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NHL Draft

Mock 2021 NHL Draft: Hughes could go to Devils, Kings

Intrigue for Ducks at No. 3 after Sabres take Power at No. 1, Kraken select Beniers next @NHLdotcom

The 2021 NHL Draft will be held July 23-24. The first round will be July 23 (8 p.m. ET; ESPN2, SN, SN NOW, TVAS) and rounds 2-7 are July 24 (11 a.m. ET; NHLN, SN, SN NOW). is counting down to the draft with profiles and other features. Today, writers Adam Kimelman and Mike G. Morreale submit their final mock draft of the first round.'s full draft coverage can be found here.

The intrigue in the 2021 NHL Draft could start with the Anaheim Ducks at the No. 3 pick.

Two writers agree the Buffalo Sabres will select University of Michigan defenseman Owen Power at No. 1, and the Seattle Kraken will use the No. 2 pick, and their first draft selection, on Michigan center Matthew Beniers.

What the Ducks do at No. 3 remains unknown, and the decision could come down to right wing Dylan Guenther of Edmonton in the Western Hockey League or defenseman Simon Edvinsson of Frolunda in Sweden's junior league.

The next interesting decision will be what the New Jersey Devils do at No. 4. Do they select Luke Hughes, a defenseman from the USA Hockey National Team Development Program Under-18 team and brother of Devils center, Jack, or do they go in another direction? 

The Columbus Blue Jackets will make the first of their three first-round selections at No. 5. They also have the No. 25 pick, acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs in the trade for forward Nick Foligno, and the No. 32 selection, acquired from the Tampa Bay Lightning in the trade for defenseman David Savard.

The Sabres also have the No. 14 pick, acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday. The New Jersey Devils (Nos. 4 and 29), Detroit Red Wings (Nos. 6 and 23) and Minnesota Wild (Nos. 22 and 26) also have multiple first-round picks.

The Arizona Coyotes forfeited the No. 11 pick for violating the NHL Combine Testing Policy during the 2019-20 season, but acquired the No. 9 in a trade with the Vancouver Canucks on Friday. 

1. Buffalo Sabres

Kimelman -- Owen Power, D, Michigan (NCAA): Defensemen as big (6-foot-6, 213 pounds) and as skilled as Power don't come along very often, so it should be an easy choice for the Sabres. The 18-year-old has the potential to be a top-pair defenseman who can play in all situations, and his skating and hockey instincts should help him acclimate quickly to the pace of the NHL. He scored 16 points (three goals, 13 assists) in 26 NCAA games and fit right in with Canada at the 2021 IIHF World Championship, including playing 24:17 in a 3-2 overtime win against Finland in the championship game.

Morreale -- Power: The Sabres can't go wrong with the projected best player in the draft, a big presence with good vision, strength, hockey IQ and who has the look of a first-pair NHL defenseman. In addition to his offensive skill, he led Michigan with 40 blocked shots. Power would be the first Michigan player to go No. 1 in the NHL Draft.

2. Seattle Kraken

Kimelman -- Matthew Beniers, C, Michigan (NCAA): Beniers (6-1, 175) should become a fan favorite quickly in Seattle because of how hard he plays in all areas of the ice. The 18-year-old is an outstanding skater who is as relentless on the forecheck as he is on the backcheck. He was a key piece in the United States' win at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship as the youngest player on the roster and didn't look out of place playing with and against NHL players with the U.S. at the 2021 IIHF World Championship.

Morreale -- Beniers: Seattle general manager Ron Francis might want to build around a player who many believe to be the best two-way center in the draft. He scored 24 points (10 goals, 14 assists) in 24 games in his first college season and led first-time NHL Draft-eligible NCAA players in goals, goals per game (0.42) and shots on goal per game (2.38). He stood out as the second-line center for the United States at the WJC, scoring three points (one goal, two assists), killing penalties and averaging 17:05 of ice time in seven games.

3. Anaheim Ducks

Kimelman -- Dylan Guenther, RW, Edmonton (WHL): The Ducks were last in the NHL this season in scoring (2.21 goals per game) and on the power play (8.9 percent), so adding arguably the most dynamic offensive player available makes sense. Guenther (6-1, 175) averaged 2.00 points per game in the Western Hockey League (24 points in 12 games) and the 18-year-old can use a hard, accurate shot to score from anywhere in the offensive zone.

Morreale -- Simon Edvinsson, D, Frolunda Jr. (SWE-JR): The Ducks have their future right-shot defenseman in Jamie Drysdale (No. 6, 2020), so now could be the time to add his future partner. Edvinsson (6-4, 198) is a physical, left-shot defenseman with a good set of tools, including mobility, skating and a strong shot. He had one assist and averaged 5:48 of ice time in 10 games with Frolunda in the Swedish Hockey League and scored four points (one goal, three assists) in seven games for Sweden at the 2021 IIHF Under-18 World Championship.

4. New Jersey Devils

Kimelman -- Brandt Clarke, D, Barrie (OHL): Clarke (6-2, 185) is an outstanding two-way right-shot defenseman capable of skating the puck out of trouble in the defensive zone or making a smart, accurate pass to start a breakout. With the Ontario Hockey League season canceled due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus, the 18-year-old played 26 games in the top professional league in Slovakia and scored 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) with Nove Zamky while continuing to develop the defensive side of his game. Clarke also helped Canada win the U-18 Worlds, scoring seven points (two goals, five assists) in seven games. His older brother, forward Graeme Clarke, was selected by the Devils in the third round (No. 80) of the 2019 NHL Draft.

Morreale -- Luke Hughes, D, USA U-18 (NTDP): Hughes (6-2, 184) could have a chance to join his brother, Jack Hughes, with the Devils. Luke is a left-handed shot but played on the right side for the USA Hockey National Team Development Program Under-18 team this season. The 17-year-old is a great skater, defends well, has good poise with the puck and reads plays well. His offensive game improved during the second half of the season, and he scored 34 points (six goals, 28 assists), had 68 shots on goal, and was plus-11 in 38 games.

5. Columbus Blue Jackets

Kimelman -- Simon Edvinsson, D, Frolunda Jr. (SWE-JR): Edvinsson's outstanding blend of size, skills and smarts is reminiscent of Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones. His skating is effective in getting pucks out of his zone, and he's elusive with it in creating offensive chances for himself and teammates.

Morreale -- William Eklund, LW, Djurgarden (SWE): The Blue Jackets need an injection of skill and speed up front and Eklund (5-10, 176) plays with good pace, puck skills and vision. The 18-year-old was named rookie of the year in the SHL after scoring 23 points (11 goals, 12 assists) and averaging 15:29 of ice time in 40 games.

6. Detroit Red Wings

Kimelman -- Jesper Wallstedt, G, Lulea (SWE): The Red Wings need a goalie to add to their development pipeline, and Wallstedt (6-3, 214) is the best available. Detroit general manager Steve Yzerman is fearless when it comes to identifying talent. Two years ago, the Red Wings had the No. 6 pick and went against the grain to select defenseman Moritz Seider, who now looks like a future top-pair star. It wouldn't be a surprise to see a similar move by the Red Wings in this spot. Wallstedt has a calm, controlled style, tracks pucks well and the 18-year-old was 11-8 with three ties, a 2.23 goals-against average and .908 save percentage in 22 games.

Morreale -- Mason McTavish, C, Peterborough (OHL): McTavish is a powerful skater with balance and solid puck-protection skills who compares himself to Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf. McTavish (6-1, 207) could be the future long-term option at center alongside right wing Lucas Raymond (No. 4, 2020). The 18-year-old scored 11 points (nine goals, two assists) in 13 games on loan with Olten in the Swiss League, the second-highest professional league in Switzerland. He scored 11 points (five goals, six assists) in seven games to help Canada win the U-18s.

7. San Jose Sharks

Kimelman -- Mason McTavish, C, Peterborough (OHL): The Sharks need to get younger and more dynamic as they look to contend for a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and McTavish has top-six star potential. "In a pro league he stepped in and got better every game," director of NHL Central Scouting Dan Marr said. "It got to be near the end of his play there that every time he was on the ice he was controlling play and making things happen."

Morreale -- Brandt Clarke, D, Barrie (OHL): The Sharks have an impressive pipeline of forward prospects and it's a rarity to get a right-shot defenseman with as much skill, finesse and offensive push as Clarke.

8. Los Angeles Kings

Kimelman -- Luke Hughes, D, USA U-18 (NTDP): Hughes brings the same top-end skating ability that his older brothers, Jack Hughes of Devils and Quinn Hughes of the Vancouver Canucks, but in a bigger package. The Kings have done well selecting high-skill forwards the past few years, including Quinton Byfield (No. 2, 2020) and Alex Turcotte (No. 5, 2019). Hughes is the kind of high-skill defenseman that will be able to get them the puck in the right spots to be effective.

Morreale -- Kent Johnson, C, Michigan (NCAA): The Kings would benefit from drafting a versatile sniper who plays with pace, skill and creativity. The 18-year-old thrived at left wing this season, scoring 27 points (nine goals, 18 assists) in 26 games. Johnson (6-1, 167), a left-handed shot, led first-time NHL Draft-eligible NCAA players in assists, points, and points per game (1.04).

9. Arizona Coyotes (trom Vancouver Canucks) 

Kimelman -- William Eklund: The Coyotes trade back into the first round and take the most skilled offensive player available in Eklund. He showed top-end offensive skill combined with the ability to win battles along the boards and held up well against physical play in the SHL. It's easy to envision him playing a top-line role with the Coyotes in the near future.

Morreale -- Dylan Guenther, RW, Edmonton (WHL): He is an elite goal scorer with quickness who plays a strong, heavy game and can contribute on special teams. In addition to his standout play in the WHL, he helped Canada win the U-18 Worlds by scoring seven points (four goals, three assists) in seven games and contributing on the penalty kill.

10. Ottawa Senators

Kimelman -- Kent Johnson, C, Michigan (NCAA): A high-end playmaker with great vision and some flair to his game. He's elusive carrying the puck and has elite vision and passing skills. He also showed his versatility this season, excelling on the wing and at center in his first college season, and likely only will get better as he gets stronger.

Morreale -- Jesper Wallstedt, G, Lulea (SWE): The Senators do not have an elite-level goalie prospect and Wallstedt can fill that void. Central Scouting director of European scouting Goran Stubb said Wallstedt is the best Sweden-born goalie prospect he's seen in at least five years. He can read the game well, has good quickness and plays a hybrid butterfly/athletic style. 

11. Arizona Coyotes

Pick forfeited as punishment for violation of NHL Combine Testing policies during 2019-20 season

12. Chicago Blackhawks

Kimelman -- Chaz Lucius, C, USA U-18 (NTDP): Lucius (6-1, 185) had surgery to remove a bone lesion in his left knee and missed the first four months of the season, but the 18-year-old returned pain-free and feels his skating is better than it has been in years. Lucius is strong around the net in the offensive zone and has an NHL-caliber shot that he used to score 13 goals in 13 games this season.

Morreale -- Lucius: The Blackhawks could be looking to stock up on depth down the middle and Lucius might be the long-term option with proper development. He's been compared by some scouts to Lightning captain Steven Stamkos and is regarded for having one of the hardest shots among players in the 2021 draft class. Lucius is committed to play at the University of Minnesota next season.

13. Calgary Flames

Kimelman -- Matthew Coronato, RW, Chicago (USHL): A dominant offensive force who blends top-end goal scoring, strong skating and a physical approach, similar to United States Hockey Hall of Fame forward John LeClair. Coronato (5-10, 183) led the United States Hockey League with 48 goals in 51 games, and led the league in scoring in the playoffs, with 13 points (nine goals, four assists) in eight games.

Morreale -- Coronato: The USHL Forward of the Year was second in the league with 85 points and led the league with 19 power-play goals and eight game-winning goals. He'll continue his development at Harvard next season.

14. Buffalo Sabres (from Philadelphia Flyers)

Kimelman -- Fedor Svechkov, C, Togliatti (RUS-2): The Sabres, who acquired this pick in a trade with Philadelphia Flyers on Friday, could look to add center depth to their prospect pipeline and Svechkov (6-0, 187) was a standout at the U-18 Worlds, centering Russia's top line and scoring 10 points (four goals, six assists) in seven games. The 18-year-old also is regarded as one of the better defensive forwards available in the draft.

Morreale -- Cole Sillinger, C, Sioux Falls (USHL): The USHL Rookie of the Year is a skilled offensive player with a great release on his shot, a high hockey IQ and excellent vision and playmaking ability. The 18-year-old scored five power-play goals and led Sioux Falls with an average of 1.48 points per game.

15. Dallas Stars

Kimelman -- Corson Ceulemans, D, Brooks (AJHL): The big (6-2, 198) right-shot defenseman is an outstanding skater who can lead the rush and use his speed to create chances in transition and in the offensive zone. The 18-year-old also knows how to use his mobility and long reach to keep opposing forwards to the outside. The Stars are set for now at the NHL level with Miro Heiskanen, John Klingberg and Esa Lindell. Top prospect Thomas Harley is close to NHL-ready, and Ceulemans would give the Stars more top-end depth at a key position. He scored eight points (one goal, seven assists) in six games for Canada at the U-18 Worlds.

Morreale -- Carson Lambos, D, Winnipeg (WHL): Lambos (6-1, 197) has the potential to become a future top-pair NHL defenseman, with his patience in the defensive zone and in transition among his best qualities. Lambos played two games in the Western Hockey League 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.

Video: Sam Cosentino on prospects for 2021 NHL Draft

16. New York Rangers

Kimelman -- Brennan Othmann, LW, Flint (OHL): Othman (6-0, 175) is a strong forechecker who is able to create scoring chances because of his speed and willingness to play physical and has a quick release on a strong shot. The 18-year-old was able to showcase those skills against older professionals, scoring 16 points (seven goals, nine assists) in 34 games with Olten on loan in the Swiss League. The Rangers have a number of talented young forwards, including Alexis Lafreniere (No. 1, 2020), Kaapo Kakko (No. 2, 2019) and Vitali Kravtsov (No. 9, 2018); Othmann's hard-nosed play and strong forechecking would bring a different element that could give them more open ice to work with.

Morreale -- Xavier Bourgault, C, Shawinigan (QMJHL): Bourgault is a dynamic offensive player who is relentless in his puck pursuit. The 18-year-old (6-0, 172) led Shawinigan with 20 goals and was third with 40 points in 29 regular-season games in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He also had four assists in five QMJHL playoff games.

17. St. Louis Blues 

Kimelman -- Carson Lambos, D, Winnipeg (WHL): He was impressive against older professionals during his time in Finland, and his selection would fill a need for the Blues, who haven't chosen a defenseman in the first round since Jordan Schmaltz in 2012 (No. 25). Their top defenseman prospect, Scott Perunovich (No. 45, 2018), missed this season recovering from a shoulder injury.

Morreale -- Brennan Othmann, LW, Flint (OHL): The Blues will go for the best available player and that could be Othmann, who is a two-way difference-maker with very good puck skills and the ability to make himself available in dangerous scoring areas. In addition to his strong play in the Swiss League, he scored six points (three goals, three assists) in seven games to help Canada win the U-18 World Championship, including a goal and seven shots on goal in a 5-3 win against Russia in the championship game.

18. Winnipeg Jets

Kimelman -- Cole Sillinger, C, Sioux Falls (USHL): The Jets can add to their forward depth with Sillinger, who led Sioux Falls with 46 points (24 goals, 22 assists) in 31 games. He's a strong skater capable of controlling the pace of the game with the puck on his stick. His father is former NHL forward Mike Sillinger, who played 1,049 games with 12 NHL teams.

Morreale -- Zachary Bolduc, C, Rimouski (QMJHL): Bolduc (6-1, 175) won the Mike Bossy Trophy as the top prospect in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The 18-year-old scored 29 points (10 goals, 19 assists) and three power-play goals in 27 games.

19. Nashville Predators

Kimelman -- Daniil Chayka, D, CSKA (RUS): The Predators have selected three defensemen in the first two rounds in the past 10 years, but only Dante Fabbro (No. 17, 2016) still is with them after they traded Seth Jones (No. 4, 2013) and Samuel Girard (No. 47, 2016). Chayka (6-3, 187) scored two points (one goal, one assist) in 11 games on loan with CSKA Moscow in the Kontinental Hockey League this season. He also has experience in North America, scoring 34 points (11 goals, 23 assists) in 56 games with Guelph of the Ontario Hockey League last season.

Morreale -- Isak Rosen, RW, Leksands (SWE): Rosen (5-11, 156) led third-place Sweden with seven goals and tied for the lead with nine points in seven games at the U-18 Worlds. The 18-year-old had one assist in 22 SHL games and scored 12 points (seven goals, five assists) in 12 games for Leksands' junior league team.

20. Edmonton Oilers

Kimelman -- Sebastian Cossa, G, Edmonton (WHL): The Oilers' willingness to re-sign 39-year-old Mike Smith shows their need to add a top goalie prospect. Cossa (6-6, 210) has the size and athleticism NHL teams love. Scouts also like the 18-year-old's calm and controlled movements, his competitiveness and ability to read plays. There hasn't been a draft with two goalies selected in the first round since 2012 (Andrei Vasilevskiy, Malcolm Subban), but Cossa is too good a prospect to pass on.

Morreale -- Cossa: This could be the perfect opportunity for the Oilers to fill a glaring need in their pipeline with the top goalie in the WHL, if not the entire Canadian Hockey League. Cossa was 17-1-1 with a 1.57 GAA, a .941 save percentage and four shutouts in 19 games.

21. Boston Bruins

Kimelman -- Zachary Bolduc, C, Rimouski (QMJHL): Bolduc showed he can produce anywhere in the offensive zone, is a strong skater and has the size and strength to hold onto the puck to create opportunities for himself and his teammates.

Morreale -- Corson Ceulemans, D, Brooks (AJHL): The Bruins need to use this opportunity to take a projected future top-four defenseman with a high ceiling capable of playing big minutes in all situations. Ceulemans, who is committed to the University of Wisconsin for next season, scored 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in eight games in the Alberta Junior Hockey League and was a plus-11 in six games for Canada at the U-18 Worlds.

22. Minnesota Wild

Kimelman -- Nikita Chibrikov, RW, St. Petersburg (RUS): Defenseman is an area of need for the Wild, but Chibrikov is too good a prospect to pass on. Scouts have been impressed by his playmaking, skating and hockey sense, and the 18-year-old led NHL Draft-eligible players at the U-18 Worlds with 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in seven games for Russia.

Morreale -- Fabian Lysell, RW, Lulea (SWE): A mobile skater with good speed and creativity and would look good someday on a line with Calder Trophy winner Kirill Kaprizov. The 18-year-old doesn't have dominating size (5-10, 172), but is strong and capable of winning 1-on-1 battles. He scored three points (two goals, one assist) in 26 SHL games, and scored nine points (three goals, six assists) in seven games for third-place Sweden at the U-18 Worlds.

23. Detroit Red Wings (from Washington Capitals)

Kimelman -- Zachary L'Heureux, LW, Halifax (QMJHL): The Red Wings could opt for one of the top power forwards in the draft in L'Heureux (5-11, 196), who scored 39 points (19 goals, 20 assists) in 33 games. The 18-year-old showed the ability to physically outmatch defenders down low and along the boards, but sometimes would go too far and was suspended four times. With maturity he has the talent to blossom into a big-time contributor.

Morreale -- Aatu Raty, C, Karpat (FIN): Raty (6-2, 185) is a good skater with speed, balance and excellent puck control. The Red Wings might be willing to take a chance on the 18-year-old, who could be a steal at this point in the draft. Raty scored six points (three goals, three assists) and had 80 shots on goal while averaging 11:38 of ice time in 35 games in Liiga, Finland's top professional league.

24. Florida Panthers

Kimelman -- Fabian Lysell, RW, Lulea (SWE): His speed and high-end offensive skills make him a standout prospect. He still needs to get stronger, and another season of development in the Swedish Hockey League, including a boost in ice time, will help him further develop his game. With patience, he could grow into a big-time contributor as a top-six forward.

Morreale -- Zachary L'Heureux, LW, Halifax (QMJHL): The Panthers selected a center with their first pick at the 2020 NHL Draft (Anton Lundell, No. 12), but L'Heureux is a different kind of player. He's at his best when he's playing physical, driving to the net, and using his hands and offensive instincts.

25. Columbus Blue Jackets (from Toronto Maple Leafs)

Kimelman -- Xavier Bourgault, C, Shawinigan (QMJHL): Center is an area of need for the Blue Jackets and Bourgault has a high ceiling. His skating and speed are standout qualities and he showed a knack for finding the soft spots in defensive coverages to create scoring chances for himself and his teammates.

Morreale -- Francesco Pinelli, C, Kitchener (OHL): Pinelli (6-0, 185) is an elite skater with excellent puck pursuit, work ethic and a high compete level who is capable of contributing on the power play and penalty kill. He scored 11 points (five goals, six assists) in 13 games on loan with Slovenia-based Jesenice in the Alps Hockey League, and scored 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in seven games for Canada at the U-18 Worlds.

26. Minnesota Wild (from Pittsburgh Penguins)

Kimelman -- Sean Behrens, D, USA U-18 (NTDP): The 18-year-old might have gotten overlooked with all the attention paid to fellow NTDP defenseman Luke Hughes, but Behrens had a very good season, scoring 35 points (seven goals, 28 assists) in 46 games. His speed and elusiveness allow him to skate pucks out of trouble in the defensive zone, and he can make pinpoint passes on the rush or in the offensive zone to create scoring chances for his teammates. The Wild need to add to their stockpile of defenseman prospects, and Behrens has potential to be an offensive threat at 5-on-5 and on the power play.

Morreale -- Shai Buium, D, Sioux City (USHL): The Wild should look to strengthen their defensive depth with Buium (6-3, 209). The left-handed shot scored 26 points (four goals, 22 assists) and was plus-16 in 50 games for Sioux City after the 18-year-old scored 13 points (two goals, 11 assists) in 17 games with Shattuck St. Mary's Prep in Minnesota. He's committed to the University of Denver in 2022-23.

27. Carolina Hurricanes

Kimelman -- Isak Rosen, RW, Leksands (SWE): His speed is top-end, and he never backed down from physical play against older, more experienced players in the SHL. Rosen was willing to get to the front of the net in the offensive zone to produce. The Hurricanes have selected centers in the first round the past two years (Ryan Suzuki, 2019; Seth Jarvis, 2020), so this could be an opportunity to get some high-end linemates.

Morreale -- Fedor Svechkov, C, Togliatti (RUS-2): He has good size, can play all three forward positions and can handle big minutes in crucial situations. He scored 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) in 38 games in the VHL, Russia's second division, and 15 points (four goals, 11 assists) in 15 games in the MHL, Russia's junior league.

28. Colorado Avalanche

Kimelman -- Zach Dean, C, Gatineau (QMJHL): Dean (6-0, 176) is a great skater, and his speed and elusiveness allow him to beat defensemen wide on the rush. The 18-year-old scored 20 points (10 goals, 10 assists) in 23 games, is defensively responsible and capable of impacting all areas of the game. He played on the power play and penalty kill with Gatineau and should be able to do the same in the NHL.

Morreale -- Samu Tuomaala, RW, Karpat Jr. (FIN-JR): Tuomaala (5-10, 174) is an energy-type forward with good speed, quickness and puck control. The 18-year-old led fourth-place Finland with 11 points (five goals, six assists) in seven games at the U-18 Worlds, and scored 35 points (16 goals, 19 assists) in 35 games in Finland's junior league.

29. New Jersey Devils (from New York Islanders)

Kimelman -- Mackie Samoskevich, RW, Chicago (USHL): The Devils need offensive punch and Samoskevich (5-11, 191) has high-end offensive gifts. The 18-year-old makes plays at top speed, and his hockey IQ and great vision allow him to find the open spots in the offensive zone. Scouts also were impressed by the way he was able to change the angle on his shot to add deception.

Morreale -- Colton Dach, C, Saskatoon (WHL): The brother of Blackhawks forward Kirby Dach, Colton came on strong toward the end of the season when Saskatoon needed a center to step up and produce following injuries to older players. Dach (6-4, 196), a left-handed shot who can play wing or center, has good hands, can play a power game and would be a perfect fit for New Jersey. The 18-year-old scored 20 points (11 goals, nine assists) and five power-play goals in 20 games this season.

30. Vegas Golden Knights

Kimelman -- Shai Buium, D, Sioux City (USHL): He stepped up from prep school hockey to the USHL and never missed a beat this season. His offensive skills and hockey sense shine, and he uses his long stick to defend effectively. His skating needs some work, but with his size and skill, Buium has a high ceiling. The Golden Knights need to add defenseman prospects and Buium could be a strong place to start.

Morreale -- Nikita Chibrikov, RW, St. Petersburg (RUS): The Golden Knights have several center prospects, including Cody Glass (No. 6, 2017), Peyton Krebs (No. 17, 2019) and Brendan Brisson (No. 29, 2020), so finding playmakers with speed and who are strong on the backcheck could be next on the list. Chibrikov scored two points (one goal, one assist) in 16 games in the KHL and was outstanding at the U-18 Worlds.

31. Montreal Canadiens

Kimelman -- Francesco Pinelli, C, Kitchener (OHL): Another top Ontario Hockey League prospect who had to play in Europe this season, Pinelli impressed during his time playing professionally in the Alps Hockey League. He blends skill with a relentless, physical style and is often fighting for loose pucks at the front of the net. 

Morreale -- Sasha Pastujov, RW, USA U-18 (USHL): Pastujov (6-0, 184) scored three points (two goals, one assist) and was named MVP of the BioSteel All-American Game on April 7. The 18-year-old led the NTDP with 65 points (30 goals, 35 assists) in 41 games and led fifth-place United States with eight points (five goals, three assists) and 31 shots on goal in five games at the U-18 Worlds.

32. Columbus Blue Jackets (from Tampa Bay Lightning)

Kimelman -- Aatu Raty, C, Karpat (FIN): Expectations were high for Raty entering the season after he played for Finland as a 17-year-old at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship, but he never quite met those expectations this season. Raty does have all the tools to be a high-end playmaker, with great hands and puck management skills, and his size helps him win battles along the boards. He needs to find more consistency in his game, but with further maturity and development he could grow into a solid middle-six center.

Morreale -- Zach Dean, C, Gatineau (QMJHL): An alternate captain with Gatineau, Dean sustained a broken wrist prior to the season but recovered to have a solid season. He's a high-end skater with a great wrist shot and solid two-way game.


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