The 2021 NHL Draft season is off to a very interesting start. Scouts struggling to see games and travel plans getting cancelled too often. The scouting fraternity has been forced to watch video and plenty of it. While we are seeing some games in person, we also have been forced to turn to video.
For the purposes of our first NHL Draft ranking of the season, we were forced to include watching video of archived games for leagues who have yet to begin their 2020/2021 seasons. This includes prominent leagues like the WHL and OHL. It makes it difficult to rank the players from those leagues when we don’t get to see their transformation after an off season of workouts as compared to the players we’ve seen in games this fall.
HockeyProspect.com’s Mark Edwards on this unusual start to the 2021 draft season. “It’s obviously different, but we need to adapt to the restrictions this season presents and move forward. Everyone is in the same boat, so we are just trying to be as business as usual as possible. I’ve spoken to a lot of scouts in recent weeks and while everyone wants to be back in the rinks full time, they are watching video, most do not enjoy using it and find it much less effective, but nevertheless Covid is forcing scouts to use it. I’m happy we started using Instat last season, it’s been very helpful again this season during this Covid scouting era.”
The Michigan Wolverines are well represented in our first ranking of the season. The Big 10 school has three players amongst our top 10 ranked players, including our #1 and #2 ranked players. The 6’5” 215 lbs blueliner Owen Power is our top ranked player, followed closely by his teammate, Kent Johnson. Both players just played their first weekend of games as NCAA players. Not far behind them at 8th overall is Matthew Beniers, who played down the middle on the same line as Kent Johnson this past weekend.
There is another member of the Hughes family in this draft class. This time around it’s Luke Hughes and like Quinn, he plays defense. While his brothers Jack and Quinn were both under the 6’0” threshold, Luke is much taller and if he’s not 6’2”, he’s not very far off. It probably won’t surprise you that he is a strong skater and has offensive talent. Luke rounds out the top three players on our first ranking of the season. The draft is rich with defensemen. Six of the players in our top 10 are defensemen and it doesn’t stop there.
Our full top 64 2021 NHL Draft ranking is available to members and the top 32 is available for free. Please note that although we are scouting some players on the teams they have been loaned to (Logan Maillioux with SK Lejon as an example) the players are listed on our ranking with their original teams.
HockeyProspect.com 2021 NHL Draft Top 32 Ranking, November 16th, 2020
|5||Olausson||Oskar||HV 71||J20 Nationell||LW||6'02"||181|
|23||Stromgren||William||Modo Hockey||J20 Nationell||LW||6'02'||161|
|28||Buium||Shai||Shattuck St-Mary's U16||Prep||LD||6'03"||214|
|31||Grushnikov||Artyom||HC Krasnaya Armiya||MHL||LD||6'02"||183|
We currently have Sebastian Cossa and Jesper Wallstedt as “A” rated goalies (1st round grades). We currently have Benjamin Gaudreau graded with a “B” grade. ( 2nd,3rd round grade)