The National Hockey League's Entry Draft for 2020 is just around the corner and although most people are predicting a pretty standard affair through the first several picks, with the possible exception being debate about who will go at #2 and #3 between Quinton Byfield and Tim Stutzle, there is now one writer who is predicting a rather bold move in the early stages of the draft.
On Saturday night Mark Scheig was fielding questions from his followers regarding the upcoming draft and among the most frequent questions he received was from Red Wings fans regarding the team's pick at #4 and a question regarding what he expects the biggest surprise of the draft will be, at least in the first round. Surprisingly the answer to both those questions was one and the same, with Scheig actually predicting that the Red Wings, and by extension general manager Steve Yzerman, are going to go way off the board with their pick.
There's been plenty of debate already regarding who the Red Wings will be selecting, but Scheig expects that the team will "stun the world" by selecting Russian goaltender Yaroslav Askarov with the #4 pick. Now historically goaltenders do not tend to be selected in the early stages of the draft but the scouting report on Askarov has many believing that he is the most talented goaltending prospect since a young man named Carey Price, whom you might know from his time with the Montreal Canadiens.
In fact although Scheig believes that this would be a stunner from the Red Wings, and there's no question that it would be, there do seem to be a lot of teams and pundits around the hockey world that have Askarov on their radar as we draw closer and closer to the draft. In fact in an article just last weekend we covered Brian Burke's mini mock draft for the Top 5 selections in 2020, and although he did not have Askarov on his list, he did list him as his wild card in this draft. Burke acknowledged that no goalie has gone higher than 13th overall since 2013, but added that he does suspect Askarov could be the man to break that trend.
The question now is, will Steve Yzerman also be the man who breaks the trend?