|Colten Teubert racked up 23 points in 66 games for the WHL's Regina Pats, but his 135 penalty minutes speak more to the defenseman's physical style of play.
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If there's one sure thing about bruising defenseman Colten Teubert, it's that he'll never sugar-coat his desire to play the body.At 6-foot-4 and 185 pounds, Teubert, the No. 18-rated North American skater by Central Scouting, doesn't need to take a back seat to anyone and he knows it.
"Coaches and scouts see Colten as a throwback or old-school defenseman, which is a good thing," said B.J. MacDonald, who scouts Western Canada for NHL Central Scouting. "He's physical, sometimes unpredictable, nasty and hard to play against -- qualities any team would love to have."
In fact, if you closed your eyes and listened to Teubert describe his playing style, you would swear a menacing defensemen of the 1970s was standing before you.
"I consider myself a punishing defender," he said. "I'm that guy that you put out against the top players and tell me to shut them down. I think the physical aspect of my game is one of my strengths and I will look to use that to my advantage. I think there are two punishing defensemen in this draft -- myself and (Kelowna's) Luke Schenn. But there are also skilled defenders. I feel in today's game you need physical, fast D-men in your own end and I can bring that."
Some players may consider getting a quick shift as a good way to gain a feel for the game. Teubert, though, isn't one of them.
"Either a big hit or getting hit gets me into the game," he said. "I think laying a big hit is better, but if you get hit, you realize, 'Oh, I've got to step up my game, I've got to start playing better and moving my feet.' That's what gets me going."
In addition to representing Canada at the 2008 Under-18 World Championships, Teubert was a member of Team Canada at the Under-18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in August 2007 and represented Team British Columbia at the 2007 Canada Winter Games. He was third among Regina Pats defensemen with 23 points, including seven goals, and he added 135 penalty minutes in 66 games this past season.
"I just want to be a shut-down guy," Teubert said. "I try to throw some offense in here and there, but definitely just blocking shots and playing physical and setting the tone for the game."
Teubert was part of an impressive corps of defensemen at Regina, including Nick Ross, a Phoenix Coyotes prospect; Detroit draft pick Logan Pyett; and Matt Delahey, who is rated 67th among North American skaters on Central Scouting's list.
"Colten not only has the skills, but he's got character and he really sticks up for his guys, is mean and works very hard," said Delahey, who was paired with Teubert at Regina. "I can't tell you if he's NHL-ready, but I can say he's one of the best junior hockey players out there, no doubt."
Teubert also joined forces with Central Scouting's No. 75-ranked North American skater, Travis Hamonic, on the Canadian team that competed in the World Under-18 Championships in Kazan, Russia, in April.
"Our styles are a little bit different, but we resemble each other in that we both play hard," Hamonic told NHL.com. "We're the two biggest rivals right now since I'm with Moose Jaw and Colten's with Regina, but it was nice to have the opportunity to play with him."
Teubert's motivation is the fear of losing.
"I hate to lose," he said. "Just the emotion of the game and knowing that guy stands in my way from winning pushes me to either knocking him down or shutting him down."
E.J. McGuire, the NHL's Director of Central Scouting, doesn't see any reason why Teubert couldn't be a mid- to late first-round selection at the NHL Entry Draft, to be held June 20-21 in Ottawa.
"Colten is a smooth-skating defenseman who can skate the puck out of trouble and can jump up the ice with the puck," McGuire said. "I like Colten for a lot of reasons, but most of all for his ability to take charge of the game. He projects as a support (No.) 3 or 4 defenseman, at least initially in the NHL, with a good offensive upside who won't hurt you on defense."
MacDonald also sees great potential in the 18-year-old native of White Rock, British Columbia.
"He's a stay-at-home guy and tough in front of his own net," MacDonald told NHL.com. "He has developed a much better sense on when to be forceful and when to lay off a little. His type of style is harder to find over the last number of years because of the rule changes, and with more experience he'll learn to have better defensive reads and positioning. He could go even higher (than late first round), depending on if a team feels the need for his style."
Prior to being selected first overall by Regina at the 2005 WHL Bantam Draft, Teubert played for the Semiahmoo Ravens bantam AAA team, where he had 26 goals, 26 assists and 166 penalty minutes in 65 games in 2004-05.
"The (WHL) draft was so long ago, I can barely remember it, but it was obviously a highlight to that point in my life," Teubert said. "But all that's said and done now and there's a new draft and I've got to be focused and ready to play and press for this draft."
Contact Mike Morreale at email@example.com.