D-R / 6-4.0, 193 / 03-Mar-92
Skating: 60 / Skill: 55 / Sense: 45 / Compete: 70 / Toughness: 65
Strengths: Nice combination of size and skating. Decent puck skill. Good character.
Weaknesses: Doesn't seem to think the game well in d-zone. Needs to be more effective using his size.
Has more to offer at the offensive end than he gets credit for. Has good passing touch and a hard shot, but he's got to show a little more desire to get involved offensively. Makes a pretty good first pass. Skating is a big plus here. Has good feet and a smooth, long stride. Overall mobility is pretty good.
Consistently physical, but is never really punishing. But for all the size and strength he has, he loses a lot of battles for the puck that he should win. But has a huge frame and should be a very strong 220-230 pounds by the time he hits his prime. Good character, sticks up for his teammates, and is willing to drop the gloves.
Now the bad news. This guy's reactions in the d-zone just flat out confuse me. I just can't understand how a guy with this kind of agility gets beat so often in his own end. Usually you tend to think you can teach a guy positioning and gap control, but I have to wonder a bit on this one. And it's not really gap control - usually he seems to take a good angle, but then just doesn't react as the forward makes a move. Other times he tends to run around a bit and chase the puck carrier. I see the need for a lot of remedial work on his d-zone play.
Summary: Everyone thinks this is a safe pick. I think the opposite - he's one of the riskier picks in this draft. Maybe it's that Rebels jersey, but he looks a lot like Jeff Woywitka to me. I'll put up with mistakes a d-man makes that come from aggressiveness, but this guy's mistakes are not of that nature. That said, there's more offensive upside here than people are giving him credit for, that that plus the size/skating combination makes him a worthwhile 2nd round roll of the dice.
Draft Day: Probably goes either very late in the 1st or with the first few picks of the 2nd. A bit ahead of where I'd consider him.