Simply put, he’s a coach’s dream and an opponent’s nightmare.
But while Curtis Lazar is set to turn up the scary as he eyes the 2013 NHL Draft, he’s set to make life easier for teammates in his own end as well.
The offensively gifted player knows and understands the importance of playing on both sides of the puck. Lazar’s tremendously high hockey IQ allows him to find soft spots on the ice and put himself in great scoring positions. That, along with a lethal shot, helped the Vernon, BC product net 20 goals and 31 points in his first full season in junior hockey with the Edmonton Oil Kings.
With the same smarts, Lazar also earned a plus-15 rating, speaking volumes about his defensive awareness. That strong, two-way play and offensive prowess has Future Considerations’ WHL scout Zenon Herasmyiuk impressed.
“Lazar plays the game harder that any draft eligible prospect in the WHL,” Herasmyiuk said. “He is as good or better in the defensive zone than he is when he is on the attack. He has a lethal shot and throws the body at will at both ends of the ice. He is a budding two-way threat that is sure to receive a lot of attention this year.”
While his offensive output was respectable during the regular season, Lazar erupted in the playoffs. Scoring eight goals and 19 points in 20 playoff games, the 17-year-old proved to be a major cog in the Oil Kings trip to the Memorial Cup.
He continued that offensive trend while representing Canada at the 2012 Ivan Hlinka Memorial, scoring three goals while playing on Canada’s first unit along side fellow top draft prospect Nathan MacKinnon.
That momentum could have him on the fast track to the NHL.
Meaning it wont just be Edmonton head coach Derek Laxdal thrilled to have a two-way weapon in the mould of Lazar – an NHL coach will too.