Top 10 Picks for the 2021 NHL Entry Draft

Our Pittsburgh Penguins Podcast – Pair at the Point recently gave their draft picks for the top 10 players selected in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. The draft which kicks off with round 1 tonight on ESPN2 will be held via videoconferencing for the second year in a row. All 7 rounds will be completed over the next two days with ice hockey players born between January 1st, 2001 and September 15, 2003 being eligible for the draft.

This year features the Buffalo Sabres with the number 1 overall pick for the second time since 2018 when they drafted Swedish defenseman Rasmus Dahlin. The Seattle Kraken are next on the board for the first ever entry draft pick. Further down the list, the Arizona Coyotes pick at number 11 is a forfeited pick from league penalties for tampering with prospects. There will be 31 total actual picks made in round 1.

Below are both Jess’ and Seth’s picks for their top 10 respectively to go in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft

The Top 10 from Pair at the Point

Overall & Team

#1 Buffalo Sabres
#2 Seattle Kraken
#3 Anaheim Ducks
#4 New Jersey Devils
#5 Columbus Blue Jackets
#6 Detroit Red Wings
#7 San Jose Sharks
#8 Los Angeles Kings
#9 Vancouver Canucks
#10 Ottawa Senators

Jess

William Eklund
Matthew Beniers
Owen Power
Luke Hughes
Simon Edvinsson
Jesper Wallstedt
Dylan Guenther
Brandt Clarke
Mason MacTavish
Fabian Lysell

Seth

William Eklund
Owen Power
Matthew Beniers
Jesper Wallstedt
Fabian Lysell
Luke Hughes
Dylan Guenther
Brandt Clarke
Mason MacTavish
Simon Edvinsson

William Eklund
Eklund shot up in the draft charts where earlier he was finding himself much further down the projected charts. The Swedish ice hockey forward currently plays for Djurgårdens IF of the SHL. Going into the draft, he is considered the top international prospect for the 2021 NHL Entry Draft by NHL Central Scouting. With no noticeable holes in his game he has an enticing combination of skills that presents a dangerous weapon on the ice. With Buffalo likely to lose Jack Eichel, Eklund who can play left wing or center is an ideal candidate for selection by the club if they chose to not go with the projected #1 Owen Power.

Owen Power
Owen Power has been largely considered the number 1 overall pick in most drafts and is projected to go first overall. He is a collegiate defenseman for the University of Michigan that is leaning towards returning to the school for the upcoming academic year. A big 6’6″ defenseman who uses his unique combination of size, speed and mobility, he is the top ranked North American skater by NHL Central Scouting.

Matthew Beniers
Matthew Beniers is Power’s teammate at the university of Michigan. He is widely considered the best center in the entire draft with a projection of being a solid two-way center. He skates with a high pace and aggressive rush both offensively and defensively. He would fit great right behind Trevor Zegras in Anaheim or even higher in the ranks for the Seattle Kraken if they opt to take him 2nd overall.

Luke Hughes
The brother of fellow NHL players Quinn and Jack Hughes Luke is a solid defender with strong skating ability in all zones. A key member of the US National Team Development Program, he is committed to the University of Michigan for the start of next season. He is touted as a highly skilled offensive defenseman who is projected to go around the 5th overall spot. Does he follow the same path as his fellow brother Quinn Hughes who is a defender for the Vancouver Canucks? Is this too much of a layup for the Devils to take Jack’s brother?

Simon Edvinsson
Edvinsson is a Swedish professional ice hockey defenseman currently playing in the SHL for Frölunda HC. Large in size at 6’5″ with room to fill out, he plays the puck similar to the early days of Oliver Ekman Larsson. As an offensive defenseman with smooth controls and slippery skating skills a few more seasons of growth can land him as a top tier defenseman.

Jesper Wallstedt
While the Red Wings made a splash with their trade for Alex Nedeljkovic from the Carolina Hurricanes yesterday Wallstedt may be too good of a goaltending prospect to pass up on. When recording the top 10 episode, it was noted that the Red Wings have no goaltending pipeline which has obviously now changed to a degree. For the Red Wings, to have a goaltender with the standout abilities of Wallstedt so clearly seen that he is widely regarding as the best goaltending prospect since Carey Price it may make sense to grab another goalie to solidify the lineup for years to come.

Dylan Guenther
Guenther is an explosive forward with a tremendous shot playing for the Edmonton Oil Kings in the Western Hockey League of the CHL. A scoring machine tallying 24 points over 12 games last season, he has solid control and protection abilities the puck. His explosive shot is also paired with a strong ability to move the puck making him a dynamic overall offensive player.

Brandt Clarke
Clarke is a highly talented defenseman playing for the Barrie Colts in the Ontario Hockey League of the CHL. He is most noted for his ability in moving the puck and if he falls to the Los Angeles Kings it may scream the new Drew Doughty for them. His ability to breakout of the defensive zone and work the offensive zone along with his skating skills are all highly rated. With more development, Clarke has all the tools of being a top pair defenseman.

Mason McTavish
A big and skilled center, McTavish spent the last season in Swiss League after playing with the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League. While he doesn’t have the pace of explosiveness in the rush as Beniers which is what mainly separates the two he is good in the physical and defensively. He is a late riser in the ranks of scouting reports but falls short due to inconsistencies and his overall skating ability.

Fabian Lysell
Lysell is a Swedish forward currently playing with the Luleå HF in the SHL. Lysell did have a significant drop in offensive production since joining Luleå HF but he displays some of the most raw talent in the draft. An exciting skater with great skating abilities and speed adds to his overall game. He has routinely played well above his age level against other players in Sweden and has largely had great scucess up until his most recent run. Strong energy, IQ and abilities can be developed into a dynamic forward.

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