Kris Baker is once again counting down his list of top prospects available in the NHL Draft for Sabres.com. The first round of the 2017 NHL Draft will take place on June 23 in Chicago.
Team: U.S. NTDP (USHL)
Grant Mismash is a fully engaged competitor who smartly attacks in all situations with a strong physical presence and consistent knack for getting his stick on the puck to force turnovers.
What makes him a potential first-round target for teams, though, is his dual threat ability. Mishmash quickly transitions into a skilled force thanks to his keen vision and propensity to cut the middle of the ice and drill a top-shelf dart with a heavy, accurate wrist shot.
After recording 26 goals, 61 points and 106 penalty minutes in 65 games for the U.S. Under-18 Team, Mismash was second in team scoring as part of Team USA's gold-medal winning squad at the IIHF Under-18 World Championship with eight points (3+5) in seven games.
Drawing stylistic comparisons to former Hart Trophy-winner Corey Perry, Mismash safely projects as a tenacious, skilled agitator that can wear the opposition down both physically and mentally with his sixty-minute effort. His feet are always moving. He protects the puck along the wall rather well to drive a strong possession number. He takes it to the net with power. He draws attention after the whistle.
Mismash's skillful, "in your face" style blends well with a variety of forward line combinations. He can create space for smaller, speedier linemates, or he could be a center-lane driver as part of hard-driving puck possession unit. Either way, he's capable of putting his share of goals on the board.
Committed to the University of North Dakota for 2018, Mismash isn't going to blow anyone with flashy offensive moves, but he has the tools and mindset to evolve into a dominant collegiate player that will add character to the dressing room, speed and momentum through the neutral zone, and grit to the small areas.
For more on all the youngsters in the Sabres pipeline, check out Kris Baker's website, SabresProspects.com. You can also follow him on Twitter (@SabresProspects).
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