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Final Rankings for 2021 NHL Draft From NHL Central Scouting Bureau

NEW YORK (May 27, 2021) – Owen Power (Mississauga, Ont.), a 6’ 6” defenseman from the University of Michigan, ranks No. 1 among North American skaters for the 2021 NHL Draft as the NHL Central Scouting Bureau today released its final rankings. Power is one of three players from the University of Michigan to be ranked among the top six, alongside No. 3 center Kent Johnson (Port Moody, B.C.) and No. 6 center Matthew Beniers (Hingham, Mass.). No NCAA team has ever had three players selected in the first round of the NHL Draft in the same year.

“For the University of Michigan, this season was a once in a lifetime occurrence where three of the best prospects in the NHL Draft class competed on the same team,” said NHL Director of Central Scouting Dan Marr. “Each plays a different position and style, and all contributed as freshmen. Credit to Coach Mel Pearson for placing them in leadership roles to contribute and develop at the NCAA level. He helped guide them to be the best they could be.”

Rounding out the top-five North American skaters are No. 2 Mason McTavish (Carp, Ont.), a center for Peterborough of the Ontario Hockey League who played on loan with Olten of the Swiss second division in 2020-21; No. 4 Luke Hughes (Manchester, N.H.), a defenseman from Team USA’s Under-18 National Team Development Program and the brother of recent high-end selections Quinn Hughes (No. 7 by VAN in 2018) and Jack Hughes (No. 1 by NJD in 2019); and No. 5 Dylan Guenther (Edmonton, Alta.), a forward from Edmonton of the Western Hockey League.

Power can become the third NCAA player taken with the No. 1 overall pick, and first since the Islanders selected goaltender Rick DiPietro out of Boston University in 2000. The other: Michigan State forward Joe Murphy (1986 by DET). The highest selected player out of the University of Michigan was defenseman Aaron Ward – the original Jets picked him in the No. 5 slot in 1991.  

“Power is an excellent package of NHL size, skating and attributes which he utilizes effectively in all situations,” said Marr. “His hockey sense is intuitive and instinctive. A very fluid and agile skater who can transition quickly on plays and separate himself from checking. He plays a mature game for his age and is at the top of this Draft class.”

McTavish, a Canadian national who was born in Zurich, Switzerland during his father’s professional hockey career, had ties to both countries in 2020-21. He played 13 games on loan to Olten in the Swiss second division because the OHL was unable to play this season and also helped Canada earn gold at the Under-18 World Championship for the first time since 2013.

William Eklund (Stockholm, Sweden), a left wing for Djurgarden of the Swedish Hockey League, tops all international skaters while Sebastian Cossa (Hamilton, Ont.) of Edmonton in the WHL and Jesper Wallstedt (Vasteras, Sweden) of Lulea in the Swedish Hockey League rank No. 1 among goaltenders on the North America and International lists, respectively.

“Eklund is a speedy winger who played a big role on Djurgarden in the Swedish Hockey League,” said Marr. “He competes and works hard with excellent hockey sense, quickness and elite puck skills to be both a playmaker and a scorer. A scoring threat on every shift, he plays bigger than his size and plays to win.”

The final rankings feature the top 224 skaters and 32 goaltenders in North America as well as the top 150 skaters and 13 goaltenders internationally.

In its 46th year of operation, NHL Central Scouting provides evaluation and scouting of draft-eligible players to NHL member clubs. Headed by Director of Central Scouting Dan Marr, NHL Central Scouting employs eight full-time scouts throughout North America. To report on prospects playing internationally, the NHL employs the services of Goran Stubb and his staff at European Scouting Services based in Finland.

The 2021 NHL Draft will be held virtually over two days from July 23-24, 2021.

For NHL Draft history visit https://records.nhl.com/draft.

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SYF's avatar

The State of Michigan ought to be really proud of their hockey programs across every level - amateur and professional.  Really, really good players are emerging from that State.

Posted by SYF from impossible and oddly communally possessive sluts on 05/27/21 at 01:59 PM ET


Feels like a pure guess between second and 10th picks. Maybe trade down? Or take a goalie with 6-8th pick?

Posted by VPalmer on 05/27/21 at 03:54 PM ET

d ca's avatar

Feels like a pure guess between second and 10th picks. Maybe trade down? Or take a goalie with 6-8th pick?

Posted by VPalmer on 05/27/21 at 03:54 PM ET

Two very important points:
1)Skaters have a much greater chance of not busting as top 15 picks than goalies.

Draft pick success by position vs round

Michael Schuckers did a report in 2011 that looked at position vs success by round and concluded that in round 1 forwards had a 35% probability of playing 200 games or more, d-men 43%, and goalies 33%. He then looked at the mu and sigma (mean and standard deviation) of those groups. 1st round forwards 530 career games (standard deviation 457), d-men 435 (398), goalies 320 (305).

2) Brad McPherson expanded on Schuckers’ research. According to him, there is a huge difference between what the 6th pick (42.4 for forwards, 42.6 for d-men) is worth in potential value vs what the 10th pick is worth (25.4 Fwd’s, 23.8 for d-men). For comparison sake the 2nd pick is worth 84.1 for Fwd’s and 70.6 for d-men.

So statistically, I don’t like the idea of picking a goalie in the 1st for every Andrei Vasilevskiy you show me I will show you the 1.5M payment the Islanders have to make to Rick DiPietro until 2029. proof here. And trading down makes little sense for a team that has plenty of 2nd and 3rd line depth already. You need that 1st line talent and the lower the draft selection the longer the odds to get that kind of talent.

Posted by d ca on 05/28/21 at 03:35 AM ET


Looks like there are some centers solidifying themselves at the top draft of the draft. I still think I like taking another top tier D in Simon Edvinson.

I wanna stay away from drafting a goalie in the top ten, but I’d go all in on Cossa from the oil kings if he’s still available when we use Washington’s first round pick. Not sure if wallstedt is that much better than Cossa.

Pick a D this year with the top pick and then get centers the next year or two. This way the D are progressing sooner.

Just please don’t pick another winger… we’ve got enough of those: Berggren, Raymond, Zadina, vrana, Bertuzzi, etc.

Posted by beantownredwings on 05/28/21 at 08:34 AM ET

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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com