The Top 100: Hockey's Best Players 21 and Under - The Hockey News on Sports Illustrated

The Top 100: Hockey's Best Players 21 and Under

McDavid and Matthews have aged off of the list. So, who takes top spot now? The Hockey News runs down the top-100 prospects in hockey.
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Our master list has changed. For the first time since we began this exercise in 2016, Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews are missing. Sounds weird, but they’re too old. This year’s collection of the best players 21 and under is capped at the 1998 birth year, so even late ’97s like Charlie McAvoy are ineligible. But oh, we still have some names. The talent here represents the future, and though you might have to wait five years or more before you see some of these kids in the NHL, it’ll be worth it. Rankings are based on projections of what forwards will be like at age 23, what the defenseman will be at 24 and the goalies at 25. Hockey insiders, our own Future Watch issue and senior writer Ryan Kennedy’s draft rankings were all considered in compiling this list, which was crafted by Kennedy. Bios were written by Kennedy and fellow senior writer Matt Larkin.

1. Rasmus Dahlin
POS: D | Age: 19 | Last Year: 4
Team: Buffalo (NHL) | Draft: 1st, 2018 (BUF)
“There’s nobody close to him,” said a scout of Dahlin in The Hockey News’ Draft Preview 2018. Even as a defenseman, he earned the caliber of No. 1 pick buzz typically reserved for generational-phenom forwards like Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid. Dahlin really was that good in his draft year. He rushed the puck like a playmaking center but punished opponents in the defensive zone like an elite shutdown technician. Dahlin hasn’t been given a ton of responsibility on the defensive side as a Sabres sophomore, but he’s exactly what he was supposed to be on the offensive end thus far: pure magic. As a rookie, he became just the third 18-year-old D-man in NHL history to top 40 points in a season. The other two: Phil Housley and Bobby Orr.

2. Elias Pettersson
POS: C | Age: 20 | Last Year: 8
Team: Vancouver (NHL) | Draft: 5th, 2017 (VAN)

Pettersson’s career began so blistering hot that he made his No. 5 overall draft slot look like an insult within 10 games – in which he had 10 goals. If teams got do-overs on 2017, there’s no way Nico Hischier and Nolan Patrick come off the board before Pettersson. His puckhandling is sublime. His shot has blown away expectations. He can beat goalies with a wrister or one-timer. It’s a laser either way. Injuries shortened his Calder-winning rookie year by 11 games, a reminder that his waif-like build puts him in danger at times, but he still set Canucks rookie records for points and points per game. Pettersson was miscast as merely a “future No. 1 center.” He has Art Ross- and MVP-level upside.

3. Miro Heiskanen
POS: D | Age: 20 | Last Year: 12
Team: Dallas (NHL) | Draft: 3rd, 2017 (DAL)

It turns out if you want to get Miro Heiskanen rattled, the best thing to do is to force him to talk, preferably about himself and in front of a lot of people. That’s not really his thing. Former NHL great and countryman Kimmo Timonen has met and spoken to Heiskanen once and said he got more information out of Heiskanen’s girlfriend than he managed to pry out of the 20-year-old son of a kindergarten teacher and an automatic-door repairman from suburban Helsinki. So there’s that. [Read more]

4. Cale Makar
POS: D | Age: 21 | Last Year: 41
Team: Colorado (NHL) | Draft: 4th, 2017 (COL)

The main reason Colorado could afford to trade Tyson Barrie over the summer: it had Makar, another silky-smooth, right-shot, puck-moving defenseman, ready to take over as its primary power-play quarterback. Forget that he was 20 at the time and had yet to play a regular-season NHL game. Makar is such a virtuoso with the puck that he got an Olympic invite from Team Canada in 2018, when he was a teenager, and he jumped directly from college to the Stanley Cup playoffs last spring, logging 17:22 a game. Makar possesses the skill and intelligence to become an offensive force and perennial Norris Trophy threat.

5. Patrik Laine
POS: RW | Age: 21 | Last Year: 3
Team: Winnipeg (NHL) | Draft: 2nd, 2016 (WPG)

Maddening inconsistency limited Laine to “only” 30 goals in his age-20 season. That’s how high the standard is for a player with such raw goal-scoring talent that he sniped 18 goals in one month last year. He’s the fourth-fastest player in NHL history to get 100 goals.

6. Jack Hughes
POS: C | Age: 18 | Last Year: 6
Team: New Jersey (NHL) | Draft: 1st, 2019 (NJ)

Don’t let seven-game goal drought to start career scare you. He remains a scoring dynamo with superstar ceiling.

7. Alexis Lafreniere
POS: LW | Age: 18 | Last Year: 7
Team: Rimouski (QMJHL) | Draft: 2020

Top draft prospect has destroyed the ‘Q’ with his high-end skill and vision. Canada needs him at WJC.

8. Quinton Byfield
POS: C | Age: 17 | Last Year: 10
Team: Sudbury (OHL) | Draft: 2020

Big body, heavy shot, tons of skill. Right behind Lafreniere in the draft rankings by a razor-thin margin.

8. Brady Tkachuk
POS: LW | Age: 20 | Last Year: 35
Team: Ottawa (NHL) | Draft: 4th 2018 (OTT)

Exactly as advertised. Has the size and touch around the net of father Keith and the nasty streak of brother Matthew. Brady popped 22 goals as a 19-year-old rookie. Already as mature as a seasoned pro, he’ll get all the ice time he wants on a rebuilding Sens squad.

10. Quinn Hughes
POS: D | Age: 20 | Last Year: 27
Team: Vancouver (NHL) | Draft: 7th, 2018 (VAN)

A cowboy with puck on his stick. Fast and furious offense. Small build doesn’t hurt much in today’s NHL.

11. Cody Glass
POS: C | Age: 20 | Last Year: 46
Team: Vegas (NHL) | Draft: 6th, 2017 (VEG)

Knights rewarded for slow-cooking his development. Heady pivot is a maven passing puck on power play.

12. Yaroslav Askarov
POS: G | Age: 17 | Last Year: NR
Team: SKA-Neva St. Petersburg (Rus2) | Draft: 2020

‘The Dreamkiller’ has all the tools to be a generational talent in net. Size, technique and scrambling ability.

13. Andrei Svechnikov
POS: RW | Age: 19 | Last Year: 30
Team: Carolina (NHL) | Draft: 2nd, 2018 (CAR)

Faring better as playmaker early on, but goals will come. That’s his trade. No more Ovie fights, please.

14. Carter Hart
POS: G | Age: 21 | Last Year: 22
Team: Philadelphia (NHL) | Draft: 48th, 2016 (PHI)

One of three goalies in cap era to start more than 20 games at age 20 or younger. Flyer goalie curse dead?

15. Aatu Raty
POS: C | Age: 16 | Last Year: NR
Team: Karpat (Fin) | Draft: 2021
Already putting up points against men, Raty has great vision and plays with damn-the-torpedoes hustle.

16. Shane Wright
POS: C | Age: 15 | Last Year: 84
Team: Kingston (OHL) | Draft: 2022

Exceptional-status winner has been leading the way in Kingston with a bunch of points. Strong on his skates.

17. Pierre-Luc Dubois
POS: C | Age: 21 | Last Year: 25
Team: Columbus (NHL) | Draft: 3rd, 2016 (CLB)

Has far less help in Columbus now, but with his size, snarl and skill, he’s capable of being a franchise forward.

18. Kaapo Kakko
POS: RW | Age: 18 | Last Year: 15
Team: NY Rangers (NHL) | Draft: 2nd, 2019 (NYR)

Rags the puck. Already built like a man. Only a matter of time before he lands on top line and stays there for good.

19. Mikhail Sergachev
POS: D | Age: 21 | Last Year: 29
Team: Tampa Bay (NHL) | Draft: 9th, 2016 (MTL)

It’s telling that he’s still young enough for this list as a multi-year NHLer. Lots of time to mature into stud two-way ‘D,’ but Bolts must entrust him with more minutes.

20. Spencer Knight
POS: G | Age: 18 | Last Year: 40
Team: Boston College (HE) | Draft: 13th, 2019 (FLA)

Has all the tools to be an elite NHL netminder, and got his college career off to a nice start with the Eagles. How long before he’s knocking on Bobrovsky’s door?

21. Kirby Dach
POS: C | Age: 18 | Last Year: 16
Team: Saskatoon (WHL) | Draft: 3rd, 2019 (CHI)

Big center had dominant summer that saw him make the Blackhawks out of camp and impress early on.

22. Cole Caufield
POS: RW | Age: 18 | Last Year: NR
Team: Wisconsin (Big Ten) | Draft: 15th, 2019 (MTL)

Piling up goals as a freshman with the Badgers. No one can touch the pinpoint accuracy of his release.

23. Clayton Keller
POS: RW | Age: 21 | Last Year: 17
Team: Arizona (NHL) | Draft: 7th, 2016 (ARI)

Speedy scorer had sophomore slump. Coyotes took leap of faith anyway with rich long-term deal. Time to earn it.

24. Noah Dobson
POS: D | Age: 19 | Last Year: 34
Team: NY Islanders (NHL) | Draft: 12th, 2018 (NYI)

Total package. Great skating and size. Playing sparingly as rookie. Canada can borrow him for key gig at WJC.

25. Bowen Byram
POS: D | Age: 18 | Last Year: NR
Team: Vancouver (WHL) | Draft: 4th, 2019 (COL)

Incredibly skilled defenseman with smarts will have a big role with Giants and Canada’s world junior squad.

26. Alex Turcotte
POS: C | Age: 18 | Last Year: NR
Team: Wisconsin (Big Ten) | Draft: 5th, 2019 (LA)

With health woes behind him, Turcotte is laying waste to the NCAA with his great skating and skills package.

27. K'Andre Miller
POS: D | Age: 19 | Last Year: 96
Team: Wisconsin (Big Ten) | Draft: 22nd, 2018 (NYR)

Big, athletic two-way blueliner basically has it all. Looking for an NCAA title and WJC gold with Team USA.

28. Lucas Raymond
POS: RW | Age: 17 | Last Year: 21
Team: Frolunda (Swe) | Draft: 2020

Offensively, he can really make things happen, and he’s going to be counted on by Sweden at the world juniors.

29. Alex Holtz
POS: RW | Age: 17 | Last Year: 37
Team: Djurgarden (Swe) | Draft: 2020

His shot and his goal-scoring prowess are elite, and he often plays with Raymond internationally.

30. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen
POS: G | Age: 20 | Last Year: NR
Team: Rochester (AHL) | Draft: 54th, 2017 (BUF)

Began the season on the shelf (hip) but proved he was a future NHL starter last year with OHL Sudbury.

31. Nico Hischier
POS: C | Age: 20 | Last Year: 20
Team: New Jersey (NHL) | Draft: 1st, 2017 (NJ)

Averages 52 points per 82 games in young career. Not a prodigy, but with his two-way IQ, he doesn’t need to be.

32. Joe Veleno
POS: C | Age: 19 | Last Year: NR
Team: Grand Rapids (AHL) | Draft: 30th, 2018 (DET)

He’s becoming the dominating, clutch center that originally got him exceptional status in the QMJHL.

33. Anton Lundell
POS: C | Age: 18 | Last Year: NR
Team: HIFK (Fin) | Draft: 2020

Great hockey sense and compete level have earned him early success, including gold at the WJC with Finland.

34. Erik Brannstrom
POS: D | Age: 20 | Last Year: 80
Team: Ottawa (NHL) | Draft: 15th, 2017 (VEG)

Key piece in Mark Stone deal. Moves puck like Chabot 2.0 but less defensively inclined. Sheltered as a rook.

35. Dylan Cozens
POS: C | Age: 18 | Last Year: 48
Team: Lethbridge (WHL) | Draft: 7th, 2019 (BUF)

Thumb injury wrecked his summer, but return to Lethbridge has seen big, fast pivot dominate early.

36. Oliver Wahlstrom
POS: RW | Age: 19 | Last Year: 71
Team: Bridgeport (AHL) | Draft: 11th, 2018 (NYI)

Turns out the pro game agrees with the sturdily built sniper even more than the junior/college circuit did.

37. Matthew Savoie
POS: C | Age: 15 | Last Year: 47
Team: Winnipeg (WHL) | Draft: 2022

Didn’t get exceptional status but will play a bunch for the Ice. Quick phenom just laid waste to the prep ranks.

38. Moritz Seider
POS: D | Age: 18 | Last Year: NR
Team: Grand Rapids (AHL) | Draft: 6th, 2019 (DET)

Draft-day shocker showed he had snarl to go with his skilled two-way game this summer. New fan favorite.

39. Vitali Kravtsov
POS: RW | Age: 19 | Last Year: 67
Team: Hartford (AHL) | Draft: 9th, 2018 (NYR)

Adjusting to North American game for first time, but the size, hands and skill won’t be denied for very long.

40. Ty Smith
POS: D | Age: 19 | Last Year: 99
Team: Spokane (WHL) | Draft: 17th, 2018 (NJ)

Elite offensive defenseman got a long look from Devils but goes back to junior with WJC gold on his mind.

41. Cole Perfetti
POS: C | Age: 17 | Last Year: NR
Team: Saginaw (OHL) | Draft: 2020

Difficult to keep off the scoresheet, Perfetti is a top-notch playmaker who also has a devastating shot.

42. Trevor Zegras
POS: C | Age: 18 | Last Year: NR
Team: Boston U (HE) | Draft: 9th, 2019 (ANA)

Effective two-way center has great playmaking skills, and he got on the board early and often with Terriers.

43. Rasmus Sandin
POS: D | Age: 19 | Last Year: nr
Team: Toronto (NHL) | Draft: 29th, 2018 (TOR)

Bright lights of Toronto market don’t faze him at all. Calm with puck. Big minutes on Leafs not available yet.

44. Adam Fantilli
POS: C | Age: 14 | Last Year: NR
Team: Kimball Union (USHL) | Draft: Eligible in 2023
You can imagine Luca Fantilli’s surprise when he looked across the ice and saw his kid brother skating in the warmup for the other team. Adam Fantilli had made a major life and hockey decision, leaving the biggest and most prestigious youth hockey association in the world to be closer to his brother, and in one of their first games they were going nose-to-nose instead of being side-by-side. [Read more.]

45. Martin Necas
POS: C | Age: 20 | Last Year: 44
Team: Carolina (NHL) | Draft: 12th, 2017 (CAR)

Grooming Necas conservatively paid dividends, as spending most of 2018-19 in the AHL yielded a Calder Cup title run with Charlotte. His great hands helped him pile up assists at that level. Finally sticking in the NHL, he’s toiled as a winger early, but he’s a natural center.

46.Samuel Girard
POS: D | Age: 21 | Last Year: nr
Team: Colorado (NHL) | Draft: 47th, 2016 (NSH)

The Avs have so many good young blueliners that Girard gets overshadowed. His mobility is excellent, and he can run a power play, but he’s also being entrusted with a top-pair assignment alongside shutdown man Erik Johnson. Girard can defend in the modern style.

47. Adam Boqvist
POS: D | Age: 19 | Last Year: 58
Team: Rockford (AHL) | Draft: 8th, 2018 (CHI)

After a solid season with OHL London, the offensively gifted D-man brings his mobility to the pro ranks. Boqvist will also be key for Sweden at the WJC again.

48. Jamie Drysdale
POS: D | Age: 17 | Last Year: NR
Team: Erie (OHL) | Draft: 2020

The top blueline prospect in the upcoming draft class, Drysdale is a sublime skater who can put up points and play important minutes. Great leadership qualities, too.

49. Chaz Lucius
POS: C | Age: 16 | Last Year: 88
Team: U.S. NTDP U17 (USHL) | Draft: 2021

Was Lucius just ringing it up against inferior talent last year? Nope, he’s the real deal. The powerful goal-scorer is making a statement with the NTDP’s under-17 squad by filling the net. He’s an NCAA Minnesota commit.

50. Brayden Yager
POS: RW | Age: 14 | Last Year: NR
Team: Saskatoon Contacts (SMHL) | Draft: 2023

Incredible instincts and skill. A bantam playing midget and still dominating as the leading scorer on his team.

51. Cayden Primeau
POS: G | Age: 20 | Last Year: 53
Team: Laval (AHL) | Draft: 199th, 2018 (MTL)

Big netminder playing his first pro season after solid college career. Primeau had great numbers early.

52. Filip Zadina
POS: LW | Age: 19 | Last Year: 31
Team: Grand Rapids (AHL) | Draft: 6th, 2018 (DET)

The talent is undeniable, but Zadina is still putting together his game, and the AHL is the place to do it.

53. Jesperi Kotkaniemi
POS: C | Age: 19 | Last Year: 54
Team: Montreal (NHL) | Draft: 3rd, 2018 (MTL)

Fast and shifty. NHL’s youngest player last year. Habs are crowded at center, so he really has to fight for ice time.

54. Ryan Merkley
POS: D | Age: 19 | Last Year: 65
Team: London (OHL) | Draft: 21st, 2018 (SJ)

Traded again in junior, but the offensive skills and skating are hard to ignore. Can the Sharks handle him?

55. Sam Steel
POS: C | Age: 21 | Last Year: 87
Team: Anaheim (NHL) | Draft: 30th, 2016 (ANA)

Scored in junior. Scored in AHL. Ducks think the playmaker is ready to score in NHL centering middle-six line.

56. Nick Suzuki
POS: C | Age: 20 | Last Year: 79
Team: Montreal (NHL) | Draft: 13th, 2017 (VEG)

“Smart” is first word used to describe him. Well-rounded. Can play center or wing. Earned NHL gig in pre-season.

57. Brandt Clarke
POS: D | Age: 16 | Last Year: NR
Team: Barrie (OHL) | Draft: 2021

First blueliner taken in 2019 OHL draft has a fantastic skills package. Great skater with tons of puck patience.

58. Joel Farabee
POS: LW | Age: 19 | Last Year: 90
Team: Lehigh Valley (AHL) | Draft: 14th, 2018 (PHI)

Unceasing motor makes him great. One-and-done in NCAA but got an early-season NHL call-up.

59. Henri Jokiharju
POS: D | Age: 20 | Last Year: nr
Team: Buffalo (NHL) | Draft: 29th, 2017 (CHI)

Right-hander has excellent intelligence and passing. Positive impact on possession so far in young career.

60. Justin Barron
POS: D | Age: 17 | Last Year: NR
Team: Halifax (QMJHL) | Draft: 2020

Excellent skater plays with tons of confidence and has already played in a Memorial Cup final with Halifax.

61. Jesper Wallstedt
POS: G | Age: 16 | Last Year: NR
Team: Lulea Jr. (Swe) | Draft: 2021

The top goalie prospect for next year’s draft has already won gold at the world under-18s and is currently dominating the nation’s under-20 circuit.

62. Adam Fox
POS: D | Age: 21 | Last Year: nr
Team: NY Rangers (NHL) | Draft: 66th, 2016 (CGY)

Primary puck-moving ‘D’ in Ranger rebuild left Harvard for pros and didn’t need a second of AHL seasoning.

63. Barret Hayton
POS: C | Age: 19 | Last Year: 61
Team: Arizona (NHL) | Draft: 5th, 2018 (ARI)

Natural leader could be a captain someday. All-around game suits him to play on any line in any role.

64. Luke Hughes
POS: D | Age: 16 | Last Year: 85
Team: US NTDP U17 (USHL) | Draft: 2021

The bar is high, but he’s bigger than older brothers Jack and Quinn, and the skating is just as good.

65. Serron Noel
POS: RW | Age: 19 | Last Year: NR
Team: Oshawa (OHL) | Draft: 34th, 2018 (FLA)

Has always had a beast-mode setting, but now we’re seeing it more consistently with the power forward.

66. Jack Dugan
POS: RW | Age: 21 | Last Year: NR
Team: Providence (HE) | Draft: 142nd, 2018 (VEG)

College has been a breeze for the late-bloomer power forward. He’s piling up points for the Friars.

67. Owen Power
POS: D | Age: 16 | Last Year: 51
Team: Chicago (USHL) | Draft: 2021

Putting up great numbers early. The NCAA Michigan commit has the size and skating to be a force.

68. Evan Bouchard
POS: D | Age: 20 | Last Year: 59
Team: Bakersfield (AHL) | Draft: 10th, 2018 (EDM)

Exceptional passer has already seen some NHL time but continues to grow his game with the Condors. Excellent chance we’ll see him back up with Oilers this season.

69. Alexander Khovanov
POS: C | Age: 19 | Last Year: NR
Team: Moncton (QMJHL) | Draft: 86th, 2018 (MIN)

Weird maladies slowed him down, but, when healthy, Khovanov has proven to be a driven and very skilled center. The Wild could really use him soon.

70. Philip Broberg
POS: D | Age: 18 | Last Year: 93
Team: Skelleftea (SWE) | Draft: 8th, 2019 (EDM)

With his size and skating, the points will start to flow eventually. He is playing against men, to be fair.

71. Alexander Romanov
POS: D | Age: 19 | Last Year: NR
Team: CSKA (KHL) | Draft: 38th, 2018 (MTL)

Tour-de-force world juniors put the big shooter on the map, and this year he’ll be even more crucial for Russia.

72. Hendrix Lapierre
POS: C | Age: 17 | Last Year: NR
Team: Chicoutimi (QMJHL) | Draft: 2020

Devastating playmaker had eye-opening Hlinka-Gretzky tourney and has been an offensive driver for the Sags.

73. Dante Fabbro
POS: D | Age: 21 | Last Year: 82
Team: Nashville (NHL) | Draft: 17th, 2016 (NSH)
Preds felt comfortable trading P.K. Subban because the poised, mobile 200-foot asset Fabbro was ready for a top-four role alongside Mattias Ekholm.

74. Grigori Denisenko
POS: LW | Age: 19 | Last Year: NR
Team: Yaroslavl (KHL) | Draft: 15th, 2018 (FLA)

His rare combination of speed, skill and drive are tantalizing, and he’ll be a monster for the Russians at the world juniors again.

75. Nic Hague
POS: D | Age: 20 | Last Year: nr
Team: Vegas (NHL) | Draft: 34th, 2017 (VEG)

The 6-foot-6 monster plays physical, scores goals with big point shot. Skating is the knock, but it’s improving.

76. Vasili Podkolzin 
POS: RW | Age: 18 | Last Year: NR
Team: SKA-Neva St. Petersburg (Rus2) | Draft: 10th, 2019 (VAN)

Powerful, talented two-way winger causes havoc when he’s at the top of his game. Look for a big WJC again.

77. Owen Tippett
POS: RW | Age: 20 | Last Year: NR
Team: Springfield (AHL) | Draft: 10th, 2017 (FLA)

The shot, size and speed are amazing. He just needs a consistent effort. Some time in the ‘A’ will be the tonic.

78. Morgan Frost
POS: C | Age: 20 | Last Year: 33
Team: Lehigh Valley (AHL) | Draft: 27th, 2017 (PHI)

Headed into the pros after an exemplary junior career. Hit the ground running with instant offense.

79. Connor Bedard
POS: C | Age: 14 | Last Year: 45
Team: West Van (CSSHL) | Draft: 2023

The young’un with the NHL-caliber shot and release will battle Brayden Yager for glory in the WHL bantam draft.

80. Ville Heinola
POS: D | Age: 18 | Last Year: nr
Team: Winnipeg (NHL) | Draft: 20th, 2019 (WPG)

Typically, if a D-man excels in NHL at 18, he’s an early first-rounder. Icy-calm puck-mover Heinola is already a steal at No. 20. He was a godsend for depleted Jets ‘D.’

81. Cal Foote
POS: D | Age: 20 | Last Year: NR
Team: Syracuse (AHL) | Draft: 14th, 2017 (TB)

In a lot of other organizations, he’d be in the NHL already, but Tampa has great depth. That just gives the big, talented defenseman more time to marinate in the AHL, where he’s putting up good numbers.

82. Alexandre Texier 
POS: LW | Age: 20 | Last Year: nr
Team: Columbus (NHL) | Draft: 45th, 2017 (CLB)

Blends slick playmaking with a feisty game. Earned Torts’ trust quickly. Opened season on top line.

83. Max Comtois
POS: LW | Age: 20 | Last Year: nr
Team: Anaheim (NHL) | Draft: 50th, 2017 (ANA)

Heart-and-soul leader should settle into middle six. Loves to hit on forecheck but can score goals as well.

84. Scott Perunovich
POS: D | Age: 21 | Last Year: NR
Team: Minn.-Duluth (NCHC) | Draft: 45th, 2018 (STL)

Offensively gifted defenseman has won two national championships, and he’s working on a third.

85. Liam Foudy
POS: C | Age: 19 | Last Year: 95
Team: London (OHL) | Draft: 18th, 2018 (CLB)

Speedster’s autumn was kinda so-so. Now he gets a chance to own the OHL and the WJC with Canada.

86. Ryan Poehling
POS: C | Age: 21 | Last Year: 97
Team: Laval (AHL) | Draft: 25th, 2017 (MTL)

A concussion wrecked his pre-season, but the big two-way center will be an important part of Habs’ future.

87. Alexander Nylander
POS: LW | Age: 21 | Last Year: nr
Team: Chicago (NHL) | Draft: 8th, 2016 (BUF)

Hawks acquired him hoping to repeat Dylan Strome redemption. Nylander started scoring right away.

88. Zachary L’Heureux
POS: C | Age: 16 | Last Year: NR
Team: Moncton (QMJHL) | Draft: 2021

Talented ‘Q’ rookie is off to a fantastic start with the top-end Wildcats, and he ruled the Canada Winter Games.

89. Filip Larsson
POS: G | Age: 21 | Last Year: NR
Team: Grand Rapids (AHL) | Draft: 167th, 2017 (DET)

Talented netminder was awesome in one year with NCAA Denver, so he turned pro. Off to good start, too.

90. Dylan Holloway
POS: C | Age: 18 | Last Year: NR
Team: Wisconsin (Big Ten) | Draft: 2020

Freshman plays on a loaded Badgers squad, but his size, speed and skill have paid dividends already.

91. Matthew Boldy
POS: LW | Age: 18 | Last Year: 19
Team: Boston College (HE) | Draft: 12th, 2019 (MIN)

The latest elite-scoring winger to come from the NTDP, Boldy can use college to get faster and stronger.

92. Connor Timmins 
POS: D | Age: 21 | Last Year: NR
Team: Colorado (AHL) | Draft: 32nd, 2017 (COL)

Feel-good story returns from long injury absence to make NHL debut. He’s got great two-way elements.

93. Ty Dellandrea
POS: C | Age: 19 | Last Year: NR
Team: Flint (OHL) | Draft: 13th, 2018 (DAL)

Firebirds captain plays a tremendous two-way game and has shown great character in his young career.

94. Jacob Bernard-Docker
POS: D | Age: 19 | Last Year: NR
Team: North Dakota (NCHC) | Draft: 19th, 2018 (Ott)

Solid two-way defenseman is taking the NCAA by storm as a sophomore after a very nice freshman campaign.

95. Brad Lambert
POS: C | Age: 15 | Last Year: NR
Team: HIFK JR. (fin) | Draft: 2022

Plays for Finland, comes from Canadian stock. Whiz kid is a point-per-gamer against under-20 competition.

96. Emil Bemstrom
POS: RW | Age: 20 | Last Year: nr
Team: Columbus (NHL) | Draft: 117th, 2017 (CLB)

Last season, at 19, became youngest player ever to lead Swedish League in goals. Possesses a lethal snapshot.

97. Cam York
POS: D | Age: 18 | Last Year: 42
Team: Michigan (Big Ten) | Draft: 14th, 2019 (PHI)

Prized offensive defenseman takes his NTDP game down the road to the NCAA Wolverines.

98. Mario Ferraro
POS: D | Age: 21 | Last Year: NR
Team: San Jose (NHL) | Draft: 49th, 2017 (SJ)

Makar’s college defense partner brings relentless motor, aggression and work ethic. Coaches adore Ferraro.

99. Sasha Pastujov
POS: RW | Age: 16 | Last Year: NR
Team: US NTDP u17 (USHL) | Draft: 2021

Notre Dame commit has been lights-out as a playmaker for NTDP, where older bros Mike and Nick also played.

100. Kent Johnson
POS: C | Age: 17 | Last Year: NR
Team: Trail (BCHL) | Draft: 2021

Top scorer in the BCHL is deadly in all situations. He’s a Michigan commit with excellent hands and creativity.

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