Never thought I would have to write this article about the generational talent in Quinton Byfield. When I first heard of Quinton Byfield, it was from my resource teacher in grade 8. Quinton Byfield had just suited it up for a game for the Newmarket Hurricanes of the Ontario Junior Hockey League.
In this game, Quinton Byfield scored a goal and an assist as an affiliate player when he was playing for the York Simcoe Express under 16 AAA’s, formally known as minor midget. At the time, I was hoping my hometown North Bay Battalion would tank and end up getting a shot at Byfield, but they didn’t and ended up getting the ninth overall pick. The team that was lucky enough to take Quinton was the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves.
They took him first overall. It was originally rumoured that this talent would not show up in Sudbury, but with Quinton’s character, he showed up for the first day of training camp on a struggling team and instantly became the talk of the town. This article will examine why I would take Quinton Byfield ahead of Alexis Lafrenière in the NHL Entry Draft.
I’ve Seen Him Play More
You guys probably think I’m crazy for the statement I just made in the above paragraph. However, I have seen Quinton Byfield play more than Alexis Lafreniere and I believe he has more park skills than Saint-Eustache native Alexis Lafreniere. Lafreniere was surrounded by veterans with the Rimouski Oceanic in the QMJHL.
Quinton Byfield is one of two star players for the Sudbury Wolves, the other star being overager David Levin. Byfield contributes on a nightly basis and is definitely one of the stars of the Ontario Hockey League.
His Hockey Sense Is Off The Charts
I have attended lots of Battalion games during the hockey club’s tenure in North Bay. Quinton Byfield is one of three players I’ve seen with exceptional hockey sense, the other two being Kingston Frontenacs phenom Shane Wright and Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid. This superstar is able to complete passes in areas that you would never be able to predict a player to do so, whether it is looking for the man in the open slot, passing the puck across the circles or jamming the puck through the goalies five hole. Byfield can do it all. I’ve never seen a player with this kind of hockey sense other than Wright and McDavid.
Lafreniere Is Injury Prone
During the 2020 World Junior Championship, Alexis Lafreniere injured his knee during the game against the United States. Although he was able to return to the tournament after a few days of rehab, this would be a concern for me if I were an NHL scout. Byfield, to the best of my knowledge, does not have any injury history, so it would definitely be a reason in my book to take Byfield ahead of Alexis Lafreniere.
He Is Younger Then Most Players In This Draft
This year’s draft is normally for players who were born in 2001, but Quinton Byfield’s August 19, 2002 birthdate allows him to be selected a year earlier than most of his peers. Byfield is by far the best 2002 available and people are trying to weigh the difficult comparison to a 2001 birthday in Alexis Lafreniere. No matter where Quinton Byfield ends up in the NHL Draft, I will be buying a team jersey and will be rooting for him to succeed. Good luck, Quinton!