We are less than two weeks away from the 2021 NHL Entry Draft (July 23-24), so it’s time to start researching the prospects likely to be selected in the first round. The Columbus Blue Jackets currently hold three picks in that round: #5, #24, and #31.
Position: Left Wing
Team: Flint Firebirds (OHL)
Date of Birth: 1/5/2003
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, Canada
Weight: 174 lbs
League: OHL (Flint Firebirds)
League: Swiss League (EHC Olten)
8th by NHL Central Scouting (NA skaters)
17th by Neutral Zone
18th by TSN/Craig Button
21st by EliteProspects.com and Dobber Prospects
22nd by McKeen’s Hockey and FC Hockey
23rd by Consolidated Ranking
25th by TSN/Bob McKenzie, Draft Prospect’s Hockey and Smaht Scouting
29th by Recruit Scouting
The OHL delayed then cancelled their 2020-21 season, which saw this winger head to Switzerland on loan to play for the EHC Olten of the Swiss League (one level below the National League). Maybe it was in the genes: both Othmann’s father and uncle played hockey for many years in the Swiss Leagues, before his father moved permanently back to Canada. This young winger’s time was well spent: He totaled 33 points in 21 fewer games than the prior season. However, his biggest showcase was the World U-18 Championships in Frisco, Texas with Team Canada, where he tallied 3 goals and 3 assists in just 7 games.
This standout performance has led to the prediction of a back end, first-round draft pick for 2021. He’s described as high-paced, high intensity, with an innate ability to find the open pocket, but needs development with an unknown ceiling, which is not unusual for an 18 year-old.
Although a scorer, the Blue Jackets are enriched with wingers at the moment. The Blue Jackets have 3 first-round draft picks (5th, 24th, 31st) but no second-round pick due to the Ryan Dzingel trade with the Ottawa Senators. There are definitely more pressing needs at center, possibly goaltending, and defense with a hovering Seth Jones trade. Therefore, it’s likely a lower priority to pick up a winger in the late first-round. However, Jarmo Kekalainen is no stranger to surprises.
He is not a scrub. His shot is talked up as one of the better ones in the class and his off the puck skills have garnered praise, even if they could use some work. That seems to be the main trend with most of his areas of improvements: they could use some work. The skating could use some work. The stickhandling may need some work. Handling transitions on defense may need improvement[MM1] . -John Fisher, SBNation, All About The Jersey
He always attacks at full speed, playing a high-pace style, and pressuring with that same level of intensity. He pressures on the forecheck, plays the body, and takes good routes to cut off the opposition’s attempts at a breakout. -EliteProspects 2021 NHL Draft Guide
He’s a high pace attacker with a precise quick-release wrister and diverse rush patterns that fool even formidable defenders. Whether he’s on the first or fourth line, expect him to be an impact player. – Mitch Brown, EP Rinkside