Draft Order NHL: 2021 NHL Draft Order: Round 1: 1. Buffalo Sabres: 15-34-7 37 points, 2. Seattle Kraken: (Expansion Team), 3. Anaheim Ducks: 17-30-9 43 points, 4. New Jersey Devils: 19-30-7 45 points, 5. Columbus Blue Jackets: 18-26-12 48 points, 6. Detroit Red Wings: 19-27-10 48 points, 7. San Jose Sharks: 21-28-7 49 points, 8. Los Angeles Kings: 21-28-7 49 points, 9. Arizona Coyotes (from Vancouver Canucks): 23-29-4 50 points, 10. Ottawa Senators: 23-28-5 51 points, 11. Columbus Blue Jackets (from Chicago Blackhawks): 24-25-7 55 points, 12. Calgary Flames: 26-27-3 55 points, 13. Buffalo Sabres (from Philadelphia Flyers): 25-23-8 58 points, 14. Dallas Stars: 23-19-14 60 points, 15. New York Rangers: 27-23-6 60 points, 16. St. Louis Blues: 27-20-9 63 points, 17. Winnipeg Jets: 30-23-3 63 points, 18. Nashville Predators: 31-23-2 64 points, 19. Edmonton Oilers: 35-19-2 72 points, 20. Boston Bruins: 33-16-7 77 points, 21. Minnesota Wild: 35-16-5 75 points, 22. Detroit Red Wings (from Washington Capitals): 36-15-5 77 points, 23. Columbus Blue Jackets (from Toronto Maple Leafs): 35-14-7 77 points, 24. Minnesota Wild (from Pittsburgh Penguins): 37-16-3 77 points, 25. Florida Panthers: 37-14-5 79 points, 26. Carolina Hurricanes: 36-12-8 80 points, 27. Colorado Avalanche: 39-13-4 82 points, 28. New Jersey Devils (from New York Islanders): 32-17-7 71 points, 29. Vegas Golden Knights: 40-14-2 82 points, 30. Montreal Canadiens: 24-21-11 59 points, 31. Columbus Blue Jackets (from Tampa Bay Lightning): 36-17-3 75 points

2021 NHL Mock Draft: Final Mock Draft

Round 1 Picks 1-15

Draft Day is officially here in the NHL. Owen Power headlines this draft class.

Chris Ransom follow @DraftUtopia Last Updated: July 23, 2021.

  1. Buffalo Sabres: Owen, Power, D, Michigan

    I've got the power was a hit song in by SNAP in 1990. Thirty one years later, Buffalo got the Power when they won the 2021 NHL Draft Lottery in a draft where every single player is going to go back to the team they played for prior to the 2021 NHL Entry Draft for another year of development. This means no NHL prospects in this draft will be in the NHL until 2022-2023 at the earliest.

    Back in February, I've compared this draft class to 1999. Now I see it's more like the 2012 NHL Entry Draft since there are 6-9 players that could be All Stars plus a second goalie who checks off all ten boxes on tape that round out my top 10. The 2021 NHL Draft is right up there with those two drafts in terms of uncertainty, but you can get a really good player if you have a top 10 pick in this draft.

    Tobias Reider has more goals than some of the star players on this team like Jack Eichel, Taylor Hall, and Jeff Skinner as Eichel missed this season with an injury. Also, Eichel the three time captain of the Buffalo Sabres may be traded after Buffalo won the 2021 NHL Draft Lottery after having the leagues worst record.

    To make matters worse, the only defensemen Buffalo got during the NHL Draft that were supposed to be any good were Rasmus Ristolainen who got humiliated on NBC on 3/7/2021 against the New York Islanders and Rasmus Dahlin, Buffalo's number one overall pick three years ago in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft is having his worse career season. Buffalo needs more bodies besides the Rasmus top line as well as someone who can challenge those guys for the first line spot.

    Owen Power is raw, but he's got the best ceiling and potential of any prospect in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, plus Buffalo interviewed him on Thursday. Owen Power has been compared to Zdeno Chara due to his height, but that doesn't seem like an appropriate comparison. Some have Power listed at 6-6, but I have him at 6-foot-5 inches. Power has stated he'd love to play for Buffalo which makes Power a clear cut choice to go first overall.

    The 6-5 214 lb Owen Power did well on the Chicago Steel's first line with 12 goals, 28 assists, 40 points, and a +16 +/- ratio in 45 games before Covid-19 shut down the Chicago Steel's historic USHL season where they won the league with the best record prior to the Corona Virus outbreak. Owen Power enrolled in Michigan for the 2020-2021 season leading up to the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. Power had 3 goals, 13 assists, 16 points, and a +18 +/- ratio in 26 NCAA Hockey games. He spent his freshman season at Michigan on both the first and second line for the Michigan Wolverines defense.

    His only NHL ready qualities at this point are his offensive awareness, defensive awareness, vision, and his wrist shot accuracy. He's good in other areas too, but he's not great in these areas to the point where you would scream NHL ready prospect. He can make crisp passes, but some of his passes lack touch, accuracy, and are really choppy. His shot is effective, but does not generate enough power. His slap shot accuracy is off on some of his shots. I didn't see this on film with other defensemen that I evaluated in previous NHL drafts.

    To be fair, former Michigan Wolverines like Zach Werenski and Quinn Hughes needed a sophomore year at Michigan after being picked in the first round of the NHL Draft following their freshman year. Owen Power may need that second year pf development like those guys and possibly a third. That means the earliest we could see Owen Power in the NHL is 2022-2023 which is why some of the other NHL mock drafts are beginning to consider other prospects besides Owen Power at 1 for now.

    The reason, I'd still say Owen Power is the favorite to go first overall is simply the fact that Owen Power has huge upside. I see an Aaron Ekblad type of prospect. Bryan Luis, one of the long time guest callers on my podcast compared him to Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo. Victor Hedman, John Carlsson, Quinn Hughes, Cale Makar, and Alex Pietrangelo are my top 5 overall defenseman for Fantasy Hockey. Owen Power can be a top 5 overall NHL defenseman anchoring a blue line in five years from now around 2026-2027 after refining some areas of his game.

    Devils In The Details Podcast posted a film cut of Owen Power on their Youtube channel. Owen Power is going first overall and one of his teammates may be going right after him. I also watched two games of Owen Power on film against the Minnesota Golden Gophers and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Here in this film cut Owen Power takes on the Wisconsin Badgers.

  2. Seattle Kraken: Matthew Beniers, C, Michigan

    Honestly, I think Dylan Guenther is the most complete player in the 2021 NHL Draft despite Owen Power's massive ceiling. That's not the direction that I expect Seattle Kraken General Manager Ron Francis to take. The Seattle Kraken even stated they will not decide who to take at 2 until after the 2021 Expansion Draft. The New York Jets said the same thing, but by the time Zach Wilson's Pro Day arrived, the AFC East bottom feeder already decided it was time to replace the Trojanman Darnold with the BYU signal-caller in Wilson.

    Matthew Beniers is the consensus number two pick in most mock drafts. Ron Francis was a line 2 center behind Mario Lemieux on those Pittsburgh Penguins teams that won two Stanley Cups in the 90's. He was also a General Manager for the Carolina Hurricanes. Francis will see a lot of himself as a player in Matthew Beniers which is why I think the Kraken have already decided on Beniers.

    Seattle also interviewed Simon Edvinsson, but they loaded up on defense in the expansion draft so I feel this pick is Beniers. Matthew Beniers has the best floor of any player in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. He's the only center in a weak center draft with a shot to be an All Star player or become someone who can be good enough to play on a first line down the road. He's not as good as the centers in the 2022 NHL Draft, but he's the best center in this draft class.

    The 6-1 174 lb Matthew Beniers has the playmaking and defense of a first line center. He had 10 goals, 14 assists, 24 points, and a +21 +/- ratio in 24 games at Michigan. He played on the fourth line at Michigan for a majority of gaems, but was also the first line center on their power play and penalty killing units due to his dominant play on special teams.

    Devils In The Details Podcast posted a film cut of Matthew Beniers on their Youtube channel. You can watch this video of Matthew Beniers below.

  3. Anaheim Ducks: William Eklund, LW, Djurgardens IF (Elitserien)

    Anaheim could either grab another defenseman to push Hampus Lindholm who has been injured two years in a row. The Anaheim Ducks interviewed two prospects from Sweden in Simon Edvinsson of the Frolunda Indians and William Eklund of Djurgardens IF. The third option is to take Dylan Guenther a player, who had my second highest floor grade in the entire draft behind Matthew Beniers and my second highest potential grade behind Owen Power.

    Before I tell you which player Anaheim takes, I'm going to mention who they will not take among the three by process of elimination. Anaheim is loaded on the blue line with Ryan Getzlaf and their fourth line right winger being the only unrestricted Free Agents on the Anaheim Ducks.

    Anaheim has Cam Fowler 2010 first round pick, Hampus Lindholm 2012 first round pick who enters a contract year next season, Jamie Drysdale drafted at 6 in 2020 same spot Lindholm was drafted, Kevin Shattenkirk who was on the Tampa Bay Lightning's 2020 Stanley Cup team prior to signing with Anaheim in Free Agency, Josh Manson another defender in a contract year next season, Josh Mahura a third round pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, Jacob Larsson Anaheim's 2015 first round pick, and Simon Benoit an undrafted gem after losing Haydn Fleury to the Expansion Draft. With these eight defenders all under contract for Anaheim next season, I cannot see a team that finished dead last in the NHL in goals scored passing on a goal scoring winger like Dylan Guenther or William Eklund at 3 to pair with first round picks like Trevor Zegras and Isac Lundstrom assuming they keep this pick and do not trade for Jack Eichel.

    In the event the Anaheim Ducks trade this pick to Buffalo, and somehow end up with Eichel then I expect the Sabres to take Eklund third. In the scenario Anaheim keeps this pick, it could be Eklund or Guenther depending on which winger is higher on Bob Murray's Big Board.

    William Eklund is projected to be a 50 point player in the NHL getting 20 goals, 30 assists, and 50 points. Dylan Guenther has the floor of a 20/20 player that gets 20 goals, 20 assists, and 40 points. Guenther has the ceiling of a 50/50 player since he had over 50 goals and 100 points heading into the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft where the Edmonton Oil Kings took him first overall. Most are comparing Guenther to Colorado Avalanche first line right winger Mikko Rantanen who had over 30 goals and 30 assists on the Avalanche last season.

    Eklund is the better passer and defender from an intangibles standpoint. The thing is Anaheim's leading scorer Maxime Comtois only had 16 goals and 33 points this season as a first line left winger. That's exactly why Anaheim should take Guenther. However, Anaheim interviewed Drysdale before drafting him at six a year ago. The Ducks interviewed Eklund, but not Guenther. Second Corey Prongman of the Athletic changed his pick from Guenther to Eklund last minute. Third, the Columbus Blue Jackets, one team interested in Eklund at five stated earlier this week that they did not believe Eklund would be there at 5.

    Personally, Guenther is the most complete player in this draft in my opinion. That doesn't matter though. All these recent reports involving Anaheim lead me to believe the organization is drafting Eklund to pair with Trevor Zegras at center and Maxime Comtois who can play either wing spot.

    Eklund lined up on the first, second, third, and fourth line at all three forward spots at left wing, center, and right wing. He can either be a guy who takes pressure off of Alexander Holtz last years seventh overall pick in 2020 on the first ine, a goal scorer on the second line, a playmaker on the third line, or a gritty defender who makes things easier for his teammates on the fourth line.

    Djurgardens IF played him on all four lines this season, but when Djurgardens IF sets their daily lineup card, William Eklund is featured on the fourth line. However, he does see minutes on other lines despite this which was the biggest reason I mocked him to 7 even though you can honestly argue for him to be picked much higher than this.

    The 5-10 178 lb William Eklund had 11 goals, 12 assists, 23 points, and a -2 +/- ratio in 2020-2021 after having a +3 +/- ratio back in February before struggling defensively down the stretch. Despite struggling defensively down the stretch, Eklund had more points this year than Lucas Raymond, who went fourth overall in the 2020 NHL Entry draft along with Alexander Holtz who went seventh overall a year ago. Eklund also won the SHL Rookie Of The Year in Sweden this season in addition to the E.J. McGuire Award of Excellence.

    Previous Pick: Dylan Guenther, RW, Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)

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

    New Jersey has interviewed three players multiple times. Those players are Brandt Clarke the younger brother of Devils winger Graham Clarke, William Eklund the teammate of Alexander Holtz last years first round pick, and Luke Hughes the younger brother of Jack Hughes whom the Devils took first overall back in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.

    Brandt Clarke is third on my big board behind Owen Power and Dylan Guenther one spot ahead of Matthew Beniers. William Eklund would help the team, but Clarke is the only player left in the draft witha potential grade of above 90 on my big board. Also, Luke Hughes is recovering from a season ending injury.

    This draft has three defensemen that could develop into blue liners that could enter the discussion with guys like Miro Heiskanen, Cale Makar, and Quinn Hughes as future Norris Trophy Candidates. Those three defensemen are Owen Power, Brandt Clarke, and Luke Hughes. Simon Edvinsson has the upside to be a first line player or maybe even an NHL All Star down the road, but he's about as raw as Adam Larsson who New Jersey took at 4 a decade ago back in 2011.

    I mocked Clarke here last time. Now the rumor is that Luke Hughes is the heavy favorite to be picked by New Jersey at 4 where he would re-unite with his brother.

    This draft has three defensemen that could develop into blue liners that could enter the discussion with guys like Miro Heiskanen, Cale Makar, and Quinn Hughes as future Norris Trophy Candidates. Those three defensemen are Owen Power, Brandt Clarke, and Luke Hughes. Simon Edvinsson has the upside to be a first line player or maybe even an NHL All Star down the road, but he's about as raw as Adam Larsson who New Jersey took at 4 a decade ago back in 2011.

    The 6-2 176 lb Luke Hughes played on the top line with Jake Sanderson for the USNTDP team during his rookie season where he had 4 goals, 9 assists, 13 points, and a -14 +/- ratio in 2019-2020. Luke Hughes has 4 goals, 11 assists, 15 points, and a +5 +/- ratio in 2020-2021.

    Luke Hughes also is expected to enroll into Michigan for the 2021 Fall Season. If Owen Power returns for another year of development, you could be seeing Luke Hughes and Owen Power being linemates on the Michigan Wolverines this Fall.

    Luke Hughes has the skating, offensive awareness, and defensive awareness you want a two-way defenseman to have. I still felt like he had a lot of areas he needed to improve in after watching his film. He's enrolling into Michigan and developing there for a year or two before going to the NHL is probably best for him. He's got two years of experience on a first line and has been skating for five weeks after recovering from his season ending injury.

    Devils In The Details Podcast posted a film cut of Luke Hughes on their Youtube channel. New Jersey ends up taking Luke Hughes a little earlier than I expect at 4.

    Previous Pick: Brandt Clarke D, Barrie Colts (OHL)

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

    Columbus traded Pierre-Luc Dubois for Patrik Laine. I mocked Aatu Raty back in February. That will not happen now with Columbus having a top 5 pick. Columbus is one of the teams being rumored to acquire Jack Eichel. Honestly, I cannot see Eichel on Columbus even though this team needs a first line center in the worst way possible. If Columbus gets Eichel, Eklund goes to Buffalo at 5 here with him still on the board.

    Eklund could work out with Columbus though. Former Blue Jackets number one overall pick Rick Nash was named Director of Player Development after learning under the Columbus Blue Jackets scouting department the last two years so having Nash mentor Eklund or Guenther who the Blue Jackets interviewed multiple times would be huge for Eklund or Guenther if Columbus opts to grab another winger. Columbus also interviewed Eklund.

    With Zach Werenski a defenseman from the 2015 NHL Draft out of Michigan that Columbus selected eighth overall that year returning from a season ending injury on defense with his line mate on the Columbus Blue Jackets first line, Seth Jones wanting a trade, I think it's pretty evident that Columbus takes either Simon Edvinsson at 5 with Seth Jones entering a contract year, especially after losing another defenseman to the Expnasion draft on Wednesday.

    Earlier this week, Columbus Blue Jackets General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen also said a rankings tie on the teams overall lit will go to a center over a winger, but declined to say who would win a tiebreaker between a center and a defenseman. However, Jarmo didn't specify that in the teams press conference with media members and told the team that it's important to stick to your board and take the best player available.

    Basically if William Eklund the best player on the board at left winger and Mason McTavish a center are both candidates for Columbus at 5 with the scouts debating on both players than the Blue Jackets would take McTavish over Eklund in the tiebreaker.

    Also, Columbus isn't expecting Eklund to be there at 5. They believe Anaheim will take Eklund over Dylan Guenther at 3 tonight. Columbus has narrowed their board down to Swedish defenseman Simon Edvinsson who I mocked fifth overall last time and Mason McTavish the Peterborough Petes center. Both Mark Scheig, the Blue Jackets reporter for the Hockey Writers and Corey Pronman, the NHL Draft insider for The Athletic both reported the same information.

    The only other player outside of Dylan Guenther to have multiple interviews with the Columbus Blue Jackets is Simon Edvinsson. Also, former Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall who works with GM Steve Yzerman on the Red Wings as an advisor to Yzerman is a huge fan of Edvinsson so what better way for Columbus to play spoiler than to piss off Kronwall. Edvinsson reminds me of Adam Larsson, but with him being listed as high as two on some draft boards along with the fact that both Seattle and Anaheim interviewed him along with Columbus there's a chance he goes in the top 5.

    The 6-5 203 lb Simon Edvinsson had 1 assist and a -3 +/- ratio for the Frolunda Indians in 10 SHL games in the league once known as Elitserien. Edvinsson entered the year at 6-4 185 lbs, yet he grew an inch and added 18 lbs of weight to his game.

    Simon Edvinsson is a good skater and solid passer. He's an ideal third line defenseman for the Frolunda Indians and an NHL team. Right now that just seems like his ceiling to me since nothing he did on tape wowed me.

    I'm trying to figure out why Bob McKenzie has this guy at second on his big board at one point. Craig Button likes Edvinsson too, so despite his flaws, he's clearly talented enough to go in the top 6. However, he's so raw on tape outside of his passing and skating that I cannot justify drafting him in the top 5, and one of the teams picking in the top 10, the Vancouver Canucks agrees with me about Edvinsson being overrated by the media.

    Devils In The Details Podcast posted a film cut of Simon Edvinsson on their Youtube channel. Columbus got Simon Edvinsson at 5. You can watch this video of Simon Edvinsson below.

  6. Detroit Red Wings: Dylan Guenther, RW, Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)

    Detroit didn't sign Keith Petruzzelli, the goalie from the Muskegon Lumberjacks that they drafted in the third round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft after he graduated from Quinnipac. I assumed Detroit was taking Jesper Wallsted at six like many others. This was before Detroit traded pick 94 the final pick from the Tomas Tatar trade, which sent Tatar to Vegas back in 2018 for three future draft picks. Yzerman moved goalie Jonathan Bernier and that last pick Ken Holland got for Tatar to Carolina Hurricanes goalie Alex Nedeljkovic. He wanted $3.5-million and Carolina only offered him $1.5-million for doing a good job in his rookie season in the NHL.

    Detroit is getting Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider both of Yzerman's first round picks in the 2019 and 2020 NHL Drafts on the roster next season. Detroit also traded for New York Islanders first line defenseman Nick Leddy.

    Also, a few of Ken Holland's early draft picks like Michael Rasmussen Detroit's 2017 first round pick, Joe Veleno the Red Wings second 2018 first round pick who Detroit took at 30 with their first pick from Vegas, and Jonathan Bergreen, Detroit's 2018 second round pick that has developed well are all expected to be in the NHL next season.

    I believe whoever Anaheim passes on at 3 whether it is William Eklund or Dylan Guenther will be Detroit's pick at 6. That's what happened when Detroit drafted Filip Zadina sixth overall back in 2018. Guenther is my number two player in this draft behind number one pick Owen Power, so whoever drafts him is getting an A+ grade from me.

    The 6-1 170 lb Dylan Guenther had 26 goals, 33 assists, 59 points, and a +26 +/- ratio as a rookie in 2019-2020. Guenther had 12 goals, 12 assists, 24 points, and a +19 +/- ratio in 12 WHL games in 2021 and that's due to the CHL seeing less hockey due to Covid-19. He's versatile enough to play left wing, center, or right wing giving him versatility to play anywhere at forward. He won a face off.

    Dylan Guenther has the playmaking, sniping, passing, wrist shot power, wrist shot accuracy, slap shot power, slap shot accuracy, offensive awareness, defensive awareness, hockey IQ, speed, skating, agility, stick handling, and ability to win faceoffs. He's a playmaker that can do everything you want a line 1 game changer to do on tape. He can do well on the power play as well as penalty kill. He's a line 1 left winger on the Edmonton Oil Kings, but can also line up as a line 1 center and a line 1 right winger. There's a reason Dylan Guenther was the WHL rookie of the year in 2019-2020.

    The Oil Knight Prospect Network posted game film of Dylan Guenther onto their Youtube Channel. Dylan Guenther is versatile enough to play left wing or right wing even though I've seen him win faceoffs while lining up as a center. He's also considered the consensus top winger in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. His tape looked fantastic and to be honest, he's the closest thing this draft has to an Alexis Lafreniere even though he's not nearly the prospect Lafreniere was. Nobody has this guy number one on their boards which surprised me. Owen Power has the highest ceiling of any player in this draft, but Dylan Guenther is the most complete prospect in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft.

    Previous Pick: Jesper Wallstedt, G, Lulea HF (Elitserien)

  7. San Jose Sharks: Kent Johnson, LW, Michigan

    San Jose has a draft pick this year. They traded one of their mediocre goalies to Arizona along with a 2022 second round pick for Arizona Coyotes goalie Adin Hill. San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson said he is unsure of the Sharks future at goalie.

    San Jose does like some defenders in this draft. The thing is the Sharks are expected to get defensemen on day 2. With 7 they are either going to take Jesper Wallstedt the top goalie in this draft or Michigan left winger Kent Johnson.

    Right now, Oddsmakers have the British Columbia native, Johnson as the favorite to go ninth overall to the Vancouver Canucks who play in British Columbia. If Doug Wilson has decided to take the best skater on the board at 7 rather than a goalie after trading for Adin Hill, then he'll get his guy with Kent Johnson here. Otherwise, I expect Wallstedt to be the pick. For now, I'm leaning towards Johnson at 7.

    The 6-1 165 lb Kent Johnson had 9 goals, 18 assists, 27 points, and a +15 +/- ratio in 2020-2021 on a fourth line playing next to Matthew Beniers. I've seen Johnson play with Beniers on the power play. Kent Johnson is versatile enough to play left wing, center, or right wing with his versatility.

    Previous Pick: Sebastian Cossa, G, Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)

  8. Los Angeles Kings: Brandt Clarke D, Barrie Colts (OHL)

    The Kings are open to moving out of eight for the right price. In the event that Los Angeles stays put, they get the best player on the board at 8.

    I'm giving the Los Angeles Kings Luke Hughes because I do not see the Kings giving Vancouver a chance to re-unite Luke with his oldest brother Quinn Hughes who was the Canucks 2018 first round pick. Drafting Luke Hughes gives the Los Angeles Kings a viable first line defender to pair with Drew Doughty. Doughty had Jake Muzzin and Alec Martinez on the two Stanley Cup teams that Los Angeles assembled in 2012 when they won as an 8 seed and in 2014.

    Drafting Brandt Clarke who is ranked third on my 2021 NHL Draft big board behind Power and Guenther to pair with Doughty on the first line starting in 2022-2023 allows the Kings to have a dominant first line on defense as well as a successor who can take over when Doughty retires. Los Angeles will have Mikey Anderson their 2017 fourth round pick, Matt Roy a 2015 seventh round pick, Tobias Bjornfot their 2019 first round pick that they drafted at 22, and Sean Walker an undrafted draft gem from Bowling Green as four other defenders to compliment Drew Doughty and Luke Hughes on their second and third lines starting in 2022-2023 when Luke Hughes replaces Olli Maata who is an unrestricted Free Agent in 2022. You'd also have Helge Grans the Kings 2020 second round pick who had a first round grade in your prospect pool as well.

    Los Angeles loaded up at center from 2017-2020 drafting Gabriel Vilardi in the first round in 2017, Rasmus Kupari in the first round in 2018, Alex Turcotte in the first round in 2019, and Quinton Byfield in the first round in 2020. Vilardi and Byfield were late season additions to the Los Angeles Kings showing they could play on the second and third lines. Los Angeles also has the capital to trade for Jack Eichel and if Eklund is still here, then Buffalo would take him at 8, but I don't do trades in my mock drafts.

    My point is that the Los Angeles Kings would now have stability at both center and defense for the long-term until Kopitar or Doughty retires thanks to drafting Brandt Clarke. They also have a goalie ready to learn under Jonathan Quick and succeed him down the road. The only thing left for the Los Angeles Kings to do at this point is to load up on the wing.

    The 6-1 181 lb Brandt Clarke had 6 goals, 32 assists, 38 points, and a -6 +/- ratio two years ago in 2019-2020 managing to take the number one defenseman spot on the Barrie Colts as a rookie, the first rookie defender to accomplish this since Aaron Ekblad who went first overall back in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. Brandt Clarke had 5 goals, 10 assists, 15 points, and a +6 +/- ratio in Slovakia which is where he had to play on a loan after Covid-19 took its toll on the OHL this season.

    Clarke can cyle the puck from short and medium distances. He's got the offensive and defensive awareness you want a two-way defender to have just like Owen Power and Luke Hughes have from a vision and eyes standpoint. You still want to see Clarke improve his deep passes as well as his dekes. Clarke only took a shot in the penalty shootout and actively tried to get teammates involved in the film of him that I saw against the Lethbridge Hurricanes. It's possible he needs another year in the OHL before making the jump to the NHL.

    Brandt Clarke is someone who should go in the top 5. He falls to Los Angeles as the Kings get a steal here at 8.

    Devils In The Details Podcast posted a film cut of Brandt Clarke on their Youtube channel. Brandt Clarke is a New Jersey Devil in our updated 2021 NHL Mock Draft. You can watch it below.

    Previous Pick: Luke Hughes, D, USNTDP (USHL)

  9. Arizona Coyotes: Jesper Wallstedt, G, Lulea HF (Elitserien)

    Arizona traded their team captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson to Vancouver for the ninth pick. Adin Hill was traded to San Jose for the Sharks shitty backup goalie and Darcy Keumper enters a contract year. I gave Vancouver Mason McTavish, but in the wake of this trade. I now have the Arizona Coyotes snagging the top goalie in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft at 9.

    Jesper Wallstedt proved to be invaluable by himself by going 12-10-0 with a .908 save percentage and a 2.23 goals against average in 22 regular season starts with Lulea HF. Wallstedt checks off every single category that you look for when evaluating a goalie. So you're probably asking what are things to look for when evaluating a goalie.

    Style, Post Integration, Glove, Blocker Pad, Reading The Puck By Tracking, Rebound Control, Post Save Recovery, Quickness, Footwork, and Puckhandling. Those are ten different categories that NHL Draft Scouts use to evaluate goalies. Wallstedt is one of two goalies in this draft that is already proficient in all ten categories. This makes me feel very confident that he can be a starting goalie in the NHL at the very worst and an All Star goalie if he exceeds everyones expectations. Wallstedt has elite intangibles which are superior to those of Spencer Knight and Yaroslav Askarov.

    Devils In The Details Podcast posted a film cut of Jesper Wallstedt on their Youtube channel. You can watch this video of Jesper Wallstedt the top goalie in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft below.

    Previous Pick: William Eklund, LW, Djurgardens IF (Elitserien)

  10. Ottawa Senators: Mason McTavish, C, Peterborough Petes (OHL)

    Ottawa lost their backup goalie to Matt Murray in the 2021 Expansion Draft. Now the Senators are picking at 10 with no insurance plan if Murray continues to struggle. With Jesper Wallstedt off the board, the Ottawa Senators now get Mason McTavish at ten since they need a first line center.

    The 6-2 207 Mason McTavish had 29 goals, 13 assists, 42 points, and a -4 +/- ratio in 2019-2020. McTavish had 9 goals, 2 assists, 11 points, and a +4 +/- ratio overseas along with 2 goals, 5 assists, and 7 points in playoff games overseas with EHC Olten on a loan with a Swiss team with Covid-19 cancelling the OHL this season.

  11. Columbus Blue Jackets: Sebasitan Cossa, G, Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)

    Arizona originally picked at 11. They were stripped of their first round pick this year so Chicago is technically picking at 12 despite the fact that Arizona does not have a first round pick. That being said, I moved everyone after the Coyotes up a spot and just excluded them from the first round this year. Next year, we'll finally have a 32 team first round NHL Draft in a much deeper 2022 group. Chicago moved this pick to Columbus in the Seth Jones so now Columbus takes a goalie at 12 with their top two goalies in contract years.

    Another interesting fact about tonights 2021 NHL Draft, is that the Edmonton Oilers provided a private press box for Cossa leading up to tonights 2021 NHL Draft. Edmonton needs a goalie and it's pretty obvious that Cossa is the guy they want. Columbus could end up with the second goalie now though.

    The 6-7 212 Sebastian Cossa is probably the best goalie prospect in the last few years not named Spencer Knight, Yarsolav Askarov, or Jesper Wallstedt. The 2020 NHL Draft had a ton of good goalies that went in the second round and third rounds last years. Sebastian Cossa is graded higher than those goalies which is why you can justify giving Cossa to a team in the first round. Sebastian Cossa went 17-1-1 in 19 WHL games with the Edmonton Oil Kings posting a 1.57 goals against average with a .941 save percentage and 4 shutouts with the Edmonton Oil Kings in 2020-2021.

    Previous Pick: Kent Johnson, LW, Michigan

  12. Calgary Flames: Cole Sillinger, LW, Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL)

    Fabian Lysell would be the player that I would pick here. One of my Calgary Flames fans on Twitter told me that Cole Sillinger is a better scheme fit for the Flames than Fabian Lysell who is ranked higher on my big board. Most members of the Calgary Flames media and team website seem to agree with this sentiment. That's why Sillinger is now my pick for Calgary at 12.

    The 6-0 187 lb Cole Sillinger had 22 goals, 31 assists, 53 points, and a +19 +/- ratio in 2019-2020. Cole Sillinger began his career with the Medicine Hat Tigers in the WHL. He played on a loan with the Sioux Falls Stampede in the USHL thanks to Covid-19. Cole Sillinger had 24 goals, 22 assists, 46 points, and a +5 +/- ratio in 2020-2021 with the Sioux Falls Stampede.

    He chose to remain in the USHL rather than return to Medicine Hat after the WHL returned. Sillinger will play for the Medicine Hat Tigers when the WHL resumes next season.

    Sillinger is very gifted offensively. Some call him a magician or a wizard. He's got to improve his skating and defense. If Sillinger can improve his skating and defense after spending a season as a first line left winger on both Medicine Hat and Sioux Falls, he could be special down the road.

    Previous Pick: Fabian Lysell, RW, Lulea HF (Elitserien)

  13. Buffalo Sabres: Fabian Lysell, RW, Lulea HF (Elitserien)

    Philadelphia cleared up some cap space when they traded Syane Gostisbehere and two draft picks in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft to clear up some cap space without getting anything in return. Philadelphia just traded this pick to Buffalo for Rasmus Ristolainen. The Sabres miss out on Swedish winger William Eklund, but they nab a pretty good consolation prize at 13 with Fabian Lysell.

    The 5-10 168 lb Fabian Lysell seems like a pure right winger as he had 2 goals, 1 assist, 3 points and a -3 +/- ratio in 28 games on Lulea HF. He can play on the first, second, third, or fourth line like William Eklund after I assumed he was mainly a fourth line guy. I'm so glad I rewatched his tape. He's teammates with goalie Jesper Wallstedt as both prospects on Lulea HF in the SHL formely known as Elitserien are top 10 prospects on most boards. Lysell fell to eleventh on my board after I moved Kent Johnson into my top 10 so Buffalo is getting a steal with Lysell at 13 with a pick they got for Rasmus Ristolainen who had a negative +/- ratio in all eight seasons in Buffalo after Buffalo took Ristolainen eighth overall back in 2013. Lysell is a guy who is one of the best shooters in this draft. The rest of his game needs to develop.

    Devils In The Details Podcast posted a film cut of Fabian Lysell on their Youtube channel. Fabian Lysell has a top 10 grade by some scouting services so check him out.


    Previous Pick: Chaz Lucius, C, USNTDP (USHL)

  14. Dallas Stars: Matthew Coronato, RW, Chicago Steel (USHL)

    Dallas can ignore need and take the best player on the board with the abundance of prospects in their system. Everyone in my top thirteen is gone. The good news is Ty Dellandrea and Thomas Hartley two first round picks that Dallas made in 2018 and 2019 are both projected to make the Dallas Stars 2021-2022 roster at this point.

    This gives Dallas the luxury to draft for value instead of need. Nill usually takes his best player on the board with his first pick, then will go for need afterwards. He traded up for Jake Oettinger a few years ago, and one player Dallas may trade up for is Logan Stankovec if he falls to the end of the first round.

    The player that I'm expecting Dallas to take is Matthew Coronato, the 2020-2021 USHL Player Of The Year. One article in the Dallas Morning News reported that both GM Jim Nill and Director Of Scouting Joe McDonnell conducted an interview with him. This is my best available player with everyone in my top thirteen gone so Dallas is getting Coronato at fourteen in my final 2021 NHL Mock Draft.

    The 5-10 183 lb Matthew Coronato is versatile to play left wing, center, or right wing with his versatility. He went from being a third line player as a rookie to a second line player who dominated at left wing, center, and right wing. Coronato had 48 goals, 37 assists, 85 points, and a +37 +/- ratio in 51 regular season games. He also had 9 goals, 4 asissts, and 13 points in 8 playoff games for the Chicago Steel helping the team win the 2021 Clark Cup for best team in the USHL during the 2021 USHL Playoffs as the Steel defeated the Muskegon Lumberjacks to win the Eastern Conference before defeating the Fargo Force after having the USHL's best regular season record for the second year in a row. His dominant play got him a hockey scholarship at Harvard.

    Previous Pick: Cole Sillinger, LW, Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL)

  15. New York Rangers: Chaz Lucius, C, USNTDP (USHL)

    New York needs a line 1 center in the worst way possible. However, they get the best player available and a guy who could be a good line 2 center behind Mika Zibanejad down the road here with Chad Lucius.

    The 6-0 172 Chaz Lucius was a second line center on the United States National Team Developmental Program in 2020-2021. Chaz Lucius had 13 goals, 5 assists, 18 points, and a +6 +/- ratio in 12 USHL games this season. He's good enough offensively to be a second line center on an NHL team down the road, but he's got to improve his play on defense in the NCAA next year when he enrolls into Minnesota.

    Previous Pick: Matthew Coronato, RW, Chicago Steel (USHL)

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