Before on this blog, I did a mock draft of the First two round in the 2021 NHL Draft, but that was a while back so a bit has changed since then, so I will do an updated mock draft. This is the First part of the mock draft.
1. BUF-D Owen Power
It’s easy to understand the appeal with Power. There just aren’t many 6-foot-6 defensemen who can skate quite like he does. He doesn’t make many mistakes with the puck, and he has no problem working the short-range passing game to let his teammates do the legwork in transition. He has a great knack for finding space. And he has a big enough shot to credibly threaten from range. Owen Power should be a top pair defenseman in no time.
2. SEA-RW Dylan Guenther
Dylan Guenther is a playdriving winger, that has an explosive shot, enhanced by his top-of-the-class off-puck timing and instincts around the net. Most of his releases are exploding forward into his shot, increasing power, control, and protecting from backpressure. Guenther also has a real knack for finding soft-ice off of the puck. He’s always positioned to collect the biscuit in the soft parts of the offensive zone, a testament to his goal scorer’s savvy. Dylan Guenther has the potential to be a top line winger who puts up a point per game annually.
3. ANA-C Matthew Beniers
Matthew Beniers is a dynamic two-way player with elite defensive abilities and high level hockey sense. He’s a dynamic, high-pace transporter of the puck; he accelerates with linear and nonlinear crossovers through a wide array of rush patterns and tempo changes to maneuver past opposing defenders. Beniers is always involved in his team’s defensive game, showing high-level details, and defensive problem-solving ability. The crazy thing about Beniers is he can be just as effective an offensive player as he is a defensive player, which many centers in this draft can’t say. Matthew Beniers will be a top line center in the league that plays in all situations.
4. NJ-D Luke Hughes
Luke Hughes is the Youngest of the Hughes brothers, and is also the Tallest of the three.
Luke Hughes is a complete all-around defenseman; his game relies on his smooth and effortless skating ability. Hughes starts with the perfect skating posture, settling comfortably into his stride as he darts around the ice. Hughes collects the puck in-stride, skates through his passes, and weaponizes movement to draw opposing defenders to his orbit, creating space for his teammates; he’s always looking to create advantages with the puck on his stick. Luke Hughes projects as a top pair defenseman in the NHL, but if he doesn’t become a top-pair defenseman, at worst he’ll be a top 4 puck moving defenseman.
5. CBJ-LW/C William Eklund
William Eklund is a very smart player who also works very hard and opens up the play for his teammates. Eklund is a player that does not take any shifts off. He is the glue that keeps his line effective in all three zones. He plays at high pace and with thought and creativity.
He adjusts his speed to the play, scans his surroundings, establishes his pocket of space, and presents himself as a pass or shot option. William Eklund has all the Tools to be an elite offensive force that is effective in all areas of the ice. William Eklund has the potential to be top line forward that averages around a point per game.
6. DET-G Jesper Wallstedt
Jesper Wallstedt is a big and athletic goaltender that tracks pucks well and doesn’t get rattled when he makes a mistake. He’s a strong, fluid skater in the crease, and doesn’t mind coming out to challenge oncoming threats. He’ll ramp up the aggression when necessary, but only when the moment calls for it. Wallstedt’s precise finding his parameters around the crease, and is equally good at stopping pucks with both his glove and his blocker. Similar to Yaroslav Askarov last year, Jesper Wallstedt has the potential to be a franchise goalie in the NHL.
7. SJ-D Simon Edvinsson
Simon Edvinsson is a 6’4″, smooth skating defenseman with great technical skills, instincts, and physicality. Edvinsson is a detailed defender with high-level in-zone instincts, a tight neutral zone gap, well-timed physicality, and supporting instincts to match. He defends well with his reach, maintains strong gap control, and is slippery when controlling the puck. Edvinsson is a poised and smooth with the puck, and is able to navigate through the neutral zone and complete controlled O-Zone entries with regularity. Simon Edvinsson has the potential to be a top pair defenseman in the NHL, with 40-50 point upside.
8. LA-D Brandt Clarke
Brandt Clarke is a elite puck-moving defenseman; If there’s an opportunity to join the rush, he does it, and if there isn’t, he is capable of creating one. He wants to make something happen every time the puck is on his stick, and he’s not afraid to push the play himself to see it through. Clarke’s brain and ability to process the movement of others on the ice to make his own reads is elite. He sees things that others do not, is patient with the puck, and allows the play to develop before he makes his decision. Brandt Clarke projects as a top-pair offensive defenseman in the NHL, with 50-60 point upside.
9. VAN-C Kent Johnson
Kent Johnson is a top notch offensive player in this draft, and point scoring machine.
Johnson’s creative output is the byproduct of carefully honed techniques and a gifted mind.
He handles the puck with his top hand free from his body, pushed forward with precision, quickness, and agility. His game looks effortless at times, with his high level passing and puck handling abilities, adding good shooting accuracy to boost. Johnson anticipates player movement so exceptionally well, whether they’re teammates or opponents, and lets that mental map of the ice dictate his plan of attack. Kent Johnson has the potential to be top line center and a point per game player in the NHL.
10. OTT-C Mason McTavish
Mason McTavish thrives on finding space. Those instincts combined with a booming shot will allow him to pile up goals at any level. He makes the right play at the right time and in the right place every single shift. McTavish moves one way, drags the defender that way, makes them turn their feet, and then passes to supporting teammates in the opposite direction.
He’s a net-front driven forward with a real knack for pouncing on loose pucks and banging rebounds home. McTavish’s unrelenting work rate makes him a constant threat without the puck, too. Mason McTavish has the potential to be a first or second line center, with 70-80 point potential.
12. CHI F Chaz Lucius
Chaz Lucius is a high-octane offensive player with exceptional problem-solving skills. A threat with the puck anywhere in the offensive zone. He combines crafty hands with a quick release on his shot to make for a goal-scoring weapon. Lucius can work the one- and two-touch snapshot with power and precision. He can send the puck on net with a deceptive, downward force-loaded wrist shot. His vision is great. If someone’s open, Lucius is going to find them, and he’s going to get them the puck. He reads his teammates so well, anticipating developing plays, and timing his maneuvers accordingly. Chaz Lucius has the potential to be a top 6 forward, that scores 70+ points annually.
13. CGY-RW/LW Fabian Lysell
Fabian Lysell is a highly skilled forward with impressive technical skills and an amazing release. He scores a lot of goals and is a loyal team player.
Lysell plays at a high pace, with high-level skill creating a lot for himself and others.
Fabian has top notch skating ability and speed, with two-step quickness to burn.
Lysell spots teammates through layers, and has the deft touch to get them the puck when the time is right.
He scans regularly, reloads to support his defencemen, tracks well through the neutral zone, and his work rate never wanes.
Fabian Lysell has the potential top line playmaking winger in the NHL.
14. PHI-C Cole Sillinger
Cole Sillinger is a lethal goal scorer; His wrist shot release is especially potent, with a short draw, feet pointed at the net, adequate knee-bend, a hip-snap, his leg kicked back,
and exploding from his chest. Sillinger makes the best of this shot with some stellar off of the puck instincts, an often overpowering wall game, and is a force for driving the net.
Sillinger has been a goal scoring machine everywhere he has played, and projects as a elite scorer at the next level. Cole Sillinger should be a top 6 forward with 40 goal potential in the NHL.
15. DAL-D Carson Lambos
Carson Lambos was injured during the 2020-21 campaign, which is why many mock drafts have him fall out of the top 20 in the draft, however, I don’t think he should fall past 15 because this is a player who was viewed at a top 10 talent at one point. Carson Lambos is a great two-way defenseman that excels at in all areas of the game; he is good at activating from the point to become a passing and scoring threat. Lambos is also a great defender, as he is constantly matchup up against other teams’ top players. Carson Lambos has the potential to be a top pair defenseman in the league, but at worst he will be a top 4 defenseman.
16. NYR-RW Nikita Chibrikov
Nikita Chibrikov is arguably the best offensive talent in the entire draft.
Chibrikov combines speed and skill to be an unpredictable and elusive winger;
He excels at getting the puck up the ice and facilitating high-danger, high-octane offence.
Chibrikov is also a smooth puck carrier that can maintain possession in tight spaces.
Similar to Nikita Kucherov, Chibrikov is an incredible offensive talent that has the potential to be a 90+ point player in the league.
17. STL-RW Simon Robertsson
Simon Robertsson is a dangerous winger with hard deadly release. Robertsson also plays a smart forechecking game. Not only is Robertsson have a deadly release his shooting accuracy and power is second to none in this draft. Robertsson couples that shot with savvy off-the-puck timing to make him a consistent scoring threat in the offensive zone. Simon Robertsson has the potential to be to be a annual 30 goal scorer in the NHL.
18. WPG-D Corson Ceulemans
Corson Ceulemans is could potentially be the steal of the draft because his style of play fits in perfectly with the modern NHL. The star of Ceuleman’s game is his shot and the ability to activate off the point to fire it. Ceulemans can pinch, engage opponents, box them out, control them on the boards, and shove them away from the puck. His gap is tight through the neutral zone and he defends the front of the net well. Ceulemans is comparable to Cale Makar in the way he plays, and the way he moves on the ice.
19. NSH-C Zachary Bolduc
Zachary Bolduc has elite offensive tools; he has elite passing and puckhandling abilities, along with great speed and shooting accuracy. Bolduc’s tools give him the upper hand in downhill battles. When defenders stand flatfooted or rush him, he dangles through them with rapid stickhandling motions. When given an open shooting lane, he can take a couple of steps, kick a leg back, and sling pucks past the goalie. For a player with such high end offensive skills, he also is a great team player, and does whatever is needed to help the team win. Zachary Bolduc has the potential to be a second line center, who scores 20 goal and 70 points + annually.
20. EDM-G Sebastian Cossa
Sebastian Cossa has all the tools to be a number 1 goalie in the NHL. First and most importantly, he’s 6’6 and is quite athletic for a goalie that size. He mixes things up and recovers quickly on rebounds to get in front of multiple shot sequences in order to clear his crease. He’s not afraid to use his hands, and does a good job of covering up pucks before they spring loose for scoring chances. He’ll use a wide array of save options to match whatever the shooter presents. Sebastian Cossa will be a number 1 goalie in the NHL, its just a matter of when that will be.
21. BOS-C Aatu Raty
Aatu Raty is a versatile forward, that has the ability to stickhandle faster than some players can think while remaining ready to share the puck. He generates so much power on every release by sacrificing a quick drawback, instead taking his sweet time loading downforce into his lever-action wrister. It’s a hard, accurate shot when he has the time and space to send it on net.
He’ll drive the center lane with the puck on nearly every entry, and he isn’t shy about setting up shop at the net-front Aatu Raty is comparable to Sebastian Aho, who is capable of playing all three forward positions and is equally dangerous as a scorer and playmaker.
22. MIN-C Francesco Pinelli
Francesco Pinelli is a player that won’t stick out to the typical fan because he doesn’t make the fancy plays and doesn’t score a whole lot of points, but he is the type of the player that coaches love to have on their team. The foundation of Pinelli’s potency is his hockey sense. He supports his teammates well, takes optimal routes to prepare one or two plays in advance,
always finds soft ice in the offensive zone, and times his movements perfectly into those pockets of space to strike. He is capable of scoring a goals as has a good shot from the slot on the power play. Pinelli has the potential to be a Selke caliber candidate in the future.
23. DET-LW Zachary L’Heureux
So much of L’Heureux game is defined by his physicality. He’s an enthusiastic hitter, one who’s put more than his fair share of poor opponents into the boards or onto their asses. He’ll get under his opponent’s skin after the whistles. He’ll fight. He’ll mix it up.
His problem-solving ability through secondary and tertiary defensive variables lets him make plays where others would struggle to retain possession. L’Heureux reminds me of Brad Marchand, he is a highly talented player but at times he can struggle with discipline.
With that said, I think Zachary L’Heureux will be a impact player in the NHL that scores 20+ goals a season.
24. FLA-LW/RW Isak Rosen
Isak Rosen is a highly skilled winger with strong skating, a strong shot, and elite puck skills.
He is a true playmaker, with very good technical skills, exceptional at reading the game.
He collects most pucks mid-stride, his handling and skating forms are nearly impeccable.
Rosen’s shot release is something that needs to be improved if he is to succeed in the NHL, because he won’t have as much time and space. Isak Rosen has the potential to be a top 6 playmaker, with 70 point potential.
25. CBJ-C Fyodor Svechkov
Fyodor Svechkov is without a doubt the best defensive forward in the entire draft; if he wasn’t Russian, he would be considered a top 10 talent.
Svechkov defensive positioning is great, placing himself and his stick in positions to force plays out wide, at which point he suffocates opponents.
He’s always scanning the ice for threats and options when he’s off of the puck, maintaining a detailed mental map of the ice so that he’s always prepared for what comes next. His sense of offensive timing is fantastic, and he has a really great knack for getting open off of the puck. Fyodor Svechkov could very well be the next Igor Larionov, but I think he is better offensively than Larionov at this point in his career.
26. MIN-LW Sasha Pastujov
Sasha Pastujov is a terrific playmaking winger that constantly creating scoring chances for himself and his teammates in the offensive zone. The winger’s small area play, the way he uses his body to keep defenders away from the puck and stickhandles through opposing sticks along the walls projects well to the next levels. His Top notch passing ability, his quick deceptive feeds under pressure to advance the play also translate well to the next level.
Make no question about it, Pastujov is a point scoring machine, as he has put up over a point per game in every league he’s played at. Sasha Pastujov projects to be a top line winger, with 80+ point potential.
27. CAR-C/RW Xavier Bourgault
Bourgault’s offensive game primarily relies on driving the center lane and working off his teammates. He can create offensive changes through his excellent puck retrieval skills and non-stop motor. Xavier shows great hands in tight and has a deceptive release on his shot. Although Bourgault is an above-average skater, he makes up for it with his hockey IQ and tireless work ethic. Bourgault has all the tools to be a point producer in the NHL, similar to Brendan Gallagher.
28. COL-LW Brennan Othmann
Brennan Othmann is an elite offensive weapon that combines his top notch speed with a precise quick-release. Othmann is a threat anytime he is in the offensive zone because he can score from anywhere within the attacking blueline, it also helps that he is a good passer, and can set up his teammates just as well as he can score. Brennan Othmann will be a top 6 forward in the NHL, with 30 goal potential.
29. NJ-LW Matthew Coronato
Matthew Coronato is arguably the best goal scorer in the entire draft, the only thing holding him back is his size. He wants to have the puck on his stick and isn’t afraid to court contact to make sure he’s the one dictating the play. He’s got a good shot, his release is fast and deceptive, in how he gets pucks off. In his most recent USHL season, he scored 48 goals and 85 points in 51 games, as well as 9 goals and 13 points in 8 playoff games. Matthew Coronato has to potential to be a top line goal scorer in the NHL.
30. VGK-LW/RW Oskar Olausson
Oskar Olausson is a natural goal scorer with effortless skating ability and puck control.
His can do things at top speed some players only dream of; He’ll cross the dotted line, change lanes and speed, and work well-timed weight shifts as a puck-carrier to get past the defender opposite him. Olausson combines elite shooting and skating ability, which together makes a pretty lethal offensive player. Oskar Olausson has the potential to be a top 6 forward, with 30 goal potential.
31. MTL-C/RW Mackie Samoskevich
Mackie Samoskevich is an elite offensive player that has all the tools to be a top point getter in the NHL. He blend pass receptions into highly creative dangles around defenders, with top-hand control of his stick pushed out from his body, and quick-twitch wrists to string it all together. Samoskevich has terrific vision, and seems to have knowledge of where everyone else is on the ice; on top of that his IQ allows him to be one of two steps ahead of the competition most times. Mackie will be a top 6 forward in the NHL, with 70+ point potential
32. CBJ-D Daniil Chayka
Daniil Chayka is a good two-way defenseman, that skates well and is good defender as well.
Chaya’s best attribute is his reach. He denies a lot of space with his stick and has the footwork to weaponize that reach. Offensively, Chayka is a great passer and puck handler, with the ability to join the rush with his skating ability. Daniil Chayka has the potential to be a top 4 defenseman in the NHL.
The second part will come out next week.
You can check out these other related articles
Related: Mock Draft By Team
Related: Mock Draft By Team (Part 2)