Kris Baker of SabresProspects.com has submitted his rankings of the Top 30 draft-eligible prospects of 2016. Check back each day as we prepare for the 2016 NHL Draft, which will be held at First Niagara Center here in Buffalo on June 24 and 25.
#12.Charlie McAvoy – RHD, Boston University (Hockey East)
A mobile right-shot defender, McAvoy made an immediate impression as a freshman at Boston University last season with his confident play despite being one of the youngest players in college hockey.
When all was said and done, the Long Beach, N.Y. product topped all Terrier defensemen with 24 points (3+21) while being named to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team, along the way throwing his hat into the ring as a future top-pair NHL defenseman.
McAvoy, a wide-bodied six-footer, is tough as nails in his own zone, using his excellent feet and timing to meet the rush with crunching hits along the boards. He’s good with his gaps, smart with his stick and really seems to enjoy engaging in battle in front of his own goal.
On the offensive side, the U.S. National Team Development Program product likes to join the rush and skate the puck deep into the zone. On top it all, he gets a lot of torque on his stick when letting loose a heavy and accurate slap shot.
McAvoy added to his resume with an appearance with the United States at the 2016 World Junior Championship, collecting seven shots on goal and a plus-5 rating in a bottom-pair role. He’s a safe bet to play a much larger role on the team when the 2017 tournament returns to Toronto and Montreal.
For more on all the youngsters in the Sabres pipeline and an updated organizational depth chart, check out Kris Baker’s website, SabresProspects.com. You can also follow him on Twitter (@SabresProspects).