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2021 NHL Draft: Brennan Othmann is a power forward

A winger with a very good shot that can play physical too.

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2021 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championships - Final Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Brennan Othmann will be in the opponent’s face for the entire game. An undying, unrelenting offensive force that wants the puck no matter what, always on his stick, he is an intriguing prospect for a team looking to build up the depth of their prospect pool.

Easily one of the most entertaining players of the draft, it just feels like Othmann can destroy defenses multiple ways — whether it’s as a netfront nuisance and using his quick stick to score a heaping pile of goals, or as a rushing attacker that can unleash a shot from distance past your goaltender.

It certainly helps that he was one of the few Canadian players that were able to find playing time in an European professional league, getting that exposure early and keeping his name in the head of NHL scouts, but Othmann possesses one of the most interesting offensive games of this draft class. He can either be a wrecking ball on the forecheck, or north-south shooter on the rush.

Othmann will need some help with his agility and mobility, but that’s for later.

Pre-Draft Rankings

#8 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)

#21 by Elite Prospects

#25 by TSN

#23 by Scott Wheeler/The Athletic

#21 by Dobber Prospects

What Scouts Are Saying

Othmann went to Switzerland’s second-tier pro league without an OHL season, where he was up and down during that stint. At the U18 worlds, he was excellent, though, as one of the better wingers in the tournament, which looked more like his strong underage season. Othmann is a skilled goal-scorer. He has very quick hands to make plays in small areas and beat defenders. He sees the ice well, showing the ability to create offense with his vision. His shot can beat goalies from range and is his main weapon. He competes well enough to win pucks versus men and is quite physical, although he can be a little perimeter. He lacks the ability to separate with his skating, which is his main drawback. In a sentence, Othmann projects as a second-line NHL winger who will be able to score on and irritate opponents.

-Corey Pronman, The Athletic

Though he flew under many people’s radars at the start of the year, I don’t think Othmann can be called underrated any longer. He has been receiving regular offensive minutes with HC Olten in the Swiss League and has shown improvements in many areas of his game. Known as a goal-scorer over the past few years, Othmann’s shot is excellent, both powerful and with a lightning-fast release. But he is also a creative playmaker and can drive play with impressive offensive awareness and high-end vision. Othmann has an aggressiveness to his game, he can play physically and disrupt plays. His skating, however, isn’t the greatest, and he needs to improve his play in the defensive zone to round out his game. His playing license has recently been acquired by SC Bern, so it will be interesting to see if he gets any time in the Swiss National League.

-Caitlin Berry, Dobber Prospects

A year ago, Othmann was good in Flint (good enough to be first-team all-rookie in the OHL) without really living up to his — or most scouts’ — expectations. And this year has felt like more of the same. He played well in Switzerland, contributing in a top-nine role in the country’s second-tier pro league and helping to turn around a struggling team. He had his moments at U18 worlds, too (including a between-the-legs goal at the crease). But for a player with his offensive gifts, he still often leaves me wanting more. There’s legitimate high-end skill to his game, including impressive touch with the puck, a goal scorer’s touch in the way he masks his release with his footwork (it’s an accurate, deceptive shot more than a hard one), and heady spatial awareness inside the offensive zone.

Here’s a source on Othmann: “He still needs to work on his skating but he has time to develop it. His hockey IQ, his vision, his skill level, his ability to score, his ability to work with really good players in a top-six role, I think he’s the real deal there 100 percent.”

-Scott Wheeler, The Athletic

Though Othmann didn’t have the offensive production that was expected of him (and that many of his 2003-born peers had), he was still plenty productive in a third line role for the Firebirds. Othmann finished tenth in OHL scoring among rookies, three of his 17 goals were scored on the powerplay, and two were game-winners. Othmann set new records for goals and points by a Firebirds rookie in 11 and seven fewer games, respectively.

For a player whose shot is lauded as the best part of his game, Othmann really didn’t unleash it enough this season. He wrapped the season having fired 87 shots on goal, way below several OHL rookies, including his minor midget teammates Shane Wright and Brandt Clarke (a defenseman), who had 198 and 122, respectively.

When he does take the opportunity to unleash the puck, Othmann’s shot is deadly. The release on his snapshot is deceptively quick and powerful, and Othmann can get one-timed shots off instantaneously with pin-point accuracy. Combined with his excellent offensive zone positioning, Othmann knows where to go to open himself up for passes, and can get the puck off before goalies have the chance to set up for the shot.

-Lauren Kelly, Raw Charge

Would He Fit In With The Wild?

Othmann plays a heavy game. The Minnesota Wild play a heavy game.

If he is able to hone in all of his raw skills and develop into a very solid middle-six winger, than he is for sure going to fit right in the Wild’s lineup. Just a guy that rip pucks and lead a forecheck — there is simply nothing better or anything else you need or desire more.

He would fit in fairly well, but it all depends on if they can get him.

Could The Wild Get Him?

The Wild have the 21st and 25th overall picks, and Othmann is projected to go right in that range. And while his physicality and shooting ability is enticing for some teams, other more dynamic forwards can possibly get selected before the Pickering, Ont. native. Getting him with one of their picks would certainly add a unique ability to their current prospect pool. Full with less physical players and more two-way potential, Othmann’s use of his body and general play in the offensive zone can be one to watch for the Wild in the first round later this month.

A Minnesota Relation

It’s a difficult one, but maybe Charlie Coyle? A solid forward that can bash around bodies but also put the puck in the back of the net, Coyle’s time in Minnesota ended with a trade to Boston, but he’s much more than a capable producer in the offensive zone.

It just feels right — but in the end, player comparisons are a little silly game we just like to do for fun.

2021 NHL Draft Board

  1. Owen Power — D, University of Michigan (NCAA)
  2. Matthew Beniers — C, University of Michigan (NCAA)
  3. Brandt Clarke — D, HC Nove Zamky (Slovenia)
  4. Luke Hughes — D, University of Michigan (NCAA)
  5. Dylan Guenther — LW/RW, Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)
  6. Simon Edvinsson — D, Frolunda (SHL)
  7. William Eklund — C/LW, Djurgårdens IF (SHL)
  8. Kent Johnson — C, University of Michigan (NCAA)
  9. Mason McTavish — C/W, Peterborough Petes/EHC Olten (OHL/Swiss)
  10. Carson Lambos — D, Winnipeg Ice (WHL)
  11. Aatu Raty — C, Kärpät (Liiga)
  12. Chaz Lucius — C, USNTDP Juniors (USHL), U.S. National U18 Team (USDP)
  13. Cole Sillinger — C, Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL)
  14. Sasha Pastujov — LW, U.S. National U18 team (USDP)
  15. Jesper Wallstedt — G, Luleå HF (SHL)
  16. Fabian Lysell — RW, Luleå HF (SHL)
  17. Matthew Coronato — LW, Chicago Steel (USHL)
  18. Oskar Olausson — F, HV71 (HockeyAllsvenskan/Swedish)
  19. Corson Ceulemans — D, Brooks Bandits (AJHL)
  20. Fyodor Svechkov — C, Togliatti (VHL)
  21. Brennan Othmann — LW, EHC Olten (SL)