The 2021 NHL Draft was very interesting for multiple reasons. This year’s draft was fully virtual and it was incredible to see the draftees with all of their family members and close friends in their homes or in a rented venue. People are also talking about how most of the draftees this year will not even be in the NHL this year, a lot of the young men decided to stay with their NCAA teams or amatuer teams. Only one of the top five picks will be playing in the NHL at the start of this season.
The top five picks this year were Owen Power to the Buffalo Sabres, Matthew Beniers to the Seattle Kraken, Mason McTavish to the Anaheim Ducks, Luke Hughes to the New Jersey Devils, and Kent Johnson to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Four of the top five picks in this year’s draft will be playing at the University of Michigan hoping to win the national championship this year.
Owen Power was drafted first overall to the Buffalo Sabres. Buffalo had a record last season of 15-34-7 putting them last in the league at the end of the 2021 NHL season. Owen is a 6’6 defenseman that weighs in at about 214 pounds. He was born in Mississauga, Canada on November 22nd, 2002. Power is going into his sophomore year at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He decided he would play in the NCAA instead of any junior leagues in Canada. The lefty defenseman made the 2020-2021 NCAA All- Rookie Team and the NCAA Second All- Star Team. Owen also won a gold medal at the World Championship with team Canada.
Matthew Beniers was taken second overall as Seattle Kraken’s first ever draft pick. The NHL decided to create another expansion team and this is the Kraken’s first year in the league. Matty is a 6’1 center that is 174 pounds. Beniers is from Hingham, Massachusetts and was born November 5th, 2002. Beniers is going into his sophomore year of University of Michigan along with Owen Powers. Matthew shoots left-handed and was on the 2020-2021 NCAA All- Rookie Team and NCAA Honorable Mention All- Star Team. Beniers won a gold medal with the USA World Juniors Team and a bronze medal at the World Championships.
With the third overall pick the Anaheim Ducks picked Mason McTavish. The Anaheim Ducks are in the middle of trying to rebuild, the Ducks have two known young guys with Trevor Zegras and Jamie Drysdale that both have an insane amount of skills and talent. McTavish will hopefully add to this group in a helpful way. The 18 year old was born in Zurich, Switzerland on January 30th, 2003 but his nationality is Canadian. He is a 6’1 center that weighs 207 pounds that has a left handed shot. McTavish is an amazing all around hockey player which will be a great addition to the Ducks who are looking for more defense and offense. He was a top 3 player at this year’s U18 WJC and he also won gold with Team Canada.
The New Jersey Devils selected Luke Hughes with the fourth overall pick. A lot of people expected this pick considering Luke’s older brother, Jack Hughes, is one of the Devils’ star players. The Devils are a team looking for a rebuild with a couple of new additions this offseason, adding Dougie Hamilton, Ryan Graves, and Tomas Tatar to their roster. Luke will hopefully help this team and give them more defensemen which the Devils are lacking. Luke is 6’2 and weighs about 185 pounds and has a left handed shot. He was born on September 9th, 2003 in Manchester, New Hampshire. He is playing in his freshman season at University of Michigan. Luke also said he did not see himself at UMich for more than two years.
The fifth pick of the 2021 NHL Draft was Kent Johnson to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Columbus is a team that seems to constantly have issues and they are hoping to have made a good pick with Kent. Johnson is a 6’1 forward that weighs 168 pounds. He was born October 18th, 2002 in Port Moody, BC, Canada. Kent has a left handed shot and who has a very creative mind and he is not afraid to try any skill. Johnson was on the 2020-2021 NCAA All- Rookie Team and NCAA Honorable Mention All- Star Team.
With so much talent just being in the top five picks of this year’s NHL Draft all hockey fans are excited to see what these young men’s futures have in store. These boys have loads of potential to help teams rebuild and reach places that seem to be unheard of for these teams right now. As these draftees continue to grow and achieve more, hockey fans across the globe are excited to watch their future unfold.