This year’s prospect class is shaping up to be a boon for teams looking for blueline help, with defencemen holding down the top four spots on the latest edition of TSN Director of Scouting Craig Button’s rankings ahead of the 2021 NHL Draft, scheduled for July 23.
Owen Power, the towering 6-foot-5-1/2, 213-pound Michigan Wolverines defenceman, is Button’s top prospect available after scoring three goals and 16 points in 26 games at the NCAA level. And his talents will be showcased again later this month as he'll play for Team Canada at the IIHF Men's World Hockey Championship in Latvia.
“Power’s combination of skills is unique,” Button said of the left-shot defenceman. “He’s got superb hockey sense, very good skill and superior size.”
Barrie Colts defenceman Brandt Clarke, who spent this season with HC Nove Zamky in the top Slovakian professional league while the Ontario Hockey League was on pause during the pandemic, comes in second in Button’s rankings.
Clarke, a right-shot defenceman who is 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds, helped Canada win gold at the under-18 men's hockey championship in Frisco, Texas with two goals and seven points in seven games.
“Clarke brings a skill set that includes creativity, boldness and confidence,” Button said. “His game combines elements of Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns.”