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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    Former Bruins coach Cassidy wins; Boston’s home streak ends

    Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
    1 Comment

    BOSTON — The Vegas Golden Knights made former Boston coach Bruce Cassidy’s return a success on Reilly Smith‘s score in the fifth round of the shootout, beating the Bruins 4-3 to end their NHL-record for home victories to open a season at 14 games.

    The 57-year-old Cassidy was fired by Boston following 5 1/2 seasons in June after the Bruins were eliminated by Carolina in the opening round of the playoffs.

    Eight days after he was let go, he was hired by Vegas.

    In a matchup of two of the league’s top three teams, Western conference-leading Vegas opened a 3-0 lead early in the second period on two goals by Paul Cotter and the other by Jonathan Marchessault before the Bruins started their comeback when Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak scored just over six minutes apart late in the period.

    They tied it on Taylor Hall‘s power-play goal 3:08 into the third when he spun in front and slipped a shot from the slot past goalie Logan Thompson.

    Smith had the only score in the shootout, slipping a forehand shot past goalie Jeremy Swayman.

    Cassidy took over as Boston’s interim coach on Feb. 7, 2016, before getting the head job that April. His teams made the playoffs all six seasons, including a trip to the 2019 Stanley Cup Final when they lost the seventh game at home against St. Louis.

    Cassidy knows what it sounds like in TD Garden with The Standells’ song “Dirty Water” blaring after Bruins’ wins.

    “Now that you brought it up, I’m used to hearing “Dirty Water” at the end of the game,” he said, smiling. “I’m glad I didn’t hear it tonight. The streak is irrelevant to me. It’s nice to come in and play well.”

    Boston lost for just the second time in 12 games.

    “This locker room sticks together, and we knew we were going to do something special tonight,” Swayman said. “It (stinks) losing, but we’re going to make sure we fix the problems.”

    The Bruins’ home-opening streak broke the record of 11 that was set by the 1963-64 Chicago Blackhawks and equaled by the Florida Panthers last season.

    Before the shootout, Thompson made 40 saves. Boston’s backup Swayman had 21.

    “This city meant a lot to him, and he was fired up ready to go,” Thompson said of Cassidy. “We went out there and tried to get him two points tonight.”

    Cotter collected William Karlsson‘s pass inside the left circle and unloaded a wrister under the crossbar 1:36 into the game.

    Marchessault stole Pastrnak’s attempted clearing pass, broke in alone and tucked in his own rebound to make it 2-0.

    Cotter’s second came 51 seconds into the second period when he slipped a wrister past Swayman’s glove.

    “We couldn’t get it done early, before the shootout. We had chances,” Pastrnak said. “It’s a tough one to swallow.”

    Vegas star forward Jack Eichel missed the game with a lower-body injury.

    TRIBUTE

    The Bruins played a video montage of Cassidy on the Jumbotron late in the opening period that ended with a picture of him and said: “Welcome back, Bruce.”

    The crowd gave him a nice ovation and he waved thanking them.

    “It’s a really nice gesture by the Bruins’ organization,” he said. “I appreciate it. I said all along that I have a tremendous amount of respect for them. I’m thankful they did it.”

    FOR THE RECORD

    Cassidy finished tied for third on the Bruins’ coaching list with Hall of Famer Milt Schmidt (1955-66) at 245 victories, behind Claude Julien’s (2008-17) 419 and Art Ross (1925-45) with 387.

    EXTRA SPECIAL TEAMS

    The Bruins entered the game ranked second in the league both with their power play (29.6%) and penalty killing (84.1%).

    UP NEXT

    Golden Knights: Host the New York Rangers.

    Bruins: At the Colorado Avalanche.

    Penguins plot a way forward as Letang recovers from stroke

    kris letang
    Kyle Ross/USA TODAY Sports
    1 Comment

    PITTSBURGH — Kris Letang returned to the ice on Thursday, just three days after suffering the second stroke of his career.

    The “twirl” the longtime Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman took at the club’s practice facility was approved by team doctors, a spin designed to help Letang’s mental health and nothing else. While the 35-year-old remains upbeat, it remains far too early to put a timeline on when his familiar No. 58 will return to the lineup.

    Though Pittsburgh general manager Ron Hextall indicated this stroke isn’t as severe as the one Letang endured in 2014 – when a hole in the wall of his heart led to a stroke that forced him to miss two months – the six-time All-Star is continuing to undergo tests.

    There are no plans for Letang to participate in any sort of hockey-specific drills anytime soon, with coach Mike Sullivan stressing the club will “err on the side of caution” when it comes to whatever rehab Letang might need.

    While Letang – one of the most well-conditioned players in the NHL – essentially went through the motions by himself, his teammates were 30 minutes south at PPG Paints Arena getting ready for a visit from Vegas and trying to plot a way forward without one of the franchise cornerstones, at least in the short term.

    Letang made it a point to help break the news to the rest of the Penguins following a 3-2 overtime loss to Carolina on Tuesday. Pittsburgh scratched Letang from the lineup with an unspecified illness and he spent a portion of the game watching from the press box next to Hextall.

    Afterward, Letang informed a somber locker room about his condition, a revelation that came as a shock even as he did his best to reassure those around him that he was and is OK.

    “It’s very serious health stuff,” defenseman Chad Ruhwedel said. “You hear about strokes and it’s never really good so we’re just glad to see he’s doing well and everything is good with him.”

    Sullivan understands it would be practically impossible for any of the other defensemen on the roster to replicate what Letang brings to the ice, so he’s not going to ask any one player to try. There are few players at the position in the NHL who have Letang’s mix of speed, skill and almost bottomless energy.

    The highest-scoring defenseman in franchise history is averaging a team-best 23:54 of ice time and has long been a fixture on the power play and in just about every crucial late-game situation.

    “I just think Tanger is not an easy guy to replace,” Sullivan said. “I don’t think from a tactical standpoint things change drastically. It’s just personnel based. But as you know, personnel can mean a lot in those types of situations.”

    It’s more than that, however. This isn’t a routine injury. There’s an emotional component and an unknown element to Letang’s status even as the Penguins insist they don’t believe his condition is career-threatening.

    “This is a whole different circumstance than an ankle injury or a shoulder injury,” Sullivan said. “This is a very different circumstance.”

    Letang’s on-ice presence is just one aspect of his importance to a team that has never missed the playoffs since he made his debut in 2007. He’s become a mentor to younger teammates like 23-year-old defenseman Pierre-Olivier Joseph, who like Letang is French-Canadian and who, like Letang, plays with a graceful fluidity.

    Joseph, who declined to get into specifics about Letang’s message to the team on Tuesday night, believes the best thing the Penguins can do during Letang’s absence is attack the game with the same passion he’s shown for 17 seasons and counting.

    “The way he plays for the team every single night and the way he puts his heart and soul into the game on the ice, it’s the least we can do is have our thoughts of him whenever we get on the ice,” Joseph said.

    Sullivan shuffled the lineup on Tuesday, elevating veteran Jeff Petry and Brian Dumoulin to the top defensive pair. Petry possesses a skillset that’s not too far removed from Letang’s, but it’s also his first year in Pittsburgh. Asking him to provide the leadership that’s innate to Letang is unfair. It’s one of the reasons Sullivan is insistent that it will take a group effort to fill in for a singular presence.

    “We have some diversity on our blue line right now,” Sullivan said. “We feel like we have guys capable of stepping in and getting the job done for us and we’re going to try and do that.”

    LA Kings put goaltender Cal Petersen on waivers

    Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
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    LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Kings put goaltender Cal Petersen on waivers, a surprising move for a player once considered the successor in net to two-time Stanley Cup winner Jonathan Quick.

    Petersen, 28, went on waivers the day after allowing four goals on 16 shots in relief of Quick during a 9-8 overtime loss to the Seattle Kraken. Quick was pulled after giving up five goals on 14 shots.

    Only one NHL goalie has a save percentage lower than Petersen’s .868 this season, Elvis Merzlikins of the Columbus Blue Jackets with .864. Petersen is 5-3-2 in 10 games with a 3.75 goals-against average in his third full season with the Kings and fifth overall.

    L.A. signed Petersen to a three-year, $15 million contract in September 2021, and he figured to take the starting job from Quick, who turns 37 in January and is set to be a free agent after the season. Petersen has two years left on that deal after this one at an annual salary cap hit of $5 million.

    Penguins’ Kris Letang out indefinitely after 2nd stroke

    Kris Letang Penguins
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    PITTSBURGH — Kris Letang plays hockey with a grace and inexhaustible fluidity seemingly impervious to the rigors of spending nearly half his life in the NHL.

    For the second time in less than a decade, however, a major health scare has brought Letang’s career to a halt.

    The 35-year-old Letang is out indefinitely after suffering a stroke for a second time. Letang reported feeling ill and was taken to the hospital, where tests confirmed the stroke.

    While general manager Ron Hextall said Wednesday this stroke doesn’t appear to be as serious as the one Letang sustained in 2014, the Penguins will have to find a way forward at least in the short term without one of their franchise pillars.

    “I am fortunate to know my body well enough to recognize when something isn’t right,” Letang said in a release. “While it is difficult to navigate this issue publicly, I am hopeful it can raise awareness. … I am optimistic that I will be back on the ice soon.”

    The three-time Stanley Cup champion missed more than two months in 2014 after a stroke, which doctors determined was caused by a small hole in the wall of his heart. He spent Monday feeling off and told team trainers he was dealing with what Hextall described as a migraine headache.

    Penguins team physician Dr. Dhamesh Vyas recommended Letang go to the hospital, where tests confirmed the stroke.

    “He didn’t know (he had a stroke),” Hextall said. “He just knew something wasn’t right.”

    Letang is continuing to undergo tests but felt well enough on Tuesday to be at the arena for Pittsburgh’s 3-2 overtime loss to Carolina. He spent the second period chatting with Hextall then addressed his teammates in the locker room afterward in an effort to help allay their concerns.

    “I think it was important for Kris to be there because his teammates got to see him in good spirits and that he’s doing well,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said.

    Sullivan added initial test results on Letang have been “very encouraging.” Letang will continue to undergo testing throughout the week, though he felt good enough in the aftermath to ask Sullivan and Hextall if he could skate, an activity that is off the table for now.

    Hextall said he “couldn’t even guess” how long the Penguins may be without the married father of two, adding hockey is low on the team’s list of concerns about a player who, along with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, has helped the franchise to three Stanley Cups during his 17-year career.

    “First and foremost this is about the person and I told Tanger about that last night,” Hextall said. “This is Kris Letang, the father and family guy, the Pittsburgh Penguins, that’s second.”

    Letang, a six-time All-Star, has been one of the most durable players in the NHL. His 662 career points (145 goals, 517 assists) are a franchise record for a defenseman. He’s averaged well over 24 minutes of playing time over the course of his career, a number that’s ticked above 25 minutes per game seven times in eight-plus seasons since he returned from the initial stroke.

    The Penguins felt so confident in Letang’s durability that they signed him to a six-year contract over the summer rather than let him test free agency for the first time.

    “The level of hockey he’s played for as long as he’s played is absolutely incredible,” Hextall said. “The level he’s continued to play at at his age, the type of shape he’s in … he’s a warrior.”

    Letang has one goal and 11 assists in 21 games so far this season for Pittsburgh, which hosts Vegas on Thursday night. The Penguins are pretty deep along the blue line, but Sullivan knows he can’t try to replace Letang with any one player.

    “It’s not anything we haven’t been faced with in the past and the reality is we have what we have, and we’ll figure it out,” Sullivan said, adding “it’ll be by committee, as it usually is when you replace a player of that stature.”