Photo Credit: Natalie Shaver / OHL Images
Quentin Musty is a 2023 NHL Draft eligible prospect and plays for the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves. Musty is from the Buffalo suburb, Hamburg, New York. He spent his youth in the Buffalo area and played for the Buffalo Jr. Sabres 13U AAA and 14U AAA squads.
For his 16U AAA season, he played in four games for the North Jersey Avalanche squad. He got hurt doing his 16U AAA and missed more than 75% of the regular season. According to Ted Goldberg of Spectrum News 1, Musty had suffered “a torn labrum in his left shoulder (the same shoulder that experienced a growth plate injury and a dislocation in the previous two years)”,
The Sudbury Wolves drafted Musty following his 16U AAA season with the first overall pick in the 2021 OHL Draft. Musty made his OHL debut the following season and is now in his second season with the Wolves. This season, he has averaged 1.44 points per game and 78.6% of his points have come at 5v5.
D.O.B – July 6, 2005
Nationality – American
Draft Eligibility – 2023
Weight –205 lbs
Position – Left Wing
Handedness – Left
Musty’s Style Of Play
There is a lot to cover in this section. But, let’s kick things off with looking at how well Musty does at adapting to pressure because its been one of the drivers behind his ability to regularly create at 5v5.
When he runs into traffic at the perimeter that seems daunting, he’ll look to redistribute and quickly identifies the open lane to use. For instance, here is a lateral feed that he completed to Kocha Delic once he hit a wall of multiple attackers. It ended up being a primary assist.
But, he doesn’t just loop to use lateral feeds for distribution when he is in a pinch due to increased pressure. He will look to complete drop passes and/or complete passes through the legs when he runs of breathing room.
Here is a pass that he completed through the legs against Sault Ste. Marie.
While he will deviate from the positioning of the attacker(s) and look the pass away from pressure, if a teammate finds open space past the attacker(s), he will pass through tight gaps to get the puck to the open teammate. Check out this pass in which Musty managed to get the puck through a very tight lane to Sudbury teammate Evan Konyen.
His stick-handling can be very inconsistent. Musty will bobble pucks when at open ice and trying to pull the puck around a defender. His struggles with bobbling pucks happen more and more when trying to navigate the puck in tight. While he does bobble pucks in tight, he has good reach and he will use it to push pucks away from pressure. That has allowed him to pass the puck out of tight pressure when along the boards. He’ll push the puck the puck to the opposite side when the attacker engages and then sends the puck along the boards to a teammate in the corner. When the attacker engages, he doesn’t use his size to push back on the attacker to open up separate and then using his handling to shake himself free.
When he is facing tight pressure from an attacker, but this time at open ice, he will test the defender with his stick-handling. As long as he isn’t taking on multiple attackers, he will look to dangle. Check out this clip of Musty dangling against a defenseman in a matchup with Sarnia.
I briefly talked about his reach when it comes to his ability to secure the puck against tight pressure along the boards, but his reach also allows him to grab onto loose pucks that go slightly wide of him. He will skate into loose pucks, grab possession quickly and can use his reach to nab pucks quicker then opponents who are skating in tow. After securing the puck, should he find himself with an uncontested shooting lane at range, he will rip a shot top shelf far side. When you give Musty an open shooting lane, he will burn you. He does a good job of identifying how far pressure is from him and shoots the puck before the attacker can completely close in on him.
Should he have an attacker on him, but Musty just wants a bit more room before taking the shot, he will complete a toe drag to get just the separation he needs to put an accurate shot on net from range. That’s come in handy quite a bit. But, that’s not the only trick up his sleeve. He will leverage slap shot fakes to buy space as well. Check out this clip from a game against Owen Sound.
He will also curl and drag too. As I said, he’s got plenty of tricks up his sleeve.
Got another clip to check out. Musty delays the shot to open up slightly more space for himself in this sequence against Sault Ste. Marie.
Musty does a great job of cementing himself in high and medium danger areas when off puck in the offensive zone. That’s allowed him to capitalize on one-timers throughout the season. Check out these one-timers.
Here is one against North Bay in early March.
And here is a one-timer in a game against Sault Ste. Marie from mid March.
Musty’s forechecking is a bit of a work in progress. He has the speed to attack north – south to close in on attackers with control of the puck, but he is stopping a second short of the attacker and that gives the attacker enough time and space to skate away from Musty. Musty also struggles to retain speed and build upon when changing from skating north – south to skating east – west. Thus, he gives up a bit too much spaces to puck carrying attackers when they decide to move east – west once Musty skates towards them at speed.
When going for loose pucks and an attacker is fighting for the puck along side him, Musty will look to push into the attacker with his shoulder to deter the attacker and get the inside track to the loose puck.
When Musty brings the puck into the offensive zone and encounters pressure at the point, sometimes he will struggle with his decision making. Sometimes he seems slightly too eager to pass the pass and that has led to passes missing target. For instance, I’ve witnessed Musty carry the puck into the zone on the wing, encounter pressure and immediately pass to center ice. The teammate who Musty intends to hit on stride is still further enough back in the neutral zone and thus he won’t be able to hit the teammate in stride. There are also instances in which Musty carries the puck into the zone, but doesn’t really have a plan to get around the pressure at open ice. He ends up skating towards the boards and hoping that he will be able to create space for a teammate to find a centered spot in the slot by deviating his positioning and drawing the pressure to him. But, by the time Musty is in position to make the pass, the pressure closes in on him along the boards and he is trapped.
When it comes to defending in his own zone against the rush, he has excellent north – south speed that he can rely on to put himself in a situation where he can defend the slot and take away a passing option down low. By targeting the attacker without possession, he forces the puck carrier with possession to deviate from passing to high danger.
But, Musty doesn’t implement the same pressure on every oppositional rush. If Musty is further down the ice compared to his line-mates, he will coast into the defensive zone and let his line-mates handle the first few interactions off of the rush.
While the opposition is running the cycle, Musty will shift his positioning from defending the point to skating down to the red line to provide an outlet lane should one of his teammates pick up possession of the puck. When Musty gets to the red line, he doesn’t look to be physical. He is simply providing the outlet passing lane.
When Musty is looking to cause a change in possession, he leans in with his reach to either knock the puck off of the stick of an attacker or to grab a puck quickly before an opponent can. His reach allows him to cause puck disruption even when he isn’t completely aligned to the attacker. If he is a step or two back, his reach has enabled him to grab a hold of pucks cleanly.
When in control of the puck and looking to create a breakout, should forecheck pressure amount, he does a good job of problem solving and finding a method of distribution that he can use to get the puck away from the threat. In the clip below, you will see Musty push the puck through his legs and simultaneously turn his back to the attacker. With his back turned to the attacker, he then looks to skate east – west to see if he can find enough separation to peel away. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen, but since he drew the attacker and ended up skating east – west, he managed to find an opportunity to complete a drop pass to a teammate who had quite a bit of breathing room.
When Musty gains control of the puck, he doesn’t like to hang onto the puck for long. Instead, he looks to distribute the puck quickly to a teammate in the neutral zone. He won’t shy away from attempting passes through tight lanes and will attempt saucer passes when facing impending pressure and doesn’t have the ability to net enough separation after being in a stand-still position. If Musty is along the half-wall with possession and his back is turned to pressure closing in on him, he does a good job of identifying teammates in stride who are skating towards the neutral zone and hits them in stride with a backhand pass.
When it comes to defending in the neutral zone, Musty leverages his north – south power stride to maintain quality alignment with the oppositional puck carrier driving the rush. While he isn’t rather physical in either the offensive zone nor the defensive zone, Musty does use his frame from time to time in the neutral zone to take away space. When he skating hip to hip with the puck carrying attacker, he extends his shoulder towards the attacker’s back to make it difficult for the puck carrier to continue using that lane to go the offensive zone.
When applying pressure along the boards in the neutral zone, Musty will look to be physical, but most of his checks are coming too late. He makes contact with the puck carrier but after the puck carrier has re-distributed the puck. There are some checks in which Musty extends the shoulder or hip sooner to neutralize the threat, but he isn’t consistent with it.
Similarly to his play in the offensive and defensive zones, Musty does a good job of utilizing his reach to cause puck disruption when skating north – south. He will look to target attackers who are skating up the boards with the puck as they are bit more limited with where they can put the puck.
When it comes to moving the puck from zone to zone, Musty is called upon regularly to drive the rush. But, he doesn’t always look to complete controlled entries. When skating up towards the blue line, if he sees a teammate skating up to the blue line with who has more pace then he has, he will look to hit them in stride. Should he decide not to pass and instead complete a controlled entry, he has the reach and the handling to swerve his way through pressure in the neutral zone. But, should pressure increase as he gets near the offensive zone blue line, he will dump pucks in to initiate a dump and a chase.
In those shifts in which Musty isn’t leading the rush, he looks to grab open ice near the offensive zone blue line to tee up an intriguing passing option for the teammate with control of the puck. That has led to a few breakaway goals.
I’ve talked about his skating throughout the report. So, I really want to keep this short and sweet.
Musty has an excellent power stride. He will use it quite regularly to keep speed on the breakout and maintain positioning (both when Sudbury has the puck and when they don’t). But, Musty can be selective at times on when he uses his stride to react to puck movement. If he is further back behind his teammates, he usually decides to be the last one back into the Sudbury zone and coasts in.
When it comes to his east – west skating, Musty struggles with retaining speed once shifting from north – south. His crossovers aren’t picking up a lot of momentum and thus he struggles to get the necessary speed to hang with the attack should they deviate from north – south. With that said, that limits Musty’s ability to forecheck / backcheck east – west unless he initially went into stride going east – west.
I believe that Musty is a top six winger at the next level.
Musty has an excellent shot from range, distributes quite well off of the rush and does a great job of creating space for himself. His ability to create consistently at 5v5 is a credit to how well he handles pressure. Musty will take advantage of tight lanes when looking to thread the needle and will look to complete drop passes when hitting a wall. He’s got so many tricks that he can rely on to open up space when he is right about to shoot. There are times where he struggles to navigate the puck around tight pressure, but it’s become far less frequent as the season has gone on.
The next step in his development is to work on his physicality. He has the frame and the power stride to get himself into situations where he can shut down puck movement, but a lot of the time, he ends up following through on the check too late. At the NHL level, Musty will be called upon to provide more physicality and so he will need to do a bit more fine tuning next season. Plus, if he can work on building up momentum with his crossovers when changing directions, he will be a handful to deal with when he is bearing down on you. You won’t be able to pivot out because Musty will be able to keep pace and pivot when you pivot.
March 28, 2023
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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