2021 NHL Draft Rankings: Final 97-128 (May)

Steve Kournianos  |  5/26/2021  |  [hupso] 

RANK Name Pos DOB Team League Ht Wt S/C NAT
97 Oscar Plandowski RHD 18-May-03 Charlottetown QMJHL 6’0 190 R CAN
A nimble puck mover with a crisp first pass, Plandowski and partner William Trudeau were arguably the QMJHL’s best middle pairing and were critical in Charlottetown’s successful season. Plandowski offers strong skating in all directions, keen vision, shot strength and on-ice awareness. His most noticeable asset, however, is his skating.
98 Zakhar Bardakov (OA) C 24-Feb-01 Vityaz Podolsk KHL 6’3 198 L RUS
An angry two-way center who spent the season in the KHL, Bardakov served as a depth player on an underperforming Vityaz club which failed to make the playoffs. That certainly wasn’t Bardakov’s doing, as the rookie provided a consistent effort at even strength and was used on both special teams.
99 Robert Orr RW 1-Sep-03 Halifax QMJHL 5’11 176 L CAN
Orr is a skilled forward with noticeable speed, quickness and plays all three forward positions for Halifax. Originally drafted by the Saint John Sea Dogs in the fifth round of the 2019 QMJHL draft, Orr was a critical forward for Halifax and is both smart and poised.
100 Dmitry Kuzmin LHD 23-Apr-03 Dynamo Molodechno Belarus 5’10 176 L BLR
Kuzmin is a brilliant puck distributor and playmaker who makes up for his lack of size with a bit of an edge and strong compete level. He broke Dmitry Deryabin’s under-18 scoring mark for blueliners in the Belorussian Extraleague and did so against the top division.
101 Janis Moser (OA) LHD 6-Jun-00 Biel NLA 6’1 172 L SUI
A mobile two-way defender with a quick first step and impressive acceleration, Moser is an on-ice leader and was used in all situations for Biel in the Swiss elite league. Although this is his last year of draft eligibility, there’s a good bet that teams will be battling for Moser’s draft rights before he hits the free-agent market. He may even go sooner than anticipated.
102 Jayden Grubbe C 12-Jan-03 Red Deer WHL 6’3 200 R CAN
A bulldog of a two-way center who seems to treat every shift like a seek-and-destroy mission, Grubbe suffered an unfortunate ACL tear that ended his draft season just five games in. He’s quick for his size and is an excellent penalty killer, but questions surrounding the offense he can generate won’t be answered until he’s fully recovered for the 2021-22 campaign.
103 Oskar Jellvik LW 8-Feb-03 Djurgarden J20 Nationell 5’11 175 L SWE
Jellvik is a swift and attentive forward who loves to be involved in the play and was a fun player to watch for Djugardens J20 before earning a promotion to the A-Team in the SHL. His head always is on a swivel and he looks to cover gaps, although Jellvik can be guilty of skating in all directions without any structure. Still, Jellvik’s puck skills are legitimate and he is dangerous with or without an opponent marking him.
104 Daniil Tesanov (OA) C 1-Aug-01 Loko Yaroslavl MHL 6’3 199 R RUS
We’ve been pushing for Tesanov to get drafted for several years, so it’ll be a shame if his impressive season with Loko goes unrewarded by NHL scouts. He’s a big, menacing 200-foot center with very good speed and overall quickness. Although it’s common for forwards his size to be labeled as limited checkers or slow-footed brutes, it doesn’t take long for one to realize just how nimble and skilled a player Tesanov can be.
105 Danila Klimovich RW 9-Jan-03 Minskie Zubry Belarus 6’1 187 R BLR
One of the spotlight stealers at the under-18 world championships, Klimovich made the most of his opportunity to wow scouts from all 32 NHL teams with his dipsy-doodling and lethality on the power play. He was drafted 24th overall by the QMJHL’s Rouyn-Noranda Huskies in the 2020 CHL Import Draft so it’s just a matter of time until he brings his high energy, plus shot, and physicality to North America.
106 Atte Lehikoinen LHD 5-Jul-03 KalPa U20 SM-Sarja 6’2 192 L FIN
Lehikoinen was a surprising omission from Finland’s under-18 entry for the world championship considering how critical a role he played for KalPa as a reliable and sure-handed defender who switched between the top and middle pairing. He’s also useful on the penalty kill by keeping the low slot as clear as possible and using his stick with authority. Lehikoinen was a poised on-ice leader who displayed smarts by consistently shoulder-checking on retrievals and picking his spots to deliver hard hits.
107 Benjamin Gaudreau G 11-Jan-03 Sarnia OHL 6’2 160 L CAN
Gaudreau is being mentioned as potential first-round pick but that’s probably recency bias from helping Canada win gold at the under-18 world championship. Going seventh overall in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection isn’t hurting his reputation either, but Gaudreau still have some technical issues to iron out before he can be placed within this draft’s exclusive group of premier goalies. Size and quickness aren’t a problem, however, and Gaudreau does have a big-save mentality.
108 Dmitri Kostenko RHD 25-Sep-02 Ladya MHL 6’2 165 R RUS
The rare right-shot defenseman from Russia, Kostenko was a go-to defender for a thin Ladya squad that was led by fellow 2021 draft prospect Fyodor Svechkov. He’s both quick and agile, and Kostenko likes to push the pace to his liking while showing confidence with the puck. Sometimes that gets him into trouble, but his overall understanding of the game is quite high. Consider him more of a project than a sure thing.
109 Ty Voit RW 10-Jun-03 Sarnia OHL 5’9 155 L USA
He may have missed his entire draft season, but Voit’s penchant for playmaking and game breaking should not be dismissed. He’s quick, confident, and more dangerous with time and space than your average undersized forward. Bulking up should have been a priority during this lengthy offseason and there’s good reason to expect a breakout campaign in 2021-22.
110 Jonathan Myrenberg RHD 11-Apr-03 Linkoping J20 Nationell 6’2 185 R SWE
Myrenburg is a lean but strong two-way defenseman who can play either the stay-at-home style or move the puck with both speed and confidence. He usually stays within himself when it comes to controlling the puck but Myrenberg will attack an opening with confidence and is capable of entering the zone on his own.
111 Ilya Nazarov RW 20-May-03 Loko Yaroslavl MHL 6’3 172 L RUS
 A versatile winger with good size who excels in tight quarters, Nazarov was selected over older forwards to help solidify Loko’s fourth line during their deep postseason run. He has quick feet and is a strong stickhandler, and Nazarov has a noticeable grasp on how to utilize his long frame and reach when dealing with opposing pressure, especially along the boards.
112 Elias Ekstrom (OA) LW 11-Oct-02 Orebro SHL 6’0 189 L SWE
A Swiss Army Knife who ran Orebro J20’s power play and lead penalty kill before earning himself a long look in the SHL, Ekstrom is too complete a prospect to let 13 or 14 months in age allow him to get overlooked for a third straight draft. He’s quick and has a high motor, but the biggest reason why Ekstrom was tasked with orchestrating the power play was his soft hands and ability to accurately fit pucks through traffic without hesitatation.
113 Kyle Masters RHD 9-Apr-03 Red Deer WHL 6’0 175 R CAN
The sixteenth overall pick in the 2018 WHL draft, Masters is an offensive-minded defenseman who quarterbacked Red Deer’s power play thanks to his quick feet and soft hands. He’s still growing into his role, but one thing that Masters doesn’t lack is confidence with the puck. He’s more than capable of spinning or darting past pressure while staying in complete control with his head up.
114 Guillaume Richard LHD 10-Feb-03 Tri-City USHL 6’2 166 L CAN
Richard is a steady, no-nonsense defenseman who skipped the major junior route in order to remain eligible for the University of Maine. The QMJHL’s loss was the USHL’s gain, as Richard quickly established himself as one of the league’s better positional defenders in addition to showcasing his reliability on breakouts. He’s already played for Team Canada at major prospect events like the World under-17 Hockey Challenge and the recent U18 worlds, where Richard served as a safety net for playmaking partner Olen Zellweger.
115 Joshua Roy RW 6-Aug-03 Saint John QMJHL 6’0 190 L CAN
The first pick in the 2019 QMJHL draft, Roy made a permanent switch from center to wing and had a resurgence in the second half after Saint John traded him to Sherbrooke. He’s an average skater and has had issues with consistency, but Roy has elite puck skills and a visible knack to create offense once inside the offensive zone. Consider him one of this draft’s bigger enigmas but the perfect gamble in the middle rounds.
116 Dario Sidler RHD 4-Jun-03 Zug U20 Swiss U20 5’8 155 R SUI
Sidler is a flashy playmaker who can wow you with his impressive skating ability. He had already received a stint with Zug’s A-Team (a roster with a bunch of ex-NHL’ers) but he spent most of the season split between junior hockey and the adult-age Swiss League, serving in an expanded, minute-eating role with the former rather than the latter.
117 Sami Paivarinta C 8-Jun-03 Lukku U20 SM-Sarja 5’9 159 L FIN
One of the key figures in Lukko Rauma U20’s title run in the SM-Sarja, Paivarinta deserves credit for serving as their No. 1 center with distinction. He’s a high-energy player who contributes on special teams, but he shouldn’t be pigeonholed as a checker or grinder. Paivarinta has legit vision and playmaking abilities but is simply tailoring his game to the role he’s been given
118 Joe Vrbetic G 24-Oct-02 North Bay OHL 6’6 180 L CAN
One of the bigger goalie prospects available, Vrbetic faced a ton of rubber as North Bay’s No. 1 during the 2019-20 season but showed enough to earmark him as one of the better mid-round projects. Calling him raw would be an understatement, as he relies on his size more than anything else to stop pucks. Improvements in quickness and overall net awareness should have been priorities during his lengthy offseason, but Vrbetic should benefit from having a stronger team than the one who kept the ice tilted towards him.
119 Stiven Sardariayn LW 3-Feb-03 Krasnaya Armiya MHL 6’1 154 L RUS
An underrated prospect who started to gain notoriety after Central Scouting added him to their updated Watch List, Sardaryan (pictured) is a strong-skating wing who plays like a pass-first center; mostly because of his clean zone entries that allow him to exploit the tiniest of gaps in opposing coverage. He’s shown impressive vision and pass accuracy over long distances regardless of how much pressure he’s under. Although Krasnaya Armiya was a deep, talented squad, it was Sardaryan who consistently drew attention for his creativity and puck control.
120 Justin Janicke LW 30-Jun-03 U.S. U18 NTDP 6’0 180 L USA
Janicke is a hard-nosed Notre Dame recruit who provides a consistent effort both on and off the puck. He’s a tenacious forechecker who uses his impressive speed and overall quickness to react to puck movement. Although he seemed a lot flashier with the puck in his under-17 season, Janicke can be an effective player on the forecheck and help create chances by simply forcing the opposition into turnovers.
121 Connor Kurth RW 30-Jul-03 Dubuque USHL 5’11 190 R USA
Kurth is a throwback of the highest degree — he’s built like a brick house and can play with controlled violence but also reveal a nice touch and heady playmaking around the net. His skating for a winger his size also is deceptive because Kurth’s stride is a little wide and choppy but he continues to beat opponents to the desired spot and can take a defender to the inside.
122 Jeremi Tammela C 12-Sep-03 Lukko U20 SM-Sarja 5’9 185 R FIN
Smaller scoring forwards who play with bite should be considered commodities in draft circles, especially when they are one of the top scorers in their league. Tammela has game-breaking ability and clucth scoring were critical in Lukko U20 winning the SM-Sarja championship, and doing it against a stingy Karpat squad in the final made the accomplishment more impressive.
123 Nikita Kiryanov (OA) RW 7-May-02 Loko Yaroslavl MHL 6’5 180 L RUS
Kiryanov is a towering two-way winger who checks all the right blocks in the intangibles and coachability departments. He generates most of his points from the tough areas, but neither his speed, shot, nor his creativity should be underestimated. The toughness to his game is evident in how hard he battles as opposed to intimidating opponents with reckless hitting or dirty play.
124 Andre Gasseau C 7-Apr-03 U.S. U18 NTDP 5’11 165 L USA
He’s not a big-time scorer and isn’t ranked among the better centers in this draft class, but Gasseau screams future NHL center in so many ways. He has the perfect frame for a pivot but he’s also one of the better 200-foot centers available. Gasseau has been critical in the success of his support line along with grinding winger Jack Devine and smaller playmaker Ryan St. Louis. Destined for Boston College, Gasseau moves very well for a player his size and makes his money in board battles and in the corners thanks to his shiftiness.
125 Ethan Del Mastro LHD 15-Jan-03 Mississauga OHL 6’3 192 L CAN
A physical defender who is at his best when keeping things simple, Del Mastro drew rave review for his play at the recent under-18 world championship. He may never be a point producer but he’s exactly the type of defenseman who can be counted on to consistently keep the crease clear and win puck battles.
126 Cam Berg C 29-Jan-02 Muskegon USHL 6’0 192 L USA
Berg uses his impressive speed-power combination to force turnovers and enter the opposing zone cleanly. It may seem easy for kids with his size  to create matchup problems in a junior league, but Berg’s effort on or off the puck is exemplary, plus he’s a highly-effective forechecker. Committed to Nebraska-Omaha, Berg plays with maximum effort and energy every game
127 Olivier Nadeau RW 15-Jan-03 Shawinigan QMJHL 6’2 204 R CAN
Nadeau is a smart and skilled power winger who helped Shawiningan stem the tide after top-line center Mavrik Bourque left for the under-20 world junior hockey championship. He checks a ton of blocks in both the puck skills and intangibles departments to therefore put his below-average speed in perspective, especially when he’s able to consistently playing keep-away while the opposition is hounding him.
128 Vsevolod Gaidamak C 4-Apr-03 Omskie Yastreby MHL 6’0 187 L RUS
A sturdy, well-balanced center who excels in the trenches and also in open ice, Gaidamak joined Omskie Yastreby later in November after his anticipated import season with the OHL’s Ottawa 67’s was shut down. He’s a 200-foot center who is strong on faceoffs and kills penalties, but he also boasts a plus shot-release combination and can clean up near the goal. Gaidamak definitely is the guy you want controlling the puck the second possession changes hands, and he his calculated zone entries are effective whether rapid or deliberate.
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