NHL Draft 2021: Updated Order, Top Prospects and 1st-Round Mock

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistApril 29, 2021

NHL Draft 2021: Updated Order, Top Prospects and 1st-Round Mock

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    Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

    While much of the sporting world will be focused on the NFL draft this weekend, it's worth noting that the 2021 NHL entry draft is less than three months away. Scheduled to kick off on July 23, the NHL draft should carry nearly as much drama as this weekend's event in Cleveland.

    Of course, while the NFL draft order is largely set, the NHL draft order is far from it. With the playoffs not set to kick off until May 11, we're a ways off from putting together accurate team-prospect pairings.

    It's never too early to look ahead, though, and that's precisely what we're going to do here. We'll examine the current draft order, make some early mock predictions and dig into some of the top prospects expected to go early three months from now.

    Let's dig in!

2021 NHL Mock Draft

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    Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

    1. Buffalo Sabres: Owen Power, D, Michigan

    2. Anaheim Ducks: Matthew Beniers, C, Michigan

    3. Seattle Kraken: Luke Hughes, D, USA Hockey NTDP

    4. New Jersey Devils: Simon Edvinsson, D, Frolunda (SHL)

    5. Ottawa Senators: William Eklund, C/LW, Djurgardens (SHL)

    6. Columbus Blue Jackets: Dylan Guenther, RW, Edmonton (WHL)

    7. Detroit Red Wings: Jesper Wallstedt, G, Lulea HF (SHL)

    8. San Jose Sharks: Aatu Raty, C, Karpat (SM-Liiga)

    9. Los Angeles Kings: Brandt Clarke, D, HC Nove Zamky (SVK)

    10. Calgary Flames: Kent Johnson, C, Michigan

    11. Arizona Coyotes: Forfeit

    12. Vancouver Canucks: Fabian Lysell, LW/RW, Frolunda J20 (SuperElit)

    13. Chicago Blackhawks: Chaz Lucius, C, USA Hockey NTDP

    14. Philadelphia Flyers: Carson Lambos, D, Winnipeg (WHL)

    15. Nashville Predators: Mason McTavish, C, Peterborough (OHL)

    16. New York Rangers: Cole Sillinger, C/LW, Medicine Hat (WHL)

    17. St. Louis Blues: Matthew Coronato, LW/RW, Chicago (USHL)

    18. Montreal Canadiens: Zachary Bolduc, C, Rimouski (QMJHL)

    19. Dallas Stars: Zachary L'Heureux, C, Halifax (QMJHL)

    20. Winnipeg Jets: Stanislav Svozil, D, HC Kometa Brno (CZE)

    21. Edmonton Oilers: Simon Robertsson, RW, Skelleftea J20 (SuperElit)

    22. New Jersey Devils (via Islanders): Oskar Olausson, LW/RW, HV71 (SHL)

    23. Boston Bruins: Brennan Othmann, LW, Flint (OHL)

    24. Minnesota Wild (via Pittsburgh): Francesco Pinelli, C, Kitchener

    25. Florida Panthers: Isak Sasha Pastujov, LW, USA Hockey NTDP

    26. Minnesota Wild: Sasha Rosen, LW, Leksands IF J20 (SuperElit)

    27. Columbus Blue Jackets (via Tampa Bay): Corson Ceulemans, D, Brooks (AJHL)

    28. Colorado Avalanche: Xavier Bourgault, C, Shawinigan (QMJHL)

    29. Columbus Blue Jackets (via Toronto): Samu Tuomaala, C/LW, Karpat (SM-Liiga)

    30. Detroit Red Wings (via Washington): Nikita Chibrikov, RW, SKA St. Petersburgh (MHL)

    31. Carolina Hurricanes: Sebastian Cossa, G, Edmonton (WHL)

    32. Vegas Golden Knights: Daniil Chayka, D, Moskva (KHL)

    *Draft order via Tankathon

Owen Power, D, Michigan

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    Al Goldis/Associated Press

    The top of the draft board is far from set, but Michigan defenseman Owen Power should be considered one of the favorites to vie for the No. 1 spot.

    The 18-year-old was USHL Defenseman of the Year with the Chicago Steel, named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team this past season and was invited to the Team Canada world junior camp. Listed at 6'5" and 214 pounds, Power has the size and range needed to mix it up at the pro level.

    A versatile prospect, Power is intriguing because he can bring both an offensive and a defensive presence.

    "With his offensive smarts, I wouldn't be surprised to see him play the role of power forward one day and dominate the game like Dustin Byfuglien and Brent Burns did for the Chicago Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks, respectively," wrote Matthew Zator of The Hockey Writers. "His toolbox is that extensive."

    Power contributed three goals and 13 assists in 26 games this past season with the Wolverines.

Matthew Beniers, C, Michigan

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    Jose Juarez/Associated Press

    Power isn't the only Wolverine product who could wind up at the top of Round 1 by draft day. Center Matthew Beniers is an elite prospect in his own right, and he could wind up as this year's most coveted prospect.

    "Beniers' skills go beyond offence; that's why he's going to be such a find for whatever team drafts him this year," Zator wrote. "He does almost everything at a high level, including smart and effective defence. He's basically the ultimate two-way threat in every sense of the word."

    Like Power, Beniers possesses few questions athletically. While he doesn't possess Power's imposing frame, he's listed at a solidly built 6'1" and 175 pounds.

    Teams won't care too much about Beniers' size, though. It's his two-way potential that could have executives eager to turn in his draft card.

    This past season, the 18-year-old produced 10 goals and 14 assists for Michigan.

Luke Hughes, D, USA Hockey NTDP

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    Derik Hamilton/Associated Press

    U.S. National Team developmental prospect Luke Hughes might carry some concerns over an injury he suffered last month. According to Josh Bell of FC Hockey, Hughes underwent surgery to repair a foot tendon that was lacerated by a skate blade.

    Still, the younger brother of Quinn and Jack Hughes should garner plenty of interest ahead of the draft. He retains the top spot on FC Hockey's prospect rankings and shouldn't fall far as long as his medicals check out.

    The 17-year-old Hughes is listed at 6'2" and 182 pounds and is coming off (almost) two strong seasons. He produced seven goals and 21 assists during the 2019-20 season and had six goals and 28 assists this season before the injury.

    Quinn Hughes was drafted seventh overall by the Vancouver Canucks in 2018, while Jack Hughes was drafted first overall in 2019 by the New Jersey Devils. Expect the youngest Hughes to follow as a high-first-round selection.

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