2021 Draft Targets: Five prospects to consider in Round 6
There will be more misses than hits at the 2021 NHL Draft. History has shown this.
It’s a law of diminishing returns, too.
The later in the draft you get, the longer the odds that your pick-turned-prospect will blossom into an NHL player, much less an NHL star.
And whether you feel the 2021 NHL Draft class is lacking in punch, power, or prestige, it isn’t without its intrigue.
Undoubtedly, most prospects will fizzle. It’s the nature of the game. But some will hit, blossoming into an NHL player that’ll leave fans and organizations alike wondering what one team saw that 31 others didn’t. Many of those will come beyond the first round.
With that, here are five targets from the class that could hit, and your team should consider selecting in the sixth round of the 2021 NHL Draft:
Joona Korhonen, LW, KooVee (Mestis)
FCHockey Rank: 170
Joona Korhonen is a speedy winger who possesses high-end skating ability, using his footwork and quick crossovers to accelerate quickly. Already a high-end skater, he has room to refine his skating and add even more speed to his game. Korhonen can produce in multiple ways, too. He can find open teammates in high-danger areas or he can work off the puck to get open in the slot to create his own scoring chances. He put up 21 points (nine goals, 12 assists) in U20 action, as well as appearing in 13 games in Finland’s second-tier pro league.
At this point in the draft, you’re just hoping your team grabs a prospect with any sort of NHL upside. With Korhonen’s motor and skillset, he projects as a potential NHLer and you want worth a shot at this stage of the draft.
“Korhonen has a lot of speed and a high compete level that make him look like a great project,” FCHockey scout Curtis Schwartzkopf said. “He never takes a shift off and is one of those players who doesn’t lose speed when carrying the puck. While he’s a bit raw, Korhonen has the base skills and size to be an NHL player provided he’s allowed to develop properly.”
Francesco Arcuri, C, Kingston (OHL)
FCHockey Rank: 171
Despite the OHL losing its season because of the pandemic, Francesco Arcuri was able to get a loan to Linz of the Alps Hockey League in Austria. The speedy forward shows flashes of offensive talent, using his skating and awareness to create separation from the opposing defense. Arcuri, who recorded nine goals and six assists in 18 games, projects more as a complimentary piece than a play driver but has the skillset that warrants a late round pick.
His stock may have been a little higher had the OHL season went on as planned, as the Kingston Frontenacs are a team on the rise. For now, Arcuri seems to have enough upside to be a sixth-round pick worth getting excited over.
“Arcuri is decent at keeping up with plays and is able to set teammates up really well for scoring opportunities,” FCHockey scout Olivia McArter said. “He is able to see where his teammates will end up, and make smart passing plays.”
Arvid Sundin, LW, Brynas J20 (J20 Nationell)
FCHockey Rank: 179
Arvid Sundin brings a highly energetic, frenzied pace to the game using his skating to make an impact. When he’s on the ice, he’s rarely standing still. Sundin always keeps his feet moving so he can create an opportunity for himself to open up a lane for a teammate. He didn’t have the best production, scoring seven points (six goal, one assist) in 15 games for Brynas J20.
He’s a hard worker, but his decision making needs some work if he wants to be a consistent performer at the next level.
“He is a player with good speed, on both short and long distances, and when he doesn’t succeed offensively you can always count on him by working hard, finishing hits and making it difficult for opponents out there,” FCHockey scout Fredrik Haak said.
Noah Meier, D, GC Kusnacht (SL)
FCHockey Rank: 187
Noah Meier is a solid prospect who really put himself on the map with his showing at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship. He’s an offensive-minded blueliner who plays on his toes and loves to start his team’s attack in the transition game. Meier has great straight-line speed and can accelerate quickly even with the puck on his stick, playing in Switzerland’s second tier pro league he scored 20 points (one goal, 19 assists) in 35 games.
His playing style fits perfectly for the new-aged offensive defender. If you’re team takes Meier they’re getting a player who can potentially turn into a contributor at the NHL level, and at worst will bring some depth into the minor levels of the organization.
“Meier will take some time to pan out if he’s selected on draft day, but if an NHL team can build up his strengths on offense, he could be a solid depth contributor at the next level,” FCHockey scout Dylan Galloway said. “His skating allows him to join the rush often and be an effective transition player.”
Marcus Almquist, C/W, HV71 J20 (J20 Nationell)
FCHockey Rank: 193
If nothing else, Marcus Almquist is a fun player to watch. He’s quick on his feet and has great agility allowing him to quickly move in any direction on the ice. When he has the puck on his stick, he attacks the high-danger areas and has high-end puck skills to create in multiple ways.
Playing in the J20 league in Sweden, Almquist had great production in his draft year. He scored 10 goals and added 13 assists in 19 games. Like any player this late in the draft, there’s a lot of areas that need to improve before projecting him to the NHL. The significantly undersized forward needs to get stronger in order to help him battle through bigger opponents, but his skill alone should get him picked.
“Almquist is quite an exciting player to watch at times, FCHockey scout Derek Neumeier said. “He plays with a ton of quickness and puck skill, and loves to take charge and try getting into dangerous ice. He’s worth drafting at some point because of the pure talent, but you also have to acknowledge the risks.”
FCHockey’s top 32 prospects for the 2021 NHL Draft
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