Draft day is here!
You've read through our top-50 prospect rankings, checked out the latest projections in Greg's mock draft, learned more about what makes Owen Power such a great prospect from Emily's story, and of course, digested the Seattle Kraken's expansion draft process thanks to our top takeaways file.
Now, it's time to answer those final lingering questions you might have about Round 1 of the 2021 NHL draft, prior to the broadcast at 8 p.m. ET tonight on ESPN2.
Who is the top prospect, and what makes him special? What percentage chance would you say he goes at No. 1 to Buffalo?
Kaplan: Owen Power is the odds-on favorite to go No. 1 overall. I'd put it at 95%. Evaluators have billed the 2021 draft class as a tough one to judge -- the pandemic forced entire junior leagues to shut down and limited in-person exposure -- so teams may lean toward safer picks. Power, a 6-foot-6 and 214 pound defenseman, is as steady as they come. A scout I talked to used descriptors like "solid," "sees the game well," and "rarely makes a mistake."
Power played for the USHL's Chicago Steel, then played last season at the University of Michigan. The scout said his status as the No. 1 pick was cemented at the 2021 IIHF world championship. Power, playing for the senior Canada team, earned trust from coach Gerard Gallant throughout the tournament. Power played at least 24 minutes in all three elimination-round games, as Canada overcame a 0-3 start to win gold.