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Draft Profile: Zach Nastasiuk

by Chris Lund / Ottawa Senators

Inside the Senate will be taking a look at 40 prospects ahead of the Entry Draft on June 30. Up next is Zach Nastasiuk...

If you’re looking at potential sleepers to make it into the first round of the Entry Draft, Zach Nastasiuk of the Owen Sound Attack should be a name on your mind.

At 6-foot-1, 191 pounds and possessing the ability to play centre or down the wing, Nastasiuk is an intriguing option for many teams heading into the draft. He has been dubbed as a player with plenty of offensive upside to go with a good understanding of the game and a high output motor.

As he continues to grow as a player, many believe that he will develop the tools necessary to cement himself as a top-six player in the NHL. If that moment never comes, his skill and tenacity should lend themselves well to a checking role. He consistently improved as the season progressed this year, breaking the 20 goal plateau with the Attack on the way, and was a star in the playoffs for Owen Sound, posting 11 points in 12 games. Moreover, he was part of a Team Canada U18 squad that captured a gold medal in Sochi, Russia earlier this year.

The knock on his game to this point has been his skating, which could stand to improve. Provided there is a commitment to training and as he develops a growing comfort within his frame, that phase of Nastasiuk’s game should come around.

Currently, Nastasiuk’s mix of skill, smarts and competitiveness should lend itself to an effective two-way role at the NHL level with potential for offensive upside provided he continues to progress in the same manner he showed this season.

Expect Nastasiuk to be amongst the group of players taken in the late first round or early second round come June 30.

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