IIHF U18 Males’s World Championship: 10 NHL draft-eligibles to look at in 2021
One of the crucial notable occasions on the hockey calendar is just some days away.
The 2021 IIHF U18 Males’s World Championship is ready to drop the puck in Frisco and Plano, Texas, gathering a number of the high prospects for the upcoming 2021 NHL Draft into one event from April 26 to Could 6.
By way of the draft, this event may maintain extra weight than ever. The 2020-21 season has been a battle globally, with seasons delayed, disrupted, and cancelled throughout. On high of that, this draft has no clear-cut No. 1 prospect, which means the highest spot continues to be very a lot up for grabs and may very well be received on the again of a powerful efficiency Texas.
Its significance rises much more so with the official cancellation of the Ontario Hockey League season. Due to this cancellation, quite a few prospects have but to hit the ice this season. Some discovered properties abroad, comparable to Brandt Clarke and Mason McTavish, however others, like Benjamin Gaudreau, have been left stranded up till now.
The U18s would be the first alternative for Gaudreau, Ethan Del Mastro, Wyatt Johnson, Jack Matier, and Ryan Winterton to showcase themselves this season. These must-see OHL gamers haven’t hit the ice in a recreation setting in additional than 14 months, and any steps taken (or not taken) of their growth may have huge draft implications.
It’s not simply these gamers which are combating for the draft highlight although.
This yr’s draft is huge open, from the top-10 to your complete first spherical. A star efficiency on the event may see names soar up draft boards in a giant method.
Listed below are FCHockey’s 10 gamers to look at on the Below-18s, alphabetically listed.
10 NHL draft-eligibles to look at at 2021 U18s
Corson Ceulemans, D, Staff Canada
A divisive prospect within the 2021 NHL Draft, Ceulemans is dedicated to the College of Wisconsin for the 2021-22 season. NCAA guidelines don’t permit athletes to play within the CHL, so the 6-2 defender has been plying his craft within the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) for the Brooks Bandits.
Ceulemans, No. 11 in FCHockey’s spring rating for the 2021 draft, has performed in eight video games this season, gathering 11 factors (4 objectives, seven assists). He’s been ranked everywhere in the first spherical in inner and exterior rankings, and with a number one position on Staff Canada, he may cement his spot as a high prospect on this class.
“He’s a dynamic, misleading skater who has the flexibility and creativity to fabricate all types of advantageous situations with pace and angle modifications by way of pivots or dwelling on his edges,” FCHockey’s Western Canada head scout Justin Froese wrote in a latest scouting report. “He could make so many refined changes in movement to catch and include or ship pucks by way of the cross to teammates.
“He could make elite-level performs whereas shifting his weight and when he’s carrying the puck, regardless that he’s not a small man or the quickest participant on the ice, he feeds false info persistently together with his head, palms and ft which creates hesitation that permits for a brand new opening to be created.”
Nikita Chibrikov, RW, Staff Russia
FCHockey draft rating: 21
Chibrikov, who will captain Russia’s entry, has seemed to be one other divisive prospect within the public sphere, discovering himself everywhere in the first spherical. He’s very a lot within the dialog as the highest Russian prospect on this class and can look to solidify that honour with a powerful Below-18 efficiency.
The best winger, No. 21 at FCHockey, has spent his season throughout Russia’s high leagues, from the highest two males’s leagues the KHL and VHL, to the highest junior league, the MHL, for SKA St. Petersburg. He collected two factors (one purpose, one help) in 16 KHL video games, eight factors (three objectives, 5 assists) in 20 VHL video games, and 9 factors (three objectives, six assists) in 11 MHL video games, including three assists in 5 playoff video games.
“By way of pure pull-you-out-of-your-seat talent, Chibrikov is among the many elite of this draft class,” famous FCHockey’s head crossover scout Derek Neumeier. “With lightning acceleration and elegant palms, he’s an actual risk in transition. Give him slightly an excessive amount of time and house to work with in open ice and also you’ve acquired an enormous drawback in your palms.
“He has the wheels to beat opponents huge and acquire that all-important separation. He’s additionally fairly an elusive participant, as he is ready to sluggish the tempo down, shift his weight seamlessly backward and forward, and deceive defenders together with his palms, ft or head motion. Exhibits poise with the puck on his stick and tranquility underneath stress.”
Brandt Clarke, D, Staff Canada
FCHockey draft rating: 5
If there’s one 2021 draft-eligible prospect to look at within the event, it may be Clarke. Within the dialog to go No. 1 on July 23, a star efficiency in Texas may very well be all FCHockey’s No. 5 prospect must separate himself from the pack.
With no OHL season this yr, the Barrie Colts defender discovered a house with HC Nove Zamky within the high males’s league in Slovakia. In 26 video games, the offensively dynamic defenseman collected 15 factors (5 objectives, 10 assists). He improved because the season went on, setting himself up for a grand finale for 2020-21 on the Below-18s.
“Clarke is a powerful skater with glorious edgework and energy by way of his strides” FCHockey scout Joseph Aleong reported after watching Clarke in Slovakia. “His legs splay barely outwards in his stride, however his total kind and extension he will get on his strides are excellent for his age.
“He’s very assured with the puck on his stick, skating it by way of the impartial zone in transition with objective and exhibiting good administration of his pace and stability to seek out open patches of ice to make zone entries.”
FCHOCKEY SPOTLIGHT: Brandt Clarke
Simon Edvinsson, D, Staff Sweden
FCHockey Draft Rating: 2
Sweden has its personal defenseman within the hunt for first total in Edvinsson. The 6-5 defender hung out in Sweden’s high leagues this season, enjoying 10 SHL video games and 14 J20 Nationell video games with Frolunda, gathering a complete of seven factors (one purpose, six assists). He ended his season with 14 HockeyAllsvenskan video games, notching 5 assists and including three factors (one purpose, two assists) in six playoff video games.
Edvinsson, FCHockey’s No. 2 skater, has been ranked everywhere in the top-10 of this draft. He ought to be a pacesetter on the blue line for Sweden and similar to Clarke, a giant efficiency may catapult him to the highest of the record.
“There’s little doubt Edvinsson has the flexibility to skate the puck up ice and shows glorious transition pace,” FCHockey head scout Dylan Galloway famous in a latest scouting report. “His skating and imaginative and prescient instantly stand out on the offensive facet of the puck. His fixed and fast actions mixed with good four-way mobility are arduous to overlook with a body like that.
“Edvinsson owns fairly a easy and highly effective shot from the perimeter although and is able to creating scoring possibilities within the slot with this shot. When he’s at his finest he will be glorious at closing the hole on the break-in and field opponents out from the center ice together with his lengthy stick and good physicality.”
DEEP DIVE: A glance into Simon Edvinsson’s recreation
Dylan Guenther, LW, Staff Canada
FCHockey Draft Rating: 8
After a chronic await the beginning of the Western Hockey League season, Guenther has shot out of the gate like a cannon. In simply 12 video games, he’s racked up 24 factors (12 objectives, 12 assists), main the league in factors per recreation. He additionally noticed some AJHL motion at first of the season, including 5 factors (three objectives, two assists) in 4 video games.
Guenther is one other a type of prospects sitting within the top-10 of this class that might make a giant push up draft boards after this event. FCHockey’s No. 8 prospect is within the dialog as the highest ahead within the class and now has an opportunity to try to show it on American soil as certainly one of Canada’s high gamers.
“Guenther is deadly with time and house and is particularly potent on the ability play the place he’s an equal risk to choose a nook or discover a teammate backdoor,” FCHockey scout Donesh Mazloum lately reported. “He has a knack for taking part in to his linemates strengths and actually maximizes offensive alternatives.
“He has supreme confidence in his recreation studying skills and all the time has a way of his subsequent transfer or subsequent cross with out telegraphing his intentions to the opponent. Whereas his offense steals the present, I believe he’s a sound defender as properly.”
MORE: Who’s Dylan Guenther?
Fabian Lysell, RW, Staff Sweden
FCHockey Draft Rating: 10
Lysell is a prospect that many scouts can’t appear to agree on, from being ranked excessive within the top-five to exterior the top-10. FCHockey’s No. 10 prospect, the Swede is predicted to be a high participant for his nation and can look to solidify his rating with a powerful efficiency on the World U18s.
He began the season with Frolunda within the J20 Nationell, gathering 13 factors (three objectives, 10 assists) in 11 video games. Lysell transferred to Lulea to see a while within the SHL, enjoying in 26 video games and recording three factors (two objectives, one help) regardless of minimal ice time. With the potential for giant minutes on the Below-18s, count on him to indicate why he’s a high participant on this draft.
“Lysell makes use of his excessive pace to tear aside the opponent’s protection,” FCHockey’s scout Viktor Bergham reported earlier this season. “His fast strides and excessive acceleration assist him to succeed in a excessive high pace, and he may also management and transport the puck at that high pace. This talent mixed together with his lateral motion and agility makes him actually arduous to catch.
“Lysell actually likes to become involved within the conditions the place the puck is. He’s not afraid to get into crowded areas to struggle for the puck. He has an incredible quantity of potential in relation to talent and imaginative and prescient.”
Mason McTavish, C, Staff Canada
FCHockey Draft Rating: 15
Like Clarke, McTavish took his skills abroad this season whereas ready for a call on OHL motion. He joined EHC Olten, together with Canadian teammate Brennan Othmann, in Switzerland’s second-tier males’s league. Whereas there, McTavish impressed with 11 factors (9 objectives, two assists) in 13 video games, including seven factors (two objectives, 5 assists) in 4 playoff video games.
McTavish, No. 15 at FCHockey, is in an identical boat as Lucius the place he’s on the surface of the top-10 getting into the event. Nonetheless, as certainly one of Canada’s high prospects, he’s a participant that might discover himself quickly rising with a deserving efficiency in Texas.
“McTavish is a quick-step skater and is usually good with carrying the gameplay tempo,” FCHockey scouts Oliva McArtur reported on the OHL’s Peterborough Petes ahead. “He is ready to have a extremely good cruising pace with acceleration bursts to try to decide the puck off his opponents and get it again into both his possession or his linemates.
“McTavish has a tough, correct shot which I’d say might be his finest asset. He is ready to discover his teammates for a protected tape-to-tape passing which normally helped full a play and he’s actually good at discovering holes to get open.”
Sasha Pastujov, C, Staff USA
FCHockey Draft Rating: 42
With high participant Chaz Lucius out of the World U18s, search for his US-NTDP teammate Pastujov to actually step as a pacesetter on the group. The College of Notre Dame commit and BioSteel All-American Recreation MVP ought to be the highest offensive participant on the group and the chief of the group. Count on a giant event from Pastujov as he seems to be to fill within the goal-scoring gap left by Lucius.
The left winger has racked up 52 factors (23 objectives, 29 assists) with the event program this season, in 34 video games. That time whole leads the U18 group on the yr, eight factors forward of Staff USA teammate Dylan Duke.
“Pastujov has nice offensive consciousness, staying above the puck most instances and exhibiting a capability to attract stress in the direction of him earlier than making a play to a close-by teammate,” Aleong wrote in a scouting report. “He has a knack for flashy passing and might thread small lanes by way of the slot when he’s given time to twist off the boards into open ice.
“He has a fast launch on his wrister and is a risk on his off-wing, exhibiting an correct one-timer that makes him a risk on the push or on the ability play.”
Stanislav Svozil, D, Staff Czech Republic
FCHockey Draft Rating: 33
Svozil, one other polarizing prospect, got here into the season with excessive expectations. Spending most of his season within the high males’s league within the Czech Republic with HC Kometa Brno, he performed minimal minutes and earned three factors (one purpose, two assists) in 30 video games. He additionally appeared in eight playoff video games with no level.
Simply falling out of the primary spherical in FCHockey’s newest rating, the No. 33 prospect has an opportunity to steer the Czech Republic group and showcase his skills towards his personal age group. He had an excellent exhibiting on the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship and ought to be a high defender within the upcoming World U18s.
“An agile skater, Svozil does a superb job using his edges and timing to close down the assault, preserve an excellent hole, and utterly take away house from oncoming attackers,” Galloway reported following the World Juniors. “He was capable of sluggish the assault by the highest of the circles and make the most of his energetic persist with separate the opponent from the puck.
“Wonderful skater that confirmed off some good pace and a capability to seek out skating lanes whereas shifting from exterior lanes to the within lane and getting into the zone with management.”
Samu Tuomaala, RW, Staff Finland
FCHockey Draft Rating: 46
Tuomaala seems to be to be the highest ahead for Finland and ought to be an offensive chief for the group. Ranked No. 46 by FCHockey, the suitable winger is seen as a fringe first-rounder however has slid down some boards this season. With a giant event, he may safe and lift his rating.
Spending a lot of the yr within the U20 SM-sarja with Karpat, Tuomaala collected 31 factors (15 objectives, 16 assists) in 30 video games and added 4 factors (one purpose, three assists) in 5 playoff contests. He additionally appeared in 5 Liiga video games with no level.
“He’s a swish and gifted skater, who glides across the ice shortly and will get as much as his high pace virtually immediately,” Neumeier wrote in a latest scouting report. “He can obtain and deal with the puck in full flight and has the talent to undress defenders or shoot from the push.
“Superior playmaker who sees lanes open up and will be misleading together with his intentions. Could make arduous, correct one-touch passes. Has his moments the place he anticipates the play and causes turnovers.”
Honourable Mentions: Sean Behrens (USA), Brett Harrison (CAN), Oliver Kapanen (FIN), Brennan Othmann (CAN), Francesco Pinelli (CAN), Prokhor Poltapov (RUS), Simon Robertsson (SWE), Isak Rosen (SWE), Samu Salminen (FIN), Logan Stankoven (CAN), Fyodor Svechkov(RUS).
Josh Bell is a scout and the director of content material for FCHockey.