Photo Credit: Rob Wilton/Vancouver Giants
D.O.B – March 24, 2002
Nationality – Canada
Draft Eligibility – 2020
Height – 5’11
Weight – 165 lbs
Position – Right Wing
Handedness – Right
Sourdif’s Style Of Play
Justin Sourdif is an aggressive, gritty player in all three zones who can really fly. He relishes physical battles despite not having the largest frame, and is surprisingly strong on the puck for his size. His board-play is not without its flaws, though most of his issues there are caused by a physical disadvantage against most defensemen, but despite this he loves getting involved on the boards and around the net, and near the crease he is a dangerous player with a tendency to find space in tight. He is also a player who utilizes the “Forsberg” reverse hit well when the opportunity arises. Sourdif lives in the high danger areas, and it is a surprise to see him anywhere apart from the slot of the crease when the play is set up. His understanding of seams in defenses is impressive, and as with players such as Danny Briere, Brad Marchand and Brendan Gallagher he possesses the ability to appear out of nowhere to slam home lose pucks with defensemen nowhere in sight.
Sourdif also has a nice shot. His snapshot especially is impressive, and he can rip a wrister too. He does, however, flub on shots at a high rate for someone with a good release, and right now a higher percentage of prime chances than you would like to see he flutters towards net with the puck wobbling in air and at reduced velocity. There needs to be better consistency in that area, as he has the potential to be a dangerous goal-scorer. He is very good at effective zone entries, and getting through the neutral zone quickly and seamlessly. Once he gets into the offensive zone he also understands how to slow the play down while keeping options available, in order to either set up a cycle or find a trailer who has beaten their man. Sourdif can also penalty kill, and is a reliable defensive player who is trusted by his coaches to kill off games versus top lines. His hockey IQ does not “pop” like some players, but he rarely makes major mistakes and is good in all three zones, so there is no doubt he thinks the game well. His IQ presents itself best by his ability to get free in dangerous positions. He also has soft hands that he can use at very high speed, and is a decent passer, even if not amazing in that area. Right now, he plays in a net-front role on the power play, but likely won’t be there at next level.
Sourdif needs to get bigger and stronger to win more physical battles, areas that are key to his style of play, and also has to improve his consistency game-to-game and shift-to-shift. However, given his skating, two-way game, and sound technical skills if he simply keeps developing it is hard to imagine he does not find a role in an NHL bottom six down the line. If he really hits he could be a second line forward who opposition defensemen hate and fans love.
Bryan Rust, Right Wing, Pittsburgh Penguins
Both forwards are well-rounded, 200ft players who utilize their plus speed to great effect. Like Rust, Sourdif might not have size on his side, but that does not stop him going hard to the danger areas or battling along the boards. Sourdif and Rust also have good hockey IQ’s and nice releases.
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