Though listed at No. 32 in this year’s final rankings for the NHL Draft, Morgan Klimchuk is considered one of the most underrated players in the 2013 draft class.
Klimchuk won a gold-medal win for Team Canada at this year’s IIHF World Under 18 Championship tournament, playing on the team’s top line and top power play units. Though his team, the WHL’s Regina Pats, did not make the playoffs, Klimchuk posted impressive and consistent numbers throughout the season, totaling 76 points in 72 games.
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Klimchuk is a talented sniper with a sharp wrist shot and dangerous one timer. His ability to read plays allows him to set up for a quick shot or give his teammates an excellent scoring opportunity. NHL teams in search of offense will covet his sharpshooting ability because it is such a rare talent to teach.
Physically, Klimchuk wins board battles despite his average size and excels at protecting the puck during cycles. Because he easily maintains possession of the puck, he’s a tough player for defensemen to stop from getting on the scoreboard.
Another aspect Klimchuk is known for is his agility. His excellent skating ability—including his first-step quickness and acceleration—allows him to pounce on pucks and sneak through openings with ease. He also breaks his way through checks, allowing him to set up shop quickly in the offensive zone.
If drafted by the Blue Jackets, Klimchuk would be a perfect fit as a second line winger. His shooting ability would make any power play unit he is on tough for opposing teams to defend, and since he has one of the fastest and most accurate shots out there, Klimchuk could see NHL action at the start of the 2013-2014 season.
Season GP G A Pts +/- PIM
2012-13 72 36 4076 -1 20
(photo courtesy: Keith Hershmiller)