2021 NHL Draft Lottery Mock Draft

With the NHL lottery done, the Smaht Scouting team did a mock draft for the lottery selections. Bailey Johnson (NCAA and USHS amateur scout), Paul Zuk (USHL and Southern OHL amateur scout), Alexander Appleyard (Sweden and Finland amateur scout), Jordan Malette (Eastern OHL and Western QMJHL amateur scout) and Josh Tessler (Director of Amateur Scouting) switched off and drafted for three clubs each.

#1 – Buffalo Sabres – Matthew Beniers

Selected by Paul Zuk

With the first overall pick in the 2021 NHL Draft, the Buffalo Sabres selected Matthew Beniers (University of Michigan, Center). It’s not the first time that in the last few years that the Sabres took a NCAA centerman in the top five. Back in 2015, the Sabres selected Jack Eichel (Boston University, Center) at second overall. Beniers has proven to be relentless with the puck, possesses strong puck manipulation, is a two-way center and a problem solver in transition.

Check out our report on Beniers:

#2 – Seattle Kraken – Owen Power

Selected by Josh Tessler

With Seattle’s first ever draft selection, they select Owen Power (University of Michigan, LHD). The Kraken are likely to add quite a few solid left handed defensemen in the expansion draft like Devon Toews and Brady Skjei, but they need a top left handed defenseman of the future. Power has proven to be a solid puck distributor at the point, he will pinch and fight in puck battles down low.

Check out our report on Power:

#3 – Anaheim Ducks – William Eklund

Selected by Alexander Appleyard

In the last few drafts, the Anaheim Ducks have selected quite a few forwards in the early rounds including Jacob Perreault, Sam Colangelo, Trevor Zegras, Brayden Tracey, Isac Lundestrom and Benoit-Olivier Groulx, but they aren’t done yet. With the third overall pick, they take playmaking forward William Eklund (Djurgården, Left Wing). As Alex notes in his report on Eklund, his vision allows him to be a rather crafty playmaker with excellent vision.

Side note, Mikael Holm of McKeen’s Hockey constantly reminds the folks in Will Scouch’s discord server that Djurgården is the official name of the club and doesn’t require a “s” at the end.

Check out our report on Eklund:

#4 – New Jersey Devils – Luke Hughes

Selected by Jordan Malette

The New Jersey Devils select Jack Hughes’ younger brother, Luke Hughes (USNTDP, LHD) with the fourth overall pick. In the 2020 draft, the Devils went forward heavy in round one with Alexander Holtz and Dawson Mercer, but did add Shakir Mukhamadullin with their third first rounder and Ethan Edwards in the later rounds. Luke Hughes is arguably a much stronger puck moving defenseman than both Mukhamadullin and Edwards. Hughes is the best skater in the 2021 NHL Draft class and possesses soft hands when distributing the puck.

Check out our report on Hughes:

#5 – Columbus Blue Jackets – Simon Edvinsson

Selected by Bailey Johnson

With the fifth overall selection, the Columbus Blue Jackets select Simon Edvinsson (Frölunda, LHD). As Seth Jones is rumored to be leaving the organization when he becomes a UFA in 2022, the organization will need to fill his skates with another highly touted defenseman who can be a consistent threat in the offensive zone. As Alex notes in his report on Edvinsson, the Swede has proven to navigate through “neutral zone traps” and pinch down low into high danger to generate scoring chances.

Check out our report on Edvinsson:

#6 – Detroit Red Wings – Brandt Clarke

Selected by Paul Zuk

The Detroit Red Wings already had an outstanding farm system before the 2021 NHL Draft with a plethora of prospects including Lucas Raymond, Moritz Seider, Theodor Niederbach, Joe Veleno and William Wallinder, but they add another stud at sixth overall with Brandt Clarke (Barrie, RHD). Clarke was set to play for the Barrie Colts this past season, but due to COVID-19, he took his talents across the pond to Slovakia alongside his brother Graeme Clarke (New Jersey Devils prospect). Clarke has shown that he possesses a strong transitional game and is one of the best puck distributors in this class.

Side note: Hopefully we made Prashanth Iyer happy with this selection. He’s made it quite clear that he doesn’t want the Red Wings to select a goaltender at six.

Check out our report on Clarke:

#7 – San Jose Sharks – Jesper Wallstedt

Selected by Josh Tessler

The San Jose Sharks land the prospect with the highest upside in the 2021 NHL Draft class. With the Sharks struggling in net over the last few years, they now have a franchise goaltender in the making. Jesper Wallstedt (Luleå, Goaltender) has dominated the SHL at such a young age. The Sharks are netting a patient goaltender and who doesn’t expose much of the net. His glove work is easily the best in this class and controls rebounds extremely well.

Check out our report on Wallstedt:

#8 – Los Angeles Kings – Dylan Guenther

Selected by Alexander Appleyard

Like the Detroit Red Wings, Rob Blake, general manager of the Los Angeles Kings has done an excellent job building his system. Their farm system includes Quinton Byfield, Tyler Madden, Helge Grans, Brock Faber, Alex Turcotte, Tobias Bjornfot, Rasmus Kupari, Akil Thomas, Gabriel Vilardi and Jaret Anderson-Dolan. The system has a lot of quality two-way playmakers and defenders, but aside from Kaliyev, there isn’t a ton of raw goal scoring talent. By drafting Dylan Guenther (Edmonton, Left Wing), they are netting an excellent shooter who can drain one-timers with ease. Guenther also possesses a strong transitional game and can find gaps consistently in the offensive zone to exploit with a quick timed pass.

Check out our report on Guenther:

#9 – Vancouver Canucks – Kent Johnson

Selected by Bailey Johnson

The Vancouver Canucks have selected the local kid. Kent Johnson (University of Michigan, Center/Wing) from North Vancouver, British Columbia. While Johnson has lined up at center throughout his youth, he’s shown that he is far stronger on the wing during his freshman year in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Johnson has a tremendous amount of flash to his game and is one of the strongest stick-handlers in the class. As Bailey explained in her report, he’s creative and will produce highlight reel plays. So, Vancouver get ready for plenty of Kent Johnson clips on TSN’s Top 10.

Check out our report on Johnson:

#10 – Ottawa Senators – Fabian Lysell

Selected by Jordan Malette

The Ottawa Senators have built a solid youthful core including Tim Stützle, Brady Tkachuk, Thomas Chabot, Shane Pinto, Josh Norris, Erik Brannström, Alex Formenton and Drake Batherson. So, why not add another fun winger to the mix. Senators general manager Pierre Dorion nabs Fabian Lysell (Luleå, Right Winger) with the tenth overall pick. Tony Ferrari of Dobber Prospects yells “Vroom Vroom” when he watches Lysell and Will Scouch of Scouching calls him “The Swedish Roadrunner”. So, obviously skating and speed are a big part of his game. His compete level is exceptional and it shows in his decision making and his defensive play.

Check out our report on Lysell:

#11 – Arizona Coyotes – Forfeit

The Coyotes lost their first rounder for the 2021 NHL Draft.

#12 – Chicago Blackhawks – Chaz Lucius

Selected by Paul Zuk

The Chicago Blackhawks stock up at center and add University of Minnesota commit Chaz Lucius (USNTDP, Center). Fans at the Madhouse on Madison will love Chaz and his goal scoring ability. As Paul notes in his report, Lucius has excellent range on his shot and can be a threat no matter where he is in the offensive zone.

Check out our report on Lucius:

#13 – Calgary Flames – Fyodor Svechkov

Selected by Josh Tessler

The Calgary Flames add Fyodor Svechkov (Togliatti/SKA St. Petersburg, LW/C) at 12th overall. Svechkov is easily the best defensive forward in the 2021 NHL Draft class and has outstanding acceleration, puck manipulation and is rather dangerous down low.

Check out our report on Svechkov:

#14 – Philadelphia Flyers – Aatu Räty

Selected by Alexander Appleyard

The Philadelphia Flyers take Finnish forward Aatu Räty (Kärpät, Center) at 13th overall. While Räty is no longer considered the top prospect in the class and has fallen to the teens, he’s shown that he can be a reliable forechecker, possesses a quality defensive game and is strong on the cycle.

Check out our report on Räty:

#15 – Dallas Stars – Mason McTavish

Selected by Jordan Malette

The Dallas Stars ink Mason McTavish (Peterborough, Center) at 14th overall. Due to COVID, McTavish ended up returning back to Switzerland (where he spent a decent amount of his youth) and played for EHC Olten alongside Brennan Othmann (fellow dual citizen of both Canada and Switzerland). While McTavish was a sniper in the OHL, his shot and offensive production was more well-rounded in Switzerland. He loves drawing the attack to the perimeter and then finding a gap in the slot to exploit. McTavish also possesses a lot of grit in his game.

Check out our report on McTavish:

#16 – New York Rangers – Brennan Othmann

Selected by Bailey Johnson

With Chris Drury’s first selection as general manager of the New York Rangers, they select Brennan Othmann (Flint, Left Winger). Alongside McTavish, Othmann spent the season with EHC Olten in Switzerland. The dual citizen (Canada and Switzerland) consistently finds the right spot in the offensive zone and has one of the best shots in this class. He is an efficient defender and will drop back to regroup when facing tough pressure in the neutral zone.

Check out our report on Othmann:

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