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)

NHL Draft – US High School

Before we get to this seasons prospects let’s take a look at previous high school forwards that made the jump to the NHL.

Here are there draft year points per game and birthday.

Player POS School PPG Birthday
Chris Kreider L Andover H.S. (Mass.) 2.15 Apr, 30
Nick Bjugstad C Blaine H.S. [Minn.] 2.4 July, 17
Brock Nelson C Warroad H.S. [Minn.] 2.92 Oct, 15
Kevin Hayes R Nobles School [Mass.] 2.33 May, 8
Derek Stepan C Shattuck St. Mary’s (Minn) 1.85 June, 18
Alexander Killorn C Deerfield Academy [Mass H.S.] 1.28 Sept, 14
Nick Bonino C Avon Old Farms H.S. (Conn.) 2.53 Apr, 20
Cam Atkinson R Avon Old Farms H.S. (Conn.) 2.25 June, 5
Anders Lee C Edina H.S. (Minn.) 2.64 July, 3
Erik Haula C Shattuck St. Mary’s (Minn) 1.58 March, 23

 

Quick Notes;

  • There were four first rounders and all were bigger players.
  • Alex Killorn missed the draft year by one day.    The next season he averaged 2.29 pts/g.
  • Three players were drafted as over-agers; Bonino (2.15 Pts/G previous year), Atkinson (1.93) & Lee (1.72).
  • There is roughly 10 – 15 High School players drafted every year.
  • Here is a must read article by Chris Dilks that goes over High School hockey versus Junior Hockey (USHL)

 

There are eight forwards that I have on my watch list

Player School PPG DOB H
Tufte, Riley Blaine (Minn) 3.12 4/10/1998 6’5
Mattson, Mitchell Grand Rapids (Minn) 1.84 1/2/1998 6’4
Armstrong, Jamie Avon Farms (CONN) 1.89 8/7/1998 6’2
Graham, Michael Eden Prairie (MINN) 1.97 11/27/1997 6’2
Printz, Gregory SOUTH KENT SCHOOL (CONN) 1.92 5/4/1998 6’2
MacNab, Jackson Culver Academy (IND) 1.67 7/3/1998 6’5
Harper, Patrick Avon Farms (CONN) 2.19 7/29/1998 5’8
O’Neil, Kevin Albany (NY) 1.97 2/23/1998 5’10

 

There are three groups in the above list;

  • Riley Tufte and Mitchell Mattson will be selected in the NHL draft. Both likely within the first 60 picks.
  • Potential power forwards; Armstrong, Graham, Printz & MacNab
  • Two smaller skill players: Harper & O’Neil

 

Riley Tufte

  • I believe based on his size and skill Riley Tufte will be drafted in the first round.       He’s not a typical power forward in the Milan Lucic mold. His scouting report reads like Rick Nash, his size, skating, stickhandling, acceleration make him a dynamic prospect. There is going to be worries about the quality of competition he didn’t play in the USHL and when he did he didn’t dominate only 14 points in 27 games, but 10 of those points were goals. Tufe just turned 18, he is offensively ahead of Kreider, Bjudstad & Hayes during their draft season. Tufte, like those propsects, will need years of development time and he’s a risk/reward prospect but the reward could be elite.
  • NHL.com: “I think when you have a player that big that has the mobility and the stick skills that Riley has, it makes him a tough combination to hold back and I think that will happen at every level as he adjusts to the level of play; he has that upside,” NHL Central Scouting’s David Gregory said. “He gets his shot off so quickly, he can move in traffic and get clear to make a pass or shoot the puck, and those are things that when a guy has the size that he does it’s a great combination.”

Mitchell Mattson

  • I am kind of on the fence about Mattson. He’s a big center but the numbers aren’t elite. He is projected to go in the second round right now. Button has him as a late first round pick and central scouting has him project as a late 3rd rounder. NHL Draft Site: ‘Big and really can skate well, and advances the puck well. Displays a strong stride, nice passing skills, and is committed to playing a 200 foot game. Needs to build his underdeveloped frame. Looks like he might project as the big center teams look for.’ Will he bring enough offense? Or is he more likely to be a 3rd line center?

The Rest (are all likely late round picks)

  • Jamie Armstrong is a grinder good work ethic and likely to project to be a bottom six. His father is part of the Blues organization. Jeff Cox wrote up an excellent scouting report.
  • Michael Graham late birthday, not a great skater but he’s got good size, will go in the tough areas and can score.
  • Greg Printz looks like your typical bottom six winger. He’s big physical, good work ethic and he can put up points. Jeff Cox again wrote an awesome scouting report.
  • Jackson MacNab honestly I could not find anything out about this guy, but a 6’5 forward that can score at a decent enough rate, rated 169 by Central Scouting and a July birthday would be on my radar.
  • Patrick Harper regarded as an “elite playmaker” with a high hockey IQ. He’s going to an excellent hockey program at Boston U and that just graduated a smaller skill late round pick Danny O’Regan. The following BU blog Terrierhockey.blogspot.ca has an excellent write-up about Patrick.
  • Kevin O’Neil rated 122nd among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting. He put up good numbers. Jeff Cox from SBnation had this to say last season, ‘his skating won’t blow anyone away, but he’s not a bad skater, and he has good hands and footwork.’

Defenseman

Player School PPG DOB H
Scott Perunovich Hibbing/Chisholm (MINN) 2.72 8/18/1998 5’9
Kenny Johnson Shattuck St. Mary’s 0.75 5/28/1998 6’3
Carter Long  Selects Hockey Academy (CT) 1.27 2/13/1998 6’4
Marshall Rifai  Hotchkiss School (CT) 1 3/16/1998 5’11
  • Scott Perunovich is a small defenseman, if he was 2 inches taller he would be a top 100 pick. Over the Boards said, “One of the best skating defensemen out of the Minnesota 98’s, sees the ice well, thinks it quick and possesses terrific speed.” Drawn comparison to Nick Leddy.
  • Kenny Johnson is the brother of Columbus defenseman Jack Johnson. Doesn’t have the skill-set his brother has. Known as a physical defender with a less offensive upside.
  • Carter Long is a 6’4, right-hand shot defenseman with decent offense that’s committed to U of Vermont next year. That’s about all I was able to find on the big guy.
  • Marshal Rifai is a small elite skating defenseman that’s rated 123rd by Central Scouting. He is a decent passer but you’d like a little more offense.

 

NHL Draft: USHL Defense Edition

Here’s a look at the USHL / US Development Program defenseman in this year’s draft. There doesn’t appear to be anyone that will be drafted in the first round unless people take a chance on Chad Krys.

There are roughly 4 – 5 defenseman that could be picked in the first 100 selections.

Then 8 – 10 defenseman that could potentially be taken in after the 4th round.

Player League PTS/G
Adam Fox (D) USDP 0.875
Chad Krys (D) USDP 0.55556
Andrew Peeke (D) USHL 0.51786
Luke McInnis (D) USHL 0.48276
Matt Kiersted (D) USHL 0.41071
Ryan Lindgren (D) USDP 0.37736
Christian Evers (D) USHL 0.36735
Mitch Eliot (D) USHL 0.23636
Matthew Hellickson (D) USDP 0.21429
Derek Daschke (D) USHL 0.2

Adam Fox

  • POS: D / Shoots: R / H: 5’10 / DOB: Feb, 17, 1998
  • He’s rated by most experts to go in the third round.  His offense suggests a second round.
  • Draft Site: Undersized defenseman who has excellent mobility and PP QB skills. Advances the puck very well because he sees the ice well. Good in transition. In the attack zone he passes the puck well towards the net. Pinches well. In his own end, he uses his feet to angle off attackers and close his gaps. The issue is his size, and whether he can advance and be successful in the higher levels of play.  –Bill Placzek

James Greenway

  • Shoots: L / H: 6’4 / DOB: Apr, 27, 1998
  • Before last season Button had Greenway rated 5th overall for the 2016 draft. ‘ A great athlete who has excellent skating ability and can move in any direction to support the offence or negate opponents. He makes good plays with the puck and has a physical element where he can be a challenge to get around, but also will eliminate opponents with strong physical play.’
  • Greenway has fallen a bit in this draft but he may be the best USHL/National Team pick in this years draft. His points per game (.35) are a little shy. I think that Greenway is a potential late 2nd – 3rd round pick.

Andrew Peeke

  • POS: D / Shoots: R / H: 6’3 / DOB: March, 17, 1998
  • Elite Prospects: Big, mobile defenceman with great vision and hockey sense. Possesses a hard, accurate shot, but needs to use it more. Smooth skater, but has room for improvement in his acceleration with the puck. Reads plays well in his own end and has a well-rounded understanding of the defensive game. Starting to play a gritty game, but that will take time to develop. Physical game is definitely ripening.
  • Peeke a self-described “die-hard Panthers fan” while growing up in Parkland, Fla has the chance to go in the top 50 picks in the NHL draft.       He’s got decent offense a nice shot & stands 6’3. Looks to be a really good development prospect.

Chad Krys

  • POS: D / Shoots: L / H: 5’11 / DOB: Apr, 10, 1998
  • The Hockey Writers: Krys lacks size (5’11”, 183 pounds) but makes up for it with a high hockey IQ and strong skating ability. His ability to run a power play was on full display at last year’s Under-18 World Championships, where he posted 4 assists and 5 points in 7 games in USA’s run to the gold medal.  Despite his ability to slow down the pace of the game and make positive plays in the offensive zone, Krys’ lack of high-end production paired with his small stature makes him a risky prospect. However, his defensive deficiencies aren’t enough to offset his offensive potential, and his skating and passing abilities scream first-rounder. Krys’ hit or miss potential makes him one of the most intriguing prospects in next year’s draft.

 

Ryan Lindgren

  • Shoots: L / H: 6’ / DOB: Feb, 11, 1998
  • The Hockey Writers: Lindgren has the potential to become a solid stay-at-home defender at NHL-level who plays a solid defensive minded game using his strong defensive awareness. He also has the potential to grow into a more offensive role with the time.
  • Lindgren is a strong skater and is projecting as a solid defensive defender. There are concerns about his upside. Chris Dilks from SBNation; The big concern is that he isn’t all that different as a player now than he was at 15 years old, which leads to some questions about his long-term upside. He won’t be a star at the next level, but good, dependable D are hard to find. I would project him to be a 3rd round pick.

Luke McInnis

  • POS: D / Shoots: L / H: 5’11 / DOB: July, 29, 1998
  • Luke is the son of former Islander and Mighty Duck, Marty McInnis.  Jeff Cox at SBNation: He is a terrific skater, always has his head up looking for an outlet pass. He makes smart plays and doesn’t try to do too much. He’s a good power play QB who needs to be a little more consistently strong in his own end.

Griffin Luce

  • Shoots: L / H: 6’3 / DOB: March, 10, 1998
  • Luce is a big defender that was highly thought of when he first joined the USDP, back in 2014.       Over the Boards, “Skates well and makes intricate plays at the offensive blue line. He’ll hold it, move off the boards, get it up there, he gives himself an extra couple feet, suspends the zone… makes a lot of good plays there which is a rare thing for a guy that looks like a stay at home defensive D.” His development has stalled looks to be a mid-late round pick. He averaged .16 Pts/G in this past season with the National team. If he slips to the 5th round it might be tough to pass on the 6’3 defender.

 Jake Ryczek

  • Shoots: R / H: 5’10 / DOB: March, 19, 1998
  • Ryczek is a strong skating, puck moving defenseman with good offensive instincts. He recorded over a point a game when after he was traded to Waterloo. Jeff Cox from SBNation: He did a real good job all week getting pucks on net from the point, but his defensive play impressed me more as the week went on. He’s strong and made some good body checks, but also had a tendency to get beat wide. Right now he’s projected to be a 5th round pick and committed to Providence.

Christian Evers

  • Shoots: L / H: 6’2 / DOB: May, 25, 1997
  • Evers is an overager that could be worth a shot later in the draft. He was part of last years US National Development team. Good size and decent offense. Draft Site’s Bill Placzek: Has size and physicality and is able to handle the puck effectively on both offensive and defense. Reads the ice well and is best when he keeps his game simple and doesn’t start overextending. Handles the puck well and looks like a good long term developmental defender.

Mitch Eliot

  • Shoots: R / H: 6’ / DOB: Feb, 6, 1998
  • Elite Prospects: A physical two-way defenceman that plays a structured competitive game. Smooth skating compliments his ability to control the puck at higher speeds. Displays a pretty hard shot and crisp tape-to-tape passing ability, but is actually relied on more in the defensive zone. Battles very hard for puck possession and sees the game in lanes. Very strong positionally and is poised in his own end. As he continues to grow, he will become a more well-rounded defenceman with each game, as he recognizes and learns from his mistakes. Can play long shifts. [EP]
  • Eliot is rated as a 4th round pick, projects as a defensive defenseman and will be headed to Michigan State.

Derek Daschke

  • Shoots: L / H: 6’2 / DOB: Jan, 6, 1998
  • Based on reports he may not get drafted, but he looks like a good risk/reward player that you could take in the 6th or 7th round. He’s between 6’2 and 6’3 and based off reports he has enough skill to get drafted, but he appears to be his disinterested at times. Chris Dilks stated, ‘there’s some rough edges to his game, but he’s a legit 6’3″ and a tremendous athlete.’ Jeff Cox from SB Nation had the following writeup; “His hands and ability in the offensive zone was second to no one here among defensemen. However, he made some lazy passes and didn’t always make the right decisions in the defensive zone. Two of his goals were absolute highlight reel variety and he turned heads with his skating ability and silky smooth mits.”

Samuel Rossini

  • Shoots: L / H: 6’3 / DOB: June, 19, 1998
  • Rossini played for the Waterloo Blackhawks in the USHL and averaged .17 Pts/G. Is projected to either go late in the draft or undrafted.       Over the Boards; ‘Has some skill with the puck but a lot of athletic power to his game, grounded in strength and an ability to both deny opposing forwards as well as carry the rush up ice.’ Roussini is likely to project as a defensive defenseman based on this scouting report, size and offensive production from this past season.

Matt Hellickson

  • Shoots: L / H: 5’10’ / DOB: Mar, 21, 1998
  • Hellickson is likely to be either undrafted or a 7th round pick. I really like Chris Dilks for USHL or college players and he had some nice things to say about Hellickson. Chris Dilks @ SBNation: “Hellickson is listed at 5’10” 160 lbs., and is an incredibly poised puck-moving defenseman. His vision and passing ability is among the best in his age group.” Based on that verbiage I wouldn’t be upset if my team took a chance on Hellickson.

US National Development

These are additional USND program forwards that are on the draft radar.

  1. Michael Campoli – Shoots: L / H: 6’2 / DOB: Jan, 21, 1998 / PTS/G: .02

Smaller Defenseman

Players that are on the smaller side (6’ and under) with good but not great offensive production, are likely not worth a draft pick. This player type can most likely be signed as a free agent after four years of college than an NHL draft pick. You can sign players like these every March/April. So perhaps they are worth a 7th round pick but more often than note they go undrafted.

  1. Matt Kiersted – Shoots: L / H: 5’11 / DOB: Apr, 14, 1998 / PTS/G: .41