WHL – Forwards

Nolan Patrick (1st)

  • DOB: 1998-09-19 / H: 6’3 / SH: R / POS: C
  • Hasn’t played a full season, he had mono.  Older player in the draft has less than a week away from being eligible for last years draft.  Not an elite talent level like (Matthews, Laine or McDavid) if he was drafted in last years draft he likely would have been drafted between 3 – 5th.  He’s above average in almost all categories but not elite in anyone.  Comparable to Ryan Getzlaf from a stylistic game, he plays a complete game and has excellent hockey IQ.
  • Toronto Star – Mark Seidel, chief scout for North American Independent Central Scouting Service:  “He’s a great solid 200-foot guy who can score, who can skate, he’s strong,” said Seidel. “He checks all the boxes. But I don’t think he’s got that extra ‘sells-tickets’ skill. He’s not going to go through guys. I don’t think he’s going to rack up 110 points. He’s one of those guys coaches want, a big centre down the middle who can make plays, be good defensively.  At the NHL level I see him as being a real good player, but not at the superstar level.”

Michael Rasmussen – C – (6 – 15)

  • DOB: 1999-04-17 / H: 6’5 / SH: L
  • McKenzie said his range was a top 4 pick to top 12 …  Plays a physical game … Two-way center … Offensively he’s a little shy but he’s within range or ahead of Pavel Zacha, Radek Faksa & Lawson Crouse and he’s bigger than all of the forementioned playes …
  • McKeens Hockey: Rasmussen was another youngster that caught scouts’ attention last season with his smarts and skills, but he has taken his game to a whole new level, leading all WHL players with 20 goals one-third of the way into the season. The 6-6 center possesses a strong skating stride, smooth hands and a pro release and shot that will allow him to score plenty of goals at the next level. There are now whispers that he may end up being the first player chosen in the draft. A 6-6 center with his goal-scoring abilities are a rare breed indeed. On top of that, he plays a solid two-way game and has superior vision and passing skills as well. Comparisons to Keith Primeau are far from overblown.

Cody Glass  (6 – 15)

  • DOB: 1999-04-01 / H: 6’2 / SH: R / POS: C
  • Glass checks off a lot of boxes; size, production, skating, right hand shot and his birthday is in April.  His production this season was similar ot Nolan Patrick’s last year.  Good hockey IQ and plays a two-way game.  Last Word on Sports compared to Patrice Bergeron.   Concerns might top out as a second line center and his production tripled this year instead of a gradual increase.  Not overly physical and would need to add some strength.  I think there could be a case that he’s a top 10 pick perhaps even inside the top 5.
  • Elite Prospects: A dangerous two-way center that thinks the game at a high level, never making the same mistake twice. He is analytical and patient in the development of his strengths. He transitions up-ice quickly and is able to create and dictate offensive chances on the rush. He attacks hard and fast and consistently displays excellent puck control. His decision making is very good, indicative of his high level of hockey sense. He plays a complete game and elevates his play as energy levels rise. At the next level, he will need to be even faster and more physically assertive to make his presence felt. All-in-all, an intense, quick-thinking competitor that can elicit a crowd’s excitement when he’s on the ice. (Curtis Joe, EP 2017)

Kailer Yamamoto – C/LW – (20 – 30)

  • DOB:     1998-09-29 / H: 5’8 / SH: R
  • High end skill and hockey intelligence … Speedster with good lower body strength … Size is a concern … He’s also a late birthday … Excellent hands and stickhandling … Playmaker …
  • TSN: High end talent with equally high end smarts and competitive spirit. Excellent skater with speed to break free but also has excellent change of pace and an explosive step that makes him extremely difficult to deter. Recognizes quickly where and when he can take advantage of a situations. He doesn’t get caught in traffic and gets under opponents to gain his advantages.

Kole Lind – RW – (20 – 30)

  • DOB: 1998-10-16 / H: 6’1 / SH: R
  • Decent size, willing to play physical but needs to get stronger … Goal scorer with great shot … Likely a late first round pick … Top scorer on the team that includes Nick Merkley & Dillon Dube …
  • Draft Site: Sleeper pick in the first. He is one of the best goal scorers in the class, but at this juncture is a lightweight who is tall but thin. Has a frame to carry more girth and may grow an inch or two. Has an excellent wrist snapper he gets off quickly and a booming slapper. He is a really strong skater with good balance and displays good edging that helps him turn abruptly to elude defenders and isn’t afraid to protect himself when he plants himself near the blue paint. Strong skater and very good with his zoen entries on the carry in. Really has a good hockey sense and quickly advances the biscuit to create good looks. Seems to capitalize whenever he is able to get loose and get open. He is also a good playmaker and stays involved on the attack. He is at his best when he plays with grit and edge, and his play is trending that way. Has really progressed in his WHL career, but still hasn’t reached the 45 goals/79 points in 44 games totals he had in Saskatoon midget, but as he gets bigger and stronger, he may just develop into an NHL power scorer. –Bill Placzek–

Nikita Popugayev: RW – (20 – 30)

  • DOB: 1998-11-20 / H: 6’6 / SH: R
  • Excellent puck controll … Size is obviously a plus but he could play more physical … Nice hands, decent shot … Consistancy is an issue …  Needs to improve defensively …
  • The Hockey Writers:  Popugaev is first-round material, not only because of his size but also because he has great skills and an excellent knack for the opposition’s crease. His ability to score is an asset and will help his NHL Entry Draft ranking. Paired with his frame, he is one of those players any NHL team would love to draft. However, despite his size, he is not a power forward, but he can create space for other players and use his size along the boards.

Second or Third Rounds

  1. Jaret Anderson-Dolan DOB: 1999-09-12 / H: 5’11 / POS: C
    • Size is a bit of a concern … Excellent a goal scorer with a lethal shot he has 39 goals in 72 games … Hard worker has worked on his defensive game … Not afraid to play physical …
  2. Mason Shaw: DOB: 1998-11-03 / POS: C / H: 5’9
    • Offensively gifted player 94 points in 71 games … Smart player, slick hands and strong playmaking skills …  Size is biggest drawback but willing to go to the drity areas … Willing to play the agitator role … Needs to get stronger …
  3. Aleksi Heponiemi: DOB: 1999-01-09 / H: 5’10 / POS: C
    • High end skater … Size will be questioned he is a small player with a slender frame (150 lbs)  … High-end vision and playmaking …
  4. Nick Henry: 1999-07-04 / H: 6′ POS: RW
    1. Offensive winger with good work ethic … Decent skater … Works on defensive end … How much offensive is due to Sam Steel? …
  5. Jake Leschyshyn DOB: 1999-03-10 / H: 5’11 / POS: C
    • NHL bloodlines his father Curtis played in the NHL … Good work ethic, smart player … Player that the coach can trust, will play at the end of games … Can play offensive or defensive role, but his numbers aren’t strong …
  6. Stelio Mattheos DOB: 1999-06-14 / H: 6’1 / POS: C
    • Projects as an offensive forward … Excellent skater, good shot … Good size willing to go to the dirty areas …  Effective two-way player ..

Mid – Late Round Picks

  1.  Jordy Bellerive – He’s a small (5’10) but plays a buzzsaw type game. Plays a complete two-way game and has some offensive upside … 0.81 PPG
  2. Kyle Olson – On the small size (5’10) right winger with decent offense (0.82 PPG) … Responsible hard-working two-way player  …
  3. Lane Zablocki – Good size (6′) right hand shot center … 0.76 PPG …. Will engage physically … Can play up and down the line-up … Does a lot of things right, but doesn’t excel in any area …
  4. Josh Paterson: Is a smart 6’1 right hand shot center … Was fourth in points (.51 PPG) for the low scoring Blades
  5. Ryan Bowen – 6’2 RW Dec, 98 born … Big kid with good stickhandling … He is more of a playmaker than a goal scorer …
  6. Matthew Wedman – Big (6’3) left winger who played a checking role this season … Late birthday (May, 99) … Responsible in his own end …
  7. AJ Pratt – Good size (6’3) … He was a late birthday July, 30th 99 … He’s a power forward with decent speed and plays a two-way game …. Doesn’t have high end offense .51 PPG …
  8. Mark Kastelic is an interesting prospect 6’3 right hand shot center.  Father played for the Hartford Whalers he’s a hard nosed type player.
  9. Sami Moilanen – Small (5’9) chippy Finn with good speed … Good offensive skills, engaged in the play …
  10. Connor Dewar – 5’10 RHS center good skill and hockey sense … Offense is a little low …

 

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