The following is a projection based on the top prospects in the 2021 NHL Mock Draft.
1. Owen Power (6-foot-6, 213 pounds), D, Michigan (NCAA) — Power is a big presence with good vision and strength, and has the look of a top-pair NHL defenseman. The 18-year-old led Michigan with 40 blocked shots and scored two power-play goals.
2. Luke Hughes (6-2, 180), D, USA U-18 (NTDP) — Hughes is a great skater capable of playing a smart defensive game with good poise and reads. He scored 34 points (six goals, 28 assists), had 68 shots on goal, and was plus-11 in 38 games for the USA Hockey National Team Development Program Under-18 team. The 17-year-old sustained a lacerated tendon in his foot from a skate cut March 7, but is hoping to resume skating in late May. He is the younger brother of Vancouver Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes and New Jersey Devils forward Jack Hughes , and is committed to play at Michigan next season.
3. Dylan Guenther (6-1, 175), RW, Edmonton (WHL) — Guenther is a highly skilled, elite goal scorer who is quick on his skates. The 18-year-old has scored 24 points (12 goals, 12 assists) in 12 games and leads the Western Hockey League with an average of 2.00 points per game. Guenther will play for Canada at the 2021 IIHF World Under-18 Championship, which is scheduled for April 26-May 6 in Texas.
4. Kent Johnson (6-1, 167), C, Michigan (NCAA) — The 18-year-old led first-time NHL Draft-eligible NCAA players with 18 assists and 27 points in 26 games. He led Michigan with three power-play goals.
5. William Eklund (5-10, 176), LW, Djurgarden (SWE) — Eklund has good speed, puck skills and vision. The 18-year-old scored 23 points (11 goals, 12 assists) and had 63 shots on goal while averaging 15:29 of ice time in 40 games in the Swedish Hockey League. He played most of the season on a line with Alexander Holtz, a New Jersey Devils first-round pick (No. 7) in the 2020 NHL Draft.
6. Simon Edvinsson (6-4, 198), D, Frolunda (SWE) — Edvinsson is a physical, left-shot defenseman with a good set of tools, including mobility, skating and a strong shot. The 18-year-old had one assist in 10 games in the SHL. He’ll play for Sweden at the World U-18 Championship.
7. Matthew Beniers (6-1, 175), C, Michigan (NCAA) — The 18-year-old helped the United States win the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship as the youngest player on the roster. As the second-line center he scored three points (one goal, two assists) and averaged 17:05 of ice time in seven games. Beniers scored 24 points (10 goals, 14 assists) in 24 games with Michigan.
8. Brandt Clarke (6-2, 185), D, Barrie (OHL) — Clarke is a mobile, puck-moving right-handed shot who is considered an excellent passer and playmaker with great vision. The 18-year-old scored 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) and was a plus-6 in 26 games on loan with Nove Zamsky in the Slovak Extraliga, the top professional league in Slovakia. He will play for Canada at the World U-18 Championship.
9. Chaz Lucius (6-1, 185), C, USA U-18 (NTDP) — Lucius has one of the hardest shots of the 2021 draft class. The 17-year-old has scored 18 points (13 goals, five assists) in 12 games since returning to the lineup because of a knee injury. A mobile and relentless player around the net, Lucius will play for the United States at the World U-18 Championship. He is committed to the University of Minnesota for next season.
10. Jesper Wallstedt (6-3, 214), G, Lulea (SWE) — Director of NHL European Scouting Goran Stubb said Wallstedt is the best Sweden-born goalie prospect he’s seen in at least five years. The 18-year-old can read the game well, has good quickness and plays a hybrid butterfly/athletic style. He was 11-8 with three ties, a 2.23 goals-against average, a .908 save percentage and two shutouts in 22 SHL games.
11. Xavier Bourgault (6-0, 172), C, Shawinigan (QMJHL) — Bourgault is a dynamic offensive player who is relentless in his puck pursuit. The 18-year-old is third on Shawinigan with 40 points (20 goals, 20 assists) and is second with seven power-play goals in 29 games in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League this season.
12. Carson Lambos (6-1, 197), D, Winnipeg (WHL) — Lambos is a two-way defenseman who has showcased good patience in the defensive zone and in transition. He played two WHL games before sustaining a lower-body injury. The 18-year-old scored 11 points (two goals, nine assists) in 13 games on loan with JYP in Finland’s junior league. He led WHL rookie defensemen with 32 points (eight goals, 24 assists) in 57 games in 2019-20.
13. Corson Ceulemans (6-2, 198), D, Brooks (AJHL) — The right-handed shot has the potential to become a top-four NHL defenseman able to play big minutes in all situations. The 17-year-old has scored 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in eight games in the Alberta Junior Hockey League and will play for Canada at the World U-18 Championship. He is committed to the University of Wisconsin for the 2022-23 season.
14. Nikita Chibrikov (5-10, 170), RW, SKA St. Petersburg (RUS) — Chibrikov, a left-handed shot who plays right wing, is a playmaker with great speed and strong edges who can handle the puck and backcheck. The 18-year-old scored two points (one goal, one assist) in 16 games in the Kontinental Hockey League, and scored nine points (three goals, six assists) in 11 games in the MHL, Russia’s junior league. Chibrikov will play for Russia at the World U-18 Championship.
15. Cole Sillinger (6-0, 190), C, Sioux Falls (USHL) — Sillinger is a skilled offensive player with a great release, high hockey IQ and excellent vision and playmaking ability. Sillinger opted to play in the United States Hockey League when the WHL paused the start of its season and scored 46 points (24 goals, 22 assists) in 31 games; he’s expected to return to Medicine Hat of the WHL next season. The 17-year-old is the son of former NHL forward Mike Sillinger.
16. Mason McTavish (6-1, 207), C, Peterborough (OHL) — McTavish is a powerful skater with balance and solid puck-protection ability. The 18-year-old scored 11 points (nine goals, two assists) in 13 games on loan with EHC Olten in the Swiss League, the second-highest professional league in Switzerland. He’ll play for Canada at the World U-18 Championship.
17. Sasha Pastujov (6-0, 181), RW, USA U-18 (NTDP) — Pastujov leads the NTDP U-18 with 52 points (23 goals, 29 assists) in 34 games and has scored seven power-play goals. He also was named the MVP of the 2021 BioSteel All-American Game on April 7. The 17-year-old plays a creative style to complement a 200-foot game. He will play for the United States at the World U-18 Championship. Pastujov is committed to play at Notre Dame next season.
18. Matthew Coronato (5-11, 183), RW, Chicago (USHL) — Coronato led the USHL with 46 goals and 18 power-play goals, was tied for first with four shorthanded goals and was second with 83 points in 50 games. The 18-year-old has a good wrist shot and is dangerous with the puck on his stick. He’s committed to play at Harvard next season.
19. Fabian Lysell (5-10, 172), RW, Lulea (SWE) — Lysell is a mobile skater with good speed and creativity. The 18-year-old doesn’t have dominating size but is strong and capable of winning 1-on-1 battles. He scored three points (two goals, one assist) while averaging 7:22 of ice time in 26 SHL games. He will play for Sweden at the World U-18 Championship.
20. Aatu Raty (6-2, 185), C, Karpat (FIN) — Raty is a good skater with speed, balance and excellent puck control. The 18-year-old scored six points (three goals, three assists) and had 80 shots on goal while averaging 11:38 of ice time in ice time in 35 games in Liiga, Finland’s top professional league.
21. Francesco Pinelli (6-0, 185), C, Kitchener (OHL) — Pinelli is an elite skater with excellent puck pursuit, work ethic and a high compete level. The 18-year-old can contribute on the power play and penalty kill, and projects to be a reliable two-way player in the NHL. He scored 11 points (five goals, six assists) in 13 games on loan with Jesenice in the Alps Hockey League in Slovenia. Pinelli will play for Canada at the World U-18 Championship.
22. Zachary Bolduc (6-1, 175), C, Rimouski (QMJHL) — Bolduc is an excellent skater with good hockey IQ and an ability to finish plays. The 18-year-old has scored 29 points (10 goals, 19 assists) and three power-play goals in 27 games.
23. Simon Robertsson (6-0, 190), RW, Skelleftea (SWE) — The 18-year-old Robertsson scored two points (one goal, one assist) and averaged 6:58 of ice time in 22 SHL games, and scored 20 points (nine goals, 11 assists) in 15 games with Skelleftea’s team in Sweden’s junior league. He will play for Sweden at the World U-18 Championship.
24. Oskar Olausson (6-1, 180), RW, HV 71 (SWE) — Olausson has a good work ethic and is a responsible, team-first player. The 18-year-old had six shots on goal and averaged 9:12 of ice time in four games for Sweden at the 2021 WJC. He scored four points (three goals, one assist) while averaging 9:25 of ice time in 16 SHL games.
25. Daniil Chayka (6-3, 187), D, Guelph (OHL) — Chayka is a smooth-skating left-shot defenseman with excellent mobility, calmness and poise who likes to play with pace. The 18-year-old scored two points (one goal, one assist) in 11 games on loan with CSKA Moscow in the KHL and four points (one goal, three assists) in five MHL games.
26. Stanislav Svozil (6-1, 182), D, Brno (CZREP) — Svozil scored three points (one goal, two assists) and averaged 13:28 of ice time in 30 games in Czech Extraliga, the top professional league in the Czech Republic. The 18-year-old is an excellent skater capable of moving the puck well with good vision. He had one assist and averaged 16:52 of ice time in five games for the Czech Republic at the WJC and will play for the Czech Republic at the World U-18 Championship.
27. Samu Tuomaala (5-10, 174), RW, Karpat Jr. (FIN-JR) — Tuomaala is an energy-type forward with good speed, quickness and puck control. The 18-year-old has scored 35 points (16 goals, 19 assists) in 35 games in Finland’s junior league. Tuomaala will play for Finland at the World U-18 Championship.
28. (NR) Sebastian Cossa (6-6, 210), G, Edmonton (WHL) — Cossa is staking his claim as the top goalie in the WHL, if not the entire Canadian Hockey League. He’s 12-0-1 with a 1.61 GAA, a .939 save percentage and two shutouts in 13 games. The 18-year-old has great athleticism and scouts like how he never gives up on the play.
29. Zachary L’Heureux (5-11, 196), LW, Halifax (QMJHL) — L’Heureux is a power forward who can play physical and has great hands, and has been compared to Columbus Blue Jackets forward Max Domi . The 17-year-old is second for Halifax with 39 points (19 goals, 20 assists) in 33 games.
30. Zach Dean (6-0, 176), C, Gatineau (QMJHL)– Dean missed the first month of the season with a wrist injury but has scored 20 points (10 goals, 10 assists) and leads Gatineau with five power-play goals in 23 games. The 18-year-old is a high-end skater with a great two-way game.
31. Mackie Samoskevich (5-11, 189), RW, Chicago (USHL) — The right-handed shot has scored 37 points (13 goals, 24 assists) in 36 games and is an alternate captain for Chicago. The 18-year-old forward is committed to play at Michigan next season.
32. Isak Rosen (5-11, 156), RW, Leksand (SWE) — The 18-year-old has an intriguing blend of athleticism and competitiveness. He had one assist and averaged 5:45 of ice time in 22 SHL games and scored 12 points (seven goals, five assists) in 12 games for Leksand’s team in Sweden’s junior league. Rosen will play for Sweden at the World U-18 Championship.