NHL Mock Draft 2021: Order of Selections and 1st-Round Predictions

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJuly 20, 2021

NHL Mock Draft 2021: Order of Selections and 1st-Round Predictions

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    The Buffalo Sabres are a few days away from selecting a second defenseman in four years at the top of the NHL draft. 

    Buffalo is widely projected to take Michigan defenseman Owen Power with the top selection in the 2021 NHL draft on Friday. 

    When the Sabres last chose first in 2018, they opted for Swedish blueliner Rasmus Dahlin, who was the first player at his position taken at No. 1 since Aaron Ekblad in 2014. 

    Slightly further down the blue-line rankings this year is Luke Hughes, the brother of former 2018 No. 1 selection Jack Hughes. Luke is expected to be one of the top prospects off the draft board on Friday, and the two could end up as teammates if he falls to the New Jersey Devils at No. 4. 

1st-Round 2021 NHL 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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    Buffalo did the right thing in 2018 when it chose Dahlin, and a similar decision could be made with Power on Friday.

    Dahlin has produced at least 20 points in each of his three NHL seasons and started his career with consecutive 40-point campaigns. Adding Power alongside him would set Buffalo up to have one of the league's best blue-line groups for the forseeable future. 

    Power brings a combination of size and skill at 6'3", and he could progress quickly through the Buffalo system to the NHL.

    Buffalo is going to need offensive help in some capacity with Jack Eichel being one of the hottest names on the NHL rumor mill. Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported that a trade seems more likely after Wednesday's expansion draft for the Seattle Kraken. 

    With no clear-cut top forwards in the draft class, like Alexis Lafreniere in 2020, the Sabres should look to Power to reboot their roster once again. 

    Buffalo still has work to do on other parts of its roster this offseason, but not everything can be solved with the No. 1 overall pick, something the franchise hopes to avoid in the coming years. 

Luke Hughes, D, USA U18

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    One of the most intriguing storylines in the draft involves the Hughes brothers. 

    Luke Hughes could be available to the Devils at No. 4, which would allow him to play with his brother Jack, who was the top choice in 2019. Twenty-one-year-old Quinn Hughes of the Vancouver Canucks is the oldest family member in the league, but Hughes will likely be off the board before they pick at No. 9.

    The youngest Hughes produced 34 points for the United States under-18 team in the last year and has strong two-way abilities that make him the No. 2 defenseman in the class. 

    New Jersey could use a point-producing defender to join its growing ranks of young stars. The top six point-scorers on the roster last season were all forwards. 

    It does not make much sense for the Devils to go after a top-tier forward at No. 4 with Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier and five other 25-point scorers at 25 years old or younger. 

    If the Devils can land a young defensive product in Hughes who can chip in on offense, they can become a more complete team and contend for playoff positions on a regular basis. 


    Statistics obtained from Hockey Reference and EliteProspects.com.