Welcome to the ALL-Vibes 2021 NHL Mock Draft presented by Feeling Good and #Analysis
The NHL is a league where teams draft a player based on being “6’5″ every time he steps onto the ice”. Despite being the most reserved league of the major sports in North America, they may draft off of vibes more often than any other sport. It just isn’t the cool vibes we’re all thinking of. It’s the player is big or a real character guy in the room. That’s all good and well (not usually, but we’ll ignore that for now) but the plan here to take that to the next level. Let’s put together a ridiculous, fun, and analysis-lacking, ALL-VIBES Mock Draft.
Draft order courtesy of Tankathon
Will any of the picks be correct? Probably not but maybe. Will this be fun and the reasoning for the picks be fun to make up? Yup. If you plan on taking this exercise seriously, I honestly can’t tell you to relax enough. This is the kind of analysis you get from the “Big Networks” so obviously you can expect the best. Seriously though, have some fun. The order above was the lone spin taken on Tankathon.com to determine the draft order. Congrats Ducks fans, you get the first overall pick. Let’s get started.
1st Overall | Anaheim Ducks | C Matthew Beniers
Matthew Beniers is maybe the most polished and pro-ready prospect in the draft. He plays a solid 200-foot game and much like the World Juniors, he could play an admirable second fiddle to Trevor Zegras as the Ducks look to solidify their center position in the top-six for years to come.
2nd Overall | New Jersey Devils | W William Eklund
He played with 2020 seventh overall pick Alexander Holtz all season long with Djurgårdens in the SHL. They looked pretty sick together. Why not keep them together? He is a dual threat attacker who would be a great addition to the Devils forward group.
3rd Overall | Buffalo Sabres | LD Owen Power
Who loved the Tyler Myers experience in Buffalo? Okay, well how about if Myers ever reached and sustained his ceiling after that great rookie year? If you give Power some time, he could be stout top-four defender and maybe even play #2 to Dahlin moving forward. There are also very strong “We don’t have a scouting staff so draft the big boi” vibes from the Sabres who have a very minimal scouting staff to put it kindly.
4th Overall | Seattle Kraken | LD Luke Hughes
The Kraken seem cool so far. Luke Hughes is fun and it would create a brother v brother rivalry with Quinn in Vancouver. It’s all but assumed that the two franchises will be the closest competition for each other. Hughes v Hughes, Luke v Quinn, Seattle v Vancouver.
5th Overall | Columbus Blue Jackets | W Kent Johnson
Kent Johnson is a fun-as-hell, dangly boy when he is at his best. The guy plays the game like your friend who can’t be beaten at NHL21. The problem is sometimes even he can’t pull off what he’s trying. It’s a fun pick for a team that is losing Torts. By sadness, hello smiles!
6th Overall | Detroit Red Wings | G Jesper Wallstedt
This one is two-fold. The Red Wings have no clear-cut goalie of the future despite building what many believe will be a very good team in a few seasons when all these draft picks start to pay off. Wallstedt is my bet to be a franchise changer among the group of prospects in the 2021 class and he fits a need in Detroit. Steve Yzerman also has the courage to pull this off too. Also, I think Prashanth Iyer will meltdown. As much as I like you Prashanth, just embrace the fun!
7th Overall | San Jose Sharks | C Aatu Räty
Nothing really vibed to me here except that I think Doug Wilson Jr is really smart and Räty has been harped on a ton this season. People might think this ends up being a reach but the Sharks solidify the middle of the ice with the second-best true center in the class.
8th Overall | Los Angeles Kings | RD Brandt Clarke
The Kings are loaded in their prospect pool but a truly high-end defenseman would be sweet. Brandt Clarke, my personal top defender in the 2021 class, would add some pop from the back end. Byfield, Turcotte, Clarke, Kaliyev, et al will be a force to be reckoned with.
9th Overall | Vancouver Canucks | W Fabian Lysell
The vibe amongst the Canucks fanbase in no beuno. You know who is exciting and could make Canucks fans happy? The never-ending motor and skill of Fabian Lysell. The criminally underrated forward plays a 200 foot game with incredible pace and has the skill to embarrass opponents. Give this kid a year or two and he’s going to just assault teams through the neutral zone.
10th Overall | Ottawa Senators | W Zachary L’Heureux
Honestly, how fun/annoying would a team with Brady Tkachuk, Ridly Greig, AND Zachary L’Heureux be? Every game you play Ottawa, you know you’re going to need a Patrick Marleau ice-bath. The Sens love grit and heart and L’Heureux certainly doesn’t lack either.
11th Overall | Arizona Coyotes | RD/RW/Backup G Tony Ferrari (Forfeited)
A less-than-skilled, bald overage prospect that probably won’t pan out. He doesn’t really have a true position, more of a rover. Good in the room. Cooks a mean stuffed pepper. Bakes some bomb oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. The willingness to embrace his ailment (baldness) and fight through it shows that there may be captain material here if he can just get his game to respectability (he can not). They probably should just forfeit the pick.
12th Overall | Calgary Flames | W Dylan Guenther
The Edmonton Oil King star goes to Calgary where he gets to play Edmonton routinely to start his career. The dual-threat forward would fit in nicely with the current Flames team and regime as well.
13th Overall | Chicago | LD Simon Edvinsson
Chicago just takes the guy who has been mischaracterized so often this year. The toolsy defender has been labeled an offensive blueliner by some. He is fully capable of doing the job in the offensive end and his passing can look great at times. His value will come as a transitional defender who turns play around. What team doesn’t need that?
14th Overall | Philadelphia Flyers | C/W Cole Sillinger
The Flyers have some holes on the backend that they’d love to fill but without reaching, adding one of the top-three goal scorers in the draft. Sillinger may not stick down the middle but the Flyers have some skilled playmakers and that’s all Sillinger needs to push 30+ goals.
15th Overall | Dallas Stars | C/W Mason McTavish
Physicality, goal-scoring ability, and a solid two-way game. Mason McTavish screams Dallas Stars fit. The team could certainly use a player like McTavish as some of their more relied upon physical offensive presences are beginning to age.
16th Overall | New York Rangers | W Francesco Pinelli
The entire vibe for this one came from my good pal Sam Stern. the noted Rangers fan probably would have loved it if L’Heureux or Sillinger were here but I think he’ll be happy getting Pinelli.
17th Overall | Montreal Canadiens | RD Daniil Chayka
Marc Bergevin has a type. Daniil Chayka, a stout defensive blueliner with some transitional upside, fits that type as well as just about anyone in this draft.
18th Overall | St. Louis Blues | W Chaz Lucius
Lucius comes in and becomes their top-forward prospect and gives them a dynamic scoring threat in the pipeline. The Blues could use a bit of a scoring punch coming up.
19th Overall | Winnipeg Jets | W Isak Rosén
To be honest, this just kept coming to mind when I looked at who the Jets could use. Rosén has a great wrist shot and his powerplay ability is quite good. He could be a steal because of his skill and he helps eventually replace what they lost in Laine and Roslovic.
20th Overall | Nashville Predators | W Samu Tuomaala
Nashville always seems to need scoring. Samu Tuomaala is very good at scoring. He was quite good in clutch moments at the U18s as well which only helped pump his draft stock more. Solid match for Tuomaala in Nashville.
21st Overall | New Jersey Devils (via NYI) | C Fyodor Svechkov
New Jersey has Hughes and Hischier at center on the top-two lines and now they add Svechkov, the best defensive forward in the draft class, and solidify a scary threesome down the middle for a decade. Svechkov’s offensive ability, specifically his passing, has taken big strides as he’s diversified his game a bit from just being a goal scorer.
22nd Overall | Edmonton Oilers | W Ayrton Martino
McDavid needs a competent winger that isn’t Leon Draisaitl. Ayrton Martino isn’t just competent but the aggressive attacker is a player who may just be the perfect fit with McDavid as he has all of the offensive skill and ability that you need at the top of the lineup. Martino with McDavid would be F U N.
23rd Overall | Boston Bruins | W Xavier Bourgault
This is one of those “gut feeling” picks. There wasn’t anyone really available that was truly giving off a Bruins vibe but Bourgault is a really good player and if he’s around in the mid-20’s, the Bruins should snag him.
24th Overall | Minnesota Wild | W Simon Robertsson
Minnesota still needs more offensive scoring punch in their lineup despite the addition of Kaprizov this season. Simon Robertsson has been falling down some lists but there are plenty with him safely in the top-15 or even top-10. Robertsson injecting his impressive shot into the Wild lineup would be a big win this late.
25th Overall | Columbus Blue Jackets (via TB) | C Samuel Helenius
This might seem like a bit of a stretch for where Helenius should get taken but there’s been some buzz around him because of how safe of a pick he is. He is a big body (6’6″, 201lbs) and plays an outstanding defensive game. His offense needs work but the flashes are there at times. Columbus takes a safe player with their second of three first round picks.
26th Overall | Detroit Red Wings (via WSH) | C Logan Stankoven
Steve Yzerman is smart. Logan Stankoven is really, really, good but he’s short. This just makes sense.
27th Overall | Florida Panthers | W Matthew Coronato
The Panthers had a great season. Matthew Coronato had a great season. The USHL was no match for Coronato this season and despite some skating issues that some have, there is almost no way he makes it out of round one.
28th Overall | Vegas Golden Knights | RD Scott Morrow
Vegas doesn’t seem to mind taking chances and Scott Morrow is a gamble because he’s played primarily Shattuck St. Mary’s this season and his level of competition wasn’t all that high. With that said, he was far and away the best player on the ice, logged MASSIVE minutes (challenging 40 minutes on a couple of occasions) and is one of, if not the most dynamic skaters on the back end in this draft. I’d take the risk, so does Vegas. Gamble baby!
29th Overall | Columbus (via TOR) | LD Carson Lambos
A preseason favorite to be a top-10 pick, Lambos has fallen throughout the year because of an up-and-down performance in Finland when he went overseas because of COVID delaying the season in the WHL. His WHL stint lasted a couple of games before a medical issue took him out of action, forcing him to miss the U18s as well.
30th Overall | Minnesota Wild (via PIT) | RD Corson Ceulemans
The Minnesota Wild have shown to be patient with their prospects. Corson Ceulemans can be a really good player if you let him refine the edges of his game. The vision and passing ability are impressive and he’s got size and mobility that teams covet. A limited sample from this year and a longer development curve could allow the Wild to come away with a player who may be a top-15 player from the class at the end of the day.
31st Overall | Carolina Hurricanes | W Ville Koivunen
Koivunen has been gaining some buzz as the draft nears. His performance at the U18s surely won’t hurt his case. He is just one of those players that seems to make good things happen when he’s on the ice. You know, kind of the entire Hurricanes roster pretty much.
32nd Overall | Colorado Avalanche | G Sebastian Cossa
It’s been said that Colorado needs a goalie. Grubauer is really good and I think he will calm those nerves in the playoffs this year but having a guy like Cossa in the pipeline could help extend the Avs window when they have to start making some tough decisions in a couple of seasons.