NHL Draft overagers: 5 potential candidates in 2021 embody Xavier Simoneau, Josh Doan

Generally it is simply not your yr. It occurs. And, as they are saying, there’s all the time subsequent yr.

Subsequent yr is now right here for a handful of 2021 NHL Draft eligibles who’ve been handed over in earlier seasons and nonetheless ready for his or her draft dream to be fulfilled. Whether or not or not it’s damage points, dimension issues, lack of refined talent improvement or bodily maturity, or any variety of different pink flags, generally a prospect wants to indicate somewhat endurance with a purpose to lastly pull on that NHL cap and jersey.

NHL DRAFT 2021: 5 sleepers to keep watch over

This yr, as a lot as every other, will characteristic a plethora of gamers — also known as draft overagers — that can lastly fulfill the subsequent step of their hockey dream. And there isn’t any scarcity of expertise amongst them, both.

This is a rundown of 5 overager candidates that would very properly see their identify chosen sooner moderately than later throughout the draft July 23-24.

2021 NHL Draft overagers

Janis Moser, D, Biel-Bienne (NL)

FCHockey rank: 133

There may not be a safer overager to pick out within the 2021 draft than Moser who’s in his final yr of draft eligibility. He is additionally had essentially the most improvement time.

The 21-year-old was promoted to captain of EHC Biel-Bienne of Switzerland’s prime skilled league and has improved by leaps and bounds over his previous two seasons of eligibility. He recorded 30 factors (9 objectives, 21 assists) in 48 video games this season and was a standout for Switzerland on the 2021 IIHF Males’s World Championship.

“Moser is a defensively dependable defender who possesses first rate skating abilities and has improved his offensive abilities,” FCHockey scout Dennis Schellenberg stated. “He performs a really protected and dependable sport in his personal zone with out committing errors.”

It wasn’t all the time the case with Moser, who additionally represented Switzerland as an adolescent on the 2019 IIHF Males’s World Championship. Given the place his sport was the 2 years prior, it wasn’t precisely a shock that Moser went unselected.

“He didn’t stand out together with his enjoying type, as he makes protected passes and is dependable in his personal zone,” Schellenberg added. “That’s not essentially one thing that catches eyes instantly.

“Alternatively, it needs to be stated that he has been bettering his offensive sport fairly a bit throughout the previous two seasons and he began to take over extra accountability with the puck and began to develop into a pacesetter function in his staff.”

With a few of the points in his sport corrected, Moser is a powerful candidate to be chosen as one of many draft’s most mature prospects and a candidate to make a fast influence on the NHL degree.

“Moser is a way more accountable participant and takes over the play when crunch time comes up in video games,” stated Schellenberg. “He has been very sturdy offensively this season with EHC Biel and took his sport to the subsequent degree.”

NHL DRAFT 2021: Remaining rating of prime 32 | FCHockey ranks prime 300

Ethan Cardwell, RW, Surahammars (HockeyEttan)

FCHockey rank: 89

One of many youthful gamers within the 2020 NHL Draft, Cardwell was simply two weeks shy of being eligible within the 2021 class. So, it is not a shock he wanted somewhat further time to raised spherical out his sport.

Cardwell completed the 2019-20 season on a heater with the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League, but it surely was his time in Sweden this season with Surahammars IF of HockeyEttan that actually gave Cardwell a possibility to stay out his NHL draft dream.

“In a deeper draft just like the 2020 class, I feel it was exhausting for a few of the extra venture gamers to face out,” FCHockey scout Dylan Galloway said. “For my part, I feel Cardwell was properly value a late choose final yr however did have some warts to his sport that makes it comprehensible {that a} staff would wish to see him work out earlier than spending a choose on him.”

After placing up 27 factors (9 objectives, 18 assists) in 18 video games, Cardwell confirmed that desired enchancment. He displayed an up-tempo sport that made life tough on the opposition whereas additionally being productive in knowledgeable, albeit lower-level league in Sweden.

“Cardwell is a fast, aggressive forechecker who seems to be like he may play as a shifty puck retrieval participant in a bottom-6 of an NHL staff,” Galloway stated. “I additionally see Cardwell as a chance on an NHL penalty kill resulting from his good velocity and the way aggressive he could be on the puck provider.

“The 2021 draft is not fairly as deep as earlier drafts and I feel groups might contemplate taking re-entries extra typically than they could in different years.”

Xavier Simoneau, C, Drummondville/Charlottetown (QMJHL)

FCHockey rank: 238

Like Moser, Simoneau is getting into his third go-round on the NHL Draft. In contrast to Moser, Simoneau hasn’t been capable of overcome his largest question-mark up to now: dimension.

“Regardless of how a lot weight Simoneau provides to his body, he’ll all the time keep 5-7, which bothers some NHL groups,” FCHockey scout Andy Lehoux famous. “And although he’s proven above-average skating abilities and fully dominates opponents in foot races, the idea is that he’ll have difficulties adapting to the subsequent degree.”

A favourite overager candidate of many scouts a category in the past, Simoneau has frequently proven he can play a high-intensity, offensively artistic sport on the QMJHL degree. Scoring has by no means been a difficulty for the ahead, who amassed 37 factors (10 objectives, 27 assists) in 27 video games in 2020-21 and 89 factors (28 objectives, 61 assists) in 61 video games the season prior.

The productiveness and willingness are there, Lehoux urged.

“Simoneau is an energized, aggressive and proficient playmaker who’s prepared to do something that places his staff in a positive place to win,” he stated. “Drummondville’s captain leads by instance, going 110 p.c, 100% of the time.

“There’s positively no assure Simoneau will get drafted this yr since his dimension is a significant concern for groups and he clearly hasn’t grown one bit. That stated, his unbelievable management and talent set have been on full show this season, which ought to have attracted the eye of many. Simoneau deserves to be drafted, as he did for the previous two years.”

MORE: Run your personal customized mock draft at FCHockey

Josh Doan, RW, Chicago (USHL)

FCHockey rank: 72

Maybe no overager confirmed a much bigger season-over-season enchancment than Doan.

The son of former Coyotes franchise mainstay Shane, the youthful Doan amassed 70 factors (31 objectives, 39 assists) in 70 video games to assist information the USHL’s Chicago Metal to a Clark Cup championship. It is a exceptional leap from simply the 14 factors (5 objectives, 9 assists) in 45 video games he had in 2019-20.

“Doan struggled to provide offense in his draft yr, and wasn’t very huge, and resulting from his dimension he wasn’t very efficient,” FCHockey scout Dylan Krill disclosed. “Within the offseason, Doan grew and added extra weight which he’s actually benefited from. With the ability to win extra puck battles and turn out to be a really dependable, defensive ahead who has added extra talent to his sport has enabled Doan to contribute and produce factors on a constant foundation.”

Dimension (6-1 and 183 kilos), a willingness to enhance that led to huge talent improvement, coupled with a pure understanding of the sport, ought to have Doan on the radar for many NHL groups on the 2021 draft.

“Doan is a two-way winger who brings talent, competitiveness, and accountable decision-making each single shift,” Krill stated. “He performs the sport with a professional mentality already, understanding what it takes to play a full 200-foot sport.”

MORE: Construct your personal customized NHL Draft rankings at FCHockey

James Hardie, LW, Mississauga (OHL)

FCHockey rank: 99

The now 19-year-old can be an attention-grabbing overager to look at on the second day of the draft. He didn’t go well with up throughout the 2020-21 season, making him a little bit of a wild card on draft day.

“Hardie wasn’t capable of play in any leagues this season, sadly,” Galloway stated. “However the variability of this draft and having a earlier, almost full season of play to look again on might give NHL groups a bit extra confidence in Hardie over another first-time eligibles.

“Hardie was seemingly value a choose in 2020, and I feel taking an opportunity on him in 2021 makes numerous sense.”

He was productive in his 18-year-old season with the Mississauga Steelheads, recording 63 factors (34 objectives, 29 assists) in 59 video games. Recognized for his excessive compete degree and offensive skills, Hardie had the look of a prospect who simply wanted extra time to develop and fine-tune his sport.

Exterior of a short stint on the PBHH Invitational in Erie, Pa., in Could, although, Hardie did not have numerous runway to showcase any enchancment.

Nonetheless, the physique of labor remains to be there for based on Galloway.

“Hardie is a hard-working winger who flashed above common, however uncooked, offensive abilities in his draft season and, if he develops to succeed in his ceiling, he may match as a depth offensive winger for an NHL staff,” he stated. “His open ice skating wants some enchancment, however I felt his capability and edge-work in tight areas was a a lot better asset to him on the offensive aspect of the puck.

“As a smaller participant, I feel Hardie wanted to enhance his total skating as properly his capability to anticipate his teammate’s actions within the offensive zone. His offensive abilities actually flourished within the second half of final season and I feel that had he been capable of present that it wasn’t only a sizzling streak he might have been snapped up later within the 2020 draft.”

Sporting Information readers can get 25 p.c off FCHockey’s 2021 NHL Draft Information with promo code SPORTINGNEWS. Unlock your financial savings at checkout!

Aaron Vickers is the managing editor of FCHockey.

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