There hasn’t been a lot in the way in which of alternative for members of the 2021 NHL Draft class to put themselves on show in a showcase scenario this season. That’s why this 12 months’s BioSteel All-American Game, set for Wed., April 7 in Plymouth, Mich., should not disappoint.
Understandably, there’s lots of pleasure set to stem from the occasion, although it’s only a single-game showcase for these eligible for the 2021 NHL Draft. The recreation options players from the United States U-18 National Team Development Program (US-NTDP) in opposition to a roster crammed with one of the best American-born players from the United States Hockey League (USHL).
All 22 players from the USHL lineup are eligible for the July 23-24 draft, with 18 of the 21 National Team Development Program members eligible too. And, of the 40 players suiting up, 15 of them appeared in FCHockey’s 2021 NHL Draft Winter rankings.
Whether you’re a draft fanatic, a prospect aficionado, or an informal hockey fan, earlier than the puck drops at 8 p.m. ET (NHL Network within the U.S.) this is a few guys to hold a watch on in the exhibition.
Five 2021 NHL Draft prospects to watch within the BioSteel All-American Game
Jack Peart, D, Team USHL (Fargo Force)
FCHockey’s 2021 NHL Draft rating: 98
Peart, dedicated to St. Cloud State University, shredded the highschool circuit in Minnesota this season. He posted 11 objectives and 35 factors in simply 18 video games since returning to Grand Rapids High after a profitable 18-game audition with the Fargo Force. This previous Monday, Peart was named Minnesota’s Mr. Hockey.
Keep a watch out for his potential to break the puck out of his personal finish and his potential to quarterback an influence play.
“Before leaving the USHL to rejoin Grand Rapids High to finish out his high school career, Peart was tied for the USHL lead in assists and was the second leading point-producing defenseman in the league,” FCHockey regional scout Dylan Krill famous.
“Peart will catch your eyes in a number of ways, whether it be his quick and agile skating, his long-range stretch passing accuracy or just watching him think and process the game, making the efficient plays rather than the skilled play.”
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Chaz Lucius, C, Team USA (US-NTDP)
FCHockey’s 2021 NHL Draft rating: 15
It’s been a troublesome 12 months for Lucius to get on monitor, lacking a lot of the season due to a lower-body damage; nevertheless, he rebounded in an enormous method. Committed to the University of Minnesota, he is posted 18 factors (13 objectives, 5 assists) in simply 12 video games after coming back from damage and has solidified his standing as a first-round decide within the course of.
Lucius is supremely assured with the puck on his stick and takes a shoot-first strategy when navigating the offensive zone.
“Lucius has emerged as one of the top forwards in this year’s NTDP class, most likely the top forward, so the spotlight will be very bright on him in this game,” stated Derek Neumeier, FCHockey’s head of video scouting. “He is dangerous in the offensive zone when he has the puck on his stick, though there are some issues with his skating and ability to create space for himself, making him a little tricky to project. After missing the start of the year due to injury this event will be a great opportunity to showcase himself and make a splash.”
Matthew Knies, LW, Team USHL (Tri-City Storm)
FCHockey’s 2021 NHL Draft rating: 48
Knies is coming into the All-American Prospects Game as one of many USHL’s hottest players. He’s amassed 10 factors (4 objectives, six assists) in his previous 4 video games and at present sits at 22 assists and 32 factors in 37 video games with the Tri-City Storm this season.
The University of Minnesota commit is a standout at 6-3 and 203-pounds however is healthier referred to as an offensive facilitator than a bruising, hulking ahead.
“At the beginning of the year, Knies had high expectations coming off a point-per-game season in 2019-20,” Krill stated. “Although his offense wasn’t great, he was still playing a strong two-way game, applying great pressure and intensity each shift. Knies has some of the best hands in the draft so keep an eye on some of the plays he has the ability to make. His vision and shot are both very effective, and he is now consistently getting rewarded with points.”
Cole Sillinger, C, Team USHL (Sioux Falls Stampede)
FCHockey’s 2021 NHL Draft rating: 19
Sillinger, who joined the Stampede after a standout season with the Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL) final season, has shredded the USHL competitors this season. He has 22 objectives and 42 factors in simply 29 video games and is fifth total within the league with a 1.45 points-per-game mark.
The dual-citizen is without doubt one of the draft’s finest pure aim scorers.
“Sillinger has been feasting on the USHL this season as a dual-threat forward who is equally lethal at shooting the puck and distributing it,” Neumeier stated. “However, like Lucius, there are some issues with his skating and ability to create separation for himself. Defending in the USHL is inconsistent at best, so I’m very curious to see what Sillinger can do against the competition offered in this game.”
Sasha Pastujov, LW, Team USA (US-NTDP)
FCHockey’s 2021 NHL Draft rating: 50
Pastujov has been an offensive drive for the National Team Development Program this season, amassing 26 factors (10 objectives, 16 assists) in opposition to USHL competitors this season. Pastujov, off to the University of Notre Dame within the fall, leads the NTDP in scoring with 52 factors (23 objectives, 29 assists) in 34 complete video games performed.
It’ll be his offensive prowess that is showcased within the All-American Prospects Game. Pastujov is a standout when he has the puck on his stick, each due to his imaginative and prescient and skill to navigate the offensive zone to create alternatives.
“You can expect a very eventful night for Pastujov, as he will be wanting to showcase his highly dangerous skill,” Krill stated. “Pastujov is one of the best offensive players on the NTDP and has the ability to get you out of your seat with his highly skilled hands, vision and shot. Although his play with pace and skating is a concern, he has so much potential and will definitely be one of the main players to watch in this game, and moving closer to the draft.”
Aaron Vickers the managing editor for FCHockey.