Matt Buckles

Darren Walker

Buckles is a goal-scoring power forward in the making. His skating is surprisingly strong for a developing big body like his. He gets off the mark quickly, although with added work this area can still improve and generates very good levels of speed. He can play both the power and skilled game, a blend that is very valuable in today’s NHL. He has a good compete level and battles hard in the corners or fights his way to the net. He just does whatever it takes to win. His shot is NHL caliber, off his blade quickly with good velocity and he protects the puck well throwing off defenders with his strength and speed. He’s not overly creative with the puck on his stick but goes to the correct areas without it and generates chances with his size, skill and speed. He has decent vision and can make some lengthy passes accurately as well as the short touch passes. The only problem with Buckles is that his game is still develop- ing and will need further time but for a patient NHL team they could have a gem on their hands three, four or five years from now. Physically, he is already bigger and stronger than his peers but after a few more years of adding strength he has the potential to become a real beast. He was a key part of the Buzzards OJHL championship run this season. (May 2013)