Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2017 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here.
Its almost here, draft day. With 80 NHL Draft scouting reports in the books, I now make a number of shorter write-ups over the next few days to take us over 100 prospects ranked and reviewed. If history is any indication, some of these players will get taken in the fourth, fifth, and sixth rounds. In my opinion they will be big time steals at those picks.
2017 NHL Draft Scouting Reports: 81-90
#81 Eemeli Rasanen, Defence, Kingston Frontenacs, OHL; 6’6.75″ 214 lbs
Rasanen has outstanding size and he uses it very effectively. He throws absolutely crushing body checks when he gets the opportunity. He also uses his strength to win battles on the boards as well as to clear the front of the net. Offensively, he has an absolute bomb of a slap shot. Rasanen’s skating has improved as the season has gone on. He still needs to get used to his frame, and he needs to work on his edgework and agility to deal with speedy forwards. Rasanen’s size is intriguing, and he can be a real boom or bust prospect.
#82 Nick Henry, Right Wing, Regina Pats, WHL, 5’11”, 190 lbs
Henry has a very good shot and release. He also has good size which he uses to protect the puck down below the hashmarks. He can make passes to open teammates and makes smart plays off the cycle game. Henry is a smart player, who gets into good positions without the puck as making good decisions with it. He can stand to work on his skating though, as he needs to be more explosive to be an offensive contributor in the NHL.
#83 Artem Minulin, Defence, Swift Current Broncos, WHL, 6’2″ 198 lbs
Minulin had 33 points in 72 games as a rookie for the Broncos last year, and 50 points in 70 games this season. He starts the transition game by skating the puck out of dangerous areas and then making a good first pass in the transition game. He is particularly good with the “home run” pass, catching a streaking forward behind the defence. Minulin is willing to play a physical game in his own end as well.
#84 Ian Scott, Goalie, Prince Albert Raiders, WHL 6’3″ 169 lbs
At 6’3″ he has the type of size that NHL teams look for. He also has quick legs that take away the bottom of the net. Scott tracks the puck well for his age. He has very good lateral movement as he gets side-to-side quickly without over sliding. He also shows a calmness and maturity that is rare in a 17-year-old goalie, especially when he was playing behind a weak Prince Albert team this season.
#85 Mikey Anderson, Defence, Waterloo Black Hawks, USHL, 5’11” 197 lbs
Mikey Anderson put up five goals and 34 points in 54 games this season. Anderson moves the puck quickly, getting it up ice by skating it out of danger and making a quick outlet pass. He has excellent vision, and transitions the puck forward quickly. He hits forwards in stride with both short passes as well as a long breakout pass. Anderson also has a good shot, but must show better lateral agility to open up shooting lanes in the offensive zone. He is committed to the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
#86 Maxim Zhukov, Goaltender, Green Bay Gamblers, USHL, 6’2″ 194 lbs
Zhukov has decent size, but likes to play deep in his crease. He has excellent athleticism, especially in his lateral movement as he gets from post-to-post extremely quickly. He is also quick to recove and stop rebounds. Zhukov could use a little refinement in his technique and rebound control though. He is very raw at this point. He is also excellent at playing the puck, starting the transition by moving the puck to his defencemen.
#87 Zach Gallant, Centre, Peterborough Petes, OHL, 6’1″ 198 lbs
Gallant was the 5th overall pick in the 2015 OHL draft. He followed up a terrible rookie season, with a much improved second campaign. Gallant found his offensive game and put up 47 points in 60 games, and eight points in 12 playoff games. He generates offense by forechecking as well as by getting the puck to the net. Gallant’s game is simple but effective. His biggest contributions may come defensively, where he kills penalties, matches up against top lines, and is good in the face-off circle.
#88 Mario Ferraro, Defence, Des Moines Buccaneers, USHL, 5’10.75″ 185 lbs
Ferraro is a smooth skater who covers a ton of ice. He is very quick with good acceleration in both directions. Very good edge work and pivots allow him to cover a ton of ice, as well as to transition quickly from offence to defence and vice-versa. A two-way player he is tough to beat in one-on-one situations. He also uses strong positioning and a quick stick to steal pucks of attackers. Offensively he has good vision and passing skills, and a very hard slap shot.
#89 Cameron Crotty, Defence, Brookville Braves, CCHL, 6’2.25″ 186 lbs
Crotty is a two-way defenceman. His biggest skill is his passing ability. He makes good plays to start the transition game as well as having the vision and passing skill to quarterback plays from the point. Crotty has a hard slap shot. He gives his teammates opportunities to for tip-ins and rebounds by keeping it low. His lateral agility allows him open up passing and shooting lanes. Crotty is physical in his own end of the ice.
#90 D’Artagnan Joly, Right Wing, Baie-Comeau Drakkar, 6′ 2.5″, 175 lbs
Joly has excellent speed and acceleration, however he could work on his edge work and agility to really take his game to the next level. He is a hard-working winger, willing to battle along the boards and in front of the net. Joly also has an excellent wrist shot, and a very quick release. He works hard in the cycle game, protecting the puck down low, making smart passes and getting the puck to the net. Joly is also good in his own end.
Check back tomorrow to see our next ten prospects.