Inside the Senate will be taking a look at 40 prospects ahead of the Entry Draft on June 30. Up next is Chris Bigras...
As far as reliable, do-it-all defencemen go in this draft, one stand out is Chris Bigras of the Owen Sound Attack who spent the second half of his OHL season as a teammate of 2012 Sens first rounder Cody Ceci.
Bigras took great strides in his second year as a member of the Attack, doubling his point total from 19 in 49 games during his rookie year to 38 in 68 games as a sophomore as well as a pair of assists in 12 playoff games. He also played as a member of Canada’s U18 team, recording three assists from the blueline in seven games.
As a player, Bigras plays the classic heady defensive defenceman style. He has a high ‘Hockey IQ’ and his defensive positioning follows suit accordingly, consistently making smart plays both with and away from the puck. Offensively he doesn’t offer a whole lot from a shooting perspective, but he does make the proper reads vis a vis jumping into the rush and moving the puck around well on the point.
Knocks on Bigras’ game are few — he is much more mature than you would expect from a player of his age and experience. His strength will need to improve at 6-foot-1, 189 pounds to help his game when it comes to puck battles down low or in front of his net. Until that strength comes around it’s unlikely he would be a true asset at the next level. As is mentioned above, his shot needs work if he is to grow his offensive presence.
With a player of Bigras’ makeup, you’re looking at a guy who should blossom into a reliable defenceman for years. Steady players who know how to think their position and move the puck safely aren’t always heralded but will always have a job in the NHL. Bigras’ outlook will be even brighter should he continue to develop his offensive game.
Expect Bigras to be a second round pick, though he could sneak into the late first round to a team looking to add that reliable blueline presence to their system.
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