2021 NHL Draft: 15 Months Out

Tony Ferrari


Photo Courtesy of IIHF.com


The 2020 NHL Draft hasn’t happened and at this point, thanks to COVID-19, we don’t know exactly when it will happen but it’s never too early to start looking ahead to the 2021 draft class. The beauty of next season is that we don’t have an Alexis Lafrenière-level prospect. The top of the 2021 draft is almost as wide open as we’ve seen it recently. 


The 2021 draft’s strength is on the blue line. There are a number of defenders that have the potential to take the number one spot from the current favorite and there is a reality where the top-five consists of four defensemen. As with the last couple of seasons, we have an elite level netminder that should challenge the top-ten as Spencer Knight did in 2019 and Yaroslav Askarov is expected to do this year. With the 2021 draft being as open as it seems at this point, there is going to be a ton of intrigue to how it will play out. 


Let’s take a look at some of the players that will be helping shape the top-end of the 2021 NHL Draft. A few things to remember before we start. These ARE NOT a ranking. This is a guide to who some of the top players are for next year’s draft. There are a number of prospects that were chosen because they are players who have stood out more than a year in advance of their draft. There could have been double the number of players but we will have plenty of time to cover them all. Without further ado, let’s get at it! 


Projected #1

C Aatu Räty – Kärpät (Liiga) – 6’1″ – 181lbs – November 14, 2002


The younger of the Räty brothers, Aatu is a big, strong center who has pretty solid wheels. He gets around the ice with no issue and possesses the strength to play against men already. He has a big wrist shot and a willingness to get to the net. He may not be a true ‘franchise player’ but he has the chance to be a very solid number one center. He plays a mature game and consistently performs well against advanced comp