Curtis Lazar

Darren Walker

Lazar is a defensively strong forward with good speed and goal scoring ability. He possesses good quickness out the gate, has good mobility and turning ability, even at top speed. He’s a dynamic skater who has powerful legs and pretty solid acceleration. Lazar uses a wide balanced stance when protecting the puck and is hard to knock off stride and while he won’t blow the doors off of anyone, is tough to knock off the puck. He gets himself in good position to shoot, finding holes offensively, where he can unleash both a hard wrist or slap shot. He also has a very quick backhand in his shooting arsenal as well as a deadly one-timer. Is a killer from the slot-in with his great release and knows when, where and how to put pucks on net. Lazar isn’t afraid to deke to finish off plays from in close, either. He’s not just a shooter as his puck distribution and vision are superb and makes some excellent passes including quick cross-crease dishes on the backhand in tight to the net, multi-zone stretch passes from his own zone and soft saucer passes to streaking linemates. His passes have good velocity and are usually right on the tape. While he does have pretty good hands, he is not a real ashy puck dangling forward who will try to go end-to-end much if at all. He’s gritty, plays very physical when the situation calls for it and is versatile in that he can play on a skilled line as well as on a line with two very big and physical players. He bangs and crashes regularly along the walls, takes hits to make plays and shows the leadership and smarts that is rare for a player this age. He’s a true hockey player and a leader. He’ll be a glue guy in the NHL and a good guy in the room as a heart and soul player. He shows great inner drive, is a hard worker and displays great character, serving as an assistant captain as a 17-year-old on a veteran team. He will one day do that at the NHL level. Lazar plays with high energy and good intensity each and every shift. He has his head on a swivel each and every shift and his positioning in his own zone and in the neutral zone is fantastic. He is very good at reading the play and taking away lanes with his body and stick. Lazar will be one of the safest bets to make the Show out of this draft class as he is almost a guarantee to make an impression in one way or another. (May 2013)