Future Considerations’ Ontario-based scout Dylan Galloway gives his thoughts on who from the 2016 NHL Draft class left him impressed, who disappointed and who his sleeper is on draft day.
He was largely overshadowed by teammate and fellow defenseman Olli Juolevi, scouts certainly took notice of London Knights blueliner Victor Mete.
Mete’s size will be his biggest hurdle at the next level, especially as a defender, but he proved this season that size isn’t everything. Watching Mete quarterback the power play and seemingly float across the blue line to set up teammates for scoring opportunities certainly landed Mete a lot of attention.
But in his own end, Mete was equally impressive in his ability to read a play and use elite edge work, perfect gap control and precise stick work to separate his opponents from the puck and take away scoring chances.
With Juolevi gone to the World Juniors, Mete was given a much larger role on the back end for the Knights and was definitely up to the challenge. During that stretch it seemed that Mete was on the ice for half of the game, and still his flawless skating ability and on-ice-awareness never seemed to fade.
If he slips below the second round the team that grabs this guy should consider themselves lucky to be getting such a talent that deep into the draft.
Max Jones, Mete’s teammate, is a fast, strong and a tenacious competitor, and when he is on his game he can be extremely difficult for a defender to contain.
This being said, Jones has a temper that gets the best of him much too often. The results of his temper are careless, often retaliatory, penalties that leave his team down a man, and take away one of their more skilled forwards. Not only does his temper take him off the ice, but also makes him lose sight of the game at hand and focus instead on giving an opponent a retaliatory slash behind the play.
Jones only had a few games that I saw, where he didn’t lose his cool and spend the night parading to the penalty box. All this being said, Jones can be extremely productive when locked in on the game and produce at a pretty high level. Given the right development circumstance no doubt Jones will be productive at the next level with all of the skills he possess, but needs to become more disciplined to reach his true potential.
One of the surprises this season was Adam Mascherin, whose speed and scoring ability should make him one of the hidden gems of this year’s draft. Along with his dynamic speed, his laser-like shot made him one of Kitcherner’s greatest offensive threats.
Not only was Mascherin one of the speediest eligibles from the OHL this season, but he knew when to turn it on. This enabled him to create give-and-go plays and get in position to let go some pretty wicked shots.
Mascherin’s weakest point was on the defensive side of the puck where he often struggled to grasp defensive zone positioning. However with such elite offensive skills Mascherin shouldn’t be expected to do anything more than score.
At about 5-foot-10, Mascherin isn’t the biggest player in the world, however he plays the game at a high pace and intensity. This intensity was especially evident when Mascherin would get into puck battles with players well outside his weight class.
All of this made him a favorite to watch.
By Dylan Galloway