NHL Draft 2021: TV, Live Stream Schedule and 1st-Round Mock Draft Predictions

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IJuly 21, 2021

NHL Draft 2021: TV, Live Stream Schedule and 1st-Round Mock Draft Predictions

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    Sergei Grits/Associated Press

    The Buffalo Sabres are trying to build a team that can end the franchise's playoff drought. They haven't been to the postseason since 2011, and they've had some high draft picks since then.

    That's the case again this year. Buffalo owns the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NHL draft, marking the second time in four years that it's had the top selection, and it will be on the clock when the event gets underway Friday night. The draft is being held in a virtual format for the second consecutive year amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    On Friday, Round 1 will begin at 8 p.m. ET and can be watched on ESPN2 or the ESPN app. Then on Saturday, Rounds 2-7 will air on the NHL Network, starting at 11 a.m. ET.

    Here's a mock for how the first round of this year's draft could potentially unfold.

1st-Round Mock Draft

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    Sergei Grits/Associated Press

    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

Power Should Go No. 1 Overall to Sabres

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    Sergei Grits/Associated Press

    Owen Power is the popular pick to go No. 1 overall to the Sabres, and there's a high chance that he'll hear his name called at the beginning of the draft. The 18-year-old is a 6'6" defenseman who has the potential to develop into a top-tier player at the professional level.

    Still, it's not official that Power will be going to Buffalo. And until it is, there will continue to be speculation about what the Sabres will do at No. 1 overall. The Athletic's Corey Pronman recently reported that there had been other players in consideration for Buffalo.

    "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," Pronman wrote.

    But Power is the best choice. And he'll be the player who the Sabres take to open the draft Friday night.

Kraken Will Also Add a Michigan Player

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    Sergei Grits/Associated Press

    Michigan hockey fans will be excited to see a pair of Wolverines players taken early in the draft. In fact, if Power goes No. 1 to Buffalo, there's a solid chance that center Matthew Beniers will immediately follow his teammate off the board and go No. 2 to Seattle.

    The Kraken will have more players on their roster by the time Friday's draft arrives, as their expansion draft is taking place Wednesday night. Once Seattle has picked its 30 players to build its inaugural team, it could potentially better shape its plan for the 2021 NHL draft.

    Either way, though, Beniers has too much offensive talent for the Kraken to pass over, as the 18-year-old could be an offensive player for them to build around for the long-term future.

    "He impacts the game in all zones and makes teammates better. Guys like him help you compete for Cups," one NHL scout told The Athletic's Sunaya Sapurji.

    Beniers could end up eventually becoming a key core player for Seattle early in its history. That's why it will take him with its first draft pick.

Red Wings Will Add Goaltender at No. 6

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    Paul Sancya/Associated Press

    There are never a ton of goaltenders to get picked early, but the most talented ones in a draft class can come off the board early. And that should be the case this year with Jesper Wallstedt, an 18-year-old from Sweden who appears to be the best goalie available in the draft.

    NHL.com's Adam Kimelman recently wrote that Wallstedt has "a calm, controlled style, tracks pucks well and already has experience playing in the top league." With the Red Wings potentially looking to add a goaltender in the draft, it would make sense for them to draft him at No. 6.

    "Two years ago, the Red Wings had the No. 6 pick and went against the grain to select defenseman Moritz Seider, who now looks like a future top-pair player," Kimelman wrote. "It wouldn't be a surprise to see a similar move by the Red Wings here."

    So while the first five players selected in this year's draft should be skaters, we shouldn't have to wait long to see a goaltender come off the board. Wallstedt has the potential to keep improving and become a strong player in the net for Detroit to build around in the future.