NHL Mock Draft 2.0

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Welcome to NHL Draft week! The most exciting week of the year for prospect watchers comparable only to summer vacation and your favorite holiday rolled into one. It is the culmination of a years’ worth of work from our team of scouts and always enlightening to see which pieces of the puzzle the NHL franchises select to build their future foundation.

Always a lot of fun, Mock Drafts can give a bit of insight into how the day may play out. As our final Prospects Report for this season, we are presenting the first round of a two-round mock draft by Ryan Wagman and Brock Otten which was included in our annual McKeen’s 2021 NHL Draft Guide. It is available for immediate download, with a subscription, or as a print copy. You can learn more by linking here. https://www.mckeenshockey.com/nhl-blog/mckeens-2021-nhl-draft-guide-download-print-2/ The very cool thing about subscribing now is that your subscription will include a download of our McKeen’s 2021-22 NHL Yearbook releasing in early September.

And with that let’s get on with the drafting!

The McKeen’s team are scouting and writing about prospects all season long and provide in-depth reports on our website: www.mckeenshockey.com

Prospects In the News – 2021 NHL Mock Draft – First Round

By Ryan Wagman and Brock Otten

1. Buffalo Sabres - Owen Power, D, Michigan (NCAA)

The fact that Owen Power went to the World Championships and played a key role for Canada in their gold medal win really solidified his place at the top of this draft, in my opinion. In Power the Sabres are getting another potential defensive anchor to help the team finally move forward and finally escape this perpetual rebuild. - Brock Otten

2. Seattle Kraken - Matthew Beniers, C, Michigan (NCAA)

One of the better players from last year’s USNTDP and a rising contributor for his teams both collegiate and international, Beniers is a do-it-all center who would be giving Seattle a true building block to kick-start the new franchise in the mold of a Toews/Bergeron/O’Reilly. He can do everything. - Ryan Wagman

3. Anaheim Ducks - Mason McTavish, C, Peterborough Petes

A bit of a surprise selection, but McTavish has rocketed up draft lists at the end of the year after a standout performance at the U18's. While Anaheim could go for one of the talented offensive wings here, they instead opt for the two-way power center who could form an unbelievable one-two punch with Trevor Zegras in the near future. - Brock Otten

4. New Jersey Devils - Luke Hughes, D, USNTDP (USHL)

A skate cut on his leg prevented Hughes from finishing his season with a bang at the U18s, but the youngest brother of former first overall pick Jack Hughes (not to mention Quinn), skates like the wind, and has the strong two-way game that speaks of a potential future number one defenseman. - Ryan Wagman

5. Columbus Blue Jackets - Brandt Clarke, D, Barrie Colts

This seems like a really good fit for Clarke, and it seems likely that Columbus opts for one of the top D, especially given the uncertainty surrounding Seth Jones' future. Clarke's skating may need to improve a bit, but he has a chance to impact the game similar to the way Adam Fox does with the Rangers. His vision and offensive awareness would really help Columbus' transitional offense and powerplay. - Brock Otten

6. Detroit Red Wings - Jesper Wallstedt, G, Lulea (SHL)

With the draft shaping up as it has, and the top three blueliners are off the board, Detroit should be looking at Wallstedt as both the best player available and most likely to be an impact game changer for the organization, as well as fitting an organizational need, as the Wings do not have a goalie of the future, and possibly not even the present. The presence of a second first rounder should help mitigate any potential queasiness at drafting a goalie this high. - Ryan Wagman

7. San Jose Sharks - William Eklund, W, Djurgardens

San Jose opts for Eklund, an extremely well-rounded offensive player who gives the Sharks the kind of high upside offensive young player that the organization greatly needs to inject into the system. - Brock Otten

8. Los Angeles Kings - Simon Edvinsson, D, Frolunda J20 (J20 Nationell)

The Kings add one more high-end prospect to their pipeline, already close to exploding with near-ready talent. Edvinsson is still raw, but he is one of the better skaters in this draft class, as well as maybe the best puck handler among blueliners. He also has ideal size. The sky is the limit. - Ryan Wagman

9. Vancouver Canucks - Dylan Guenther, W, Edmonton Oil Kings

The Canucks add Guenther, a well-rounded, but dynamic offensive talent who should fit in extremely well with the other young forwards that Vancouver has on their roster already. His scoring ability should translate extremely well. - Brock Otten

10. Ottawa Senators - Chaz Lucius, C, USNTDP (USHL)

The future looks very bright for Ottawa, with an emerging young core (Stutzle, Batherson, Norris, Tkachuk) and a second wave ready to follow (Sanderson, Bernard-Docker, Pinto). Lucius, an instinctive goal scorer who reads the game like a pro, could be part of a third wave after a few years playing collegiate hockey for the Golden Gophers. - Ryan Wagman

11. Arizona Coyotes – Pick was forfeited as a result of violating the NHL Combine Testing Policy (Announced on Aug 26, 2020)

12. Chicago Blackhawks - Sebastian Cossa, G, Edmonton Oil Kings

While the Blackhawks did select Drew Commesso last year and he is coming off a great freshmen season, they also jump at the chance to grab another potentially elite netminder in Cossa, who has the size and athleticism to be a star. It is always best to not put all your eggs in one basket. -Brock Otten

13. Calgary Flames - Logan Stankoven, C, Kamloops Blazers (WHL)

The team that drafted Johnny Gaudreau has not been shy about taking other small players with skill in recent years. The undersized Stankoven is a great four-way skater with one of the more lethal shots in the draft class. Has produced at every level and has first line projections. - Ryan Wagman

14. Philadelphia Flyers - Kent Johnson, F, U of Michigan

The Flyers swing for the fence here by taking the highly skilled Johnson, whose offensive upside is undeniable. Philadelphia has never been shy to select players who have some skating limitations too, with the confidence that their development team can make the necessary improvements. No doubt, this is a potential home run. - Brock Otten

15. Dallas Stars - Fabian Lysell, RW, Lulea HF (SHL)

Maturity questions may keep Lysell out of the top 10, but picking his skills fits Dallas’ approach from last year’s draft, adding more dynamic talent to their system. Skates very well and his puck skills border on the sublime. He also has a gritty component to his game. Big upside. - Ryan Wagman

16. New York Rangers - Cole Sillinger, C/W, Sioux Falls

Sillinger seems like a great fit for the Rangers and what they are building. He has high end goal scoring ability and plays a tenacious, hard hitting game. He would be the perfect complement to the young forwards they have been bringing into the fold. Brennan Othmann is a similar type of player and could also be a fit in this range. - Brock Otten

17. St. Louis Blues - Xavier Bourgault, C, Shawinigan (QMJHL)

QMJHL speedster has a well-rounded offensive profile and fit the Blues’ recent proclivity for drafting heavily from the CHL. Their system is currently pretty light, and they just need more talent everywhere. Bourgault is a risk taker, but he makes it work more often than not. - Ryan Wagman

18. Winnipeg Jets - Isak Rosen, RW, Leksands

Winnipeg opts for a winger with elite scoring talent and the ability to play at a feverish pace, something that could definitely help their forward group in the future. They may see a lot of current Jet Nik Ehlers in him, as the projections may be similar. - Brock Otten

19. Nashville Predators - Matthew Coronato, LW, Chicago

The Predators always heavily scout the USHL, and this year will have been no different. Coronato was the top scorer in the league, combining great skating with a bullet shot and great keep away skills. He will need a few years at Harvard, but Nashville has always been patient with its prospects. - Ryan Wagman

20. Edmonton Oilers - Nikita Chibrikov, RW, SKA St. Petersburg

Not really the type of forward that the Oilers have been targeting at the draft of late, but they have not shied away from drafting out of Russia and Chibrikov’s high octane transitional abilities would look really good beside Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl. Quite frankly, Edmonton could stand to take a risk on a highly skilled offensive player. - Brock Otten

21. Boston Bruins - Aatu Raty, C, Karpat (Liiga)

The Bruins have drafted conservatively for the past few years and the result is a very vanilla system. Raty was once considered a top three contender for this class, but his stock fell due to a slow start to his season. He finished more strongly, and his puck skills are among the best in the class. Could be a quick riser. - Ryan Wagman

22. Minnesota Wild - Fyodor Svechkov, W/C, SKA St. Petersburg

The Minnesota Wild continue to look to Russia for talent, unafraid of the lure of the KHL. After all, they do have an awesome recruiter in “Dollar Bill Kirill.” Svechkov is a versatile, well rounded forward who seems like the kind of player Minnesota has really focused on adding in recent drafts. - Brock Otten

23. Detroit Red Wings (via Washington Capitals) - Francesco Pinelli, C, Kitchener Rangers (OHL)

After grabbing the top goalie in the class with their first pick, Detroit’s options are wide open. With Pinelli, they would be taking a talented center with a big shot and among the better developed offensive instincts in the draft class. His skating could be a little stronger, but he still profiles as a top-two center. - Ryan Wagman

24. Florida Panthers - Carson Lambos, D, Winnipeg Ice

One of the draft’s biggest wildcards due to a health concern and an uneven performance across Finland and the WHL, Lambos was originally considered a potential top five pick for a reason. His combination of size, skill, and mobility still gives him a high upside and I am sure the Panthers are hoping that he can turn out as well as Aaron Ekblad did when he fell into their lap. - Brock Otten

25. Columbus Blue Jackets (via Toronto Maple Leafs) - Oskar Olausson, RW, HV 71 (SHL)

With three first round picks, the Blue Jackets should be looking at a portfolio approach. They already drafted the high-end blueliner and here have a chance to draft a rangy winger with plus speed and a huge shot. He also can be trusted in a two-way role and looks like a fit in Jarmo Kekalainen’s Blue Collar Army. - Ryan Wagman

26. Minnesota Wild (via Pittsburgh Penguins) - Jack Peart, D, Fargo Force

With some strong draft selections in recent years and more selections this year, the Wild take a chance on a home-grown talent in Jack Peart. An intelligent offensive defender, Peart has a chance to grow into a terrific top four defender, although will take time at St. Cloud State. This will give the Wild a chance to truly assess Calen Addison’s ability to quarterback a powerplay. - Brock Otten

27. Carolina Hurricanes - Ville Koivunen, LW, Karpat U20 (U20 SM-sarja)

It is almost a cliche to give Carolina the best Finnish player on the board, but the shoe fits. Koivunen is one of the better players available, combining high end puck skills with great hockey IQ. He was nearly unstoppable at the Finnish U20 level and kept up the highlight reel with a great showing at the U18s. He is ready for the next challenge. - Ryan Wagman

28. Colorado Avalanche - Brennan Othmann, W, Flint Firebirds

Lower than Othmann deserves to go, the Avalanche jump at the chance to add an aggressive goal scoring winger who has proven that he can be the perfect complement to skilled transitional attackers. Could be the perfect winger for Alex Newhook in the future. - Brock Otten

29. New Jersey Devils (via New York Islanders) - Zachary Bolduc, C, Rimouski Oceanic (QMJHL)

With Luke Hughes already in tow, the Devils can look for a forward and particularly a center, where the system is relatively shallow. Bolduc has a great skill set, including silky hands and a very strong shot. He needs to turn his skills into more consistent production, but the potential reward here is high end. - Ryan Wagman

30. Vegas Golden Knights - Zachary L’Heureux, LW, Halifax Mooseheads

The major criticism of the Golden Knights in this year’s playoffs was that they had trouble getting to the net and had lost some of the physical intensity that they were once known for. Insert Halifax forward Zachary L’Heureux who was suspended four times this year, but who possesses the skill to be an impact power winger if he can be reined in a bit. – Brock Otten

31. Montreal Canadiens - Samu Tuomaala, RW, Karpat (Liiga)

Montreal upset a few titans on their way to a Stanley Cup Final appearance in large part to some quality drafted players from Finland in Kotkaniemi and Lehkonen. Tuomaala could continue that heritage with his blend of great skating and a well-balanced set of offensive tools. - Ryan Wagman

32. Columbus Blue Jackets (via Tampa Bay Lightning) - Olen Zellweger, D, Everett Silvertips

Sure, Columbus took Brandt Clarke at fifth overall, but in today’s NHL can you really have enough playmaking defenders? While Zellweger’s potential may be similar to Clarke’s offensively, he goes about it much differently, relying on his elite mobility to make an impact. A really strong U18’s has his stock trending up as we head into the draft. – Brock Otten