game 2 is Monday in Las Vegas.

    Before the Panthers even get a chance to respond, they ratcheted up the physical play late after falling behind by two. A handful of penalties resulting from a fracas with 4:24 remaining left the Florida bench well short.

    The outcome was determined long before that.

    After falling behind on a short-handed goal by Eric Staal that sucked the life out of the crowd of 18,432, the Golden Knights rallied for their ninth comeback win this playoffs. Marchessault – known since arriving in Las Vegas for scoring big goals – answered before the end of the first period.

    Early in the second, Hill made a desperation stick save to rob Nick Cousins of what would have been a sure goal. The save was reminiscent of the one Washington’s Braden Holtby made against Vegas – in the same crease – five years ago.

    “That’s an unreal save – it’s a game-changer,” coach Bruce Cassidy said. “You need those saves at key moments.”

    Giving up a tying goal to Anthony Duclair with 10.2 seconds left in the second did not slow the Golden Knights’ momentum much. Whitecloud’s goal, with two-time Vezina Trophy-winning goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky screened and unable to see, fired up fans once again.

    Bobrovsky, in the final for the first time, downplayed any reason for concern after stopping 29 of 34 shots and losing for just the second time in 12 games this postseason.

    “I played a good game,” Bobrovsky said. “I played a solid game. They created some good chances other than goals. They had lots of good scoring chances, and that was fun.”

    Part of the fun came when play was stopped.

    Less than 10 minutes in, Hill was none too happy about Nick Cousins crashing into his crease and gave the agitating Panthers winger a jab that incited a handful of scrums. During the second period, Matthew Tkachuk let Vegas’ Nic Hague know he wasn’t thrilled about a hit in the corner on Cousins and a collision with Brandon Montour after the whistle.

    “If guys are going to come in my crease and try to push me around, I’m going to stand my own ground,” Hill said. “I’m not going to do anything too crazy or get too wild, but, yeah, I’ve got to stand up for myself.”

    Florida coach Paul Maurice, back in the final for the first time since 2001, displayed a similarly calm demeanor as he did all the way back in the first round, when his team fell behind 1-0 then 3-1 to NHL-best Boston before winning in seven.

    “It’s going to be tight,” Maurice said. “Everybody breathe.”

    The Golden Knights are in the final for the second time in six years of existence, five years after making it in their inaugural season. Vegas won the opener in 2018 and lost the series to Washington in five games.

    The Panthers are back playing for the Cup for the first time since 1996. Florida got swept by Colorado in that final 27 years ago, 18 months before Tkachuk, the team’s leading scorer this playoffs, was born.

    It’s the 66th different matchup of teams in the Cup final in NHL history and the 46th since the expansion era began in 1967-68. This is the first time since Washington-Vegas and just the third time since the turn of the century in which the final features two teams who have never won the league’s championship.

    Penguins name former Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas as director of hockey operations

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    PITTSBURGH (AP) Kyle Dubas wanted to take a breath and take a break after being fired as the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

    Then the Pittsburgh Penguins called.

    The break ended shortly thereafter.

    Dubas joined the Penguins as the team’s president of hockey operations, less than two weeks after a somewhat ugly exit from Toronto following a second-round playoff loss to Florida.

    The 37-year-old Dubas goes from one type of hockey crucible to another. In Toronto, he was tasked with helping the Maple Leafs emerge from two decades of postseason futility. In Pittsburgh, his mission will be to prop open the Stanley Cup window for Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang a little longer.

    All three are 35 or older and haven’t won a playoff series since 2018. Yet Dubas believes strongly the issue isn’t the age of the franchise’s core but deficiencies elsewhere on the roster. Dubas replaces Brian Burke, who was fired along with general manager Ron Hextall in April after the Penguins failed to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2006.

    “I heard a lot of people that were highly skeptical of the team’s ability to contend here and the way I view it, if the people want to bet against (Crosby, Letang and Malkin) they can go ahead and do so,” Dubas said. “But I’m going to bet on them and go with them here. I think it is a group that’s capable of contending to win a championship.”

    Crosby and Malkin were excellent for much of last season and Letang showed remarkable resiliency while dealing with multiple setbacks, including a stroke and the death of his father. Yet save for a 14-2-2 stretch in November and December, the Penguins struggled to find consistency and ultimately stumbled down the stretch to snap the longest active playoff streak in major North American Sports.

    While the Penguins do have $20 million in cap space and the 14th overall pick in this month’s NHL draft, significant changes or upgrades could be difficult in the short term.

    Dubas inherits a team that was the oldest in the NHL last season and is littered with question marks, particularly in goal and the forward group outside of Crosby, Malkin and Jake Guentzel.

    Two-time All-Star goaltender Tristan Jarry will become a free agent this summer and was beset by injuries over the second half of the season. Forward Jason Zucker, who served as the emotional sparkplug for long stretches, is also scheduled to hit the open market and may have priced himself out of town.

    Pittsburgh also has several aging players with full or partial no-movement clauses, including 38-year-old forward Jeff Carter, 30-year-old Bryan Rust and 35-year-old defenseman Jeff Petry.

    “I think that those are obviously very real situations, everyone knows that they exist,” Dubas said. “To me the effect on it … is what we can add in terms of depth pieces? What we can add in terms of younger players? That’ll be the real key.”

    Dubas does plan to hire a general manager to fill the vacancy created when Hextall was let go after a short but largely unfruitful tenure. Dubas will serve as the GM on an interim basis until early July.

    Dubas comes to Pittsburgh after nine seasons with the Maple Leafs, including the last five as general manager. Toronto won a postseason series for the first time since 2004 this spring before falling to the Florida Panthers in the Eastern Conference semifinals in five games.

    Shortly after the Maple Leafs’ playoff exit, Dubas said that he wasn’t sure if he wanted to remain in Toronto. His contract was set to expire on June 30, but team president Kyle Shanahan opted to pre-emptively fire Dubas instead. Toronto hired former Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving as Dubas’ replacement.

    Dubas helped build the Maple Leafs into a regular-season power during his tenure. Toronto set single-season records for wins and points, and went 221-109-42 in his tenure. Dubas also didn’t shy away from big moves – he fired Stanley Cup-winning coach Mike Babcock in November 2019 and replaced him with Sheldon Keefe – but struggled to find the right mix in the playoffs until this spring.

    In the end, advancing beyond the first round for the first time since 2004 wasn’t enough for Dubas to remain in Toronto.

    He joked he was maybe a little “too honest” during his season-ending press conference with the Maple Leafs when he expressed reservations about returning. Shanahan’s abrupt decision to move on came as a bit of a surprise, and Dubas planned to take some time to hit the reset button before looking for another job.

    Yet the Penguins – who’d already been given clearance by the Maple Leafs to interview Dubas – provided a compelling reason to speed up the timetable. Dubas’ due diligence included speaking to Crosby and longtime coach Mike Sullivan to take the pulse of a leadership group that remains firmly in place.

    Dubas called them “some of the best competitors” in hockey. Competitors that have – for one reason or another – been unable to recapture the magic of their runs to back-to-back Cups in 2016 and 2017.

    Time is running out for Crosby to put his name on the Cup for a fourth time in a career that will almost certainly end in the Hall of Fame. Dubas knows he’ll be judged in part on whether he can make that happen. After taking more than six weeks of searching before landing on Dubas, Fenway Sports Group Chairman Tom Werner believes Dubas is up to the challenge.

    “Our philosophy is giving Kyle and his associates the best possible resources to win,” Werner said. “Kyle’s been very articulate today about his path to success … we’re very confident that Kyle will execute the plan he’s articulated to us.”