Justin Kirkland

Aaron Vickers

This kid has everything one looks for in a draft-eligible player. He showed very good puck skills, has a long reach and silky smooth hands that allow him to create space and time. For a big guy, he showed solid skating ability. He wasn’t amazingly fast, but he has a good stride and gets to where he needs to go. One knock on his game might be his lack of physicality. He doesn’t play as mean as you might expect for a guy his size, but on occasion will rub a guy out. Good hands allow him to cycle well. He’s going to get a lot of nice goals around the crease with those mitts. At times, he holds onto the puck a little bit too long and isn’t able to find a passing option. He needs to keep things simple. This kid is a real gem that possesses a raw package of skills with room to grow everywhere. He played in a limited fourth-line role this season. As he continues to develop and mature, and as he gains more responsibility, he will put up points. Knows how to play the game and his raw skills could turn into a dominant skill set. (May 2014)