DP Scouting Team’s 2021 NHL Draft Rankings (Nov 2020)

Tony Ferrari


Graphic Courtesy of Andrew Armstrong


In a year of uncertainty, it is fitting that the top of the next draft class is so uncertain. The 2021 NHL Draft is wide open for first overall with as many as a half dozen players truly vying for the pole position and another half dozen looking to be the late-rising wild card who sneaks into the conversation. The last couple of drafts were a bit lacking on truly elite blueliners with so much high talent at the forward position. The 2021 class is a mirror image of those classes with the defensive talent being the selling point of this draft class. Brandt Clarke, Carson Lambos, Owen Power, and Simon Edvinsson have all made their mark at various points in the last year and have garnered discussion as the top-ranked player from many within the scouting community.


That’s not to say that the 2021 draft will be a deficit of offensive talent from the class. Finnish center Aatu Räty is still in the conversation at the top of the draft. His mature pro-style game will attract NHL general managers and the fact that he plays center is always going to make him a factor. Future Michigan Wolverine, Kent Johnson may have the most interesting and intriguing upside in the draft class as he might have the highest upside of any forward in the draft with his combination of smarts and skill. That’s not even mentioning Dylan Guenther, Cole Sillinger, or Fabian Lysell who are all exciting, talented players in their own right. There hasn’t been a draft with such a wide-open top end in recent memory.


With all that said, the 2021 NHL Draft class is already shaping up to be a fun one. The DobberProspects Scouting team has been hard at work since the summer, really honing in on this next crop of draft-eligible talent. Our partnership with InStat Hockey has taken our scouting to a whole new level by giving us new ways to our scouting efforts. The team has watched hours and hours of video, engaged in discourse, discussion and debate all in preparation for this Top-100 NHL Draft Ranking. We got together in a Zoom meeting to go back and forth, collaborating again to put out an updated ranking based on their performance this fall, some falling and others boosting their stock. For others, the change may have occurred because of additional viewings, and at least partly done by a larger part of the team. Be sure to give the team below some love!


Here’s the full DobberProspects scouting team:


All size details are taken from NHL Central Scouting’s list.


Jokke and Tony discussed the rankings on the latest episode of Dobber’s DraftCast! Check that out and be sure to rate, review, and subscribe on your favorite podcast platform!



  1. Brandt Clarke, RD | CAN | 6-1, 180 lbs | Previous ranking: 2


Tony Ferrari: A silky smooth skater who showed the ability to alter the game on a moment’s notice in the second half of his rookie season in the OHL. Brandt Clarke has all of the tools that an NHL team would want in a defender as he has good size, elite skating ability, and an incredible mind for the game. He knows when and where to attack and he showed immense improvement on the defensive side of the puck as the season wore on. He leads with his stick and out skills the oncoming attacker, disrupting the puck and immediately moving it up ice. In the attacking zone, he can be a true game-changer. With his ability to move in any direction at any time, Clarke presents issues for his opposition as he is able to open passing and shooting lanes and he has the requisite skill to take advantage. The Barrie defender will look to separate himself from the pack as soon as he steps on the ice this season but with the OHL looking at a February start, Clarke may look to play elsewhere on a loan.



  1. Carson Lambos, LD | CAN | 6-0, 200 lbs | Previous ranking: 3


Tony Ferrari: Maybe the most well-rounded defender in the 2021 draft class, Lambos brings size, speed, and skill. The Winnipeg defender skates with a lot of power, attacking downhill in transition. He is able to back defenders off throughout the neutral zone and entering the offensive zone giving him options when he establishes himself in the attacking zone. His shot is good but inconsistent. He can really get ahold of a shot when he leans into a shot but he excels when he pushes into the middle of the ice and between the circles where he can let his snap shot and wrist shot go. He has a good release and locates the shots well. Defensively, Lambos is a high-level transition defender, with an incredibly active stick that jars pucks loose, allowing the young Canadian to establish body position and move the puck to a teammate. He also has the ability to turn the puck up ice on his own stick as well. He anticipates play well and jumps into passing lanes with a high rate of efficiency. He can play on the penalty kill or the powerplay as well. Lambos can do a bit of everything.



  1. Owen Power, LD | CAN | 6-6, 214 lbs | Previous ranking: 4


Clare McManus: He is an excellent skater and puck mover, especially for his size standing at 6’6”. For a tall defenseman, he has strong mobility and lateral movements, which is helpful when he walks the blue line to see his options in the offensive zone. He is very good at rushing the puck up ice, but he can also make strong stretch passes out of the zone on transition play. On the powerplay, he is a great quarterback and does a solid job of getting the puck to the net or an open teammate. As well on even-strength, he likes to shoot for a rebound opportunity, but won’t hesitate to try and score for himself. With the NCAA season unable to start yet, we haven’t seen Power play this season.



  1. Simon Edvinsson, LD | SWE | 6-4, 198 lbs | Previous ranking: 9


Alexa Potack: Edvinsson is a rare example of a big-bodied defenseman that has repeatedly shown his ability to be a threat in the offensive zone. In a draft class that is stacked with defensemen, Edvinsson is getting an advantageous headstart to his pre-draft season with Frölunda’s J20 team, and he’s clearly making the most of it. He will represent Tre Kronor this week in their scrimmages with Finland, which is likely a tryout for the 2021 WJC roster. Edvinsson is yet to play any games in the SHL, due to the depth of Frölunda’s roster; However, his dominance in the past year, scoring 51 points in 59 games (J18, J20, and in international play), makes his talent obvious.



  1. Aatu Räty, C | FIN | 6-1, 177 lbs | Previous ranking: 1


Eetu Siltanen: Räty is a pretty good offensive center with good defensive skills. He reads the game well and drives the play. He has good offensive toolset and everything to be a future star. But, Räty has had a slow start to the season and he hasn’t showed a lot of development recently. That is concerning but we still decided to give him No. five spot because we think that he’ll improve and fights for the first overall pick.



  1. Kent Johnson, C | CAN | 6-0, 166 lbs | Previous ranking: 12


Clare McManus: Johnson is a shifty electrifying center who thinks the game at a high level. He is always one of the most consistent players on the ice, showing off his flashy hands and playmaking abilities. This makes him very dangerous, but combining his offensive skills with strong fluid edgework and skating, he can carve the ice quickly, create space, and make the opposition hesitate. He doesn’t have a bad shot either. He can take the puck to the net and fool the goalie, but he is definitely more of a playmaking center. With a player as flashy as Johnson, there might be some concerns about how he will produce in the NCAA, especially because the BCHL is a weaker league, and that’s where he played last season.



  1. Dylan Guenther, C/W | CAN | 6-0, 166 lbs | Previous ranking: 6


Joel Henderson: The most well-rounded prospect to come from the WHL this season. Strength on his feet leads to smooth edgework and flick of the wrist passes and shots. He keeps defenders on their toes as he can change the shot angle or pass from multiple body positions at a whim. Give him time to be bigger, stronger, and faster, and he could be lethal. He’s a winger but plays like a center a lot of the time.


  1. Luke Hughes, LD | USA | 6-2, 176 lbs | Previous ranking: 7


Clare McManus: A smooth-skating defenseman with strong edgework and agility. He skates very similarly to his brother Quinn Hughes of the Vancouver Canucks. He is a dynamic playmaker with elite vision who can create space for himself and make a quick pass to an open teammate. He is very good on the powerplay, and while he is more of a pass-first defenseman, he has shown the ability to shoot the puck. One negative to take away from Luke’s game is that he needs to get stronger. He can get knocked off the puck in his own end by bigger opponents, which leads to turnovers. He has the mind and skill set to get the puck out of the zone quickly, but it could be much better if he adds some muscle to his body.


  1. Jesper Wallstedt, G | SWE | 6-3, 214 lbs | Previous ranking: 11


Danny Tiffany: A superb talent in net, Wallstedt is one of the most technically sound goalies we’ve ever seen in a player’s draft year.  Not even having turned 18 yet, Wallstedt is playing in the SHL this season, the top league in Sweden. Not only has he played, but he’s played exceptionally well. Wallstedt blends great positioning and fluid movements combined with his NHL size of 6’3 215 pounds, there are no real flaws in his game. Jesper Wallstedt is a top 10 talent and has the potential to be a Vezina caliber goalie for years to come in the NHL.


Editor: This entire thread by Danny on Wallstedt is outstanding, go check the whole thread out!


  1. Fabian Lysell, W | SWE | 5-11, 172 lbs | Previous ranking: 8


Mikael Holm: Lysell is a fast and dynamic winger that can get past his defenders with his high-end skill or just blow past them with speed. He has an excellent wrist shot which beat goalies from distance. He’s under-sized but not afraid to be a hard worker and he doesn’t stay away from the tough areas. He needs to get stronger and prove himself at a higher level but his long-term potential is extremely high.


  1. Zachary L’Heureux , C/W | CAN | 5-11, 196 lbs | Previous ranking: 24


Tony Ferrari: A player who has always seemed to possess the talent, L’Heureux’s biggest knock in his draft minus-one season was that his motor would turn off from time to time. He moves up thanks to an incredible start to the QMJHL season. He has been the best player on the ice in many of his games this year and his effort has been evident in all three zones. His defensive play has improved with just the addition of that effort due to his excellent anticipation, strength along the boards, and ability to turn the puck up ice quickly. His offensive game has been highly intelligent and decisive, understanding the space and skating paths through the offensive zone. He has an excellent shot that he can elevate from in tight or beat a goaltender from the dots. If L’Heueux can continue to display the upside and tools that have always been evident and do it more consistently this year, he could move even higher up the board here.


  1. Cole Sillinger, C | CAN | 6-0, 194 lbs | Previous ranking: 15


Joel Henderson: It is quite dangerous when you combine Sillinger’s shot and the ability to know how to best use it. A powerhouse canon slapshot. A wrist shot that is fast and can elevate in tight. The premier goalscorer of this draft class. Dealt with a bit of injury last season but still has sky-high potential. Could jump higher up this list.



  1. Chaz Lucius, C/W | USA | 6-0, 172 lbs | Previous ranking: 5


Jeff Rea: Chaz Lucius is an undeniable talent. The 6’0 172lb right-handed center has excelled for the USDP U17s (with 31 goals in 46 games) and led the WHC-17 tournament in scoring with seven goals and 10 points in six games. His ability to score goals on the rush, find pockets in the offensive zone, and sense a game’s movement is unquestionable. His hands are silky, he uses his reach and stick exceptionally well and he displays elite creativity and vision. He’s what teams at the top end of the draft look for in a center. In terms of a complete game, however, Lucius has areas to develop. He lacks explosiveness and mobility, his board play and physicality needs improvement, he’s average in the faceoff circle, and he can be careless on the puck. At times, it appears he’s disengaged and lacks intensity. Despite these weaknesses, Lucius remains an elite talent. He makes himself a passing option, frequently goes to the net, and has a penchant for scoring big goals. He can play on the wing and is used as a driver on the half-wall during power plays. 


  1. William Eklund, W | SWE | 5-10, 170 lbs | Previous ranking: 18


Alexa Potack: Eklund has an advanced awareness of the game is something that sets him apart from many of his fellow 2021 Draft class members. He’s been playing on a line with Devils first-round pick Alexander Holtz and team captain Jacob Josefson to start the season, and the three have been effective so far. Djurgården’s season was interrupted by a COVID-19 outbreak on the team and he hasn’t played a game since October 20.



  1. Simon Robertsson, W | SWE | 6-0, 190 lbs | Previous ranking: 14


Alexa Potack: Robertsson’s offensive power, specifically his shot is an obvious strength to his game and one of the best in the draft. So far, his 20 points (9 goals, 11 assists) in 15 games in the J20 this season is a testament to that. His work ethic and size are both at NHL levels already. Robertsson will likely get more consistent time in the SHL with Skellefteå as the season goes on.


  1. Matthew Beniers, C/W | USA | 6-2, 174 lbs | Previous ranking: 17


Clare McManus: Beniers is a 200-foot player who can play physical or produce offensively. He is an explosive skater with strong edgework and mobility. With that, he can beat defenders in one-on-one situations, but also use his skating to create space for himself, which makes it easy to see his available options. Beniers doesn’t have the most powerful shot, but it is quick and it will beat goalies. In the corners, he battles hard and can lay the body on the opposition, but he does need to add some more muscle. Beniers was committed to Harvard University, but with complications due to COVID-19, he transferred to an amazing University of Michigan team. This should be an excellent team to play for to improve his game.


  1. Samu Tuomaala, W | FIN | 5-10, 174 lbs | Previous ranking: 10


Eetu Siltanen: Tuomaala is a dynamic, play-driving winger with excellent skating and hands. His acceleration and speed are both really good. He can carry the puck to offensive zone by himself using his skating-hands combination. His shot is also hard with a quick release. Not a big player but not afraid of the physical side of the game. Just needs to simplify his game and find better decisions in offensive zone, but I can see him being a high-upside player.


  1. Aidan Hreschuk, LD | USA | 5-11, 182 lbs | Previous ranking: 21


Tony Ferrari: Curiously given a ‘C’ grade by NHL central scouting, there doesn’t seem to be any justification for it based on conversations I’ve had with private and public sector evaluators. With an offensive game that is more than capable thanks to intelligent passing and fluid mobility, Hreschuk has taken on a defensive role with the U.S. NTDP with Hughes and Behrens possesses near elite-level offensive tools. Hreschuk has thrived this year, showcasing the fact that he is the NTDP’s most well-rounded defenseman. He defends in his own zone with excellent instincts and intuitive stick work. He pushes the puck up ice with efficiency, oftentimes being the spark that starts the offensive fire. He leads the blueline in scoring on that squad despite ranking fourth in powerplay ice time, showing that he doesn’t his work at even strength.



  1. Xavier Bourgault, C/W | CAN | 6-0, 172 lbs | Previous ranking: 27


Brayden Olafson: To steal a line from Joel Henderson in reference to Kirby Dach, “There are certain players who can, and do, but there are also players who can, and do not”. Xavier Bourgault, at his worst and to a lesser extent than Dach, seems to fall into the latter category as a player who lacks consistent urgency. After getting past his lethargic acceleration, The Shawinigan winger, has an exceptional ability to navigate medium traffic at a high speed. He utilizes a lengthy stride, broad reach, quick lateral movement and anticipatory lane awareness to gain the offensive zone. He doesn’t crowd the puck, thus enabling plays to consistently develop, and has a very accurate release, both in terms of his shot and his passing ability.


  1. Nikita Chibrikov, W | RUS | 5-10, 161 lbs | Previous ranking: 19


Dylan Griffing: Chibrikov was called up to the KHL due to a COVID outbreak in the team and ended up making an impact. He played in a limited, bottom-six role and didn’t rack up ice-time, but was an effective forechecker, puck mover, and penalty killer. He’s a creative, elusive player who thrives by driving play forward and taking control of the offense. His skating is near the top of this draft class, as well. Needs to work on being a bit more consistent.


  1. Logan Stankoven, C/W | CAN | 5-8, 170 lbs | Previous ranking: 22


Joel Henderson: An agile, hard-nosed, goalscorer who loves to use a fast release wrist shot in high danger areas. Don’t discount him because of his size because he sure doesn’t. He will pounce on a loose puck and put it in the back of the net faster than you can say “holy canola berries”. His role should be expanded for Kamloops this season.



  1. Daniil Chayka, LD | RUS | 6-3, 187 lbs | Previous ranking: 31


Dylan Griffing: Chayka has one of the best stories of this draft, moving to play in Ontario in 2017 rather than Russia. He has since returned to Moscow on loan from Guelph and is off to a hot start. He has just a handful of real games played so far, but has made the most of his opportunities in the VHL. His skating is impeccable for a player of his size and he uses it to his advantage any chance he gets. He does need to work on his decision making and shot selection to take his game to the next level.


  1. Zachary Bolduc, C | CAN | 6-1, 175 lbs | Previous ranking: 41


Brayden Olafson: Credited regularly for his finely tuned vision in the offensive zone, and ability to manipulate oppositions’ defensive systems, the Rimouski center additionally delivers highly valuable contributions off-puck which are often overlooked. Bolduc consistently makes the most out of every faceoff, effectively tying up his opposition, kicking back pucks, or outright winning them clean on both hands. Without having to cheat, his recognition of, and reaction to takeaways in his teams’ favor is immediate and enables deceptively quick transitions that often lead to odd-man rushes. 



  1. Mason McTavish, C | CAN | 6-0, 198 lbs | Previous ranking: 13


Jacob Barker: Despite a very inconsistent role on a strong Peterborough Petes team, McTavish had himself a very productive rookie season, finishing with 29 goals and 42 points in 57 games. At 6’1 and 196 lbs, McTavish already possesses an NHL frame that makes him tough to knock off the puck. He has a rocket of a shot, which combined with strong offensive awareness makes him very dangerous in the attacking end. The main issue for McTavish to work on during his draft year is his consistency in the defensive end and in transition. While there are times that he shows flashes of brilliance by rushing the puck aggressively through the neutral zone or making fantastic stretch passes, there are also times when he makes some really poor decisions that make him look careless. While McTavish’s game currently projects as a strong top-six center, he will need to improve his consistency in all three zones if he wishes to reach his full potential. 


  1. Isak Rosén, W | SWE | 5-11, 156 lbs | Previous ranking: 23


Alexa Potack: Isak Rosén has made his presence known in the J20 as a point-per-game player this season. Opposing his strong start in the junior league, his first three games in the SHL with Leksand this season have been less than optimal. In each game he has played with the men’s team, he’s received less than 10 minutes of ice time and is yet to put a shot on net. His weight is a point of concern but with the correct training and development, his small frame will no longer be a distraction from his offensive ability.



  1. Zach Dean, C | CAN | 6-0, 176 lbs | Previous ranking: 16


Brayden Olafson: Despite having been shelved by the Olympiques to start the 2020-21 QMJHL season due to a wrist injury, Dean’s persistency and effort through his D-1 campaign is enough to secure him a spot within our top-50. The nimble centerman has already demonstrated an above-average willingness to engage and excel in physically demanding tasks that are a testament to his endurance and motivation. His ability to reign in pucks and maintain possession while making technically advanced plays is his most attractive strength, while his failure to consistently recognize and account for structural defensive breakdowns is his most notable weakness.


  1. Oskar Olausson, W | SWE | 6-1, 177 lbs | Previous ranking: 54


Mikael Holm: Olausson is a smart player with great hands that can beat his opponent anywhere on the ice. He’s a great skater and he’s not afraid to get into the dirty areas to score. He’s a hard worker, with good compete level, that plays in all situations for his J20 team and he’s producing points like crazy in the J20 league in Sweden so far this season. The question is if he’s a complementary offensive player or if he can be an impact player for his team in the future.



  1. Stanislav Svozil, LD | CZE | 6-1, 172 lbs | Previous ranking: 26


Tony Ferrari: A defensively responsible and mobile blueliner, Svozil has many of the raw tools that teams look for. The top player from the Czech Republic in the 2021 draft plays a smart defensive game. He has a tight gap and can use his body when closing in on attacking players. He lacks a true offensive threat in his game but he is a very good transitional defender who can move the puck with his feet or passing ability. His skating is above average and he uses his edges well. He could stand to get a bit quicker with his first couple of steps but he is a fairly mobile blueliner overall.


  1. Anton Olsson, LD | SWE | 6-1, 183 lbs | Previous ranking: 32


Mikael Holm: Olsson is a smart two-way defenseman who’s good in transition. He makes great breakout passes and when he sees the opportunity, he joins the rush. He’s a good defensive player who plays in all situations and he’s a very mature player for his age. Because of his maturity, he’s become a regular SHL player for Malmö this season. The question with Olsson in the future there’s any offensive upside or if he’ll just be a solid puck-moving defensive defenseman.


  1. Brennan Othmann, W | CAN | 5-11, 170 lbs | Previous ranking: 28


Jacob Barker: Othmann was often looking like he was trying to find his groove during his rookie season with Flint, but once he did, he was very fun to watch. Posting 17 goals and 33 points in 55 games, Othmann proved that he could produce in a somewhat limited role with the Firebirds. He uses fantastic offensive instincts to put himself in a position to create chances for himself and teammates, although there are times when I would like for him to be a little more selfish and use his strong wrist shot instead of forcing a risky pass to a teammate. He is great in transition out of his own zone, making crisp passes and using his strong skating ability to push the play up the ice. When transitioning to defense, however, he often leaves more effort to be desired. Othmann projects as a strong complementary winger in the top 6 who can produce at both even strength and on the powerplay.


  1. Ryder Korczak, C | CAN | 5-10, 164 lbs | Previous ranking: 51


Joel Henderson: If you wanted to put the puck in the net in Moose Jaw last season, Korczak was the person you began with. An agile, smart, playmaking centerman who was an absolute pest in creating turnovers and countering opponents’ efforts with anticipation. Has the ability to adapt to pucks around his body which leads to a high possession forward with lots of upside. When he drops to a knee for a one-timer, you know it’s about to go down.


  1. Sasha Pastujov, W | USA | 6-0, 175 lbs | Previous ranking: 48


Tony Ferrari: A smart and opportunistic forward who thrives as a playmaker. He sees through layers of coverage in the offensive zone and has the ability to thread the needle. Pastujov has incredible instincts and the ability to identify the open man even with a defender closing on him. He is one of the better pure passers in the draft class. He plays with creativity and excellent hands which allow him to make some jaw-dropping plays from time-to-time. He has shown the ability to be an offensive catalyst for the U.S. NTDP squad. If he can separate himself among a talented group of forwards on the loaded U18 team, he could very well work himself into top-20 consideration with his raw talent.



  1. Francesco Pinelli, C | CAN | 6-0, 184 lbs | Previous ranking: 30


Jacob Barker: For a player who almost never received a big role during the rookie season, Pinelli was often the most impactful player on the ice. His fluent skating ability and edgework are very impressive, especially how effectively he utilizes it in transition to push the play forward. Offensively, Pinelli combines excellent puck skills with his high hockey IQ to create scoring chances for himself and teammates. There are times when he can get a little lazy in the defensive zone towards the end of his shifts, but other than that he plays a very well-rounded game. Pinelli projects as a top 6 winger who is reliable in all three zones of the ice.


  1. Brett Harrison, C | CAN | 6-1, 167 lbs | Previous ranking: 34


Tony Ferrari: Harrison didn’t get the love that he deserved last season. He was the second-highest scoring draft minus-one player in the OHL from January 1st on and he played a solid 200-foot game. Harrison was never the flashiest player but he was so good at getting his teammates going. He is a crisp passer who found teammates cross-ice regularly. He also has a quick wrist shot and pinpoint accuracy. He could sneak into the first round if he can have a solid year in the OHL (or overseas on a loan).


  1. Vincent Iorio, LD | CAN | 6-3, 191 lbs | Previous ranking: 52


Joel Henderson: One of the most improved players in the age group from the WHL in 2019-2020. This 6’2 right-shot defenseman has puck patience that isn’t available too often. He can read pressure and adapt to play consistently to find the soft space. If you combine his solid defensive work with an urge to jump up in the rush quite often, you get a blueliner on the rise.



  1. Sebastian Cossa, G | CAN | 6-6, 212 lbs | Previous ranking: 33


Danny Tiffany: Cossa comes into his draft year as the sure-fire second-best goalie. If not for a superstar goalie in Wallstedt, Cossa would find himself as the best goalie in this class, he’s proved to be that good. With a big 6’6 frame, Cossa takes up a lot of net and reacts well to pucks. There isn’t a lot of room to beat Cossa on first shots and it’s very hard to go around the long legs of his. After an exceptional D-1 season, Cossa projects to be an NHL starting goalie and continues to improve and rise up draft boards.


  1. Scott Morrow, RD | USA | 6-2, 198 lbs | Previous ranking: NR


Joel Henderson: A steady, two-way high school defenseman that oozes potential. It is hard to find someone who can stickhandle and use his deceptive movements to maneuver the puck with his level of poise and confidence. Combine his ability to control the puck with the whip on his wrist shot and you have yourself a highly interesting prospect. This is one high school prospect you shouldn’t hesitate on.



  1. Corson Ceulemans, RD | CAN | 6-2, 192 lbs | Previous ranking: 38


Joel Henderson: An exciting and flashy puck carrier with fast hands and fast feet. He is the prototype for “lots of runway” when describing potential. He already possesses an excellent shot, passing vision, and transition game but needs to clean things up in the details in order to rise up draft lists. High potential.


  1. Samu Salminen, C | FIN | 6-2, 186 lbs | Previous ranking: 37


Eetu Siltanen: Salminen has put impressive numbers at the start of the season (22 points in 14 games) in U20 SM-sarja. He has good hands and scoring skills, but his skating is a thing that drops him down to the second round at this point. He has good motor and he creates a lot of scoring chances for himself and his teammates. His defensive game has improved but feels like sometimes he doesn’t quite know where he should be, even though he tries to defend well. With his defensive game and skating improving, he could be fighting for first round spots.


  1. Sean Behrens, LD | USA | 5-9, 175 lbs | Previous ranking: 49


Jeff Rea: Sean Behrens is a fleet-footed modern-day defenseman. He uses an exceptional sense of awareness, well-calculated gap control, and strong stick skills to break up plays, take away passing options, and control the neutral zone. His lateral mobility is a strength. His crossovers are precise, he pivots and retrieves the puck with ease and he can change direction or stop and start instantaneously. In the defensive zone, Behrens has his head on a swivel. He positions himself well and makes simple outlet passes to relieve pressure. He’s aggressive, willing to take a hit, and can be chippy, at times. This, despite being a 5’9″ and noticeably undersized defenseman. Behrens holds all three lines well and has a good motor. He surveys the ice well, makes impactful pinches in the offensive zone, breaks up plays at the red line, and forces opponents into turnovers when defending his zone. He lacks a big shot, but gets himself into high danger shooting areas and distributes the puck effectively on the power play. He led Dmen in scoring at the WHC-17 Championships and outscored Luke Hughes and all other USDP U17 defensemen with 37 points in 45 games, last season.


  1. Joshua Roy, C | CAN | 6-0, 190 lbs | Previous ranking: 25


Brayden Olafson: The former first-overall selection in the QMJHL draft falls to a place in the rankings where he’s accompanied by fellow prospects who’ve yet to earn the full confidence of our group, and he’s no exception. The stalky forward has transitioned from a role primarily in the center of the ice, to a spot on the right-wing, where he seems to still be adjusting. Among other characteristics, the 17-year-old regularly seems to lack a killer-instinct. Despite his flaws, Roy has nearly perfected his ability to shoot in stride, as well as significantly change the angle of his shot at the last second, not unlike Auston Matthews. In addition, his ability to carry and protect the puck through the middle of the ice, and in high traffic, as well as effectively distribute the puck from those tight spaces make him an attractive option to transition back to the center-ice position.


  1. Fyodor Svechkov, W | RUS | 6-0, 178 lbs | Previous ranking: 36


Dylan Griffing: A very hard-nosed centerman with great puck movement, hockey IQ, and overall skill. Svechkov is really good at controlling the puck in pressure situations and firing passes around the zone. The best way to describe his game in the defensive zone is to call him a pickpocketer. He uses his reach to steal the puck away from the opposition and quickly change the direction of play. He’s been a mainstay in Togliatti’s VHL side, but hasn’t had the best production this year. To take his game up a notch, he needs to work on his anticipation of play when the opposition team starts a rush, as he can get caught behind in the high-paced games.



  1. Daniil Lazutin, C | RUS | 6-2, 180 lbs | Previous ranking: 20


Dylan Griffing: Lazutin is a player who just keeps falling for me. His skill-set is incredible, but there’s a real lack of substance to his game. He was a good two-way player in some games last season, but he is just inconsistent in the defensive zone. He thinks the game at a low level and finds himself getting lost and making weird decisions. He has missed a lot of time in the 2020-21 season due to injury but has recently returned to MHL action for SKA-Varyagi. Since returning, he hasn’t looked as quick or nimble as he did last season. Very skillful player with the potential to be special in the future, but needs to put in a lot of work.


  1. Kirill Kirsanov, LD | RUS | 6-1, 194 lbs | Previous ranking: NR


Dylan Griffing: Like Chibrikov, Kirsanov was called up to the KHL to fill in the gaps from the COVID outbreak. He played nine games with the main squad and did not look out of place at all. He is a really mature, puck-moving defenseman and he spent a lot of time just covering for Arseni Brinkmann, who is more of a wild, offensive defenseman. He has since moved down to the VHL and, once again, looks like he belongs playing against men. He is on the older side of this class, but his skill with the puck on his stick is good and he is very reliable in his own end. His NHL potential is the main issue hindering his draft stock.



  1. Artyom Grushnikov, LD | RUS | 6-2, 174 lbs | Previous ranking: 46


Jacob Barker: After spending most of his D-1 year in the MHL, Grushnikov is set to join the Hamilton Bulldogs in the OHL for his draft year. The first thing you notice about Grushnikov’s game is how incredibly reliable his in defensively. In transition, he uses his fantastic skating ability and long reach to close rushes quickly and force turnovers in the neutral zone. When opposing teams are established in the defensive zone, Grushnikov uses his 6’2 frame and high defensive IQ to impose his will in front of the net. When transitioning to offense, he is capable of making strong breakout passes and joining the rush but does so on an inconsistent basis. Despite having lots to work on offensively, Grushnikov’s defensive ability alone is enough to project as a top 4, defensive defencemen at the NHL level.


  1. Jack O’Brien, C | USA | 6-0, 154 lbs | Previous ranking: 43


Joel Henderson: Last season, Jack was moved onto a line with Seth Jarvis and his point totals obviously took off. He moves well and finds soft ice in front of the net to be able to be a consistent and dangerous option for highly creative linemates. Lots to like and lots of room to grow. Quality two-way upside.


  1. Matthew Samoskevich, W | USA | 5-11, 176 lbs | Previous ranking: 56


Clare McManus: Samoskevich is a player that has the potential to climb up draft rankings this year. The Chicago Steel forward has an amazing ability to carry the puck through traffic with his hands, vision, and speedy skating. His feet are always moving, especially in the offensive zone, looking for a play to make. He is undersized and needs to work on his strength and play away from the puck. He is committed to the University of Michigan for next season.


  1. Liam Dower-Nilsson, C | SWE | 6-0, 172 lbs | Previous ranking: NR


Mikael Holm: Dower-Nilsson is a very smart two-way center with great vision and passing. His hands won’t blow you away but he can use them to get out of tough spots and create space for himself. He’s a hard worker that doesn’t shy away from trying to win the puck in the dirty areas and he wins a lot of those battles. There are some question marks around his skating and if it will translate to the higher level.


  1. Roman Schmidt, RD | USA | 6-5, 206 lbs | Previous ranking: NR


Tony Ferrari: Roman Schmidt is a riser on our board. He shows good mobility as a 6’5″ blueliner who plays a smart defensive game. He can close along the boards and he shows an understanding of positioning that isn’t always prevalent in junior-age players. He doesn’t have a ton of offensive upside but he has shown the ability to turn the corner and get deep into the offensive zone to open up passing lanes. He has a decent shot but its a bit wild from the point and only really presents as a threat when he pushes into the slot.



  1. Evan Nause, LD | CAN | 6-2, 186 lbs | Previous ranking: NR


Evan Nause: As a draft-eligible defenseman, it can (and some would argue that it should) be difficult to stand out. Some high caliber defensemen tend to sacrifice their poise in favor of attaining attention-worthy box stats. Evan Nause is a refreshing exception to that. The right-shot blueliner has a unique ability to moderate the pace of play according to the opportunities that he sees. That isn’t to say, however, that he can’t play at a high pace – on the contrary, when the opportunity to safely headman the puck is available, Nause executes with skill and confidence. Defensively, he is a leader, and typically coordinates a structured shutdown system for the Ramparts. Unfortunately, however, he is imperfect, and although he seems to make great decisions 90% of the time, the other 10% he has wound up on the wrong side of an ugly turnover, or uncharacteristic defensive zone abandonment.  





The Full Top-100


Rank August Player Shoots Nationality League Team Date of birth Size
1 2 Brandt Clarke, D R CAN OHL Barrie Colts 2003-02-09 6-1, 180 lbs
2 3 Carson Lambos, D L CAN WHL Winnipeg 2003-01-14 6-0, 200 lbs
3 4 Owen Power, D L CAN NCAA Michigan 2002-11-22 6-6, 214 lbs
4 9 Simon Edvinsson, D L SWE J20 Nationell Frölunda 2003-02-05 6-4, 198 lbs
5 1 Aatu Räty, C L FIN Liiga Kärpät 2002-11-14 6-1, 177 lbs
6 12 Kent Johnson, C L CAN NCAA Michigan 2002-10-18 6-0, 166 lbs
7 6 Dylan Guenther, C/W R CAN WHL Edmonton 2003-04-10 6-0, 166 lbs
8 7 Luke Hughes, D L USA USNTDP U.S. U18 2003-09-09 6-2, 176 lbs
9 11 Jesper Wallstedt, G L SWE SHL Luleå 2002-11-14 6-3, 214 lbs
10 8 Fabian Lysell, W R SWE J20 Nationell Frölunda 2003-01-19 5-11, 172 lbs
11 24 Zachary L’Heureux, C/W L CAN QMJHL Halifax 2003-05-15 5-11, 196 lbs
12 15 Cole Sillinger, C L CAN WHL Medicine Hat 2003-05-16 6-0, 194 lbs
13 5 Chaz Lucius, C/W R USA USNTDP U.S. U18 2003-05-02 6-0, 172 lbs
14 18 William Eklund, W L SWE SHL Djurgården 2002-12-10 5-10, 170 lbs
15 14 Simon Robertsson, W L SWE J20 Nationell Skellefteå 2003-02-05 6-0, 190 lbs
16 17 Matthew Beniers, C/W L USA NCAA Harvard 2002-11-05 6-2, 174 lbs
17 10 Samu Tuomaala, W R FIN U20 SM-sarja Kärpät 2003-01-08 5-10, 174 lbs
18 21 Aidan Hreschuk, D L USA USNTDP U.S. U18 2003-02-19 5-11, 182 lbs
19 27 Xavier Bourgault, C/W R CAN QMJHL Shawinigan 2002-10-22 6-0, 172 lbs
20 19 Nikita Chibrikov, W L RUS MHL SKA 2003-02-16 5-10, 161 lbs
21 22 Logan Stankoven, C/W R CAN WHL Kamloops 2003-02-26 5-8, 170 lbs
22 31 Daniil Chayka, D L RUS VHL Zvezda Moskva 2002-10-22 6-3, 187 lbs
23 41 Zachary Bolduc, C L CAN QMJHL Rimouski 2003-02-24 6-1, 175 lbs
24 13 Mason McTavish, C R CAN OHL Peterborough 2003-01-30 6-0, 198 lbs
25 23 Isak Rosén, W L SWE J20 Nationell Leksand 2003-03-15 5-11, 156 lbs
26 16 Zach Dean, C L CAN QMJHL Gatineau 2003-01-04 6-0, 176 lbs
27 54 Oskar Olausson, W L SWE J20 Nationell HV71 2002-11-10 6-1, 177 lbs
28 26 Stanislav Svozil, D L CZE Czech Kometa Brno 2003-01-17 6-1, 172 lbs
29 32 Anton Olsson, D L SWE SHL/J20 Nationell Malmö 2003-01-26 6-1, 183 lbs
30 28 Brennan Othmann, W L CAN OHL Flint 2003-01-05 5-11, 170 lbs
31 51 Ryder Korczak, C R CAN WHL Moose Jaw 2002-09-23 5-10, 164 lbs
32 48 Sasha Pastujov, W L USA USNTDP U.S. U18 2003-06-15 6-0, 175 lbs
33 30 Francesco Pinelli, C L CAN OHL Kitchener 2003-04-11 6-0, 184 lbs
34 34 Brett Harrison, C L CAN OHL Oshawa 2003-06-07 6-1, 167 lbs
35 52 Vincent Iorio, D L CAN WHL Brandon 2002-11-14 6-3, 191 lbs
36 33 Sebastian Cossa, G L CAN WHL Edmonton 2002-11-21 6-6, 212 lbs
37 NR Scott Morrow, D R USA USHS-Prep Shattuck 2002-11-01 6-2, 198 lbs
38 38 Corson Ceulemans, D R CAN AJHL Brooks 2003-05-05 6-2, 192 lbs
39 37 Samu Salminen, C L FIN U20 SM-sarja Jokerit 2003-04-09 6-2, 186 lbs
40 49 Sean Behrens, D L USA USNTDP U.S. U18 2003-03-31 5-9, 175 lbs
41 25 Joshua Roy, C L CAN QMJHL Saint John 2003-08-06 6-0, 190 lbs
42 36 Fyodor Svechkov, W L RUS VHL Togliatti 2003-04-05 6-0, 178 lbs
43 20 Daniil Lazutin, C L RUS MHL SKA 2003-07-25 6-2, 180 lbs
44 NR Kirill Kirsanov, D L RUS MHL SKA 2002-09-19 6-1, 194 lbs
45 46 Artyom Grushnikov, D L RUS OHL Hamilton 2003-03-20 6-2, 174 lbs
46 43 Jack O’Brien, C L USA WHL Portland 2003-05-14 6-0, 154 lbs
47 56 Matthew Samoskevich, W R USA NCAA Michigan 2002-11-15 5-11, 176 lbs
48 NR Liam Dower-Nilsson, C L SWE J20 Nationell Frölunda 2003-04-14 6-0, 172 lbs
49 NR Roman Schmidt, D R USA USNTDP U.S. U18 2003-02-27 6-5, 206 lbs
50 NR Evan Nause, D L CAN QMJHL Québec 2003-01-20 6-2, 186 lbs
51 NR Jeremy Wilmer, W L USA USNTDP U.S. U18 2003-08-16 5-7, 142 lbs
52 NR Peter Reynolds, C L CAN QMJHL Saint John 2003-01-20 5-10, 167 lbs
53 47 Tristan Lennox, G L CAN OHL Saginaw 2002-10-21 6-3, 198 lbs
54 35 James Malatesta, C/W L CAN QMJHL Québec 2003-05-31 5-9, 179 lbs
55 40 Dylan Duke, C/W L USA USNTDP U.S. U18 2003-03-04 5-10, 181 lbs
56 58 Jimi Suomi, D L FIN U20 SM-sarja Jokerit 2003-03-01 5-9, 147 lbs
57 55 Conner Roulette, W L CAN WHL Seattle 2003-05-13 5-11, 161 lbs
58 NR Nolan Allan, D L CAN WHL Prince Albert 2003-04-28 6-1, 174 lbs
59 NR Cameron Whynot, D L CAN QMJHL Halifax 2003-05-05 6-1, 180 lbs
60 29 Prokhor Poltapov, W L RUS MHL Krasnaya Armiya 2003-02-01 5-10, 161 lbs
61 44 Oscar Plandowski, D R CAN QMJHL Charlottetown 2003-05-18 6-0, 190 lbs
62 NR William Strömgren, W L SWE J20 Nationell MODO 2003-06-07 6-3, 175 lbs
63 60 Justin Janicke, W L USA USNTDP U.S. U18 2003-06-30 6-0, 180 lbs
64 NR Samuel Helenius, C L FIN Liiga JYP 2002-11-26 6-6, 201 lbs
65 NR Martin Rysavy, W L CZE Czech2 Prerov 2003-03-06 6-2, 203 lbs
66 42 Lorenzo Canonica, C L SUI U20-Elit Lugano 2003-09-03 5-11, 179 lbs
67 NR Ville Koivunen, W L FIN U20 SM-sarja Kärpät 2003-06-13 5-11, 161 lbs
68 NR Matthew Knies, W L USA USHL Tri-City 2002-10-17 6-3, 206 lbs
69 NR Wyatt Johnston, C R CAN OHL Windsor 2003-05-14 6-0, 178 lbs
70 NR Connor Lockhart, C R CAN OHL Erie 2003-01-21 5-9, 170 lbs
71 NR Vladislav Lukashevich, D L RUS MHL Loko 2003-05-23 6-2, 165 lbs
72 NR Maxim Motorygin, G L RUS MHL Dynamo Moskva 2002-12-24 6-0, 161 lbs
73 NR Jack Bar, D R CAN BCHL Penticton 2002-10-24 6-2, 192 lbs
74 NR Victor Stjernborg, C L SWE J20 Nationell Växjö 2003-05-22 5-11, 202 lbs
75 NR Tyler Boucher, W R USA USNTDP U.S. U18 2003-01-16 6-1, 200 lbs
76 NR Eetu Liukas, W L FIN Liiga TPS 2002-09-25 6-2, 198 lbs
77 50 Benjamin Gaudreau, G L CAN OHL Sarnia 2003-01-11 6-2, 160 lbs
78 63 Oliver Moberg, W L SWE J20 Nationell AIK 2003-02-23 6-3, 190 lbs
79 57 Graham Sward, D L CAN WHL Spokane 2003-09-12 6-2, 169 lbs
80 NR Red Savage, C/W L USA USNTDP U.S. U18 2003-05-15 5-11, 175 lbs
81 NR Dmitri Kostenko, D R RUS VHL Togliatti 2002-09-25 6-2, 165 lbs
82 NR Andre Gasseau, C L USA USNTDP U.S. U18 2003-07-03 6-4, 202 lbs
83 NR Ty Gallagher, D R USA USNTDP U.S. U18 2003-03-06 6-0, 190 lbs
84 NR Avery Hayes, C/W R USA OHL Hamilton 2002-10-10 5-10, 165 lbs
85 64 Ty Voit, W R USA OHL Sarnia 2003-06-10 5-9, 150 lbs
86 NR Chase Stillman, W R CAN OHL Sudbury 2003-03-29 5-11, 170 lbs
87 NR Zack Stringer, W L CAN WHL Lethbridge 2003-04-10 6-0, 155 lbs
88 NR Oliver Kapanen, C R FIN U20 SM-sarja KalPa 2003-07-29 6-0, 166 lbs
89 NR Viljami Marjala, W L FIN QMJHL Québec 2003-01-29 6-0, 172 lbs
90 NR Dylan Gratton, D L USA USHL Muskegon 2003-02-25 6-0, 174 lbs
91 NR Noah Meier, D L SUI NLB Zürich 2002-09-24 5-11, 172 lbs
92 61 Oleksii Myklukha, C R SVK QMJHL Rouyn-Noranda 2002-11-25 5-10, 156 lbs
93 NR Viljami Juusola, D L FIN U20 SM-sarja Kärpät 2003-04-19 5-10, 156 lbs
94 NR Justin Robidas, C R CAN QMJHL Val-d’Or 2003-03-13 5-7, 173 lbs
95 NR Yusaku Ando, W L JPN USHL Youngstown 2003-09-03 5-7, 147 lbs
96 NR Ayrton Martino, W L CAN BCHL Chilliwack 2002-09-28 5-10, 168 lbs
97 45 Verner Miettinen, C L FIN U20 SM-sarja Kiekko-Espoo 2003-04-07 5-11, 165 lbs
98 59 Atte Lehikoinen, D L FIN U20 SM-sarja KalPa 2003-07-05 6-2, 192 lbs
99 NR Luke Mittelstadt, D L USA USHL Lincoln 2003-01-22 5-11, 175 lbs
100 NR Yegor Savikov, D L RUS MHL Togliatti 2002-11-24 5-9, 159 lbs
HM 39 Isaac Belliveau, D L CAN QMJHL Rimouski 2002-11-26 6-2, 185 lbs
HM 53 Alexei Prokopenko, C L RUS QMJHL Gatineau 2003-01-29 5-11, 166 lbs
HM 62 Brian Zanetti, D L SUI U20-Elit Lugano 2003-03-15 6-2, 172 lbs



Name Fantasy Upside NHL Certainty
Gabriel Eliasson 6.0 2.0
Tory Pitner 5.0 5.0
Charlie Forslund 5.5 4.0
Liam Danielsson 5.0 3.5
Timur Kol 4.0 5.0
Viggo Gustafsson 4.5 5.5
Marcus Gidlöf 6.5 3.0
Kim Saarinen 6.0 4.5
Gian Meier 4.0 5.0
Stian Solberg 8.0 8.5