We are less than a month 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 #30 or #31.
Position: Left Wing
Team: U.S. National U18 Team (USDP) / USNTDP Juniors (USHL)
Date of Birth: July 15, 2003
Birthplace: Bradenton, Florida
Ranked #32 by CONSOLIDATED RANKING
Ranked #56 by ELITEPROSPECTS.COM
Ranked #39 by FCHOCKEY
Ranked #29 by TSN/BOB McKENZIE
Ranked #50 by MCKEEN’S HOCKEY
Ranked #18 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (NA Skaters)
Ranked #28 by RECRUIT SCOUTING
Ranked #38 by DOBBERPROSPECTS
Ranked #22 by DRAFT PROSPECTS HOCKEY
Ranked #33 by SMAHT SCOUTING
Ranked #30 by THE PUCK AUTHORITY
U.S. National U18 Team (USDP)
Games Played: 41
USNTDP Juniors (USHL)
Games Played: 18
Sasha Pastujov is committed to play for University of Notre Dame in 2021-22. Last year he put up numbers for the U.S. National U18 Team and USNTDP Juniors, while also contributing eight points (five goals, three assists) in five games for USA U18 in the World Junior Championship-18.
It sounds like Pastujov is a really solid scorer, but needs to improve the warts in his game such as his skating in order to provide a high impact at the next level. But maybe he’s a later-round surprise. Among the buzz surrounding Pastujov is his offensive awareness, elite passing, and his shot.
Pastujov put up huge numbers with the U.S. NTDP the past two seasons. He’s known as a great scorer but his skating worries scouts.
“On the power play I buy it, he has big-time skill, a big-time shot. The skating is so rough, though, to go with mediocre compete, what NHL coach is going to lean on him at even strength?”
“He’s the kind of guy you put on your list, but you hope someone else takes him.” - Corey Pronman, The Athletic
*That above seems quite damning in regards to his compete and ‘hope someone else takes him.’
I’m still not convinced Pastujov is going to be selected in the first round, as great as his season was (the data and production scream first-rounder). I’ve had multiple sources express concern about his skating for that kind of a range. But there are others who believe firmly in his talent and the Wild feel like a team that will like him for all of the same reasons they’ll probably like Bourgault. - Scott Wheeler, The Athletic
Ranked in the mid-to-late first round and as late as an early second-round selection, Pastujov will likely hear his name called on day one of the draft. His play this season won’t go unnoticed, and the fact he led the USA in scoring at the IIHF U18 World Championship will only help his draft stock. I would be surprised if he slipped out of the first round, and even if he does, it won’t be that far. - Eddy Jones, The Hockey Writers
Sasha Pastujov looks like a force to be reckoned with when it comes to 2021 NHL Draft offensive prospects. It wouldn’t shock me to see a team take a shot at him as high as ~12th overall, but I believe his window to be selected lies within the 16-24th overall pick range. - Josh Tessler, Smaht Scouting
Per Josh, the comparable for Pastujov is Matthew Tkachuk of the Calgary Flames. While Pastujov is off to Notre Dame, his brothers Michael and Nick played for University of Michigan.