With the 2021 NHL Draft coming up on Jul. 23-24, Alex Medina profiles players born in and around Calgary:
Jayden Grubbe - Centre - Red Deer (WHL) - Calgary
Height: 6'2 Weight: 200 lbs. Shoots: Right NHL Central Scouting Final Ranking: 63
The Rebels captain saw his 2021 campaign end early appearing in just five games after suffering a season ending knee injury. When healthy, Grubbe plays a very physically in your face game with a high motor always looking to get the puck back on his stick. Causing headaches for his opponents each time out, he possess great puck handling and a knack for setting up teammates to go along with his grit. He's a hard working player that played in all situations for the Rebels and can be trusted in all three zones, especially in the defensive end with his great awareness.
Dru Krebs - Defence - Medicine Hat (WHL) - Okotoks
Height: 5'11 Weight: 182 lbs. Shoots: Left NHL Central Scouting Final Ranking: 142
The youngest Krebs brother of Peyton, who was drafted in the first round in 2019 by Vegas, and Calgary Hitmen alumnus Dakota, Dru has carved out a solid start to his WHL career. An offensive minded defender, he jumps up in the rush frequently with his smooth strides and this past season finished with 11 points, all assists, in 21 games. He took on more added responsibility in his sophomore year and improved on his defensive game, picking up on assignments quicker and more effective in angling opponents out of danger spots.
Riley Ginnell - Left Wing - Brandon (WHL) - Calgary
Height: 6'4 Weight: 181 lbs. Shoots: Left NHL Central Scouting Final Ranking: 191
A hard worker on the forecheck, Ginnell isn't afraid of mixing it up in the corners or battling in board battles using his 6-foot-3 frame to his advantage to win possession of the puck. He surpassed his point total of four set in his rookie year last season with nine (4G, 5A) in 24 games during the 2021 WHL season, looking more comfortable with the puck on his blade as the season went on. He is always looking to make an impact in the little areas of the game that go unnoticed on the scoresheet but go a long way in getting the win.
Ryker Evans - Defence - Regina (WHL) - Calgary
Height: 5'11 Weight: 189 lbs. Shoots: Left NHL Central Scouting Final Ranking: 192
Evans enters his second year of draft eligibility and heads into it with another strong season which saw him collect 28 points (3G, 25A) in 24 skates, tied for first in team scoring. Evans plays with great poise and athleticism, jumping into transition with ease and constantly finding ways to draw pressure when he has the puck before finding the open man with his great passing ability. Quarterbacking the Pats power play, he racked up 16 points, highlighted by 14 helpers while working with the man-advantage. Defensively, his smooth skating allows him to close gaps fast and pressure puck carriers into re-routing as he covers a lot of ice with his footwork.
Tayln Boyko - Goaltender - Tri-City (WHL) - Drumheller
Height: 6'7 Weight: 196 lbs. Catches: Left NHL Central Scouting Final Ranking: 12
Standing at 6-foot-7, it's hard not to notice Boyko's size right away. But when the action gets going that's when you see his true strength which is his composure. It was a tough year for Tri-City but each time the netminder got the call to start, he gave them every opportunity to get the win and never seemed rattled regardless of the score. With a 7-7 record and a .901 save percentage, Boyko took massive strides his development particularly in his lateral movements to readjust quickly and his positioning overall.
Taylor Gauthier - Goaltender - Prince George (WHL) - Calgary
Height: 6'1 Weight: 193 lbs. Catches: Left NHL Central Scouting Final Ranking: 18
The Calgary product enters his third year of draft eligibility and has gotten better and better each year since entering the WHL as a 16-year-old back in 2017. He is coming off a season that saw him post a 2.74 goals-against-average and .915 save percentage, and was on the Canadian roster for the 2021 World Junior Championships, earning silver. He consistently has been one of the top goaltenders in the WHL, showcasing his high compete level on plays and swagger making highlight reel saves nightly. Each year has been the best player for the Cougars, a squad that has struggled to get over .500 even with Gauthier's spectacular play.
Gage Alexander - Goaltender - Winnipeg (WHL) - Okotoks
Height: 6'6 Weight: 205 lbs. Catches: Left NHL Central Scouting Final Ranking: 28
Another towering presence in goal standing at 6-foot-6, Alexander vastly improved on his numbers from his rookie season in helping the ICE finish with an impressive 18-5-1 mark during the shortened WHL season. He finished with a 6-3 record to go along with an impressive 2.23 goals-against-average and .917 save percentage, compared to the 4.35 goals-against-average and .838 save percentage posted the year prior. He uses his large frame to his advantage in closing off openings quickly and has gained a ton of confidence in his game.