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 2019 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. Today we look at Lincoln Stars forward Shane Pinto.
Drafted in the 21st round, 330th overall in the 2017 USHL Draft, Shane Pinto has proven to be more than worth the gamble for the Lincoln Stars, even if they traded him to the Tri-City Storm halfway through his rookie season in the USHL. Overall Pinto scored 28 goals and 31 assists for 59 points in 56 games played. It was enough to see Pinto named the 2018-19 USHL All-Rookie Team. He also added four goals and five assists for nine points in six playoff games. Pinto also appeared in the All-American Top-Prospects game and turned some heads.
Pinto also played for Team USA at the World Junior A Hockey Championships. He only scored one goal and one assist for two points in six tournament games but it was enough to help the American team to the gold medal. Pinto is committed to attend the University of North Dakota next season where he will play hockey for the Fighting Hawks.
Shane Pinto Scouting Report
Center/Right Wing — shoots Right
Born November 12th, 2000 — Franklin Square, New York
Height 6’3″ — Weight 187 lbs [191 cm/85 kg]
Pinto is a powerful skater. He generates good speed, but more importantly, it is tough to knock him off his stride. Pinto can fight through checks and take the puck to the front of the net. He is also strong along the boards and in front of the net. His acceleration is excellent. Once he gets a step on a defender, he can blow by his opponent and cut to the front of the net. He can also change speeds to beat defenders, slowing down to open up a passing or a shooting lane. Pinto could stand to work on his agility and lateral movement though.
Pinto is a shooter. He has a very good release on his wrist shot and he is effective at one-timing a cross-ice pass into the back of the net. He finds open spaces and gets himself in a good position to take that pass from a linemate. Pinto’s shot has good but not great power though. He is at his best getting his shot off from inside the faceoff dots. From further out, he can have issues beating goaltenders. However, Pinto does a good job of creating a shot in high danger areas. His speed on the rush can also create offensive chances. If defenders back off to protect against that speed, Pinto can use the defender as a screen and fire the puck on the net.
Pinto can also set up teammates. He does this by controlling the puck down low and finding the open man. He is not going to deke defenders one-on-one or try to make a creative saucer pass through a tight opening. Instead, Pinto plays a simple but effective game. He moves the puck quickly and finds an open teammate on the cycle game. Pinto then darts into an open space and looks for the give and go. Pinto is not afraid to play in the dirty areas and will take a hit to make a play. However, he is not the type to initiate physical contact.
Pinto could play more of a physical game in his own end. He can use his body better to contain opponents in the cycle game or to backcheck and help his defence to clear the front of the net. Pinto reads the play well though and uses his long stick to cut down passing lanes. He can intercept passes and start the transition game in the opposite direction.
Projection and Comparison
Pinto could become a top-six forward in the NHL. His skating is good enough to keep him at centre. However, he must improve his defensive game and his creativity in order to stay at that position going forward. Realistically he projects more as a winger. In going to North Dakota, Pinto will have time to spend in the gym and could really bulk up. This might lead to more of a willingness to play physical. In terms of style, Pinto’s game is similar to Ryan Hartman, however, this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill or ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Shane Pinto that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
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