NHL Draft: OHL Forwards

Player PPG DOB H
Matthew Tkachuk (LW) 1.88 12/11/1997 6’1
Alex DeBrincat (C) 1.68 12/18/1997 5’7
Adam Mascherin (C/LW) 1.25 6/6/1998 5’10
Alexander Nylander (RW/LW) 1.32 3/2/1998 6′
Logan Brown (C) 1.25 3/5/1998 6’6
Taylor Raddysh (RW) 1.09 3/5/1998 6’2
William Bitten (C) 0.97 7/10/1998 5’10
Michael McLeod (C) 1.07 2/3/1998 6’2
Nathan Bastian (RW/C) 0.92 12/6/1997 6’4
Dmitri Sokolov (C/W) 0.76 4/14/1998 6’1
Max Jones (LW) 0.83 2/17/1998 6’3
Boris Katchouk (LW) 0.81 6/18/1998 6’1
Jordan Kyrou (RW/C) 0.78 5/8/1998 6′
Jack Kopacka (LW) 0.64 3/5/1998 6’2
Tim Gettinger (LW/RW) 0.65 4/14/1998 6’6
Cliff Pu (C/RW) 0.49 6/3/1998 6’1
Kyle Maksimovich (LW) 1.04 3/10/1998 5’9
Alan Lyszczarczyk (C) 0.75 2/17/1998 6′
Jonathan Ang (C) 0.72 1/31/1998 5’11
Givani Smith (LW) 0.65 2/27/1998 6’1
Domenic Commisso (C) 0.64 2/19/1998 5’9
Tye Felhaber (C) 0.59 8/5/1998 5’11
Connor Bunnaman (C) 0.56 4/16/1998 6′
Nicholas Caamano (RW) 0.58 9/7/1998 6’1
Travis Barron (LW) 0.62 8/17/1998 6’1
Hayden Verbeek (C) 0.54 10/17/1997 5’10
Anthony Salinitri (C) 0.48 3/5/1998 5’11
Michael Pezzetta (C) 0.44 3/13/1998 6’1
Eric Henderson (LW) 0.6 4/23/1998 6’1
Brandon Saigeon (C) 0.33 6/14/1998 6’1
Justin Brazeau (RW) 0.2 2/2/1998 6’4

Matthew Tkachuk (Top 10)

  • Elite Prospects:  A multi-dimensional energy winger that plays a pro-style, adaptive game. Well-versed as a guy who can consistently put up points, but also as an agitator who plays with a little bit of bite and nastiness. Skates with excellent balance and speed, outclassing many in his age range. No lack of offensive instincts and knows how to score in many different ways. Confidence in his abilities and playing to the extent of his capabilities strengthens his work ethic and creativity. All-in-all, a unique and effective forward who defines his own limits and seeks to exceed them, along with all on-ice expectations. (Curtis Joe, EP 2016)
  • Yahoo Sports:  He plays a pro-style of game that combines strength, skill and smarts. Tkachuk plays a pro-style game and he should remain a top five candidate throughout his draft season.”
  • OHL Prospect’s Brock Otten:  He’s going to be the perfect compliment on an NHL 1st/2nd line, to a pair of quicker, higher skilled guys (thus the recipe for success with Marner and Dvorak). He’ll do the dirty work on the line in terms of winning battles in the corners, or fighting in front of the net, but he’s also a massively underrated playmaker who seems to have eyes in the back of his head.  Size, smarts, and hands will take you a long way at the NHL level and Tkachuk has that. If I’m picking inside the top 5, I want to make sure I get an impact NHL player and Tkachuk is the guy that I think is the most guaranteed to be that.
  • Tkachuck is likely the first OHL player selected in this seasons draft.  Overall, I think he will, barring injury, be an NHL player.  The concern I have is whether he is close to being a finished product.  He’s a guy that can play with skill and although not your typical power forward is not afraid to go to the dangerous spots to make a play.

Alex Debrincat (20 – 50)

  • Elite Prospects: DeBrincat is a small player with a dynamic skill set. He is a pure sniper, scoring over 50 goals in two straight years in the OHL. He is very undersized, but can be very nasty to play against and shies away from no one. He had to deal with injuries at the 2016 World Junior Championship, but that did not hamper his production when he returned to the OHL. He skates well and is very effective around the net. He is hard to contain for such a small player, and has great chemistry with anyone he plays with. A decade player in the OHL.
  • Last Word On Sports: Alex DeBrincat is a pure sniper with an excellent wrist shot and release as well as a decent playmaker with good vision and passing skills. He is also a pest out on the ice, not afraid to throw hits, go to the net, fight in the corners, or get in the middle of scrums despite his lack of size. DeBrincat has a non-stop motor, always working to create opportunities. He can score goals in a number of different ways. DeBrincat also has the speed and stickhandling ability to beat defenders one-on-one and create offence off the rush.
  • DeBrincat finished first in EV Goals, EV Primary Pts/G & second (to Tkachuk) in EV Pts/G.  He is an elite goal scorer and is the only 50 Goal CHL first year draft eligible player.  DeBrincat has had the luxury of playing with McDavid (last season when he scored 51 goals) and Dylan Strome this past season.  He’s likely a first round pick but may drop due to size concerns.

Adam Mascherin (C/LW) (20 – 50)

  • Elite Prospects: Prolific scoring winger that combines an exceedingly high work ethic with speed, skill, and a mature approach to the game to overcome size differentials. An intense competitor with a booming shot, Masherin finds ways to score by outworking the opposition. He may not be the tallest player on the ice, but he isn’t a lightweight either. He plays a fast, heavy game and isn’t afraid to battle against tougher opponents. All-in-all, a lightning rod kind of player that will exceed expectations and bring energy to the game with each shift.
  • Mascherin plays with energy, has an superb shot which was voted tops in the Western Conference.  He is short (5’9 – 5’10) but stocky.  He’s projected as a late first or early second round pick.  Mascherin needs to improve in the defensive zone.  As a player he could be similar to Mike Cammalleri.

Alexander Nylander (RW/LW) (10 – 20)

  • The Draft Analyst:  He’s an excellent skater with a deadly shot, but he can score goals from in close thanks to a ridiculous set of hands. Nylander is able to make smart decisions as he maneuvers through traffic, and his ability to stickhandle in and around a dense field of sticks and skates while knowing exactly where his linemates will be makes him an indefensible threat on the rush. He’s impossible to prepare for, as he can beat you with his playmaking or his heavy shot.
  • Has excellent offensive creativity and tremendous hockey sense. Excellent vision and play-making ability.  Nylander is a terrific skater.  Nylander is a smaller player, he’s not most physical and needs to work on his defensive game.  Nylander reminds me of Ales Hemsky, I think he could be a top line forward or an excellent second line player.

Logan Brown (C) (10 – 20)

  •  The Draft Analyst:  Logan is a physical specimen indeed, using a massive wingspan and strength to win his puck battles and transition quickly to offense. He can be a joy to watch, using above-average speed but a powerful long stride and reach to protect the puck off the rush. He’s an excellent passer, blessed with a sixth sense to anticipate and dissect the defensive scheme presented to him. Brown owns a very heavy shot — one of the draft’s best among forwards — which he can fire with accuracy off the pass via a quick release.
  • Elite Prospects:  Brown is a huge center that excels at both ends of the ice. He can be dominant in the offensive zone but takes care of his own end as well. His 6’6 frame is key to his success as he uses his body to shield his puck and his reach to keep it off other players sticks. He is not overly physical for a player his size, but will finish every check and battle down low very effectively. He has a good shot with a pro like release as well as good creativity and maturity when passing the puck. (Tyler Parchem, EP 2016)
  • Brown is massive, good at protecting the puck and projects as a big playmaking center.  I’ve read some reports having concerns about his skating, he gets the ‘skates well for a big guy’ comments.  As a big center he is naturally compared to Joe Thornton.  Thornton was further along in his development at this stage, Brown number & scouting report-wise is similar to Mark Scheifle.

Taylor Raddysh (RW)

  • OHL Writers:  Raddysh has good size and is an above average skater. He has an elusiveness where he can slip away from coverage unnoticed and putting himself in prime scoring areas. He can play a 200 foot game, come back hard on the back check and rarely misses his defensive responsibilities in his own zone.
  • Taylor Raddysh is a big winger who has good hockey sense and can play in any situation.  You can move him up and down the lineup and is a good complementary player.  He’s an underated passer, finished second  in the OHL (1st among 1st draft eligible forwards) in primary assists.  Nearly, half of his goals were on the PP and there might be concerns about how much of his offense was due to playing with Strome & Debrincat.  He could go at the end of the 1st or mid-second.

William Bitten (C) (20 – 50)

  • McKeens:  Smooth skater who isn’t afraid to hop up into the rush, carry the puck deep into the offensive zone or take it to the net .. works effectively along the boards .. hits extremely hard, can level players with their heads down but needs to avoid leaving his feet .. stops up or twists and turns when gap closes which allows him to hang onto the puck and create with his skill .. extremely quick on his edges, buzzes around the ice .. can be aggressive with his stick and will be prone to taking slashing and hooking penalties if he doesn’t curb it .. needs to work on his faceoffs, gets out-muscled in the circle .. has the skill to be a top 20 pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.
  • Elite Prospects:  A smart offensive catalyst that consistently displays outstanding work ethic, elite hockey sense, and an ability to stay ahead of the play in all three zones. Very naturally gifted skater that moves around the ice with ease. Excels in pressure situations and uses his vision to predict where the puck is going to be, and proactively gets his body into a position where he can either take it away or take off up the ice. Offensively, he has a very creative streak, and knows what kinds of plays he can make in all situations; he also has an exceptional release on his shot, which he can get off quickly. Defensively, he is a buzzsaw that will not let up on the opposition, creating problems for them by causing turnovers and playing strong positionally. Will Bitten has all of the tools to become a very dangerous two-way forward that can produce strong numbers at the next level.
  • Bitten is fast, energetic, physical, plays in all situations and has good offensive numbers.  He finished second this year among first year draft eligible players in even strength goals per game.  Reminds me a little of Flyers prospect Travis Konecny who was drafted 24th last year.  I believe Bitten will be drafted in the same range.

Michael McLeod (C) (10 – 20)

  • McKeens:  (Who had him rated third.  Behind Laine & Matthews)  “It’s rare to see a player with his motor,” noted one scout.  “You think of Taylor Hall and Nathan MacKinnon as comparables in terms of his engine, but even they weren’t as consistently revved up as this kid.  He simply never has an average effort or a poor game.  He is always contributing even when he’s not producing.  He will help an NHL team win playoff games..maybe championships.”  One scout compared him to Dylan Larkin in his draft year.  “Scouts were raising issues about Larkin’s offensive upside in his draft year.  I don’t see them doing that now.  I hear the same thing with McLeod..and I’m reminded of Larkin.  McLeod’s size, speed and tremendous competitiveness translate well to the NHL game….he’ll produce at the next level.  He will be a big-time crowd favourite wherever he plays, and his coach will love him.”
  • Brock Otten:  McLeod is your prototypical NHL center for today’s game. Great size/power, great quickness, and a solid two-way game. McLeod might be the most powerful skater in the entire OHL. His first few steps are so explosive and it makes him very hard to contain in the offensive end. I also love his aggressiveness in going hard to the net; a real relentless player. His playmaking has improved a lot, especially when working the boards. In terms of his other tangible assets, McLeod is one of the OHL’s top face-off men, is already a terrific two-way player, and will engage physically to force turnovers. Really, the only thing missing from his game is an elite shot. If he can really work on his release and velocity, he could be an incredible force off the rush. As is, he’s a lock for a top 10 pick IMO.
  • Mike Mackley: Michael McLeod a player who displays excellent vision and elite playmaking abilities, McLeod also boasts elite straight line speed and strong change of pace/direction abilities that when combined with his impressive skill set allow him to be shifty & elusive in possession.  A player with excellent awareness and a high hockey IQ.

Nathan Bastian (RW/C) (20 – 50)

  • Last Word On Sports:   Bastian is able to use his size, leaning on his opponents and taking full advantage of his superior size and strength at the junior level. Once he gets the puck he has good vision and a high hockey IQ to be a play maker for his linemates. Bastian also has the soft hands to execute deflections and bang in rebounds close to the net. Once he establishes position in front of the net, he is very hard to move out of from that area. He also has a heavy wrist shot, with a quick release that can fool goaltenders. Bastian’s strength is an asset at the junior level, but he still looks skinny. He will need to add muscle before he is effective playing this style at the pro level.
  • Bastian is a forward that does well in all aspects of his game.   He has been minuses are skating, could use his size better, and although he’s putting up decent points there might be concern his two line-mates (Nylander & McLeod) are driving the play.  Bastian, if everything goes well, will likely be a complementary player on a top six line.  A player that can do a little bit of everything but isn’t a star.  I think he’s an early second round pick.

Dmitri Sokolov (C/W) (50 – 100)

  • Sokolov played the season over-weight, so you have concerns over his fitness and commitment. But he also had a bad shoulder  played the entire season with a bum shoulder that was continually dislocated. The Wolves trainers were forever popping it back in place until Sokolov learned how to push it up on the boards and do it himself.’  Had 30  goals (20 at Even Strength) which was tied for third among first year draft eligible player in the OHL.  Only DeBrincat (51) & Mascherin (35) scored more.  Sokolov’s team (Sudbury Wolves) were the second lowest scoring team in the OHL and was in on 52 (28%) of his teams 183 goals.
  • Soklov is a risk-reward pick.  On one hand you have the questions about his work ethic, didn’t have high-end points and the Russian factor, if you’re concerned he goes back to the KHL.  On the other hand, he played with a bad shoulder (which kind of counters that work ethic knock), it was his first year in a new country and he was his teams leading scorer while playing on a bad offensive team.
  • Brock Otten: His potential as a goal scorer is quite high. He protects the puck very well in traffic and has a great wrist shot. However, he doesn’t seem to play with consistent intensity, especially without the puck. I also can’t tell if his sluggish appearance on the ice at times is due to conditioning, effort, or skating ability (or all three). But when he’s on, he can be a force with the puck and that has me intrigued

Max Jones (LW) (20 – 50)

  • Jones is a big guy (6’3), he plays physical, can score and plays on the edge.  Next season, with Dvorak, Marner and possibly Tkachuk moving on Jones should be a focal point of the offense.  He is in the same range as Saad (.93), Brett Ritchie (.84), Tom Wilson (.56) &  Henrik Samuelson (.83)
  • Elite Prospects: Max Jones is a diligent and hard-working power forward capable of being an impact player every shift. He’s strong on the puck and routinely looks to create separation. He knows his game inside out and has a wide array of tools at his disposal. Strength and speed allow him to bull his way to the front of the net where he is relentless and creates havoc. Makes smart decisions with the puck and doesn’t give the opposition time and space. Possesses high-end finishing ability and “wills” the puck to the back of the net. All-in-all, a determined forward who puts tremendous pressure on his opponents when he’s on the ice.

Boris Katchouk (LW) (20-50)

  • The Hockey Writers:  Katchouk is a hard-working player with good speed and offensive ability, but the elite offensive ability needed to be a top six forward in the NHL haven’t been flashed on a consistent basis. Katchouk is more likely to slot in as a good middle six forward who can play physical as well as produce good secondary scoring.
  • Katchouk seems like a complementary player.  He’s a well rounded forward that does everything well but his upside might not be a top-line player.  He might be a middle-six forward.

Jordan Kyrou (RW/C) (20 – 50)

  • Kyrou is a hard-working two-way player that can play in any situation.  He is likely a second round selection in this years draft.  Scouting reports detail his; skating, vision and offensive acumen as strengths.  Sarnia was elminated in the first round of the playoffs but Kyrou had 7 points in 7 games then followed that up with 8 points in 7 games at the U18 tournament.  Next year Sarnia could lose offensive stars Zacha, Konecny & Mistele.  Which means that Kyrou will be a focal point of the offense.  Next year he could take a big step in his production, this past year 88% of his projected offense (only 6 points on PP) came at even strength. One major concern with Kyrou is the reminds me of the worst Canadian kids TV show Caillou and now I got that song stuck in my head.  (Don’t click on the link)
  •  Mike MackleyKyrou can become lethal in the offensive zone as he boasts a deceptively strong shot with impressive accuracy, on top of elite playmaking skills, which make him a highly versatile offensive threat.

Jack Kopacka (LW) (100 – 150)

  • Kopacka has good size, hardworker & plays a two-way.  Most reports I’ve read mention that they would like to see him play a more physical game.  He projects as a middle six forward.  Kopacka is likely a mid-round pick, Central Scouting has him rated as a 2nd round pick whereas Button didn’t have him on his top 100.

Tim Gettinger (LW/RW) (50 – 100)

  • Gettinger is a large forward that will likely get drafted high based on potential.  Offensively, Gettinger did not have a strong season and Brock Otten said he was, ‘One of the more disappointing draft eligible players this year for me.‘  Scouting reports mention speed as a strength, his skill-set seems to Shawn Matthias.  One concern is for a player his size he doesn’t bring a physical game.  I could see a team taking a chance on him in the second round or him falling to the 4th round.
  • Dennis Schellenberg from The Hockey Writers, had mentioned Gettinger as a standout in last years Ivan Hlinka Memorial.  “Winger with big size and good strength. He showed a responsible two-way game and supported his defenders well. He used all of his 216 lbs to drive the net and stayed there to screen the goaltender. He was extremely hard to move around and parked himself perfectly in front of the net. Although he is very big in size, listed at 6’5”, he showed good top speed. An area where he can improve is his passing accuracy as well as he needs to use his big frame more effectively in board battles and while hitting.”

Cliff Pu (C/RW) (100 – 150)

  • The Draft Analyst: A speedy two-way pivot slowly filling into his 6’1 frame, Pu has top-six potential and at times has carried the Knights with clutch scoring, do-or-die effort on the penalty kill and an excellent approach to the game.
  • Pu’s offense is a little shy and is a little streaky.  From Jan & Feb he had only 5 points in 23 games.  He finished strong with 9 points in 8 games and is averaging .8 PPG in the playoffs.  He is young (turning June birthday) and both Button & The Draft Analyst have Pu rated in the top 90.  Has been mentioned as a potential power forward and was compared to Wayne Simmonds by the hockey writers.

Kyle Maksimovich (LW)

  • Maksimovich is small (5’8 – 5’9) and doesn’t have high end offense that you would like from a smaller player, but scores enough to be considered a 3rd round pick.  There’s concerns that some of his offense was due to his linemates. Despite his size he plays a physical game, has been described as fearless and can play in all situations.  The Hockey Writers compared him to Cam Atkinson.

Alan Lyszczarczyk (C) (100 – 150)

  • How could you not like a guy named Lyszczarczyk?  His name would apparently be worth 53 points in Scrabble and that’s without a double or a triple word score.  He’s gritty, excellent work ethic and brings enough offense to warrant a late round selection.  After 1 point in 8 games.  He finish with 49 points in 59 games.

Jonathan Ang (C) (100 – 150)

  • The small, speedy Ang has high-end offensive ability.  He finished the season strong with 23 points in his last 22 games (including playoffs).  He is currently being rated as a mid-late round pick.  Button has him just inside the top 100 and NHL Central Scouting has him rated 95th for North American skaters.
  • OHL Writers: He possesses excellent puck handling abilities and vision and an ability to make plays at top speed. He has the ability to finish in close. It’ll be his skating, vision and playmaking abilities that can make Ang a capable offensive threat on a third line at the next level.

Givani Smith (LW) (50 – 100)

  • Blue Seats Blog:  Josh Khalfin, “Smith is a 6’1, 200lbs forward who to is an absolute pain to play against. He is a good skater, gets in on the forecheck, and is an absolute hound on the puck who does whatever he can to steal it from the defense to set up a play. If he continues to develop he will be a nice power forward who has the hands to create plays in tight.”
  • Smith is as Brock Otten said,  bull in a china shop type power forward. Smith played on a young Guelph team, that should be better next year.  Guelph were the lowest scoring team this past year 27 goals behind the second lowest scoring team.  Smith was in on 28% of all his teams goals and all eight of the top scoring forwards should return (2 born in 97, 4 in 98, 2 in 99).  Smith reminds me of players like; Clutterbuck and Clifford.  I’m not sure if he is a top 6 forward but think he has enough talent and skill to play a regular shift though.

Domenic Commisso (C) (150 – 200)

  • Commisso is a smaller player (5’9) and you would like to see more scoring from a smaller forward.  This was his first season in the OHL and he started off slow (3 points in 13 games) before finishing strong 39 points in 53 games (.74 PPG) and averaged a point per game in the playoffs.  Mike Mackley stated Commisso has an explosive first step and high end straight line speed, combines speed, skill and strong puck protection skills.  He shows a willingness to get to the gritty areas.

Tye Felhaber (C) (150 – 200)

  • Felhaber’s season was a little disappointing.  Entering the season, McKeen’s had him rated as an early second round pick.  However, Felhaber’s offensive numbers stayed the same .59 PPG in both 2014-15 & 2015-16.  Had a SLOW start with only 6 points in  28 games.  Then mid-Dec he started scoring recording 32 points in his next 34 games.  He finished the season with 0 points in his last 6 games (4 playoffs).
  • Felhaber is young will turn 18 August, 5th.  Scouting reports list his skating, shot and puck handling as strengths.  Reading between the lines I think teams might question his work-ethic.  Sawginaw likely have two top six forwards that will be moving on, so there’s an opportunity for an expanded role with the team.  He could be a late round steal if the mid-Dec –> end of year player (.89 PPG) is the player that you are drafting.

Connor Bunnaman (C) (150 – 200)

  • Bunnaman is a big forward Brock Otten has him listed as 6’3.  He appears to need some work on his skating and is a little shy offensively.  He is projected by a couple of analysts as going in the 4th or 5th round.

Nicholas Caamano (RW) (100 – 150)

  • OHL Writers: He works extremely hard and likes to take the body at every opportunity.  He doesn’t bring fans to their feet but he is a very smart player. He possesses an uncanny knack for finding open spaces and giving mates an option. He has a quick release on his shot and it’s hard and heavy. He’s also a very good skater who is not afraid to take on defenders one on one.
  • Caamano is one of the youngest players (Sept. 7th) entering the draft.  He’s a little shy offensively but could be worth a mid-round (4th – 5th round) draft choice.  He’s not rated by Craig Button (Top 100) or The Draft Analyst (Top 250), NHL Central Scouting has him rated at 69th (likely 4th round).

Travis Barron (LW) (100 – 150) / (150 – 200)

  • The Hockey Writers:  (Barron) works hard on both ends of the rink and can excel in either a shutdown, grinding-type role or a top-six scoring role. Offensively, he is an above-average skater whose vision and playmaking abilities could use some work. His shot, however, is a weapon at both even strength and on the power play.
  • Barron is one of the younger players in the draft, born Aug. 17th, he had a solid playoffs 6 points in 5 games.  He might be a bottom six player if he makes it to the NHL as there are concerns over his offensive upside.

Logan DeNoble (150-200)

  • DeNoble wasn’t on Central Scoutings list but he is a first year eligible, scored .67 PPG and 93% of his projected offense came at even strength.  He was sixth among forwards on the Petes scoring and 4 of the Pete’s forwards should be either turning pro or too old to play.  So there will be opportunity for an expanded role in 2016-17.  Started the year off with 14 points in 39 games, but finished strong. From Jan 8th to end of the season he scored 28 points in 24 games.  He’s a smaller player 5’9 – 5’10 but he engages physically, works hard and is a smart player.
  • OHL Writers:  DeNoble is an intelligent hockey player. He moves into open spaces while giving his teammates an open lane to get him the puck undetected. Once he gets himself into those opportunities, he capitalizes on his chances more often than not which reflect in his shooting percentage. He also uses that intelligence defensively and has become a solid 200 foot player.

Questionable Draft Picks 
Hayden Verbeek (C) – plays a gritty game, is a hard worker, but doesn’t bring much offense.

Anthony Salinitri (C) – he’s mentioned as an good to excellent skater, that’s responsible defensively and an excellent PK’er.  The issue is he doesn’t bring much offensively.

Michael Pezzetta (C) – the 6’1 forward as described by Mike Mackley,  intriguing hockey sense along with strong skating attributes,a physical edge to his game and deceptively good offensive traits.  That’s a good scouting report but he doesn’t bring much offense.  However, the Sudbury Wolves are among the lowest scoring teams in the OHL.

Eric Henderson (LW) – started out year with London putting up 4 points in 16 games before being traded to Oshawa and finished the season with 18 points in 30 games.  He has good size and likely projects as a bottom six player if he makes the NHL.

Brandon Saigeon (C) (150 – 200) – was originally drafted 4th overall in the OHL draft.  Draws comparisions to Richards but hasn’t brought much offense.  Brock Otten noted that he was largely invisible. Inconsistent in every way imaginable. Needs to get back to playing physical and keeping the game simple in the offensive end.

Justin Brazeau (RW) (150 – 200) is a big (6’4) winger and that’s about the only thing there is on him.  He doesn’t bring much offense, he’s not overly physical (8 PIMs) and there’s no extra details on him outside of being rated by NHL central scouting.

September When It Comes

During my draft review.  There’s always people that catch my eye more than others.  Nicholas Caamano was one of those players.  Besides, the fact that he has a great name – Cammano – I was intrigued by his scouting report.  A physical two-way winger with good size, but I noticed his numbers weren’t necessarily strong.  Caamano is averaging under .6 points per game, so that would put him as either  a long shot or, at best a 3rd line player.

Then I looked at this date of birth and noticed Caamano was a week and a couple of days away from being 2017 draft eligible.

Every year these players compete against each other in hockey, as well as academics and other athletics only to be segmented by a day in the middle of the month.  What type of impact does that day have on men born in the first two weeks of the month versus the boys drafted in the last couple of weeks?

I plan to crawl outside these walls, close my eyes and see
and fall into the heart and arms of those who wait for me
I cannot move a mountain now, I can no longer run
I cannot be who I was then, in a way, I never was.

Every year these players compete against each other in hockey, as well as academics and other athletics only to be segmented by a day in the middle of the month.  What type of impact does that day have on men born in the first two weeks of the month versus the boys drafted in the last couple of weeks?

I took a look at 17 forwards, born in the month of September and looked at their 17 year-old (calendar year) points per game versus their 18 year-old calendar year.

Player 17 18
John Tavares 2 1.86
Daymond Langkow 1.36 1.94
Alexander Khokhlachev 1.13 1.23
Ethan Moreau 1.12 1.66
Derick Brassard 1.1 2
Zach Hamill 1.11 1.34
Nino Niederreiter 0.92 1.27
Anthony Mantha 0.81 1.32
Joffrey Lupul 0.81 1.47
Eric Fehr 0.79 1.18
David Desharnais 0.73 1.43
James Neal 0.66 0.88
Gabriel Bourque 0.43 1.02
Nic Spaling 0.4 0.97
Craig Cunningham 0.37 0.71
Cal O’Reilly 0.34 1.07
Matt Cooke 0.31 1.46

There were three players who were not drafted during their 17 year-old season; David Desharnais (Undrafted), Craig Cunningham (passed over twice) & Matt Cooke.

Here were some observations.

  • Players in their second year scored nearly 90% more than their 17 year old season.
  • Players that scored below 1 PPG (in their 17 year old season) had a 120% increase.
  • Wherease as players that were above .9 PPG had an increase of 33%.
  • This does not take into account players that were drafted and did NOT make the NHL.  This is a best case scenario.

There is likely a reason why players that average near or above a point a game do not have a bigger impact.

  • They are likely already given top line minutes or at the very least top six minutes.  I don’t believe we have TOI totals for Canadian Major junior so we have to go based on projections.
  • They are likely given less power play time.

So what is a realistic projection for a player drafted late in their draft year?  Well, based on the players that have made the NHL players averaging under one point per game will double their point production.  I guess that’s an optimistic projection, but not a realistic one.  It doesn’t take into affect the players that didn’t make the NHL.     There’s likely a longer list of players where the production was stagnate or a modest increase.  In order to project this accurately I would have to look at all players that are in a similar situation and then base it off of the projection.  Because I’m lazy and it looks like a lot of work.  Let’s just say that a player earlier on in the process is starting out his journey and is likely to take a bigger step.

In the 2016 draft class guys to be aware of that are a month or less away from being in the 2017 draft class; Brandon Hagel (8/27 / .65 PPG), Travis Barron (8/17 / .62 PPG) & Cameron Morrison (8/27 / 1.1 PPG – in USHL).

On the other side of the spectrum players that were a month away from being in the 2015 draft class; Julien Gauthier (10/15 / 1.06 PPG), Jordy Stallard (9/18 DOB / .72 PPG) & Ty Ronning (10/20 / .88 PPG)

Which brings me back to Caamano; born Sept. 7th, 6’1, averaging .58 PPG.

  • Is he worth drafting?
  • Where should he be drafted?
  • How much did he play on power play?
  • How much did he play on the top line?

If, you feel that next year he will get added responsibility with power play, if you feel that he will play on the top line, if you feel like he will continue to improve as a hockey player and if you feel he negatively affected by the hot mess that was the Flint Firebirds than perhaps Caamano is worth an early mid-round (3rd round) selection.

If you can wait and be patient for a young kid and see whether his journey is nearly told or whether it has just begun, depending upon when in September he was born.

 

 

 

 

WHL Overagers

Here is a list of WHL overagers who might be selected in this years NHL draft.

Player PPG DOB H S
Adam Brooks (C) 1.67 5/6/1996 5’10 L
Brayden Burke (C/LW) 1.51 1/1/1997 5’10 L
Reid Gardiner (RW/C) 1.3 1/19/1996 5’11 R
Tyler Soy (C) 1.18 2/10/1997 6′ L
Cameron Hebig © 1.17 1/21/1997 5’10 R
Jordan Topping (LW) 0.92 7/20/1997 5’11 L
Jakob Stukel (LW) 0.98 1997-03-06 6′ L
Brogan O’Brien (LW/C) 0.79 8/13/1997 6’2 L
Rodrigo Abols (C) 0.79 1/5/1996 6’5 L
Tomas Soustal (C) 0.79 2/15/1997 6’3 R
Calvin Thürkauf (C/LW) 0.74 6/27/1997 6’1 L

 

Adam Brooks (C) (100 – 150)

  • McKeens:  Brooks is a responsible two-way centre whose brain and feet are constantly involved in the game. His high hockey IQ and overall consistency of play have stood out as prime attributes this season. He sees the ice and anticipates the game intuitively and has a knack of being in the right spot and coming upon loose pucks.       Though undersized at 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds, he plays with grit and can give and take a hit.
  • WHL from Above: He’s a smart player with greatly improved puck skills and is a guy that does all the little things well. It seems like the switch has flipped a bit for him so hopefully he can continue to improve and increase his production.
  • Brooks plays in all situations he and Austin Wagner (Kings 4th round pick 2015) have been Regina’s top PK group.

Brayden Burke (C/LW) (100 – 150)

  • “He has a high skill level with good play-making ability and soft hands, and thrives on the power play where he has more space,” says ISS head scout Dennis MacInnis
  • RedLine Report:  RLR loves that he constantly plays in the middle of the action, performing all of his line’s heavy lifting while sneaking in and out of scrums. His exceptional passing creativity really spreads out the ice and makes the players around him better.

Reid Gardiner (RW/C) (150 – 200)

  • WHL from Above: He owns an elite shot with power and a quick release, also getting around the ice well with powerful driving strides.

Tyler Soy (C) (150-200) ***

  •  Future Considerations via BSN-Denver: He  is  a  smart  puck  handler  and  finds  ways  to  move  into dangerous  areas.  He  has  a  knack  for  creating  separation  and  recognizes  soft  spots  to  buy  himself  time.  Soy  is  a  talented playmaker,  a  natural  pass-­‐first  type  of  player  who  gets  his  head  up  immediately  after  receiving  the  puck  and  looks  to  move the  puck  to  open  teammates.  He  has  good  touch  on  his  passes  and  creates  openings  to  find  teammates.
  • WHL from Above: Not the biggest guy, but shows flashes of skill, sense and compete. Plays in all situations for the Royals and I do like his versatility in that regard. Had concerns over his size – He’s obviously a dangerous offensive player who is smart, light on his feet and is quick with his decision making processes. I still have concerns over just how slight he is, listed at a shade over 170 pounds.
  • Soy who was passed over in last year’s draft where he was rated as a top 120 prospect by several draft experts. Soy was known, last year, as a playmaking, pass-first center that needed to get stronger. Soy followed this up with an excellent overage season by scoring 46 goals which was second in the CHL among 2015 draft eligible players, only Nicalas Roy (in QMJHL with 48) had more. Albeit, many players such as Beauvillier, Meier, Marner & Strome played in fewer games it is still an impressive accomplishment for a ‘playmaker’. Soy who in a deep draft was considered by some to be a 3rd – 4th round pick followed up his draft year season with an over 25% increase in points (which is signifigantly better than most non-1st round picks) and now he’s ranked 150th by NHL Central Scouting. Which projects to be a 7th round or undrafted yet again.

Cameron Hebig (150 – 200)

  • Hebig is a guy that could be a good late round steal.       The Draft Analyst had him as a third round grade. Draft Site: state he has ‘good vision and hands’
  • Draft Analyst; He’s quick and busts his tail every shift, but his vision, stickhandling and hands should most certainly be classified as strong. Heberg does not have a great supporting cast. Hebig leads the team in PPG and has produced 57% more offense per game than the third leading scorer on their team. The chart below isn’t to compare the players but their even strength point production;
Player GP G PTS
Heberg 59 21 49
Barzal 58 18 50

 

Jakob Stukel (150 – 200)

  • After struggling at the start of the year with Vancouver (4 points in 12 games), Stukel was traded to Calgary and put up 56 points in 57 games. Stukel has excellent speed it has been rated as high end.       He could be an excellent development prospect that with proper coaching could eventually become a top 9 forward in the NHL.

Brogan O’Brien (150 – 200)

  • Elite Prospects: A large two-way forward that plays many simple but effective roles in games. Not the most nimble skater, but pushes hard and can get momentum moving in the right direction with above-average quickness. Defensively active and always makes it hard for the opposition to find time and space. Doesn’t transition to offence very smoothly or quickly, but uses his teammates to help gain zone entry and then his skill takes over. Offensively, he sees the ice extremely well and possesses excellent scoring and playmaking ability. His size allows him to bull his way to the net and create offensive chances. Very effective in multiple roles, Brogan O’Brien is a versatile two-way forward with a lot of potential for future growth. [EP]

Jordan Topping (LW) (150 – 200)

  • Topping the July, 97th born, 6’1 Tri-City winger increased his point total from 18 points to 66 and finished second on his team in scoring. His GM GM Bob Tory said,  . Jakob Stukel (LW)

Brennan Menell (D) (150 – 200)

  • WHL from Above: Menell is a kid who continues to fly under the radar for Vancouver. He’s very smart and excels at moving the puck.

 

Rodrigo Abols (150 – 200)

  • Elite Prospects: A gritty, hard-working forward with a large frame. An agile skater for his size and is starting to work explosiveness into his game. Smart with and without the puck, and exhibits strength at both ends of the ice. Not the most physical player, but that side of his game will come naturally as he develops more bullish instincts. Loves to battle and works hard to win puck possession on open ice, along the boards, and in the corners. All-in-all, a sizeable forward that has the raw tools it takes to become an effective producer as he elevates his game. (Curtis Joe, EP 2015)

Tomas Soustal (150-200)

  • Elite Prospects: An intelligent, gritty center with a large frame and an excellent work ethic; he plays the game like he has something to prove. Displays good stickhandling ability and individual skills, but also shows the ability to play in all situations. An aspect of his game that jumps out is his speed entering the zone; he is a very good skater who pushes himself to his limits. All-in-all, a good all-around player who thinks the game at a high level and, knowing exactly what he needs to work on, is always improving his game. (Curtis Joe, EP 2014)

NHL Draft: WHL Defense Edition

The WHL typically produces 35 NHL draft players a season. Here’s a list of the top first year WHL defense for the 2016 draft.

Name PPG DOB H S
Jake Bean (D) 0.941176 6/9/1998 6’1 L
Lucas Johansen (D) 0.710145 11/16/1997 6’1 L
Kale Clague (D) 0.605634 6/5/1998 6′ L
Max Lajoie (D) 0.596774 11/5/1997 6’1 L
Libor Hájek (D) 0.376812 2/4/1998 6’2 L
David Quenneville (D) 0.859375 3/13/1998 5’8 R
Dawson Davidson (D) 0.661017 4/7/1998 5’10 L
Matt Barberis (D) 0.530612 1/19/1998 5’11 R
Dylan Coghlan (D) 0.342857 2/19/1998 6’3 R
Colby Sissons (D) 0.309859 1/15/1998 6’1 L
Ondrej Vala (D) 0.291667 4/13/1998 6’4 L
Josh Anderson (D) 0.153846 8/29/1998 6’3 L
Vojtech Budik (D) 0.228571 1/29/1998 6’1 L
Brendan De Jong (D) 0.111111 3/23/1998 6’3 L

Jake Bean (10 – 20)

  • Elite Prospects: A shifty and intelligent defenceman that plays with panache and poise. An excellent skater that is a good puck-carrier up the ice. Makes very good decisions with and without the puck, and plays strong positionally. Works hard and doesn’t give the opposition much to work with, but could stand to be a bit more assertive during high pressure situations. That being said, he is not a one dimentional player. He displays natural talent in the offensive end, but also plays a complete defensive game in his own end. He has a proactive stick and boxes the opposition out, limiting lanes. All-in-all, the type of all-around defenceman that you want to have on the ice as much as possible. (Curtis Joe, EP 2016)
  • Last Word On Sports: Jake Bean shows outstanding skating. Jake Bean has great puck control and combines with his skating skill to elude forecheckers and move the puck into good areas to start the rush. Bean can play a more physical game if he can add some muscle this year.

Luca Johansen (20 – 50)

  • Hockey Now: A steady puck mover who will play both on the power play and penalty kill with a great shot from the point. He knows when to pinch and get involved in the offensive rush. He only has a hint of physical play in his blood but just like older brother and Nashville Predators forward Ryan, leaves the rough stuff to the rest of the team. Has good size and clears his net well.
  • McKeens: Here is a summarized scouting report from McKeens. Please click the link for the full writeup. A poised, all-weather defenseman with good size, skill and mobility. A calm and methodical puckmover who reads the game well and effectively utilizes his smarts and mobility to find open space. Displays a talent for diffusing pressure and finding clean outlets. Moves smoothly and effortlessly in all directions – but can get quicker – especially off the mark – once he adds mass and muscle to a lanky 6-foot-1 frame.
  • NHL Central Scouting: Good size and strength, developing into solid two way defenseman – good hands and puck skills to manage the play at offensive blue line – excellent short game and passer, good shot from the point – effective game with and without the puck.”

Libor Hájek (D) (20 – 50)

  • NHL Central Scouting: Strong skater with very good speed, agility and mobility. Very good at starting the rush and making the first pass out of zone. See the ice well to not put teammates in bad positions and outlets smartly for partner. Good awareness of his defensive responsibilities and solid containment game handling one on one situations. Utilizing size effectively to play the body as well as showing good anticipation to step up in the neutral zone to make a hit.”
  • Hajek is likely a defensive d-man.  He provides offense similar to the following players during their draft year; Travis Hamonic, David Musil & Joel Edmonson.  The one thing is according to scouts Hajek is a good to great skater.  Top end he is likely a number two or more likely a second pairing d-man.

Kale Clague (20 – 50)

  • Elite Prospects: An offensive defenseman in nature, Clague is a tantalizing blend of speed, cunning, and craftiness. Very smooth skater that is mobile at a professional level. Great vision and is able to control plays with the puck on his stick. Creative passer. Will need to work on his shot and consistency moving forward, but has the undeniable raw skills and fundamental attributes of a puck-moving offensive defenseman. All-in-all, a highly skilled defenseman that has the potential to be a proficient producer from the back end. (Curtis Joe, EP 2015)

Max Lajoie (50 – 100)

  • Elite Prospects: A competitive two-way defenceman that earns his ice time and strives to be a difference-maker. Excellent skating technique: naturally mobile and able to start and stop on a pin’s head. Displays a deceptively accurate shot and is creative on the power play. Proficient playmaker and spots seams in traffic quickly. His habitually conservative style of play in his own end lets him make quick, high percentage decisions with and without the puck. Reacts to different pressure situations with poise and analyzes the situation very quickly to determine the right play to make. All-in-all, a versatile two-way defenceman that keeps his own game in check and plays to the extent of his capabilities. (Curtis Joe, EP 2016)

 

David Quenneville (D) (100 – 150)

  • Too Many Men On The Site: A small, undersized defenseman at 5’8 183lbs, David owns a similar playing style to Nashville’s Ryan Ellis. Quenneville owns incredible offensive instincts as a blueliner, and sees the game well. He loves to jump in on the rush, and creates a lot of offense.
  • Quenneville is a strong puck moving defenseman, but the concern will be whether he can make an impact with his 5’8 frame in the NHL.

Josh Mahura (100 – 120)

  • Mahura didn’t played two regular season games this year due to an MCL tear.  He played a little in the playoffs (4 points in 16 games) and is projected as a mid-round pick.
  • Red Line Report:   Mahura didn’t show any of the big-time upside he flashed late last season or this past summer as a member of Canada’s U-18 Team, he was still able to make effective breakout feeds, moving the puck out of his zone very quickly and preventing sustained pressure. He started off the series playing fairly tentatively, but as things progressed (especially after taking a couple hits) his comfort level increased.

Dawson Davidson (D) (100 – 150)

  • Dawson Davidson wasn’t rated on the NHL’s final ranking. The Draft Analyst has him rated as a 4th round pick. His Even Strength scoring is on par with Jake Bean & David Quenneville.       He is under the radar high hockey IQ and is a slick puck mover.
  • Scouting Report by Buck-Eye State Hockey: Davidson is an undersized defencemen at 5’11 but he more than makes up for his lack of size with great offensive plays. He has 14 points in 18 games for the Blazers which is tops among their d-core and tied for 16th among all WHL defencemen. He is a good skater who routinely joined the rush. He goes to the net hard, even crashed into the Giants goalie at one point.
  • Davidson might be my fav sleeper of the draft. He’s not big (5’10) but provides good offense could be a late round steal for some team. If drafting an undersized defender I would like to see three qualities; i. Offense, ii. Hockey IQ, iii. Skating

Vojtech Budik (100 – 150)

  • Central Scouting has the Czech defenseman as a 4th – 5th round pick. HFBoards The Draft Analyst (has him rated 84th) had the following to say, ‘Outstanding patience, controlled on breakouts, quick feet, slot coverage very good, doesnt puck gaze, step-ups timely, excellent gap. Doesn’t get fancy with the puck at all. In it goes, out it goes.’

Dylan Coghlan (D) (150 – 200)

  • Coghlan has good size (6’3), he’s a right hand shot defenseman, plays a physical game, and good two-way game. Coghlan gets limited minute on power play behind Parker Wotherspoon (NYI 4th – 2015), Brandon Carlo (Bruins – 2nd – 2015) & Juuso Valimaki (2017 Draft Eligible), Coghlan had, I believe, 19 of his 26 points at even strength.

Josh Anderson (150 – 200)

  • Anderson is a big, physical, stay at home d-man that doesn’t bring much offense.       There are several publications that have him rated within the first three rounds; Button (630, McKenzie’s mid-term (49) & Central Scouting (56). I just don’t see it. He’s big but at (6’3) he’s not huge by NHL standards and very strong defensively at the Junior level. But without bringing any offense is a red flag for me someone is going to take him early. I could see selecting him after the 5th but too me at best he’s going to be a bottom pairing defenseman. His ceiling if everything works out is likely Dalton Prout.

Ondrej Vala (D) (150 – 200)

  • Vala is big (6’4), left-hand shot defenseman with decent .29 PPG. He dropped 32 spots by Central Scouting (70 – 102) and one scout mentioned he was invisible, still with his size & relatively late birthday (April) he could be selected late in the draft.

Brendan De Jong (D) (150 – 200)

  • De Jong might be an interesting draft and follow player, he needs to put on some weight.       From WHL from Above: An extremely lanky kid who stands 6’4 and weighs in at under 175 pounds. But he skates well, keeps the play in front of him and usually doesn’t do much to get himself in trouble when he’s on the ice.

Colby Sissons (D) (150 – 200)

  • Sissons is a potential late round pick. Redline Report: He has caught our attention in several recent viewings with his constantly well-timed pinches, and he’s not afraid to handle and rush the puck. Sissons is a smart decision-maker with a solid first pass, and he is someone who could be a real late riser in the season’s final months.

Matt Barberis (D) (150 – 200)

  • Barberis is not on the NHL list of players but he bring enough offense to be considered and he’s also a right hand shot which doesn’t hurt. Quick notes on Barberis via Canucks Army; he is on the small size, a decent skater, questionable decision making in all zones & lacks the strength to contain attackers down. Not a glowing review but in the 7th round he might be worth a chance.

Nolan Reid (D) (150 – 200)

  • Reid isn’t on many draft lists but he’s a right handed puck moving defenseman that has decent (not great) offense and could be on a couple of teams draft radar.

 

 

NHL Draft: WHL Forwards Edition

The WHL typically produces 35 NHL draft players a season. Here’s a list of the top first year WHL forwards for the 2016 draft.

Player PPG DOB H S
Sam Steel (C) 0.97 2/3/1998 5’11 L
Dillon Dubé (C) 1.02 7/20/1998 5’10 L
Brett Howden (C) 0.94 3/29/1998 6’2 L
Tyler Benson (LW) 0.93 3/15/1998 6′ L
Matthew Phillips (C) 1.06 4/6/1998 5’7 R
Noah Gregor (C) 1.01 1/28/1998 5’11 L
Simon Stransky (LW) 1 12/21/1997 6′ L
Ty Ronning (RW) 0.88 10/20/1997 5’9 R
Dante Hannoun (C) 0.82 8/2/1998 5’5 R
Jordy Stallard (C) 0.72 9/18/1997 6’2 L
Garrett Pilon (C) 0.66 4/13/1998 5’10 R
Brandon Hagel (LW) 0.65 8/27/1998 6′ L
Tyler Steenbergen (C) 0.69 1/7/1998 5’10 L
Patrick Bajkov (LW/RW) 0.65 11/27/1997 6′ R
Max Gerlach (C) 0.63 4/4/1998 5’9 R
Carsen Twarynski (LW/D) 0.67 11/24/1997 6’2 L
Hudson Elynuik (LW/C) 0.79 12/10/1997 6’5 L
Jake Kryski (LW/C) 0.58 3/8/1998 5’11 L
Tanner Kaspick (C/LW) 0.58 1/28/1998 6’1 L

 

 

Player

Sam Steel (C) (20 – 50)

  • Last Word On Sports: Steel is an outstanding skater with strong speed, great acceleration, and outstanding agility.  Once he gets a step on a defender, he’s gone.  He has outstanding stick-handling ability and very soft hands. He combines this with the skating to weave through traffic and create plays off the rush. Steel also has a good wrist shot and a quick release, allowing him to use defenders as a screen and fire it on net if they back off too much. Add in excellent vision and passing skills and Steel also excels as a playmaker. Steel has outstanding hockey IQ, and thinks the game a step ahead of others.  He seems to always make the smart play with the puck on his stick.  Steel is also a very hard worker, who constantly keeps his feet moving and is involved in every aspect of the play. He has a bit of peskiness to go along with that high end skill and has shown the willingness to compete on the backcheck.
  • The Hockey Writers: Steel is rarely caught out of position and has a good sense of where to be (and where his teammates will be) almost all of the time. Sometimes it seems like the pressure of game situations does get to him, though, as on occasion during key times he’ll press too hard and make bad passes or shots from bad angles.
  • Steel’s offense this year was a little shy. He might have a ceiling of a second line center or third line center and could be an excellent two-way player.

Dillon Dubé (C) (20-50)

  • McKeens: A speedy and skilled playmaker with excellent vision and creativity. Excellent fluid skater – light on his feet with great flow to his footwork, turns, transition sequences. Skating is both quick and fast; pivots, lateral skating exceptional. He is arguably among the fastest in his draft class.
  • NHL Central Scouting: Strong skater with good straight away speed – strong on his feet, effective puck protection game –plays a very responsible two way game – good hockey sense to contribute offensively – very good play making ability and good finishing shot – willing to give and take in physical play.
  • The speedy Dube has been compared to Kelowna teammate and last years 1st round pick Nick Merkley.

Brett Howden (C) (20-50)

  • Last Word On Sports: Overall Howden is a strong two-way player. The question marks here are about how high in a lineup he can go. It is doubtful that he will ever be a first line center on an NHL contender, but he could be an effective two-way player on the second line. He must continue to work on generating offence, and work on adding muscle to his frame for that to happen.
  • Hockey Now: A two-way forward who uses his large frame to his advantage standing in front of the net screening the goalie and collecting rebounds. Will battle hard in front and in the corners with a real physical edge. He won’t drop the gloves but plays a game that suits his size. Has a real long reach that he uses to protect the puck. Has shown much improved play in the defensive zone over the season and is a real mature puck distributor. Skating needs some work and he needs to remember to keep his feet moving away from the puck
  • Howden projects to be more of a middle six forward possibly transitioning to wing. He’s brothers with Panthers forward Quenton Howden and actually put up similar numbers as Quenton did during his draft year.

Tyler Benson (LW) (20-50)

  • Benson was a projected top 15 pick prior to this season by TSN. Button had the following to say, “Well-rounded player who finds ways to contribute with and without the puck and can play in all situations. Uses body well, has excellent sense and is a great competitor. Benson’s stock has obviously fallen a bit since then.”
  • McKeens @AndyLevang had a good scouting report. He ‘stated Benson has the skill set to develop into a smaller power forward with some offensive upside.’ A couple of key points were for a 5’11 forward they mentioned him as powerful based on his lower body.
  • WHL from Above: A big powerful winger cut from the same cloth as a guy like Taylor Hall. He’s got an extremely powerful skating stride with the ability to separate from the opposition. Has creativity with the puck and is tough to slow down when the biscuit is on his tape and he’s going at top speed.

 

Matthew Phillips (C) (50 – 100)

  • Hockey Now: Very small, very quick but plays bigger than his frame. Noticeable every shift. Tremendous Work Ethic. Will put his head down and skate to the net constantly going to greasy areas. Elusive and can skate himself out of danger on a nightly basis. Uses his speed to beat anybody down the wing and has contributed nearly at a point-per-game pace. Causes many problems for defenders due to his determination with the puck.
  • The Hockey Writers: Perhaps what is most impressive about Phillips’ game is his willingness to play a style of game out of his weight class. Never afraid to go into a corner for a puck, even against much larger opposition, Phillips’ play at times can best be described as fearless. Not only will he initiate contact with imposing defenders, but in the majority of cases, will battle for and win any puck battle which he finds himself within.
  • Phillips is a wild-card in this draft. He has enough talent to be considered a second round pick, but their will be questions about his size. I think that he’s worthy of a top 90 pick.

Noah Gregor (C) (50-100)

  • The Hockey Writers: Gregor’s one of those players that doesn’t have any glaring strengths or weaknesses, which is part of his appeal. He’s reliable in all three zones, tends to be in the right spot at the right times and makes smart decisions with the puck.
  • Hockey News: His play with the Warriors has made him one of the biggest surprises in the WHL and now scouts can’t get enough of his quickness, his smarts with the puck and his compete level.

Simon Stransky (LW) (50 – 100)

  • Yahoo Sports: Stransky has a good offensive IQ and is really good at finding quick lanes to feed his teammates,” says Future Considerations scout Justin Froese. “He uses this same awareness to go unnoticed and show up in open ice for a look at the net. He has the touch to get pucks through traffic and the creative hands to dance around opponents when he has a step on them.”
  • Draft Site: A Czech left wing currently in the WHL with Prince Albert who has good acceleration, shiftiness, puck handling ability and soft hands. His overall skating needs work but he moves well laterally and as he gets stronger, it may address this. He has a very good presence when attempts are made to contain him and he uses his all-around shiftiness to stickhandle in tight areas and escape pursuit. Will use his feet like a soccer player to reposition the puck. Plays quick and patient with the puck. Wait and waits on some carries for the play to form and makes sure the puck best to his lineman. Very creative passer and nimble puck handler and passer who will get the puck ahead through the middle zone and sneak in for the clean up.Needs to improve puck pursuit, and puck control on his zone entries, and build core strength so his skating improves. There are things to like with this player who seems to always be around the puck and action. –Bill Placzek–
  • Stransky, a late 97 birthday, is a superb setup man as he had 43 assists. I think he’s a 3rd or 4th round pick.

Ty Ronning (RW) (100 – 150)

  • Elite Prospects: A small but industrious speedster that always seeks to be engaged in the play. Skates very well and has the shiftiness to avoid being rubbed out. Isn’t afraid of physical play, but knows his role as an offensive catalyst and plays to his strengths. Excellent hands and hockey sense. Only knock is his size, but that doesn’t impede his compete level. Possesses the fundamental skills and natural goal scoring instincts that make the players around him better. [EP]
  • The Province: “A kid who competes that hard, a kid who can score goals like that, a kid who can read the game that way…there’s room for him in the NHL,” Molleken (Red Line Report) said of the son of Cliff Ronning, the former Vancouver Canuck. “He’s not too small, because of his heart and his pride and his desire.”

Jordy Stallard (C) (100-150)

  • The Hockey Writers: He’s a good skater and has good mobility, but his defensive-zone awareness isn’t tremendous and because he’s still a bit of a thin, wirey young man he doesn’t have the muscle to effectively out-battle opponents in the corners.
  • WHL from Above: Another Hitmen player cracks this list, with Stallard possessing plenty of attributes that make him worth tracking. He’s got a good frame at 6’2 and 176 pounds, skating well and possessing decent hands and worth ethic.

Brandon Hagel (LW) (150-200)

  • Hagel is a late birthday (Aug. 27th) and has scored nearly 80% of his offense at even strength. At evens he scores similar to Sam Steel and Noah Gregor. Hagel is thin (6’ 165 lbs) and needs to add more strength, but could be worth a late round pick.

Tyler Steenbergen (C) (150 – 200)

  • Red Line Report via Lowetide: “ Astonishing improvement in his skating, and his development has been so rapid in the second half that it’s like watching a completely different player.”

Hudson Elynuik (LW/C) (150 – 200)

  • Elynuik is an intriguing prospect, his father Pat was a 1st round pick of the old Winnipeg Jets. He is big (6’5) and finished the season strong injuries elevated him to the top line. Here is an old scouting report, from Jeff Hollick, ‘He’s got a lot of skill, he’s got some ability and he’s going to be very hard to play against. He competes hard and he is going to make it tough on he opposition once he fully matures as a player.’

Garrett Pilon (C) (150-200)

  • Too Many Men On The Site: Garrett Pilon is not shy about playing a physical game. He is a smart two-way center that is known for having an excellent work ethic. An underrated prospect, Pilon should continue to climb draft boards leading into June – He possesses serious NHL potential.

 

Jake Kryski (LW/C)

  • Buckeye State Hockey: Kryski did a real good job at creating scoring chances. He used his good speed to beat defencemen. He displayed strong vision, dishing out some good passes. He was also trusted by his coach as he was sent out when Vancouver had their goalie pulled.

 

Dante Hannoun (C) (150 – 200)

  • There’s a good chance that Hannoun, who is small (listed as 5’5 on WHL site), doesn’t get drafted and if he does get selected it will likely be a late round pick. Victoria Royal’s GM Cameron Hope: “Dante is a dynamic talent who plays with intensity and he sees the ice as well as anyone in the game. He’s an intelligent player who can finish and makes his teammates better.” Here are the positives he is a late birthday (August 2nd) and he has decent offensive production. I used, whl.prospect-stats.com, to look at Hannoun versus Matthew Phillips and looked Even Strength Goals per Game & Even Strenght points per game. Hannan ES/GPG (.296) ES/PPG (.642) versus Phillips (.292) / (.634).       Now, Phillips is a little taller (2 inches) but based on offense I think he could be worthy of a 7th round pick.

Max Gerlach (C) (150 – 200)

  • Gerlach is a smaller player that is likely to be a late round pick, if he gets selected. Ryan Pike from the Hockey Writers, “he’s got a laser of a wrist shot and he’s got great acceleration and speed and he’s a right-handed shot.”

Carsen Twarynski (LW) (150 – 200)

  • Twarynski is a (97) birthday, Hitmen head coach Mark French, French. “If you just look at his stat line, maybe you don’t get a true appreciation for what he brings. He certainly can skate at the next level, and I think that’s the first thing a lot of people look for is ability to play with pace, and he can. I think there’s a lot of upside with him.”

Patrick Bajkov (LW/RW) (150 – 200)

  • Baikov is a (97 birthday) plays a two-way game and likely doesn’t bring enough offense. Perhaps a team could pick him up in the 6th or 7th round.
  • WHL from above: Owns a good shot but could use more power in his stride.

Tanner Kaspick (LW) (150 – 200)

  • Draft Site: An elite shooter who finishes without any hesitation. Very strong on his skates, he capitalizes on any opening he is given, and is the guy no one saw sneak in for the backdoor play. –Bill Placzek–
  • Kaspick is a gritty player more likely to play a bottom six role.

Please Note:  WHL Overagers will be a separate Edition.

NHL Draft: QMJHL Defense Edition

Here’s a list of QMJHL defenseman eligible for the 2016 NHL draft.

Player PTS/G DOB H S
Frédéric Allard (D) 0.922 12/27/1997 6’1 R
Samuel Girard (D) 1.104 5/12/1998 5’10 L
Luke Green (D) 0.574 1/12/1998 6’1 R
Gabriel Bilodeau (D) 0.305 6/4/1998 6’1 R
Jacob Neveu (D) 0.271 1/12/1998 6’2 R
Gabriel Sylvestre (D) 0.197 1/22/1998 6’2 R
Oliver Felixson (D) 0.13 3/27/1998 6’5 L
Charles-Édouard D’Astous (D) 0.302 4/21/1998 6’1 L
Olivier Galipeau (D) 0.661 5/22/1997 6’1 L
Artyom Maltsev (D) 0.213 3/27/1998 6’2 R
Elijah Francis (D) 0.4 3/5/1998 5’11 L
Thomas Grégoire (D) 0.306 7/15/1998 5’11 L

 

Luke Green (D) (20-50)

  • NHL Central Scouting: Via Hockey’s Future – “highly effective skating, puck moving defenseman. He’s a strong and mobile skater who is capable to lead a rush and who excels at jumping into the attack. He advances the puck effectively with first pass plays and distributes puck well on the power play. He shoots with authority and can find the shooting lanes from point.”
  • TSN: Dynamic skating defenceman who will push the pace and jump into the attack. Good awareness and makes good plays from the defensive zone and in the offensive zone and plays with confidence
  • Before this season Green was a projected top 15 pick. The main concern with Green is that for an offensive defenseman he didn’t progress offensively, .6 Pts/G last year versus .57 Pts/G this season. It should be noted that St John’s had two 1st round picks (Zboril & Chabot) on the Sea Dog’s D and didn’t get as much power play time. For reference, Girard scored 70% and Allard scored 78% of their goals with the man advantage. Whereas, Green scored 40% of his goals on the PP. Green has stated that he was focusing on his defensive game this past year. People mention his elite skating ability (compared to Kris Letang) and a good passer but needs to work on his defensive game.

Frédéric Allard (D) (20 – 50)

  • Hockey Now: Very good puck moving defenceman flying under the radar in the Q. Really good four-way movement skills and likes to skate the puck out of his zone whenever the opportunity is there. Good offensive instincts for a defenceman who is PP quarterback and generates offence from anywhere on the ice. Will get his shot on net through traffic and is not afraid to jump into the play. His defensive game needs work especially away from the puck and when he is working on sealing the boards.

Samuel Girard (D) (20-50)

  • The Draft Analyst: He has very good first-step quickness and excellent top-end speed. He has above-average balance for a defenseman listed at 5’10, owning a good, strong stride. His lateral movement is excellent, using a strong lower body to cover ground in a hurry if a play expands the ice on the periphery. Girard’s bread and butter, however, is playmaking. He’s an exceptional puck distributor with a soft set of hands, using them to corral hard or inaccurate passes. He makes crisp passes on the tape and with authority — forehand or back – and leads the man with consistency. Patient and aware, Girard does not own a good shot, and will acquiesce to the pass nine times out of 10. Moreover, he is far from physical, but his positioning is developing and his reads are excellent. A real leader who will instantly improve a team’s breakout and power play capability.

Jacob Neveu (D)  (150-200)

  • Rouyn-Noranda Huskies finished first this season in the Q with 113 points in 68 games. Neveu is behind Jeremy Lauzon (Bruins 2nd Round Pick) & Phillippe Myers (Signed an entry level deal with Flyers – helluva find!) on the Rouyn-Noranda depth chart.   Neveu is a big defenseman and was invited to Team Canada’s U18 camp this past summer. Not much info on him. Kris Baker ‏@SabresProspects Feb 17 – The Q is not my fave league for D, but like what I see from Jacob Neveu. Shutdown mindset, good leverage on the walls, feet coming around.

Oliver Felixson (150-200)

  • Felixson is a huge defender (6’5) and plays on a stacked Sea Dogs defense; Chabot, Zboril, Luke Green & overager Matt Murphy. He is not a smooth skater, doesn’t bring much offense and was likely in a sheltered role this past season. Felixson made the jump from Junior B in Finland to QMJHL, which is a big leap.       From reading various scouting reports it mentions that Felixson is excellent defensively and seems similar to Hal Gill.
  • Over The Boards: 6’5 defenseman Oliver Felixson (1998) has been solid at both ends of the ice. He brings some offense, skates well for his size and has been improving his defensive game. He’s also a disciplined player with only four minor penalties on the season, despite having a lot of ice-time. – Dec, 14, 2014

Gabriel Sylvestre (D) (150-200)

  • Last Word On Sports: He has good size at 6’2″ and plays an excellent defensive game, using that size, as well as good mobility, to play a physical game and knock his man off the puck.  He shows very good positioning and instincts.  The offensive game is a work in progress though.  Sylvestre has an excellent slap shot, but could use some work on having more poise with the puck and waiting for the right pass, instead of rushing things.

Olivier Galipeau (150-200)

  • Galipeau was passed over in last year’s draft, likely due to the offense not coming around, averaged .34 pts/G. This year he was the top scoring defenseman on a solid Val-d’Ore team and doubled his PPG average (.66).
  • BlueSeatBlogs: With all of that said the physical defenseman kept growing defensively giving me some hope that he can grow a bit offensively as well. He is an average skater but that is being improved as well. Galipeau will be getting a heightened role on the Val-d’Or Foreurs with his coach even saying that he is the future captain of that team.

Artyom Maltsev (150-200)

  • The 6’2 Russian d-man is likely a shutdown defender. The Draft Analyst: Maltsev has good size and strength, and can play a physical, shut-down game.

Gabriel Bilodeau (D) (150-200)

  • Bilodeau is a 6’1 Right-Hand Shot defensive d-man with a late birthday. Doesn’t bring much offense.

Here is a list of defensemen drafted out of the QMJHL between 2005 and 2012.

Pick Player Pts/G DOB H
13 Brandon Gormley 0.74 Feb. 18 6’2
14 Dmitri Kulikov 1.09 Oct. 29 6’1
17 Nathan Beaulieu 0.69 Dec. 5 6’2
30 Simon Despres 0.48 Jul. 7 6’4
31 T.J. Brennan 0.6 Apr. 3 6’1
35 Marc-Edouard Vlasic 0.43 Mar. 30 6’1
48 Xavier Ouellet 0.64 Jul. 29 6’1
54 Eric Gelinas 0.58 May, 8 6’4
55 Marco Scandella 0.21 Feb. 23 6’1
62 Kristopher Letang 0.46 Apri. 24 6′
67 Marc-Andre Bourdon 0.86 Sept. 17 6′
87 Marc-Andre Gragnani 0.57 Mar. 11 6’3
91 Oskars Bartulis 0.39 Jan. 21 6’2
94 David Savard 0.65 Oct. 22 6’2
152 Mark Barberio 0.66 Mar. 23 6’1
160 Andrew MacDonald 0.68 Sept. 7 6’1
186 Jason Demers 0.95 Jun. 9 6’1

 

Notes:

  •  MacDonald & Demers were both two year overage players.
  • Outside of Scandella all the defensemen were .39+ Pts/G.  If you are drafting a player below that threshold they should be elite in one area.  Using this as a guideline there are only three first year eligible d-men that are sure shots to be drafted; Green, Girard & Allard
  • All other defenders should be late round picks.
  • Of the late round options, in my opinion, Felixson has the highest upside.

 

NHL Draft: QMJHL Forwards

The Q typically produces between 20 – 25 NHL draft players a season. Here’s a list of the top first year QMJHL forwards.

Name Team Pts/G DOB H
Pierre-Luc Dubois (LW) Cape Breton 1.596774 6/24/1998 6’3
Julien Gauthier (RW) Val-D’or 1.055556 10/15/1997 6’4
Pascal Laberge (C/RW) Victoriaville 1.214286 4/9/1998 6’1
Vitali Abramov (LW/RW) Gatineau 1.47619 5/8/1998 5’9
Vladimir Kuznetsov (LW/RW) Acadie-Bathurst 0.852941 2/18/1998 6’1
Otto Somppi (C) Halifax 0.779661 1/12/1998 6’1
Brandon Gignac (C) Shawinigan 0.910448 11/7/1997 5’11
Maxime Fortier (RW/C) Halifax 1.132353 12/15/1997 5’10
Matthew Boucher (LW) Quebec 1.016949 12/17/1997 5’8

 

Pierre-Luc Dubois (Top 10 Pick)

  • Elite Prospects: A dexterous and driven competitor that has all the makings of a dynamic two-way winger. Not the most electric skater, but is shifty and plays to the extent of his physical capabilities; he knows his limits and plays within them, which facilitates a student-like approach to the growth of his game. Possesses high hockey-IQ and is consistent in his efforts. Not the most physical player, but is when he needs to be. All-in-all, Dubois is an invaluable all-around player who plays in all situations and exceeds expectations when the opportunity arises. (Curtis Joe, EP 2016)
  • Craig Button: Dubois has the ability to play a multi-faceted game balancing all of the essential elements, and is equally adept finishing a play or setting one up. There is so much in his game that reminds me of Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn, including the versatility to play centre.

Pascal Laberge (C/RW) – (20 – 50)

  • Elite Propsect: Pascal Laberge is a tough and spirited two-way forward with a high level of hockey sense. Hunts for turnovers and causes havoc whenever he is on the ice. Uses his size well to shield the puck, exert physical force, and win board battles. Has a good set of goal-scorer’s hands, but tends to use them more to pass than anything. All-in-all, an efficient, yet exciting, two-way forward with potential to develop into a playmaking goal scorer. (Curtis Joe, EP 2014)

Vitali Abramov (LW/RW) – (20 – 50)

  • Dobber Prospects: While Abramov is small by pro standards, his high-end skill set and skating ability will allow him to be an effective player at higher levels.
  • Future Considerations: The Russian import is a constant threat offensively and makes some impressive plays due to his high skill level. An explosive, well-timed speed burst or change of pace and shifty agility in his feet as well as creative hands make him a slippery forward to check. A skilled playmaker making seeing-eye passes through the tightest of lanes and in perfect time to his teammates. Will shoot the puck when the opportunity presents itself and usually hits his mark when he does but is a natural playmaker first and foremost. Extremely dynamic top line NHL potential.

Julien Gauthier (RW) – (20-50)

  • Elite Prospects: An explosive power forward who boasts an elite-level skill package. Takes nothing for granted and plays with hard-nosed work ethic. Tremendous vision and outstanding hockey sense; thrives under pressure and doesn’t stray from the high-percentage play. Willingness to play physical and win battles in his own end makes him a vital asset, stepping up at the game’s key moments. Exceptional skating ability allows him to stay with, if not ahead, of each unfolding play. Refined puckhandling skills allow him to maintain puck control at breakneck speeds. All-in-all, a prolific scorer whose attitude and innate abilities will constantly propel him into dominance. (Curtis Joe, EP 2016)

    Julien Gauthier has drawn well-deserved comparisons to current NHLer Rick Nash. He has an imposing frame, dazzling puck skills, and the drive to win. Learns from his past mistakes and implements new strategies to counteract them. [EliteProspects 2016]

  • Gauthier is a goal scorer (.79 Goals/G) and is a decent skater. “He’s a good team player. When a person is in the right position, he moves the puck to them. He sees the ice well and works hard off the ice,” says the NHL scout.

Vladimir Kuznetsov (LW/RW) – (50-75)

  • Sportsnet’s Damien Cox had this Kuznetsov rated as a first round prospect earlier in the year. The offense is a little shy for a first round pick. He’s a big player, has good offensive instincts, and responsible defensively. Death, Taxes & Jagr blog had a great scouting report on him, but mentions skating as an area of improvement.

Maxime Fortier (RW/C) – (75 – 100)

  • Hockey Now.ca: Lightning quick speedster is always playing at top speed and it’s difficult to slow him down. Shoots the puck a lot and is finding success following his shots up and going to the net. Not a very tall kid, has a good balance on his skates and can turn on a dime and leave defenders in the dust. Has a good release and skates the puck down the wing real well. Would like to see him play better away from the puck as he does get caught standing still too often.
  • Fortier was in on 39.9% of his teams goals this past year. To put that in perspective that’s the same number that Abramov (missed 5 games pro-rated for 68 games) factored into with the higher scoring Gatineau. He has been described as a smaller skilled, crafty scorer and smooth skater. Most teams have him as a 5th round pick or later.

Brandon Gignac (C) – (100 – 150)

  • Redline Report: We’ve been impressed with his progression.  Slick playmaker has a knack for finding open ice and open teammates.  Not flashy, but has good hockey sense.
  • Gignac was impressive when teammate Anthony Beauvillier left for the World Juniors, when he posted 14 points in 8 games. He isn’t an overly big player and is a late birthday (Nov 97), but is a two-way player.

Otto Somppi (C) – (100 – 150)

  • Hockey Now: A very high-tempo offensive threat who will create turnovers with his aggressive forecheck and turn them into legit scoring opportunities. Head always on a swivel looking for the best play to set up. Good hands around the net with a quick release. Quick in pursuit of the puck and is not afraid to backcheck and take care in his own end. At times, he may try to do too much himself.
  • Somppi has good size and plays a solid two-way game but he is being projected as a late 2nd – 3rd round pick. I would have liked to have seen more offense from him this year and based on his stats I would anticipate a 3rd line player is the high end projection.

Matthew Boucher (C-LW) – (150-200)

  • Boucher wasn’t on the NHL Central Scouting list, but he’s a first year draft eligible forward who averaged over a point per game. He’s a hard working player, plays PK & PP with a nice shot and is willing to play a physical game (93 PIMS), the major knock on him is his size. Boucher could be a solid late round pick.

To get a look at comparisons I took a look at top 40 selections out of the QMJHL between 2007 and 2013. Please note; I excluded Crosby, Ehlers & Drouin – as there are no players within this draft that are similar comps.

Drafted Player Pts/G H DOB
7 Jakub Voracek 1.46 6’2 15-Aug-89
8 Sean Couturier 1.65 6’3 7-Dec-92
12 Mikhail Grigorenko 1.44 6’3 16-May-94
20 Anthony Mantha 1.32 6’5 16-Sep-94
21 Frederick Gauthier 0.97 6’5 26-Apr-95
22 Emile Poirier 1.08 6’1 14-Dec-94
25 Jordan Caron 1.2 6’3 2-Nov-90
26 Phil Danault 1.05 6′ 24-Feb-93
33 Ivan Barbashev 1.42 6′ 14-Dec-95
35 Tomas Jurco 0.93 6’1 28-Dec-92

 

The next tier of players I had listed, were players drafted outside 49+

Drafted Player Pts/G H DOB
49 Martin Frk 0.85 6′ 5-Oct-93
71 Michael Bournival 1.07 5’11 31-May-92
76 Logan Shaw 0.68 6’3 5-Oct-92
80 Anthony Duclair 0.91 5’11 26-Aug-95
75 Andrej Nestrasil 0.86 6’3 22-Feb-91
84 Nicolas Deslauriers 0.44 6’1 22-Feb-91
89 Michael Chaput 0.81 6’2 9-Apr-92
96 Jean-Gabriel Pageau 1.18 5’10 11-Nov-92
101 Cedric Paquette 0.76 6’1 13-Aug-93
179 Paul Byron 0.65 5’8 27-Apr-89

 

Overagers

There are five additional overagers that might be worth a late round (150 – 200) selection.

Name Pts/G DOB H
Alex Barre-Boulet 1.369231 5/21/1997 5’9
Alex Dostie (C) 1.351852 4/23/1997 5’10
Alexis D’Aoust (RW) 1.441176 4/3/1996 6′
Cameron Askew (C) 0.984848 5/13/1997 6’4
Nathan Noel (C) 0.934426 6/21/1997 6′

 

Overagers should be able to bring good to elite offense in the major junior level or have an additional skill set. Recent overage QMJHL picks; Mike Hoffman (1.51), Ondrej Palat (1.57), Sven Andrighetto (1.85) & Tye McGinn (1.24) all brought above a point per game.

Alex Barre-Boulet

  • The Sports Daily: Very good production for a rookie in the QMJHL. Was a top six player for the Voltigeurs, playing the point on the power play. He’s a good puck rusher who shows good creativity and vision. He is an above average skater who likes to have the puck on his stick.

Alex Dostie

  • QMJHL – He’s a player who brings speed and skill. Everyone thinks he’s small, but he isn’t really that small. He’s now up to 5-foot-10. He uses his speed to get to the net and get onto loose pucks. The day he will gain complete confidence in his abilities, he will become a real difference-maker on the ice.”

Alex D’Aoust

  • I know, D’Aoust played on a line with Anthony Beauvillier which likely helped out his offensive numbers. He finished 4th in both goals (44) and points (98), he’s not near Connor Garland’s numbers from last year but he should be worth a late round selection.

Cameron Askew

  • ESPN: He’s really big, with good, soft hands. Since he’s gone to the ‘Q’, I can’t say the numbers have been great, but he moves pretty well for a big man. He’s kind of a dark horse to me, I think somebody might take him late. My question is just his skating, the way the game is today, you have to be able to bring it

Nathan Noel

  • Elite Prospects: A hard-working offensive forward that seems to compliment his linemates, whoever they may be. Good hockey sense and creativity in the offensive end. Very good puck possession skills; good hands to stay slippery, and a non-stopping motor that bodes nicely with his skating agility. Keen awareness on the ice lets him slip into good scoring positions where he can either pass the puck or tap home a goal. All-in-all, a guy who has a high level of skill and can be relied upon in situations where you need to strike quickly or run down the clock with a lead. (Curtis Joe, EP 2015)