Hayden Verbeek

Aaron Vickers

If you want a character player who will work his tail off and not back down, Verbeek is your man. What he lacks in finesse, he surely makes up for in hard work, dedication and commitment. He is a workhorse who doesn’t the know the meaning of the word no; he doesn’t take it for an answer and ends up winning puck battles of which he has no business coming out on top. In the defensive zone, he is like a dog on a bone sticking to his man and giving him no space to work with. On the forecheck, he does a great job of forcing defenders low into the zone and into moving the puck before they want to. He shows off some offensive flair as he can separate from his check on the outside, making his way around the defender with a quick move, and getting a shot off before following up looking for a rebound chance. He loves to chase and is hungry for the puck, but sometimes this takes him out of position. Verbeek is constantly in motion, and drives the opposing team crazy with his quick feet and great instincts. You will see the opposition take liberties with him, cheap shots, aggressiveness and more, but Verbeek remains calm, cool and collected. He could be an elite penalty-killing/energy guy at whatever level he plays. Verbeek could be a late-round gem who an NHL team will look back on and wonder how they snagged him so late as his work ethic can carry him to lofty heights.   (May 2016)