Scouting Report: Alexander Ljungkrantz

Photo Credit – Nathalie Andersson

Alexander Ljungkrantz is a player who has been on a lot of Swedish prospect watcher’s radars for a few years. A regular in the national team set-up since he was 15 years old, the Gävle native was only outscored in his final year at u-16 level by potential top-40 2020 pick Theodor Niederbach. However, while he has been on the radar for some time he has not quite made the leaps that some might have hoped for over the last two years. He has not “disappointed” by any means, but while he plays a game-style that makes him easy to root for his production has not stood out against his peers, and his skill-set means that his potential is capped as an NHL bottom-sixer. That being said, he should be a legitimate option for teams later in the draft.

Player Profile

D.O.B –February 27, 2002
Nationality – Sweden
Draft Eligibility – 2020
Height –6’1
Weight –185 lbs
Position – Left Wing
Handedness – Left

Ljungkrantz’ Style Of Play

In terms of his skill-set, Ljungkrantz fulfils many of the stereo-types for a modern-day bottom six winger. The gritty Swede likes getting to the danger areas. He also battles well along the boards and has a knack for finding seams and getting into space in and around the crease. Additionally, he is a good skater who moves up ice well. His skating is not “elite” but he uses his edges effectively when protecting the puck, when fighting for position, and to get space for himself.

While the man from Gästrikland is not an exceptionally skilled player he has some plus offensive skills. His release is good, and he shoots well in stride or stationary. But he does not have the deftest of touch or the high-end vision to create high-danger chances consistently.

On the power-play can play in either the slot or closer to the net. However, at a higher level it is unlikely he will get a consistent man-up role. Simply put, the winger is a complimentary player of the highest order. With a good, intuitive center on his line he may well be able to produce to a decent level in professional leagues.

He works very hard over all 200ft of ice, and while not an instinctive defensive player he is a plus in his own zone for his age. His work in the neutral zone at breaking up plays is a pleasure to watch. This ability extends to playing in man-down situations as well, where he has an active stick that he uses to send the puck the other way with regularity. For the Swedish national junior teams, he has been a go-to penalty-killer. For a player who likes the danger areas he is well disciplined, and rarely takes poor penalties.

Ljungkrantz could be an interesting proposition for a team in the final few rounds of the 2020 draft. He plays a mature game for his age, and it is hard to see him not becoming at worst a solid bottom six SHL player down the line. If he hits he could be a dependable bottom six winger in the NHL who is a regular penalty killer.

Comparison

Jesper Fast, RW, New York Rangers

Ljungkrantz has a lot in common with his fellow Swede. While the Rangers winger undoubtedly has more skill and a better passing touch, both play the game in a similar way. Gritty and physical without crossing the line, intense fore-checkers and good penalty killers. They also both penalty-kill well. Both have plus shots, and are good at getting space round the net. While it is doubtful the Brynäs man will consistently produce at the 30+ point level Fast does if he makes the NHL, he could turn into a slightly lesser version of the man who wears an “A” for The Broadway Blueshirts.


Stats from EliteProspects

Prospect report written by Alexander Appleyard. If you would like to follow Alexander on Twitter, his handle is @Avappleyard.

Looking for other scouting reports? Check out the Prospects tab for our other scouting reports.

Scouting Report: Drew Commesso

Photo Credit – Rena Laverty

Drew Commesso is a 2020 NHL Draft eligible goaltender and he hails from Boston, Massachusetts. He is coming off of his second season with the USNTDP, in which he had posted a 2.05 goals against average (GAA) and a .920 save percentage (SV%) in 27 games played with the U18 club. Commesso’s goals against average and save percentage numbers are some of the best in USNTDP history. In fact, when you compare Commesso’s stat line against other goaltenders who have suited for the USNTDP in at least 20 games, he owned a better stat line than Spencer Knight, Joseph Woll, Jake Oettinger, Thatcher Demko, John Gibson and Jack Campbell.

Prior to his time with the USNTDP in Plymouth, Michigan, Commesso played prep school hockey in Needham, Massachusetts at the St. Sebastian’s School. St. Sebastian is one of the premier prep schools for hockey in Massachusetts. Quite a few current and former NHLers played prep school hockey for St. Sebastian including Rick DiPietro, Mike Grier, Carl Corazzini, Danny O’Regan and Noah Hanifin. During his time at St. Sebastian, he played in net in 28 games, but the bulk of his playing time came during his 2017-2018 campaign, in which he recorded a 2.13 GAA and a .918 SV%.

This upcoming season, Commesso will be moving back to Boston and joining the Boston University Terriers. He will be joining a loaded Terriers team which includes David Farrance, Domenick Fensore, Dylan Peterson (USNTDP teammate), Robert Mastrosimone and Luke Tuch (USNTDP teammate).

Player Profile

D.O.B – July 19, 2002
Nationality – USA
Draft Eligibility – 2020
Height –6’2
Weight –181 lbs
Position – Goaltender
Catches – Left

Commesso’s Style Of Play

To kick things off, let’s take a look at how Commesso compares against other 2020 NHL Draft eligible goaltenders. In the data set (data sourced from InStat Hockey) below, you will find save percentages for shots directed at the five hole, above/below blocker and above/below glove. Per the data set, we gather that Commesso struggles with his five hole, his blocker work is comparable to other goaltenders in the class and his glove work could use some development especially when fielding shots that end up going below his glove.

Data Credit – InStat Hockey

In this draft class, a lot of scouts and fans will be looking to compare any goaltender to Yaroslav Askarov. Anytime that you have a premier athlete that stands out, you are always looking for the biggest differences between an athlete who is not as highly-touted but still has plenty of potential in the tank. When you compare Askarov and Commesso, I believe the biggest difference is how each goaltender utilizes their pads. Askarov is more efficient when power pushing off of his pads from side to side. He is faster with his pad work and tends to get better acceleration with each pad push. With Commesso, he still possesses the ability to push his pads to help give him the speed that he needs to move at a moment’s notice, but Askarov will beat him in a race. Also, per the data shown above, Commesso’s five hole is far less effective than Askarov’s.

While quickness and five hole work are the biggest differences between the two goaltenders, Commesso always keeps you guessing. Instead of letting you be patient with the puck, he ensures that you always have to be on your toes. Commesso has the ability to shift from standing tall to butterfly at a quick rate. Prior to writing this post, I timed Commesso’s shifting and determined that it normally takes him anywhere between .56 milliseconds to 0.8 milliseconds to shift up/down. With his ability to shift quickly, he can sell you on a gap and quickly adjust on the fly to eliminate that gap.

In terms of post work, Commesso tends to use RVH (Reverse Vertical Horizontal) over VH (Vertical Horizontal). If you are not familiar with post work, RVH and VH are commonly used when protecting the post. Commesso uses RVH to shield the post and provide little gaps for his opponent to find. In a video that Katie Greenway (retired goaltender and goaltender instructor) posted, she explains the differences between RVH and VH and notes that with RVH that goaltenders will use the leg that is not against the post as a “kickstand”. The kickstand or anchor allows the goaltender to quickly shift from the post back to the center of the crease as play moves. In the below tweet from Future Scope Hockey, you can check out an example of Commesso utilizing RVH when protecting the post.

Below is another instance of Commesso using RVH, but this time around, he quickly shifts back to the center of the crease once play alters direction. In this clip, you should take another look at Commesso defends the post. He uses his stick and blocker in an overlap position to act as a shield. While in this instance you see Commesso using his stick and blocker in the overlap, he will often position his pads in an overlap to provide some more security along the low post.

Goaltenders are also often criticized for rebounding issues. Anytime that you struggle to maintain possession of the puck after a shot in a high danger situation, you are susceptible to a quick follow-up/rebound shot. Per InStat Hockey, in 24 games tracked, Commesso had 89 uncontrolled rebounds. This means that Commesso coughed up a rebound and could not secure the puck immediately following. In addition, because of InStat’s tracking, we can decipher where the most uncontrolled rebounds are coming from. In the below goalie chart, you will see that the bulk of his uncontrolled rebounds bounced off of his pads and that is fairly normal for most goaltenders. No red flags.

Chart/Visual From InStat Hockey

Comparison

James Reimer, Goaltender, Carolina Hurricanes

Like James Reimer, Commesso has the ability to fool his attacker in providing a gap and taking it away in a quick flash. Reimer and Commesso are not flashy goaltenders by any means, but they get the job done. Both goaltenders thrive when using RVH to protect the posts. Similarly to Reimer, I project Commesso as a fringe starter in the NHL with starter upside.

stats from InStat Hockey and EliteProspects


Prospect report written by Josh Tessler. If you would like to follow Josh on Twitter, his handle is @JoshTessler_.

Looking for other scouting reports? Check out the Prospects tab for our other scouting reports.

Need a scouting report on a particular prospect, contact us today!

Scouting Report: Albert Lyckåsen

Photo Credit – Nathalie Andersson

It was somewhat of a surprise that Albert Lyckåsen was not drafted last year. While his production at the Swedish junior level as an 18-year-old was nothing to write home about – 16 points in 44 games for the Linköping u-20 side – there were a lot of other positive indicators of an NHL future. Firstly, he was not a regular on the first power-play unit at that level all season. This was due to 2019 2nd rounder Simon Lundmark playing half the season at that level, which restricted his scoring. Additionally, the blue-liner from just outside Stockholm had been a Swedish junior national team regular since age 15.

As an over-ager this season, he made more heads turn than last, even if he is still a real “sleeper” pick. He was the second top scorer for defensemen in the J20 (after Emil Andrae), with 36 points in 43 games on a team that was quite defensive minded. He also top-scored for Sweden at u-19 level, with six points in just four games.

But what stood out more than anything over the last two seasons is his skill-set. There is a real argument to be made that his tools are that of a player who should be on everyone’s draft board, and not just as a potential late round steal.

Player Profile

D.O.B – July 29, 2001
Nationality – Sweden
Draft Eligibility – 2020
Height –5’11
Weight –187 lbs
Position – Defense
Handedness – Right

Lyckåsen’s Style Of Play

His game is built around effortless, smooth-skating. Not only is he agile, but he can drive up ice with speed, walk a blue-line with ease, and keep up with rushing forwards even after he has pivoted to face them and skate back-wards. But Lyckåsen is not just a figure skater either. He has the mentality of a modern-day blue-liner. He loves having the puck on his stick and jumping into the rush. When there he thinks the game well, and has the hands and vision to provide chances for himself and team-mates. His creativity really flashes at times. Not many players in J20 created space on ice better than he did last season. While his shot is not going to wow anyone in terms of velocity, he reads lanes very well and as a result can cause havoc simply by getting his shots through with regularity.

He also runs a power-play well at the junior level, though don’t expect him to in the NHL. He is no elite offensive talent, but he can create. His chops past the blue-line make you think it is possible for him to be a capable top four producer in the NHL.

In terms of his play in his own end Lyckåsen does need some work. Though even still he is far from poor defensively. While not afraid of physical play, and he has a broad frame, he sometimes does get beaten on the boards and around the net.

His play at the blue-line has all the hall-marks of efficiency at a higher level though. Generally, he keeps a good gap, has an active stick, and is not scared of making a play and trying to send the puck the other way. At times he can overcommit here as a result, but it is not a major issue. Similar words can be said about his pinching and aggression going up ice. The intent is good, and it usually comes off, but it can result in high danger plays the other way. Going forward he simply needs to figure out how to pull off such plays at a slightly higher percentage than he currently does. With a few small adjustments and improvements Lyckåsen could easily be a plus defensive player at a pro level.

Overall, for a player that was un-drafted last year and appears outside many publications top 200 skaters for this draft this report may seem to highlight very few issues. Why? Because Lyckåsen has almost certainly been simply over-looked by many. In terms of his skill-set he is a player who has top 100 talent, and if he reaches his full potential could be a solid NHL number four down the line. Smooth-skating, righty defensemen with some offensive chops are a valued commodity in the NHL, and someone may well be getting a steal if the Bålsta native is still around after the fourth round.

Comparison

Sami Vatanen, Right Handed Defenseman, Carolina Hurricanes

The young Swede does not quite have the offensive talent level that his Finnish counterpart possesses. However, there are many other aspects of their game that are similar. Both are undersized puck-movers with great skating, jump, and some real tenacity to their play. Poise at the blue-line is a hall-mark for both. They also share very accurate shots that might not win any hardest shot competitions, but can nevertheless cause damage by getting pucks through. Defensively they both have active sticks and like trying to break up plays at the blue-line. Lyckåsen is stronger given his age and stage in development, and has the potential to be more “polished” in his own end than Vatanen if he reaches his potential.


Stats from EliteProspects

Prospect report written by Alexander Appleyard. If you would like to follow Alexander on Twitter, his handle is @Avappleyard.

Looking for other scouting reports? Check out the Prospects tab for our other scouting reports.

Scouting Report: Ian Moore

Photo Credit – Rena Laverty

Ian Moore is a 2020 NHL Draft eligible defensive prospect and he hails from Concord, Massachusetts (between Boston and Framingham). He grew up in a hockey family as his father, Michael Moore coaches a local youth hockey team, the Minutemen Flames and his brother, Nolan Moore is a defenseman for the NCDC’s Boston Jr. Bruins.

Over the course of the last few seasons, Moore has played for St. Mark’s School (a preparatory school in Southborough, Massachusetts), the Boston Little Bruins 18U AAA (EHF 18U Elite) and the Boston Jr. Bruins (NCDC). In addition, he suited up for the USNTDP in a game against Lake Superior State University earlier this year.

During his time at St. Mark’s, he has been coached by former NHLer (Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks) and Framingham, Massachusetts native Carl Corazzini. Throughout Corazzini’s time at St. Mark’s, he has coached Henry Thrun (Anaheim Ducks prospect, Harvard University/Dubuque Fighting Saints), Sean Farrell (2020 NHL Draft eligible prospect, Chicago Steel/Harvard) and Moore. Like Farrell and Thrun, Moore will be headed to Harvard Yard down the road. Per Elite Prospects, Moore is committed to joining Harvard University for the 2021-2022 season. Before he suits up for the Crimson, Moore will spend the 2020-2021 season playing for the USHL’s Chicago Steel.

This past season, he played ten games for the Boston Little Bruins 18U AAA, in which he recorded six goals and five assists. In addition, he suited up in two games for the Boston Jr. Bruins and one game for the USNTDP, but he was kept off the scoresheet in all three games. But, Moore spent the most amount of his ice time with St. Mark’s and mustered up 12 goals and 34 assists in 28 games played.

Player Profile

D.O.B – January 4, 2002
Nationality – USA
Draft Eligibility – 2020
Height –6’3
Weight –165 lbs
Position – Defense
Handedness – Right

Moore’s Style Of Play

When you watch game tape of Ian Moore, you quickly notice how strong he is at eliminating open lanes, limiting the amount of ice that his attacker has at his disposal and creating a barrier to prevent a rush, shot or a pass. Moore thrives when deploying man-on-man preventive defense. His man-on-man prevent echoes what several NFL cornerbacks use when defending against a wide receiver. With Moore following his forward like a cornerback, he reduces the probability of an opponent skating up the right side of the ice and delivering a pass to the left (the winger that Moore was following).

Aside from preventative defense, Moore does a good job at silencing the rush. Depending on the shift and the situation at hand, Moore can and will step up in the neutral zone and neutralize an attacker’s breakout. Moore will step into a shut down role and act as a barrier at center ice. His opponent has no choice but to double back.

While Moore’s gap control at the point of entry is a bit loose, his placement/positioning pushes the attacker to the left side of the ice. By pushing his attacker to the left, Moore provides not much room for comfort for the attacker as the attacker loses space because of how close he is to the boards. At that point, Moore tries to pokecheck and shut down the attack. The attacker fails to hold onto the puck and Moore is able to secure the loose puck.

Let’s move to Moore’s skating. From a fundamental perspective, I don’t see many issues with Moore’s stride. His extension and skate placement are right where you want them to be. The foot extension is not too long and is not too short. From a feet placement perspective, the feet are not too wide apart even when gliding. The one thing that Moore needs to work on is his acceleration. Moore needs to work on deploying crossovers to push him faster up the ice. Moore does not use crossovers as his driver. Instead, he tries to complete multiple extensions with his left foot to help push him into gear. Without deploying crossovers, he becomes slower in transition. But, when you watch Moore, it is evident that he knows that speed and acceleration is a weakness, so he opts to make a breakout pass instead of controlling the puck from zone to zone.

In the offensive zone, Moore’s passing is efficient and crisp. I don’t see any issues with Moore’s ability to fire precise tape-to-tape feeds. But, I would like to see Moore become quicker with his release. There is offensive upside with Moore and there is potential for him to be an asset on the power play, but the distribution needs to be quicker. Also, in order for Moore to be dominant on the power play, lateral movements will need to be paramount and crossovers are a big part of lateral movement. If Moore can work on crossovers, his lateral movement will allow him to move along the blue line at a quick pace and fire passes to his wings on the power play.

Let’s move to his shot. Moore’s shot could use a bit of fine tuning and I’m confident in the Chicago Steel and their ability to help with the refinement.

In the clip (from Brandon Holmes – @BHolmes_Hockey), we see Moore fire a one-timer shot for a goal in a prep school game. Moore’s right skate extension on the one-timer gives him all the power that he needs to ensure that he is delivering a quick feed to the net. I’m quite content with Moore’s shot in this situation. The balance issue that you will see towards the tale end of the clip has nothing to do with the shot itself. It has more to do with Moore completing his extension than anything.

Before I go on, I want to quickly point out that Moore did not have any issues when shooting from the perimeter, but when you see Moore shoot from further out, we start seeing some areas for improvement. That is normal for any player. Your range tends to get worse when you go further out. Moore’s accuracy can be shaky, especially when he is a winger right in front of him. In those situations, when Moore is at the point and facing tight pressure. He seems to be more off-target when an attacker is glued to him and his shot goes wide right. While it is harder to fire a shot with an attacker in front of you, as a defenseman, it is normal/on-par for defensemen to face wingers who are blocking their sight lines.

While his shot is goes wide of the net, his stick blade is consistently open (versus closed). What that means is that he has better control of where the puck is going and he can control whether the shot will have height or not.

If Moore can refine his shot, his offensive upside will keep growing. But, what I really like about Moore is his defensive play. As we touched on earlier, Moore does not give you room to attack his net. He will opt to become a barrier in the neutral zone or push you to the boards in order to restrict your movement on the rush. That is his calling card. Plus, don’t forget that he loves to play man-on-man defense and shut down open lanes.

Comparison

Mike Weaver, RHD, Retired (Atlanta Thrashers, Los Angeles Kings, Vancouver Canucks, St. Louis Blues, Montréal Canadiens and Florida Panthers)

While Mike Weaver is a bit shorter than Ian Moore, Weaver was a pesky defenseman who was able to shut down some of the games’ best offensive producers like Alexander Ovechkin. Weaver’s gap control and has ability to shut down the rush reminds me quite a bit of Moore.


stats from InStat and EliteProspects

Prospect report written by Josh Tessler. If you would like to follow Josh on Twitter, his handle is @JoshTessler_.

Looking for other scouting reports? Check out the Prospects tab for our other scouting reports.

Need a scouting report on a particular prospect, contact us today!

Scouting Report: Lukas Cormier

Photo Credit – Darrell Theriault/Charlottetown Islanders

Lukas Cormier is a left-handed defensive prospect, who hails from Ste-Marie-de-Kent, New Brunswick. Cormier’s father, Mario Cormier played for the Val-D’Or Foreurs (QMJHL) in the 1990s and is now coaching the Kent Koyotes of the New Brunswick Junior Hockey League. In addition, his sister, Dominique Cormier (defense) is playing for Stanstead College in Quebec and has committed to Princeton University.

Prior to being drafted by the Charlottetown Islanders in the 2018 QMJHL Draft, Cormier played bantam hockey for the Dieppe Flyers and midget hockey for the Moncton Flyers. During his time in bantam and midget, he played with a few 2020 NHL Draft eligible prospects including Cole Cormier (Quebec Remparts), Nicolas Savoie (Quebec Remparts) and Jacob Leblanc (Drummondville Voltigeurs).

Throughout his time in midget and bantam, Cormier was one of the leading point-getters on his clubs and was well-balanced in his offensive productivity. In the season before his QMJHL Draft selection, he had recorded 15 goals and 28 assists in 35 games played for the Moncton Flyers. Given his strong performance with Moncton, he had warranted an early selection at the draft and Charlottetown pulled the trigger and grabbed him with the fourth overall pick.

This past season (Cormier’s second season) in the QMJHL, he appeared in 44 games for Charlottetown, in which he tallied six goals and 30 assists. Unfortunately, Cormier was sidelined for roughly a month early on in the 2019-2020 season after blocking a shot. But, he still managed to put together a solid campaign.

Player Profile

D.O.B – March 27, 2002
Nationality – Canada
Draft Eligibility – 2020
Height –5’10
Weight –179 lbs
Position – Defense
Handedness – Left

Cormier’s Style Of Play

Throughout the season, Cormier and fellow 2020 NHL Draft eligible defensive prospect, Jérémie Poirier of the Saint-John Sea Dogs (QMJHL) had been neck-in-neck in rankings with Poirier getting the edge. In our final 2020 NHL Draft rankings, we ranked Poirier at 35 and Cormier at 41. While I can’t speak for my colleagues, Steven Ellis and Alexander Appleyard, the most noticeable difference when comparing Cormier and Poirier is in the offensive zone. Poirier’s shot is more well-rounded than Cormier’s. In addition, Poirier’s hands are stronger and his ability to drive the puck to the net is stronger than Cormier’s. While Poirier has qualities in the offensive zone that out-shine Cormier, I would argue that Cormier is the safer selection at the draft. With Poirier, his defensive play needs a lot of improvement. He struggles with silencing the rush, trapping his opponents along the boards and staying in position. On the other hand, Cormier has shown to be more reliable in the defensive zone.

Before I go into the weeds, review some game tape and give my two cents on Cormier, I wanted to take a look at some challenge statistics from InStat Hockey. In the below chart, I’ve listed several 2020 NHL Draft eligible defensemen, who are more than likely to be selected in the first two rounds and listed their stat lines for Challenges, Challenges Won%, Challenges in the Defensive Zone and Challenges in the Offensive Zone. These stats are an average per game from the last ten games tracked.

By looking at the data, we can draw several conclusions. Cormier, Poirier and Kaiden Guhle are constantly getting into puck battles and looking to force their attackers to cough up possession. When you look at Challenges Won%, we see William Wallinder’s percentage and Poirier’s percentage over 60%, but I would argue that Wallinder’s Challenges Won% is inflated due to the amount of challenges per game and Poirier’s percentage is high because of his challenges in the offensive zone. When you look at Poirier, he does an excellent job of keeping the puck in the offensive zone and shutting down rushes when in the offensive zone, but he is less effective in the defensive zone at shutting down attackers. After identifying Poirier and Wallinder’s inflated Challenges Won%, Cormier and Guhle have the highest Challenges Won%. With this data, we have an understanding of how strong Cormier’s defensive game is.

Data Credit – InStat

Speaking of Challenges in the Defensive Zone, Cormier likes patrolling the boards in his own zone. While Cormier might not be the biggest defenseman, he has proven to be tough to beat along the boards. Cormier’s backchecks are rather effective as he is constantly able to limit the movement of his attacker and defuse the cycle. In the below clip, you can check out an example of Cormier shutting down a Saint John Sea Dogs attacker along the boards.

As you saw from the clip, Cormier is highly efficient at shutting down the cycle and he does not seem to have much trouble neutralizing the attack. To indicate that this is not a one-off situation for Cormier, I’ve added another clip. This time around, Cormier puts pressure on Josh Lawrence of the Saint John Sea Dogs at the red line. By limiting Lawrence’s to the boards and putting pressure on him, it allows the Charlottetown Islanders to have an opportunity to regain possession of the puck.

From a defensive positioning perspective, Cormier sits net front and prefers to provide an additional shield for his goaltender. By doing so, he attempts to hold his attackers back and force them to sit from the mid-slot out. With his defensive positioning, he removes the threat of too many high danger scenarios.

While his net front presence helps prevent scoring chances, positioning needs to be paramount and there are times where we see momentary lapses with Cormier’s judgement. In the video clip below, you will notice that Cormier along with the Charlottetown unit on the ice turns their attention to the left side of the ice and does not see an attacker freely skate up to the high slot. Cormier is shifted over the left side and can’t retreat quickly enough to the attacker once the attacker has possession of the puck.

From a gap control perspective, Cormier is quite strong at defending the rush. It doesn’t seem to matter if Cormier is shutting down a forward who just collected a saucer pass or a forward rushing into the zone with possession of the puck. In the clip below, we see a Drummondville forward throw up a saucer pass and William Dufour (2020 NHL Draft eligible prospect) grab possession of the puck in the slot. Cormier is right next to Dufour and deploys his stick in front of the puck, which allows Cormier to ensure that the puck will not slip past his net-minder.

Let’s move to Cormier’s transitional play. To kick things off from a transitional perspective, I’ve chosen to take a look at Cormier’s breakouts, entries and entries by pass (average per game – last ten games) and compare it to the same list of defensemen used previously. From the data shown below, Cormier is second in breakouts (behind Braden Schneider), second in entries (behind Jérémie Poirier) and second in entries by pass (behind Schneider).

Data Credit – InStat Hockey

One of the reasons that I believe that Cormier tends to create entries by passing has to do with his speed. In transition, Cormier does not get the acceleration that he needs to propel down the ice. Per Will Scouch of Scouching.ca, Cormier’s BL2BL (Blue Line To Blue Line time) is 1.88. That’s quite low. In fact, it’s one of the lowest BL2BLs that Will Scouch has tracked (of 2020 NHL Draft eligible prospects). To give you some perspective, the fastest BL2BL that Scouch tracked belongs to Joni Jurmo of JYP and Jurmo is approximately .50 seconds faster than Cormier in transition.

In the clip below, you will see an example of Cormier’s acceleration issues and his BL2BL speed. One of the things that you will notice is that Cormier’s crossovers are not providing much acceleration and crossovers normally help drive acceleration. In addition, his leg extension is fairly short. When your leg extension is short, you do not have the ability to motor up the ice. Instead, your speed slows down. Cormier needs to work on properly transitioning from crossovers to a full leg extension when in transition. Otherwise, his transitioning will struggle at the NHL level.

In addition to Cormier’s acceleration issues in transition, we see similar issues when Cormier is skating laterally in the offensive zone. He is deploying crossovers but at a very quick rate. The issue with Cormier’s crossovers when moving laterally is his skates are too tight. Cormier needs to extend his skates slightly further out when shifting laterally to boost his speed. Below is an example of Cormier moving laterally, but having challenges at pumping up his speed.


Let’s shift gears and move to Cormier’s offensive play. In a nutshell, Cormier is a power play quarterback. You can feel confident with Cormier running your power play and distributing the puck at a quick rate. His passing is smooth and his release is a quick one. While some power play quarterbacks have to sit back and scan the ice, Cormier knows exactly who and where he wants to pass the puck. He does not need to scan and burn power play time. Just a quick pivot and a gentle release. It gets the job done. In the below clip, you can check out Cormier quarterbacking a 5v3 power play and deliver crisp fast passes to his teammates.

From a cycle perspective, Cormier enjoys pinching and getting involved closer up. Cormier is equipped when great hands and is confident in using his non-dominant hand in evading attackers mid-cycle. With Cormier’s handy work, he is not just a defenseman who can elevate your offense by delivering quick passes. If he does not have a teammate open and is facing too much pressure on the blue line, he will opt to skate up the boards and attempt to cycle the puck in deep. In the clip below, you can check out Cormier’s handy work as he utilizes his non-dominant hand to swerve the puck around pressure and keep the cycle alive.


The only challenge that Cormier has in the offensive zone is his shot. He will take a few ill-advised shot with pressure right in front of him. Cormier needs to be more selective with his shots and avoid shooting in high-pressure situations. If he is going to take a shot from the point, he needs to work on finding gaps and open lanes. Unfortunately, he struggled with that this past season, but that does not mean that his shooting won’t progress in the right direction. Below, you will find an example of Cormier shooting right into his attacker instead of opting to find an open lane or passing the puck.

Comparison

Torey Krug, Left Handed Defenseman, Boston Bruins

Craig Button from TSN hit the nail on the head with his comparable for Cormier when completing his profile on him. Torey Krug is a solid comparable for Cormier. Cormier and Krug are both a tad undersized left handed defensemen who have a knack of great distribution of the puck along the point.


stats from InStat, Scouching.ca 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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Scouting Report: Connor Zary

Photo Credit – Allen Douglas / Kamloops Blazers

Player Profile

D.O.B – September 25, 2001
Nationality – Canada
Draft Eligibility – 2020
Height –6’0
Weight –181 lbs
Position – Center
Handedness – Left

Zary’s Style Of Play

If Saskatoon native Connor Zary had been born just 10 days earlier he would have been eligible for the 2019 draft. And if this alternate timeline was reality? The Kamloops Blazers pivot would still have certainly gone top 20 or so in that draft thanks to putting up 67 points in 63 games as a 17-year-old.

Naturally, therefore, Zary came into the 2019-20 season pencilled in as a top ten pick. Yet, more than a year on and it is no guarantee that Zary goes top 20 despite another year of development. So why is this? It is certainly not due to a lack of production. In 57 games he posted 38 goals and 86 points. Over 1.5 P/GP in the WHL, not an easy feat for a draft eligible. It is also not due to character, either on or off ice. Not only is Zary, by all accounts, loved by coaches and team-mates, but when you watch him you see the effort he gives in all three zones. Furthermore, ask virtually any scout or prospect watcher about Zary and there won’t be any “haters”, no-one who does not think that he can be a good NHL player.

Certainly, at least part of the reason for his slide down draft boards is due to the underestimation of the European draft crop coming into 2019-20. Players like Tim Stützle, Lukas Reichel, John-Jason Peterka and William Wallinder “came out of no-where”, while Marco Rossi, Anton Lundell, Jan Myšák, Helge Grans and Emil Andrae improved their stock heavily over the course of the season. But this is not the only reason – or the biggest reason – the man from the “Paris of the Prairies” seems like a mid-first-rounder who may well be available after 20th overall.

The biggest reason? Zary – while very “well-rounded” – does not do that many things at a high-end level. He is solid, or even, good, in almost every area, but not too much stands out in terms of skills or tools that present themselves to you as those of a future first line guy.

Offensively he can be dangerous on the cycle and the rush, and he uses a strong offensive IQ to get to danger areas, having no issue hanging out around the net, and generally finding a way to get clean air in-close. In terms of shooting he has a quick release and good accuracy, and can stun goalies with either a wrist or snap-shot. However, he does not have great power on his shot at this venture.

The pick of his offensive skills though are arguably his hands. He can make skilled plays in stride, deke past opponents, and make goalies freeze in close. Zary also protects the puck very well in the cycle game and keeps plays alive as a result. Combine this with good vision and he has the ability to create dangerous chances for team-mates. Though given his hands and offensive IQ you would expect him to produce more high danger chances for line-mates as a pivot, and he misses passes at times.

While a solid 200-ft player, who can penalty-kill, don’t expect Zary to ever be a Selke candidate. He works hard inside his own blue-line, but does not seem to possess high defensive hockey IQ. Also, at times he does not keep his feet moving and in turn loses the play.

If anything can be considered a real “flaw” with Zary it is his skating. He is not a slow, or bad, skater. However, he has a slightly choppy stride where he does not extend as much as he should, and hunches over in stride, which limits his acceleration. Additionally, he struggles to get free from pressing opposition in the cycle game due to his edge-work allowing little room for elusiveness, even if he manages to keep the puck due to his strength on his skates. For Zary to fulfil his potential and become a legitimate top six NHL player this needs to improve.

If Zary can tidy up his skating and continue to develop he will 100% be an NHL player. As for upside? It is hard to envision him as more than a solid 2C down the line. But also hard to see him not becoming a decent third liner at worst.

Comparison

Brayden Schenn, Center, St. Louis Blues

Zary does not quite have the shot that Schenn does, and is not as good a passer either. However, both are well-rounded players who have great hands, are strong on the puck, and get to danger areas to produce goals for their team. Like Schenn, Zary is an average skater and solid – if not great – defensively. Naturally, Zary is not as talented, and don’t expect any 70-point seasons from him. But a ~50 point version of Brayden Schenn would be a solid pick-up in the mid-late first round.


Stats from EliteProspects

Prospect report written by Alexander Appleyard. If you would like to follow Alexander on Twitter, his handle is @Avappleyard.

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Scouting Report: Thomas Bordeleau

Photo Credit: Rena Laverty

Thomas Bordeleau is a dual citizen as he holds American and Canadian citizenship. His father Sébastien Bordeleau played in the NHL with the Montréal Canadiens, Nashville Predators, Minnesota Wild and the Phoenix Coyotes (now Arizona Coyotes). During Sébastien’s 16 game stint with the AHL’s Houston Aeros (2001-02 season), Thomas was born. After bouncing around from the NHL to the AHL in 2001-02, the Bordeleau family packed their bags and headed to Bern, Switzerland as Sébastien would play for the NLA’s SC Bern from 2002 to 2009. During their time in Bern, Thomas played youth hockey in the SC Bern system.

Between 2014 and 2018, Bordeleau played bantam and midget hockey in Quebec. After a strong 2017-2018 midget campaign, he was selected in the 2018 QMJHL Entry Draft by the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, but opted to play for the USNTDP (US National Team Development Program) and he committed to play at the University of Michigan.

In his 2019-2020 campaign with the USNTDP, Bordeleau mustered up 16 goals and 30 assists. He led the USNTDP U18 team in total points and tied for second in total goals with Brett Berard. Matthew Beniers (2021 NHL Draft eligible prospect and University of Michigan teammate) had the highest goal total with 18 goals.

This season, as mentioned prior, Bordeleau will be playing for the University of Michigan. The Michigan squad is loaded with talent including Erik Portillo (Buffalo Sabres prospect), Owen Power (2021 NHL Draft eligible prospect), Cameron York (Philadelphia Flyers prospect), John Beecher (Boston Bruins prospect), Brendan Brisson (2020 NHL Draft eligible prospect), Jacob Truscott (2020 NHL Draft eligible prospect), Beniers and Kent Johnson (2021 NHL Draft eligible prospect). The Michigan lineup makes them a favorite to win the Big Ten, but as we saw with the University of Wisconsin last year who had a loaded lineup, it is tougher climb than it looks. Yet, Bordeleau will get a ton of playing time in a great collegiate program and it will do wonders for his development.

Player Profile

D.O.B – January 3, 2002
Nationality – USA/Canada
Draft Eligibility – 2020
Height –5’9
Weight –179 lbs
Position – Center
Handedness – Left

Bordeleau’s Style Of Play

Thomas Bordeleau is a reliable playmaking asset in the offensive zone. Throughout the 2019-2020 campaign with USNTDP, he proved to be a potent offensive producer. While there are areas that need to be addressed such as his foot speed when cruising to the forecheck and puck possession challenges, there is plenty to like about Bordeleau’s offensive game. His ability to work the cycle and utilize his outside edge to evade traffic along the perimeter and then drive to the net is extremely valuable. In the clip below, you can take a look at Bordeleau evading his attacker and driving to the net.

In addition, Bordeleau’s passing is on point when in the offensive zone. Per Scouching.ca, Bordeleau owns a dangerous passing per 60 of 22.68. Aside from Windsor Spitfires forward, Jean-Luc Foudy (2020 NHL Draft eligible prospect), Bordeleau has the second highest dangerous passing per 60 of the prospects that Scouching.ca has tracked. In the offensive zone, Bordeleau can deliver a mixed bag of passes. Bordeleau can place the perfect drop pass, complete a cross ice pass in the slot from along the half wall and deliver a tape-to-tape feed from the red line to the point. In addition, he loves to complete lateral passes between the perimeter and the blue line. While a lateral pass while on the rush doesn’t seem like much of a challenge or anything to write home about, you have to sell that you are rushing towards the net and not about to complete a pass. In the below clip, you will see Bordeleau complete a lateral pass to his winger. Not only is it a quality feed off the rush, but Bordeleau sees that there are two attackers in front of him. If he completes a lateral pass to the right, he will likely divert the attention from one of the attackers and open up a bit more space. So, the initial lateral pass could lead to a pass right back to him.

While the perfect lateral pass is good attribute to have, you can not knock how clutch the perfectly timed cross ice pass can be. Even though Bordeleau’s cross ice passing is not his bread and butter as his passing is very diverse, he can thread the needle extremely well. If you had to compare the perfect cross ice pass to something, picture your favorite quarterback finding a wide open target running horizontally 30/40 yards in front of you and your quarterback slings the perfect spiral to that wide receiver. But, the quarterback picks the exact spot and knows precisely when to the fire his pass. Same situation with the perfect cross ice pass in hockey. It’s all about timing. Bordeleau has to pin-point the exact moment that his desired target will make it to the slot and that becomes a challenge when there is an attacker skating right next to the target. In the clip below, you will see Bordeleau fire a perfect cross ice pass to his teammate and fellow 2020 NHL Draft eligible prospect Eamon Powell.

Oddly enough, while Bordeleau is a skilled passer in high danger situations, his passing completion percentage is quite low (46.27%). From a passing completion percentage perspective, you might question why I perceive Bordeleau as an effective passer in the offensive zone, but he seems to be weaker when completing passes outside of the offensive zone rather than in the offensive zone. When he attempts passes outside of the offensive zone and misses the mark, it appears that Bordeleau is a bit indecisive and does not take the time to identify the best method of getting the puck up the ice. Instead, he will attempt passes such as the one below, in which he fired a shaky cross ice saucer pass in the neutral zone and missed his target. Not only did he miss his target, but the teammate who he chose to pass to was being double covered.

From a shooting perspective, Bordeleau has thrived from the left side, which makes a lot of sense given that he is left-handed. In the shot map below, you can see all of Bordeleau’s goals from the 2019-2020 season. Bordeleau only capitalized once from the right side (if you exclude his goal at the doorstep). But, while he favors the left side of the ice, he has decent range on his shot. He lit up the lamp six times from the mid-slot to the perimeter.

Image Credit – InStat Hockey

While it might seem like Bordeleau is not diverse with his shooting, that is simply not the case. In his tool belt, he can deliver snap shots, slap shots, wrist shots and even toe drag shots. One of my favorite goals from this past season is a wrist shot goal from the perimeter in a heavy traffic situation. In the clip below, you can check out the goal. His opponents, the Madison Capitols are running a diamond-like defensive formation and limiting the USNTDP to playing the puck in a tight box. With a man on him, Bordeleau still manages to deliver a wrist shot from the edge of the perimeter and goes top shelf.

Another one of Bordeleau’s highlight-reel goals from the 2019-2020 campaign was a toe drag goal. For anyone to complete a toe drag goal, your inside edge needs to be deployed properly and the edge needs to slide quickly while your other skate stays well-balanced and up-right. In the clip below, you can see Bordeleau’s edges are fine form as he sneaks by the defender and delivers a quality snap shot.

Bordeleau is not the fastest skater on the ice, but his crossovers help spark his acceleration. It typically takes Bordeleau roughly two seconds to get from blue line to blue line, which is slower than quite a few 2020 NHL Draft prospects. Using Scouching’s data, his blue line to blue line speed is comparable to Tyson Foerster of Barrie and Connor Zary of Kamloops. The driver behind his slower speed is the length of his extension. In the clip below, you will see Bordeleau alter the length of his extension at center ice and his speed begins to slow down.

Since speed can be an issue for Bordeleau, his ability to complete a forecheck can be a challenge. There are plenty of shifts where he attempts to forecheck, but is too late to the forecheck. In the below clip, you can check out a forecheck attempt against Providence College. Due to the lack of speed, Bordeleau’s forecheck attempt does not provide the pressure that he was looking for and thus is unsuccessful. Yet, his speed issues on the forecheck should not be a deterrent in whether or not to draft him on draft night. Speed can be improved upon.

One of the other issues that needs to be ironed out is Bordeleau’s puck possession. Puck security is key to an offensive rush. Unfortunately, there are instances where Bordeleau struggles to hang onto the puck and is prone to coughing up possession. What is odd about Bordeleau’s puck possession issues is that he does not seem to have many issues in tight pressure. Instead, when there is a lot of wiggle room that is where he tends to cough up the puck more often. The below clip shows Bordeleau completing a zone entry, but once he crosses the blue line, he looses possession without much pressure from the University of Minnesota defender.

The defensive zone is an area that needs some improvement as well. But, this can also be attributed to his speed and mobility. In the defensive zone, he will deploy a wide glide from time to time, which is a similar issue that Jérémie Poirier has. With a wide glide, you limit your mobility and it becomes a challenge to apply pressure. In the clip below, you will see Bordeleau mimic his opponent as his opponent uses a wide glide. If you mimic your attacker and you are behind him, you are still slower than the attacker. There is not a speed advantage. When you are slower and further from the puck, there is only so much you can do when it comes to implementing pressure. In the clip below, you will see Bordeleau struggle with a wide glide and reduced speed against an attacker. While he manages to get his stick on the attacker, he does not reach the puck with his stick because of how far behind he is.

As I mentioned before, I’m not concerned about Bordeleau’s speed. With some power skating instruction, he speed will improve and you will notice a big change with his defensive play and his forechecking.

Plus, he’s proven to be rather effective in the offensive zone with great playmaking attributes. So, I would not let speed deter you from taking him in the draft. There are other appealing tools in the tool kit and speed will come.

Comparison

Tyler Johnson, Center, Tampa Bay Lightning

Given Tyler Johnson’s frame and playing style, he seems like the best comparable for Bordeleau. Johnson is slightly shorter than Bordeleau, but both forwards are outstanding playmakers in the offensive zone and are multi-dimensional with their playmaking attributes.


stats from Scouching.ca 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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Need a scouting report on a particular prospect, contact us today!

Scouting Report: Braden Schneider

Photo Credit: Justin Oertel / Brandon Wheat Kings

Braden Schneider has been on prospect watchers’ radars for almost three years now. And for good reason. After being picked 12th overall in the WHL bantam draft, the man from the heart of the Canadian prairies stepped right into the Brandon Wheat Kings line-up. He led all 2020 draft eligible defensemen in points at 16, posting 22 in 66 games. Since then he has improved as a player in each of the two subsequent seasons, posting 42 points in just 60 games this year. Alongside his WHL success he has been a rock for the Canadian junior teams.

Player Profile

D.O.B – September 20, 2001
Nationality – Canada
Draft Eligibility – 2020
Height –6’2
Weight –209 lbs
Position – Defense
Handedness – Right

Schneider’s Style Of Play

But just what is it that makes the Prince Albert product a potential first round pick? Well, that is easy to see within just one shift of watching him. He has all the fundamentals needed to be a modern-day NHL defenseman, while also having old-school snarl. Schneider skates very well, being strong on his skates, agile, and also having a good stride that means he rarely loses a race to a loose puck or gets out of position. This, combined with good gap-work and an astute defensive IQ, mean that he can be a real challenge to enter the zone against.

Even if a player manages to get past him and to the boards to start a cycle, his big frame and love of physical contact means that forwards have to have their head on a swivel not to end up as road-kill. It is a pleasure to see Schneider control his gap before dipping a shoulder and rubbing a winger out along the boards just as they get into the zone and think they have the edge on him.

Schneider is not just a player who excels without the puck though. He has a solid core skill-set when it comes to moving the puck the other way. He is a crisp passer who outlets well, and can also skate out of the zone if needed. Additionally, he can jump into the rush, and is a good judge of when to pinch on a play. He has a big slap-shot as well when he gets into position to unleash it.

While naturally the above is enough to get both those who long for the 1990s back, as well as those who value out-lets and blue-line defense, both salivating, Schneider is not without his issues. Despite having a good gap and IQ, Schneider’s predilection for taking the body means he takes himself out of plays often. It is no use being good around your net and having a good gap when you are lying on top of a player with their team 2v1 behind you.

However, the main reason he is not a sure-fire top 20 or so pick? It is difficult at times to see exactly where the upside is to make him more than a solid second pairing defenseman. He struggles to be creative in the offensive zone, and while he can get up into the rush plays can die on his stick when there. On the cycle he generally does little more than facilitate the play of others, rarely manages to contribute to a play unless at the point, and his hands are no more than average with the puck on his stick.

Still, that skill-set is nothing to sniff at, and can be very valuable in the modern NHL, especially considering he is a righty as the league goes more and more towards balancing handedness on defensive pairings. While his upside might not be as high as the majority of potential first rounders he could certainly be a good pick-up towards the end of the first round, and maybe a steal if he somehow falls into the second, as unlikely as that is.

Comparison

Braydon Coburn, LHD, Tampa Bay Lightning

While Coburn is a lefty and not as physical as Schneider, they have several similarities to their game. Both are intuitive defensive players with great skating, who utilise their physical advantages well. Like the Tampa Bay blue-liner, Schneider moves the puck well and has a big shot, but lacks high-end skill. Both are also generally consigned to the blue-line in the offensive zone. It is easy to forget that when Coburn was younger he was a legitimate number three defenseman who put up 25-30 points, and that seems a likely outcome for Schneider if he continues to develop.


Stats from EliteProspects

Prospect report written by Alexander Appleyard. If you would like to follow Alexander on Twitter, his handle is @Avappleyard.

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Scouting Report: Jack Quinn

Photo Credit: Terry Wilson/OHL Images, Aaron Bell/CHL Images

Jack Quinn grew up just outside of Ottawa, Ontario/Gatineau, Quebec in the town of Cobden, Ontario. Quinn played bantam hockey with the Upper OV Aces and bantam/midget hockey with the Kanata Lasers. During his stint with the Kanata Lasers, he played with Ottawa 67’s head coach André Tourigny’s sons, Félix and Jean-Philippe.

With the #39th pick in the 2017 OHL Priority Selection Draft, the 67’s selected Quinn. The 67’s also took Graeme Clarke (New Jersey Devils prospect) in the same draft. While Quinn and Clarke are both dominant offensive producers, the 67’s also brought in Marco Rossi to town in the 2018 CHL Import Draft. In addition, the 67’s added Kevin Bahl (New Jersey Devils prospect), Mitchell Hoelscher (New Jersey Devils prospect) and Nikita Okhotyuk (New Jersey Devils prospect). With this excellent core of talent, the 67’s were unstoppable this past season, but their season came to a close earlier than expected because of COVID-19.

Before I go on and look at Quinn’s stats from this past season, I just want to note that there is a connection between the New Jersey Devils and the Ottawa 67’s. Earlier this year, I wrote a post for DobberProspects on the subject and mentioned that it is plausible that the Devils scoop up Rossi and/or Quinn. The Devils have three first rounders (they have Vancouver’s first rounder and Arizona’s first rounder).

But, let’s go back to Quinn. This past season, Quinn managed to score 52 goals. His goal totals were the second highest in the OHL and he was only four goals short of being the leading goal scorer. Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Nick Robertson (who made his NHL debut during the qualifiers) had tallied three more goals than Quinn. Oddly enough, Robertson was one of the youngest players that was taken in the 2019 NHL Draft and Quinn is one of the oldest players in the 2020 NHL Draft. Quinn was born eight days later than Robertson and if he was born prior to September 15th, he would have been eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft.

While Quinn managed to light up the lamp quite a bit this season, he also tallied 37 assists in 62 games. Given how dominant Quinn is when passing in the slot, there is potential for Quinn to surpass his 37 assist total in 2020-2021. My expectation is that Quinn will post a 50 goal/45 assist season in 2020-2021 and become more well-balanced.

Player Profile

D.O.B – September 19, 2001
Nationality – Canada
Draft Eligibility – 2020
Height –5’11
Weight –176 lbs
Position – Right Wing
Handedness – Right

Quinn’s Style Of Play

When you flip on an Ottawa 67’s game and look for Jack Quinn, at times you might believe that Quinn is running instead of completing a proper extension, but he is executing a proper extension and he is just completing his extension a lot faster than most. It’s deceptive, but when you slow down the game tape, you notice the quickness of his stride.

In the defensive zone, Quinn loves the slot. He patrols the slot extremely well. At times, he will hover back and forth along the slot similar to defensive style of Alexander Holtz as Quinn attempts to shut down the lane and ensure that his opposition can not complete cross ice passes or centered passes. When Quinn sees an attacked entering the zone and choosing the skate through the slot, he deploys cornerback-like man-on-man defense to shut down the attacker and give him no room to collect a pass.

Not only does his positioning in the slot allow him to limit scoring chances by taking away ice, but Quinn’s defensive slot fundamentals pave the way for interceptions. As I mentioned earlier, by patrolling the slot, he is able to shut down cross ice and centered passing. Quinn is manages to pull off quality interceptions and silence the cycle.

When it comes to transitional play, Quinn is not known for his puck movement. But, it is certainly worth talking about. Will Scouch of Scouching.ca has done a ton of tracking on Quinn and has come up with the following numbers on the 2020 eligible prospect.

1.78 BL2BL (measured in seconds) – Blueline To Blueline Time

64.95 OCZT% – Offensive Controlled Zone Transition Percentage

54.29 DCZT% – Defensive Controlled Zone Transition Percentage

This data is a tad challenging to read unless you have some comparables to go along with it, so let’s look at how he measures up against other 2020 NHL Draft eligible prospect. When looking at BL2BL, Quinn is faster in transition than Alexis Lafrenière, Marat Khusnutdinov, Justin Sourdif, Jake Neighbours and Ozzy Wiesblatt. But, there are a large number of prospects who are faster than Quinn including Roby Järventie, Marco Rossi, Seth Jarvis, Jean-Luc Foudy, John-Jason Peterka and Alexander Pashin.

When you compare Quinn’s OCZT% to his DCZT%, you will notice that he is strong at maintaining control when crossing the offensive blueline, but he is allowing quite a bit of control defensive transitions. There are a few 2020 NHL Draft eligible prospects like Daniel Torgersson, Noel Gunler and Kasper Simontaival who are in a similar boat. But, there are quite a few prospects who are a bit more well-balanced.

Aside from the transition data, one of the things that I noticed about Quinn that I love is how he utilizes the boards when in transition. Quinn’s ability to quickly read his opposition and find the small gap to push the puck to the wall in order to out-work his attacker is just smaht (smart for you non-New Englanders). It reminds me quite a bit of Seth Jarvis and how Jarvis will also use the boards as a security blanket when controlling the puck.

Quinn’s passing game is an interesting one to dissect. When you look at his passing completion percentage of 65.93% (Scouching.ca data), you might raise your eyebrows. But, before you do, you need to realize that Quinn loves to complete dangerous passes down low. In fact, per Will Scouch, Quinn owns a dangerous passing per 60 of 21.93 passes. Quinn might not have the highest dangerous passing per 60 (per Scouch’s data), but he is quite close. Thomas Bordeleau and Jean-Luc Foudy have slightly higher numbers. So, do not write off Quinn because of his passing completion percentage. When you are passing in danger, you are susceptible to incomplete passing. Plus, Quinn is quite strong at dangerous passing. He does an excellent job threading the needle when he is in the mid-slot and doorstep. Quinn’s release is rather light. He does not put too much force on it. It’s one swift motion.

Quinn’s shot is also quite good. He lives and breathes on his snap shot. It is his lifeline. His leg extension is timed perfectly and his stick blade is open. When Quinn leaves his stick blade open, he can pretty much dictate where he wants the puck to go versus when the blade is closed. Quinn can pick corners quite well with his shot and it does not seem to matter when he is in the offensive zone. His fluid shot and ability to beat net-minders by going top shelf is quite effective in the slot or beyond the perimeter.

With that being said, there are some concerns with his shot. Sometimes, he will deploy a wider glide when shooting the puck. It could be that Quinn forgets to extend his leg when completing a snap shot and if that is the case then it can be easily addressed. But, when your skates are wide apart, it’s a challenge to get the puck where you want it to go. If it’s hard to visualize what I’m saying then the easiest way to think about it (golf example) is taking your driver and spreading your feet far apart at the tee. At that point, try to complete a swing. Your golf ball won’t get very far. It won’t touch the green when your feet are that far apart. Similar situation in hockey. Your feet need to be a bit tighter, otherwise you lose control of your power and shot direction.

The other thing that I noticed about Quinn is that sometimes he struggles to get away from tight pressure. When he is facing tight pressure along the boards, sometimes he gets trapped and has nowhere to go. Quinn needs to work on fending off his attacker and using quick pivots to draw them off. Without working on deploying pivots, he will get sandwiched in the NHL and will struggle at working the cycle.

While there are some things that need to be addressed, Quinn has proven to be a highly effective goal scorer and a robust playmaker. The sky is the limit with Quinn.

Comparison

David Pastrnak, Right Wing, Boston Bruins

Like Pastrnak, Quinn is a dynamic goal scorer and can light the lamp from all over the offensive zone. Pastrnak also does a fantastic job deploying man-on-man defense, which we touched on earlier in the report. While it is hard to predict that Quinn will be one of the league’s most prolific scorers, it could happen. Don’t count out Quinn.


stats from Scouching.ca and EliteProspects

Prospect report written by Josh Tessler. If you would like to follow Josh on Twitter, his handle is @JoshTessler_.

Looking for other scouting reports? Check out the Prospects tab for our other scouting reports.

Need a scouting report on a particular prospect, contact us today!

Scouting Report: Emil Heineman

Photo Credit: Leksands IF

The name Emil comes from the Latin aemulari, which means “trying to equal or surpass”. That is fitting for the man from Leksand. Hailing from a large hockey family, he has three elder brothers who had hockey careers – including eldest brother Lars Lundin of QMJHL pedigree – his cousin Olle Liss is a senior Swedish international, and his other cousins Arvid and Eric Eljas played alongside him on the Leksands IF J20 team last year.

But it is not only his own blood that he has spent his teenage years trying to equal or surpass on a hockey rink. Despite an impressive 1.41 P/GP in the J20 last year, playing 11 SHL games, and being over P/GP for the Swedish u-19 national team, Heineman’s name has been lost in the mix in a marquee year for Swedish forwards. He is an afterthought for many after Raymond, Holtz, Gunler, Nybeck and Niederbach, and in a strong draft year is slated to go in the third round.

Player Profile

D.O.B – November 16, 2001
Nationality – Sweden
Draft Eligibility – 2020
Height –6’1
Weight –185 lbs
Position – Left Wing
Handedness – Left

Heineman’s Style Of Play

As for his game? Like many Swedes, Heineman already plays a North American style. It is one thing that jumps out right away. He relishes getting into the danger areas around the slot and net, and has a real knack for finding space with no defensemen near either on the rush or on the cycle. His two-way game is also well-developed, and his relentless puck pursuit, diligence in his own zone, and ability on the boards are things all NHL scouts love to see.

He is also well developed both athletically and physically. His skating is powerful and refined in all aspects. Not only does he have great edges, but a good burst and fantastic lower-body strength. It is not unusual to see him protect the puck at speed, accelerate away from defensemen, and watch attempted hits bounce of him all in the same shift. Heineman is also not afraid to get involved physically, and will throw a good hit when he sees the need to, as well as get scrappy with defenses when battling for position.

His best purely offensive tool? His shot. Not only does he have high-end awareness in regards to finding space in close, but he has a quick, accurate release that can take advantage of that ability to punish opposition teams. Heineman has one of the best one-timers of any junior aged player in Sweden, and can also get shots off at full speed with aplomb. The result of this combination was 26 goals in 29 games in the J20.

So, with all that said, why is Heineman not up there as a guaranteed top 50 pick? The fact of the matter is that while the man from the shores of Lake Siljan is well-rounded, with all the skills you want for a modern-day NHL winger, there is certainly a limit on his up-side.

He is not an overly skill-full player. Plus, despite a great release he is not going to continue shooting at over 30% at a higher level. His goal-count this season was unquestionably propped up by such an unsustainable shot percentage. Playing alongside Nils Åman, a great play-making pivot who will have a long pro career himself, also helped. Additionally, his play-making and vision are simply “decent”, and as one of the older, more physically mature players in the draft there might not quite be as much room for growth as with other players with a similar skill-set.

But don’t let that put you off Heineman. If he hits he will be a fantastic third line winger who may well be capable of playing up as a third wheel on a second line. His scary shot, two-way game, grit and relentless puck pursuit are attributes that are exactly what any team would want from a future depth winger. He could be a good pick in the back-end of the second round.

Comparison

Michael Grabner, Right Wing, Arizona Coyotes

Heineman does not quite have the skating of the Austrian speedster. He is also not the level of PKer he is either, but their games overall align well. Both are good two-way players who cause havoc with great forechecking. Neither are scared to get to danger areas, and regularly win board battles. The young Swede also has a knack of turning pucks over to create breakaways and 2v1’s like his Austrian counter-part. Like Grabner, Heineman’s shot far eclipses his play-making and hands. However, the Swede is arguably better at getting space for himself in the offensive zone to get shots off.


Stats from EliteProspects

Prospect report written by Alexander Appleyard. If you would like to follow Alexander on Twitter, his handle is @Avappleyard.

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