Last Week on this blog, I did a mock draft of the First round in the 2021 NHL Draft, this is the 2nd part of the mock draft.
Related: Mock Draft 1 Part 1
Related: Mock Draft 1 Part 2
33. BUF-LW/RW-Samu Tuomaala
Samu Tuomaala’s game is all about speed and shooting; he definitely has the tools to be an impact player in the NHL. He has game breaking speed; He reloads to swing wide on his team’s breakout, collects the puck in stride,
accelerates through knee-over-knee crossovers, and drives play across the offensive blue line. Blink, and you just might miss him. Tuomaala also has a wicked wrist shot, and he can get it off in-stride from either foot.
Samu Tuomaala has the potential to be a top 6, point scoring forward, that scores 60+ points a season.
34. ANA-C-Zach Dean
Dean plays at a breakneck pace, stacking his skill as a handler and a passer on top of his skating ability to make plays without a moment’s hesitation. Dean is a terrific passer with elite vision, if a teammate is open, he’ll get them the puck. He excels carrying the puck through the neutral zone because of his speed and puckhandling ability. Not only is Dean highly skilled, he also does a great job of protecting the puck and supporting his teammates in puck battles.
Zach Dean is a borderline first-round caliber, and he could very well become a Matt Barzal type player in the NHL.
35. SEA-C/RW-Logan Stankoven
Despite being only 5’8″, Logan Stankoven is a fearless puck-carrier, always driving the inside. Stankoven is never shy about setting up shop near the net-front off of the puck. He plays a north-south game and always attacks at an unrelentingly high pace. Stankoven is the type of player you want on your team and don’t want to play against, as he is a pest attacking the net and setting up shop in front of the goalie. Stankoven plays similar to Brendan Gallagher, and he could very well be a solid an annual 20 goal scorer in the NHL.
36. VGK-LW/RW-Tyler Boucher
There is no player that plays more physical than Tyler Boucher, he is going to be a hot draft day commodity. A borderline first round talent, Boucher is feisty, physical forward that also has a goal scorer’s touch. Boucher is a well balanced player, mixing perfectly balancing scoring and supporting positioning, with devastating bone crushing hits. He’s also a crafty shooter, shooting under defenders’ sticks or changing the angle. Tyler Boucher seems like the ideal modern day power forward with a goal scorer’ touch, similar to Matthew Tkachuk.
37. ARI-LW/RW-Prokhor Poltapov
Prokhor Poltapov is a skilled Russian Winger that doesn’t get intimidated and is able to complete plays under duress. Poltapov is a good skater that moves well, uses his strength to throw hits, and drives to the net with ease. He is both a can play the role of both a goal scorer and playmaker, as he has a great shot and he can also switch his game up to be more of a playmaker, throwing passes towards the slot from the flanks and excelling in those spots. Prokhor Poltapov has the potential to be a top 6 forward, that nets 20+ goals and 60+ points a season.
38. DET-C/LW-Samu Salminen
Samu Salminen is a very skilled and smart playmaker who recognizes and uses empty space really well. The hallmark of his game is his intelligence. Salminen sees plays developing several steps in advance and plans his every step accordingly, whether he has possession or not. He has that knack for finding soft spot in the defense to set up for a one timer, which leads to
high goal scoring totals. Salminen is a threat without the puck due to his shot, which is why he is going to excel on the powerplay in the NHL. Salminen could be a poor man’s Aleksander Barkov; he probably isn’t going to be as good as Barkov, be he can be a similar type player.
39. OTT-C-Wyatt Johnston
Wyatt Johnston’s game is all about details; he excels supporting the puck, working give-and-goes, and making well-timed movements into space. Johnston runs the right routes in the offensive zone, supporting teammates by occupying pockets of space, and by arriving in scoring spots and the net at the right time to bang in rebounds. He slides passes through defensive layers, holds onto the puck to wait for lanes to open, or creatively aim shots on the goalie’s pads to have them pinball into the open slot for trailing attackers. Sure, Wyatt Johnston doesn’t put up eye popping numbers, but he plays the game the right way and his attention to detail is going to be important at the next level. Wyatt Johnston isn’t going to be the player who scores a whole lot in the NHL, but he can be a great utility player in the NHL.
40. NSH-D-Jack Peart
Jack Peart is a great skater, that skates with a heightened activity rate through his feet, and uses crossovers to cut laterally and quickly close space while defending in transition. He keeps his feet stable through the neutral zone once he’s established a gap with the closing opponent. Peart shoulder-checks for options as he collects the puck, layers deception onto his first touch, and sprints right past the first forechecker with ease. Despite being a bit undersized, Peart is a capable two-way defenseman that projects a top 4 defenseman in the NHL.
Jack Peart has the potential to be a Jonas Brodin-type player in the NHL.
41. VAN-D-Stanislav Svozil
Stanislav Svozil looks like a good defensive-defenseman, that excels at shutting down opposing players. He works hard to attach himself to his check, with mirroring footwork and great body-on-body positioning, driving them into the boards when the moment is right. He’s physical but always with a purpose. Good luck getting past Svozil in the neutral zone. He takes away the middle of the ice with his stick, skates with risk-mitigating footwork, and closes with aggression at just the right moments. Stanislav Svozil might not score a whole lot, but he will be a reliable shut down defenseman in the NHL, with Ryan McDonagh upside.
42. OTT-D-Logan Mailloux
Logan Mailloux has as high of an offensive upside as any defenseman in this draft, and that says a lot. Mailloux already has a good frame at 6’3/214, and is a good skating defenseman with great puck handling ability. In addition, Mailloux has great passing ability for a defenseman, and is able to find his teammates driving to the net while skating with the puck. His size and strength gives him a supreme advantage defensively and he isn’t afraid to play physical. Logan Mailloux is still quite raw offensively, but in time he could be a Roman Josi caliber defenseman if developed properly.
43. ARI-D-Scott Morrow
Scott Morrow is great right handed shooting defenseman, that has elite puck handling and passing skills. He is a smooth skating defenseman with good size at 6’2/192, and has great strength as well. Morrow has the ability to embarrass defenders with his unreal ability keep the puck on a string with skating with the puck. Morrow is a supremely gifted offensive player with all the weapons to be a point-producing defenseman in the NHL. Scott Morrow could be a Keith Yandle type defenseman in the NHL.
44. CHI-C-Tristan Broz
Tristan Broz is a player with an attacking mentality. He’s like a shark sniffing out blood in the water when he’s off-the-puck in the offensive zone, circling the perimeter, waiting for soft ice to emerge, or charging headlong to the net-front as low-to-high passing plays develop. He reads developing plays, creates options for his linemates, and adapts well during cycle plays.
Tristan Broz is being overlooked by many people but he has the potential to a point-scoring machine with 70+ point potential.
45. CGY-D-Shai Buium
Shai Buium is a smooth puck moving defenseman that quick hands and feet, along with elusive puckhandling ability. His hands and feet work independently, each transmitting different information to opponents. With changes of pace, fakes shots, and constant eye deception, turns exits into inside-lane entries, creates passing lanes, and hits teammates through heavy pressure. Give-and-goes with a space-filling mentality allows him to create scoring chances for himself or his teammates. At 6’3/214, Buium could be a potential top 4 defenseman with Mattias Ekholm upside.
46. PHI-LW-Ayrton Martino
Ayrton Martino is the biggest boom or bust prospect in the draft; he has immense offensive upside, but his defensive play is simply subpar. Martino moves so well off the puck to find pockets of space offensively in areas where he can get off a quick shot. He’s a master of the give-and-go, can identify the best play before receiving the pass, then has a tremendous one-timer to top it off. Martino is also an underrated passer, he is constantly able to contort his puck positioning to pass through defenders. There is no doubt about Martino’s offensive ability, he could very well be the next Alex DeBrincat.
47. DAL-C-Samuel Helenius
Sami Helenius plays a hard game and likes to throw his body around; he brings a two-way presence that is inevitably felt by the opposition. Being the son of former goon Sami Helenius, he shares some of the qualities with his father relating to the physical side of the game. Helenius throws his body around a lot and he does that well, which makes him a menacing force on the forecheck. Once the play gets along the boards in either zone, Helenius is a tough customer and hard to escape due to size and massive wingspan. Sami Helenius can be an impactful two-way center in the NHL, similar to Brian Boyle but with much higher offensive upside.
48. DET-LW-William Strömgren
William Strömgren is a great skater with strong puck skills to match. He likes to create on his own, breaking from in-game patterns. Strömgren is a winger with fast and powerful skating. Along with his great puck handling skills he can find creative solutions carrying the puck down the ice maneuvering through the defense. He is more of a shooter rather than a playmaker with a quick and accurate release but he also sees the ice very well to set up his teammates.
William Strömgren has the potential to be a top 6 point scoring forward in the NHL, like a poor mans Filip Forsberg.
49. LA-D-Anton Olsson
Anton Olson is a two-way defenseman who can play both the man advantage as well as in shorthanded situations. He counts his strengths mainly in the defensive zone, but he has got decent puck control and passing ability to boot. Olsson is already a good shutdown defenseman, He scans the ice, identifies threats ahead of time, and cuts their path to the net, often quite abruptly, laying the odd hit and battling for every inch of space around the net and on the boards. If Olsson improves offensively he has first pair potential, but if not he can still be a Hampus Lindholm type defenseman.
50. WPG-D-Evan Nause
Evan Nause is a skilled skating defensemen, that excels at jumping into the offensive attack.
Nause creates advantages for himself on every defensive zone puck retrieval, shoulder checking for options, using the environment to obstruct forecheckers, adapting his speed to the situation, and using the middle of the ice to create controlled exits. At 6’2/185, he has good size but needs to add some muscle to his frame. Evan Nause projects as a puck moving defenseman at the NHL level, with Nick Leddy upside.
51. NSH-RW-Chase Stillman
Chase Stillman has tremendous motor and energy; He is willing to go above and beyond, willing to play whatever role needed to the maximum of his ability to give his team the win. He knows when to go after to try and retrieve it, and will head to the best areas of the ice to get a scoring chance off. Stillman already has NHL-caliber shooting and passing skills, he just needs to focus on bettering the details of his game. Chase Stillman has the potential to be a top 9 forward in the NHL with Brendan Gallagher upside.
52. NYI-D-Olen Zellweger
Olen Zellweger’s biggest selling point is his mobility, leveraging explosiveness to choke out attacks in the neutral zone, join the rush. He collects passes and sends them in motion. He uses the dotted line through the neutral zone. Zellweger even works in a little bit of deception from time to time to keep his opponents off-balance, and he’ll immediately recognize any opportunity to lead the rush and take it. Despite being undersized, Zellweger has huge offensive upside and offensive production, so he should be a second round talent. Olen Zellweger reminds me of Sam Girard, he could be a great top 4 puck moving defenseman in the NHL.
53. BUF-LW-Conner Roulette
Conner Roulette is already an elite playmaker with phenomenal puck control and passing abilities. His puck control and playmaking allow him to hit a teammate moving into space, before relocating to get the puck back. Roulette identifies the next play before even touching the puck. He connects with one-touch feeds in space, along the boards, or in-tight. Even from the backhand, he slices pucks through tiny openings to hit teammates working into space. Conner Roulette has the potential to be a playmaking winger in the NHL, with Ray Whitney upside.
54. MIN-C/RW-Oliver Kapanen
Oliver Kapanen’ game is all about off-puck instincts and good scoring touch in tight places. His instincts in the offensive zone combined with lethal finishing skills from close and mid-range. He recognizes space well and takes advantage of even the slightest mistakes by the opposing defenses. Kapanen has some gravitational elements as a playmaker, being able to draw in pressure before dishing the puck to an open teammate. Oliver Kapanen has potential to be a 25+ goal scorer in the NHL, similar to prime Oli Jokinen.
55. WSH-D-Sean Behrens
Sean Behrens was a first round caliber talent at the beginning of the year, but predictably due to his size his draft stock has dropped. Behrens is very technically sound for a young defenseman; He surfs backwards with the perfect posture, a nice blend of risk-mitigating footwork and graceful crossunders on the backwards stride, and a good sense of when to close.
Behrens scans regularly off of the puck and cuts opponents off at the hands, and always from a low center of gravity. In addition, he ties up loose sticks and takes out opposing threats due his positioning. His motor never stops running. Sean Behrens can be a top 4 caliber defenseman similar to Andy Greene, but he has better offensive upside than Greene ever did.
56. FLA-D-Aleksi Heimosalmi
Aleksi Heimosalmi is a rather smooth skater who can occasionally rush the puck through the neutral zone and defends competently with his stick and positioning. He starts with a strong posture, pushing his knees over his toes, tilting his hips backwards, and settling comfortably into each forward stride, with a toe snap to mark each extension. He employs linear crossovers to accelerate with ease, and he just flies out there with a little runway. Heimosalmi is a defenseman whose stock has rose steadily as the year has progressed, mostly due to his play this year and at the U18s. Aleksi Heimosalmi has potential to be be a top 4 defenseman, with Kimmo Timonen upside.
57. TOR-C-Brett Harrison
Brett Harrison is already a pretty solid two-way forward, with a deadly accurate shot. He is physical and active around the slot, engaging with defenders to win positioning for loose pucks. Harrison loves to trail behind the play to receive drop passes and fire from the top of the circle. He wins most battles because of his reach and stature. At 6’2″/185, Harrison is the size the standard size for a modern day NHL player, and should be an impactful top 9 caliber player, with Anthony Cirelli upside.
58. PIT-C/LW-Colton Dach
Colton Dach is one of the better shooters in the draft from a technical standpoint. He pushes hands in front of body, lifts the top arm elbow to his shoulder or higher, and creates distance between his feet despite skating limitations to generate downward force. Dach uses his 6’4 wingspan to reach around sticks, and hook or pull the puck in and pass under them. Although he didn’t have outstanding numbers until this seasons, his size and massive upside will make him a second round pick. Colton Dach has the potential to be Pavel Zacha type player, but with higher offensive upside.
59. CAR-D-Nolan Allan
Nolan Allan is an effective defender, he chokes out plays and gets them moving back up the ice.
Allan’s value comes from skating and defense. He’s already an NHL-caliber skater with projectable posture, lateral and backwards quickness, and separation through punch turns exited with crossovers. From that base, Allan defends the rush with NHL-ready fundamentals and a suffocating mentality. Allan is a solid two-way defenseman with great puck moving ability. Nolan Allan has the potential to be a Jaccob Slavin caliber defenseman in the NHL.
60. ARI-Artyom Grushnikov
In 2019, Grushnikov was a first round caliber talent, but because he didn’t have a great year, his stock dropped drastically. Grushnikov is a good defensive defenseman, and can act both as the supporting element in a defensive pairing; the element who glues himself to off-puck attackers and denies them passes, and the engager. He can use his body and skating to win the puck one-on-one, along the boards or in open ice, allowing his team to rapidly relaunch the attack. Grushnikov is unlikely to put up any crazy offensive totals, but he should be a reliable top 4 caliber defenseman in the NHL, similar to David Savard.
61. COL-D-Vincent Iorio
Vincent Iorio has all the tools to be an elite two-way defenseman. Iorio excels at defensive zone breakouts with well-placed laser-beam after well-placed laser-beam. He misdirects opponents by looking relaxed, even vulnerable, before firing. Iorio looks off his target, skates into the lane, then holds the deception until the puck’s released, even for long-range, three-line passes. Defensively, he has good defensive positioning, is a good shot blocker, and isn’t shy to play physical. Vincent Iorio has the potential to be a top 4 caliber defenseman, with Ryan Suter upside.
62. CHI-D-Roman Schmidt
Roman Schmidt is built like a tank at 6’6/209, and brings a intimating presence on the back end. He’s all slow movements until an opponent gets in his range along the boards. Then, quickly closeout his opponents forceful. Schmidt is no stranger to physical play; he plasters attackers to the glass, pins them with his free hand, and knocks the puck away with his stick. At the moment, he doesn’t have much of an offensive game, but he is a pretty good puck handler and passer for a player his size. The hope is the Roman Schmidt can be a poor man’s Zdeno Chara, although he doesn’t have the shot the Chara does.
63. MTL-LW/C-Matthew Knies
Matthew Knies is a play driving forward that has the tools to be great all around player in the league. The way Knies establishes body positioning drives his value in every dimension of the game. He tries to be first on every puck at all costs, getting his leg in front of his opponent’s, then coming across their body with his hips to seal off the defender.
His off-puck awareness makes Knies a scoring threat, as he constantly is hunting space to get open to after passing. Matthew Knies is a well rounded player that could be a develop into a great power forward in the league, similar to a prime Nathan Horton.
64. MTL-Danila Klimovich
Danila Klimovich is an underrated prospect in this year’ draft because he plays in Belarus.
He is an elite offensive player, that plays with a hard, violent energy. Klimovich moves on the first touch and cuts inside on most opponents, and plays his game in between the dots as much as possible, uses teammates his teammates well. Klimovich was a standout of Team Belarus in the U18s, scoring 6 goals in 5 games in the tournament. Danila Klimovich plays like a prime Ryan Kesler, and he could steadily become one of the best power forwards and two-way centers in the NHL.
Related: Mock Draft By Team
Related: 2021 NHL Mock Draft 2 Part 1
Related: Capfriendly Mock Draft