The OilKnight – Page 2 – TheOilKnight.ca
 

Author: The OilKnight

Born and raised in London, Ontario area. Been an Oilers fan & London Knights fan for almost 30 years.

By the OilKnight 06/17/20

The 2020 OHL draft class is is one of the deepest OHL groups in years. Want proof? Since 2012-13, there have only been THREE OHL prospects who had 25 goals or more in their Draft -1 year – Connor McDavid, Alex DeBrincat & Arthur Kaliyev. Last season alone, there were FIVE players that surpassed that mark in the OHL. There were also EIGHT players who registered at least 40 points on the season which is an uncommon feat. This group is deep and they’re of high quality. Here’s a list of the Top 30 OHL‘ers going into next year’s draft:

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#1. Quinton Byfield (C)

Byfield has the size/speed/skill combination that makes scouts drool. The pace he plays with at his size is rare. He has terrific speed, agility and edge work. Combine that with his excellent hands and he is a real threat to opposing d-men to defend. He also possesses a real hard wrist shot with a deadly release. His sees the entire ice extremely well and is capable of pinpoint passes. 52.1 FO% as a 16 yr old is exceptional. While he does a good job of shielding opponents & has some physicality in his game, Byfield still needs to put on some more mass & use his big frame more to his advantage. No reason to think that doesn’t happen as he continues to grow and develop. He is a legit candidate to go 1st overall in the 2020 Draft.

courtesy of ALLSPORT mixtapes via Youtube


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#2. Jamie Drysdale (RD)

Drysdale is such a tremendous skater with blazing speed & acceleration, it makes him dangerous at both ends of the ice. He moves the puck around so effortlessly. His vision & passing ability are elite. Defensively, he is very aggressive; consistently challenging the puck carrier with his explosiveness. He excels at breakouts & transitional play. Offensively, he can quarterback the attack and also possesses an excellent wrist shot from the point. Drysdale skates a lot like Quinn Hughes and has the ability to be better all-round than Bowen Byram. Potential franchise #1 defenceman.

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courtesy of HSD prospects via Youtube

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#3. Cole Perfetti (C/LW)

Perfetti has tremendous offensive instincts reminiscent of a young Steven Stamkos. His numbers as a 16 yr old (37G, 37A, 72 Pts) weren’t that far off from a 16 yr old Stammer (42G, 50A, 92 Pts) either. Perfetti is such a strong skater who sees the ice extremely well. He has a very good shot & a knack for scoring big goals. He’s so smart and has a fantastic work ethic, he forces a lot of turnovers as he’s very solid in all 3 zones. Perfetti isn’t the flashiest player but he might be the most complete in this group. Potential Top 10 pick next season.

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#4. Marco Rossi (C)

Rossi is one of the oldest prospects in the 2020 draft as he just missed being eligible for the 2019 draft by just eight days. Regardless, he is still an extremely talented playmaker, and a fabolous skater. He’s not a burner but is so smooth & agile it makes him incredibly shifty and tough to contain. His vision and offensive instincts are top-notch. He has a deadly shot & release and some highlight reel passes. Rossi is also a PP specialist – he led rookies in PP points with 20. He plays a pro style game already. Solid in all 3 zones. +51 as a rookie. Excellent faceoff center too – 54.2 FO%. Due to his size, & age compared to his peers he may slide just outside the Top 10 come draft day but shouldn’t fall much further.

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#5. Antonio Stranges (LW)

Stranges is the most talented London Knight since Mitch Marner. His combination of skating, agility & stickhandling is incredible. Stranges “2 and 10” skating ability is extremely rare. It confuses defenders & makes him completely unpredictable as he is capable of shooting or passing from it. His shot and release are electric, his backhand is the also best in his class and maybe several years. Stranges has this keen ability to make tape to tape passes look easy. He has incredible offensive instincts & shows good commitment to defense. There’s no question he has Top 5 skill in this draft. His teammate Connor McMichael exploded for 72 points in his draft year after registering 16 points as a rookie. If Stranges gets anything close to that this year, he should be a Top 10 lock.

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#6. Jacob Perreault (RW)

Perreault is the son of former NHL‘er Yanic Perreault. He is not a speedster but is a powerful skater with a big shot and a dynamite release. Terrific one-timer. He also possesses good playmaking ability. Looks like another one of the new age power forwards. Not afraid to muck it up in the corners or finish a check. Battles hard along the boards. Defensive game needs a bit of work in his draft year but the willingness is there. Tough, determined, power forward who can rip the puck. He’ll be an intriguing option in the Top half of the 1st round. If improves his overall speed & quickness he could climb quickly. Trending better than Arthur Kaliyev at this point.

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#7. Will Cuylle (LW)

Cuylle is viewed as a shooter and a goal scorer, but there is more to his game than just that. Yes, he led all OHL rookies in SOG with 187. Yes, he has an elite shot and release already. But, Cuylle also has tremendous puck skills, and terrific awareness on the ice. He can beat you with his speed & shot from the wing but if you’re not careful he can walk around you too. He also has an excellent work ethic and was easily their best and more dangerous player in their short playoff run. Another prototypical power forward who just needs to work on his 200 ft game to be a complete player. Will be a hot commodity come draft day.

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Cuylle hat trick game

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#8. Jean-Luc Foudy (C)

Foudy is the brother of former 1st round pick Liam Foudy of the London Knights. Like his brother, he has blazing speed & acceleration. Unlike his brother, Jean-Luc is more of a playmaker than a shooter. In fact, he led all OHL rookies in assists with 41 (only 9 goals). He has terrific vision and a real knack for drawing defenders away with his speed, then setting up open teammates. He’s a breakaway threat & has some nice stickhandling but needs to bury it more. Hands haven’t caught up yet. Faceoffs are an issue (37.7%), and Foudy definitely needs to get stronger as he can be pushed off the puck quite easily at times. But, there is enough here to warrant a 1st round pick. A playmaking speedster with upside if hands improve.

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#9. Jaromir Pytlik (RW)

Pytlik is a bit of a Youtube sensation that has grown up in the Hockey Talent Academy in the Czech Republic. He has been filmed as early as age 5, performing hockey skills training. Last season, he joined the Soo in the 2nd half of the season and had immediate success registering 19 points in 26 games. Pytlik is a tall, lanky prospect with a long stick and excellent skill. He does a good job of shielding the puck and going hard to the net. Great hands in tight. Has some flashy moves. Speed is very good, nice edgework. Very creative center with good vision and playmaking ability. 41.7 FO%. Late 2001 birthday could explode offensively next season.

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#10. Logan Morrison (C)

The nephew of former NHL‘er John Cullen, Morrison might be one of the smartest players in the 2020 draft. He has excellent skill and a tremendous work ethic. His vision on the ice is exceptional. He has good speed and is very patient with the puck. Smart decisions in all 3 zones. Morrison has deceptive speed & a sneaky good shot and release. He started his OHL career slowly, then caught fire in the 2nd half where he registered 28 points in the final 31 games. He’ll have to work on faceoffs (40.6%) if he’s going to remain at center, but there is a lot to like Morrison. Smart, heady, well-rounded with some leadership qualities. If he continues to grow physically, he could be a dominant #1C in the OHL. Not flashy at all but very solid.

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Other 2020 Draft Eligibles on the radar

To Comment please do via Twitter @TheOilKnight

By Tyler Campbell 06/27/20

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Welcome to my first edition of my top ranked WHL prospects for the 2020 NHL draft! My buddy SPR was looking for someone to keep an eye on the WHL for him this season and so I’m going to be that guy!  And even though I’m saying WHL, I’ll also be keeping a close eye on the Tier II Junior leagues in Western Canada as well…
 
Not the sexy class of dub kids that we just saw with the 2019 draft class, but at this point, I wouldn’t call it a down year for the league either as 2018 was. There is a lot of talent in this class, but none of the kids have yet to really take the reins on their own teams.
 
A couple things before I get to the list. I didn’t do comparisons for the kids this time around as my comp’s tend to change drastically as the year goes on, I have more viewings, and simply more information in general. Also, even though this should go without saying, I look at this as if I were a GM.  So I’m projecting, and I’m considering not necessarily need but things I view as most valuable.  If you want to see who the best point producers are of these kids, the WHL has a quality website and others do as well to check out the stats.
 
With all that said, here is the list:

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#1.

courtesy of whl.ca

Kaiden Guhle is number one for me. I know he’s not for most, but at the moment I have a difficult time putting him behind anyone in the dub given his overall pedigree. Guhle was the number one pick in the 2017 WHL draft, captain of the U17 team, and a VERY complete defenceman. Obviously, he doesn’t have tremendous stats, but a lot of that was the team he played on this season.  Guhle had to take a backseat to many this season as the only regular on the Raiders blueline who wasn’t a ’99 born kid.  A phenomenal skater who is already very effective in his own zone and loves the throw his weight around. The big thing that everyone will be watching with him this season is whether or not the offence is going to come. His puck skills are a bit in question at this moment, but I’m personally willing to cut some slack to a kid who was in his situation this season. Had he been playing for most other teams in the league, he’d have seen a lot more quality minutes. Even without improving his puck skills however, he will be a very solid pick. However, if those do come around, the offence should follow. And if the offence comes, the scouting community is going to be gushing over him.

courtesy of Western Hockey League via Youtube

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#2.

courtesy of whl.ca

For me, Justin Sourdif was the only one in consideration for me with Guhle for top kid in the WHL. When you look at the numbers with Sourdif, keep in mind most of his damage was done either five on five or PK (20 goals, 20 assists). Really thin at the moment too, Sourdif has the framed to easily put on another 20lbs. The big thing for Sourdif will be continuing to improve his skating. Right now, he’s quick, but he’s not real fast. He’s not slow, but as you can read he is currently listed as 5’11 so if you’re drafting someone sub 6’0 then you hope to get a great skater. The stats indicate he isn’t much of a playmaker, but in my opinion, those numbers were hurt by having to play most of the season on the wing and playing a game the Giants needed. I see him as a natural centre and expect his assist totals to really shoot up this season, especially given much more PP time.e comes, the scouting community is going to be gushing over him.

courtesy of Western Hockey League via Youtube

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#3.

courtesy of whl.ca

Connor McClennon was drafted 2nd overall in the ’17 draft behind Guhle. Tough to judge playing on such a terrible team last season, it wouldn’t stun me with the Ice now being on much more solid footing as an organization if McClennon were to rocket up some scouting lists. The downside is that a lot of McClennon’s points were on the PP (3 goals, 8 assists). The upside is that 12 of his 15 assists were primary. He was also terrific at the U-17’s last year, putting up 8 goals and 11 points in 5 games.  I’d say that tournament gives you a much better indication of what McClennon is playing on a competent team. He’s a sniper.  He has a hell of a shot. Zero issue with getting his nose dirty and going to the tough area’s on the ice, and while his top speed isn’t elite, he’s an extremely quick player. McClennon is first in a group of three kids who I had a very difficult time separating.

courtesy of Western Hockey League via Youtube

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#4.

courtesy of whl.ca

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Seth Jarvis was just barely edged out by McClennon at #3, who got the nod for me mainly due to playing on such a terrible team and being the higher pick in the bantam draft. But Jarvis had a tick better PPG, much better five on five numbers, and even though both are small kids he has a bit more size. Jarvis is a very good skater, who goes hard to the net and has a high compete level. He appears to have a high hockey IQ.

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courtesy of Western Hockey League via Youtube

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#5.

courtesy of whl.ca

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Ozzy Wiesblatt is a little different of a prospect than Jarvis and McClennon in that he has a little more size as you can see, and he plays with a lot of edge. Good numbers in the regular season, and good numbers in the playoffs too with 5 goals and 5 assists in 23 games. It is so close with all three of these kids. Wiesblatt was the lowest drafted of the three and has the lowest PPG. You could also point to seeing some PP time and five on five minutes with some real good players.  But then on the other hand, he’s got better size than Jarvis are McClennon and not just that but he uses that size to play a more in your face and physical game.

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courtesy of Prince Albert Raiders via Youtube

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#6.

courtesy of whl.ca

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Just missing this past draft by 10 days, Connor Zary’s numbers stack up decent against a guy like Kirby Dach on a less talented team than the Blades were in Kamloops. Zary actually had three more points than Dach at five on five, only playing one more game. Obviously there is much more to this than the numbers, but that is one big positive for Zary. At this point in the process however I still need to compare his 2018 numbers to the other kids in this class, and that’s where he falls a little down these rankings as his 17 year old numbers are lower (29 points in 68 games). He does have good playmaking ability though & is a very nifty stickhandler. Showed well for Team Canada at the U18‘s. 

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courtesy of Western Hockey League via Youtube

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#7.

courtesy of whl.ca

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I like the size (obviously more so the thickness), and he’s has great hands, but Jake Neighbours best trait is his IQ. He is an extremely cerebral player. The big concern I have though is the skating. I’ll need to see some improvement in his top end speed next season, but if he does that he’ll start getting serious buzz come next season. Potential power forward with upside.

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courtesy of Western Hockey League via Youtube

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#8.

courtesy of whl.ca

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He’s 8th right now, but Ronan Seeley has the ability to jump all the way to tops on this list in the next 11 months. This kid has a lot of talent but was stuck in Everett as a bottom pair guy every night. Terrific skater, and though his puck skills aren’t as good as someone like Guhle in Prince Albert, it could just be a case of not getting to handle it much thanks to a lack of ice time. This one is much more about projecting than anything. Others would have guys like Braden Schneider or Daemon Hunt ahead of Seeley, but Seeley has a much higher ceiling than both.

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#9.

courtesy of whl.ca

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Ridly Greig is a talented prospect who just needs to add strength. He’s rail thin at the moment and because of this, he gets knocked off the puck relatively easy and isn’t generating the power in his stride that he needs to be a good-great skater. Yet he put up 35 points? 28 at even strength? 14 of the 21 assists were primary? Keep your eye on him.

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#10.

courtesy of whl.ca

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Similar to Guhle, Daemon Hunt was playing with a very good blueline this past season. Dissimilar to Guhle however, is that Hunt was getting a lot of minutes with Josh Brook and Jet Woo. That might have helped him out a lot defensively, but also maybe hurt his offensive production. Only one of those goals and two of those assists were on the PP, while Brook and Woo lit it up on their PP. Pretty good skater and very solid defensively.

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courtesy of Western Hockey League via Youtube

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OTHER DRAFT NOTABLES

courtesy of eliteprospects.com

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To comment please do so via Twitter @Tj_soups or @TheOilKnight

By Yannick St. Pierre 06/26/20

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“For the first time in several years, the QMJHL boasts the #1 rated prospect by many heading into 2020 Draft. The league in general isn’t very deep in terms of overall quality this year but no one has more hype around him than Lafrenière. He has the potential to be a franchise player and generational talent. By the time the draft rolls around next June, he should be the 1st overall pick despite an extremely deep draft class”.  – The OilKnight

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#1.

courtesy of theqmjhl.ca

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past 2 years, you should know that Alexis Lafrenière should be the best player drafted from the QMJHL for the draft in 2020 in Montréal. Even at 17 years old he already displays a very polished and mature game reminiscent of a young Sidney Crosby. Explosive skater, tremendous skill and offensive instincts, with an elite work ethic. Expectations are very high for him next year and I have no doubt that he will live up to those as the best player in this draft class. He will have a much bigger role with Team Canada at the World Junior Championships. Potential Superstar.

courtesy of Hockey Prospects Center via Youtube

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#2.

courtesy of theqmjhl.ca

I have a pretty good feeling that these two players will sit at the top of the rankings all year. I expect Justin Barron to be easily the best Defenceman in the QMJHL for draft eligible players this year. Skating is the name of the game and Barron is an amazing skater. He has an excellent blend of agility, fluidity and technique. Skating looks effortless for him and I expect him to be playing a tons of minutes next year and contribute in all areas. He’s also an excellent puck mover with great offensive instincts. Led all Draft eligible d-men in the QMJHL in points with 41. Will compete with Jamie Drysdale for the right to be the top drafted CHL defenceman in 2020

courtesy of Puck Prodigy via Youtube

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#3.

courtesy of theqmjhl.ca

Hendrix Lapierre is one of my favorite players from the draft this year. In fact, I think I might end up buying his jersey. Chicoutimi will be stacked this year and should be one of the most fun teams to watch. Lapierre struggled a little bit with injuries last year but the sky is the limit for this kid. He can skate like the wind and he will be an absolute killer in transition. He is also one of the best playmakers in the whole draft, not only the QMJHL. He will need to get stronger which should help him improve his shot and prevent injuries. He only had 45 pts last year but don’t let those numbers fool you. No doubt in my mind that he will have a breakout year. He will finish the year with 50+ assists easily. There is some clips from last year where he carried the puck from end to end, he reminded me a bit of Connor McDavid. Not the same skill level but he has really high upside. The former 1st overall pick in the Midget draft, Lapierre won offensive rookie of the year in the “Q” last season. 

courtesy of NHL Prospects via Youtube

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#4.

courtesy of theqmjhl.ca

A Newfoundland native, Dawson Mercer is one of the older players for this draft class and you can clearly see that he is way ahead of everyone in his development curve. There is a real PRO vibe to his game. He has good speed and a big shot. Not real flashy, but goes hard to the net. It will be interesting to see how he does next year without guys like Joe Veleno and Maxime Comtois moving on along with a couple of overages also no longer on the team. Mercer will undoubtedy get a ton of ice-time and he should be able to score a lot of goals even if Drummondville won’t be very good. His game remind me a little bit of Kyle Turris.

courtesy of Louis-William Gagne via Youtube

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#5.

courtesy of theqmjhl.ca

I watched Mavrik Bourque play a lot last year and I wasn’t super impressed. He played on a terrible team but was put in a very good position to shine playing with the team’s best winger in Jan Drozg and on the first PP unit since day one. He did lead all 2020 draft eligibles in points with 54, including 10 PP goals. He doesn’t have a super heavy shot but owns a quick release and it is very accurate. For me, he will need to improve his play without the puck and be more involved in the play. He was often a passenger and wasn’t creating enough for my liking. He is pretty good on the faceoff dot but other than that he doesn’t play like a center. Like most prospects he needs to bulk up. Plenty of offensive ability makes him an intriguing draft option. 

courtesy of Bergyshow via Youtube

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#6.

courtesy of theqmjhl.ca

I really like how Theo Rochette improved throughout the course of last season. He reminds me a bit of 2019 draftee Alex Turcotte though might not be quite as good defensively yet. He does everything pretty well but nothing really elite that stands out to his game. He’s a quick skater who displays good vision and owns a very good wrister. An underrated playmaker at this point. Very solid in all areas. It should be a good battle this year with he and Mavrik Bourque, they are pretty close right now in my opinion.

courtesy of AllSport Mixtapes via Youtube

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#7.

courtesy of theqmjhl.ca

Players in Saint John were very hard to evaluate last season. They got demolished pretty much every game and 16 yr old Jérémie Poirier struggled defensively for most of the year. He does have some very exciting tools though. Nice size, with good skating and above average puck skills. I would like to see him either get better defensively next year or take a major step up offensively. High upside but he does come with a little bit of risk. The Sea Dogs should be much better so it’s possible he takes a giant leap forward in his draft year. 

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#8.

courtesy of theqmjhl.ca

If he plays all year with 2019 draftee Samuel Poulin in Sherbrooke next year, Patrick Guay he will produce a ton of offence. Last year, he physically struggled a little bit as a 16 yr old so will definitely need to get stronger in that area. He’s small and is soft on the boards but he has one nasty wrist shot. Kind of like Cole Caufield, you wonder how they are able to generate that much power behind their shot given that they are short and light. Guay is a riskier pick because he doesn’t bring much more other than offence. If he doesn’t put points on the board next year he will slip very fast on my board as he’s too one-dimensional at this point. 

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#9.

courtesy of theqmjhl.ca

Lukas Cormier is someone I will need to be very careful of because he did have a very solid season offensively last year. He projects as an excellent puck mover with good puck skills & is a smooth skater.  I struggled a little bit at projecting him to the next level but he’s definitely an intriguing player that I need to watch more during next season. Note: Cormier had the most goals for a 16 yr old defenceman in the CHL last season and the 6th most goals (15) in the history of the CHL at that age. 

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#10.

courtesy of theqmjhl.ca

Pretty mature for his age, Charlie DesRoches plays a very solid 2 way game. I would like to see a bit more from him offensively but he is ahead of Cormier and Poirier on the defensive side of things. I’m just not sold on the upside yet but he is certainly one of the more talented draft eligible blueliners in this league. He did manage 10 goals in 59 games

courtesy of Sports and Moore via Youtube

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OTHER DRAFT NOTABLES

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To comment please do so via Twitter @Livingod1 or @TheOilKnight

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