Brodie Melnychuk / Brandon Wheat Kings WHL
D-L / 6-3.5, 196 / 13-May-1991
Skating: 35 / Skill: 35 / Sense: 55 / Compete: 60 / Tough: 45
Strengths: Good size. Consistent effort level and good character. Thinks the defensive game well and is reliable down low in his own end. Offensive game showed some progress this season.
Weaknesses: Skating needs improvement. Struggles with the first pass and will not carry the puck at all. Could be more physically aggressive.
Is certainly a guy you need to see a lot to appreciate, but still is a long ways away from being a high end pro prospect. Good strength and he uses it effectively at times. As easy as it is for him to win 1-on-1 battles along the boards, you'd think he'd use that big frame more often. But lacks that little bit of nasty edge you want to see from a stay-at-home guy like this.
Not much puck skill, but has an accurate shot - release is a little slow, however. Pivots alright and doesn't get beat with speed or quickness too often in his own end at this level. But his straight line stride is very lacking and will have to improve for him to succeed against faster competition.
Summary: Has two of the unteachables: size and decent hockey sense. But you have to hope for a lot of improvement in every other aspect of his game over the next two years. Pure projection pick.
Target: Only a late round interest for me. He's a reasonable value in the 6th or 7th, but any earlier than that seems like a reach to me.