2021 NHL Draft Rankings: The Final 120

Our prospect expert releases his picks for a draft that promises chaos and surprises due to a challenging hockey season.
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Luke Hughes

Luke Hughes

The 2021 draft class has been one of the most unique and difficult to follow and I know I am not alone in that assessment. The pandemic touched every aspect of life in the world and hockey was no different with schedules upended, seasons cancelled and tournaments getting an outsized spotlight.

But on July 23, NHL teams will begin picking the next generation of players, with the Buffalo Sabres holding the No. 1 pick and the expansion Seattle Kraken stepping up to the (virtual) podium for the first time with the second selection overall. It's going to be an exciting time for all involved.

Below you will find my final draft rankings and as I have done for the past few years, these go to 120. Consider it a little bonus where I get to give a shout-out to some of the kids who narrowly missed the top 100 in our Draft Preview issue (Get it now! Why didn't you order it yet?). In that spectacular print product you'll find features on Michigan's Big 3, Simon Edvinsson and Aatu Raty and more. There's also more detailed scouting reports on the top 100 players plus a special 'sleepers' article I put together.

One quick note on these rankings: players moved around this year so the teams I have them with weren't necessarily the ones they played the most with (or at all in the case of OHLers). If a player split time between the USHL and a high school team, I went with the high school team.

So with all that out of the way, let's get to my labor of love and stress, the final rankings.

1. Owen Power, D, Michigan (NCAA): What else do you need in a defenseman? Power is a two-way ace with size, mobility and maturity. He can get you points and blocked shots in equal measures and became one of Canada's most important D-men en route to gold at the worlds.

2. Simon Edvinsson, D, Frolunda (Swe.): Much like Power, Edvinsson has enviable tools: size, skating and skill. He played well against men when loaned out to Vasteras in the Allsvenskan and though the world under-18s were messy for Sweden, he actually showed up and competed.

3. Dylan Guenther, RW, Edmonton (WHL): One of the most dangerous offensive players in the 'Dub' this season, Guenther has an excellent combination of high-end skill and a physical presence. Add in a great work rate and compete level and you've got a beast on your hands.

4. William Eklund, LW, Djurgarden (Swe.): Hockey sense, creativity and work ethic make Eklund one to watch from here on out. Some scouts believe he has a higher offensive ceiling than Alex Holtz and that's pretty high praise. But Eklund is coming off a sensational SHL season.

5. Matty Beniers, C, Michigan (NCAA): His worlds ended with an injury but the fact he was there on Team USA speaks volumes. Beniers is already an accomplished two-way center who plays at a high pace and his key usage on faceoffs at the world juniors furthered his reputation.

6. Luke Hughes, D, U.S. NTDP (USHL): An amazing skater with high-end offensive skill, Hughes may be the younger brother of Quinn and Jack but don't treat him like a runt: he's bigger than his siblings and the raw potential is incredibly enticing.

7. Brandt Clarke, D, Barrie (OHL): Got games in by going over to Slovakia where the big ice helped his skating ability. Clarke is a super-smart defenseman who really showed well at the world under-18s for Canada. His vision and shot on the power play are calling cards.

8. Kent Johnson, C, Michigan (NCAA): The third of the Wolverines' sensational freshmen draft class, Johnson has awesome puck skills and offensive hockey sense. He finished second in team scoring and on a loaded Michigan team, that says something about his future.

9. Mason McTavish, C, Peterborough (OHL): Spent some time in Switzerland where he really set a physical tone while playing against men. McTavish also had great success for Canada at the world under-18s. Great release and he loves to go to the net.

10. Chaz Lucius, C, U.S. NTDP (USHL): Came back from knee surgery and somehow became a better skater. That's great news for the University of Minnesota commit, because his goal-scoring prowess is among the best in the draft. Real nose for the net, great shot selection.

11. Jesper Wallstedt, G, Lulea (Swe.)

12. Fyodor Svechkov, C, Lada (Rus.)

13. Cole Sillinger, C, Sioux Falls (USHL)

14. Nikita Chibrikov, RW, SKA-St. Petersburg (Rus.)

15. Corson Ceulemans, D, Brooks (AJHL)

16. Zach L'Heureux, C, Halifax (QMJHL)

17. Carson Lambos, D, Winnipeg (WHL)

18. Brennan Othmann, LW, Flint (OHL)

19. Oskar Olausson, LW, HV71 (Swe.)

20. Aatu Raty, C, Karpat (Fin.)

21. Zach Bolduc, C, Rimouski (QMJHL)

22. Sean Behrens, D, U.S. NTDP (USHL)

23. Xavier Bourgault, RW, Shawinigan (QMJHL)

24. Sebastian Cossa, G, Edmonton (WHL)

25. Scott Morrow, D, Shattuck-St. Mary's (MN prep)

26. Mackie Samoskevich, C, Chicago (USHL)

27. Fabian Lysell, RW, Lulea (Swe.)

28. Samu Tuomaala, C, Karpat (Fin.)

29. Zach Dean, C, Gatineau (QMJHL)

30. Daniil Chayka, D, CSKA (Rus.)

31. Sasha Pastujov, LW, U.S. NTDP (USHL)

32. Simon Robertsson, RW, Skelleftea (Swe.)

33. Francesco Pinelli, C, Kitchener (OHL)

34. William Stromgren, LW, Modo (Swe.)

35. Stanislav Svozil, D, Kometa Brno (Cze.)

36. Tyler Boucher, RW, U.S. NTDP (USHL)

37. Isak Rosen, LW, Leksand (Swe.)

38. Matt Coronato, LW, Chicago (USHL)

39. Logan Stankoven, C, Kamloops (WHL)

40. Ryder Korczak, C, Moose Jaw (WHL)

41. Samu Salminen, C, Jokerit (Fin.)

42. Alexander Kisakov, C, Dynamo Moscow (Rus.)

43. Wyatt Johnston, C, Windsor (OHL)

44. Conner Roulette, LW, Seattle (WHL)

45. Logan Mailloux, D, London (OHL)

46. Prokhor Poltapov, RW, CSKA (Rus.)

47. Dylan Duke, RW, U.S. NTDP (USHL)

48. Oliver Kapanen, C, KalPa (Fin.)

49. Ryan Ufko, D, Chicago (USHL)

50. Brett Harrison, C, Oshawa (OHL)

51. Ayrton Martino, LW, Omaha (OHL)

52. Benjamin Gaudreau, G, Sarnia (OHL)

53. Nolan Allan, D, Prince Albert (WHL)

54. Justin Robidas, C, Val-d'Or (QMJHL)

55. Artyom Grushnikov, D, Hamilton (OHL)

56. Evan Nause, D, Quebec (QMJHL)

57. Brent Johnson, D, Sioux Falls (USHL)

58. Samuel Helenius, C, JYP (Fin.)

59. Matthew Knies, LW, Tri-City (USHL)

60. Cole Huckins, C, Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL)

61. Aleksi Malinen, D, JYP (Fin.)

62. Shai Buium, D, Sioux City (USHL)

63. Jack Peart, D, Grand Rapids (MN HS)

64. Oscar Plandowski, D, Charlottetown (QMJHL)

65. Chase Stillman, RW, Sudbury (OHL)

66. Jack Bar, D, Chicago (USHL)

67. Vinny Iorio, D, Brandon (WHL)

68. Aleksi Heimosalmi, D, Assat (Fin.)

69. Anton Olsson, D, Malmo (Swe.)

70. Tristan Broz, C, Fargo (USHL)

71. Roman Schmidt, D, U.S. NTDP (USHL)

72. Peter Reynolds, LW, Saint John (QMJHL)

73. Joshua Roy, C, Sherbrooke (QMJHL)

74. Kirill Kirsanov, D, CSKA (Rus.)

75. Cameron Whynot, D, Halifax (QMJHL)

76. Ville Koivunen, LW, Karpat (Fin.)

77. Victor Stjernborg, C, Vaxjo (Swe.)

78. Liam Gilmartin, LW, U.S. NTDP (USHL)

79. Guillaume Richard, D, Tri-City (USHL)

80. Riley Kidney, C, Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL)

81. Colton Dach, LW, Saskatoon (WHL)

82. Ryan Winterton, C, Hamilton (OHL)

83. Isaac Belliveau, D, Gatineau (QMJHL)

84. Sasha Teleguine, C, Chilliwack (BCHL)

85. Olen Zellweger, D, Everett (WHL)

86. Joe Vrbetic, G, North Bay (OHL)

87. Niko Huuhtanen, RW, Tappara (Fin.)

88. Redmond Savage, C, U.S. NTDP (USHL)

89. Aidan Hreschuk, D, U.S. NTDP (USHL)

90. Bryce Montgomery, D, London (OHL)

91. Justin Janicke, LW, U.S. NTDP (USHL)

92. Jakub Brabenec, C, Kometa Brno (Cze.)

93. Francesco Arcuri, C, Kingston (OHL)

94. Topias Vilen, D, Pelicans (Fin.)

95. Matvei Petrov, RW, Krylia Sovetov (Rus.)

96. Liam Dower-Nilsson, C, Frolunda (Swe.)

97. Martin Rysavy, C, Vitkovice (Cze.)

98. Josh Doan, RW, Chicago (USHL)

99. Josh Lopina, C, UMass (NCAA)

100. Vladislav Lukashevich, D, Loko Yaroslavl (Rus.)

101. Connor Lockhart, C, Erie (OHL)

102. Owen Bartoszkiewicz, G, Wichita Falls (NAHL)

103. Ethan Del Mastro, D, Mississauga (OHL)

104. James Malatesta, LW, Quebec (QMJHL)

105. Andre Gasseau, C, U.S. NTDP (USHL)

106. Cam MacDonald, C, Saint John (QMJHL)

107. William Trudeau, D, Charlottetown (QMJHL)

108. Arseni Sergeyev, G, Shreveport (NAHL)

109. Luke Mittelstadt, D, Eden Prairie (MN HS)

110. Yegor Savikov, D, Lada (Rus.)

111. Jackson Blake, RW, Eden Prairie (MN HS)

112. Ty Voit, LW, Sarnia (OHL)

113. Jack Matier, D, Ottawa (OHL)

114. Kirill Gerasimyuk, G, SKA-Varyagi (Rus.)

115. Olivier Nadeau, RW, Shawinigan (QMJHL)

116. Ty Gallagher, D, NTDP (USHL)

117. Ty Mueller, C, Sherwood Park (AJHL)

118. Tristan Lennox, G, Saginaw (OHL)

119. Jake Chiasson, RW, Brandon (WHL)

120. Jimi Suomi, D, Jokerit (Fin.)

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