How high will Cale Makar go in 2021 drafts?

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The 2021-22 NHL season is rapidly approaching! Officially less than a month away from the season's opener, now is the perfect time for fantasy managers to ensure they're fully prepared for draft season. Whether you've already begun digging deep into rankings and projections or have yet to start, there's plenty of time to gain an edge over your league-mates. That's why we're highlighting one of our first fantasy hockey mock drafts of the year.

At NBC Sports EDGE, we're striving to provide the tools and knowledge to help guide you towards a fantasy championship this year! Aimed at giving you the resources you need to make the best draft decisions in a wide variety of formats — from projections, rankings, reports, tiers, sleepers and mock drafts to exclusive expert columns — this year's NHL Draft Guide edition is the finest we've ever produced.

To kick off our 2021 NHL Draft Guide's release, we're looking at the NBC Sports EDGE hockey writer's first mock draft of the year. This 10-team draft was completed on September 7 and features a serpentine format, where the last pick in odd-numbered rounds picked first in even-number rounds. Additionally, this draft was held with standard Yahoo rules and scoring in mind. By getting reps in with mock drafts, managers are able to gain a clear sense of where player's values fall and how they can react when it's time to draft for real. Our preview features rounds one and three.

Be sure to follow @NBCSEdgeHK on Twitter!

Have a look:

NHL Fantasy Mock Draft 1.0

Round 1

1. Connor McDavid - EDM - C

2. Leon Draisaitl - EDM - C, LW

3. Nathan MacKinnon - COL - C

4. Andrei Vasilevskiy - TB - G

5. Auston Matthews - TOR - C

6. Nikita Kucherov - TB - RW

7. Mikko Rantanen - COL - RW

8. Brad Marchand - BOS - LW

9. David Pastrnak - BOS - RW

10. Cale Makar - COL - D

Notes: Not a ton of surprises here. The big mover from last season was Cale Makar who went from a fourth-round pick to the first round and was the first defenseman taken. McDavid was a no-brainer and I took Vasilevskiy as he is by far and away the best and safest goaltender to select. There are not a lot of outstanding goaltenders who are sure things so taking Vasilevskiy to me was the clear choice.

Round 3

1. Sebastian Aho - CAR - C

2. Sidney Crosby - PIT - C

3. Victor Hedman - TB - D

4. Adam Fox - NYR - D

5. Connor Hellebuyck - WPG - G

6. Andrei Svechnikov - CAR - LW, RW

7. Kirill Kaprizov - MIN - LW, RW

8. Aleksander Barkov - FLA - C

9. Mika Zibanejad - NYR - C

10. John Tavares - TOR - C

Notes: Crosby was selected later than usual as news of his surgery and being out six-plus weeks, hurt his value. I took Fox as he was terrific in quarterbacking the Rangers power play on the way to winning the Norris Trophy. The Kaprizov pick by Jeff was a good one, provided he signs a contract with the Wild.

To see the full-length mock draft, full rankings and projections for a variety of formats and all that our Draft Guide and Season Tools for NHL, MLB, NBA and NFL have to offer, you can purchase EDGE+ Roto here for as low as $3.99 per month! And if you're into DFS and betting, be sure to check out our EDGE+ Max package that includes our DFS and Betting Tools for as low as $11.99 per month.