NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings for the 2021 NHL Draft included six future Notre Dame players Thursday.
Forward Sasha Pastujov is ranked No. 18 among North American skaters and received an A rating as a candidate to be selected in the first round of the 2021 NHL Draft.
The 2021 draft will be held virtually, with the first round July 23 and rounds 2-7 on July 24. The NHL Draft Lottery will be June 2 to determine the first 15 picks in the draft. The Chicago Blackhawks effectively have the 11th-best odds for the top pick because the Arizona Coyotes forfeited their first-round selection for NHL combine testing violations.
Pastujov led the United States National under-18 team in goals (30), assists (35), and points (65) in 41 games. He had 26 points (10 goals, 16 assists) in 18 USHL games for the United States National Team Development Program.
Pastujov also paced Team USA with five goals and eight points in five games at the under-18 World Junior Championship.
Defenseman Ty Gallagher (No. 53) and Hunter Strand (No. 55) each received second-round grades, while defensemen Ethan Straky (No. 95) and Henry Nelson (No. 96) are slated for the third round. All three defensemen moved up from their C ratings as potential fourth- to sixth-round picks in January.
Gallagher scored 27 points (14 goals, 13 assists) in 48 games for NTDP and 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in 25 USHL games. His three goals in five games at WJC-18 led all Team USA defensemen.
Strand paced the Tri-City Storm of the USHL with 29 assists and 49 points in 51 games.
Straky scored 16 points (two goals, 14 assists) in 50 games for NTDP, and had six points (one goal, five assists) in 23 USHL games. He added one goal in five games at WJC-18.
Nelson played for Team Twin Cities Orthopedics of the Minnesota High School Elite Hockey League, Maple Grove (Minnesota) High School, and Lincoln Stars of the USHL. He was the top scorer (46 points) and assist leader (35) among Minnesota high school defensemen in 23 games. He had a goal and had an assist in six USHL games.
Forward Justin Janicke (No. 128) dropped from a B rating to a fourth-round candidate.
Janicke had 28 points (12 goals, 16 assists) in 43 games for NTDP and 10 points (four goals, six assists) in 18 USHL games. He did not score in five games at WJC-18. He is the younger brother of Notre Dame junior Trevor Janicke, a 2019 fifth-rounder by the Anaheim Ducks, and son of Notre Dame alum Curtis Janicke.
Notre Dame in 2021 NHL Central Scouting rankings
No. 18: RW, Sasha Pastujov (NTDP)
No. 53: RD, Ty Gallagher (NTDP)
No. 55: C, Hunter Strand (Tri-City)
No. 95: RD, Ethan Straky (NTDP)
No. 96: LD, Henry Nelson (Maple Grove MN-HS)
No. 128: LW, Justin Janicke (NTDP)
A Rating: 1st round candidate
B Rating: 2nd/3rd round candidate
C Rating: 4th/5th/6th round candidate