My initial top 32 for July’s draft.
Just six months removed from the 2020 NHL Draft, I’m back with my first ranking for 2021. This year, each round has expanded to 32 picks with the addition of the Seattle Kraken.
If you’re new to my process, my first ranking is one round, my second is two, and my third is three—96 players in total. As many of you have probably heard, this draft class is noticeably weaker than other recent ones. There is no clear first overall pick, and you could argue this year’s first pick would barely scratch last year’s top ten. If I’m being honest, there may only be a single franchise-altering player in this first round, and that’s goalie Jesper Wallstedt.
Finally, my yearly disclaimer: This is not a mock draft. It’s my evaluation of which players will have the best NHL careers. With no clear top-tier players plus seasons lost or shortened due to COVID-19, it’s a challenging season to scout. Regardless, enjoy.
Several players have skated for multiple teams this year. The club listed is the one they’ve played the most games with in the 2020-21 season.