Thirty-two National Hockey League teams are preparing to take part in this weekend’s 2021 NHL Draft, and their top affiliates are ready and waiting for the next wave of young American Hockey League stars to begin their professional careers.
In 2020-21, a total of 193 former first- and second-round draft picks played in the American Hockey League, including young standouts like 2020-21 AHL All-Stars Calen Addison, Connor McMichael, Egor Sokolov, Boris Katchouk, Taylor Raddysh, Adam Mascherin and Samuel Bolduc.
Fifteen first-rounders from the 2020 draft began their pro careers by spending time in the AHL this past season: Ontario’s Quinton Byfield (2nd), San Diego’s Jamie Drysdale (6th) and Jacob Perreault (27th), Binghamton’s Alexander Holtz (7th), Rochester’s Jack Quinn (8th), Manitoba’s Cole Perfetti (10th), Chicago’s Seth Jarvis (13th), Laval’s Kaiden Guhle (16th), Hartford’s Braden Schneider (19th), Lehigh Valley’s Tyson Foerster (23rd), Stockton’s Connor Zary (24th), Colorado’s Justin Barron (25th), Belleville’s Ridly Greig (28th), Texas’s Mavrik Bourque (30th) and San Jose’s Ozzy Wiesblatt (31st).
Other first-round picks in the AHL in 2020-21 included 2019 selections Alex Turcotte (5th overall), Trevor Zegras (9th), Victor Soderstrom (11th), Matthew Boldy (12th), Cam York (14th), Cole Caufield (15th), Alex Newhook (16th), Peyton Krebs (17th), Thomas Harley (18th), Ville Heinola (20th), Tobias Bjornfot (22nd), Simon Holmstrom (23rd), Phil Tomasino (24th), Nolan Foote (27th), Ryan Suzuki (28th) and Brayden Tracey (29th); 2018 selections Barrett Hayton (5th overall), Ty Dellandrea (13th), Grigori Denisenko (15th), Martin Kaut (16th), Liam Foudy (18th), Rasmus Kupari (20th), Ryan Merkley (21st), Dominik Bokk (25th), Nicolas Beaudin (27th), Rasmus Sandin (29th), Joe Veleno (30th) and Alex Alexeyev (31st); and 2017 picks Cody Glass (6th overall), Lias Andersson (7th), Michael Rasmussen (9th), Erik Brannstrom (15th), Timothy Liljegren (17th), Urho Vaakanainen (18th), Pierre-Olivier Joseph (23rd), Kristian Vesalainen (24th), Ryan Poehling (25th) and Shane Bowers (28th).
The Buffalo Sabres, parent club of the AHL’s Rochester Americans, own the first pick in this year’s draft, which gets underway on Friday night.