With the 61st pick in the NHL Entry Draft, the Colorado Avalanche select defenseman Sean Behrens from the USNDTP U18. Projected by most to be selected in the 25-45 range, getting Behrens at the end of the second round is great value.
The 18-year old left-shooting defender is set to begin his NCAA career with the University of Denver Pioneers this fall. He is expected to stay at DU for at least two seasons before he makes the transition to the pro level.
He joins Bo Byram, Justin Barron, Drew Helleson in an avalanche defensive prospect pool that is among the strongest in all of hockey.
The captain of his team, Behrens is an undersized defender who “plays with a lot of swagger” and does all the little things you need to win” according to NHL Network draft analyst Sam Cosentino.
“A very detailed defensemen, who can play in any situation, and will be heading to Denver in the Fall. Potential is there to be a solid top 4 guy for someone” – NHL scout
“He scans regularly off the puck. He cuts opponents off at the hands, always from a low center of gravity. His motor never stops running.” – EliteProspects 2021 NHL draft guide
Here is a breakdown of how good Behrens is as a playmaker. Many beleive he’s among the best in the draft - forward or defense:
Two of the top six playmaking seasons I've tracked in the past three seasons from defenders belong to Sean Behrens (EP's #23 2021 eligible), including the second-best.— Mitch Brown (@MitchLBrown) July 17, 2021
Some other 2021 notables: Luke Hughes, Guévin, Brent Johnson (DY players at the time of tracking are in red). pic.twitter.com/lIBpg8hsuO
Brown expands on his analysis of Behrens’ game:
“Behrens is probably the best in the draft class at one specific thing: OZP touch consistency. Whether the next play’s a rim or look-off cross-slot pass, he scans, moves into space, and takes the pass in motion. Habits + manipulation + skill +vision = consistent chance creation.”