Nashville selects Ryan Ufko 115th overall in round four

The smooth-skating defender could bring a scoring touch to the team.

With their fourth pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, the Nashville Predators selected another defender: Ryan Ufko of the USHL’s Chicago Steel.

Ufko—who checks in at 5’10”—notched ten goals and 39 points in 53 games on a stacked Chicago roster this season, leading all defenders on the team. Among all draft-eligible USHL defenders, Ufko was sixth in primary points per game (0.396) and 13th in even-strength primary points per game (0.189).

Ufko—who ranked 54th on my final draft board—is a smooth-skating defender who manages the puck calmly and confidently in transition. In my viewings, I picked up some inconsistencies in his skating mechanics and positioning on defense, but overall he’s a smart, active player who has the tools to improve his 1-on-1 defending as needed. On offense, he can get low, forceful shots on net from the point, giving his teammates plenty of chances for rebound goals.

All statistics are courtesy of and