LA Kings: The Athletic’s mock draft takes Tim Stutzle number two overall

LA Kings (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
LA Kings (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images) /

The Athletic released their mock draft for the 2020 NHL Draft, and they have the LA Kings taking Tim Stutzle instead of Quinton Byfield.

The long debate that will soon be settled; will the LA Kings take Quinton Byfield or Tim Stutzle with the second overall pick? Both players are tremendous talents, and a strong case can be made that the latter fulfills a need more than the former. But number one centers are hard to find in the NHL, and they are even more challenging to trade for.

Rob Blake and company have to be absolutely sure if they are going to take Stutzle over Byfield. The Athletic‘s recent community mock draft has the Kings going with the German winger.

"It was a far simpler time, 2019. In various mock drafts, I had my pick and actually stuck with it – defenseman Bowen Byram, who went to Colorado at No. 4. There was no waffling. This is all a prelude to a shift to Stutzle from Quinton Byfield. Stutzle would give the Kings something they desperately need: a creative offensive touch and versatility, the ability to play in the middle and left wing. The projections have him ready to play in the NHL sooner than Byfield. While the Kings have the luxury of time, they don’t have years and years of it. – Dillman/The Athletic"

Stutzle tallied seven goals with 27 assists for 34 points in 41 games for Adler Mannheim last season. In the World Juniors, he had five assists in five games for the Germany U20 Gold Medal-winning team. He was the consensus Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL) Rookie of the Year, and features pinpoint shooting accuracy and incredible speed.

As noted, the Kings have a surplus of centerman, and Stutzle would be on the first line sooner than Byfield. He (Stutzle) has drawn comparisons to Patrick Kane with his excellent puck-handling skills and one-on-one abilities to beat defenders. He’s 6-foot-0, 187 pounds, and he’ll need to get stronger, but that should come as he physically matures.

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What do you think about taking Stutzle over Byfield?