Predicting what could — and should — happen for all 32 first-round picks

The NFL Draft is a time to look ahead, but with so much uncertainty at the top of the draft, it’s hard to know how all 32 teams will fare come April. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the first round and attempt to predict what could happen and should happen.

It’s that time again — draft day is upon us. If you’re reading this, you’re probably just as excited for the start of the NFL Draft as I am. You probably also have a strong opinion on which team should take a quarterback. You probably don’t care about any of this, but you probably do have a strong opinion on the NFL Draft. (I’m looking at you, Cowboys fan.)

The NFL Draft kicked off Friday afternoon with an ESPN broadcast with a who’s who of analysts and experts. While the experts were talking about new trends in the NFL, I thought of a different topic: what could and should happen for all 32 first-round picks? The draft is like a board game where the 32 GMs are the players and the first-round picks are the bosses. You can’t hit your boss with a shoe, but you can definitely knock him off his horse, and you can tell him to go jump in the lake. So is it possible to predict what will happen on day 1 of the draft?. Read more about 2021 nhl mock draft round 2 and let us know what you think.

In his 20 years in the NHL, Brent Flahr has seen his fair share of draft classes, and the Philadelphia Flyers’ assistant general manager thinks the 2021 class will be no exception.

The lottery selections in the draft, for example, may be completely unexpected.

“This is going to be a fascinating draft. The top eight or nine players… clubs will have them in a different order, but the names will most likely be the same “he said

The remainder of the draft may be just as unpredictable. Due of the COVID-19 epidemic, several junior hockey leagues had to play shortened schedules or none at all, like in the case of the Ontario Hockey League. Major events, like as the Memorial Cup, have been rescheduled. Scouting and player assessment in person were continuing difficulties.

“What you’ll see is [the draft] spread out over the board. I believe there are a handful of players that have received little attention from the media. Teams, on the other hand, have completed their assignment. Some of your guys haven’t even played this season. As a result, you’ll notice differences “Flahr explained.

In conclusion, it’s all a mystery. But here’s what we came up with as a solution. Our NHL mock draft for 2021 features players we anticipate to be chosen in all 32 opening-night spots, as well as our personal first-round selections for each club. The selections were made based on league discussions, industry consensus, and our own predictions.

On Friday night, here’s how the first round could play out. ESPN2 will broadcast it live at 8 p.m. ET.

Owen Power, D, Michigan, says it all makes sense (Big Ten)

The consensus No. 1 selection in this year’s draft is Power. He’s 6-foot-6, has good skating ability, and can move the puck. Power is expected to grow into a poor man’s Victor Hedman, according to the prediction. He may not be the Lightning star’s power-play quarterback or top lockdown defender, but a poor man’s Hedman is nonetheless very wealthy.

Owen Power, D, Michigan, is our choice (Big Ten)

If the Jack Eichel era in Buffalo is really over, the team must move on to the next phase. On the left side of your defense, you can’t do much worse than build around Power and 2018 first-overall selection Rasmus Dahlin, who is 21 years old.


What is reasonable: Michigan’s Matthew Beniers (Big Ten)

GM Ron Francis loves players that remind him of how he used to play, according to Kraken coach Dave Hakstol. It’s difficult to see Francis passing Beniers up here, given that he’s an offensively gifted center, a shifty skater, and a guy whose game revolves around how effective he is in the defensive zone.

Matthew Beniers, C, Michigan, is our choice (Big Ten)

This isn’t Auston Matthews or Connor McDavid. This isn’t the kind of foundational center you’d want to build a franchise around, nor is it one with a ton of offensive potential. However, he’s the finest two-way center in the draft and a key piece for the NHL’s newest franchise.


What is reasonable: RW Dylan Guenther (Edmonton) (WHL)

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This goal-scoring winger is projected to be the Ducks’ first-round pick in almost every mock draft. Guenther scored 12 goals in 12 games with the Oil Kings this season, then added four more for the World Juniors. His shooting is excellent, but his ability to maneuver into tight places to make the shot is equally remarkable.

Simon Edvinsson, D, Frolunda Jr. is our choice (Sweden Jr.)

The Ducks’ once-impressive young defensive corps is a) no longer impressive and b) no longer youthful. The temptation is to add to the offensive with Trevor Zegras as the focal point of the Ducks’ next era of hockey. But, in the spirit of the NHL draft, where raw potential is developed into fundamental players, I’ll choose the 6-foot-5 Swede who may wind up becoming the guy Owen Power is predicting.


What is reasonable: Luke Hughes, USA U-18, is a defensive midfielder (NTDP)

You’d be hard pushed to find a more zealous NHL prospect when it comes to the club he wants to be selected by. In pre-draft interviews, Hughes expressed his brother Jack Hughes’ desire for him to join the Devils, going through everything from the franchise to the rink to the fan base. He essentially accomplished everything except recite the Hobby’s Delicatessen menu in Newark.

Luke Hughes, USA U-18, is our choice (NTDP)

Luke offers the Devils a talented puck-moving defender with potential to develop, in addition to reuniting the Hughes brothers. With the blueliner still being 17 years old, New Jersey will undoubtedly let him to develop at Michigan for a while. That said, it puts two Hughes brothers together, so there’s always the possibility Quinn Hughes may want to join the Hockey Tri-Force in New Jersey.


Simon Edvinsson, D, Frolunda Jr., Simon Edvinsson, D, Frolunda Jr., Simon Edvinsson, D, Frolunda Jr (Sweden Jr.)

While certain aspects of his skill set are still developing, and Edvinsson does need more NHL experience, the Blue Jackets do not have anybody in their defenseman pipeline who can match his talents. When Seth Jones has one skate out the door, this is particularly essential to remember.

Mason McTavish, C, Peterborough, is our choice (OHL)

McTavish is a fan favorite, and his draft value has been rising. It’s possible that he won’t make it beyond Columbus.


What is reasonable: Peterborough’s Mason McTavish, C (OHL)

It’s tough to see GM Steve Yzerman passing on the opportunity to select a two-way center with exceptional hockey sense who enjoys digging in near the net to pop pucks in. Last season, he even played a few pro hockey games in the Swiss League.

G, Lulea’s Jesper Wallstedt is our choice (Sweden)

As general manager of the Lightning in 2012, Yzerman looked at his depth chart and didn’t see the future goaltender. So, based on a few of seasons in Russian juniors, he selected Andrei Vasilevskiy 19th overall. With Wallstedt in international play and one season in the Swedish Hockey League, there’s further proof of concept. With Keith Petruzzelli declining to join with the Red Wings, Yzerman’s pipeline is now devoid of the goaltender of the future.


What is reasonable: Djurgarden’s William Eklund, LW (Sweden)

Given the Sharks’ organizational requirements and the likelihood of Wallstedt and Sebastian Cossa being available, it makes much too much sense for them to choose a goalie now. Eklund, on the other hand, is a high-end offensive player with potential, something the Sharks don’t have enough of.

Sebastian Cossa, G, Edmonton, is our choice (WHL)

There’s a possibility we’ll see back-to-back goaltender choices with the Red Wings and Sharks, which would be incredible. With Vasilevskiy and Malcolm Subban, we haven’t had two goalies in the first round since 2012. We’ll go Cossa now that Wallstedt is off the board. Hey, when Martin Jones’ contract expires in [checks watch] three years, the Sharks must be prepared.


What is reasonable: D. Clarke, D. Clarke, D. Clarke, D. Clarke, D. Clarke (OHL)

The Kings have an excellent prospect pool, which includes Quinton Byfield, the No. 2 overall selection from last season. They don’t have many defenders among their blue-chippers, however. This is anticipated to alter in this draft, with Clarke being the most probable selection among the defenders available.

Brandt Clarke, D, Barrie is our choice (OHL)

Clarke has already drawn parallels to Adam Fox’s early NHL impact due to his hockey sense and offensive savvy. And he just took home the Norris Trophy.


What is reasonable: Michigan’s Kent Johnson, C (Big Ten)


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The Canucks acquire a fantastic skater and playmaker who may wind up being the best of this year’s Michigan draft class. He’s also a North Vancouver native who moved to Michigan from the British Columbia Hockey League.

Dylan Guenther, RW, Edmonton, is our choice (WHL)

Guenther is still on the board in our draft. It’s certainly conceivable that he doesn’t fall this far down the draft board, which we believe is related to our assumption that some clubs will pick for organizational reasons. It has to be Guenther if he’s here.


What is reasonable: G, Lulea’s Jesper Wallstedt (Sweden)

The top two goalies in the draft are Wallstedt and Cossa. I’d go with Wallstedt, but Cossa has been mentioned as having greater potential. In five of the last six drafts, the Senators have selected a goaltender, including Mads Sogaard in the second round in 2019. This, however, is not one of them.

William Eklund, LW, Djurgarden is our choice (Sweden)

It would be surprising if he fell this much, but there is a possibility that Eklund might slip a little if the top 10 unfolds in a particular manner. Ottawa benefits from their loss.


What makes sense: Not breaking the NHL’s combine testing rules and losing your first-round draft selection in 2021, like the Coyotes did. Now let’s go on…


What is reasonable: Chaz Lucius, USA U-18 Chaz Lucius, USA U-18 Chaz Lucius, USA U-18 Chaz Luci (NTDP)

Although TSN draft expert Bob McKenzie still puts him in his top 10 prospects, there have been rumors that his value has fallen. GM Stan Bowman like Lucius because he’s a goal scorer, a playmaker, and a USA Hockey product.

Kent Johnson, C, Michigan, is our choice (Big Ten)

If you’re Chicago, you can’t afford to pass on a guy with this much offensive potential.


What is reasonable: G, Edmonton’s Sebastian Cossa (WHL)

There are a few intriguing choices here, but none are more intriguing than the option of choosing a franchise goalkeeper. Cossa is a 6-foot-6 center with excellent crease agility.

Chaz Lucius, C, USA U-18, is our choice (NTDP)

We’ll go Lucius if both goalies are off the board by the 13th selection. He possesses excellent ice vision and playmaking abilities, and the Flames would benefit from having a genuine center on their roster.


What is reasonable: Chicago’s Matthew Coronato, RW (USHL)

He’s headed to Harvard, so the Flyers won’t be able to sign him right away. But when they do, they’ll be getting a tough forward who scored 48 goals in 51 games last season in the USHL. And if there’s one thing that Philly loves, it’s Gritty.

Matthew Coronato, RW, Chicago, is our choice (USHL)

Coronato is the kind of athlete who seems to suit the worldviews of both the Flyers and GM Chuck Fletcher as a talent assessor.


What is reasonable: Sioux Falls, SD’s Cole Sillinger (USHL)

We expect the Stars to be his first of many NHL clubs, since he is the son of Mike Sillinger. Aside from that, the 18-year-old possesses a great shot and plays a fast-paced offense.

Cole Sillinger, C, Sioux Falls, is our choice (USHL)

His shooting and grit will translate to the wing as well, even if he doesn’t end up playing center in the NHL.


Fyodor Svechkov, C, Togliatti, Togliatti, Togliatti, Togliatti, Togliatti, Togliatti, Togliatti, Togliatti (Russia 2)


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In international play for Russia, Svechkov put up some impressive scoring statistics, including 10 points in seven games at the World Juniors. He possesses excellent ice vision as well as excellent attacking timing. The “Russian Thing,” or being under contract in the KHL, is something to bear in mind. The Rangers, on the other hand, can wait.

Fabian Lysell, RW, Lulea, is our choice (Sweden)

A Swedish Hockey League forward with incredible speed, puckhandling ability, and just enough maturity concerns to fall out of the first round? Rangers, don’t let Lias Andersson’s ordeal discourage you! Drafting ability!


What is reasonable: Flint’s Brennan Othmann, LW (OHL)

Othmann is a fast player who enjoys getting on the forecheck, and he was a standout part of the Canadian World Junior squad this season. He also played in the Swiss League professionally. He may be closer to the NHL than most selections in this area at 18 years old, which is excellent news for a win-now club like the Blues.

Fyodor Svechkov, C, Togliatti is our choice (Russia 2)

He’s not as readily accessible as Othmann, but he’s probably the more skilled player. The Blues don’t have a lot of centers in their system, and that’s something they need work on.


What is reasonable: D, Winnipeg’s Carson Lambos (WHL)

Sure, there’s some injury worry here, as the smooth-skating, puck-possessing talent was restricted to just two games with the WHL’s Winnipeg Ice this season due to a leg ailment. However, he has received some Alex Pietrangelo comparisons, which is important. The Jets’ need to acquire as many blueline prospects as possible is just as important.

Carson Lambos, D, Winnipeg, is our choice (WHL)

Defense is a strong suit for him. Migos has a better lyric.


What is reasonable: Lulea, Fabian Lysell, RW (Sweden)

GM David Poile has never shied away from dealing with individuals whose names have tainted the game for others. Lysell has a great chance, comparable to that of 2020 top draft selections Lucas Raymond and Alexander Holtz, but there have been some questions about his attitude, which seem to come from immaturity.

Isak Rosen, RW, Leksand, is our choice (Sweden)

Rosen comes from a multigenerational hockey family in Sweden, so he has a keen feel of the game. His ability to shoot the puck while in full stride has drawn parallels to Nikolaj Ehlers, which is high praise indeed.


What is reasonable: RW, Leksand’s Isak Rosen (Sweden)

Rosen’s ability to generate offense in stride might come in useful if he’s skating alongside Connor McDavid, who is perhaps the best player in the contemporary NHL at generating offense at full speed.

Nikita Chibrikov, RW, St. Petersburg, is our choice (Russia)

You’re only as good as your last World Championship game versus Canada, as is customary in the NHL draft. Chibrikov had 0 points and two shots on goal in the gold-medal game for the under-18s after scoring 13 points in six games. His draft value plummeted as a result, but the Oilers would be wise to pick him up.


What is reasonable: Brooks, Corson Ceulemans, Corson Ceulemans, Corson Ceulemans, Corson Ceul (AJHL)

Don Sweeney, a former NHL defender, has chosen a blueliner with his first selection in five of his six drafts with the Bruins. That has resulted in a farm system devoid of offensive firepower, but Ceulemans, a 6-foot-2 University of Wisconsin pledge who plays well in his own end, is carrying on the legacy.

Zachary Bolduc, C, Rimouski, is our choice (QMJHL)

Because there aren’t many impact offensive talent players this far down in the first round, we fully anticipate the Bruins to choose defense. Bolduc, on the other hand, fits the bill. According to TSN, he is a top-20 prospect and the seventh-best center in the league.


What is reasonable: C, Aatu Raty, Aatu Raty, Aatu Raty, Aatu Raty, A (Finland)

It’s hard to believe, but there was a time when Raty was considered for the first overall selection. Then, when playing in Liiga, he only had six points in 35 games, and his value plummeted like a stone in Lake Saimaa.

Aatu Raty, C, Karpat is our choice (Finland)

The Wild, particularly at center, need more high-end offensive skill in their system. It’s worth a try to see if they can resurrect Raty.


What is reasonable: RW, HV71, Oskar Olausson (Sweden)


The top players at each position were rated by a panel of NHL players, coaches, general managers, and other front-office personnel:

• Goalkeepers • Centers • Wingers • Defensemen

Yzerman and the Red Wings have the option of selecting a Swede, who fits their style well. Sweden provided their first three selections last season, as well as eight total picks over the previous two Yzerman draft classes. They acquire a guy with a powerful shot and good puck-handling abilities here.

Corson Ceulemans, D, Brooks, is our choice (AJHL)

This would be a great addition to the Red Wings’ growing defensive corps of prospects.


What is reasonable: St. Petersburg’s Nikita Chibrikov, RW (Russia)

It’s conceivable that Chibrikov won’t fall thus far in the first round. However, if he does, it’s difficult to see the Panthers passing on his offensive skill set.

Brennan Othmann, LW, Flint, is our choice (OHL)

If the Panthers aren’t convinced on Chibrikov, Othmann would provide another scoring option on the left side.


What is reasonable: Rimouski’s Zachary Bolduc, C (QMJHL)

If that’s the case, we’ll presume the Jackets will pair a defender chosen in the lottery (Simon Edvinsson) with offense later in the round. Bolduc has a reliable wrist shot in his offensive arsenal, whether he plays center or wing in the NHL. His skating, on the other hand, is a source of worry.

Francesco Pinelli, C, Kitchener, is our choice (OHL)

Pinelli is a capable two-way center, and this club desperately needs more of him. As a result, any of the pivots offered are excellent choices.


What is reasonable: Logan Stankoven, Kamloops, British Columbia (WHL)

Stankoven is a good match for the Wild’s style of play, as he skates aggressively when approaching the offensive zone while still taking care of his own business. He has the size and strength to play center, but at 5-foot-8, he could also play wing.

Jack Peart, D, Grand Rapids, is our choice (High MN)

Peart was named the winner of the Mr. Hockey Award for 2021, which is awarded to the best senior high school boys’ hockey player in Minnesota. Hey, if Nick Bjugstad can go from Mr. Hockey to the Wild, then Peart can as well.


What is reasonable: RW, Karpat Jr., Samu Tuomaala (Finland Jr.)

Given the defenders available at the back end of the first round, it’s hard to see the Hurricanes not selecting a forward with their first selection in four consecutive drafts. Tuomaala, on the other hand, is a capable goal scorer who may not make it this far.

Samu Tuomaala, RW, Karpat Jr. is our choice (Finland Jr.)

Simply stated, Tuomaala is a gifted goal striker who scored 11 points in seven games in the under-18 World Championship.


What is reasonable: Halifax’s Zachary L’Heureux, LW (QMJHL)

The vintage abilities of a player who puts the puck in the goal and lowers the gloves would be appreciated by GM Joe Sakic. His discipline will most certainly improve as he gets older, and he can find the line from head to toe in the NHL. L’Heureux, on the other hand, has a Matthew Tkachuk-like ability to generate attack and mayhem.

Logan Stankoven, C, Kamloops, is our choice (WHL)

There’s nothing wrong with bringing in a guy who can forecheck like a pro.


Daniil Chayka, D, CSKA, D, D, D, D, D, D, D, D, D, D, D, D, D (Russia)

With this 18-year-old Russian, the Devils go defensive once again. He skates well and defends with his stick well. Finally, a Chayka makes it to the Devils.

Tyler Boucher, RW, USA U-18, is our choice (NTDP)

Boucher, a native of New Jersey, combines attack with a high level of toughness and agitation on every shift. In conclusion, I am a native of New Jersey.


What is reasonable: C, Kitchener’s Francesco Pinelli (OHL)

Pinelli went to Slovenia when the OHL postponed its season, as our own Emily Kaplan reported in a piece on the potential. He scored 11 points in 13 games while playing abroad, demonstrating his playmaking abilities.

Xavier Bourgault, Shawinigan, C, is our choice (QMJHL)

If Pinelli is unavailable, Bourgault is another option at center. Unfortunately for former Wheat Kings owner Kelly McCrimmon, now the Knights’ GM, Vincent Iorio of the Brandon Wheat Kings isn’t expected to go until the third round.


What is reasonable: RW Sasha Pastujov (USA U-18) (NTDP)

The Notre Dame alumnus from Florida is on the verge of making the first round. He keeps the puck safe and makes accurate passes.

Sasha Pastujov, RW, USA U-18, is our choice (NTDP)

GM Marc Bergevin has drafted a number of players born in the United States, including a small forward named Cole Caufield in 2019. Maybe you’ve heard of him before.


What is reasonable: Tyler Boucher (RW, USA U-18) is a right winger for the United States of America (NTDP)

Boucher is the kind of blue-collar, hard-nosed bludgeoner the Blue Jackets like to have on their roster. It’s just a shame that John Tortorella, the team’s previous coach, won’t be there to enjoy his own brand of whimsy.

Samu Salminen, C, Jokerit Jr. is our choice (Finland Jr.)

Jarmo Kekalainen, the Blue Jackets’ general manager, has never selected a Finnish-born player in the first round. Salminen, a goal-scorer with great hockey sense, may put a stop to it.

The NBA Draft is always an exciting time for basketball enthusiasts. That said, the draft is a weird beast, because it has no set order of selection. There is no relationship between how well a player plays and where they are picked in the draft. Instead, teams are able to draft players based on how much they want the players, regardless of talent. So, in order to have some pretty clear insight into what will happen with each pick, I created a model based on over six years of data to determine what will happen with each pick.. Read more about nhl mock draft 2021 draftsite and let us know what you think.

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