Welcome to the 2021 NHL Draft season folks! Well kind of. Many leagues have postponed their start by a few months and most of the big international scouting events that kick off the scouting year have been cancelled. Because of the turmoil COVID has caused, our season as NHL Draft evaluators will also be a little touch and go. No views on prospects at the U18 Hlinka Gretzky, no World U-17 Hockey Challenge to get a vital peek at the next wave, no World Junior A Challenge and the list goes on. So, with this being the new reality, our plan at DraftPro has been to go back and re-watch as much video from last seasons games and tournaments as possible, focusing on the 2021 eligibles, and then use the shortened seasons live views, when they are available, to see progression, make our projections and build our rankings. Everyone is in the same boat in terms of not being able to scout like they normally would so at least things will be interesting.
As for our early view of the 2021 draft crop, we see some high-end talent at the top. Maybe not in the form of a can’t-miss generational talent like Connor McDavid, or any future face-of-the-franchise types like Alexis Lafreniere, but there will be plenty of NHL worthy talent in the mix, and likely a few future NHL All-Stars that come out of this crop as well. The 2021 draft is being tagged a defensemen heavy draft as there are a bunch of rearguards who have caught the eye of evaluators early, but don’t be fooled as the forward position looks stacked with some strong talent as well. There are a few puck stoppers also in the mix that have caught our eye, although none of the Yaroslav Askarov quality.
While it is very early, there is a ton of talent available in the 2021 crop and our team at Draft Prospects Hockey has you covered with scouting content and editorial throughout the season. So stick around as we promise to offer you plenty of educated and honest draft related content this season, including our Essential Draft Preview Magazine coming early this season.
Below is the Draft Prospects Hockey Preliminary Top 32 for the 2021 NHL Draft. These ratings were formulated by our team of ten back in April and appear in our 2020 NHL Draft Guide. Pick up your copy, digital or print version today.