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Lightning Round: Central scouting releases its final rankings for the 2020 NHL draft

Not knowing when the draft is doesn’t mean we can’t have rankings.

2020 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Just like everything else related to sports, no one knows if, when, or in what format the 2020 NHL draft will happen. It seems likely some form of draft will happen whenever the season ends. The draft is one of the easier things to orchestrate remotely so of all the things on the NHL calendar, it should be one of the most likely to happen at some point in the next six months.

Despite the uncertainty, NHL Central Scouting released their final rankings yesterday. As usual, they split their rankings into North American skaters, European skaters, North American goalies, and European goalies. Alexis Lafreniere remained atop the North American skater list and is still the most likely first overall pick. Tim Stuetzle also maintained his spot at the top of the European skater list.

The biggest movers from the midterm rankings were Jake Sanderson jumping from 11th to 4th among North American skaters while Helge Grans climbed from 21st to 6th among European skaters. Both are 6’2” defenseman although Grans weighs about 20 lbs more than Sanderson at 206 lbs.

It seems a little strange to shift focus to the draft when we’re not sure how the league will decide to resolve the season. But with the junior season over and everyone quarantined, teams probably have little else to do than watch tape to scout for the draft. All this extra time could result in some interesting lists come draft day.

One name that popped up in the rankings is American defender Jake Boltmann. That’s right, Boltmann. If there’s anyone the Lightning should be considering drafting, it’s definitely the kid with the team in his name. He made the rankings at 113, which was a drop from 96th at the midterm. He’s a defender who played high school hockey in Minnesota and in the USHL, which is a similar path that noted Lightning future superstar Sammy Walker took.

You might be thinking that a ranking of 113 among North American skaters isn’t particularly encouraging and is a sign that he might not be drafted at all. And normally that would be correct. But then you also have to consider that his name is Boltmann. And he plays Minnesota high school hockey. What else are the Lightning going to be doing in the seventh round? So let’s get it started now. Draft Boltmann, JBB. It’s the right thing to do.


SC Bern named Florence Schelling General Manager yesterday. After a world class career as a goaltender, she’ll take over management of one of the biggest clubs in Europe. SC Bern has a history of attracting top international talent to play in the Swiss league and have been recently connected to the Lightning’s Cory Conacher. At just 31 years old, Schelling is exceptionally young for this high of a managerial role at this prominent of a club. If she’s successful, she could be on the path to a front office career that would rival her playing career.

Schelling, 31, represented Switzerland as a goalie at 11 world championships and four Olympics. At the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, she was named tournament MVP while leading her country to the bronze medal. Schelling also has a Masters degree in Science in Business Administration and has worked as an assistant coach with the under-18 Swiss national women’s team.


Here’s Blake Coleman and his pup Wyn as a nice start to your morning.