Future Considerations’ East scout Colin Mayberry gives his thoughts on who from the 2013 NHL Draft class left him impressed, who disappointed and who his sleeper is on draft day.
To go even deeper into the draft class, pick up Future Considerations’ 2013 NHL Draft Guide.
After spending my time split between covering EJHL, NCAA, New England Prep and New Jersey Prep, there was no shortage of candidates available to me in the Scout Series.
Not necessarily on my radar to begin the season, Zach Sanford found himself rising in my — and many other scouts — rankings throughout the year. From the first viewing, I was extremely impressed with him and he proved himself to be one of the best 2013 NHL Draft eligible players in the EJHL this season.
He is one of the most interesting prospects in this draft due to his great raw skills and his projectable frame. I was very impressed with the maturity of his two-way game, having a nice hockey IQ in most situations. Sanford also has very good speed for a kid his size. My favorite aspect of his game is his hands, especially in tight and in traffic.
The biggest question mark in his game right now is his lack of strength, muscle and physicality. For a player of his height and frame, Sanford is not nearly physical enough or powerful on his feet. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound forward gets knocked off his feet too much and bounces off of body checks. When he adds muscle and strength to his frame and other skills, watch out.
I am very excited to see where Zach Sanford ends up on June 30th and how he develops over the next few years.
Aside from Ryan Fitzgerald, I am not sure there was a prospect that I was more excited to see than Eddie Ellis when I did my pre-season research. Ellis was one of the most hyped New England Prep players this year, but unfortunately, he did not meet my expectations. It may have been since I set such high expectations for him, but he just did not show me much to get excited about.
My biggest issues with him are his lack of hockey IQ and inconsistency issues, which often go hand-in-hand. Many times, he just simply could not put together his offensive skills to make a play. Also, it looked like at certain points in his play that he was uninterested. At times, it looked like he was just going through the motions at some points during the game.
With all that said, it is clear that he does have some good offensive skills. He has solid size and skates pretty well. He has some nice tools, but not necessarily the bag to put them together.
He will most likely hear his name called June 30th, but it probably will not be as early as many would have thought a year ago.
I have been pushing the Josh Couturier pick since late September when I first saw him play. He has flown under the radar virtually all year, even being unranked at Future Considerations, but I think he has all the tools worthy of a late round pick.
He plays a real solid two-way, with the ability to play in all situations that the coach asked him to. He is mature beyond his age, which his coach recognizes and the reason why he is comfortable throwing him out there at any time during the game. With that said, I see him developing more into a defensive guy, simply because his offensive tools have not really progressed as much during the season. He is a smooth skating defenseman and makes a nice first pass to start the breakout, but his strength lies in his very smart, reliable defensive game. He has a decent shot, but that is probably the area he needs to work on the most when advancing to higher leagues.
Couturier has done everything he can this year to deserve a pick in June and I really hope an NHL took notice. He has the size/frame, maturity and raw skills that should have team use a late pick on this kid.
Article by Colin Mayberry