2021 NHL Mock Draft: Latest Predictions for All 1st-Round Prospects

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJuly 19, 2021

2021 NHL Mock Draft: Latest Predictions for All 1st-Round Prospects

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    Michigan defenseman Owen Power appears to be in line to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NHL draft Friday.

    Power could kick off a fantastic night for the Michigan hockey program since Matthew Beniers is projected to be a top-three selection as well.

    The Buffalo Sabres are back on top of the draft order for the second time in four years. They selected Rasmus Dahlin with the No. 1 overall pick in 2018. Dahlin is one of two defensemen to be chosen first since 2007. Aaron Ekblad was the other one in 2014.

    If Power is the top pick, the Seattle Kraken's first draft choice at No. 2 will decide the way in which the draft will go.

    Seattle could land Beniers, but it could also go after United States U-18 defenseman Luke Hughes or Edmonton Oil Kings right winger Dylan Guenther. Seattle's draft direction may not be determined until after the expansion draft Wednesday.

    The Anaheim Ducks, New Jersey Devils and Columbus Blue Jackets round out the top five selections.

2021 NHL 1st-Round Mock Draft

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    1. Buffalo: Owen Power, D, Michigan

    2. Seattle: Matthew Beniers, C, Michigan

    3. Anaheim: Dylan Guenther, RW, Edmonton (WHL)

    4. New Jersey: Luke Hughes, D, USA U-18

    5. Columbus: Simon Edvinsson, D, Frolunda (Sweden)

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

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

    8. Los Angeles: William Eklund, LW, Djurgarden (Sweden)

    9. Vancouver: Kent Johnson, C, Michigan

    10. Ottawa: Jesper Wallstedt, G, Lulea (Sweden)

    11. Arizona: Pick vacated

    12. Chicago: Chaz Lucius, C, USA U18

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

    14. Philadelphia: Fyodor Svechkov, C, Togliatti

    15. Dallas: Carson Lambos, D, Winnipeg (WHL)

    16. New York Rangers: Corson Ceulemans, D, Brooks (AJHL)

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

    18. Winnipeg: Brennan Othmann, LW, Flint (OHL)

    19. Nashville: Xavier Bourgault, C, Shawnigan (QMJHL)

    20. Edmonton: Zachary Bolduc, C, Rimouski (QMJHL)

    21. Boston: Isak Rosen, RW, Leksands (Sweden)

    22. Minnesota: Daniil Chayka, D, CSKA (Russia)

    23. Detroit (from Washington): Aatu Raty, C, Karpat (Finland)

    24. Florida: Wyatt Johnson, C, Windsor (OHL)

    25. Columbus (from Toronto): Sebastian Cossa, G, Edmonton (WHL)

    26. Minnesota (from Pittsburgh): Nikita Chibrikov, RW, St. Petersburg (Russia)

    27. Carolina: Shai Buium, D, Sioux City (USHL) 

    28. Colorado: Mackie Samoskevich, RW, Chicago (USHL) 

    29. New Jersey (from NY Islanders): Oskar Olausson, RW, HV71 (Sweden)

    30. Vegas: Colton Dach, C, Saskatoon (WHL)

    31. Montreal: Zach Dean, C, Gatineau (QMJHL)

    32. Columbus (from Tampa Bay): Matthew Knies, LW, Tri-City (USHL)

Owen Power, D, Michigan

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    Power is the popular selection at the top of mock drafts with a few days left until Buffalo makes its selection.

    The Athletic's Corey Pronman and NHL.com's experts have Power landing with the Sabres at the top of the 2021 draft.

    NHL.com's Adam Kimelman broke down why the decision should be simple for the Sabres at No. 1:

    "Defensemen as big (6-foot-6, 213 pounds) and as skilled as Power don't come along very often, so it should be an easy choice for the Sabres. The 18-year-old has the potential to be a top-pair defenseman who can play in all situations, and his skating and hockey instincts should help him acclimate quickly to the pace of the NHL."

    Power could kick off a run of defensemen at the start of the draft. Hughes and Brandt Clarke could also be top-five selections depending on how the order shakes out.

    The World Championship gold medalist produced three goals and 13 assists over 26 appearances at Michigan. He had a pair of 25-point seasons with the Chicago Steel in the USHL before enter the collegiate ranks.

    He carries the perfect size for a defenseman, and he could develop his offensive game further as he grows into his role in the NHL.

    Even though Buffalo may need to find a Jack Eichel replacement this offseason, its priority in the draft should be taking the best player available at No. 1, and that is Power.

Matthew Beniers, C, Michigan

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    There is a high likelihood of Michigan producing the No. 1 and No. 2 picks in the 2021 draft.

    Pronman noted the lack of high-quality centers in the draft class as to why Seattle could sweep up Beniers at No. 2:

    "Beniers has been No. 2 in every mock we've done here so far. I've heard from a few league sources mentioning Eklund as a possibility here, but I still think more likely than not it will be Beniers. The lack of center options in the expansion draft is a variable for Seattle, too, I think."

    Beniers averaged a point per game with the Wolverines in his lone collegiate hockey season. He had 10 goals and 14 assists over 24 games.

    The center was in the United States youth development system for the majority of his pre-college career. He had 41 points in 44 games for the US U-18 "A" Team in the 2019-20 season.

    The 18-year-old American is a strong two-way center who could be a nice addition for the Kraken as they try to form an on-ice identity in their first season.

    Of course, the projected pick could change after the expansion draft. But for now, Seattle looks like it will add the top forward in the draft class.


    Statistics obtained from Elite Prospects.