Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2021 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “2021 NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we bring you part three of our 2021 NHL Mock Draft.
We are just days away from the NHL Draft, and with that in mind, we are ready to release the second round of the LWOS 2021 NHL Mock Draft. We will go through the first two rounds of the draft, in four parts, breaking up the non-playoff teams and playoff teams.
For those who haven’t read the LWOS NHL Mock Draft before here are the rules.
1) No trades except for those that have already been made by NHL teams.
2) A two-round 2021 NHL Mock Draft will be done in four parts. The first part comes out today. More parts will be added in time.
3) Clicking the Player’s name will bring you to a full scouting report.
So with that out of the way, I present the LWOS 2021 NHL Mock Draft.
Previous 2021 NHL Mock Draft Articles
2021 NHL Mock Draft – Picks 49-64
49.) Los Angeles Kings (from STL via BUF, VGK) – Alexander Kisakov, Left Wing/Right Wing, Dynamo Moscow, MHL
Previous Pick: Simon Edvinsson,
Kisakov is a pure goal scorer. He has an excellent wrist shot and a very quick release. His ability to toe-drag and change the angle on his shot before letting it go can cause issues for opposing goaltenders. Kisakov is a smart player who finds open space away from defenders and sets himself up to take a pass and fire it on the net. He also has a very good one-timer. Kisakov can shoot off his wrong foot as well. This can also create issues for goaltenders. He is willing to try and get into the tough areas of the ice but needs to be bigger and stronger to fight through tough checking in these areas.
Previous Picks: Daniil Chayka
Boucher is a throwback type of player. He is the type of power forward that is becoming rare in today’s game. Boucher drives the net with and without the puck. When he gets there, he has the hands to score goals, getting the puck into tight areas. Boucher can also score by banging in rebounds, tipping in a shot, or one-timing a pass from a teammate. He creates real havoc in front of the opponent’s net. Boucher can also score from a bit further out with his powerful wrist shot. He could stand to get a little quicker on his release in order to really give professional goalies problems.
Boucher is quick to get in on the forecheck and absolutely punishes opposing defenders. There are times he needs to watch himself though as some of his hits are a little undisciplined and this can get him into trouble.
51.) Nashville Predators – Chase Stillman, Right Wing, Sudbury Wolves (OHL) and Esberg (Danish Juniors)
Stillman plays a power forward style. He loves to drive the net, both with and without the puck. Stillman can finish when he gets there with the soft hands to make a move and get the puck over the goalie as well the hand-eye coordination for deflections and pounce on rebounds. He gets in on the forecheck quickly, pressuring defenders into mistakes and gaining control of the puck. Stillman is a real pest. He creates havoc in front of the net as well as controlling the puck well in the cycle game.
Stillman is also a very good passer. He can make plays in traffic. He has the stickhandling ability to control the puck in traffic. Stillman also has the vision and passing skills to exploit passing lanes and get the puck to an open teammate. He needs work on scoring further out from the net. He has good power and accuracy on his wrist shot but needs work on his release. It can take him too long to “load up” his shot, making it predictable for goaltenders. This could be an issue at the next level.
52.) New York Islanders (from DET via EDM) – Oliver Kapanen, Centre/Right Wing, KalPa (SM Liiga) and JoKP (Mestis)
Kapanen is known for his goal-scoring ability. He has a very good wrist shot. It is both accurate and powerful. He also has a quick release which makes things difficult for goalies. His quick hands change the angle of that release as well. Kapanen can also score with a strong one-timer. He does a good job of adjusting his feet and can get his one-timer off even if the pass is not perfect. Kapanen can also get to the front of the net where he uses his quick hands to pounce on rebounds and tip in pucks. He is able to quickly get the puck elevated and into the tight spaces that a goaltender might leave uncovered. Kapanen has a knack for getting open without the puck and is almost always in a position to take a pass from a teammate and fire it on the net.
53.) Buffalo Sabres (from BOS) – Conner Roulette, Left Wing/Centre, Seattle Thunderbirds, WHL
Roulette is a pure goal scorer. He has an excellent array of shots. His wrist shot and snap shot are both accurate and powerful. His ability to change the angle of his shot before letting it go also helps to fool goaltenders. Roulette also has a strong one-timer. He is good at adjusting his feet and getting his shot off even if the pass is not perfect. Roulette is very good at getting open and finding the soft spots in the defence. He can also get to the front of the net where he is able to use his good hand-eye coordination to pounce on rebounds and tip in his teammates’ shots.
Roulette is also a very good playmaker in the offensive zone. His vision and passing skill are high end. He is a smart player who anticipates where his teammates and opponents are going and can set up scoring chances. He loves to work the give-and-go, finding an open teammate and moving to take the return pass. Roulette is not the type to carry the puck through the neutral zone though. He struggles to get effective zone entries due to his lack of high-end skating ability. Instead Roulette will look to pass to a teammate and find open ice without the puck.
Johnston plays a simple but effective offensive game. He is quick to get in on the forecheck and forces opposing defencemen to move the puck quickly or to be plastered into the boards. He also uses his stickhandling ability to control the puck down low in the cycle game. Johnston also wins battles along the boards. Johnston makes quick passes to teammates, keeping control of the puck and extending the time in the offensive zone. He prefers to make the safe pass to keep possession than to try anything too risky. Johnston also gets himself into open ice to take a give-and-go type of pass after giving up the puck. He is smart about finding the openings away from the defence.
Johnston scores most of his goals in tight to the net. He is willing to drive the net both with and without the puck. His soft hands are able to beat goalies in tight, putting the puck in small openings. He is also able to win battles and establish his position in front of the net. This allows him to create havoc in the crease. He tips in shots and pounces on rebounds in front of the net as well. His wrist shot has good power and is accurate, however, he needs to work on developing a quicker release if he wants to beat goalies from further out.
Poltapov is a talented offensive player who could develop into a power-forward at the next level. However, there are some question marks in his game. While his skating is very good, he needs to work on his awareness and reading the play to get where the puck is going when he does not have it. Doing this would allow him to use his strength and power in better ways. Getting him to North America and working on smaller ice will be an important part of any team’s development of his game going forward. He will also need to continue to get stronger to play his style of game when facing men. Prokhorov’s game is reminiscent of Andrew Copp but this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill and ability.
Previous Pick: Stanislav Svozil
Ufko loves to push the pace and is very aggressive in creating offensive opportunities. While he makes a good first pass and can hit a forward to start the transition game, he also loves to carry the puck and lead the rush himself. With his good stickhandling ability, Ufko generates effective zone entries, gaining the zone and establishing possession. He is also poised with the puck on his stick, able to control the play at blue line and wait for teammates to get open. His vision and passing skills are very good and Ufko sets up teammates for one-timers and other scoring chances. He is willing to skate the puck down low himself as well. Ufko is also good at pinching in at the blue line to keep the puck in the offensive zone.
Ufko works as a shooter from the point as well. His ability to walk the line creates passing and shooting lanes. Ufko has a hard slap shot and is able to get it through traffic and on the net. He understands how to keep his shot low and on the net. This allows his teammates to set up in front of the net and create screens. They are also able to deflect his shots and pounce on rebounds. Ufko can be deceptive and utilizes a slap pass to a teammate as well. His wrist shot is powerful and accurate. Ufko has a quick and deceptive release that can fool goaltenders. He loves to use it off the rush as well as sneaking in to the top of the faceoff circles to use it when set up in the zone.
Buium can drive the play offensively. He is a good stickhandler and can carry the puck out of the defensive end to start the transition game. He can also carry the puck through the neutral zone, creating odd-man rushes and generating successful zone entries. Buium also makes a good first pass to start the transition game. He shows good vision and makes smart reads. If a forward gets behind the defence, he can hit him with the long breakaway pass. Buium also controls the puck well at the blueline. He shows poise and patience and can set up teammates on the power play.
Buium is also a good defensive player. He maintains good gap control against the rush and forces opponents to the outside. However, his lack of footspeed can sometimes be exposed by particularly quick attackers. Buium is willing to play physically. He battles hard along the boards as well as clearing the front of the net. Buium also uses his long stick to cut down passing lanes. He is also not afraid to put his body on the line to block shots. Buium plays smart positionally and is generally advanced for his age and the fact he has played limited hockey at a really high level yet. His ability to transition the puck up the ice and clear the zone helps him spend less time in his own end.
Zellweger is an undersized defenceman but makes up for it with outstanding skating ability. This helps him at both ends of the ice. Zellweger has a near-perfect technique with excellent speed and acceleration in both directions. He also has very good agility and edgework. This allows Zellweger to maintain good gap control. It also allows him to walk the line in the offensive end and open up shooting lanes. Zellweger’s ability to avoid opponents allows him to carry the puck out of his end as well as generate effective zone entries at the opposition’s blue line
Zellweger’s offensive game has really taken off in the past year. He is an excellent passer and moves the puck up the ice quickly starting the rush for his team. He is also a good stickhandler who can lead the rush. Zellweger loves to push the pace and create odd-man rushes. If a teammate gets behind the defence, he can hit them with a long breakaway pass. He also controls the puck at the blue line, showing poise in the face of pressure. He has good vision and creates offensive chances on the power play. Zellweger uses his lateral mobility and quick hands to make sudden shifts and open up passing and shooting lanes.
Previous Pick: Zachary L’Heureux
Heimosalmi was part of the Finnish team at the IIHF Under-18 World Championships in Plano, Texas. He was extremely impressive, scoring two goals and six assists for eight points in seven games, leading the tournament in points by a defenceman. Heimosalmi was named a top-three player on his team, the top defenceman in the tournament, and the tournament all-star team.
Heimosalmi showed off his ability to drive offence at the Under-18s. He marries good stickhandling with his strong skating ability. Heimosalmi is willing to carry the puck up the ice, generating effective zone entries. He can also start the rush with a good first pass out of the zone. Heimosalmi shows poise at the blueline, controlling the puck and quarterbacking the powerplay. He has excellent vision as well as the passing skills to get the puck through tight passing lanes. Heimosalmi can make a quick lateral movement and a toe drag with his stick to open up a passing lane and set up a scoring chance.
60.) Arizona Coyotes (from NYI via COL) – Ethan Del Mastro, Left Defence, Mississauga Steelheads, OHL
Del Mastro’s combination of size, skating ability, and physicality make him an intriguing prospect for a number of NHL teams. There may not be a lot of offence in his game, but he could play a top-four role as a shut-down defender and key penalty killer if he reaches his potential. These types of defenders usually take a bit of extra development, so he should be a long-term project. Del Mastro will have the opportunity to be a top pair player for the Steelheads for the next two years and may get time to develop his offensive game. His game is reminiscent of Ben Chiarot. This is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill and ability.
61.) Colorado Avalanche (from NJD via NYI) – Samu Salminen, Centre/Left Wing, Jokerit, Finnish Under-20
Previous Pick: Zachary Bolduc
Salminen is a pure goal scorer. He has an outstanding one-timer. He is smart enough to find the soft spots in the opposing defence and set up for the shot. Salminen is able to adjust his feet and get his shot off even when the pass isn’t quite perfect. He also has a very good wrist shot with excellent power and accuracy. His release is quick and deceptive as well. Salminen can also score close to the net, with his quick hands able to pounce on rebounds as well as deflect in teammates’ shots. With his size and strength, Salminen is difficult to move out of the dirty areas of the ice. He is also good at winning battles on the boards. Salminen controls the puck down low and keeps possession in the cycle game.
Salminen is also an effective playmaker. He is a very smart player who anticipates where his teammates and opponents are going. He has outstanding vision as well as the passing skills to get the puck through tight passing lanes. Salminen’s ability to speed the play up or slow it down allows him to maintain possession on the half wall. This buys time for his teammates to get open and when they do, he is quick to create a scoring chance. The lack of explosion in Salminen’s skating means that he lacks the ability to lead the rush through the neutral zone. Instead, Salminen passes the puck to a teammate and acts as the trailer.
62.) Chicago Blackhawks (from VGK) – Kirill Kirsanov, Left Defence, SKA St. Petersburg, KHL
While he has not put up big offensive numbers to date, there are flashes of offensive ability in Kirsanov’s game. He is a very good passer. Kirsanov shows good vision and the ability to move the puck up the ice quickly, clearing the defensive end and starting the transition game. He also shows flashes of being a playmaker at the blue line. Generally, he lacks patience and moves the puck quickly to an open teammate, even if keeping it to the outside. However, there are also times when he shows that patience and makes a cross-ice pass to set up a scoring chance. This happens more often when playing in junior tournaments, as he has more freedom than when playing against men.
Kirsanov is extremely advanced defensively given his age. He reads the play extremely well and is almost always in the right position. He funnels attackers to the outside and away from the net. Kirsanov has good gap control and is tough to beat in one-on-one situations. He is willing to play a physical game, capable of throwing a big hit as well as battling along the boards and in front of the net. Kirsanov is disciplined though. He does not get himself out of position looking for that hit. He is also good at using his stick to cut down passing lanes. When turnovers are created, Kirsanov quickly moves the puck up the ice with a good first pass. He is very poised and rarely seems to panic under pressure.
Previous Pick: Sasha Pastujov
Plandowski loves to push the pace and be aggressive offensively. He marries his skating with good stickhandling ability and can skate the puck out of the defensive zone as well as lead the rush through the neutral zone. He is also not afraid to join the rush as the trailer or to pinch in to keep plays alive at the blue line. Plandowski is a good passer. He makes a strong first pass to start the transition game. He can also control the puck at the blueline, using his lateral mobility to open up passing lanes and get the puck to a teammate. His vision is also very good. He sees open teammates and can get them the puck when needed.
Plandowski also has a good slap shot. His lateral mobility allows him to walk the line and open up passing lanes. He also keeps his shot low and on the net, allowing teammates to get deflections and to pounce on rebounds. His one-timer is also good but he needs to do a better job of adjusting his feet to get it off when the pass is a little bit off. Plandowski has good power and accuracy on his wrist shot. He also has a quick release that helps him to fool goaltenders. Plandowski also uses his “slap-pass” where it looks like he will take a one-timer, but instead sends the puck cross-ice to a teammate.
64.) Montreal Canadiens (from TBL) – Tristan Broz, Centre/Left Wing, Fargo Force, USHL
Previous Picks: Sasha Pastujov, Oscar Plandowski
Broz has many of the skills necessary to make an offensive impact at the next level but needs continued refinements in his game. He marries his skating ability with excellent stickhandling. He is able to control the puck as well as make plays while still making those quick changes in direction or darting into open space. Broz also has very good vision and passing skills. He can find an open teammate and pass the puck through tight areas in order to create a scoring chance. Broz controls the puck well, using his stickhandling to protect it. He is effective in the neutral zone, leading the rush as well as generating efficient zone entries.
Broz can also play the role of a goal scorer. He has an excellent wrist shot and snapshot. Broz gets them off with a quick release and can fool goaltenders by varying the angle on that release. Broz also has a very good one-timer. He does a good job of adjusting his feet to imperfect passes and still getting his shot off. The criticism is that Broz will spend too much time playing on the perimeter and not get to the dirty areas of the ice enough. When he goes to the net, he is effective. He has the soft hands to finish in tight to the goal. However, he is not consistent in getting to those areas both with and without the puck. Broz also needs to improve his physical engagement along the boards when fighting for loose pucks.
Thank you for reading our 2021 NHL Mock Draft.
2021 NHL Mock Draft Main Photo:
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA – JUNE 21: A detailed view of the Top 31 draft picks on the video board after the first round of the 2019 NHL Draft at Rogers Arena on June 21, 2019 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)