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Undrafted in 2017, Sean Durzi came back with a huge season and has gotten himself back in the discussion for the 2018 NHL Draft. After putting up two goals and 38 points in 60 games for the Owen Sound Attack in his draft year, he exploded this season. Durzi scored 15 goals and 34 assists for 49 points in 40 games this year. He also added four goals and 16 points in 11 playoff games. The Attack defeated the London Knights in the first round of the OHL playoffs and gave the top-ranked Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds all they could handle in the second round; taking them seven games. Durzi was named to the OHL Second All-Star Team.
Durzi had ankle surgery prior to the 2016-17 season. The corrective procedure was necessary when it was discovered that he had an extra bone in his ankle. While it may have led to a tough season last year, it is not expected to have long-term effects. Durzi also missed time with an ankle sprain in January 2018, but this is apparently the opposite leg.
Sean Durzi Scouting Report
Defence — shoots Right
Born October 21st, 1998 — Mississauga, Ontario
Height 6’0″ — Weight 195 lbs [183 cm/88 kg]
Durzi is a very good but not great skater. He has good top end speed and acceleration in both directions. However, his backwards skating is particularly better than his forwards skating in a few key areas. When he is moving forwards, his edge work and agility can be a bit jerky and clunky. However, they are very smooth when going backwards. This means he is better at keeping his man in front of him when defending the rush, than getting around defenders when he leads it. His pivots in both directions are good though, allowing Durzi to transition quickly from offence to defence and vice versa. Durzi could stand to improve his lower-body strength and balance, as he can be overpowered along the boards and in front of the net.
Durzi has really improved his shot. While he is a defenceman who puts up a lot of goals, he does not do it with his slap shot. Instead, he loves to sneak in from point and let go a wirst shot or snapshot from the top of the circles. He has really improved his accuracy on those shots, as well as the release this season. Durzi is very good at pulling the puck in, and moving laterally to open up a shooting lane to get the puck on net.
Durzi is also a playmaker from the point. He has good vision, and the ability to get the puck through tight areas. On the rush, he is willing to join as the trailer, and wait for a pass from a teammate. He also makes a good first pass out of the zone. However, Durzi could stand to work on his stickhandling and puck protection. He is not as effective if asked to skate the puck out of his own end, or to lead the rush moving up the ice.
Durzi’s defensive game is a work in progress. He has good positioning and cuts down passing lanes as well. He is also tough to beat in one-on-one situations, with his strong backwards skating allowing him to maintain good gap control. However, Durzi really needs to add size and strength to his game. He can be overpowered in board battles and has a difficult time clearing the front of the net.
Projection and Comparison
Durzi’s second time through the draft status may be seen as an advantage by some teams. He will be eligible for the AHL next year, allowing a team to get him directly into their development system if they can sign him to a contract. Durzi can work on his hands, as well as improve his forward skating, but has the potential to be a strong offensive defenceman. His game is similar to Toby Enstrom but this is a stylistic comparison and not one based on skill or ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages of Durzi that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
Embed from Getty Images
PETERBOROUGH, ON – MARCH 2: Sean Durzi #5 of the Owen Sound Attack gets a pass away while being checked by Zach Gallant #11 of the Peterborough Petes during an OHL game at the Peterborough Memorial Centre on March 2, 2017, in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. The Petes defeated the Attack 5-4 in overtime. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)