2021 NHL Draft Preview

Photo credits: Kyle Robinson (Rickwood), Jonathan Knight Photography (Johnson), Garrett James Photography (Teleguine)

The 2021 NHL Entry Draft takes place tomorrow night with Round 1 and continues with Rounds 2 through 7 on Saturday morning.

Like every year at the draft, there are several BCHL players expected to be taken. Today, we will take a look at the players ranked by NHL Central Scouting heading into the draft.

The BCHL’s 2021 NHL Draft coverage is presented by Chevrolet.

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Kent Johnson (F) – University of Michigan (Trail Smoke Eaters)

Ranked #3 among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting

The Port Moody, B.C. product played his freshman season at Michigan this year and did not disappoint. Johnson finished his campaign at over a point per game with nine goals and 18 assists for 27 points in 26 contests, good enough for second in team scoring. Upon the conclusion of the season, he was named to the Big Ten’s All-Rookie Team.

Prior to his first college season, Johnson played two years in Trail from 2018 to 2020. In his second year in the league, he led the BCHL in scoring with 101 points in 52 games. His 41 goals and 60 assists were also tops in the league. He was awarded the Vern Dye Memorial trophy as the BCHL’s Most Valuable Player at the end of the year. The 18-year-old amassed 147 points in 112 regular-season games over his BCHL career.

Due to a late-2002 birthday, he was ineligible for last year’s draft. Johnson has an outside chance to match or surpass Kyle Turris as the BCHL’s highest selection in the NHL Entry Draft. Turris was selected third overall by the Phoenix Coyotes in 2007.

Charles-Alexis Legault (D) – West Kelowna Warriors

Ranked #123 among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting

Legault played the extended training camp season with the Warriors in 2020-21 and put up a goal and three assists in 10 contests. When the league shut down due to COVID-19 restrictions, he was one of a group of players that headed south in the new year for an opportunity to get some game action in when there was uncertainty around the BCHL season. Legault ended up with the Lincoln Stars of the USHL to finish up the year, but he will be back in West Kelowna to start the 2021-22 campaign.

Quote:

“I’m a big defenceman that skates and hits. I use my physicality and I train a lot. I take a lot of pride in my physical play and I can contribute on both sides of the ice as a 200-foot defenceman.”

Click here to read his NHL Draft Q&A.

Sasha Teleguine (F) – Chilliwack Chiefs

Ranked #134 among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting

Teleguine joined Chilliwack last year for his first season in the BCHL and became an impact player right away. The 18-year-old finished third in team scoring with 18 points in 20 games and led the Chiefs in assists with 14. He was recognized for his outstanding season by being unanimously voted as the Chilliwack Pod’s Top Rookie.

Quote:

“I think I’m a pretty intense player. I also think I’m skilled. I can make plays happen and I’m creative. My best attributes are my speed and skill. I play the game at a pretty high pace.”

Click here to read his NHL Draft Q&A.

Ellis Rickwood (F) – Victoria Grizzlies

Ranked #144 among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting

Rickwood announced his presence in the BCHL in a big way this past season. The Brantford, Ont. native scored four goals and added an assist in his BCHL debut in April and was off to the races from there. He would go on to amass 13 goals and 17 assists for 30 points, which tied him for second most in the league. Rickwood also cleaned up when the Island Pod awards were announced following the season, taking home honours for Most Valuable Player, Top Scorer and Top Rookie.

Quote:

“I’m a right wing and centre. Having versatility is very valuable. I’m a big guy that can slow the play down. I can score goals, I can make plays and shoot the puck.”

Click here to read his NHL Draft Q&A.

Nick Roukounakis (F) – West Kelowna Warriors

Ranked #184 among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting

Roukounakis joins the Warriors from Thayer Academy in Massachusetts where a number of recent BCHL players have come from. In his most recent full season there in 2019-20, he totaled 27 points in 26 games. The 6-foot-2, 188-pound power forward had his prep season interrupted by COVID restrictions last year, but that freed up an opportunity for him to play some games with the U.S. National Development Team and gain some valuable experience playing with some of the top players in his age group.

Quote:

“I’m a big, strong power forward. I use my size and my body as an advantage. I’m the type of kid that will go into the corner for puck battles. I like to drive the net hard and I’m not afraid to get to the dirty areas where a lot of other guys shy away.”

Click here to read his NHL Draft Q&A.

Tyler Rubin (D) – West Kelowna Warriors

Ranked #196 among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting

The 18-year-old Massachusetts native brings several years of prep school experience from his time spent at Belmont Hill School where he had 23 points in 30 games in his last full season in 2019-20. He joins the Warriors for his rookie campaign in the BCHL this coming season.

Quote:

“With the game and the way it’s moving today, a lot more of the defencemen you see coming into the NHL are like Cale Makar and Quinn Hughes. In a couple years, that’s the defenceman that everyone is going to want on their team. I’m very valuable in that aspect. I know how I can perform offensively, but at the same time, I can defend very well. I have a very good stick. I can use my feet very well defensively.”

Click here to read his NHL Draft Q&A.

Noah Serdachny (F) – Salmon Arm Silverbacks

Ranked #208 among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting

Yet another first-year BCHL player who made his mark in the pod season, Serdachny was a major standout for the Silverbacks in 2020-21. The 18-year-old led all BCHL rookies in assists with 18 and finished fourth overall in rookie scoring with 24 points, good enough for third on a high-scoring Silverbacks team who managed to average over 3.6 goals scored per game.

Quote:

“I make players around me better. That’s one thing I pride my game on. I’m an unselfish player. I like to make plays and play the game the right way. I like to create offence any way I can – even strength, power play. I’m a playmaker who can also put the puck in the net if I have to.”

Click here to read his NHL Draft Q&A.

Joaquim Lemay (D) – Salmon Arm Silverbacks

Ranked #224 among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting

In the extended training camp season in the fall, Lemay notched a goal and five assists while playing in all 13 of his team’s games. When it came time for the pod season, Lemay was ready for action again, chipping in with 10 assists in 15 contests.

Quote:

“I’m a two-way defenceman. I can breakout the puck either with a good pass or just beat the pressure. I can make some good offensive plays too, but I’m responsible defensively. If you talk about pro hockey, I think I would bring the same thing that I can bring right now. I bring a lot of offence and tape-to-tape plays from our zone to go to the offensive zone.”

Click here to read his NHL Draft Q&A.

Logan Terness (G) – Trail Smoke Eaters

Ranked #25 among North American goalies by NHL Central Scouting

During the 2020-21 season, the 18-year-old from Burnaby, B.C. finished fifth in the BCHL with a save percentage of .925 and ninth in the league with a goals-against average of 2.76. He went 7-5-0 in 12 starts in the pod season and had two shutouts.

The year prior, Terness made a big splash in his debut season with the Smoke Eaters. He won the league’s Rookie of the Year award after leading all first-year goalies in save percentage, goals-against average and wins. That year, his .932 save percentage was third-best in the league and put him into the top-10 list of all-time highest percentages in a single season.

Quote:

“My ability to read the play is getting really good. I’m pretty quick, so I can get side to side. Hockey is getting so fast, so players know they need to get the puck side to side. It’s hard to beat a goalie on a straight shot in pretty much any league. My ability to get side to side across the crease and to read the game, I think is what really helps me and will help me if I end up getting to that level.”

Click here to read his NHL Draft Q&A.

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Also ranked are several players that participated in the BCHL’s extended training season last year, including:

#41 – Jack Bar – Penticton Vees
#46 – Ayrton Martino – Chilliwack Chiefs
#177 – Quinn Hutson – Penticton Vees
#210 – Owen Murray – Penticton Vees