Meet the next three No. 1 overall NHL draft picks

Alexis Lafreniere is the likely top pick in next year's NHL draft. Mathieu Belanger/Getty Images

While preparations for the 2019 NHL draft are in full swing, it's important to keep one eye on the future. Every player develops differently, and these projections could change over time, but let's look at the early favorites to be the No. 1 overall picks in 2020, 2021 and 2022, along with other talented prospects who might challenge them for those top spots.

2020: Alexis Lafreniere, LW, Rimouski Oceanic (QMJHL)

Born three weeks after the draft cut-off, Lafreniere would surely have been a high pick in this year's NHL draft. Instead, he'll have to settle for being the early odds-on favorite to go first overall in 2020. With 105 points this season, Lafreniere posted one of the most productive U18 campaigns of the past 15 years in the QMJHL and earned MVP honors in doing so. He matched Jonathan Huberdeau's and Jonathan Drouin's totals from their age-17 seasons and trailed only Sidney Crosby's two highly productive seasons at ages 16 and 17.