Hlinka Gretzky 2018 Notebook: Fries

Special To FC2019 Draft Center, From The Notebook, Tournaments & Events

Photo by Rick Elvin | Saskatoon Blades

Every season, scouts from Future Considerations spend countless hours gathering information on the next wave of NHL talent coming down the pipe. Future Considerations’ scout Keith Fries is no different.

Here is Fries’ notebook from the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup.

Kirby Dach, C/RW, Team Canada, 6-4, 185, DOB 21-01-2001
Dach was right in the thick of it. Excellent puck handler at every position on the ice, and showed really skilled hands in-close on net. Has really good ice-vision to find his teammates, in traffic, for a clean tape-to-tape pass. Also does a nice job as the receiver of a pass to look the puck into his stick, with a quick reflex for a one-timer. Skating, whether you’re talking about speed or edge work, is flawless. Takes a big first step with a burst of acceleration, and is off to the races. Once he pulls away, is hard to catch up to with remarkable separation speed. For his size, and how well he moves, reminds a bit of Jeff Carter. Did a nice job of playing to his size, displaying some physicality and intimidation. More so, that may have shown to scouts that his game is a bit more versatile than previously conceived.

Dustin Wolf, G, Team USA, 6-0, 150, DOB 16-04-2001
Wolf showed plenty of poise. Made some excellent saves and his compete level rose with every stop. Size may not fit the mold of a modern day NHL netminder, IQ, swagger, and athleticism more than make up for it. Did a great job of remaining calm, cool, and collected. Really is a cool customer, and doesn’t get rattled, easily. A study in head trajectory, with excellent vision on the puck at all times. One of the more underrated parts of his game is his paddle, and how active he is with it. Because his skating is so sound, he’s not afraid to play the puck behind his net or clear the puck on a penalty kill. Quick pipe-to-pipe skater.

Nicholas Robertson, C/LW, Team USA, 5-9, 161, DOB 11-9-2001
Robertson showed to be a really good skater, with clean edges and up-tempo speed. Good job staying light on his feet and quickly shifting directions. Off the offensive zone faceoff, Robertson stepped in and scored on a heavy backhand shot, showing some good versatility as a scorer. Really good compete level, and showed to be a reliable defender as well. Showed to be a true leader without wearing a letter.