ColoradoAvalanche.com is profiling draft-eligible prospects leading up to the 2019 NHL Draft in Vancouver on June 21-22. Forward Trevor Zegras is the No. 6-ranked North American skater in NHL Central Scouting's final rankings. The Avalanche has the fourth and 16th overall selections in the first round of the draft.
Trevor Zegras is an integral part of a strong NHL Draft class for American-born players.
The sixth-ranked North American skater on NHL's Central Scouting's final rankings, Zegras is one of six players from USA Hockey's National Team Development Program ranked in the top 12 on that list and one of three centers from the U.S. team in that grouping.
"The mentality you have going into practice knowing that you are competing and playing against the best guys, the ones that you're going to go up against at the next level is just awesome," Zegras told NHL.com about his time with the U.S. NTDP.
Hailing from Bedford, New York, Zegras just completed his second and final season with USA Hockey's training program in Plymouth, Michigan.
Playing for the USA Under-17 Team during the 2017-18 season, Zegras totaled 59 points (20 goals, 39 assists) in 56 games.
"I learned so many things this year," Zegras said to USAHockey.com, reflecting on his U-17 season.
"Consistency has been my biggest growth. At the beginning of the year, I was definitely not as confident with the puck or making plays. Towards the end of the year, I had way more confidence especially playing against the older guys and knowing that I can play with these kids. It really takes a level of confidence."
He carried that poise into this past year, where he amassed 87 points (26 goals, 61 assists) in 60 total contests with the Under-18 Team, playing against United States Hockey League, NCAA and international opponents.
On Oct. 29, 2018, Zegras was named USHL Forward of the Week after accumulating seven points (two goals, five assists) in two games. Less than two weeks later, the left-shooting center netted the game-winning goal against Finland in an Under-18 Five Nations tournament in the Czech Republic. It was his ninth point (four goals, five assists) in the four-game display.
USA NTDP Under-18 head coach John Wroblewski, who used Zegras at both center and left wing, spoke highly of the 6-foot, 169-pound forward.
"His ability to navigate the half-wall on either side and pick apart the opposition is as good as I've ever seen," said Wroblewski to NHL.com "He finds the seams. He knows when to shoot. He's got deception to his game and there's fearlessness to him that he's not scared to make mistakes--and he doesn't make many of them. He's just been an unbelievable player to watch."
Zegras tacked on nine assists in the IIHF U18 World Championship in April, which included a nifty behind-the-back assist that helped the United States capture the bronze medal with a 5-2 victory versus Canada. The centerman finished the tournament tied for second in assists, trailing only teammate Jack Hughes (11).
The now 18-year-old finished his NTDP tenure with 100 career assists, placing him fourth in its history for total helpers and above the totals that current NHL stars Auston Matthews (80) and Patrick Kane (50) produced while there.
The forward will go the college route next season, as he'll take his talents to Boston University and play alongside other former NTDP teammates.
"He's a first-line player in college hockey right now… Trevor will be a first-line center for them and the go-to, power-play guy as a freshman, no doubt in my mind," said Wroblewski of the future Terrier.