Photo Credit: Aaron Bell/CHL, Photo by Luke Durda/OHL Images
D.O.B – February 21, 2002
Nationality – Canada
Draft Eligibility – 2020
Height – 5’11
Weight – 165 lbs
Position – Right Wing
Handedness – Right
Evangelista’s Style Of Play
Evangelista is an agile winger who is extremely tenacious. In that regard he has some of the same qualities as his second cousin, Hockey Hall of Famer Brendan Shanahan. He constantly frustrated opposition defensemen with his forechecking, and his ability to make opponents have to rush passes due to his pressure means that he forces mistakes regularly. He is also a diligent back-checker who has an intuitive understanding of lanes, and therefore uses his stick very well to channel opposition forwards towards low danger areas. Offensively speaking he has good hands and a very good release, but at times you are left urging him to utilize his shot more and not pass up on prime opportunities to try and get an even better look for himself or his line-mates. This is understandable to a degree though, as he is a high-end passer who sees the ice extremely well and is generally a step ahead of the play.
Evangelista has no real gaping holes in his game. Going forward simply needs to get stronger, as he often gets beat in board battles where positionally he should be favored, though you cannot even begin to doubt his application here. He is very willing to go into physical battles against bigger players. While he is an agile skater, with okay top speed who can beat defensemen clean, his stride could do with some improvement, as it is a bit choppy at times right now, and as a result he loses some power and does not make as good use of his agility as he could. On a stacked London team he did have the opportunity to spend half the year with very high level line-mates in Liam Foudy and Connor McMichael… but was also good without them when playing with Antonio Stranges, Jason Willms and Nathan Dunkley.
Some may point to his lack of “track record”, as he only really sprang into NHL draft watchers consciousness this year. However, he was a top scorer at AAA level, and was buried on the stacked Knights team last year after being picked 1st round (14th overall) in the OHL priority draft. This suppressed his production, as in 2018-19 he played very rarely, and as a result got only 2 points in 27 games. This year he was almost at point-per-game level, despite generally playing a middle six role, with hardly any power-play time. In fact, only 2 of his 61 points came in man-up situations. Factoring in how good a passer he is and how he looked in his time on the power-play half-boards, it is easy to imagine him being utilized on the power-play in the NHL in future, even if “only” on a second pairing. Evangelista is also a good penalty-killer who is good at forcing turnovers when used aggressively in such situations.
If he can simply develop his game, get stronger, and improve his skating stride I can imagine him being fan favorite top six winger in the NHL down the line.
Jaden Schwartz, Left Wing, St. Louis Blues
Both Evangelista and Schwartz are great playmakers from the wing, who while not blessed with either size or high-end physical tools have good hockey IQ’s, grit and determination. Like Schwartz, Evangelista is also a good two-way winger with good puck control. The main difference is shot volume. Schwartz, who is a great playmaker, shoots more than Evangelista.
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