Kevin Musto's 2021 NHL Draft Ranking - Top 32

Rating:
3/5,
  1. Kevin Musto
    PROSPECT RANKING
    WRITE-UP
    1. LW William EklundDjurgårdens IF, SHL
    [5’10”. 172lbs. Born on October 12, 2002.]

    There isn’t a unanimous #1 in this draft, but Eklund is the most elite player available. He’s one of the best scorers in the draft. Just really good shot selection. His sharp offensive awareness makes him a shrewd playmaker as well. He’s a player that is constantly generating offense. He can create his own shot and opportunities for his linemates out of nothing. When Eklund is on the ice, he’s always a positive force. If I’m a coach and I’m in desperate need of a goal, Eklund is my go-to guy.
    2. C Matthew BeniersUniv. of Michigan, NCAA
    [6’1”. 174lbs. Born on November 5, 2002.]

    Confident 2-way minded center that doesn’t give up on plays. Excellent compete level. Has moments where his decision making isn’t the best, but he always works hard to rectify his mistakes. Plays like a hybrid of Mat Barzal and Mark Stone, with a hint of Brandon Saad. Beniers has the ability to be a very disruptive force on the ice.
    3. C/W Kent JohnsonUniv. of Michigan, NCAA
    [6’1”. 165lbs. Born on October 18, 2002.]

    Honed instincts and all the offensive tools in the world. Johnson is a superb puck handler and has a way of slowing things down when he wants to. He needs some more time in college to iron out some kinks, but you’ve got a player here that can do things that nobody else in this draft can. When he’s at his best, Johnson can look like Patrick Kane.
    4. LD Luke HughesU18's, USNTDP
    [6’2”. 176lbs. Born on September 9, 2003.]

    Mobile and active defenseman. He got a lot better as the season went on, which makes sense given how young he is. The progress he’s shown has been very promising. Let’s be clear here. He can’t do all the special things that his brother Quinn can do. Luke needs to learn to reign in the flashy plays, or find a way to make them work on a more consistent basis. But in this year’s draft he gives you more upside than any other defenseman available.
    5. G Jesper WallstedtLuleå HF, SHL
    [6’3”. 214lbs. Born on November 14, 2002.]

    The best goalie prospect I’ve ever scouted. Better than Askarov and Knight. He’s been consistently top tier for years and has made playing in the SHL look easy at his age. Wallstedt is a franchise goalie in the making.
    6. RW Fabian LysellLuleå HF, SHL
    [5’10”. 172lbs. Born on January 19, 2003.]

    Hard forcheker, great playmaker. Mitch Marner style winger that has lots of skill. His shifty edge work makes him hard to catch. Has the ability to pull off ankle breaking dekes. Needs to improve his strength so he’s not as easy to push around, but the potential is high.
    7. RD Brandt ClarkeHC Nove Zamky, Slovakia
    [6’2”. 190lbs. Born on February 9, 2003.]

    He plays a lot like the 4th forward on the ice. This leads to his positioning being out of whack, but he’s also very mobile so he can correct these mistakes pretty quickly. He’s always keeping his feet moving and staying active. Personally, he plays a lot more offensive than I like out of a defenseman but if you look at someone such as Erik Karlsson, he's a type of defenseman that can prove to be very effective. Clarke is still a work in progress. A patient development approach with him could yield a really great player. Ceiling is worth betting on.
    8. LD Owen PowerUniv. of Michigan, NCAA
    [6’5”. 214lbs. Born on November 22, 2002.]

    A jack of all trades, master of none player with a huge size advantage. He doesn’t have the ability to really take over a game, which I think takes him out of the elite conversation. Regardless, you're getting a solid blueliner here although he will likely get drafted higher than he should.
    9. RW Dylan GuentherEdmonton Oil Kings, WHL
    [6’1”. 181lbs. Born on April 10, 2003.]

    Had a great D-1 year, and a great return to the WHL’s limited run this season. Guenther is a fleet-footed skater that can do a lot of offensive damage when the puck is on his stick. He’ll be expected to be a key contributor at the NHL level.
    10. LD Kirill KirsanovSKA St. Petersburg, KHL
    [6’1”. 198lbs. Born on September 19, 2002.]

    An instinctual defender that plays both special teams. Has an active stick when defending. Always tying up attackers and throwing little stick lifts here and there to catch the opposition off guard. He's a nice, agile skater that's good at getting the puck on net. He’s confident to take it upon himself to get things going. Physically strong too and sticks to his man. Passes the puck with pinpoint accuracy. He neutralizes the opposition with ease, and has the stamina to eat up big minutes. This is the player every coach will trust to play during crucial moments. My personal favourite prospect in the whole draft.
    11. C Chaz LuciusU18's, USNTDP
    [6’0”. 172lbs. Born on May 2, 2003.]

    High intensity center that makes decisions with the puck that are wise beyond his years. Has the versatility to play wing as well. A superb offensive skill set that needs some refinement. Needs to improve his strength while he develops at the University of Minnesota.
    12. C Cole SillingerSioux Falls Stampede, USHL
    [6’0”. 201lbs. Born on May 16, 2003.]

    Has the strength to bulldoze his way through traffic. Sillinger has a diverse arsenal of offensive moves which makes him a scoring threat anytime he enters the offensive zone. There are legitimate concerns with his skating which will make him a dicey pick, but he has the upside to be one of the draft’s top scorers.
    13. RW Simon RobertssonSkellefteå AIK, SHL
    [6’0”. 190lbs. Born on February 5, 2003.]

    Hard working winger that makes things happen when he’s on the ice, whether it’s on or off the puck. Generates a lot of power behind his skating. Has been able to develop a respectable defensive acumen by playing a bottom 6 role for Skellefteå. Robertsson also has a scary shot.
    14. C Mason McTavishEHC Olten, SL
    [6’2”. 207lbs. Born on January 30, 2003.]

    Big, strong, center with very good hand eye coordination. A great net front presence. McTavish likes to park himself in front of the goalie and bat in deflections and any loose pucks around the crease. Plays a style of game that projects well to the NHL level.
    15. RD Scott MorrowShattuck St. Mary's, USHS-Prep
    [6’2”. 192lbs. Born on November 1, 2002.]

    Plays with a piercing attention for detail. Morrow has the confidence to be an effective puck mover. Has speedy lateral movement and edgework, which is great to see out of a defender with his size. Terrific work ethic, and possess those intangible qualities. Generates a lot of offensive chances. The perfect brand of defenseman for today’s game.
    16. LD Simon EdvinssonFrölunda HC, SHL
    [6’5”. 207lbs. Born on February 5, 2003.]

    His size is a big plus, but I really question his IQ and awareness on both ends. It seems like he can only play in the moment, but can’t think several steps ahead. This really hampers his decision making because good or bad, he doesn’t seem to understand the consequence of his actions. He just does it and hopes the outcome is in his favour. Edvinsson at his best is probably a top 10 pick, but the inconsistencies in his play pose a problem.
    17. C Fyodor SvechkovLada Togliatti, VHL
    [6’0”. 179lbs. Born on April 5, 2003.]

    Hard working and tenacious player that puts a lot of pressure on his opponents. Good physical strength. His deceptiveness plays tricks on goalies. Makes it very hard to read if he’s going to shoot or pass. Intelligent defensively.
    18. RW Logan StankovenKamloops Blazers, WHL
    [5’8”. 170lbs. Born on February 26, 2003.]

    There’s a level of risk involved drafting a player who hardly played this season, but Stankoven’s D-1 year is too good to ignore. He’s got quick hands and a release like a bullet. Blink, and the puck is already in the back of the net. Stankoven can get his shot off from anywhere on the ice.
    19. LD Stanislav SvozilHC Kometa Brno, Czech
    [6’1”. 179lbs. Born on January 17, 2003.]

    He played respectable minutes in the top Czech men’s league, and didn’t look at all out of place. He also played at this level in his D-1 year. His skating, vision, and passing are all positive traits. Sound puck mover.
    20. C Peter ReynoldsSaint John Sea Dogs, QMJHL
    [5’10”. 168lbs. Born on January 20, 2003.]

    A two way playmaker that exhibits great teamwork. Very active awareness, and has the ability to enhance the players around him. Lacks a punchy shot, but he puts in lots of effort on all ends of the ice. His passing ability is among the best in the draft thanks to his astute awareness. Should have a fruitful NHL career. Equivalent to a floor general in basketball.
    21. C Matthew SamoskevichChicago Steel, USHL
    [5’11”. 190lbs. Born on November 15, 2002.]

    This guy is good at hockey. An elite skater, handles the puck with ease even at top speed, and has an active stick. I’m not sure why his stats aren’t as inflated as his teammate, Matthew Coronato. While I think Coronato is a safer pick with the higher floor, I think Samoskevich has more upside and room to grow.
    22. RW Isak RosénLeksands IF, SHL
    [5’11”. 161lbs. Born on March 15, 2003.]

    His size is a noticeable deterrent, and he can be prone to disappearing on the ice, but I think these issues are a result of Rosen being brought up to the SHL too early. He has struggled with his confidence and physical immaturity at that level. When playing against his age group he’s able to shine on both ends of the ice, though still too passive physically.
    23. C Xavier BourgaultShawinigan Cataractes, QMJHL
    [6’0”. 172lbs. Born on October 22, 2002.]

    Primarily a playmaker, but his scoring is hardly a secondary trait. He does it just as well. Bourgault has good awareness and vision when he’s making plays in transition and the offensive zone. Needs more defensive consistency.
    24. LD Carson LambosWinnipeg Ice, WHL
    [6’1”. 201lbs. Born on January 14, 2003.]

    Two way defenseman. He had a forgettable outing in Finland this year, so it’s up to him to prove that he can be the player he was hyped up to be in his D-1 year. With a return to a more comfortable setting in Winnipeg, hopefully he can do just that.
    25. RW Oskar OlaussonHV71, SHL
    [6’2”. 181lbs. Born on November 10, 2002.]

    Quick accelerator that can burn his way down the rink. Could end up a solid 3rd line scoring option. Needs to work on defensive lapses in his own end. Would be nice to see him be more physically assertive.
    26. RW Nikita ChibrikovSKA St. Petersburg, KHL
    [5’10”. 172lbs. Born on February 16, 2003.]

    Offensive winger that carries the puck with control. He’s one of the better skaters you’ll find in this year’s draft which makes it tricky to defend him. Despite his size, he’s willing to engage in contact. Chibrikov has a really low center of gravity. Needs to work on his consistency in the defensive end. Sometimes too reckless.
    27. C Zach DeanGatineau Olympiques, QMJHL
    [6’0”. 176lbs. Born on January 4, 2003.]

    Elusive puck handler that can slip past the opposition with ease. His natural skill should make him an appealing option towards the end of the first round. He needs to be afforded the patience to really refine his abilities.
    28. C Francesco PinelliHDD Jesenice, AlpsHL
    [6’1”. 185lbs. Born on April 11, 2003.]

    A victim of the OHL not running this season, but despite that Pinelli hasn’t been forgotten. He lacks pace in his play at times, and would benefit from more active defensive play, however he has an overall good set of skills. Difference maker when he wants to be.
    29. C Aatu RatyKärpät, Liiga
    [6’1”. 181lbs. Born on November 14, 2002.]

    Low IQ center that needs to fill out his lanky frame. Not very active. Outside of some flashes here and there, you have to squint really hard to see a true 1st rounder. Could be worth a swing with a late 1st, but he’ll likely be long gone before then. It’s hard to get excited for low IQ players.
    30. LW Brennan OthmannEHC Olten, SL
    [6’0”. 174lbs. Born on January 5, 2003.]

    Okay in most facets of the game. I’m not going to be the one to clamour for him at the draft table, but you could convince me to take him in the tail end of the 1st round.
    31. RD Corson CeulemansBrooks Bandits, AJHL
    [6’2”. 201lbs. Born on May 5, 2003.]

    It's never fun subjecting yourself to scouting the AJHL, but Ceulemans was the standout player from that league this year. He's got the size already, now he needs to prove that his level of play will translate to the next level. Playing at Wisconsin will give him that opportunity.
    32. LW Matthew CoronatoChicago Steel, USHL
    [5’10”. 183lbs. Born on November 14, 2002.]

    His point production this season can’t be ignored. Of course points aren’t everything, and when you watch Coronato play you’ll notice that he doesn’t really possess any elite traits. However he does everything well. Reminiscent of a poor man’s Jake Guentzel.
    REMAINDER OF MY BOARD
    LD Artyom Grushnikov, RD Ty Gallagher, LW Viljami Marjala, LD Daniil Chayka, G Sebastian Cossa, LD Tyson Hinds, LW Artyon Martino, C Ryder Korczak, C/LW Samu Salminen, LW William Strömgren, RW Samu Tuomaala, RD Brent Johnson, LD Jack Peart, RD Jake Martin, RW Jackson Blake, RW Ville Koivunen, C Cole Huckins, RW Marcus Almquist, C Danila Klimovich, C Zachary Bolduc, LW Liam Gilmartin, C Elias Stenman, LW Sasha Pastujov, LD Evan Nause, C Colton Dach, C Brett Harrison, C Dylan Duke, C Zachary L'Heureux, LD Olen Zellweger, LW James Hardie (OA), C Ethan Cardwell (OA), LD Janis Jérôme Moser (OA)
    HONOURABLE MENTIONS
    LW Ty Voit, RD Logan Mailloux, C Mark Yaruta, LD Dmitri Kuzmin, C Jack O’Brien, RW Chase Stillman, C/LW Conner Roulette, LW Matthew Knies, C Riley Kidney, C Trevor Wong, LW Zack Ostapchuk, LW Josh Doan (OA), LD Christoffer Sedoff (OA)

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