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The 2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft will be held June 28-29 at Sphere in Las Vegas. The first round will be June 28 (7 p.m. ET; ESPN, ESPN+, SN, TVAS) and Rounds 2-7 are June 29 (11:30 a.m. ET; ESPN+, NHLN, SN, SN1). is counting down to the draft with in-depth profiles on top prospects, podcasts and other features. Today, a profile on Prince George forward Terik Parascak.'s full draft coverage can be found here.

Terik Parascak stands out for his hockey sense on the ice. But he's also shown a great understanding for how the game works off the ice.

That's why he didn't pout or get upset when Prince George sent him to Edge School for another season of bantam hockey in 2022-23.

The result was Parascak returning to Prince George this season with another level to his game, and leading Western Hockey League rookies with 105 points (43 goals, 62 assists) 68 games. It's the most points by a first-year WHL player since Pavel Brendl had 134 points (73 goals, 61 assists) in 68 games for Calgary in 1998-99.

Parascak also was second among rookies in the WHL playoffs with 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in 12 games.

The 18-year-old is No. 15 in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters for the 2024 draft.

"I've actually been cut from quite a few teams growing up," Parascak said. "That year especially, I recognized that the minutes I would get and I wouldn't be in the role that I kind of play, that fits my style of game. So, I really actually understood in the moment kind of what I was feeling and how that would actually help me out in the future.

"The year that I had last year with just kind of the development year and obviously we had a really good team last year, we won a championship, so that was another great thing. The development last year was awesome."

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Parascak was second in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League with 66 points (32 goals, 34 assists) in 30 games, then had a league-leading 12 points (six goals, six assists) in five playoff games to help Edge School win the league championship.

Prince George coach/general manager Mark Lamb said Parascak could have played in the WHL last season, but the option to send him back to bantam hockey was because there wasn't room on the roster for him to get the ice time as a top-six forward he'd need to develop.

Knowing Parascak's maturity, Lamb was confident he would handle the situation appropriately.

"I think sometimes when you have a really good kid, which he is, they understand," Lamb said. "Lots of kids, they don't understand anything about process. He wasn't really happy about it because he really believed he could play on the team, and so did we. We've kind of done that a couple times, where you send guys back and they have success. The experience that I've had, we've done it before and it's been way better. So that's always an easier sell job. Now when he comes back ... everybody sees how beneficial it was. So, it really helped him."

Lamb said the growth in Parascak's game immediately was obvious.

"Right from training camp this year, all he's done is impress us," Lamb said. "His play has improved. His hockey sense is his main ingredient, that really makes him go, and his hockey sense is off the charts. And he's gritty too. He gets in there."

What the hockey sense has led to is the growth of a stand-out shot that leans more on deception than pure velocity.

"For me, it's just kind of getting into the right areas of the ice, get into the slot," Parascak said. "Once you're in the slot it doesn't really matter how hard you shoot when you're that close, it's just making sure you're picking your spots right. I think for me, that's kind of one thing I focus a lot on as I'm not the biggest, strongest guy (6-foot, 179 pounds), so just kind of figuring out other ways to score. Fake shots and then kind of shoot it after, just kind of bait goalies out. Just kind of use my brain."

That cerebral approach has impressed NHL scouts.

"He scores a lot of his goals from in pretty tight, because he's very good around the net finding loose pucks," said John Williams of Central Scouting. "And you don't have to wire it from in tight. You've just got to put where the goalie's not basically, and he's very good at that. His poise and presence with the puck is really outstanding."

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The next step for Parascak is to fine-tune his skating. It's why he likes to watch forwards Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche and Jack Hughes of the New Jersey Devils.

"The really good skaters," Parascak said. "That's something I'm trying to work on, so kind of pick up little things from them that they do and their stride or their kind of agility. Just try to pick out something from their game and improve mine."

Getting bigger and stronger is the next step for Parascak, with his hockey smarts filling in any lingering deficiencies.

"He does skate from a bit of a wide base, which is fine in terms of being able to protect the puck and all those kinds of things down the road," Williams said. "As he gets heavier and stronger, the skating will probably be an asset down the road. Right now, it's not pretty and it's not super efficient just yet. But he seems to be able to get behind people all the time and get to the right spot. It's not something that's going to hold him back, I don't think."

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