Owen Power is No. 1 in the initial NHL.com ranking of the top prospects eligible for the 2021 NHL Draft.
The left-shot defenseman, a freshman at the University of Michigan, is an A-rated skater on NHL Central Scouting’s preliminary players to watch list.
Power has scored 11 points (two goals, nine assists) and has a plus-6 rating in 15 games this season, after he scored 40 points (12 goals, 28 assists) in 45 games with Chicago of the United States Hockey League in 2019-20.
He could be the first of three Michigan players, along with forwards Matthew Beniers and Kent Johnson, chosen in the first round. No NCAA team has ever had more than two players chosen in the first round of the same NHL Draft.
Here are NHL.com’s top 32 prospects eligible for the 2021 draft:
1. Owen Power (6-foot-6, 214 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 leads Michigan with 23 blocked shots and is tied for the lead with two power-play goals.
2. Simon Edvinsson (6-4, 198), D, Frolunda (SWE) — Edvinsson is physical left-shot defenseman with a good set of tools, including mobility, skating and a strong shot. The 17-year-old has one assist in 10 games in the Swedish Hockey League, the top professional league in Sweden.
3. Brandt Clarke (6-1, 180), D, Barrie (OHL) — Clarke is a mobile puck-moving right-handed shot who is considered an excellent passer and playmaker with great vision. The 17-year-old is playing on loan with Nove Zamsky in the Slovak Extraliga, Slovakia’s top professional league, where he does not have a point in eight games. He led Ontario Hockey League rookie defensemen with 38 points (six goals, 32 assists) in 57 games last season.
4. Matthew Beniers (6-1, 174), C, Michigan (NCAA) — The 18-year-old left-handed shot can get to top speed quickly. Beniers helped the United States win the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship as the youngest player on the roster; he was the center on the second line, scored three points (one goal, two assists) and averaged 17:05 of ice time in seven games. He’s scored 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in 13 games with Michigan.
5. Luke Hughes (6-2, 176), D, USA U-18 (NTDP) — Hughes is a solid puck mover with good poise who is committed to play at Michigan next season. He has a quick release from the point and has scored 25 points (six goals, 19 assists) in 23 games this season. The 17-year-old is the youngest brother of Vancouver Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes and New Jersey Devils forward Jack Hughes.
6. Kent Johnson (6-0, 166), C, Michigan (NCAA) — Johnson is an offensive sniper who plays with pace and skill, and is crafty with the puck. The 18-year-old leads Michigan with 18 points (six goals, 12 assists) in 15 games.
7. Dylan Guenther (6-0, 166), RW, Edmonton (WHL) — Guenther is a highly skilled, elite goal scorer who is quick on his skates. The 17-year-old is playing on loan with Sherwood Park of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, where he has scored five points (three goals, two assists) in four games.
8. William Eklund (5-10, 176), LW, Djurgarden (SWE) — Eklund has good speed, puck skills and vision. The 18-year-old has scored 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) in 23 SHL games playing on a line with Alexander Holtz, a New Jersey Devils first-round pick (No. 7) in the 2020 NHL Draft.
9. Carson Lambos (6-0, 200), D, Winnipeg (WHL) — Lambos is a two-way defenseman who has shown good patience in the defensive zone and in transition. The 18-year-old is playing on loan with JYP in Finland’s junior league and has scored 11 points (two goals, nine assists) in 12 games. Last season he led WHL rookie defensemen with 32 points (eight goals, 24 assists) in 57 games.
10. Aatu Raty (6-2, 185), C, Karpat (FIN) — Raty is a strong skater with speed, balance and excellent puck control. The 18-year-old has scored three goals in 10 games in Liiga, Finland’s top professional league.
11. Cole Sillinger (6-0, 190), C, Medicine Hat (WHL) — Sillinger is a skilled offensive player with a great shot and release, a high hockey IQ, and excellent vision and playmaking ability. The 17-year-old currently is playing for Sioux Falls of the United States Hockey League, where he has scored two goals in three games. He is the son of former NHL forward Mike Sillinger.
12. 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’s scored two goals in 12 SHL games.
13. Daniil Chayka (6-3, 187), D, Guelph (OHL) — Chayka is a smooth-skating left-shot defenseman with excellent mobility, calmness and poise who relishes in pushing the pace. The 18-year-old is playing on loan with CSKA Moscow in the Kontinental Hockey League and has scored two points (one goal, one assist) in nine games.
14. Sasha Pastujov (6-0, 175), RW, USA U-18 (NTDP) — Pastujov is a goal scorer with offensive creativity. The 17-year-old leads the USA Hockey National Team Development Program Under-18 team with 30 points (16 goals, 14 assists) and four power-play goals in 18 games. He is committed to play at Notre Dame next season.
15. Nikita Chibrikov (5-10, 161), RW, SKA St. Petersburg 2 (RUS-JR) — Chibrikov is a playmaker with great speed and strong edges who can handle the puck and backcheck. The 17-year-old has scored has scored eight points (three goals, five assists) in nine games in the MHL, Russia’s junior league, and has scored two points (one goal, one assist) in 12 KHL games with SKA St. Petersburg.
16. Zachary Bolduc (6-1, 175), C, Rimouski (QMJHL) — Bolduc is an excellent skater with good hockey IQ and an ability to finish plays. The 17-year-old has scored four points (three goals, one assist) in seven games.
17. Mason McTavish (6-0, 198), C, Peterborough (OHL) — McTavish is a powerful skater with great balance and solid puck-protection ability. The 17-year-old was second among OHL rookies last season with 42 points (29 goals, 13 assists) in 57 games.
18. Corson Ceulemans (6-1, 192), D, Brooks (AJHL) — Ceulemans has the potential to become a top-four NHL defenseman able to play big minutes in all situations. The 17-year-old scored five points (two goals, three assists) in two games in November before the AJHL paused its season. He is committed to the University of Wisconsin for the 2022-23 season.
19. Chaz Lucius (6-0, 172), C, USA U-18 (NTDP) — Lucius has one of the hardest shots of this draft class, but the 17-year-old has been unable to show it this season because of a lower-body injury. When in the lineup he is mobile and relentless around the net. He scored 50 points (31 goals, 19 assists) in 46 games with the NTDP Under-17 team last season. Lucius is committed to the University of Minnesota for next season.
20. Jesper Wallstedt (6-3, 198), G, Lulea (SWE) — Director of NHL European Scouting Goran Stubb said he considers Wallstedt the best Sweden-born goalie prospect in the past 5-6 years. The 18-year-old can read the game well, has good quickness and plays an athletic style. In 15 SHL games he has nine wins, a 1.78 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage.
21. Stanislav Svozil (6-1, 182), D, Brno (CZREP) — Svozil, a left-handed shot, was rookie of the year in Czech Extraliga, the top professional league in Czech Republic, last season after he scored five points (two goals, three assists) in 41 games. This season he does not have a point but has 13 shots on goal and is averaging 13:40 of ice time in 15 games. The 18-year-old also had one assist and averaged 16:52 of ice time for the Czech Republic at the WJC. He’s an excellent skater, moves the puck well and has good vision.
22. 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 has scored 12 points (seven goals, five assists) in 10 games this season.
23. Oskar Olausson (6-1, 177), RW, HV 71 Jr. (SWE-JR) — 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 has scored 27 points (14 goals, 13 assists) in 16 games in Sweden’s junior league.
24. 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 shown good offensive skills, including a hard, accurate shot. He’s scored 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) in 20 games in Finland’s junior league.
25. Francesco Pinelli (6-0, 184), C, Kitchener (OHL) — Pinelli is an elite skater with excellent puck pursuit, work ethic and a high compete level. The 17-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 41 points (18 goals, 23 assists) in 59 games as an OHL rookie last season. Pinelli was loaned to Jesenice in the Alps Hockey League on Friday.
26. Simon Robertsson (6-0, 190), RW, Skelleftea (SWE) — Robertsson is a mature, skilled, hard-working two-way forward with speed, agility and good offensive instincts. The 17-year-old scored 20 points (nine goals, 11 assists) in 15 games with Skelleftea’s team in Sweden’s junior league. In 14 SHL games he doesn’t have a point and is averaging 5:33 of ice time.
27. Alexander Kisakov (5-9, 159), RW, Dynamo Moscow 2 (RUS-JR) — The left-shot forward plays bigger than his frame and will go to key areas to retrieve pucks. The 18-year-old has great offensive instincts and smooth hands. He leads the MHL with 55 points (28 goals, 27 assists) in 46 games.
28. Matthew Coronato (5-10, 182), RW, Chicago (USHL) — Coronato leads the United States Hockey League with 40 points (17 goals, 23 assists) in 19 games. The 18-year-old is dangerous with the puck on his stick, has a good wrist shot and contributes on power play and penalty kill. He is committed to play at Harvard next season.
29. Ryder Korczak (5-10, 164), C, Moose Jaw (WHL) — Korczak is a smart playmaker with good vision who looks to move the puck effectively in transition. The 18-year-old led Moose Jaw last season with 67 points (18 goals, 49 assists) in 62 games. He is the younger brother of Vegas Golden Knights defenseman prospect Kaedan Korczak.
30. Zachary L’Heureux (5-11, 196), LW, Halifax (QMJHL) — L’Heureux is a power forward who has been compared to Columbus Blue Jackets forward Max Domi. The 17-year-old can play physical and has great hands. He’s scored 13 points (seven goals, six assists) in 12 games this season.
31. Conner Roulette (5-11, 161), LW, Seattle (WHL) — Roulette is a well-conditioned playmaker who plays a detailed game and can create scoring chances with his passing and hockey sense. The 17-year-old scored 39 points (19 goals, 20 assists) in 54 games as a WHL rookie last season.
32. Daniil Sobolev (6-0, 198), D, Windsor (OHL) — Sobolev is a puck-moving right-shot defenseman with good hockey sense and composure. The 17-year-old scored six points (two goals, four assists) in 48 games with Spartak in the MHL last season.
Photo credits: Michigan Photography; Rena Laverty-USA Hockey NTDP
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