Michigan's Owen Power  watches the puck while working against Minnesota's...

Michigan's Owen Power  watches the puck while working against Minnesota's Cullen Munson on Dec. 8, 2020. Credit: AP/Al Goldis

The NHL will conduct what could be a very unpredictable entry draft on Friday and Saturday.

The draft, to be conducted remotely for the second straight year, may be unpredictable because the COVID-19 pandemic greatly affected how the prospects were scouted – and how much they could play. And, there could be more trades than usual.

The first round will be Friday night at 8 p.m., broadcast on ESPN2. Rounds 2 through 7 will start Saturday at 11 a.m. on the NHL Network. The Islanders do not own a first-round pick, having traded it to the Devils for Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac. The Rangers own the 16th pick.

Here’s how Newsday projects the first round:

1. Buffalo Sabres: Owen Power, D, Michigan (NCAA), 6-6, 213

If anyone had any doubts about whether the Mississauga, Ontario, native should be the No. 1 pick overall, Power’s performance for gold medal-winning Canada in the world championships erased those. Huge, with great skills, vision, and skating ability. The only question is whether he will sign immediately or return to Michigan for his sophomore year.

2. Seattle Kraken: Matthew Beniers, C, Michigan (NCAA), 6-2, 175

Power’s college teammate scored 24 points (10 goals and 14 assists) in 24 games as a freshman. Second-line center and the youngest member of Team USA’s gold medal-winning World Junior Championships squad.

3. Anaheim Ducks: Mason McTavish, C, Peterborough (OHL), 6-1, 207

Because the pandemic prevented the OHL from playing this season, McTavish went to Sweden and played in the second division of its professional league, where he scored nine goals, with two assists in 13 games.

4. New Jersey Devils: Luke Hughes, D, USNTDP, 6-2, 184

The biggest of the three Hughes brothers, Luke Hughes is an excellent skater who reads the ice well and makes smart decisions. The Devils get a chance to reunite him and 2019 No. 1 pick overall Jack Hughes, their second-line center.

5. Columbus Blue Jackets: Simon Edvinsson, D, Frolunda Jr. (Sweden Jr.), 6-4, 198

The No. 2 rated European skater prospect according to the NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau, he may be a year or two away, but he’s a strong skater and reminds some of the Blue Jackets’ Seth Jones.

6. Detroit Red Wings: William Eklund, LW, Djurgarden (SHL), 5-10, 176

The No. 1 rated European prospect, Eklund had 11 goals and 23 points in 40 games in Sweden’s top pro league. He is under contract for one more season, but the rebuilding Red Wings can wait.

7. San Jose Sharks: Dylan Guenther, RW, Edmonton (WHL), 6-2, 175

Had 12 goals and 12 assists in 12 games for Edmonton, and four goals, three assists in seven games for Canada’s Under-18 team.

8. Los Angeles Kings: Kent Johnson, C, Michigan (NCAA), 6-1, 167

The third member of Michigan’s Big 3 freshmen, Johnson had nine goals and 27 points in 26 games for the Wolverines.

9. Vancouver Canucks: Brandt Clarke, D, Barrie (OHL), 6-2, 185

Clarke went to Slovakia, where he scored five goals with 10 assists and 41 penalty minutes in 26 games for Nove Zamky.

10. Ottawa Senators: Jesper Wallstedt, G, Lulea (SHL), 6-3, 214

The top-ranked European goalie had a 2.23 goals-against average and a .907 save percentage in 22 games in Sweden’s top pro league.

11. Forfeited pick by Arizona Coyotes

12. Chicago: Sebastian Cossa, G, Edmonton (WHL), 6-6, 210

The top-ranked North American goalie played 19 games for Edmonton and had a 1.57 GAA and a .941 save percentage.

13. Calgary Flames: Matthew Coronato, RW, Chicago (USHL), 5-10, 183

The USHL is not the OHL, but 48 goals in 51 games is not bad in any league.

14. Philadelphia Flyers: Aatu Raty, C, Karpat (Finland), 6-2, 185

The third-ranked European skater had three goals and three assists in Finland’s top pro league.

15. Dallas Stars: Daniil Chayka, D, CSKA Moscow (KHL), 6-3, 187

Started in junior, promoted to the second division, then to the top division in Russia. Had a goal and an assist in 11 games in the top league.

16. Rangers: Brennan Othmann, LW, Flint (OHL), 6-0, 175

Brennan Othmann of Canada puts a shot on goal against Sergei...

Brennan Othmann of Canada puts a shot on goal against Sergei Ivanov of Russia in the first period during the IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship Gold Medal Game at Comerica Center on May 6 in Frisco, Texas.  Credit: Getty Images/Tom Pennington

That’s IF the Rangers actually make this pick. Odds are, someone else will be making it, after a trade. Someone like the Sabres, maybe?

17. St. Louis Blues: Cole Sillinger, C, Sioux Falls (USHL), 6-0, 197

A skilled offensive player whose father, Mike, finished his lengthy NHL career with the Islanders after the Red Wings selected him 11th overall in 1989.

18. Winnipeg Jets: Carson Lambos, D, Winnipeg (WHL), 6-1, 197

A two-way defenseman whose stock may have dropped after sustaining an injury in the WHL and winding up playing in Finland.

19. Nashville Predators: Chaz Lucius, C, USNTDP, 6-1, 185

A projected top-six forward who has seemingly recovered fully from knee surgery.

20. Edmonton Oilers: Fabian Lysell, RW, Lulea (SHL), 5-10, 172

The ninth-ranked European skater has top-10 talent but some have questioned his character.

21. Boston Bruins: Isak Rosen, LW, Leksands (SHL)

Gifted offensively who impressed with a strong performance for Sweden at the Under-18 championships

22. Minnesota Wild: Nikita Chibrikov, RW, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL), 5-10, 170

The fourth-ranked European skater possess strong playmaking and leadership skills.

23. Detroit Red Wings (from Capitals): Corson Ceulemans, D, Brooks (AJHL), 6-2, 198

A potential top-four defenseman with a hard shot.

24. Florida Panthers: Zachary Bolduc, C, Rimouski (QMJHL), 6-1, 175

A speedy playmaker with strong stickhandling skills

25. Columbus Blue Jackets (from Maple Leafs): Fedor Svechkov, C, (St. Petersburg (KHL), 6-0, 187

A two-way center with the versatility to play on either wing.

26. Minnesota Wild (from Penguins): Jack Peart, D, Fargo (USHL), 5-11, 186

A prototypical new-age NHL defenseman: a solid puck-mover with good vision

27. Carolina Hurricanes: Zach Dean, C, Gatineau (QMJHL), 6-0, 176

His draft stock may have fallen after an injury-shortened season but teams like his grit in the offensive zone.

28. Colorado Avalanche: Francesco Pinelli, C, Kitchener (OHL), 6-0, 185

A strong skater whose game developed in Slovenia last season while on loan.

29. New Jersey Devils (from Islanders): Xavier Bourgault, C, Shawinigan (QMJHL), 6-0, 172

A skilled scorer who can play all three forward positions.

30. Vegas Golden Knights: Olen Zellweger, D, Everett (WHL), 5-9, 175

He doesn’t turn 18 until September but his stock rose with a strong Under-18 showing for Canada.

31. Montreal Canadiens: Zachary L’Heureux, LW, Halifax (QMJHL), 5-11, 196

A strong skater and pure goal scorer with good size.

32. Columbus Blue Jackets (from Lightning): Samu Tuomaala, RW, Karpat (Finland), 5-10, 179

A speedy skater who is dangerous throughout the offensive zone with his quick shot.

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