I’m writing this Saturday night after the flurry of trades that happened before the deadline of the Expansion Draft, and still we are without a major trade for the Sabres. I fully expect at least one of the dominos to fall before the draft, but I wanted to write this mock draft before McKenzie releases his final draft rankings (and thus I’d feel like I was cheating doing this)
I didn’t do my 3 Bold Predictions Article this year, but slipping it in here.
Bold Prediction #1: At least four of the top 10 best PPG forwards in 5 years from the 2021 draft will be selected in the 2nd round of this year’s draft.
I think a lot of the forwards slotted for the first round are 200ft players whose offensive production will be good, but perhaps not at the level we’re accustomed of seeing from a draft class. I look at players like Stankoven, Samoskevich, Robertsson, Olausson, Stromgren, and others and think that outside of Guenther they could develop enough to be half of the PPG players to come out of this draft.
Bold Prediction #2: Matthew Beniers will be in the playoffs, wearing a letter, and the #1 center on his team by the time his ELC is up.
I think Seattle takes him, Beniers stays in school another year, and then assumes the third line center role before taking the 2nd line center role before the end of his rookie year. Add in the fact that there really isn’t any great center options for the expansion draft, and that Beniers screams leadership with his on-ice play, and we have ourselves a bold prediction.
Bold Prediction #3: Sean Tschigerl will be at least a 15 goal scorer within 5 years of being drafted
I will not tolerate any slander of Stankoven, Samoskevich, Morrow, or Tschigerl this weekend.
Nick Robertson Award (player with late birthday outside of the first round who will go nuts in their DY+1): Olen Zellweger, LHD, WHL
I mean he did just put up 13 points in 11 games, but Everett should lose the bulk of their offensive firepower to the AHL/NHL next year so I don’t know if anyone expects him to recreate his hot start. However, born five days before the cut off and looked so good this year...I could see him being at nearly a point per game pace as a defensemen in his DY+1.
Trey Fix-Wolanski Award (player I fell in love with watching another draft eligible that will be a late round pick): Quinn Hutson*, F, USHL
If you went back to my Costantini piece from earlier in the year you can see how much I liked Hutson watching Penticton in the BCHL. He moved to the USHL and did well there as well, and yet he wasn’t selected in Pronman’s seven round mock draft and he’s not in McKenzie’s top 100.
Mock Draft Contest
3 Points: Player is selected at the Draft Slot
1 Point: Player is selected in the first round
Brassmaster’s Mock Draft
1.) Buffalo: Owen Power, LHD, NCAA
I think the excitement I have regarding the pick is dependent on if he goes back to Michigan or not. With the right development plan for Power I think he warrants the #1 pick, but I don’t have any insight of how the Sabres plan to develop him. Power going back to Michigan would be my ideal scenario so that he can play a shorter season, spend more time working on the things that hinder him at the moment, and then sign the following offseason. If we’re patient with Power; I think we could see him hit his ceiling.
2.) Seattle: Matty Beniers, C, NCAA
3.) Anaheim: Dylan Guenther, W, WHL
4.) New Jersey: Luke Hughes, LHD, USNTDP
5.) Columbus: Mason McTavish, C, SL
6.) Detroit: Jesper Wallstedt, G, SHL
7.) San Jose: William Eklund, LW, SHL
8.) Los Angeles: Simon Edvinsson, LHD, HockeyAllsvenskan
9.) Vancouver: Kent Johnson, W, NCAA
10.) Ottawa: Brandt Clarke, RHD, Slovakia
11.) Chicago: Cole Sillinger, C/W, USHL
12.) Calgary: Matthew Coronato, C, USHL
13.) Philadelphia: Chaz Lucius, C/W, USNTDP
14.) Dallas: Fyodor Svechkov, C, VHL
15.) New York Rangers: Aatu Raty, C, Liiga
16.) St. Louis: Corson Ceulemans, RHD, AJHL
17.) Winnipeg: Zachary L’Heureux, LW, QMJHL
18.) Nashville: Carson Lambos, LHD, U20 SM-sarja
19.) Edmonton: Sebastian Cossa, G, WHL
20.) Boston: Zachary Bolduc, W, QMJHL
21.) Minnesota: Brennan Othmann, LW, SL
22.) Detroit: Isak Rosen, W/C, SHL
23.) Columbus: Fabian Lysell, W, SHL
24.) Minnesota: Simon Robertsson, RW, SHL
25.) Florida: Xavier Bourgault, C, QMJHL
26.) Carolina: Logan Stankoven, C, WHL
27.) Colorado: Oskar Olausson, W, SHL
28.) New Jersey: Nikita Chibrikov, C/W, VHL
29.) Vegas: Francesco Pinelli, C, AlpsHL
30.) Montreal: Sasha Pastujov, LW, USNTDP
31.) Columbus: Daniil Chayka, LHD, KHL
Put your entries in the comments below and I’ll share a Google Sheet in the comments on Friday night for us to follow along!