analysis Draft Rankings

Holmes’ Final 2021 Draft Rankings

The 2021 NHL Draft is officially here, and with it comes the final edition of my draft rankings for the upcoming crop of NHL prospects.

Grades are laid out on a scale between F and A. This takes into account a player’s current state, not their potential ceiling:

1. Owen Power, D, University of Michigan (NCAA)
6’6″ | 214 | Shoots: Left
Tier: Elite

Skating: B
Puck Skills: B
Hockey Sense: B+
Physicality: A
Shot Grade: B
Passing Ability: B+

The attribute that sets Power apart in this class is his identity as a complete multi-tool defenseman with plenty of room to grow to reach his potential ceiling. Power has the frame of a stereotypical physical defenseman, but thinks the game from an offensive frame of mind as he’s consistently looking to transition pucks through the neutral zone with great mobility for a player his size and deft puck skills. In the offensive zone, Power is consistently looking for opportunities to join the attack and create offense, while more often than not displaying smarts that prevent ill-advised pinches and turnovers. Power could stand to get more aggressive and consistent in his defending, but has all the makings of a complete two-way defenseman.

2. Luke Hughes, D, USNTDP U-18 (USDP)
6’2″ | 176| Shoots: Left
Tier: Elite/High-End Bubble

Skating: A
Puck Skills: B
Hockey Sense: B
Physicality: B-
Shot Grade: C+
Passing Ability: B+

What makes Luke Hughes special is his raw ability as a skater and transporter of the puck. Though Luke is not as dynamically skilled as his older brothers, he shares the patented Hughes trait of fantastic skating posture and mechanics. Luke is as smooth a skater as you’ll ever see, able to make quick turns and pivots on his skates to create separation from checkers and find lanes to transition the puck when it’s on his stick. Luke does a very good job of dictating the flow of play from the offensive blue line, able to walk the line with ease and facilitate offensive zone possession with strong passing ability. Luke will need to get more consistent in his defensive zone reads, but owns sky high potential

3. Matthew Beniers, C, University of Michigan (NCAA)
6’1″ | 174 | Shoots: Left
Tier: Elite/High-End Bubble

Skating: B+
Puck Skills: B
Hockey Sense: A
Physicality: B-
Shot Grade: C+
Passing Ability: B+

Beniers is an absolute treat to watch because of how intelligent he is in all areas of the game and is bound to be a coach’s delight at the NHL level because of that. Beniers is the definition of a 200-foot player, as he’s consistently committed to play in his defensive zone by supporting his defensemen and has the mobility and skill to transition the puck with ease. Beniers is a zone entry wizard, able to weave through neutral zone coverage with ease. Beniers also displays excellent puck distribution skills in the offensive zone, able to find teammates with fantastic vision and puck manipulation.

4. William Eklund, LW/C, Djurgårdens IF (SHL)
5’10” | 172 | Shoots: Left
Tier: Elite/High-End Bubble

Skating: B-
Puck Skills: B+
Hockey Sense: A-
Physicality: C-
Shot Grade: B-
Passing Ability: B

What makes Eklund such a dangerous offensive weapon is the marriage he brings between skill and sense on a nightly basis. Eklund is a crafty puck handler who can beat defenders one-on-one and open up space in the offensive zone with creative dekes and quick turns on his edges. Eklund does a fantastic job of reading defensive zone coverage and identifying attacking lanes, showing a willingness to drive high-danger areas of the ice despite having a slight size deficit at just 5’10”. Eklund’s primary strength in the offensive zone is in his playmaking tool kit, showing great vision with the puck on his stick and good puck distribution skills, but is a true dual-threat attacker due to a quick shot release and ability to find his way into open areas of ice.

5. Brandt Clarke, D, HC Nove Zamky (SVK)
6’2″ | 190 | Shoots: Right
Tier: Elite/High-End Bubble

Skating: B-
Puck Skills: B
Hockey Sense: A-
Physicality: B-
Shot Grade: B-
Passing Ability: B+

Clarke is the most naturally gifted offensive mind from the blue line available in this year’s draft, as it’s his smarts that allow him to break down coverage and find attacking lanes in the offensive zone. Clarke is an excellent facilitator of offense due to his ability to deliver pucks with precision to teammates and is a gifted powerplay quarterback due to those traits. The marquee aspect of his offensive game is his passing ability, but ability as a puck handler and shooter also add a level of dynamism to his offensive game. Though Clarke still has room for improvement in his consistency in his defensive game, he has plenty of room to grow into a well-rounded two-way, offensive-leaning defenseman.

6. Mason McTavish, C, EHC Olten (SL)
6’2″ | 207 | Shoots: Left
Tier: High-End

Skating: C+
Puck Skills: B-
Hockey Sense: A-
Physicality: B
Shot Grade: A-
Passing Ability: B-

McTavish is able to make up for a lack of dynamic skill and pace in his game due to how intelligent he is in all facets of the game. McTavish is constantly aware of his surroundings when he’s on the ice, whether it be reading defensive coverage to find soft pockets of ice to make himself available for scoring chances, delivering area passes to teammates to open space in the offensive zone, or supporting his defensemen in his own defensive zone to aid in retrieval of the puck. McTavish’s shot is heavy and accurate, but is highlighted by a quick and powerful release that allows him to score from most areas of the offensive zone. A natural leader who seems poised to wear a letter at the next level as well.

7. Jesper Wallstedt, G, Luleå HF (SHL)
6’3″ | 225 | Catches: Left
Tier: High-End

Athleticism: B-
High: B-
Low: B+
Hockey Sense: A
Positioning: A-
Size: B+

Wallstedt finds success in the crease due to his ability to play smart, positional goaltending and give himself a chance on nearly every shot. There are no wasted movements in Wallstedt’s game as he moves efficiently and plays his angles incredibly well, using his 6’3” frame to his advantage to take away shooting options from opponents. Wallstedt reads and anticipates play in his own zone incredibly well which puts him in position to make difficult stops. Wallstedt could work on his rebound control, but projects as an elite #1 goaltender.

8. Dylan Guenther, RW/LW, Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)
6’1″ | 181 | Shoots: Right
Tier: High-End

Skating: B-
Puck Skills: B-
Hockey Sense: B+
Physicality: B-
Shot Grade: A-
Passing Ability: B-

Guenther’s game is defined by how he combines an elite-level shot with fantastic hockey sense and a high motor. Guenther has great shooting posture, able to shoot off both feet and load his stick to generate power all the way through his release, while also more often than not displaying good accuracy and can pick corners when given time to shoot. Guenther does a great job of fighting for dirty areas of the offensive zone, driving high danger areas to clean up scrambles at the net mouth and score from in tight and shows great awareness to find soft pockets of ice to make himself available for teammates. Guenther’s playmaking and skill can be basic at times, but is capable of making flashy plays.

9. Kent Johnson, C/LW, University of Michigan (NCAA)
6’1″ | 165 | Shoots: Left
Tier: High-End

Skating: B-
Puck Skills: A
Hockey Sense: B
Physicality: D+
Shot Grade: B-
Passing Ability: B

The hallmark of Johnson’s game is his elite puck skills and how he is able to manipulate defenses in order to open up space in the offensive zone. Johnson possesses excellent one-on-one intelligence, able to use strong deception to create holes for him to attack through with his puck skills and excellent puck control, capable of making things happen out of nowhere to score flashy goals. Though Johnson is not the fastest, his edgework can be quite good at times, allowing him to make quick cuts to gain space in the offensive zone. Primarily a playmaker, but owns a quick release on his shot as well.

10. Fabian Lysell, RW/LW, Luleå HF (SHL)
5’10” | 172 | Shoots: Right
Tier: High-End

Skating: A
Puck Skills: B+
Hockey Sense: B
Physicality: D
Shot Grade: B-
Passing Ability: B+

What has made Lysell such a dangerous presence at the junior level is his ability to play the game with pace, able to make plays at top speed and put defenses on their heels with excellent speed and agility. Lysell is incredibly smooth on his skates, able to generate power efficiently with great skating mechanics. While skating with the puck, Lysell does a great job at surveying the ice and recognizing attacking lanes while moving at top speed, which allows him to create offense quickly while in transition and secure controlled zone entries. Fairly undersized and has to do more to get to hard areas of the ice, but has dual threat offensive ability and can create from the perimeter.

11. Chaz Lucius, C/RW, USNTDP U-18 (USDP)
6’0″ | 172 | Shoots: Right
Tier: High-End/1st Round Bubble

Skating: C
Puck Skills: A-
Hockey Sense: B+
Physicality: C+
Shot Grade: A
Passing Ability: C+

Though Lucius is not the most fleet-of-foot player available in this draft, it is his raw skill, sense, and shooting ability that allows him to be a dynamic offensive player. Lucius is able to read defensive zone coverage with ease and get himself into position to receive high danger offensive chances, as he always seems to be in the right place at the right time and that is not by accident. Lucius also owns arguably the best shot in the draft with a lightning-quick release that allows him to generate power in a hurry and can pick corners regularly. Lucius’ hands in tight are smooth and deceptive, allowing him to make flashy plays at the goal mouth.

12. Cole Sillinger, LW/C, Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL)
6’0″ | 201 | Shoots: Left
Tier: High-End/1st Round Bubble

Skating: C-
Puck Skills: B
Hockey Sense: A-
Physicality: B-
Shot Grade: A
Passing Ability: B-

Sillinger’s one clear weakness as a player is his skating ability, however, his ability to process the play at high speeds allows him to make decisions and play quicker than his feet would lead you to believe. Sillinger’s ability to read and manipulate defensive coverage off the give-and-go to create space is top notch, and his quick shot release ensures he doesn’t need much space to be dangerous. Sillinger’s shot release is likely the best of this class; the puck rifles off the blade of his stick with a quick snap of the wrists, allowing him to score from distance by catching netminders off guard with surprising power and accuracy.

13. Simon Edvinsson, D, Frölunda HC J20 (J20 Nationell)
6’5″ | 207 | Shoots: Left
Tier: High-End/1st Round Bubble

Skating: B+
Puck Skills: B-
Hockey Sense: B-
Physicality: A-
Shot Grade: B-
Passing Ability: B-

Edvinsson’s game is defined by his blend between high-end mobility and physical tools. Edvinsson is remarkably smooth on his skates for a player his size, able to move in all four directions with ease to control gaps and lead offensive transitions through the neutral zone. Edvinsson’s puck moving ability is one of his key selling points, able to weave through the neutral zone to evade pressure and secure both zone exits and entries. Edvinsson’s defensive zone awareness can waver at times as he can get caught puck watching, but he’s generally well-positioned and just needs refinement in that area to round out his defensive game.

14. Brennan Othmann, LW, EHC Olten (SL)
6’0″ | 174 | Shoots: Left
Tier: High-End/1st Round Bubble

Skating: C+
Puck Skills: B
Hockey Sense: B+
Physicality: B-
Shot Grade: A-
Passing Ability: C+

Othmann’s greatest offensive gift comes in the form of his shot, as he’s a powerful shooter and can generate power behind his wrist shot both in stride and from a standstill. Othmann’s accuracy is quite good and allows him to score from distance when combined with his shooting power, and displays very good offensive awareness to read coverage and find soft areas of ice. At times, Othmann shows very good puck skills in tight, able to make flashy plays at the goal mouth; his motor is quite good and allows him to forecheck aggressively to create turnovers.

15. Sebastian Cossa, G, Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)
6’6″ | 212 | Catches: Left
Tier: High-End/1st Round Bubble

Athleticism: B-
High: B-
Low: B+
Hockey Sense: B
Positioning: A
Size: A

Cossa is able to find success in the crease due to his ability to make the most of his 6’6” frame, using fantastic positional awareness to give himself a chance to stop the puck on nearly every shot that comes his way. Cossa’s recognition of his depth in his crease, opponents shooting angles, and potential passing lanes all speaks to his ability to be constantly in position. Capable of making flashy saves, but often does not need to scramble because of his immaculate positioning in his crease. Moves post-to-post reasonably well for a goalie his size and seals the ice very well when moving laterally, and has all the talent to be a future #1 goalie.

16. Fedor Svechkov, C/LW, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL)
6’0″ | 179 | Shoots: Left
Tier: 1st Round

Skating: B-
Puck Skills: B
Hockey Sense: A-
Physicality: C-
Shot Grade: C
Passing Ability: B

A highly intelligent 200-foot playmaking center, Svechkov is one of the most mature defensive players in this draft with a quickly developing offensive game to match it. Svechkov reads the play incredibly well, constantly surveying the ice for open ice and lanes to attack and is a strong puck distributor; puck skills are quite good as he can make flashy plays on occasion.

17. Francesco Pinelli, C/LW, HDD Jesenice (ALPSHL)
6’1″ | 185 | Shoots: Left
Tier: 1st Round

Skating: C
Puck Skills: B
Hockey Sense: A-
Physicality: C
Shot Grade: B-
Passing Ability: A-

A playmaking center who attacks with a combination of skill and elite sense, Pinelli is among the smartest attackers available in the 2021 Draft with how well he reads and understands how to manipulate space in the offensive zone. A gifted passer who can deliver pucks into tight pockets of ice and use flashy skill to open up passing lanes around defenders.

18. Nikita Chibrikov, RW/LW, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL)
5’10” | 172 | Shoots: Left
Tier: 1st Round

Skating: A-
Puck Skills: B+
Hockey Sense: B-
Physicality: D+
Shot Grade: C+
Passing Ability: B

Chibrikov is a speedy and skilled playmaking winger who found success this past year in every Russian league as well as international play. Chibrikov is a dynamic skater who can build speed through the neutral zone with quick crossovers and beat defenders on the rush with speed and skill. Can be a bit of a perimeter player, but can make plays with his playmaking vision.

19. Corson Ceulemans, D,  Brooks Bandits (AJHL)
6’2″ | 201 | Shoots: Right
Tier: 1st Round

Skating: B
Puck Skills: B
Hockey Sense: B-
Physicality: B-
Shot Grade: B-
Passing Ability: B-

A two-way defenseman with well-rounded tools and raw ability, Ceulemans is capable of playing the game in multiple ways, whether it be as a mobile puck mover, an active attacker from the blue line, or as a physical presence in his own zone. Could use some work on his reads and decision-making, but has the raw tools of an all-situations two-way defenseman.

20. Logan Stankoven, RW, Kamloops Blazers (WHL)
5’8″ | 170 | Shoots: Right
Tier: 1st Round

Skating: B-
Puck Skills: B-
Hockey Sense: B+
Physicality: D-
Shot Grade: A-
Passing Ability: B-

Stankoven is an undersized but hard-working natural goal scorer with strong awareness in all zones. Not the quickest skater for a player his size, but constantly keeps his feet moving to chase down pucks and work his way into high danger scoring areas. One of the draft’s best pure shooters, but has also shown he has a more than capable playmaking mind.

21. Xavier Bourgault, RW/C, Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL)
6’0″ | 172 | Shoots: Right
Tier: 1st Round

Skating: B-
Puck Skills: A-
Hockey Sense: B+
Physicality: C-
Shot Grade: B
Passing Ability: B-

A skilled dual threat presence who is able to generate offensive opportunities with flashy puck skills and positional smarts, Bourgault understands how to play the game with pace by using quick decisions and a strong motor to his advantage. A better shooter than a passer, but is capable of dishing to his teammates with good playmaking vision and passing accuracy.

22. Aatu Räty, C, Kärpät (LIIGA)
6’1″ | 181 | Shoots: Left
Tier: 1st Round

Skating: C+
Puck Skills: B-
Hockey Sense: B
Physicality: B-
Shot Grade: B
Passing Ability: B

Once considered the top prize of the 2021 Draft, Räty is a toolsy forward who is still worth strong first round consideration despite falling from his perch at the top of the draft. Räty is a powerful attacker who can beat you in a number of ways, whether it be with physicality, skill, sense, or his shot, and just needs to find consistency in his game on a nightly basis.

23. Jack Peart, D, Fargo Force (USHL)
5’11” | 181 | Shoots: Left
Tier: 1st Round

Skating: B+
Puck Skills: B-
Hockey Sense: B
Physicality: C+
Shot Grade: C+
Passing Ability: B+

The 2021 recipient of Minnesota high school’s Mr. Hockey, Peart is a highly mobile and intelligent two-way defenseman who plays with the will to be a difference-maker at both ends of the ice. A gifted puck mover who can transition the puck with crisp passing ability or with smooth mobility, and shows a willingness to join the attack to generate scoring chances.

24. Isak Rosén, LW/RW, Leksands IF (SHL)
5’11” | 161 | Shoots: Left
Tier: 1st Round

Skating: A-
Puck Skills: B
Hockey Sense: B-
Physicality: D-
Shot Grade: B-
Passing Ability: B-

A quick and deceptive offensive-minded forward with dual threat potential, Rosén is able to create space in both the neutral zone and offensive zone with his dynamic skating ability, utilizing quick cuts and acceleration to burst through holes in defenses. Owns a good shot and one-timer, but is also a capable passer; needs to find his way to high danger areas.

25. Carson Lambos, D, Winnipeg Ice (WHL)
6’1″ | 201 | Shoots: Left
Tier: 1st Round

Skating: B-
Puck Skills: B-
Hockey Sense: B-
Physicality: B
Shot Grade: B
Passing Ability: B-

Lambos is a very well-rounded two-way blue liner who could fall into the category of “jack of all trades, master of none,” as he does most things well but nothing at an elite level. Lambos is smooth on his edges, controls his gaps well in transition and can create breakups with both stick work and physicality, and has a strong point shot with decent offensive instincts.

26. Simon Robertsson, RW, Skellefteå AIK (SHL)
6’0″ | 190 | Shoots: Left
Tier: 1st Round

Skating: B-
Puck Skills: B-
Hockey Sense: B
Physicality: B-
Shot Grade: B+
Passing Ability: C+

A mature and intelligent Swedish winger who owns good upside as a multi-faceted goal scorer, Robertsson is a mature physical player who shows a willingness to drive dirty areas in the offensive zone to make himself available for scoring opportunities. Possesses a very good shot and can score from distance using his powerful release and reliable accuracy.

27. Olen Zellweger, D, Everett Silvertips (WHL)
5’10” | 174 | Shoots: Left
Tier: 1st Round

Skating: A-
Puck Skills: B-
Hockey Sense: B
Physicality: D
Shot Grade: C
Passing Ability: A-

One of the most mobile players available in the 2021 Draft, Zellweger is a beautiful skater who can transition the puck and jump into the offensive zone with flawless edgework and offensive smarts. Zellweger is a bit undersized and can be prone to losing physical battles, but his ability to control the pace of play with puck possession is top notch in this class.

28. Oskar Olausson, LW/RW, HV71 (SHL)
6’2″ | 181 | Shoots: Left
Tier: 1st Round

Skating: B+
Puck Skills: B
Hockey Sense: B-
Physicality: C+
Shot Grade: B
Passing Ability: C+

A mobile and skilled winger who specializes in generating offense off the rush and can score goals with very few opportunities, Olausson can struggle at times with consistency and bringing his best effort in every game, but when playing at his best the young Swede can contribute to offensive possession with excellent transition ability and skill.

29. Sasha Pastujov, RW/LW, USNTDP U-18 (USDP)
6’0″ | 183 | Shoots: Left
Tier: 1st/2nd Round Bubble

Skating: C
Puck Skills: B
Hockey Sense: B+
Physicality: C+
Shot Grade: B
Passing Ability: B-

A smart, skilled, and competitive dual threat scorer with a good deal of versatility to his game, Pastujov was able to be a key contributor this past due to his willingness to play in hard areas to score goals and contribute to his team’s 200-foot game. Not the most dynamic skater, but a smooth puck handler who can make high-end plays and find teammates.

30. Matthew Coronato, LW/RW, Chicago Steel (USHL)
5’10” | 183 | Shoots: Right
Tier: 1st/2nd Round Bubble

Skating: C+
Puck Skills: B-
Hockey Sense: B+
Physicality: B-
Shot Grade: B+
Passing Ability: B-

A natural goal scorer with a motor that never quits, Coronato led the USHL in goals this past season with a near goal-per-game pace thanks to his strong shot and gifted offensive awareness. Coronato does an excellent job of fighting for space in dirty areas to make up for his size deficit and can elevate the puck in tight in a hurry to beat netminders.

31. Prokhor Poltapov, RW, Krasnaya Armiya Moskva (MHL)
5’11” | 174 | Shoots: Left
Tier: 1st/2nd Round Bubble

Skating: B-
Puck Skills: A
Hockey Sense: B-
Physicality: C+
Shot Grade: B-
Passing Ability: B-

An incredibly skilled Russian winger who can create offense out of thin air with one-on-one skill, Poltapov is a creative problem solver with the puck on his stick and can weave through defensemen with flashy dekes and good agility. Equally adept as a shooter and passer, but not high-end in either category and generates most of his offense through driving hard areas.

32. Zachary L’Heureux, LW/C, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
5’11” | 196 | Shoots: Left
Tier: 1st/2nd Round Bubble

Skating: C
Puck Skills: B
Hockey Sense: B-
Physicality: B+
Shot Grade: B-
Passing Ability: B

A tenacious and skilled forward who relishes playing the role of pest, L’Heureux has a high motor and plays well above his size with a scrappy style of play, driving dirty areas of the ice and playing unafraid to finish checks. Discipline is a major issue for L’Heureux at the moment, but he brings plenty of offensive upside with good puck skills and crafty playmaking vision.

33. Matthew Samoskevich, RW/C, Chicago Steel (USHL)
5’11” | 190 | Shoots: Right
Tier: 1st/2nd Round Bubble

Skating: C+
Puck Skills: A-
Hockey Sense: B-
Physicality: D
Shot Grade: B-
Passing Ability: B

Samoskevich is a smooth and creative playmaker with tantalizing offensive tools, Samoskevich is a multi-tool offensive player with his ability to make flashy one-on-one plays, dish pucks to teammates, and shoot the puck himself with good accuracy, however, there are steps Samoskevich can make in his consistency and willingness to play in hard areas.

34. Sean Behrens, D, USNTDP U-18 (USDP)
5’10” | 176 | Shoots: Left
Tier: 1st/2nd Round Bubble

Skating: B-
Puck Skills: B-
Hockey Sense: B+
Physicality: D-
Shot Grade: C-
Passing Ability: B+

An intelligent puck moving defenseman who is able to make up for a lack of dynamic skating ability with fantastic sense and passing ability, Behrens skates reasonably well and demonstrates strong agility, but is able to transition pucks beautifully more so through crisp and accurate outlet passes. Good offensive instincts and a gifted in-zone puck distributor.

35. Samu Tuomaala, RW/LW, Kärpät U20 (U20 SM-sarja)
5’10” | 176 | Shoots: Right
Tier: 1st/2nd Round Bubble

Skating: B
Puck Skills: B-
Hockey Sense: C+
Physicality: D
Shot Grade: A-
Passing Ability: C+

Tuomaala is a speedy shoot-first player who is constantly circling the offensive zone looking to score goals, he can attack in transition well due to his ability to move pucks quickly up ice and shoot in stride. Tuomaala is a bit undersized and has difficulty penetrating the middle of the ice, but is a dangerous shooter from the perimeter with his quick and powerful release.

36. Stanislav Svozil, D, HC Kometa Brno (CZECH)
6’0″ | 172 | Shoots: Left
Tier: 1st/2nd Round Bubble

Skating: B
Puck Skills: C+
Hockey Sense: B
Physicality: C+
Shot Grade: C+
Passing Ability: B-

A smooth-skating two-way defenseman who shows tremendous upside as a pure puck mover, Svozil is a very mobile blue liner who can transport pucks out of his own zone and through the neutral zone with smooth skating ability and on-puck vision. Offensive upside is a bit limited, but is efficient on both sides of the puck and defends well in his own zone.

37. Daniil Chayka, D, CSKA Moskva (KHL)
6’3″ | 185 | Shoots: Left
Tier: 1st/2nd Round Bubble

Skating: B-
Puck Skills: C
Hockey Sense: B-
Physicality: B
Shot Grade: B
Passing Ability: B-

Chayka is a physical two-way defenseman who excels primarily on the defensive side of the puck due to his astute defensive zone awareness and ability to deny zone entries with physicality and well-timed stick play. Not a tremendously creative offensive player, but has a heavy point shot and can distribute the puck fairly well with efficient and accurate passes at the blue line.

38. Zach Dean, C, Gatineau Olympiques (QMJHL)
6’0″ | 176 | Shoots: Left
Tier: 1st/2nd Round Bubble

Skating: A-
Puck Skills: B+
Hockey Sense: C+
Physicality: C-
Shot Grade: C
Passing Ability: C+

A speedy and skilled two-way center who is able to create offense by making plays with pace, Dean is able to put pressure on opposing defenses by attacking at full speed with quick acceleration and smooth puck skills. Dean can be guilty of having tunnel vision with the puck on his stick, which limits his ability as a facilitator of offense for the players around him.

39. Zachary Bolduc, C/LW, Rimouski Oceanic (QMJHL)
6’1″ | 174 | Shoots: Left
Tier: 1st/2nd Round Bubble

Skating: B-
Puck Skills: B-
Hockey Sense: C+
Physicality: B-
Shot Grade: B-
Passing Ability: B-

A well-rounded two-way, straight-line attacker who can play up and down a lineup, Bolduc is a hard-working forward who is capable in all situations but is not particularly elite or high-end in any one area. Bolduc forechecks and applies pressure with speed well, is capable of making skilled plays, and has a good shot and can get himself into scoring areas to use it.

40. Scott Morrow, D, Shattuck St. Mary’s Prep (USHS)
6’2″ | 192 | Shoots: Right
Tier: 1st/2nd Round Bubble

Skating: B
Puck Skills: B
Hockey Sense: C+
Physicality: C+
Shot Grade: C
Passing Ability: A-

A dynamic offensive defenseman with boom or bust potential, Morrow was a dominant prep school producer this past year at Shattuck where he was able to generate offense from the blue line with fantastic agility and playmaking vision. Overall effort and focus did wane at times at the prep school level and will need to round out his defensive game at the collegiate level.

41. Ayrton Martino, LW, Omaha Lancers (USHL)
5’10” | 170 | Shoots: Left
Tier: 1st/2nd Round Bubble

Skating: C
Puck Skills: B
Hockey Sense: B+
Physicality: D+
Shot Grade: C+
Passing Ability: B

An offense-first winger who is constantly looking to transition pucks to the offensive zone to create scoring chances, what Martino lacks in dynamic speed at his size he makes up for in a sharp offensive mind and quick decision making. Martino excels as a playmaker, does a great job of filtering pucks to high-danger areas, and reads plays well to create breakaways.

42. Aleksi Heimosalmi, D, Ässät U20 (U20 SM-sarja)
5’11” | 168 | Shoots: Right
Tier: 2nd Round

Skating: B+
Puck Skills: B
Hockey Sense: C+
Physicality: D+
Shot Grade: C-
Passing Ability: B-

Named the Best Defenseman at the U18 World Championships, Heimosalmi is a highly mobile and smooth Finnish puck mover who brings tremendous value to the rink through his ability to transition pucks through the neutral zone by weaving away from pressure with his edgework. Passes the puck well, but shows inconsistency in his decision making in his own zone at times.

43. Tyler Boucher, RW/LW, USNTDP U-18 (USDP)
6’1″ | 201 | Shoots: Right
Tier: 2nd Round

Skating: C+
Puck Skills: B
Hockey Sense: C+
Physicality: A
Shot Grade: B-
Passing Ability: C+

One of the most physical players available in this year’s draft, Boucher is a powerful and stocky winger who loves to apply pressure on opposing defensemen deep in the offensive zone, seldomly passing up an opportunity to finish a check to create turnovers. Owns a strong shot and surprisingly smooth puck skills and can make plays one-on-one in the offensive zone.

44. Benjamin Gaudreau, G, Sarnia Sting (OHL)
6’2″ | 174 | Catches: Left
Tier: 2nd Round

Athleticism: C+
High: B
Low: B-
Hockey Sense: A-
Positioning: B
Size: C+

The Top Goaltender at the U18 World Championships for Team Canada, Gaudreau seized the starter’s job by demonstrating tremendous poise, positioning, and puck tracking ability while in the crease. Not a towering presence in the crease, but plays his angles well and is capable of making difficult saves; can be guilty of scrambling at times, but has gotten better in that area.

45. Ville Koivunen, LW/RW, Kärpät U20 (U20 SM-sarja)
6’0″ | 165 | Shoots: Left
Tier: 2nd Round

Skating: C
Puck Skills: B
Hockey Sense: B+
Physicality: C-
Shot Grade: C+
Passing Ability: B-

An intelligent, skilled, and hard-working forward who is able to create offense through excellent offensive zone reads, Koivunen has the skill to beat defenders one-on-one and open space for himself and does a good job of driving pucks to high danger areas. Not a dynamic skater and skates with a very light frame and will need to fill out to become an effective pro.

46. William Strömgren, LW, MODO Hockey (Allsvenskan)
6’3″ | 176 | Shoots: Left
Tier: 2nd Round

Skating: B-
Puck Skills: B
Hockey Sense: C+
Physicality: B-
Shot Grade: B-
Passing Ability: C

A lanky winger who skates with good speed and skill for a player his height, Strömgren generates reasonably strong speed and can protect the puck and make one-on-one skilled plays deep in the offensive zone. A strong shooter who can bury chances when they come his way, but will need to work on consistency and bringing his best on a nightly basis.

47. Evan Nause, D, Quebec Remparts (QMJHL)
6’2″ | 185 | Shoots: Left
Tier: 2nd Round

Skating: B
Puck Skills: C+
Hockey Sense: B-
Physicality: B-
Shot Grade: C
Passing Ability: B

Nause is a mobile and smooth-skating two-way defenseman who excels particularly at the transition side of the game. Nause is able to control gaps very well with his smooth edgework and has an active stick to deny zone entries, and when retrieving the puck can begin the breakout with a crisp. accurate outlet pass or by skating the puck through the neutral zone himself.

48. Dylan Duke, LW/C, USNTDP U-18 (USDP)
5’10” | 181 | Shoots: Left
Tier: 2nd Round

Skating: B-
Puck Skills: B-
Hockey Sense: B-
Physicality: C
Shot Grade: B
Passing Ability: C+

A hard-working scorer who is able to make up for his size deficit with good skill and a high motor, Duke owns a very good goal scorer’s tool kit with a quick release on his snap shot that can find the top part of the net with good power and accuracy. Not dynamic for a player his size, but works hard to find space at the net mouth and high danger areas of the offensive zone.

49. Tristan Broz, C/LW, Fargo Force (USHL)
6’0″ | 179 | Shoots: Left
Tier: 2nd Round

Skating: C+
Puck Skills: B-
Hockey Sense: B
Physicality: C
Shot Grade: B-
Passing Ability: B-

Broz is an intelligent and well-rounded forward who brings versatility throughout a lineup, strong 200-foot and positional awareness makes him capable at both ends of the rink and is a good puck distributor because of how well he sees the ice and understands how to control the flow of play. Not a dynamic player, but can contribute with his smarts and reliable offensive tools.

50. Joshua Roy, RW/C, Sherbrooke Phoenix (QMJHL)
6’0″ | 190 | Shoots: Left
Tier: 2nd Round

Skating: C-
Puck Skills: B+
Hockey Sense: B-
Physicality: C-
Shot Grade: B
Passing Ability: B-

A highly skilled offensive-minded forward who excels particularly at scoring goals, Roy’s dynamic ability is hindered by a sloppy skating stride but can slip checks with flashy and deceptive puck skill in the offensive zone. Needs to find the interior of the ice more, but has a very good wrist shot and can score from medium ranges with a deceptive and quick release.

51. Shai Buium, D, Sioux City Musketeers (USHL)
6’3″ | 214 | Shoots: Left
Tier: 2nd Round

Skating: C
Puck Skills: B
Hockey Sense: B-
Physicality: A-
Shot Grade: C
Passing Ability: B-

Buium is a big and physically mature blue liner who owns strong two-way upside thanks to surprising skill for a player his size, a surprisingly gifted stick handler of a player of his stature and can make plays to break the puck out of his own end. Not a dynamic skater by any means, but defends well with an active stick and the strength to separate attackers from the puck.

52. Anton Olsson, D, Malmö Redhawks (SHL)
6’1″ | 198 | Shoots: Left
Tier: 2nd Round

Skating: B-
Puck Skills: B-
Hockey Sense: C+
Physicality: B
Shot Grade: C+
Passing Ability: B-

A mobile defensive defenseman with untapped potential as a puck mover, Olsson is a strong and stocky defender who can use his solid skating to control gaps, good stick work to create breakups while defending the rush, and is physically able to clear the net front in his own zone. Not a very sharp offensive mind, but is capable of making occasional plays with his hands.

53. Ty Voit, LW/RW, Sarnia Sting (OHL)
5’10” | 161 | Shoots: Right
Tier: 2nd Round

Skating: B-
Puck Skills: B+
Hockey Sense: B-
Physicality: D-
Shot Grade: C+
Passing Ability: B+

One of the unfortunate casualties of the OHL’s season cancellation, Voit is a very skilled and slick playmaking forward who could have been in for a breakout season for Sarnia in 2021. Voit is not a burner in terms of speed, but his edgework is quite good and, when combined with his skill, can make quick cuts around defenders and deliver the puck into tight spaces.

54. Matthew Knies, LW, Tri-City Storm (USHL)
6’3″ | 205 | Shoots: Left
Tier: 2nd Round

Skating: C
Puck Skills: B-
Hockey Sense: B-
Physicality: B
Shot Grade: C+
Passing Ability: B-

Knies is a power winger who combines size, a high motor, and reasonably good skill to generate offensive opportunities. Knies is an aggressive forechecker, demonstrating good puck pursuit abilities and drives dirty areas in the offensive zone to create scoring opportunities. Not incredibly fleet of foot, but can shake checks while in transition with skill on occasion.

55. Cole Jordan, D, Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)
6’2″ | 205 | Shoots: Left
Tier: 2nd/3rd Round Bubble

Skating: A-
Puck Skills: B-
Hockey Sense: C+
Physicality: B-
Shot Grade: C+
Passing Ability: C+

An incredibly mobile puck moving defenseman with untapped two-way potential, Jordan is a beautiful skater with fantastic skating mechanics and his posture allows him to keep his body in position to make plays. Not the most active offensive player, but when he chooses to activate from the offensive blue line he shows good skill and can make plays down the half wall.

56. Riley Kidney, C, Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL)
5’11” | 168 | Shoots: Left
Tier: 2nd/3rd Round Bubble

Skating: B-
Puck Skills: B-
Hockey Sense: B-
Physicality: C-
Shot Grade: C-
Passing Ability: B

A pure playmaking center with good intelligence and skill, Kidney is not a dynamic skater or puck handler which may be a concern for a player his size, but his ability to see the ice and deliver the puck to teammates is fantastic. A clutch performer who works hard in both zones and is an excellent facilitator of possession with how well he distributes to teammates.

57. Brent Johnson, D, Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL)
6’2″ | 205 | Shoots: Left
Tier: 2nd/3rd Round Bubble

Skating: B-
Puck Skills: B-
Hockey Sense: C+
Physicality: C-
Shot Grade: B
Passing Ability: B-

A mobile puck moving defenseman with a strong offensive mind, Johnson is adept at creating offensive chances from the offensive blue line with a willingness to activate from the point and create along the half wall and is able to get shots through from the point to score goals or create chances. Will need to work on rounding out his defensive consistency and effort.

58. Jack Bar, D, Chicago Steel (USHL)
6’2″ | 194 | Shoots: Left
Tier: 2nd/3rd Round Bubble

Skating: C+
Puck Skills: B-
Hockey Sense: C+
Physicality: B
Shot Grade: B-
Passing Ability: B-

Bar is a physically mature two-way defenseman who is capable as a puck mover and demonstrates strong offensive confidence, he’s willing to join the attack from the offensive blue line and get shots on goal with a shot release that’s deceptive in nature by changing the angle of the puck when wristing the puck on goal. A very physical defender who’s willing to lay the body.

59. Matvei Petrov, LW, Krylia Sovetov Moskva (MHL)
6’2″ | 181 | Shoots: Right
Tier: 2nd/3rd Round Bubble

Skating: C+
Puck Skills: B
Hockey Sense: C
Physicality: D+
Shot Grade: B
Passing Ability: B-

A Russian goal scoring winger who seldomly passes up an opportunity to shoot the puck, Petrov had multiple games this season with double digit shot attempts and has a quick shot release that should get more powerful as he puts more weight on his frame. A good passer, but is guilty of getting tunnel vision in the offensive zone and shooting the puck into blocked shooting lanes.

60. Sean Tschigerl, LW, Calgary Hitmen (WHL)
6’0″ | 181 | Shoots: Left
Tier: 2nd/3rd Round Bubble

Skating: C
Puck Skills: B
Hockey Sense: C+
Physicality: C-
Shot Grade: B
Passing Ability: C+

Tschigerl is a goal scoring forward who is able to finish chances with a heavy wrist shot and good puck skill, his dynamic quality is hindered by a lack of explosive skating but moves reasonably well. Capable of passing the puck with good accuracy, but has inconsistent playmaking vision; game is highlighted by raw finishing ability and good in-tight skill.

61. Colton Dach, C/LW, Saskatoon Blades (WHL)
6’4″ | 205 | Shoots: Left
Tier: 2nd/3rd Round Bubble

Skating: C-
Puck Skills: B-
Hockey Sense: C
Physicality: A-
Shot Grade: B+
Passing Ability: C+

A power forward who complements his size advantage with good skill and a heavy shot, Dach is a versatile player who will need to overcome his skating and sense deficiencies to capitalize on his tools at the next level. A gifted shooter who generates power very well off his wrist shot with good transfer of power through his shooting stance and can score from range.

62. Justin Robidas, C, Val-d’Or Foreurs (QMJHL)
5’7″ | 172 | Shoots: Right
Tier: 2nd/3rd Round Bubble

Skating: B-
Puck Skills: B-
Hockey Sense: B
Physicality: F
Shot Grade: C
Passing Ability: B-

A hard-working forward who plays with a good deal of shiftiness to his game, Robidas constantly has his feet moving and plays the game with a straight-forward mentality with plenty of pace. Owns good skill and good playmaking vision and is willing to fight for space in dirty areas, but may face challenges translating that at the next level with his size deficit.

63. Connor Lockhart, C/RW, Erie Otters (OHL)
5’9″ | 191 | Shoots: Right
Tier: 2nd/3rd Round Bubble

Skating: B
Puck Skills: B-
Hockey Sense: C+
Physicality: D
Shot Grade: C+
Passing Ability: B-

A speedy playmaker with very good skating posture and agility, Lockhart was another OHL breakout candidate whose season was unfortunately wiped out. In his rookie season with Erie, Lockhart was able to create offensive chances on the rush with his speed and skating ability, strong puck skills and passing ability, and won a decent amount of battles for a player his size.

RankPlayerPosTeamHandHTWT
64Alexander KisakovRW/LWMHK Dynamo MoskvaL5’10”141
65Brett HarrisonCKOOVEE U20L6’2″185
66Aidan HreschukDUSNTDP U-18L5’11”187
67Jake MartinDUSNTDP U-18R6’0″190
68Dmitri KuzminDDinamo-MolodechnoL5’10”176
69Niko HuuhtanenLWTappara U20R6’1″203
70James MalatestaC/LWQuebec RempartsL5’10”172
71Vladislav LukashevichDLoko YaroslavlL6’2″159
72Kirill KirsanovDSKA St. PetersburgL6’1″198
73Oliver KapanenCKalPa U20R6’0″179
74Wyatt JohnstonCWindsor SpitfiresR6’1″179
75Joel NyströmDFärjestad BKR5’10”163
76Danila KlimovichRWMinskie ZubryR6’1″187
77Ryder KorczakCMoose Jaw WarriorsR5’10”159
78Ryker EvansDRegina PatsL5’11”181
79Vincent IorioDBrandon Wheat KingsR6’3″194
80Red SavageCUSNTDP U-18L6’0″174
81Kyle MastersDRed Deer RebelsR6’0″174
82Peter ReynoldsCSaint John Sea DogsL5’10”165
83Olivier NadeauRWShawinigan CataractesR6’2″205
84Victor StjernborgC/LWVäxjö Lakers HCL5’10”203
85Liam GilmartinLWUSNTDP U-18L6’1″185
86Cameron WhynotDHalifax MooseheadsL6’2″181
87Dru KrebsDMedicine Hat TigersL6’0″181
88Samu SalminenC/LWJokerit U20L6’3″198
89Jackson BlakeRWEden Prairie HighR5’10”148
90Chase StillmanRWEsbjerg U20R6’1″183
91Dmitry KatelevskyCBars KazanL6’2″190
92Artem GrushnikovDHamilton BulldogsL6’2″198
93Zack OstapchukLWVancouver GiantsL6’3″181
94Ryan UfkoDChicago SteelR5’10”181
95Trevor WongC/RWKelowna RocketsR5’8″154
96Samuel HeleniusCJYPL6’3″183
97Francesco ArcuriCKingston FrontenacsL6’2″192
98Marcus AlmquistRWHV71 J20R5’7″168
99Josh DoanRWChicago SteelR6’2″176
100Noah MeierDGC Küsnacht LionsL5’10”170
101Topias VilenDPelicansL6’0″181
102Janis MoserDEHC Biel-BienneL6’1″172
103Guillaume RichardDTri-City StormL6’2″176
104Liam Dower NilssonCFrölunda HC J20L5’11”159
105Dmitri BuchelnikovLWSKA-1946 St. PetersburgR5’9″150
106Conner RouletteLWSeattle ThunderbirdsL5’11”176
107Nolan AllanDPrince Albert RaidersL6’3″194
108Tristan LennoxGSaginaw SpiritL6’4″190
109Aleksi MalinenDJYPL6’0″185
110Dmitri ZuganCKrasnaya Armiya MoskvaL5’10”168
111Robert OrrCHalifax MooseheadsL6’0″174
112Ethan Del MastroDMississauga SteelheadsL6’4″205
113Kirill GerasimyukGSKA-Veryagi MorozovaL6’2″179
114Ilya IvantsovFSKA-1946 St. PetersburgR5’10”181
115Dmitry KostenkoDLada TogliattiR6’0″168
116Oscar PlandowskiDCharlottetown IslandersR6’0″190
117Jeremy WilmerLW/CUSNTDP U-18L5’7″141
118Jimi SuomiDJokerit U20L5’10”154
119Andre GasseauCUSNTDP U-18L6’4″203
120Jakub BrabenecCHC Kometa BrnoL6’1″165
121Bryce MontgomeryDLondon KnightsR6’5″220
122Roman SchmidtDUSNTDP U-18R6’6″209
123Ty GallagherDUSNTDP U-18R6’0″190
124Cole HuckinsCAcadie-Bathrust TitanL6’3″201
125Christopher Merisier-OrtizDBlainville-Boisbriand ArmadaL5’11”172
126Justin JanickeLWUSNTDP U-18L6’0″174
127Florian EliasC/LWAdler MannheimL5’8″170

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