2021 NHL Draft: No Clear Number One

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The 2021 NHL Draft will be unlike any other draft. Usually there is a clear cut favorite for the number one pick. In 2021 there are five possible players that could go number one.

2021 NHL Draft favorite: Aatu Raty

Aatu Räty is an 18-year-old Center. Over the past few seasons, Räty has been listed as the player to go first in the 2021 NHL draft. As we get closer to the draft, his stock has been slipping away. He is just good in a lot of different areas but doesn’t really stand out.

This season his statistics have shown that he isn’t the best out there. In U20 SM-sarja, Räty played in eight games, scored three goals, and had four assists. That’s only seven total points in eight games. In the Liiga league, Räty only scored two goals in six games. In Liiga he is only playing on the fourth line, so he hasn’t had much deployment, but as you can see, his draft stock has plummeted.

Räty is still a great player. He would fit in as a second-line forward. This season alone could set him back to the third or fourth pick.

2021 NHL Draft Possible Number One: Brandt Clarke

Brandt Clarke might be at this point the number one favorite. He is a 17-year-old defenseman from Canada. The interesting thing about him is that he is a transitional game beast. Clarke can grab the puck from the defensive zone to the offensive zone with ease and stays super-efficient. There is a concern with his defense due to not being as engaged as he could be.

Clarke molds his game after Erik Karlsson. He isn’t quite there yet in terms of offensive zone generation but he adds a lot of value with his skating and puck handling skills.

Clarke plays in the OHL which hasn’t started yet so there aren’t any statistics that we can go by now. In the 2019-2020 season, he played in 57 games and scored six goals and 32 assists.

He definitely is capable of going number one but there is doubt he would be a first line defenseman right off the bat.

2021 NHL Draft Possible Number One Pick: Luke Hughes

Luke Hughes is a 17-year-old defenseman from the United States. He is the younger brother of Jack and Quinn Hughes. There is a definite chance he is the best defenseman of the three.

Hughes is huge at 6’3″ and he is maybe the most rounded overall player in the draft. The USNTDP has a small sample size so far but so far he has played in 11 games and scored one goal and five assists. Even though his statistics are not up offensively, he still has great awareness, great puck handling skills, and an extremely high ceiling. Defensively he is a beast. His physical presence is key. He has amazing agility and amazing acceleration like Jake Sanderson.

2021 NHL Draft Possible Number One Pick: Dylan Guenther

Dylan Guenther is a 17-year-old left-wing Canadian. This is the player that has the least potential of being number one overall in 2021. His scoring is electrifying but he is most known for his play-making skills. He has an elite offensive toolset which last season’s statistics prove. In the WHL 2019-2020 season, he played 58 games and scored 59 total points.

Guenther is a crafty player and is a killer at the power play. The part that gets him in trouble is his defense. This is the reason he has the least potential in being number one overall.

2021 NHL Draft Possible Number One Pick: Owen Power

Owen Power is a 17-year-old defenseman from Canada. He is set to play for the University of Michigan this season.

Power is a well-rounded player like Hughes and will be able to show his abilities on a very good program in the NCAA. He has great skating speed and great offensive awareness. He uses his huge 6’5″ 210-pound frame as an advantage in the defensive zone really well.

Power is a top-five candidate. He will be using the Michigan program to lift him up the ranks to number one this season.

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