NHL Draft Preview 2013
This weekend the 2013 NHL Entry draft is hosted in New Jersey so we at hockeyfights.com figured it was about time we'd give you a run down on what physical, tough players are available out of the OHL, QMJHL and WHL.
For a defenceman Nurse is as well rounded as they come. Great on his skates and has decent wheels for someone his size. He can kill penalties and anchor a power play. Loves to dish out the hits and play physical, and isn't shy about dropping the gloves. Lots of upside to his game, seems to do everything well. Should be a high first round selection.
Ryan Hartman RW
Plymouth Whalers OHL
Hartman does a little bit of everything. He can play a gritty physical game, and at the same time skate on the first line and contribute on offence. He's a strong competitor that gives it his all every shift, and doesn't show many weaknesses. Good skater as well, quick on his feet. His bread and butter is playing an aggitating in your face game.
Kerby Rychel LW
Rychel is a great team leader. He is one of those heart and soul type of players that every team should have. He is great in the corners and doesn't mind getting his nose dirty. Not only can he play a rough and tumble game but he can put the puck in the net. Scored some big goals for Windsor this past season and put up really good numbers.
London Knights OHL
Zadorov is pretty much the complete package. He's huge, mobile, and can play in all situations. Good stay at home D man that hits hard and can physically dominate in his own end. He doesn't do a lot of fighting, but then again doesn't really have to. One of the better defenseman available in the draft. Should be a first rounder.
Rimouski Océanic QMJHL
Morin is a big force on the Rimouski blueline who really developed his offensive game as the season went on. He was one of the Oceanic's better performers as they were shocked in the first round of the play-offs where he made a key offensive contribution. Could use his size a bit more and although he hasn't fought a great deal he is not a guy you want to make angry as both of his first two fights ended in a brutal KO for the guy facing him.
Heatherington is a late riser. A defenseman with a combination of good size and the ability to skate well. Heatherington possesses good puck skills as he's a good passer and makes smart decisions with the puck. He is also willing to play a physical game and won't shy away from the rough stuff including dropping the gloves.
Victoriaville Tigres QMJHL
Diaby is a pretty mobile blueliner for someone so big who developed nicely when given more ice this past season. He showed he has some offence to go with his physical play. Not afraid to jump in to protect a team-mate whenever needed he was one of the most entertaining fighters in the QMJHL in 2012-13.
Myles Bell LW/D
Kelowna Rockets WHL
Bell really turned some heads this year as he exploded offensively after being converted to forward after playing defense for most of his junior career. A few years ago Myles Bell was a high ranked WHL prospect. But due to an unfortunate off-ice incident he went undrafted and his future seemed rather cloudy. Bell has an excellent shot and a nice combination of physicality and speed. A good mix of skill and grit. I can't see him going undrafted again.
Nick Moutrey LW/C
Saginaw Spirit OHL
Moutrey is a big physical power forward that likes to crash and bang. He showed this past season that he also has a touch around the net scoring 16 goals and adding 27 assists. The more ice time Moutrey gets the better he seems to play. He took his game to another level this past season and continues to progress. His skating has improved and his shot has an added punch. Could be a good pick up in one of the middle rounds.
Vancouver Giants WHL
Physical stay at home defenseman. Decent skater for his size, needs to improve his puck skills including his first pass. Willing to drop the mitts although at times throughout the season he wasn't as physical or aggressive as he was during his rookie season. He will have to bring more of an edge on a consistent basis in order to have success at the pro level.
Vancouver Giants WHL
Physical forward. Houck was arguably the most consistent player for the Giants this past season. He does a little bit of everything. Scores, hits, fights etc. His skating was much improved from his rookie season and his point production nearly trippled. At times he isn't as much of a force physically as he could be but the effort and compete level is very good. He wins a lot of puck battles.
Physical defenseman. Good in his own zone and showed a lot of improvement from the start of the season. Willing fighter and may have some untapped offensive upside. Lewington impressed during the combine finishing first in three fitness tests.
Québec Remparts QMJHL
Undersized forward who plays above his size but plays the game with grit and energy. Lost a lot of the 2012-13 season to injury but on his return late in the year showed he hasn't missed a step. Not a regular fighter but will mix it up when the need arises.
Vincent Dunn LW
Gatineau Olympiques QMJHL
One of our favourite players in the draft. Dunn brings a bit of everything and always plays the game hard. He gives 110% every shift and has a scoring touch to add to his physical prowess. Isn't afraid of anyone and a willing participant in the rough stuff.
Big smooth skating defenseman. Sound positionally and can quarterback the power play. If there is one knock on Jensen it's that he doesn't play up to his size on a consistent basis. That said he has shown willingness to mix it up and stick up for teammates from time to time.
Baie-Comeau Drakkar QMJHL
Ultimate team guy who has captain written all over him. He's all character. He was a bit unsettled at Chicoutimi but as soon as he completed a mid-season trade to the Drakkar his game blossomed and he was a key component that led Baie-Comeau to the QMJHL final where they were the only team to take a game off the powerhouse Halifax Mooseheads. He can play in all situations and will be one of the first guys to step up for a team-mate.
Kamloops Blazers WHL
Gritty all around player. Lipon has shown a lot of offensive ability the past two seasons finishing 11th in league scoring this past year. When he isn't putting up points Lipon is always noticeable whether he is driving hard to the net or laying the body on the opponent. He doesn't shy away from the rough stuff. Lipon has been passed in previous drafts twice but I see some team taking a chance on him this time around.
London Knights OHL
Mermis is a well rounded defensive defensemen. He is good on the penalty kill and plays a shut down role to a T. He is great at moving the puck up ice and passing is a strong suit of his. Can also fight a little from time to time.
Huge defender. Not surprisingly skating isn't his strong suit but due to his 6'6" frame he has great reach. Hauf doesn't shy away from physicality and is willing to play a hard game and scrap when needed.
Tall lanky defender that is easily noticeable due to his size. As a prospect he is pretty raw with plenty of room for improvement especially with his puck skills. With his long reach and willingness to play physical he has drawn attention from some scouts.
Victoria Royals WHL
Huge, aggressive, stay at home defenseman. Very willing fighter. Arguably the toughest ranked WHL player. Sometimes has difficulity finding a willing dance partner. Like most big players Kanzig could certainly improve his skating and decision making. Kanzig has very little offensive upside (still seeking his first ever WHL goal) but his sheer size alone will attract NHL teams.
Charlottetown Islanders QMJHL
Huge defenceman who has developed nicely under the tutelage of Gordie Dwyer on PEI. Plays physical and will jump into the rush when the need arises and although he still makes some mistakes his devlopment is coming along nicely. One of many guys on a tough Islanders team who plays the Dwyer way and is not afraid to fight.
Pedersen is a skilled winger with some sand paper to his game. He knows how to find the back of the net and is also a good set up man. Great checker, hits like a ton of bricks. Can play on special teams as well, both PP and PK.
Regina Pats WHL
Undersized puck moving defenseman. Burroughs is capable of delivering solid hits and has shown willingness to fight and stick up for teammates. Burroughs had an injury riddled season but really seemed to find his groove in the second half.
Physical, hard hitting defenseman. Showed more of a willingness to fight and stick up for teammates as the season went on. He seemed to gain confidence with experience. Betker was voted most improved player on the Silvertips.
Hard nosed, physical, defensive defenseman. Good skater, solid hitter and a more than capable scrapper. Plays the game hard and aggressive. Nikkel missed some time with a couple of injuries during the season but I fully expect him to to be a force physically for Everett next season.
Kelowna Rockets WHL
One of the best and most willing scrappers in the WHL. Goulbourne is a little undersized for a guy with his role but he plays with his heart on his sleeve and he showed he can contribute in more ways than just with his fists. Goulbourne really picked up his game over the second half of the season and became an important player for the Rockets. He nearly doubled his point production and still managed to accumulate 19 regular season fighting majors. He's most known for his "David vs Goliath" TKO victory over Portland Winterhawks tough guy Joe Mahon.
Sudbury Wolves OHL
Silk is a solid two way player that is feisty, aggressive and agitating. If there is a scrum going Silk is usually in the middle. He does have a scoring touch at times, but makes his living in the corners. Good skater, and good on the forecheck.
Halifax Mooseheads QMJHL
Weegar enhanced his reputation with a solid performance at the Memorial Cup. He can run the PP from the point and has a smooth offensive game who adapted quickly to the pace of major junior. He plays tough and won't shy away from the rough stuff. Very good all-round defenceman.
Ganly is a physical stay at home defenceman. Very willing to stick up for his teammates, and pretty good with the gloves off. He is solid in his own zone and can play a shut down role. Didn't score any goals in his rookie year but did add 17 assists.
Gatineau Olympiques QMJHL
Beauregard is hard-hitting stay at home defenceman who plays the game the same way his older brother Alexandre, who made a name for himself as a tough winger, did so. Will hit anything and will step up for his team-mates. His offensive skills could use some work but he fufills a roll and is not fun to play against.
Victoriaville Tigres QMJHL
Physical winger who brought some added offence to his game last season when he was given the opportunity of a more regular shift. Will fight anyone and brings a high energy game. Strong on the PK and has a good defensive game.
Zach Pochiro LW
Physical two way winger with potential offensive upside. Pochiro got better as he adjusted to the speed and grind of major junior hockey coming out of the NAHL. Pochiro likes to play a gritty game and possesses enough skill to produce points and stand out.
Oshawa Generals OHL
Brown is a big hard nosed defenceman. He won’t score many goals but he is great in the defensive zone and very reliable. He is one of the better hitters in the league. Not shy about dropping the gloves either. He is quick to step up in defense of a team-mate. Good team guy to have around.
Jean Dupuy LW
Dupuy finished the regular season tied for second in fighting majors. He showed this past year a willingness to fight just about anyone night in and night out. Doesn't do a lot of scoring. He is more of a fourth line grinder type. Likes to mix it up in the corners and throw his weight around.
A 6'7" hulking defenseman. Green is a physical player capable of taking away a lot of time and space. Green played both defense and forward for Seattle at times throughout the season. There was some speculation he would be converted to forward full time but that has yet to happen.
Guelph Storm OHL
Bertuzzi is a spark plug. Never misses an opportunity to dish out a hit. He can play a third or fourth line checking role and has some offensive ability. Not a sniper by any means, Bertuzzi is a fearless competitor that will take on all comers. Had some injury problems this year but he is all good to go. Could be a selection in one of the later rounds.
Nick Betz RW
Erie Otters OHL
Betz is a big winger with good wheels. He's a hard worker and a solid hitter. Well rounded player that can do a little bit of everything. Can take care of business with the gloves off as well.
Solid energy player that plays hard every shift. He's a pretty good skater and hard hitter. Isn't known for his offense, more of a fourth line checking forward.
Barrie Colts OHL
Webster had a solid rookie campaign with the Colts. He got better as the season went on, and was one of Barrie better D men in the playoffs. His skating is a strong point. He is also good at clearing the crease and playing tough. Doesn't mind dropping the gloves when called upon.
Halifax Mooseheads QMJHL
Lewis was a key component of Halifax's run to the QMJHL title and Memorial Cup championship. The ultimate captain who plays hard every shift. Solid PKer who will block shots all day long. He will jump up into the rush and has a bullet of a shot. Not afraid of anyone and will regularly drop the gloves. Lewis is the perfect team-mate.
Niagara IceDogs OHL
Maletta is a scrappy winger that finishes his checks and competes hard. He is quick on his skates and good with the puck. Isn't really known as a goal scorer but has some play making ability. Good defensive player as well.
Shawn LaRoche and Daniel Carson contributed to this story.