2021 NHL Mock Draft

2021 1st Round NHL Mock Draft

16. St. Louis Blues: Fabian Lysell

I don’t understand what is going on with Lysell’s draft stock, but he’s dropping on many lists despite being one of the most electrifying players in this draft class. Many scouts have pointed out that Lysell plays a very predictable game, claiming he only has one speed, and is thus very easy to neutralize in the neutral zone as he picks up speed. I do see the criticisms, as Lysell can sometimes be guilty of being invisible in certain games, but when he’s on, he’s a gamebreaker. He’s a human highlight reel, but then goes quite for the rest of the game, and that inconsistency is what separates Lysell from a top-10 pick.

Lysell’s most translatable skills are his rush-related offense. His speed, puck handling skills and his shoot, mainly his wrist shot, are all elite in my eyes. He attacks the zone with such speed and, if a team is silly enough to offer him open ice, he capitalizes on that room to create a play. He has really good vision while in the offensive zone, making him a serious dual threat. His explosivity and speed are already NHL worthy in my opinion, and Lysell can only get stronger over time. If he can shore up his decision making in the neutral zone and diversify his speed levels in order to throw defenders offguard, watch out.

At this rank in the draft, St-Louis will draft a dynamic winger with a few holes, but the overall package that could result in the steal of the draft. If Lysell can diversify his offensive game, deliver more consistent effort in games and shore up his defensive game, you have yourself a can’t miss top-6 player with speed to burn.

17. Winnipeg Jets : Carson Lambos

The Winnipeg native unfortunately could not play in the WHL and went off to Finland to play this season. He has some really good skating for some with such an awkward technique, but the potential for him to be a strong transitional defenseman is evident. You saw snippets of that potential while he was in Finland this year, as he was able to carry the puck up quite effectively, earning zone entries and setting up  offensive zone control.

Lambos is a two-way defenseman who’s at his best when he’s patrolling the blueline in the offensive zone with sustained pressure. He has solid skating and good puck skills, allowing him to toe the blueline and distribute the puck effectively well. He also possesses a really good wrist shot and a solid one-timer, making him an intimidating offensive presence from the blue line. His shooting ability makes him an ideal player to have on your powerplay as a triggerman, but he will need to utilize his teammates more effectively to truly be a quarterback.

I know some people are not too high on Lambos, but I feel like all the tools to be a #3-4 defenseman in the NHL. Unfortunately, he has been a little inconsistent in trying to put it all together at the same time, but I believe he could improve by getting stronger and getting more consistent playing time over his next to years in junior.

18. Nashville Predators: Isak Rosen

Isak Rosen is a coach’s dream. He plays a fun skill and speed game that wows everyone who watches him on the ice. Rosen’s speed and solid puck retrieval skills make him a literal puck hound. He attacks open ice extremely aggressively and loves to transport the puck up the ice for quick zone entries. What I like the most about Rosen is his Hockey IQ and the deceptiveness in his game. He loves to keep the opposition second guessing when he’s coming up with the puck and often fakes them out before beating them on the outside in order to gain inside position in the offensive zone.

The biggest knock against him is his how easily he can be boxed out or isolated from the puck when he faces tighter and stronger competition. Although he does have really good deception in his game, when he does get caught, which is likely to happen more often at the next level, he is neutralize towards the outside before being hit\checked. That being said, Rosen’s overall package of speed, skating and puck skills make it likely that he will be able to overcome this issue and further diversify his game with more experience playing against men.

Rosen is a sneaky good selection at this point as I believe he could be a very serviceable top-9 player with a strong likelihood of being able to impact the game on a consistent basis. Nashville loves to draft these kinds of hard-working, speedy wingers with many comparing Rosen’s game to former Predator Viktor Arvidsson.

19. Edmonton Oilers: Sebastian Cossa

Cossa absolutely blew me away in my viewings due to his great competitiveness and explosive style of goaltending as he was an absolute monster this shortened WHL season. In 17 of his 19 games for the Edmonton Oil Kings this season, Cossa let in 2 goals or less. He absolutely dominated the play and ate up all the pucks sent his way by being calm and playing big in order to force the opposition to try low percentage shots. It is easy to play big when you’re 6’6, but Cossa literally gives you nothing.

He has very strong physical attributes making him extremely powerful in his lateral movements and his rebound recovery is made much easier due to his ability to zone in on lose pucks quickly. Although his size and athleticism help him dominate the play at the junior level, he will have to clean up his technique in order to stop the best players in the world. He simply needs to cover his angles and play the shots in traffic with a little less aggressively and allow those shots in traffic to find him and make the first save.

Cossa has clear #1 G potential and this could be a huge get for the Oilers at this point, as they have lacked a prospect of Cossa’s potential in net for a very long time. They really need to draft a can’t miss prospect at this position to allow them to maximize the prime years of McDavid and Draisaitl’s careers, and I believe Cossa is 3 years away from starting an NHL game.

20. Boston Bruins: Oskar Olausson

Olausson plays a game predicated on speed, and his exceptional skating, coupled with his excellent shooting ability, will get him there in a hurry. Olausson put up 14 goals in 16 games for HV71’s J20 team, and even scored 3 goals in 16 games for HV71’s main team in the SHL in 16 games. His skating and explosivity are what impress you right off the bat, as he likes to carry the puck with speed up the ice and catch defenders off guard with his exceptional edge work. He beats defenders clean along the boards and cuts with power to the net in order to get the scoring chance.

Olausson is an excellent offensive driver, but sometimes gets caught trying to get the puck up the ice too quick. When he isn’t moving up the puck, and the game slows down, this is where his game could use the most amount of work. When possession is lost or the puck is coming against him with speed, he over commits and aggressively attacks the play, often resulting in pulling himself out of position and allowing odd-man rushes against.

I believe Olausson has all the tools to be a scoring top-6 winger for the Bruins moving forward. They have the depth at forward to properly insulate a player like Olausson, but it won’t take long for his speed and great shooting tools to do some damage. Certainly one of the better value players in this draft.

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