Every season, scouts from Future Considerations spend countless hours gathering information on the next wave of NHL talent coming down the pipe. Future Considerations’ Buffalo-based scout Zack Thompson is no different.
Here is Thompson’s notebook from October.
Connor McMichael, F, London (OHL), 6-0, 170, 1-15-2001
McMichael is a dynamic forward who checks all the boxes. He’s dynamic in that he can score and be a creative playmaker as well. He shows an uncanny ability to put himself in the perfect spots to score, along with the ability to finish and willingness to go to the net and the dirty areas to do so. McMichael also can be a playmaker, as he displays some creative little give-and-go plays to create scoring chances. McMichael plays with compete and battle, he has an explosive first couple steps. He also has the high-end top speed to keep up playing on Liam Foudy’s wing. He also plays at both ends of the rink, and plays that 200-foot game. Overall, he’s a high-end talent.
Ryan Suzuki, F, Barrie (OHL), 6-0, 170, 5-28-2001
Suzuki is a playmaking pass-first center who shows off some natural talent. Suzuki’s hockey sense and ability to see the ice is above average, and he can make lighting-quick, snappy cross-ice passes to set up beautiful scoring chances for teammates. His ability to make passes through traffic is superb. He seems to get a burst of speed and be explosive with puck on his stick knowing when he has the ability to score. Suzuki oozes confidence, as he knows he’s good. Suzuki has a long fluid stride and smooth crossover to be deceptively quick, his lateral movement and first few steps look structurally sound. A couple areas of opportunity for Suzuki would be his compete level defensively and his ability to gather loose pucks and make something happen. Overall, Suzuki is a very gifted hockey player and the expectation is for him to compete to be the top OHL player taken in this draft.
Nicholas Porco, F, Saginaw, 6-0, 175, 3-12-2001
Porco shows as a working goal scorer type who looked like the total package. He works hard every shift and is conscious in his own end coming across and attacking the puck carrier. Porco has a nose for the net and has high-end ability to drive the puck wide and cut in front of the net. He also has the ability to finish. He will be a goal scorer at both the OHL level as well as the pro level. Porco has good hands and can corral passes that are behind them and keep puck to the outside and on a string. Porco’s first few steps aren’t real quick, but he gains speed as he gets going. When he does, his top speed is high-end. Porco has a high compete level and will to score every time he takes the puck to the net hard every time. Overall, Porco has the ability to be a high-end player.