NHL Mock Draft 2021, remaining version: Sabres add Energy, Kraken make first choose and Hughes brothers unite

The draft order for the 2021 NHL Draft is about and later this week — and for the primary time ever — 32 groups will draft the subsequent wave of NHL hopefuls. 

On July 23 and 24, 223 prospects will hear their identify referred to as and start their hopeful journey to turning into NHL regulars and stars. Nevertheless, because it approaches, there are quite a few questions round who will go the place.

The questions begin with the No. 1 choice. The Sabres maintain the primary general choose and who they’re choosing nonetheless appears to be an enormous thriller. The possible alternative is College of Michigan standout Owen Energy. Nevertheless, William Eklund and Luke Hughes look to be in that dialog as nicely. That first choice will possible dictate the second — the inaugural choose from the Seattle Kraken. With Energy the possible participant off the board, Eklund, Hughes, and Matthew Beniers might be the primary contenders for the NHL’s latest franchise.

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The rest of the top-10 ought to fall into place after that, and the highest three picks will dictate how these alternatives go. From the twelfth choose down, nevertheless, count on some surprises. One of many different large questions from the primary spherical will probably be the place the goaltenders fall. It appears possible that each Jesper Wallstedt and Sebastian Cossa will probably be chosen within the first spherical and look to be potential top-20 picks. Whereas the pair look to be high prospects within the class, it’s all the time exhausting to foretell the place goalies will go. Primarily based on match, they might each be passed by the twelfth choice; nevertheless, groups might be hesitant to chunk they usually might slide additional than anticipated.

This draft has lengthy been known as wide-open, and it will possible begin to see that come to fruition within the 10 to twenty vary. However, it doesn’t matter what occurs within the draft, it’s gearing as much as be an unpredictable, thrilling draft. For the final time this season, right here’s how the top-32 might form up in just some days.

(Getty Photos)

NHL Mock Draft 2021, model 3.0

1. Buffalo Sabres: Owen Energy, D, College of Michigan (NCAA)

FCHockey rank: 1

Whereas there are rumours that the Sabres would possibly go one other manner, it’s possible simply that — a hearsay. With Energy’s dimension and talent, there’s no questioning simply how a lot NHL groups worth what the defender brings. There could also be some prospects that followers would quite scoop up at this spot as there are flashier choices on the market, however Energy will probably be a bit that ought to assist solidify Buffalo’s blue line for years to return. It appears like this will probably be a busy summer season for the Sabres, and including Energy is a powerful first step. 

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2. Seattle Kraken: William Eklund, LW/C, Djurgardens (SHL)

FCHockey rank: 5

It looks as if the widespread alternative right here is Beniers, however contemplating that the Kraken are simply beginning to construct their prospect pool, Eklund matches the mould right here greatest. The ahead would possibly simply personal the highest-ceiling amongst prospects within the draft. He excelled within the SHL this season taking part in severe minutes and impressing game-in and game-out regardless of present process an appendectomy and a bout with COVID-19. Beniers and Hughes are sturdy issues right here as nicely, however Eklund’s potential would possibly simply be too good to move up.

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3. Anaheim Geese: Matthew Beniers, C, College of Michigan (NCAA)

FCHockey rank: 4

The Geese have Beniers fall into their laps right here. Having seen what the one-two punch of Trevor Zegras and Beniers can do on the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship en path to a gold medal, the Geese needs to be champing on the bit to pick out the promising two-way centerman. Beniers’ competitiveness, two-way capability and well-rounded sport make him an incredible match to assist lead the Geese again to competition.  After taking Jamie Drysdale with their first choice final 12 months, the Geese prospect pool is wanting glorious.

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

FCHockey rank: 3

This choice comes right down to who’s already gone. In all chance, Energy and Beniers are each off the board. Then, it seems to be one in every of Eklund, Hughes, or Dylan Guenther for that third choice. Given how the highest three picks play out right here, Hughes is the most suitable choice for the Devils. Uniting Hughes with his brother Jack, the 2019 first-overall choose, New Jersey immediately will get a lift in workforce chemistry. The youthful Hughes is arguably the highest-ceiling defender within the class, with spectacular skating and intelligence. The Devils have some sturdy forwards within the system and the brand new Hughes will assist enhance the again finish.

5. Columbus Blue Jackets: Simon Edvinsson, D, Frolunda (SHL)

FCHockey rank: 7

With the Blue Jackets on the board for the primary of three potential alternatives, and barring any of the above slipping, the choose appears to be one of many two top-defenders left, Brandt Clarke and Edvinsson. By selecting Edvinsson, Columbus is touchdown a possible No. 1 defender that has dimension and mobility. He’s already confirmed himself in opposition to males in Sweden and Columbus needs to be ecstatic to land him right here. 

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6. Detroit Pink Wings: Mason McTavish, C, Peterborough Petes (OHL)

FCHockey rank: 10

The Wallstedt-Pink Wings connection appears very actual, however one ought to count on the sudden with common supervisor Steve Yzerman. After standing out in Switzerland, and a powerful 2021 IIHF World Underneath-18 Hockey Championship, McTavish appears to have cemented himself as a top-10 choice. The sturdy pivot will possible be a second-line heart on the NHL stage, and with Dylan Larkin as the highest man, McTavish would give the Pink Wings an distinctive 1-2 punch. 

7. San Jose Sharks: Brandt Clarke, D, Barrie Colts (OHL)

FCHockey rank: 2

This choose is pretty simple, because the Sharks will possible take whoever’s left of the top-four defenders. On the identical time, it wouldn’t be stunning to see the Sharks take one of many subsequent two forwards or Wallstedt. San Jose could have their choose of what’s left and that is why it is a big-time wild card. They might use top-end talent at each place, however with who’s remaining right here, Clarke has essentially the most potential and the best ceiling. He’ll must work on parts of his skating however the remainder of his package deal is phenomenal. 

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8. Los Angeles Kings: Dylan Guenther, LW, Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)

FCHockey rank: 6

Of all of the prospects within the top-10, Guenther seems to have the widest vary of the place he might go — wherever from the second spot to No. 10. He’s one of many tougher gamers to foretell. The winger is a powerful ahead that’s extremely aggressive and has high-end offensive instincts. The Kings have already got a reasonably terrifying prospect pool, and imagining Guenther with Quinton Byfield or Alex Turcotte sooner or later solely provides to the depth and expertise that’s the envy of the league.

9. Vancouver Canucks: Kent Johnson, C, College of Michigan (NCAA)

FCHockey rank: 9

The Canucks will take whichever of the top-nine skaters is left to them, and on this case, it’s essentially the most inventive participant within the class in Johnson. He has the perfect arms within the draft and oozes offensive talent. The Canucks have some key, younger items proper now and Johnson will add to that, bringing a excessive stage of talent to the West Coast. After watching how Johnson transitioned from the BCHL to the NCAA, Canucks followers needs to be very enthusiastic about what the long run holds.

10. Ottawa Senators: Jesper Wallstedt, G, Lulea HF (SHL)

FCHockey rank: 8

Just like the Canucks, the Senators play a ready sport to see who falls. Granted, there’s an opportunity they go for a skater in Cole Sillinger or Chaz Lucius, however their pool, touchdown the highest goaltender on this class is an enormous win for the Senators. Wallstedt has performed what few have performed earlier than him in his draft 12 months: taking part in within the SHL all season and taking a beginning function. Whereas the Senators have a lot of goalie prospects within the system, none are at Wallstedt’s stage. 

11. Arizona Coyotes: Choose forfeited

The Arizona Coyotes’ first-round choice within the 2021 NHL Draft has been forfeited as a result of group breaking the NHL’s mix protocol.

MORE: André Tourigny named Coyotes’ new head coach, leaving gap for Hockey Canada

12. Chicago Blackhawks: Sebastian Cossa, G, Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)

FCHockey rank: 15

That is the place it might get fascinating. Final season, the connection between the Blackhawks and Yaroslav Askarov made an excessive amount of sense. He simply did not make it to their choose. However this 12 months, with two high-end netminders to select from, Chicago ought to be capable of land their goalie of the long run. Cossa has even been thought-about equal to Wallstedt within the public sphere however with Cossa the one one left right here, the selection is simple. The Blackhawks have sturdy younger weapons at ahead and protection, so the goaltender might be the final piece they should get again into competition.

13. Calgary Flames: Cole Sillinger, C, Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL)

FCHockey rank: 13

The Flames can guess on talent right here and take a participant that might very nicely shock as a top-10 choice on draft day. Sillinger is likely one of the highest-skilled gamers obtainable within the class, and this choose might very nicely be thought-about a steal down the road. Calgary does lack an excessive amount of high-end expertise of their prospect pool, and Sillinger could be an instantaneous injection of that. They might additionally look as Lucius and Fabian Lysell right here for that talent.

14. Philadelphia Flyers: Chaz Lucius, C, USNTDP (USHL)

FCHockey rank: 14

If he didn’t have damage points this season, it’s very possible that Lucius could be a top-10 choose. Within the shortened season he had, he did present what he brings to the desk with a plethora of abilities and a knack for placing up factors. The Flyers have a powerful assortment of U23 gamers proper now, and Lucius might be the perfect finisher of the bunch. With how exhausting he works on and off the ice, he won’t be that removed from hitting the ice in Philadelphia.

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15. Dallas Stars: Brennan Othmann, LW, Flint Firebirds (OHL)

FCHockey rank: 22

The Stars have some sturdy, younger defenders of their pool, so constructing on offense will probably be key to start out off their draft. In Othmann, they land a participant that’s virtually a mix of an influence ahead and a sniper. He can throw large hits, has the most effective photographs within the class and performs exhausting. It’s not exhausting to think about him turning into a fan favourite in Texas, both.

16. New York Rangers: Zach Dean, C, Gatineau Olympiques (QMJHL)

FCHockey rank: 23

Like Lucius, Dean’s season was shortened as a consequence of damage. Had he performed a full season, it’s very possible that he could be the unquestioned high prospect popping out of the QMJHL. Dean is like glue to the net-front, having a powerful nostril for locating the lanes. He additionally has among the greatest arms within the draft. The Rangers appear to have all of the items in place and betting on talent is the subsequent step. 

17. St. Louis Blues: Fabian Lysell, RW, Lulea (SHL)

FCHockey rank: 11

Many within the public sphere would have had Fabian Lysell go within the top-10 and he has the talent to justify it; nevertheless, there are additionally questions round his sport and he appears to be a candidate that might slide. He has distinctive arms and spectacular velocity, and the Blues might use an injection of that talent of their pool and lineup. Blues’ followers needs to be extraordinarily completely satisfied to land the Swedish prospect right here.

18. Winnipeg Jets: Corson Ceulemans, D, Brooks Bandits (AJHL)

FCHockey rank: 12

Whereas the Carson Lambos connection is there (he is from Winnipeg and performs within the metropolis with the WHL’s Ice), Ceulemans appears to have the upper ceiling. The Jets must restock their prospect pool practically throughout the board and including a defender right here is a good first step. Ville Heinola appears extraordinarily promising and the 2 of them collectively sooner or later could be a wonderful duo. Ceulemans is a polarizing prospect, however his dimension, mobility, and bodily presence make him a beautiful choice.

19. Nashville Predators: Isak Rosen, LW, Leksands (SHL)

FCHockey rank: 16

The Predators are simple to attach with taking a defender, seeing how they’ve grow to be often called a defensive workforce and the way they develop blueliners. Nevertheless, in some unspecified time in the future, they want some extra offensive talent. With Rosen, they get that in spades; he rose up many draft boards after his efficiency on the Underneath-18s, placing to relaxation many questions on his sport and talent. They’ve some sturdy items within the system and simply must proceed to fill that out. Including Rosen could be an enormous enhance to this pool.

20. Edmonton Oilers: Matthew Coronato, LW, Chicago Metal (USHL)

FCHockey rank: 20

Coronato might be gone at this level, as one of the crucial spectacular risers via the season. This needs to be as little as he will get, and Edmonton is a wonderful match for the USHL star. He’s one of the crucial aggressive gamers within the class who likes to drive the web. There’s some query about how a lot of his sport will translate to the NHL, however along with his stage of drive, it’s exhausting to think about him not getting there and never excelling.

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21. Boston Bruins: Fyodor Svechkov, C, Lada Togliatti (VHL)

FCHockey rank: 18

One other participant that might be chosen larger than this spot, Svechkov continued to impress increasingly all season, capped off along with his sturdy Underneath-18s efficiency. This looks as if one other simple match, with the Bruins’ attraction to defensive-minded forwards and Svechkov as the most effective on this class. The pivot has glorious defensive consciousness however may present up large within the offensive finish. Svechkov is a candidate to shoot up into the top-15 on draft day.

22. Minnesota Wild: Nikita Chibrikov, RW, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL)

FCHockey rank: 21

After taking one other SKA participant final season in Marat Khusnutdinov, the Wild look again to Russia right here with Chibrikov. Being the primary of two alternatives within the first spherical, the Wild add a well-rounded, expert ahead that may be a chief on the ice. He can present up large when his workforce wants it and he brings sturdy firing energy and powerful skating capability.

23. Detroit Pink Wings (through WSH): Olen Zellweger, D, Everett Silvertips (WHL)

FCHockey rank: 26

With the Pink Wings taking McTavish at No. 6, they might look to their defensive prospect pool for his or her second choice. And what a choose it’s. Whereas he solely performed in a shortened WHL season and the Underneath-18s, Zellweger impressed each time he hit the ice and charged into first-round consideration. An especially clever defenseman, Zellweger could be a wonderful complement to high prospect Moritz Seider down the road.

24. Florida Panthers: Xavier Bourgault, C, Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL)

FCHockey rank: 24

Whereas the Panthers would possibly lean in the direction of a defender like Lambos right here, Bourgault is simply too good to move up. The middle is an clever offensive weapon. He has no drawback driving to the center of the ice and has the creativity to create lanes to get there. At this level, depend Bourgault as a steal, as he performs a really mature sport. After taking two-way heart Anton Lundell final 12 months, Bourgault would assist construct up the Panthers’ prospect pool down the center for the foreseeable future.

25. Columbus Blue Jackets (through TOR): Aatu Raty, C, Karpat (Liiga)

FCHockey rank: 17

After being thought-about the highest prospect within the class coming into the season, Raty’s inventory has fallen drastically. He’s nonetheless a possible first-round choose, although, and it appears possible {that a} workforce with a number of first-round picks is the one to chunk. With the Blue Jackets having three (and already touchdown Clarke), getting Raty with one other choose to return is an enormous add for Columbus. If he reaches wherever near his ceiling, that is an absolute steal. It’s definitely worth the gamble.

26. Minnesota Wild (through PIT): Carson Lambos, D, Winnipeg Ice (WHL)

FCHockey rank: 29

After taking a ahead just some alternatives in the past, the Wild might look to the again finish and land a participant that was as soon as thought-about a No. 1 contender. Lambos entered the season as one of many high defenders within the class and headed to Finland whereas the WHL was delayed. His sport abroad raised extra questions than confirming his rating, inflicting him to drop considerably. With the Wild having two picks, betting on Lambos might be definitely worth the danger.

27. Carolina Hurricanes: Jack Peart, D, Fargo Power (USHL)

FCHockey rank: 34

Carolina has a manner of touchdown gamers that the general public sphere is excessive on. With the Hurricanes needing so as to add some defensive prospects to their system, Peart is a wonderful choice. Named Mr. Hockey as Minnesota’s high highschool participant, Peart matches the Hurricanes’ mould nicely as Carolina is the place they’re by betting on talent — and Peart has that in bunches. From his intelligence to his imaginative and prescient on the ice, Peart could be a wonderful addition.

28. Colorado Avalanche: Oskar Olausson, RW, HV71 (SHL)

FCHockey rank: 38

The Avalanche has a powerful pool down the center and on the again finish, so including to the wings appears to be the subsequent step. Olausson appears to be a polarizing prospect within the scouting group, however he could be a wonderful match for Colorado. He’s very assured with the puck on his stick, having no points driving it into the zone and in the direction of the web. Whereas not going a top-line choice, he would assist to construct out their future secondary scoring.

29. New Jersey Devils (through NYI): Logan Stankoven, C/RW, Kamloops Blazers (WHL)

FCHockey rank: 19

After seeking to the protection with their first choose, the Devils might swap their focus to the ahead corps. New Jersey is in a really fascinating place: they possible have their top-three facilities of the long run with Hughes; they’ve their top-two defenders; Mackenzie Blackwood is the goalie; they’ve sharpshooters in Nolan Foote and Alexander Holtz. One factor they’re lacking is somebody to drive into the corners and win battles for the puck. That may be very a lot Stankoven, who would simply grow to be a fan favorite in New Jersey.

30. Vegas Golden Knights: Daniil Chayka, D, Guelph Storm (OHL)

FCHockey rank: 28

Chayka regarded extraordinarily promising coming into the 2020-21 season. He confirmed sturdy two-way play in his OHL rookie season however his sport struggled after heading again to Russia whereas the season was delayed (after which cancelled). Though there are questions on his consistency and general ceiling, the potential is there. He’s a cellular, rangy defender that has proven what he can do up to now, he simply must be extra constant in his play. If he reaches his ceiling, this will probably be a wonderful choice.

31. Montreal Canadiens: Francesco Pinelli, C, Kitchener Rangers (OHL)

FCHockey rank: 31

The Canadiens have sturdy prospects at each place, so they’re able to simply go together with the perfect participant obtainable right here. Pinelli has some combined critiques, however his offensive consciousness is robust and he’s an incredible choice to proceed to construct Montreal’s prospect pool. He’s a powerful playmaker that is aware of the best way to create alternatives for teammates and infrequently finds himself in the appropriate place on the proper time and that’s not an accident. He’s an clever participant that might in the future be a top-six ahead.

32. Columbus Blue Jackets (through TBL): Sasha Pastujov, LW, USNTDP (USHL)

FCHockey rank: 39

With the ultimate choose of the primary spherical, the Blue Jackets guess on talent in Pastujov. Sure, his skating wants some work, however he’s one of many extra clever gamers within the class. His mind works so quick and his arms match with glorious puckhandling. If he can get his ft to match, he might be one of many higher prospects to return out of the category. With their first three alternatives, the Blue Jackets have drastically added to their prospect pool. 

Josh Bell is a scout and the director of content material for FCHockey.

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