C-R / 6-2, 192 / 31-Jul-92
Skating: 60 / Skill: 70 / Sense: 70 / Compete: 60 / Toughness: 55
Strengths: Great playmaking ability. Plays a complete game. Has steadily got better for the last two seasons.
Weaknesses: Skating stride could be a bit smoother. Lacks natural physical aggression. Not a great pure shooter.
Has come a long way in the last two or three years. Had a late growth spurt and seemed to be improving his athletic coordination right before our eyes this season.
Terrific vision and passing ability. Has a knack for protecting the puck down low, drawing the defense out of position, and then hitting linemates with a sharp pass. Dynamic ability was a revelation in the 2nd half. Started creating off the rush more and beating d-men with some fancy stickhandles. You might wish his shooting touch was a bit better, but his offensive game projects well and could be one of those 2-to-1 assist-to-goal type guys that are so valuable.
Skating improved considerably this season, but still looks like he's on the verge of losing his edges every time he gets going at speed. But despite how odd it looks, he always gets to where he's going and has some deceptive speed.
Turned himself into an excellent defensive forward and a very effective penalty killer. Physical play was the only hole in his game, but he really picked that up after the Top Prospects Game.
Summary: Almost every aspect of his game kept getting better all season long. The possibility that there's still lots of improvement to come is especially intriguing. Has the most upside of anyone in this draft from my area. Could turn into an All Star 1st line center. There is some bust risk here, but not much. He barely edges out Niederreiter as #1 on my list just on the basis of higher upside.
Draft Day: Should be top ten, probably somewhere in 6 to 10 range. It wouldn't shock me if sneaks into the top 4 or 5 picks.