Thursday, June 17, 2010

Joey Leach / LD / Kootenay WHL

Joey Leach / Kootenay Ice WHL

D-L / 6-3.0, 187 / 29-Jan-92

Skating: 40 / Skill: 40 / Sense: 55 / Compete: 55 / Toughness: 70

Strengths: Big frame. Plays rugged style. Good d-zone smarts. Raw, but greatly improved offensive ability.

Weaknesses: Skating isn't great. Limited offensive upside.


One of the most interesting mid-round guys available. Huge and plays big. Loves to use the body and is a punishing hitter. But still very responsible defensively. Loves to throw big hits and defends the crease area with enthusiasm. Can fight pretty well.

Isn't a great skater, but I saw quite a bit of improvement in his stride and pivots this season, so I'll gamble on this guy in the hopes he can get his skating to where it needs to be in a couple of years.

Greatly improved puck ability over the last season and a half. A lot more confident making a first pass and started to contribute on Kootenay's power play in the 2nd half. But as of now he projects as pretty much a pure stay-at-home guy in the pros. And that might be enough anyway - with his size and toughness, if he can provide anything more than just getting the puck out safely, that will be gravy at the next level.

Has grown at least an inch in the last year. And the second half surge in offense indicates this guy's development is just getting started. There is some slight chance this guy could surprise everyone with some decent offensive upside, which is why I really like this player.

Summary: This would be one of my favorite guys to try and sneak away with in the late 3rd or 4th round. I think we've only just begun to see the improvement, but this is a pure projection guy. If you can get him with a middle-round pick, you aren't risking much to get some decent upside.

Draft Day: Is a bit of a wildcard. I have a feeling there will be a team or two worried about missing out on him and spending an early 3rd on him. But I think he's more likely to last until the 4th. He's a steal in the 5th or later.

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