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 we feature NHL Draft Scouting Reports for Prospects 81-90.
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. Without further ado, we present our next ten prospects in the NHL Draft Scouting Reports series.
2019 NHL Draft Scouting Reports
81.) Adam Beckman, Left Wing, Spokane Chiefs, WHL, 6’1″ 168 lbs
A sniper at the WHL level, Beckman put up 32 goals for Spokane last season. He has a hard and accurate wrist shot with an excellent release. He also has a very good one-timer. Beckman can do it all as a scorer, as he is also able to get to the front of the net and score in tight with his soft hands and good coordination. Beckman’s skating stride is a bit choppy and he will need to improve his speed going forward. He also needs to bulk up and add muscle to his frame.
82.) Antti Saarela, Centre/Left Wing, Lukko, SM Liiga, 5’11.75″ 190 lbs
A strong two-way player, Saarela gets into the dirty areas of the ice at both ends of the ice. He is willing to play a gritty game, getting to the front of the net and creating havoc in the offensive zone as well as sticking close to his man and supporting the defence down low in his own end. He is a good skater who gets around the ice quickly and efficiently. The biggest question here is how much offence he can produce at the next level. Projects as a bottom-six centre who can also kill penalties.
83.) Mattias Norlinder, Left Defence, Modo Hockey, Allsvenskan, 6’0″ 187 lbs
Norlinder, a second-year draft eligible player, has a two-way game based on outstanding skating ability. Norlinder pairs this with good stickhandling ability. He is able to move the puck, avoiding forecheckers and getting the puck out of danger in his own zone. Norlinder moves the puck well through the neutral zone, generating clean zone entries and setting things up in the zone. He also has very good vision and passing skills. His defensive game is also based on his skating ability. Norlinder is tough to beat one-on-one off the rush. However, he needs to work on playing in his own end. Norlinder can work on maintaining coverage of his man away from the puck. He could also stand to bulk up to improve his work along the boards and in front of the net.
84.) Alex Beaucage, Right Wing/Left Wing, Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, QMJHL, 6’2″ 192 lbs
A member of the QMJHL and Memorial Cup Champion Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, Beaucage had a solid season with 39 goals and 79 points in 68 games. He showed off a knack for finding openings in the defence and then taking advantage of that space with an excellent shot and quick release. He started using that shot even more often this past season and the goal totals went up as a result. Beaucage can also play the role of a playmaker. His good stickhandling and skating allow him to carry the puck in transition and make plays. Beaucage sees the ice well and can find teammates to set up a play. He has good balance and puck control, extending plays in the cycle game.
85.) Samuel Bolduc, Left Defence, Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, QMJHL, 6’4.25″ 209 lbs
The 18-year-old defender has excellent size. As a rookie, he put up two goals and 14 points in 57 games in 2017-18. He was even better in the playoffs with seven points in 20 games. Bolduc carried that over to this season with nine goals and 37 points in 65 points. Bolduc is a two-way defender. His skating and edgework are good and allow him to transition from defence to offence quickly. He makes a good first pass and starts the transition game. Bolduc battles hard in front of the net and in the corners. He is willing to put his body on the line to block shots. Bolduc has really improved his shot over the last year.
86.) Michael Vukojevic, Left Defence, Kitchener Rangers, OHL, 6’3″ 212 lbs
Vukojevic is best known for his defensive game. He is solid in his own zone, with the size to play a physical game and clear the front of the net. He reads the play well and is rarely out of position. Vukojevic uses his long stick to cut down passing lanes, especially while killing penalties. His skating ability allows him to play a solid two-way game, especially his strong lateral mobility. He has a decent slap shot but must work on getting it through traffic and on the net. He also shows a good first pass out of the zone. Vukojevic improved offensively this past season, putting up 29 points in 68 games.
87.) Alex Campbell, Left Wing, Victoria Grizzlies, BCHL, 5’10, 154 lbs
Playing with Alex Newhook in Victoria, Campbell benefits from the extra scouting attention brought on by his more high-profile teammate. Even with that, Campbell is worthy of getting some attention of his own. Campbell is a bit undersized and will need to add muscle to his frame. He will get the opportunity to do so playing an NCAA schedule at Clarkson University next year.
Campbell makes up for his lack of size with outstanding skating. His top-end speed allows him to get behind the defence and look for a long breakaway pass. He can also take defenders wide and go to the net. His agility and edgework are also top notch and allow him to create space. Once he makes that space, Campbell is able to get off his wrist shot with a quick and deceptive release. He also has good vision and can play the role of play-maker off the wing.
88.) Blake Murray, Centre, Sudbury Wolves, OHL, 6’3″ 185 lbs
Murray put up 21 goals and 44 points in 57 games for the Sudbury Wolves in 2017-18. That raised expectations and Murray disappointed with a bit with 30 goals and 50 points in 66 games this year. Murray is a natural sniper, with a strong wrist shot and excellent release. He is willing to shoot the puck if given the slightest opportunity. He creates space with a quick first step and excellent acceleration. Murray has the size to take the puck to the front of the net and is not afraid to go to the dirty areas to score goals. He gets in quickly on the forecheck and causes turnovers.
Murray has very good hands and stickhandling ability. He is able to make quick moves on defenders in order to open up passing and shooting lanes. He is also strong at protecting the puck and extending plays. Murray handles the puck while moving at top speed. He needs to improve his upper body strength, as well as improve his work away from the puck.
89.) Simon Lundmark, Right Defence, Linkoping HC, SHL, 6’2, 197 lbs
Lundmark’s game is based around his strong skating ability. He is extremely smooth, with outstanding edgework, agility and pivots. This allows Lundmark to cover a lot of ice efficiently. His top end speed is very good, but not quite great, in both directions. This leads to his ability to play a two-way game, moving the puck effectively up the ice and getting back defensively to play a strong defensive game. Lundmark makes smart plays with the puck. He is a good passer who can set up teammates for scoring chances. However, he needs to improve his shot in order to be a real threat from the blueline.
90.) Nikita Okhotyuk, Left Defence, Ottawa 67s, OHL, 6’1.25″ 198 lbs
Okhotyuk is a good skater. He is also an excellent defender. He uses his edgework and agility to keep his man in front of him and maintain good gap control. Okhotyuk has solid positioning and a long stick. He has good balance and lower body strength. This allows him to win his battles on the boards and in front of the net. Okhotyuk only put up 17 points in 56 games with the Ottawa 67s this past season, up from his 11 points as an OHL rookie in 2017-18. He will likely never be a scorer at the NHL level but could be a solid shutdown defender with a gritty and physical game.
Check back later for the next ten prospects in the NHL Draft Scouting Reports series.
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