Dom Lunardo | May 25th, 2020
Size, speed, strength, and skill. No that’s not an interesting piece of alliteration. Rather, these are just some of the adjectives which best describe draft-eligible centerman, and top prospect, Quinton Byfield. As draft day approaches, many NHL general managers are vigorously checking boxes and having their comprehensive data sheets ready to roll. With this being said, Byfield quite deservedly remains near the top of many pro scouts’ lists. So just how good is Quinton Byfield and what impact can we expect him to have at the NHL level? Check out all of our NHL Draft Profiles here.
Team: Sudbury Wolves, Ontario Hockey League (OHL)
2020 Draft Prospect Ranking (Central Scouting): 2nd Among North American Skaters
What the Scouts Say
As a player, Byfield is a raw talent who possesses a wide range of skills on the ice. He’s big, strong, physical, and loves to throw his weight around. This is a centerman who’s an absolute force on each and every shift. Let’s not forget that Byfield tips the scale at 6’4, 210 pounds. Byfield can beat opposing defensemen with his reach, elite-level skating, and nose for the net. He also loves to score goals, something Canadian junior hockey discovered all too well over the past two seasons.
The last 4-6 months have also seen Byfield’s defensive game evolve. His defensive game has vastly improved and is much more responsible in his own end. Paying close attention to detail is something that Byfield took to heart in Sudbury. However, once the puck is retrieved, he can transition from defense to offense with blistering power and quickness. Byfield distributes the puck with accuracy and loves to set up his linemates for goal-scoring opportunities. His hockey sense is exceptional and is seldom caught out of position down the middle. Byfield plays with pace and purpose, and continues to transform his “tool kit”. Scouts from far and wide are singing the proverbial phrases about the second-ranked North American prospect.
The Big Wolf
Although Byfield played a limited role with Team Canada at the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships, primarily due to a lack of ice time, he picked up right where he left off the second he returned to Sudbury. He also brought home a Gold Medal as Canada defeated the mighty Russians to claim top-prize at the tournament. That experience alone was definitely one of the biggest (and most memorable) moments in Byfield’s young career. Byfield can be referred to as the “big wolf” for all the right reasons with the Sudbury Wolves. On several cold, winter nights, Byfield was simply magnificent on so many occasions in Sudbury.
As a member of the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), Byfield has been nothing short of spectacular. After posting 61 points a season ago, Byfield followed suit with 82 points this year in just 45 games. Sudbury’s season, like the rest of the sports world, was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Should he have played a full season, the 100+ point plateau was certainly in reach for the Newmarket, Ontario native. Byfield’s season for the ages will place him in very good stead at the upcoming NHL Entry Draft. Byfield will be remembered as one of the greatest Sudbury Wolves players in recent memory.
Quinton Byfield is a player with an incredible skillset ad massive upside. If not for the sheer brilliance of Alexis Lafreniere, Byfield would be the top pick at this summer’s NHL Draft. As it stands, many hockey experts predict Byfield to be off the board at number two. He can skate, make plays, and subscribes to a hard and heavy game. The hockey term “bigger, faster, stronger” is music to the ears of NHL scouts from coast to coast. At this point in time, no one truly knows what the future holds for Byfield or any top prospect. What we can infer is that Byfield has an extremely bright future ahead of him, and a career in the pros waiting in the wings. One final question begs: Who ends up with his services at the all-important NHL Entry Draft.
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Main Credit Image: Embed from Getty Images