2021 NHL Mock Draft: 1st-Round Order and Final Landing Spots for Top Prospects
The Buffalo Sabres will make a National Hockey League prospect's dream come true Friday night.
Buffalo has the No. 1 overall selection for the second time in four years, so it is set to add another impressive young player to its roster.
Michigan defenseman Owen Power has been projected to land with the Sabres in most mock drafts leading up to Friday's event. He Power could be one of a handful of defensemen and Michigan products to land inside the top 10.
Luke Hughes, Simon Edvinsson and Brandt Clarke are among the positional mates of Power expected to be chosen early.
Power's Michigan teammate Matthew Beniers could be the first draft selection of the expansion side Seattle Kraken, while center Kent Johnson could give the Wolverines three players inside the top 10.
1st-Round Order and Mock Draft
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
Power is the consensus No. 1 overall selection across mock drafts.
Wyshynski outlined what type of Power can be in the NHL in his latest mock draft:
"Power is the consensus No. 1 pick in this year's draft. He's 6-foot-6, skates well and can move the puck. The projection is for Power to develop into a poor man's Victor Hedman. He might not be quite the power-play QB or elite shutdown defender the Lightning star has become, but a poor man's Hedman is still pretty rich."
Power will be expected to slot next to Rasmus Dahlin, the No. 1 overall pick in 2018, on Buffalo's first-choice defensive pairing when he reaches the NHL.
The Michigan product's potential selection should mark the start of a roster rebuild through the defensive unit. Buffalo needs some star power if captain Jack Eichel is traded in the offseason.
The Sabres will be far from a finished product no matter which player they select Friday, but taking Power to pair with Dahlin puts them in a good position to at least have top-tier defensemen for the foreseeable future.
Matthew Beniers, C, Michigan
The Seattle Kraken's roster build should continue with Power's collegiate teammate at No. 2.
Matthew Beniers is viewed as the top two-way center in the draft class, and he could provide the expansion side with some much-needed depth at the position.
Wyshynski noted that it may be hard for Seattle general manager to pass up a player like Beniers because of the way he holds himself on the ice:
"Kraken coach Dave Hakstol told ESPN that GM Ron Francis likes players who remind him of the way he played. Being that Beniers is an offensively talented center, a shifty skater and a player whose game starts with how good he is in the defensive zone, it's hard to imagine Francis passes him up here."
Seattle selected a handful of centers in the expansion draft. However, it already shipped Tyler Pitlick to the Calgary Flames, and there is the potential for more trades.
With Beniers, the Kraken are getting one of the best scorers in the draft class and someone who could fill in right away on one of the bottom two lines.
Beniers' role on the Seattle roster would be more defined after the team trims down its training camp roster, but he should be able to contribute relatively soon if he is the man at No. 2.