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NHL Draft 2021: Breaking Down Top Prospects in Draft Class

Maurice Bobb@@ReeseReportFeatured ColumnistMay 15, 2021

Michigan's Owen Power (22) and Minnesota's Cullen Munson (13) battle during an NCAA hockey game on Wednesday Dec. 8, 2020, in Ann Arbor, Mich. Minnesota won 3-1. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)
Al Goldis/Associated Press

For 217 players, there will be no two days that mean more than July 23-24, 2021.

That's when the 2021 NHL draft will be held, and scores of talented young players will have their dreams of joining the NHL realized.

The winner of the draft lottery won't be known until June 2, according to TSN's Frank Seravalli, but there's already a handful of names rising to the the top of the draft boards.

Here's a quick look at three of the top prospects in this year's draft class.

                   

Owen Power, D, Michigan (NCAA)

There's usually a healthy debate about who is the best player in a draft class or what player should be the No. 1 pick. While this year is no different, Owen Power is a notable candidate for the distinction.

The 18-year-old defenseman was a standout at Michigan, leading the way with 40 blocked shots, three goals and 13 assists.

He's formidable at 6'6", 213 pounds, but he's also a great distributor of the puck with elite-level vision and strength.

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"Size isn't a teachable trait, and he has it," a scout told Steven Ellis of The Hockey News. "But he's more than that. He's got the poise and calm demeanor you want from a young defenseman. Nothing seems to faze him. He's going to eat minutes like it's candy."

Power is a can't-miss prospect. Whatever team lands the first pick needs to take him off the board quickly.

                

Matthew Beniers, C, Michigan (NCAA)

No team in the NCAA had more talent on the ice than Michigan.

Not only did the Wolverines have Power, they also had Matthew Beniers, another player who could challenge to be the first overall selection.

Like Power, Beniers is another 18-year old phenom, with a tireless work ethic, quick feet, elusiveness, hockey IQ and a knack for puck possession.

The natural center is a two-way threat who plays defense with unrivaled intensity and possesses creativity and fearlessness on offense.

At Michigan, the Hingham, Massachusetts, native scored 10 goals and had 14 assists for a total of 24 points.

"His competitiveness on the puck, his willingness to win puck battles, to block shots, to do the dirty things that help you win hockey games really is what makes him special," Seth Appert, a former U.S. National Team Development Program coach, told Brandon Roose of the Michigan Daily. "And then his talent combined with that makes him very unique."

                     

Dylan Guenther, RW, Edmonton (WHL)

Who needs a player who puts numbers on the board?

All hands should be raised for that question, so every team in the draft should be taking a long look at Dylan Guenther.

The 18-year-old right winger is an elite scorer and is highly skilled as an assist man.

In 12 games, the young Canadian scored 12 goals and had 12 assists, which was enough to lead the Western Hockey League with two points per game.

Smart, aggressive and versatile, the former first overall pick in the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft easily has the makings of a player who can be an All-Star with 30 goals and 70 points in a season.

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