Saturday, May 30, 2009

Elliott, Stefan - D - Saskatoon WHL

Stefan Elliott / Saskatoon Blades WHL

D-R / 6-0.5, 180 / 30-Jan-91

Skating: 50 / Skill: 70 / Sense: 65 / Compete: 45 / Tough: 35

Strengths: Can do a lot of things with the puck. Great transition game and can take the puck end-to-end. Runs the power play smoothly and smartly.

Weaknesses: Soft and lacks the strength to clear the crease. Needs a lot of work on defensive zone play.

Pure offensive ability from the back end will be his ticket to the next level. Terrific offensive instincts and does everything you want a d-man to do with the puck. Makes a great first pass, can take it end to end with speed, and has all the PP ingredients.

Seems fine skating forward and has good speed when rushing the puck, but every other aspect of his skating leaves me scratching my head. Pivots sometimes look awkward and lateral quickness looks lacking in the d-zone. Just not sure what to make of the skating - he seems to have quick, light feet but so many bad things happen to him in his own end that I wonder about it.

Needs a lot of work on d-zone play. Has trouble containing speedy forwards and I see him make a lot of gap mistakes. Gets sloppy with the puck when pressured. Seems to need a little space to get the puck out safely. Almost no physical presence and lacks strength. Will need to be paired with a big stay-at-home at the next level.

Summary: Just don't have a good gut feeling on this player. He's not Mike Green - despite having similar offensive abilities. Green was a physical, aggressive player in his own end and Elliott is pretty meek back there. I think he'll play - but maybe only a PP specialist. I'd consider him around the mid-2nd range just on his PP specialist upside. Pretty sure he's going to go much higher than I have him.

Draft Day: He seems like a consensus first rounder, but who knows. Should be in that 20-35 overall range, but NHL teams might have the same concerns I do, so a slide to the mid-2nd round is possible.

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