Photo Credit: Candice Ward/Calgary Hitmen
Scouting Report written by Josh Tessler
Sean Tschigerl is a 2021 NHL Draft eligible prospect, who plays for the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen. He is initially from Whitecourt, Alberta, which is approximately a two hour drive northwest of Edmonton, Alberta. Highway 43 connects Whitecourt with Edmonton and Grande Prairie, Alberta.
Tschigerl played youth hockey in the Whitecourt Minor Hockey Association and with the Okanagan Hockey Academy in Edmonton. While at the Okanagan Hockey Academy, he played U15 and U18 hockey. Tschigerl played alongside several 2021 draft eligible prospects including Cole Dubinsky, Colton Dach, Owen Pederson, Corson Ceulemans, Kyle Masters, Oscar Plandowski and Olen Zellweger. In addition, he played with Montréal Canadiens prospect Kaiden Guhle.
After his 2017-2018 U15/U18 season at Okanagan, Tschigerl was selected fourth overall in the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft by the Calgary Hitmen. He made his WHL debut in 2018-2019 and was featured in eight games that season for Calgary.
This past season was a shortened one due to COVID-19, but he did play in 21 games for Calgary, in which he recorded 13 goals and eight assists. Before the WHL season began, he had played in one AJHL game for his hometown Whitecourt Wolverines.
D.O.B – April 11, 2003
Nationality – Canada
Draft Eligibility – 2021
Weight –181 lbs
Position – Left Wing
Handedness – Left
Tschigerl’s Style Of Play
Tschigerl is a gritty forechecker. You can expect him to exert his upper body strength to put pressure on the puck carrier and look to create a turnover. When deploying the forecheck and not looking to complete a bodycheck, he might hunch over from time to time, put the stick shaft or blade in front of the puck to manipulate the puck carrier into dumping the puck. On the penalty kill, he will forecheck hard, pounce when you play the puck towards him, deploys an active stick, nets possession and then he is one on one with the goaltender.
While he has good upper body strength on the forecheck, he will struggle when playing the puck and utilizing upper body strength. Tschigerl will struggle at getting around the last defender, especially if they are more physically built. He has proven to be an efficient stick-handler, so I am just assuming that he will put it together soon.
When he doesn’t have control of the puck, sees a teammate in a puck battle, he will move towards them and given them an option to pass towards.
On the flip side, when he has the puck and is facing pressure from an aggressive backchecker, he will pivot out and drop to the half-wall to execute a pass. If Tschigerl has room to breathe, but facing the backcheck, he can efficiently stick-handle around the pressure. You can expect him to skate along the half-wall deceptively as if he intends to pass the puck back to the point, but then passes the puck up the ice to a teammate down low. There have also been times where he stick-handles around the goaltender and finds a small gap to exploit at net-front for a goal.
Mid-cycle, if he sees teammates engaged in puck battles down low, he’ll skate to the crease and offer an open teammate at net front. That has also paved the way for deflection goals at the crease. When entering the offensive zone on a 2 – on – 1, he’ll spread out and that makes it more of a challenge to the defender to adjust if a pass is made. That has led to great scoring chances and goals. For instance this season, he recorded a snap shot top shelf right side off of a 2-on-1.
With his shot, he has shown to have difficulty at generating height on shots from low danger. His stick blade is closed instead of open. Yet, when he skates into medium danger, he can then generate the necessary height to beat goaltenders. From medium danger, he can drain top shelf one-timer goals.
From a passing perspective, he doesn’t generate a ton of primary assists. But, he doesn’t have any issues with passing execution in the offensive zone. Yet, I do believe if he’s paired with speedy and excellent reaction timed forwards, that he will generate plenty of primary assists once he gets control of the puck off of forechecks.
Tschigerl is a strong defender when playing the point. He will execute poke-checks at the point, steal the puck from the defender and start a rush. When not looking to complete a poke-check, Tschigerl loves to skate up to the defender on the point, put pressure on them to force a rash decision. He will often lower his stick blade and stick shaft to force rash decisions. Tschigerl implements a quality active stick.
However, Tschigerl doesn’t often exert the same pressure along the half-wall on wingers that he does on the point with defenders, he will drop down to provide insurance for loose puck recoveries created by his teammates and serves as an outlet to drive the rush. While he doesn’t put a tremendous pressure on wingers along the half-wall, if the defenseman he’s covering pinches, he will skate hard towards the defender and box him in along the boards.
From a puck movement standpoint, when in possession of the puck, there are times where he holds onto the puck too long, draws pressure and doesn’t make a quick pass before the pressure hits him on the boards. At that point, it’s too late.
In the neutral zone, right off the center ice draw, he’s aggressive to the puck, enters puck battles immediately. If he sees a puck carrier burst through the neutral zone into the offensive zone and no one is covering, he’ll pick up the speed and utilize an active stick in the defensive slot to silence the attack.
He will stay toe-to-toe defensively with the puck carrier to cut down passing lanes. He also thrives at putting pressure on the puck carrier by coming at them, he’ll play close to the vest and force them to rashly dump the puck. But, he isn’t always quick to defend the rush, there are plenty of shifts where he will skate after the rush. The cause for that has to do mostly with acceleration and speed.
Tschigerl has good reach when grabbing loose pucks in the neutral zone that are further out on his left or right side. He’s shown that he can throw the puck around the defender and garner the necessary acceleration to re-take possession. You can expect him to complete zone exit passes with ease and will utilize a backhand pass to get the job done. He will look to be deceptive with his zone entry pass attempts. Tschigerl will toe the line in the neutral zone, skate to one side and open up the right side/a spot for his teammate on the right side and then fire a crisp pass for a zone entry pass.
Once he has control of the puck, he thoroughly enjoys skating into the offensive zone in an effort to create many offensive zone entries. But, he needs to be cautious about rushing into the offensive zone with three attackers glued to him, he will get into the zone and immediately coughs up the puck when facing that kind of pressure.
If he is in tough puck battles in the neutral zone, he’ll push you down as he has quality upper body strength to push pressure.
When initiating his stride, he will kick things off with a crossover for acceleration. Tschigerl will also utilize quality crossovers in the neutral zone for further bursts of acceleration. But, he will sometimes revert to rapidly deploying a repetitive stride for acceleration. Yet, that doesn’t work at gathering acceleration. It’s not consistent, but is an area that needs further development.
Tschigerl does have some ankle flexion issues. He has a bit of a knocked knee. So, you will see shifts in which he can’t deploy inside edges as his leg isn’t bent far enough. Ultimately, his knees are not in line with the toe of the skate in stride. That hurts his speed, especially when he doesn’t help use crossovers for acceleration mid-stride. In addition, it also doesn’t help at skating in a straight line when in full stride.
But, he doesn’t seem to have ankle flexion issues when he is looking to go at full speed. When going at full speed, you will see him hunched over, knees bent and knees above his toes.
He’s shown that can he deploy crisp hockey stops with lots of snow when skating to the boards behind the net. If he has to stop on a dime as he is in a clear passing lane, he will deploy the stop in an effort to secure the puck and generate a scoring chance.
Top 9 Winger (NHL).
stats from InStat and EliteProspects
Prospect report written by Josh Tessler. If you would like to follow Josh on Twitter, his handle is @JoshTessler_.
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