Pike’s 2021 NHL Draft Ranking: Final Edition

Ryan Pike
1 year ago
The 2021 NHL Draft will run Friday night (Round 1) and Saturday morning (Rounds 2-7), held remotely. The 2021 draft class is a unique one, scouted during a year where the vast majority of viewings – mine included – were done remotely via video.
After many hours hemming, hawing, and shifting names around, here’s my final personal ranking for this year’s draft.


The logic behind my ranking is pretty simple: if I was drafting a team from scratch, with zero players on my roster whatsoever, this is who I would choose in what order. As such, I tend to skew towards so-called “high floor” players if all else fails, in the sense that at the very least I want players that can contribute. After floors, I look for ceiling and consistency.
Most years, I see all key WHL prospects in-person and supplement my rankings with live Hockey Canada events and video. Obviously, my live viewings didn’t happen this past season – thanks COVID-19 – so this list relies heavily on video. I also researched extensively and chatted with friends in the scouting community to get a feel for players I had fewer video viewings on.
This is, at the end of the day, my opinion based on the information I’ve had access to. As always, your mileage may vary.

The projected first round (1-31)

NoPlayerPos.NationDOBSh.2020-21 Club(s)
1Owen PowerDCAN11/22/2002LUniversity of Michigan (NCAA)
2Matthew BeniersCUSA11/5/2002LUniversity of Michigan (NCAA)
3Simon EdvinssonDSWE2/5/2003LFrolunda HC (SHL/J20 Nationell)
Vasteras IK (HockeyAllsvenskan)
4Dylan GuentherRWCAN4/10/2003REdmonton (WHL)
Sherwood Park (AJHL)
5Kent JohnsonCUSA10/18/2002LUniversity of Michigan (NCAA)
6William EklundCSWE10/12/2002LDjurgardens IF (SHL)
7Brandt ClarkeDCAN2/9/2003RHC Nove Zamsky (Tipsport Liga)
8Luke HughesDUSA9/9/2003LUS National Development Program (USHL)
9Jesper WallstedtGSWE11/14/2003Lulea HF (SHL/J20 Nationell)
10Chaz LuciusCUSA5/2/2003RUS National Development Program (USHL)
11Cole SillingerCCAN5/16/2003LSioux Falls (USHL)
12Mason McTavishCCAN1/30/2003LEHC Olten (Swiss League)
13Matthew CoronatoLWUSA11/14/2002RChicago (USHL)
14Fyodor SvechkovCRUS4/5/2003LLada Togliatti (VHL)
Ladia Togliatti (MHL)
15Carson LambosDCAN1/14/2003LJYP (Liiga/U20/U18)
Winnipeg (WHL)
16Brennan OthmannLWCAN1/5/2003LEHC Olten (Swiss League)
17Nikita ChibrikovLWRUS2/16/2003LSKA St. Petersburg (KHL)
SKA-Neva St. Petersburg (VHL)
SKA-1946 St. Petersburg (MHL)
18Fabian LysellRWSWE1/19/2003RFrolunda HC (J20 Nationell)
Lulea HF (SHL)
19Oskar OlaussonLWSWE11/10/2002LHV71 (SHL/J20 Nationell)
Sodertalje SK (HockeyAllsvenskan)
20Zachary BolducCCAN2/24/2003LRimouski (QMJHL)
21Xavier BourgaultCCAN10/22/2002RShawinigan (QMJHL)
22Sasha PastujovLWUSA7/15/2003LUS National Development Program (USHL)
23Simon RobertssonRWSWE2/5/2003LSkelleftea AIK (SHL/J20 Nationell)
Pitea HC (HockeyEttan)
24Aatu RatyCFIN11/14/2002LKarpat (Liiga/U20)
25Corson CeulemansDCAN5/5/2003RBrooks (AJHL)
26Zachary L’HeureuxCCAN5/15/2003LHalifax (QMJHL)
27Isak RosenLWSWE3/15/2003LLeksands IF (SHL/J20 Nationell/J18 Region)
28Sebastian CossaGCAN11/21/2002Edmonton (WHL)
29Francesco PinelliCCAN4/11/2003LHDD Jesenice (AlpsHL)
30Matthew SamoskevichCUSA11/15/2002RChicago (USHL)
31Sean BehrensDUSA3/31/2003LUS National Development Program (USHL)
The projected first round – 31 players, because Arizona forfeited their pick – is a pretty good mix of players, but not a great one. The first eight-or-so players are really good, but nobody’s a franchise-altering talent. The balance of the first round are pretty good players, though a lot of them have high-end sample size questions given the odd nature of the past season.
(This draft may set some sort of record for players who played in Slovenia’s AlpsHL or Sweden’s third-tier HockeyEttan in their draft year. Similarly, it might set a record for players chosen that played zero games in their draft year.)

The projected second round (32-63)

32Samu TuomaalaRWFIN1/8/2003RKarpat (Liiga/U20)
33Zach DeanCCAN1/4/2003LGatineau (QMJHL)
34Dylan DukeCUSA3/4/2003LUS National Development Program (USHL)
35Stanislav SvozilDCZE1/17/2003LHC Kometa Brno (Czech Extraliga)
HC Prerov (Czech 1.Liga)
36Jack BarDCAN10/24/2002RChicago (USHL)
37William StromgrenLWSWE6/7/2003LMODO Hockey (Allsvenskan/J20/J18)
Ornskoldsvik HF (HockeyEttan)
38Tyler BoucherLWUSA1/16/2003RUS National Development Program (USHL)
39Logan StankovenCCAN2/26/2003RKamloops (WHL)
40Daniil ChaykaDRUS10/22/2002LCSKA Moskva (KHL)
Zvezda Moskva (VHL)
Krasnaya Armiya Moskva (MHL)
41Red SavageCUSA5/15/2003LUS National Development Program (USHL)
42Brett HarrisonCCAN6/7/2003LKOOVEE (Mestis/U20)
43Benjamin GaudreauGCAN1/11/2003Sarnia (OHL) [no games played]
44Aleksi HeimosalmiDFIN5/8/2003RAssat (U20)
45Jackson BlakeRWUSA8/3/2003RChicago (USHL)
Eden Prairie (USHS)
46Olen ZellwegerDCAN9/10/2003LEverett (WHL)
47Shai BuiumDUSA3/26/2003LSioux City (USHL)
Shattuck St. Mary’s (USHS)
48Samuel HeleniusCFIN11/26/2002LJYP (Liiga)
49Tristan BrozLWUSA10/10/2002LFargo (USHL)
50Vincent IorioDCAN11/14/2002RBrandon (WHL)
51Chase StillmanRWCAN3/19/2003REsbjerg (Denmark U20)
52Connor RouletteCCAN5/13/2003LSeattle (WHL)
53Anton OlssonDSWE1/26/2003LMalmo (SHL/J20 Nationell)
54Samu SalminenCFIN4/9/2003LJokerit (U20)
55Lorenzo CanonicaCSWI9/3/2003LShawinigan (QMJHL)
Lugano (U20 Elit)
56Wyatt JohnstonCCAN5/14/2003RWindsor (OHL) [no games played]
57Brent JohnsonDUSA3/20/2003RSioux Falls (USHL)
58Aidan HreschukDUSA2/19/2003LUS National Development Program (USHL)
59Ville KoivunenLWFIN6/13/2003LKarpat (U20)
60Alexander KisakovLWRUS11/1/2002LMHK Dynamo Moskva (MHL)
61Roman SchmidtDUSA2/27/2003RUS National Development Program (USHL)
62Evan NauseDCAN1/20/2003LQuebec (QMJHL)
63Jack PeartDUSA5/15/2003LFargo (USHL)
Grand Rapids (USHS)
The second round group is pretty good, though some players have question marks. Daniil Chayka (40) has been in the first round grouping on some rankings, but he didn’t do much at the World Juniors and I’ve heard some questions about his consistency. Logan Stankoven (39) could slide into the first round given his playing style – he plays big – but some share my quibbles about his size (he’s 5’8″) and how transferable his game is to the higher levels.

The projected third round (64-95)

64Scott MorrowDUSA11/1/2002RFargo (USHL)
Shattuck St. Mary’s (USHS)
65Prokhor PoltapovRWRUS2/1/2003LKrasnaya Armiya Moskva (MHL)
CSKA Moscow (U17/U18)
66Cameron WhynotDCAN5/5/2003LHalifax (QMJHL)
67Ayrton MartinoLWCAN9/28/2002LOmaha (USHL)
68Liam Dower NilssonCSWE4/14/2003LFrolunda HC (SHL/J20 Nationell/J18 Region)
Hanhals IF (HockeyEttan)
69Oliver KapanenCFIN7/29/2003RKalPa (U20)
JoKP (Mestis)
70Colton DachCCAN1/4/2003LSaskatoon (WHL)
71Marcus AlmquistCDEN9/13/2003RHV71 (J20 Nationell/J18 Region)
Rodovre (Denmark)
72Ryder KorczakCCAN9/23/2002RMoose Jaw (WHL)
73Josh DoanRWUSA2/1/2002RChicago (USHL)
74Ilya FedotovLWRUS3/19/2003RTorpedo Nizhny Novgorod (KHL/U18)
Chaika Nizhny Novgorod (MHL)
75Ethan del MastroDCAN1/15/2003LMississauga (OHL) [no games played]
76Hugo GabrielssonDSWE10/24/2002LFrolunda HC (J20 Nationell)
Halmsted Hammers HC (HockeyEttan)
77Ty GallagherDUSA3/6/2003RUS National Development Program (USHL)
78Cole HuckinsCCAN5/14/2003LAcadie-Bathurst (QMJHL)
79Matthew KniesCUSA10/17/2002LTri-City (USHL)
80Liam GilmartinLWUSA1/7/2003LUS National Development Program (USHL)
81Olivier NadeauRWCAN1/15/2003RShawinigan (QMJHL)
82Matvei PetrovLWRUS3/12/2003RMHK Krylia Sovetov Moskva (MHL)
83Kirill KirsanovDRUS9/19/2002LSKA St. Petersburg (KHL)
SKA-Neva St. Petersburg (VHL)
SKA-1946 St. Petersburg (MHL)
84David GucciardiDCAN10/9/2002LYoungstown (USHL)
Waterloo (USHL)
85Justin JanickeLWUSA6/30/2003LUS National Development Program (USHL)
86Joshua RoyCCAN8/6/2003LSaint John (QMJHL)
Sherbrooke (QMJHL)
87Jack O’BrienCUSA5/14/2003LLincoln (USHL)
Portland (WHL)
88Riley KidneyCCAN3/25/2003LAcadie-Bathurst (QMJHL)
89Viljami MarjalaLWFIN1/29/2003LQuebec (QMJHL)
90Tristan LennoxGCAN10/21/2002Saginaw (OHL) [no games played]
91Jimi SuomiDFIN3/1/2003LJokerit (U20)
92Ryan UfkoDUSA5/7/2003RChicago (USHL)
93Sean TschigerlCCAN4/11/2003LWhitecourt (AJHL)
Calgary (WHL)
94Victor StjernborgCSWE5/22/2003LVaxjo Lakers (SHL/J20 Nationell)
95Cole JordanDCAN9/21/2002LMoose Jaw (WHL)
Scott Morrow (64) is kind of a polarizing player, perhaps even more than Chayka (40). Morrow’s been in the first round mix on some rankings, but I have concerns about his higher-end sample size – I get nervous about taking high school players too early. Marcus Almquist (71) is one of my favourite sleeper players; he’s great offensively but he’s small (strike one) and a good chunk of his season was played in Danish pro hockey (strike two), which could cause him to slide down many rankings. Sean Tschigerl (93) is another personal favourite, as he really blossomed for the Hitmen this season in a year where they desperately needed a player like him to step up.

The projected fourth round (96-127)

96Nolan AllanDCAN4/28/2003LPrince Albert (WHL)
La Ronge (SJHL)
97Danila KlimovichCBEL1/9/2003RDinamo-Molodechno (Belarus)
Minskie Zubry (Belarus Vysshaya)
98Dmitri KatelevskyLWRUS1/17/2003LAk Bars Kazan (KHL)
Bars Kazan (VHL)
Irbis Kazan (MHL)
99Kyle MastersDCAN4/9/2003RRed Deer (WHL)
100Topias VilenDFIN4/1/2003LPelicans (Liiga)
Peliitat (Mestis)
101Ryker EvansDCAN12/13/2001LRegina (WHL)
102Vladislav LukashevichDRUS5/23/2003LLoko Yaroslavl (MHL)
103Trevor WongCCAN5/4/2003LKelowna (WHL)
104Artyom GrushnikovDRUS3/20/2003LHamilton (OHL) [no games played]
105Kirill GerasimyukGRUS8/22/2003SKA-Neva St. Petersburg (VHL)
SKA-Varyagi im. Morozova (MHL)
106Hunter StrandCUSA11/13/2002LTri-City (USHL)
107Dmitri ZuganCRUS11/23/2002LCSKA Moskva (KHL)
Krasnaya Armiya Moskva (MHL)
108Aleksi MalinenDFIN5/26/2003LJYP (Liiga/U20)
109Joel NystromDSWE5/14/2002RFarjestad BK (SHL/J20 Nationell)
110William von BarnekowLWSWE11/12/2002LMalmo (SHL/J20 Nationell)
Tyringe SoSS (HockeyEttan)
111Manix LandryCCAN11/23/2002LGatineau (QMJHL)
112Jack MatierDCAN4/8/2003ROttawa (OHL) [no games played]
113Thomas MilicGCAN4/14/2003Seattle (WHL)
114Francesco ArcuriCCAN6/13/2003LSteel Wings Linz (AlpsHL)
115Oscar PlandowskiDCAN5/18/2003RCharlottetown (QMJHL)
116Robert OrrCCAN9/1/2003LHalifax (QMJHL)
117Niko HuuhtanenRWFIN6/26/2003RTappara (U20)
118Jakub BrabenecCCZE9/11/2003LHC Kometa Brno (Czech Extraliga)
SK Horacka Slavia Trebic (Czech 1.Liga)
119William TrudeauDCAN10/11/2002LCharlottetown (QMJHL)
120Peter ReynoldsCCAN1/20/2003LSaint John (QMJHL)
121Ryan WintertonRWCAN9/4/2003RHamilton (OHL) [no games played]
122Jiri TichacekDCZE1/30/2003LRytiri Kladno (Czech 1.Liga/U20)
123Aku KoskenvuoGFIN2/26/2003HIFK (U20)
124Justin RobidasCCAN3/13/2003RVal-d’Or (QMJHL)
125Tyson GallowayDCAN1/20/2003LCalgary (WHL)
126Jayden GrubbeCCAN1/12/2003RRed Deer (WHL)
127Dmitri KostenkoDRUS9/25/2002RLada Togliatti (VHL)
Ladia Togliatti (MHL)
Scouting pals rave about Joel Nystrom (109), as he’s an overage defender who really blossomed offensively. He could go earlier than I have him ranked. Kirill Gerasimyuk (105) had a rough Under-18s and there may be some sample size questions regarding him against higher-end talent, but he played well otherwise. Aku Koskenvuo (123) is another mid-to-late round goaltending option for teams that may be nervous about taking goalies early and doesn’t mind a project.

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