Jordan Kawaguchi

Aaron Vickers

A skilled but smaller character forward. He lets the game come to him; he isn’t a fast skater by any means, but with his style of game he doesn’t need to be a fantastic skater. Elite level of on-ice awareness and determination. His game is using his positioning to give options for teammates, being quick with the puck, and having soft hands in tight to make skilled plays. He holds his stick higher up on the shaft and skates more upright to allow for more visibility and aid his passing ability. Not physical at all, and why would he be at his size? But everything he does is for the team, even allowing himself to be destroyed along the wall to dish a pass to a teammate for that prime scoring chance. He wears the ‘A’ for the Chiefs and it’s easy to see why; Kawaguchi back checks, picks up guys defensively, helps out all around the ice and uses his teammates very well. His touch with the puck in tight gives him an edge to win battles against all sizes of competition, by spinning off contact and using a quick stick before making a play to a linemate. He has a quick and accurate shot that makes him dangerous down low or around the circles. Makes simple yet effective straightforward passes. He doesn’t have a whole lot of strength and frequently gets outmuscled in battles; however, he does counter this with a quick stick and hands. Plus, we hope he’ll keep adding strength as he matures. We love his smart game, his puck skills and awareness out there. With potential physical progression, his high calibre skill level and some great hockey sense, we think it might just be enough to eventually offset his size disadvantage. (May 2015)