Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Top 64 NHL Draft Prospects At The Midseason Point

03/03/2021 at 10:35am EST

from Scott Wheeler of The Athletic,

1. Owen Power — LHD, University of Michigan, 6-foot-5
Power’s merits as the No. 1 pick are real. I understand some of the reservations some have with him in this slot. There are worthwhile questions to be asked of the role his size and age (November 2002 in a mostly 2003 age group) have played in his career, from his minor hockey dominance in the GTHL through his two years in the USHL, and to a lesser extent his strong play as a college freshman. There are worthwhile questions to be asked of his decision-making at times and of the work that still needs to be done on his pivots so that he can maximize his length to funnel opposing carriers to the outside a little better. But there’s also so much about Powers’ game that excites that I continue to settle on him as my slight favorite for first in this draft class. In a top group filled with question marks, Power is a towering, mobile, gifted-with-the-puck-laterally, excellent east-west passer with legitimate all-situations upside. Everyone who has worked with him, whether that be skills coaches or staff with the Steel and Wolverines, believes firmly in his first-pairing upside as a tough-matchups defender with real offensive skill. And while his age is noteworthy, he has also played above his age group for each of the last three seasons (his play last year with the Steel would have warranted a top-15 selection). I see a player who is further along today than, say, Moritz Seider was at the same age. Though where a player is going to be picked has no bearing on my evaluations, it’s worth noting that Power is also the most likely of the top draft picks in this class to be picked inside the top three.

2. Kent Johnson — C, University of Michigan, 6-foot-1

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