With the 2020-21 hockey season impacted at all levels by the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 NHL Entry Draft is sure to have some surprise picks throughout.
Conventional wisdom as it normally applies to the way NHL teams identify, track, evaluate and ultimately select talent over the course of a calendar year will likely go out the window. As the draft progresses beyond the established players at the top of the pecking order, teams will rely on their internal process and metrics, which are things outsiders cannot replicate. Because clubs keep their cards close to the vest when it comes to their respective draft processes, we can expect to see a significant variance in the players we see drafted in a few weeks compared to where many of them might be ranked on the various public lists being released in print form and online.
While the New England region is sure to see an early selection in 2021 with Matty Beniers projected as a potential top-four choice, there is some interesting depth with the area's class of eligible players.
This series will take a deeper dive into the players who were ranked in the May/June 2021 print issue of New England Hockey Journal. These digital draft capsules are designed to provide supplementary analysis and look at recent or developing trends and information on the players obtained since the issue went to print. We will publish these items every couple of days until the week of the draft, when we will release analysis on a different draft prospect daily.