Three Wolverines make NHL Central Scouting's 2021 list of top prospects

The Detroit News
Michigan defenseman Ken Johnson is one of the top 31 prospects for the 2021 NHL Draft

Three freshmen on the University of Michigan's hockey team were among the top 31 players projected as first-round prospects for the 2021 National Hockey League draft.

NHL Central Scouting released on Tuesday a preliminary list of "A"-rated players, including defensemen Owen Power (6-4, 215) and Ken Johnson (6-0, 170) and forward Matthew Beniers (6-1, 174) of the Wolverines, who are tentatively scheduled to start the NCAA season with a 24-game conference schedule on Nov. 13.

Power was named defenseman of the year with the Chicago Steel of the United States Hockey League with 40 points in 45 games, Johnson had 101 points in 52 games for the Trail Smoke Eaters of the British Columbia Hockey League and Beniers had 41 points in 44 games with the USA Hockey National Team Development Program U-18 team.

Other "A"-rated players from this year's NTDP team were forwards Chaz Lucius and Sasha Pastujov and defensemen Luke Hughes (Canton) and Roman Schmidt (Midland).

"B"-rated NTDP players (indicating a second- or third-round selection) were forwards Tyler Boucher, Dylan Duke and Justin Janicke and defenseman Sean Behrens.