NHL draft 2021 updates: Breaking down the picks, trades and rumors


The first round of the NHL draft gets underway at 8 p.m. ET Friday (ESPN2), and there already was activity hours before it began.

The Buffalo Sabres, who hold the No. 1 overall pick, gained another first-rounder in a trade with the Philadelphia Flyers during the afternoon.

The Seattle Kraken, fresh off Wednesday's expansion draft, will choose second.

University of Michigan defenseman Owen Power is Central Scouting's top-ranked North American skater, and Sweden's William Eklund is the top international skater.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the two days of the draft are being held virtually again. Tracking the first-round picks, trades and rumors (the most recent information is at the top):

11:07 p.m. Predators draft Zachary L'Heureux

The Predators traded up to make the pick. The winger is a pesky player who was suspended four times in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

11 p.m. Wild draft Carson Lambos

Says Central Scouting of the defenseman: "A powerful skater with excellent mobility and agility. Has a quick transition game advancing the puck combined with a solid two-way game without the puck. Hard to play against with good size and strength."

10:53 p.m. Blue Jackets take Corson Ceulemans

Named after his father's favorite player, Shayne Corson, Ceulemans is a "smart and composed defenseman that can contribute in all zones and in all situations," Central Scouting says.

10:47 p.m.: Panthers take Mackie Samoskevich

Another Michigan tie because he's committed to playing for the Wolverines next fall. The creative player averaged more than a point a game in the United States Hockey League regular season and playoffs.

10:41 p.m.: Stars take Wyatt Johnston

The Stars moved back eight spots. Johnston didn't play all season because the Ontario Hockey League never started up. But he suited up for Canada at world under-18s and won a gold medal. He has drawn comparisons to Tampa Bay's Anthony Cirelli.

10:35 p.m.: Oilers take Xavier Bourgault

The center had 20 goals and 40 points in 29 games with Shawnigan of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

10:29 p.m.: Bruins take Fabian Lysell

Central Scouting calls the Swedish winger "a finesse-type forward with a great set of tools including skating, passing, a strong shot and understanding of the game."

10:23 p.m.: Wild take Jesper Wallstedt

ESPN analyst Kevin Weekes compared Wallstedt to current Wild goaltender Cam Talbot. He was the top-ranked international goaltender.

10:23 p.m. Nice move by the Wild

The Wild, who moved up two picks by trading with the Oilers, had the children of late team executive Tom Kurvers in their draft site with them to announce their draft picks.

10:16 p.m.: Predators take Fedor Svechkov

Says Central Scouting: "A smart, playmaking center with very good offensive instincts. An energy player that can dominate the game with his strong skating. Likes to play a physical game using his size and weight to his advantage."

10:10 p.m.: Jets take Chaz Lucius

The U.S. National Team Development Program center plays a 200-foot game and has NHL speed.

10:02 p.m.: Blues take Zachary Bolduc

The two-player can make plays at speed and is willing to play a physical game. He once scored two goals in eight seconds.

9:56 p.m.: Rangers take Brennan Othmann

From Central Scouting: "A fierce competitor who likes to finish his checks. Strong work ethic and motor paired with excellent offensive tools."

9:49 p.m.: Red Wings take Sebastian Cossa

Detroit moved swapped picks with Dallas. Cossa is the first goaltender taken in this draft. He went 17-1-1 with the Edmonton Oil Kings while leading all goaltenders in goals-against average (1.57) and save percentage (.941).

9:43 p.m.: Sabres take Isak Rosen

Central Scouting calls the Swedish player "an offensive-minded finesse wing. Speedy skater with excellent acceleration and fine balance."

9:37 p.m.: Flames take Matthew Coronato

He led the United States Hockey League with 48 goals and eight game-winning goals.

9:30 p.m.: Blue Jackets take Cole Sillinger

Another player with an NHL dad. Mike Sillinger played for 12 NHL teams. Cole was named United States Hockey League rookie of the year after ranking second in points with 46 in 31 games. The Blue Jackets have taken centers with their first two picks.

9:24 p.m.: Senators take Tyler Boucher

The right wing is the son of NHL analyst Brian Boucher, a former goaltender. He's a power forward who checks hard and has an excellent shot.

9:18 p.m. Coyotes take Dylan Guenther

The Coyotes had regained their first-round pick in the Oliver Ekman-Larsson trade. Guenther, a right wing, had 24 points in 12 games with the Edmonton Oil Kings.

9:10 p.m.: Kings take Brandt Clarke

The offensive defenseman has a hard shot, strong playmaking ability and excellent vision.

9:02 p.m.: Sharks take William Eklund

Eklund was the top-ranked international skater. The 5-10, 176-pounder plays bigger than his size and has elite puck skills, scouts say.

8:55 p.m.: Red Wings pick Simon Edvinsson

The Red Wings have good luck with Swedish players. Central Scouting says Edvinsson is "a big, physically strong two-way defenseman that plays with confidence and is a leader on the ice."

8:48 p.m.: Blue Jackets take Kent Johnson

The center is the third Michigan player to be taken in the first five picks. He's a highlight reel-type player and one of the most dangerous scorers in this draft. He had 27 points in 26 games at Michigan.

8:41 p.m.: Devils take Luke Hughes

Hughes, a defenseman, will be joining his brother, forward Jack, in New Jersey. Jack went No. 1 overall in 2019. Central Scouting says Luke "takes control of the play with his exceptional skating and smarts. He has a quick read-and-react game and moves ultra-quick to gain the advantage and be on top of plays." He plans to play at the University of Michigan next season.

8:34 p.m. Ducks take Mason McTavish

Center Mason McTavish played in Switzerland this year after the Ontario Hockey League didn't play because of the pandemic. The 6-1 power forward has deceptive speed and uses his size effectively, scouts say.

8:28 p.m.: Kraken pick Matthew Beniers

Matthew Beniers makes the University of Michigan 2-for-2 on the first two picks of the NHL draft. He's a solid two-way center who plays with grit. He joined Owen Power on the Big Ten all-freshman team.

8:22 p.m. Owen Power goes No. 1 to Sabres

As expected, the Buffalo Sabres chose University of Michigan defenseman Owen Power with the No. 1 pick. He was the top-ranked North American skater after strong performances in his freshman season and at the world championships.

7:50 p.m.: Seth Jones trade details emerge

That's four first-round picks moving around before the draft even starting. He's believed to be signing an eight-year deal worth $9.5 million a year on Wednesday.

7 p.m.: Seth Jones to Chicago, reports say

No details yet, but reports say the Columbus Blue Jackets are trading All-Star defenseman Seth Jones to the Chicago Blackhawks. Other reports say he already has agreed to a contract extension. Jones had said he planned to test the market next summer, so Columbus gets a return for the coveted defenseman. The Blackhawks recently acquired his brother, Caleb, in the Duncan Keith trade.

6 p.m.: Another big trade
The Arizona Coyotes traded defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson to the Vancouver Canucks. Stan Szeto, USA TODAY Sports

The Vancouver Canucks and Arizona Coyotes pulled off another big trade that affects the first-round order. The Canucks get defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson and forward Conor Garland and the Coyotes get Jay Beagle, Loui Eriksson and Antoine Roussel. More important, they get the ninth-overall pick after forfeiting their first-rounder for violating the NHL’s combine testing policy. Ekman-Larsson, 30, has scored 12 or more goals seven times, though his numbers have dropped off recently. Garland, a pending restricted free agent, scored 22 goals two seasons ago and had 39 points in 49 games last season. The Coyotes acquisitions are role players.

4:15 p.m. We have a trade

The New York Rangers traded forward Pavel Buchnevich to the St. Louis Blues for forward Sammy Blais and a 2022 second-round pick.

Buchnevich is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights and was due a big raise from last season's $3.5 million after getting 48 points in 54 games. Blais (15 points) is signed for $1.5 million next season. Could the Rangers be clearing cap space to trade for Jack Eichel?

3:30 p.m. We have a trade
The Buffalo Sabres traded defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen to the Philadelphia Flyers. Timothy T. Ludwig, USA TODAY Sports

The Sabres dealt defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen to the Flyers for defenseman Robert Hagg for a 2021 first-round pick (14th overall) and a second-round pick in 2023.

This continues the Flyers' revamp of their defense. They earlier acquired Ryan Ellis from the Nashville Predators and shipped out Shayne Gostisbehere in a salary cap move.

Ristolainen had expressed frustration about the Sabres' lack of playoff appearances and he moves to a team that disappointed last season but has the potential to get back to the postseason.

3:30 p.m. ET: The revised first-round order

1. Buffalo Sabres

2. Seattle Kraken

3. Anaheim Ducks

4. New Jersey Devils

5. Columbus Blue Jackets

6. Detroit Red Wings

7. San Jose Sharks

8. Los Angeles Kings

9. Arizona Coyotes (from Vancouver Canucks in Oliver Ekman-Larsson trade)

10. Ottawa Senators

11. Forfeited

12. Columbus Blue Jackets (from Chicago Blackhawks in Seth Jones trade)

13. Calgary Flames

14. Buffalo Sabres (from Philadelphia Flyers in Rasmus Ristolainen trade)

15. Dallas Stars

16. New York Rangers

17. St. Louis Blues

18. Winnipeg Jets

19. Nashville Predators

20. Edmonton Oilers

21. Boston Bruins

22. Minnesota Wild

23. Detroit Red Wings (from Washington Capitals in Anthony Mantha trade)

24. Florida Panthers

25. Columbus Blue Jackets (from Toronto Maple Leafs in Nick Foligno trade)

26. Minnesota Wild (from Pittsburgh Penguins in Jason Zucker trade)

27. Carolina Hurricanes

28. Colorado Avalanche

29. New Jersey Devils (from New York Islanders in Kyle Palmieri/Travis Zajac trade)

30. Vegas Golden Knights

31. Montreal Canadiens

32. Chicago Blackhawks (from Columbus Blue Jackets in Seth Jones trade. Columbus got it from Tampa Bay Lightning in David Savard trade)

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NHL draft 2021 updates: Breaking down the picks, trades and rumors

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