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Everything You Wanted To Know About The 2021 NHL Draft

via the NHL PR department,

The 2021 NHL Draft will be held virtually over two days. Round 1 will begin at 8 p.m. ET on Friday, July 23 (ESPN2, Sportsnet, SN NOW, TVA Sports), followed by Rounds 2-7 starting at 11 a.m. ET on Saturday, July 24 (NHL Network, Sportsnet, SN NOW).



The Sabres are slated to select first overall after winning the 2021 NHL Draft Lottery, which they entered with the best odds of any team (16.6%). It marked the third time since 2016 the team in the No. 1 position retained the top pick in the Draft Lottery – Buffalo also did so in 2018 as well as Toronto in 2016.


* Buffalo is slotted to select first overall for the fourth time in franchise history: Gilbert Perreault (No. 1 in 1970) was the first-ever draft pick in Sabres history and still holds franchise records for games played, goals, assists and points; Pierre Turgeon (No. 1 in 1987) ranks seventh in career points by a first overall pick (515-812—1,327); and Rasmus Dahlin (No. 1 in 2018) has led Buffalo blueliners in points in each of his first three NHL campaigns.



The NHL’s newest franchise will start to take shape when they select 30 players in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft presented by Upper Deck on Wednesday, July 21, at 8 p.m. ET (ESPN2, Sportsnet, SN NOW, TVA Sports) before making the second overall pick in the 2021 NHL Draft on Friday.

* Two players picked in the NHL Draft by a franchise before its inaugural season went on to record 1,000+ points with the club. The Sabres chose Gilbert Perreault No. 1 overall in 1970 (512-814—1,326 in 1,191 GP), before their first campaign in 1970-71, and the Oilers selected Mark Messier in the 1979 third round (48th overall), before their first NHL game in 1979-80. Messier went on to record 392-642—1,034 in 851 regular-season games with Edmonton and helped them win five Stanley Cups.

* This is set to be the 16th time a franchise’s first-ever draft pick is among the first two selections, including five teams that have done so over the last 45 years.



The Ducks (No. 3), Devils (No. 4) and Blue Jackets (No. 5) are slated to round out the top-five in 2021:


* The Ducks are set to pick in the No. 3 position for the first time. They have selected among the top three on two occasions, choosing Oleg Tverdovsky (No. 2 in 1994) and Bobby Ryan (No. 2 in 2005). 


* The Devils are set to pick in the No. 4 slot for the second time in franchise history after selecting Adam Larsson in the same spot in 2011. New Jersey holds a top-four selection for the third time in five years after a pair of recent No. 1 overall selections: Nico Hischier (2017) and Jack Hughes (2019).


* The Blue Jackets have never picked at No. 5, but they have selected among the top-five on six occasions including in 2002 when they used the No. 1 pick to choose Rick Nash, the franchise leader in goals, assists, points and games played. The others: Rostislav Klesla (No. 4 in 2000 – the club’s first-ever draft pick), Nikolay Zherdev (No. 4 in 2003), Ryan Johansen (No. 4 in 2010), Ryan Murray (No. 2 in 2012) and Pierre-Luc Dubois (No. 3 in 2016).


Owen Power enters the 2021 NHL Draft as the No. 1-ranked North American skater after spending the 2020-21 season playing in the NCAA with the University of Michigan (3-13—16 in 26 GP), where he was named to the Big 10 All-Rookie Team and Big 10 Second All-Star Team.

* The Mississauga, Ont., native’s accolades also include being named the 2019-20 USHL Defenseman of the Year after leading all USHL blueliners with 12-28—40 in 45 games with the Chicago Steel. More recently, Power was a key member of Team Canada’s gold medal-winning team at the 2021 World Championship in Riga, Latvia.


* Power can become just the third NCAA player taken No. 1 overall in the NHL Draft; he would join Boston University’s Rick DiPietro (2000; NYI) and Michigan State University’s Joe Murphy (1986; DET).

* In the history of the NHL Draft (since 1963), there have been 15 defensemen selected with the No. 1 overall pick (15 of 58; 25.9%). Only three blueliners have been selected first overall in the last 24 years: Rasmus Dahlin (2018; BUF), Aaron Ekblad (2014; FLA) and Erik Johnson (2006; STL).


In addition to defenseman Owen Power, a pair of forwards from the University of Michigan are also among NHL Central Scouting’s top-six ranked North American skaters: Kent Johnson (No. 3) and Matthew Beniers (No. 6).

* Johnson was named to the Big 10 All-Rookie Team in 2020-21 after finishing second among all freshmen with 9-18—27 in 26 games. Beniers averaged a point per game in his freshman season with 10-14—24 in 24 games, and like Power, represented his country at the 2021 World Championship when he suited up for six games with the United States (1-1—2).

* A U.S. college has yet to have three players selected in the first round of the same NHL Draft, though there have been three instances of two NCAA teammates being selected in the same opening round.


* U.S. college players have only been selected with both the No. 1 and No. 2 picks in the same Draft once – Boston University’s Rick DiPietro (No. 1 by NYI) and the University of Wisconsin’s Dany Heatley (No. 2 by ATL) were the first two choices in 2000.

* In the modern history of the NHL Draft, there has never been a year in which the first two picks both came from the same team. There have only been two occurrences in NHL Draft history, with both taking place more than 50 years ago. In 1963, teammates Garry Monahan (No. 1 by MTL) and Peter Mahovlich (No. 2 by DET) were selected from the St. Michael’s Juveniles, followed six years later, in 1969, by the Montreal Junior Canadiens duo of Rejean Houle (No. 1 by MTL) and Marc Tardif (No. 2 by MTL).



Defenseman Luke Hughes, the No. 4-ranked North American skater for the 2021 NHL Draft, looks to follow brothers Quinn (No. 7 in 2018) and Jack (No. 1 in 2019) as an early first-round selection.


* Luke spent the 2020-21 season with USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program’s under-18 team where he registered 6-28—34 in 38 games and his 0.89 points per game topped all defensemen on the team. Both of his brothers also came up through the program.


* In 2021-22, Luke is expected to join the University of Michigan where his brother, Quinn, starred for two seasons before making the jump to the NHL.

* The Hughes’ can become the third family to have three or more siblings all selected in the first round of the NHL Draft.


A trio of Swedish-born players could make a splash at the 2021 NHL Draft with left wing William Eklund (Stockholm) and defenseman Simon Edvinsson (Kungsbacka) ranked No. 1 and No. 2 among international skaters, respectively, while top-ranked international goaltender Jesper Wallstedt (Vasteras) is expected to have his name called on July 23.

* Eklund spent the entire 2020-21 season in the Swedish Hockey League playing with Djurgarden, where he tied for second on his team in goals as an 18-year-old (11-12—23 in 40 GP). After an impressive first full season playing professional hockey in Sweden, he was named both the SHL’s Rookie of the Year and Swedish Junior Hockey Player of the Year.


* Edvinsson is a big, strong defenseman who split 2020-21 between Frolunda’s junior team (1-5—6 in 14 GP), Vasteras in Sweden’s second division (0-5—5 in 14 GP) and Frolunda’s men’s team in the Swedish Hockey League (10 GP). He also helped Sweden earn a bronze medal at the 2021 Under-18 World Championship, tying for the team lead in points among defenseman (1-3—4 in 7 GP).


* Wallstedt spent the 2020-21 season tending the crease for Lulea of the Swedish Hockey League where he posted a 12-10-0 record (2.23 GAA, .908 SV%, 2 SO). He can become the highest-drafted Swedish-born goaltender in NHL history and first to be selected in the first round. Two Swedish goaltenders have been selected with the first pick of the second round: Oscar Dansk (No. 31 by CBJ in 2012) and Jacob Markstrom (No. 31 by FLA in 2008).

* Should Wallstedt be selected among the top 10 in 2021, he would be the first goaltender taken with one of the first 10 picks of an NHL Draft since 2005 when Carey Price was selected fifth by Montreal. Last year, Russian-born netminder Iaroslav Askarov fell just outside the mark (No. 11 by NSH).



* No. 2-ranked North American skater Mason McTavish averaged 1.57 points per game at the 2021 Under-18 World Championship to help Canada win its first gold at the tournament since 2013 (5-6—11 in 7 GP). The Peterborough Petes forward, who finished second in OHL rookie scoring in 2019-20, played the 2020-21 season on loan with Olten of Switzerland’s second division where he averaged nearly a point per game (9-2—11 in 13 GP).

* No. 5-ranked North American skater Dylan Guenther averaged 2.00 points per game for the Edmonton Oil Kings of the WHL in a shortened 2020-21 season (12-12—24 in 12 GP). In 2019-20, Guenther had a breakout junior campaign in which he was named WHL Rookie of the Year after recording 26-33—59 in 58 contests and posting a plus-26 rating.


* No. 7-ranked North American skater Brandt Clarke of the OHL’s Barrie Colts skated in 26 games on loan with Nove Zamky in Slovakia’s top professional league in 2020-21 where the blueliner recorded 15 points (5-10—15). Clarke was named a tournament all-star at the 2021 Under-18 World Championship where he produced at a point-per-game pace (2-5—7 in 7 GP) to help Canada earn gold.


* No. 8-ranked North American skater Brennan Othmann of the OHL’s Flint Firebirds played 34 games on loan with Olten in Switzerland’s second division in 2020-21 (7-9—16). He was not the first member of his family to play in a Swiss pro league - his father, Gery, skated in 11 seasons in Switzerland (1989-90 to 2000-01) and his uncle, Robert, played in the country for 16 seasons.


* No. 9-ranked North American skater Matthew Coronato’s standout 2020-21 campaign saw him named USHL Forward of the Year after leading the league with 48 goals (48-37—85 in 51 GP) and leading all USHL skaters in postseason scoring with 9-4—13 (8 GP) to help the Chicago Steel earn a 2021 Clark Cup championship.

* No. 10-ranked North American skater Cole Sillinger was named USHL Rookie of the Year in 2020-21 after leading all first-year skaters in goals and ranking second in points (24-22—46 in 31 GP). His father, Mike, was a forward who skated in 1,049 career regular-season games spanning 17 NHL seasons with a dozen different teams (240-308—548 in 1,049 GP).

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SYF's avatar

Power can become just the third NCAA player taken No. 1 overall in the NHL Draft; he would join Boston University’s Rick DiPietro (2000; NYI) and Michigan State University’s Joe Murphy (1986; DET).

1986 was the last year the Wings picked first overall.  We’re coming up on 35 years without a first overall pick.

Posted by SYF from impossible and oddly communally possessive sluts on 07/17/21 at 11:14 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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