With the 189th overall selection in the 2020 NHL Draft, the Toronto Maple Leafs have selected 5’11, 181-pound American right-shot defenseman John Fusco out of Dexter Southfield School (US High School).

A second-year draft-eligible currently at Harvard University, Fusco describes himself as an offensive defenseman who likes to jump up into the attack and play “a rugged style” despite his average size, naming Torey Krug and Charlie McAvoy as role models. He’s currently skating in small groups with the coaching staff at Harvard — where he’s joined by fellow Leafs prospect Nick Abruzzese — while awaiting word about the fate of the 2020-21 NCAA season.

Fusco comes from a hockey family; his dad, Mark, played two NHL games for the Hartford Whalers and represented the U.S. at the Olympic Games in 1985, while his uncle, Scott, represented Team USA at the 1988 Olympics.

The Leafs will have a four-year rights window with Fusco, following on the theme of the day with the Leafs‘ selections. Whether it’s an intentional strategy or it just happens to be how the draft board fell, the Leafs have selected a strong majority of players who are taking either the American college or Euro league routes.


Director of Amateur Scouting John Lilley on John Fusco

He played prep school hockey at Dexter last year. Really competitive. This kid plays the game hard. He wants to win. He was the captain of his team. He is a leader.


John Fusco Video


Wyatt Schingoethe Statistics

STeamLeagueGPGATPPIM+/- POSTGPGATPPIM+/-
2015-16Chicago Mission 13U AAAHPHL 13U-----|-
2016-17Chicago Mission 14U AAAHPHL 14U2011172810|-
2017-18Chicago Mission 16U AAAHPHL 16U20761318|-
2018-19Waterloo Black HawksUSHL6211223339-3|Playoffs302219-1
2019-20Waterloo Black HawksUSHL471721382817|-
2021-22Univ. of DenverNCAA-----|-