NHL Draft 2021: TV Schedule, Live Stream and Latest Mock Draft PredictionsJuly 20, 2021
On Wednesday, the Seattle Kraken will begin constructing the roster for their first NHL season. However, the expansion draft won't be the only opportunity for the league's 32nd franchise to add talent this week.
Seattle also owns the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NHL draft, which gets underway Friday with the first round. It is being held in a virtual format for the second consecutive year, and Rounds 2-7 will take place Saturday.
The only team that has an earlier pick than the Kraken is the Buffalo Sabres, who earned the No. 1 overall selection in the draft lottery. It's the second time in four years that Buffalo has the first pick, as it took defenseman Rasmus Dahlin with the No. 1 selection in 2018.
Here's everything you need to know for the upcoming draft, including a mock of the first round.
2021 NHL Draft Information
Dates: Friday, July 23-Saturday, July 24
TV: Round 1 (Friday at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN2); Rounds 2-7 (Saturday at 11 a.m. ET on NHL Network)
Live Stream: Round 1 (ESPN app)
1st-Round Mock Draft
1. Buffalo Sabres: Owen Power, D, Michigan
2. Seattle Kraken: Matthew Beniers, C, Michigan
3. Anaheim Ducks: Dylan Guenther, RW, Edmonton (WHL)
4. New Jersey Devils: Luke Hughes, D, USA NTDP
5. Columbus Blue Jackets: Mason McTavish, C, Peterborough (OHL)
6. Detroit Red Wings: Jesper Wallstedt, G, Lulea (SHL)
7. San Jose Sharks: William Eklund, LW, Djurgardens (SHL)
8. Los Angeles Kings: Brandt Clarke, D, Barrie (OHL)
9. Vancouver Canucks: Kent Johnson, C, Michigan
10. Ottawa Senators: Matthew Coronato, RW, Chicago (USHL)
11. Forfeited pick (previously belonged to Arizona Coyotes)
12. Chicago Blackhawks: Sebastian Cossa, G, Edmonton (WHL)
13. Calgary Flames: Cole Sillinger, C, Sioux Falls (USHL)
14. Philadelphia Flyers: Fedor Svechkov, C, Togliatti (VHL)
15. Dallas Stars: Chaz Lucius, C, USA NTDP
16. New York Rangers: Brennan Othmann, LW, Flint (OHL)
17. St. Louis Blues: Carson Lambos, D, Winnipeg (WHL)
18. Winnipeg Jets: Corson Ceulemans, D, Brooks (AJHL)
19. Nashville Predators: Isak Rosen, RW, Leksands (SHL)
20. Edmonton Oilers: Nikita Chibrikov, RW, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL)
21. Boston Bruins: Zachary Bolduc, C, Rimouski (QMJHL)
22. Minnesota Wild: Fabian Lysell, RW, Lulea (SHL)
23. Detroit Red Wings (via Washington Capitals): Olen Zellweger, D, Everett (WHL)
24. Florida Panthers: Xavier Bourgault, C, Shawinigan (QMJHL)
25. Columbus Blue Jackets (via Toronto Maple Leafs): Aatu Raty, C, Karpat (Liiga)
26. Minnesota Wild (via Pittsburgh Penguins): Jack Peart, D, Fargo (USHL)
27. Carolina Hurricanes: Shai Buium, D, Sioux City (USHL)
28. Colorado Avalanche: Oskar Olausson, RW, HV71 (SHL)
29. New Jersey Devils (via New York Islanders): Kirill Kirsanov, D, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL)
30. Vegas Golden Knights: Daniil Chayka, D, Guelph (OHL)
31. Montreal Canadiens: Logan Stankoven, C, Kamloops (WHL)
32. Columbus Blue Jackets (via Tampa Bay Lightning): Sasha Pastujov, RW, USA NTDP
Most mock drafts are projecting Owen Power to go No. 1 overall to the Sabres. And while that's the most likely scenario, it's not a done deal, according to The Athletic's Corey Pronman.
"There's been some discourse about Buffalo considering their options at No. 1 other than Power, in particular William Eklund and Luke Hughes have been the alternatives I've heard," he wrote.
However, it seems unlikely that the Sabres end up taking a player other than Power. The 18-year-old is 6'6" and 213 pounds, and he also has the skills to develop into a top NHL defenseman. He showcased that this past season at Michigan, which has him in line to likely be the first player taken in the draft.
As NHL.com's Mike G. Morreale noted, Power is "a big presence with good vision and strength who has the look of a first-pair NHL defenseman." So the Sabres will likely have that to look forward to.
It will be interesting to see who the Kraken take at No. 2 and how that player will fit into their roster plans. At this point, Seattle needs players at every position, considering it's entering its inaugural season. But that will change with Wednesday's expansion draft.
The Kraken will be taking 30 players, one from every team except the Vegas Golden Knights (who are exempt as the most recent expansion team). Then, it will become clear which positions are Seattle's biggest weaknesses and who it may look to add in the draft Friday.
Regardless, there's a good chance that another Michigan player goes at No. 2, as the Kraken could take Matthew Beniers, who is one of the top offensive players in the class. Pronman also reported that William Eklund could be another possibility for Seattle with the pick.
No team has more first-round picks than the Columbus Blue Jackets, who will be on the clock three times Friday night. After going 18-26-12 this past season, they could use a boost with a wave of young talent, and they will have an opportunity to add that in the draft.
It's a possibility that many teams will have differing opinions on a lot of prospects, perhaps even more so than most years. That's because the coronavirus pandemic impacted the schedules for a bunch of hockey leagues, so scouts may not have as much information on some of these players as they normally would.
Still, there's a lot of talent in this year's draft class, and it will be intriguing to see where these young players begin their NHL careers.