C-R / 5-11.0, 191 / 12-Mar-91
Skating: 45 / Skill: 40 / Sense: 60 / Compete: 70 / Tough: 40
Strengths: Great on-ice work ethic. Very good hockey sense in all zones. Gets the most out his ability. Has been a late bloomer.
Weaknesses: Doesn't have real high end natural talent. Average skater at best. Doesn't have the size to play his style at the next level.
Just works hard all over the ice. Tenacious puck pursuit. Goes into traffic and does battle with the big boys down low. The kind of guy coaches put out in any situation - kills penalties and even plays the point on the PP at times.
Great chemistry on that line with Kellan Tochkin and Tyler Maxwell. Just goes in and digs for the puck and tries to get it to his skilled linemates.
Has some decent first step quickness, but is otherwise an average skater on the whole. Surprising ability to be effective along the boards against much bigger opponents. But is otherwise not very physical at all.
Summary: Coaches love these kind of players - so do NHL scouts, even with the smallish size. I'm not sure I'd spend anything more than a late 3rd rounder on him, but I wouldn't take issue with a team that grabbed him as early as the 2nd. If he dropped the gloves at all or was more physically aggressive, I'd have him higher.
Draft Day: I get the feeling a lot of NHL scouts were hoping to steal this guy with a 4th. But after his performance in Fargo, the cat is out of the bag. Could be a wildcard - mid-2nd is probably the best case for him. I'd be surprised if he lasts much beyond the 85th pick or so.