Gabriel Vilardi (Top 5)
- DOB: 1999-08-16 / H: 6’2 / POS: C / SH: R
- Smart player excellent offensive instincts, hockey IQ is excellent. Good size, strong along the boards, one of the younger players in the draft and a right hand shot forward. His forward says that he’s a Corsi monster. The one thing that’s holding him back is his skating. Most reports have skating as his major issue.
- Fan Rag: He’s a natural goal-scorer with a great shot (particularly his wrister) and quick hands, which allow him to be a solid playmaker as well. He sets up teammates easily when the play calls for it, but also isn’t afraid to take the shot himself. Vilardi’s hockey sense is strong, allowing him to utilize his skills to be a dynamic offensive player.
Owen Tippett (Top 5)
- DOB: 1999-02-16 / H: 6’2 / POS: RW / SH: R
- High-end skating, elite shot, excellent hockey IQ and outside of Patrick he might be the most NHL ready.
- Last Word on Sports: Tippett is extremely dangerous off the rush. He has excellent speed and acceleration. His ability to change speeds allows him to take defenders wide and drive to the front of the net, where he has the soft hands to finish in tight. If defenders back off to respect his speed, he can use his excellent wrist shot or snap shot and beat goalies with a quick release. Tippett’s shot is amongst the very best of anyone in this draft class. He is a pure sniper who is dangerous anytime he finds open space to get a shot off.
Nick Suzuki (10 – 25)
- DOB: 1999-08-10 / POS: C / H: 5’11 / SH: R
- Smaller player but he’s quick, creative offensive player with good vision and hig-end hockey IQ. He’s a hard-worker and will likely fall to the second half of the first round because of size
- Elite Prospects: A smart offensive center that thinks the game at a fast pace and makes very good decisions on a consistent basis. Though he may not be the biggest player on the ice, Suzuki plays a thick, sturdy game and is hard to knock off the puck, especially when he has his feet moving. He’s an excellent skater that knows his own game well. Skilled with the puck and has a high level of hockey sense. This blend of talent and work ethic is hard to come by, invaluable in the long run. [EP]
Robert Thomas (20 – 30)
- DOB: 1999-07-02 / H: 5’11 / POS: C / SH: R
- Thomas has risen in the draft rankings … He might be in consideration for 1st round draft pick … High end speed … Plays in all situations … Smart hockey player …
Being coached by Hunter is also a plus he’s developed Horvat (who he’s been compared too), Tierney & Pu into good two-way players …
- Last Word on Sports: Thomas is a decent but not great skater. He has good agility, a quick first step and good acceleration, however his top end speed is merely a slight bit above average. He is an extremely smart player though, making the right plays both with and without the puck. A strong two-way centre, Thomas even plays shorthanded minutes on a strong Knights club. Offensively, he has soft hands and good stickhandling ability. He also has the vision to find teammates with smart passes, and to set up plays.
Isaac Ratcliffe (20 – 30)
- DOB: 1999-02-15 / POS: LW / H: 6’5 / SH: L
- Ratcliffe’s major plus is his size … He finished second on the team in points … He’s a good two-way player … Good hockey sense ..
- USA Today – Redline Report: Huge winger has started putting together all the pieces, and his game is taking off rapidly. Has size, skill, and grit. Ratcliffe has the size that makes every NHL team drool at 6-6, 195 pounds. He’s showing some edge to go along with that size, and his +10 mark is testament to the improvement in his two-way game.
Matthew Strome: (25 – 45)
- DOB: 1999-01-06 / POS: LW / H: 6’3 / SH: L
- Strome doesn’t have the high end skill as his two brothers, but he still has good offensive instincts. Willing to engage physically. Could be a potential power forward. There is major questions about his skating ability which is likely pushing him to the second round.
- Bloggers Tribune: He does his best work with the puck on his stick. He’s creative in a way that you only see from a handful of players and in a way that helps to overcome his lack of strength. He has great stickhandling and one of the most accurate passes you’ll see.
Morgan Frost (30 – 60)
- DOB: 1999-05-14 / POS: C / H: 6′ / SH: L
- Patterns his game after Mikael Granlund … Hard worker/competitor … Does a lot of the little things the right way …
OHL Prospects: In a lot of ways, he’s a similar player to Robert Thomas in London. Average sized, but skilled, smart, and contributing in a multitude of ways for a team right up near the top of the OHL standings. I really like the way Frost operates on the powerplay for the Soo. He opens up a lot of ice due to his patience with the puck and his aggressiveness in attacking lanes, when the time comes for it. Overall decision making is top notch. Seems like he’s really gaining confidence in attacking off the rush lately too. Could just be seeing the tip of the iceberg here.
Jason Robertson (30 – 60)
- DOB: 1999-7-22 / POS: LW / 6’2 / SH: L
- Robertson plays a good north-south game … He’s has good size, decent offense and works hard … He won’t turn 18 til a month after the draft … Likely a second or third round pick but he could be a good middle-six forward … Skating needs a little work … Jason scored 23.4% of Kingston’s goals and was in on 45.2% of their goals.
- Hockey Now: Jason Robertson is an explosive power forward who has all the tools including tremendous strength and speed. Has a powerful stride with balance and a strong first step which helps him accelerate and change gears. Uses his strong lower body to keep control of the puck and skate wide on defenders and drive the puck to the net. Not afraid to do go hard into the corners and dig pucks loose. Real disciplined player on the ice and stays out of the box. Has a real good wrist shot and likes to shoot from between the circles. Good vision and always gives his defencemen a big target to pass to. Had a strong rookie season posting 18 goals and 32 points in 54 games. Always finishes what he starts.
Jonah Gadjovich (30 – 60)
- DOB: 1998 / POS: LW / H: 6’2 / SH:
- Skating is one thing holding him back … He’s got good size plays a physical game … North/South game …
- Sturdy power winger with average speed but a willingness to take a beating while traversing direct routes to the net. Gadjovich’s stick is always in the right position and he makes a habit out of getting to the spot he wants and looking to tip shots home. His hands are quick enough to corral shots off the end boards and bring the puck on his stick for stuff-in attempts, and he’s quite difficult to move off the puck in one-on-one situations. His lack of speed makes him an easy target for a double team effort, but most of these attempts are futile.
Adam Ruzicka (30 – 60)
- DOB: 1999-05-11 / POS: C-W / H: 6’4 / SH: L
- Boom or bust prospect … He’s 6’4 with smooth skills … You’d like a little more offense … Ruzicka has played well in International tournaments for Slovakia
- OHL Writers: Combined, he’s hard to knock off the puck and allows him to keep possession. He needs to become more proficient at using those strengths along the walls. He’s also a very good skater with very good puck handling skills who can take the disc to scoring areas and release a very good shot.
Mid-Late Round Gems
- Jack Studnicka (C) – 6’1 right-hand shot center … Excellent defensively … Strong on the faceoffs … Brock Otten compares him to Jarrett Stoll … Might not be high-end offense but he does everything good in the offensive zone, he’s just not elite … (60 – 100)
- Ivan Lodnia (RW) – Positionally strong … Does not have elite size (5’11), skating is average and offense isn’t high end … Excellent vision and hockey sense … Will play physical and is a two way defender … (60 – 100)
- Alexander Chmelevski (C) – High-end hockey sense … He’s been ranked as a borderline 1st round pick … He’s a smooth skater and good offensive instincts … There’s concerns about his play without the puck … Also, I’d like to see more offense from him … (60 – 100)
- Nathan Schnarr (C) – 6’3 RHS center for Guelph Storm … .67 PPG offense … June, 15th birthday … Shoulder injury caused him to miss some time … High potential player … Good size and reach (60 – 100)
- Alex Formenton (LW) – Young player born 9/13/1999, a couple of days later he would have been in the 2018 draft … Formenton is a high end skater … He had a growth sprut and grew 7 inches in the last two years, he’ll need to add some muscle to the frame … Smart player, hard-working player … (60 – 100)
- MacKenzie Entwistle (C/RW) – Impressive size 6’3 and skating might push him inside the first two rounds … Plays in all situations, he’s been a solid PK’er … July, 7th, 99 birthday … Like to see more offense .46 PPG … (60 – 100)
- Austen Keating (C) – Smart hockey player … Average to below average in size (6′) and will likely need to add more muscle … Skating is a potential concern … Solid offensive instincts … Can play wing or center .. (60 – 100)
- Zachary Gallant (C) – Solid faceoff player … Needs to improve skating … Hard working physical player, willing to go to the dirty areas … Team player … (100 – 150)
- Greg Meireles (C) – Small energy player with speed and plays with an edge … Smart player … Good work ethic … Concerns will be size and offensive upside (100 – 150)
- MacAuley Carson (LW) -Coaches player … Physical do-anything type player … Played wing and center this year, but is likely a winger at the next level … Might not have the skills to be a top six forward (100 – 150)
- Benjamin Jones (C) – Two-way center with average-below average size (6′) … Skating is a plus … Redline Report likes him and says he might be an agitator … (100 – 150)
- Liam Hawel (C) – Huge 6’5 right hand shot center … Smart player with good vision … Offense increased after trade … More of a playmaker than a goal-scorer … Like to see a little more assertiveness from him … Good upside, he has a good skill-set and of course he has the size …(150 – 200)
- Linus Nyman (F) – Small Fin (5’9) but good offensive instincts … Despite size he’s not afraid to go into the dirty areas … Solid skater, smart with excellent puck skills … (150 – 200)
- Ryan McGregor (C) – Average size … Speedy, energy type player … He’s a little shy on offense (150 – 200)
- Albert Michnac (F) – Smaller player (5’10) … Oct. 18, 98 … Good skater … Energy type player … (150 – 200)
- Joseph Garreffa (C/LW) – Small player (5’7) … Born August, 9, 99 … Dynamic player, good offense and excellent skater … Size will cause him to drop in the draft and possibly get passed over, but there’s enough offense here to make me ask is he worth a draft choice (150 – 200)
- Brady Gilmour (C) – Smaller player (5’10) decent skater but not elite … High hockey IQ … Good playmaker (200 – 250)
- Maksim Sushko (Lw) – Belarus born winger … Average .57 PPG … Decent offensive skill set … Average size (6′) … Plays in all situations (200 – 250)
- Cole Coskey (LW) – Coskey is a 6′ RHS LW … Averaged under .5 PPG … More of a playmaker than a goal scorer (200 – 250)
- Daniil Vertiy (LW) – Late ’98 birthday … Disappointing season had better point totals the previous season … He’s short (5’10) but solidly built … Good speed, skill but questionable work ethic (200 – 250)