Projecting the Red Wing’s Final Six Picks in the 2021 NHL Draft

Steve Yzerman. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Steve Yzerman. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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(Received From Ottawa) 5th Round Pick – Connor Lockhart, Center

Lockhart could easily go a bit earlier than the fifth. But he’s another OHL player that was punished for the cancellation; after a solid season with the Eerie Otters at 17 years old (9 goals and 18 assists in 57 games), many projected a breakout 2021 season to propel him into the upper-echelon of OHL players available in the draft. But that chance never came, so Lockhart is trapped with 2020’s tape.

The good thing for Lockhart is that his 2020 tape is pretty good, and past is even better. He put up video game numbers in juniors (The highlight being a 2017-18 season in which he put up 76 points in 30 games) with his speed and offensive instincts, controlling pace-of-play as he went. Although his rookie OHL season wasn’t particularly spectacular, Lockhart has the pedigree of a hockey player that can get pucks in the net – with another chance in the pros, it’s possible he’ll do just that. At only 5-foot-9 and 161 pounds, Lockhart constantly has to rely on a high offensive hockey IQ and speedy skating to be effective – both of which could be countered in better leagues. Lockhart needs heavy development and is a heck of a risk, but the risk/reward ratio is just too good with this low of a pick. If Lockhart is still available in the later rounds of the draft, Yzerman should snag the talented yet inexperienced center and begin another prospect development project.