D-R / 6-0.25, 196 / 30-Dec-91
Skating: 60 / Skill: 60 / Sense: 60 / Compete: 45 / Toughness: 45
Strengths: Very good all-around raw ability and some nice offensive smarts. Good puck moving and puck carrying skills. Good skater.
Weaknesses: Has yet to put everything together consistently. Average size means he needs to contribute offensively to be valuable.
I've seen plenty of this guy, and I've seen him do a little bit of everything at different times this season. Can be solid and physical in his own end. Or can take the puck end-to-end and generate offense off the rush.
But for most of the season he just did nothing. But I'd give this guy a lot of leeway on that, since he made a huge jump in levels this season (played Midget in Los Angeles the previous year). And since he finished the season and playoffs strong, that matters most.
Summary: I had just about written off this guy after watching him sleepwalk through most of the season. But then he turned it on in the last two weeks and was arguably Portland's best defenseman in the playoffs. Maybe it just took him that long to get comfortable in major junior. He's got top four puck-moving/puck-carrying raw skill and is one of those oh-so desirable late bloomers.
Draft Day: Serious sleeper and quite a wildcard. I honestly wouldn't be shocked to see him go as high as about 40-50 overall. But if he's available in the 3rd, I'd really be pounding the table to roll the dice on this guy somewhere near the 70-80 range. But if NHL teams are skeptical of the short burst of brilliance late, he could slide to the 4th or later. Hard to figure where he'll go.