Hlinka Gretzky 2018 Notebook: Mazloum

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

Photo courtesy Kootenay Ice

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 Donesh Mazloum is no different.

Here is Mazloum’s notebook from the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup.

Peyton Krebs, C/LW, Canada, 5-11, 172, 26-01-2001
I’ve always liked what Krebs brings to the game but coming into this season I had some questions about his ceiling. His performance at this tournament did a lot to assuage my concerns however and I thought he looked every bit like a top-10 pick. Is constantly in the thick of the action. Has excellent instincts and predicts the play very effectively. Is an absolute puck-hound and has the ability to close quickly on a puck while still cutting off a passing lane. Causes fits for the opposition as he continually forces them to rush the play. Not only does he cause consistent turnovers, he is lightning quick at turning turnovers into offence. Krebs game speed and mental processing is a major strength. With the puck, is one of the best playmakers in this draft class. Has beautiful vision and feathers passes into spaces that most players wouldn’t see. Is equally adept with both his forehand and backhand and executes tape-to-tape with remarkable regularity. Hockey IQ is through the roof and you notice his smarts at both ends of the ice including in his defensive posture. Is very polished in his understanding of the game. Question lies in his physical toolbox. Is not an elite skater. First three steps are a bit clunky and he loses some speed when he edges. At the end of the day, he understands the ins and outs of what it takes to be an effective and complete player more than most of his peers.

Daniil Gutik, LW, Russia, 6-3, 179 – 31-8-2001
Gutik is an elite puck-handler and he completely dictates the play with possession. Is an incredibly difficult player to hold to the outside as his spatial awareness and creativity is off the charts. He is so comfortable in tight spaces and really messes with the oppositions spacing as he will bait defenders with the puck away from his body before pulling it in tight at the last second and changing the attack angle. Has the vision to spot teammates, shows tape to tape execution whether on his forehand or backhand, and shows great touch on saucer passes. If defenders are too passive he will carve them up with pinpoint passes. If there is one thing, he can fine tune it is that his desire to make something happen at every opportunity can result in him trying too much and forcing the play. When he uses his reach and smarts to protect the puck and allow the play to develop he will become an even more effective and balanced offensive player. What’s scary is that He is still very skinny and when he adds strength to his projectable frame his board play and net drive will be that much more dominant. The only thing keeping him from being among the top players in this draft is his skating. Is a high risk, high reward player and if his skating improves to even average, he will be an absolute force.

John Farinacci, C, Team USA, 6-0, 181, 14-2-2001
Farinacci was a player who grew on me with each viewing as I started to appreciate the subtle things and intangibles he brings to the game. Plays a simple but productive 200-foot game. Plays the game the right way and brings as much effort and focus to providing defensive back-pressure as he does when he has a potential breakaway offensively. Combines this effort level with a very mature understanding of his assignment and the game situation. Is also a very accomplished face-off artist and wins a large majority of his draws at this level. Is a player that a coach will want on the ice as much as possible in the dying minutes of a one goal lead. Wore the “C” for Team USA at this tournament and it was clearly well earned based on his on ice demeanour. Is a simple but productive and well-rounded player.