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Prospect Profiles: North American Left Wingers

by Craig Medaglia @craigmedaglia / Ottawa Senators

On the eve of the 2017 NHL Draft in Chicago, our Sport Chek Prospect Profiles takes a look at some of the options on left wing coming out of North America.

1. Jason Robertson

Watch: Youtube Video

  • #14 ranked North American Skater

  • Left Wing / Kingston (OHL)

  • Height: 6' 2"

  • Weight: 196 lbs


Profile

  • Led the Frontenacs in goals and points with 42-39-81 during the 2016-17 regular season (68 GP)

  • After being selected 62nd overall in the 2015 OHL priority selection, Robertson led all Frontenacs rookies in goals, assists and points with 18-14-32 in 2015-16 (54 GP), including a nine-game point streak.

  • Models his style of play after Panthers forward Jaromir Jagr and lists former NHL forward Ilya Kovalchuk as his childhood hockey idol.


What the scouts say:

"I think what impressed our scouts the most is he's a natural scorer. He has good hands, he can get separation and he has offensive instincts you can't teach." - Director of Central Scouting Dan Marr


 

2. Isaac Ratcliffe

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  • #15 ranked North American Skater
  • Left Wing / Guelph (OHL)

  • Height: 6' 6"

  • Weight: 200 lbs


Profile

  • Scored a team-high 28 goals for the Storm during the 2016-17 regular season and finished second on the club in assists and points (28-26-54 in 67 GP).

  • After being selected 15th overall by Guelph in the 2015 OHL priority selection, Ratcliffe produced 5-8-13 in 46 games during his 2015-16 rookie campaign. 

  • Represented Canada Red at the 2015 world under-17 hockey challenge and notched two goals while playing for his country at the 2016 under-18 world championship.

  • Models his style of play after Rangers forward rick Nash.

  • Lists former Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman as his childhood hockey idol.


What the scouts say:

"Big, strong power forward who demonstrates good hockey intelligence and a soft touch around the net - possesses a Multi-dimensional skill set where he can make plays on the rush and also use his size, strength and reach to be a threat on the cycle - good puck protection game and strong net-front presence - willing to compete for time and space and capable of finishing in a variety of different ways." - NHL Central Scouting


 

3. Grant Mishmash

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  • #24 ranked North American Skater

  • Left Wing / USA U-18 (NTDP)

  • Height: 6' 0"

  • Weight: 181 lbs


Profile

  • Tied for the team lead with 26-35-61 (65 GP) for USA hockey's national team development program's under-18 squad in 2016-17 and added 8-16-24 in 26 USHL games with the club.

  • In 2015-16, Mismash led the U.S. National under-17 team in goals and finished second in points with 23-21-44 in 58 games.

  • Helped the United States win a gold medal at the 2017 under-18 world championship (3-5-8 in 7 GP). 

  • Committed to the University of North Dakota for the 2017-18 season.

  • Lists Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane as his childhood hockey idol.

  • Compares his style of play to Ducks forward Corey Perry.


What the scouts say:

"A fluid, strong skater who shows an extra gear in open ice - uses his size and strength to handle the puck well in traffic and create scoring opportunities - very good puck skills - difficult to contain in the offensive zone." - NHL Central Scouting


 

4. Nikita Popugaev

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  • #28 ranked North American Skater
  • Left Wing / Prince George (WHL)

  • Height: 6' 5"

  • Weight: 219 lbs


Profile

  • Split time between Moose Jaw and Prince George in 2016-17, totaling 29-40-69 in 71 games.

  • After being selected 23rd overall in the 2015 CHL import draft by Moose Jaw, the Moscow native finished second in Warriors rookie scoring with 16-31-47 in 70 games during the 2015-16 season.

  • Won a gold medal with Team Russia at the 2014 world under-17 hockey challenge (3-0-3 in 6 GP).

  • Wears no. 71 in honor of his favorite player - Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin.


What the scouts say:

"Good package of size, skills and smarts - excellent vision with hockey sense to support teammates and make good choices on the play - utilized in all situations and plays the point on the power play at times - unselfish game with the puck - responsible two-way game - vision and thought process often a step ahead of teammates - Doesn't like to lose a battle in any situations and plays to win." - NHL Central Scouting


 

5. Alex Formenton

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  • #29 ranked North American Skater
  • Left Wing / London (OHL)

  • Height: 6' 2"

  • Weight: 166 lbs


Profile

  • Ranked 10th among rookies in the OHL with 16-18-34 (65 GP) in 2016-17, while his plus-21 rating was the best among first-year skaters.

  • After being selected in the 11th round (216th overall) of the 2015 OHL priority selection, Formenton spent 2015-16 with the Aurora Tigers of the Ontario Junior A Hockey League registering 13-13-26 in 54 games.

  • Was coached by former Maple Leaf Wendel Clark while skating with the Toronto Nationals in 2013-14.

  • Lists Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane as his childhood hockey idol.

  • Compares his style of play to Devils forward Taylor Hall.


What the scouts say:

"Excellent speed and quickness - combination of size, speed and skill make him a dangerous offensive threat - his speed can be a difference maker that defenders learn to respect - brings a consistent work ethic and plays a strong puck pursuit game - competes consistently and effectively with his skills and assets in all situations to earn extra ice time." - NHL Central Scouting


 

6. Maxime Comtois

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  • #30 ranked North American Skater
  • Left Wing / Victoriaville (QMJHL)

  • Height: 6' 2"

  • Weight: 207 lbs


Profile

  • Finished fourth in Tigres scoring with 22-29-51 in 64 games.

  • Selected third overall in the 2015 QMJHL entry draft.

  • Was named to the QMJHL all-rookie team after ranking third among first-year players with 26-34-60 (62 GP) in 2015-16.

  • Represented Canada Red at the 2015 world under-17 hockey challenge where he was named to the tournament all-star team after leading all players in assists (1-6-7 in 6 GP). He also represented his country in back-to-back years at the under-18 world championship (2016 and 2017) and the 2016 Ivan Hlinka memorial (4-1-5 in 4 GP).

  • Has a black belt in karate.

  • Models his style of play after his favorite NHL player Patrice Bergeron.


What the scouts say:

"Skilled winger with good offensive game - plays with an edge and is willing to go to dirty areas to score goals - effective physical game, protects the puck well - good hockey sense and ability to make skilled plays while being checked - strong two-way game and effective special teams player." - NHL Central Scouting


 

7. Matthew Strome

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  • #33 ranked North American Skater
  • Left Wing / Hamilton (OHL)

  • Height: 6' 4"

  • Weight: 207 lbs


Profile

  • Led the Bulldogs in goals and points with 34-28-62 in the 2016-17 regular season (66 GP).

  • After being selected eighth overall by the Bulldogs in the 2015 OHL priority selection, Strome led Hamilton rookies and finished 12th among first-year OHL skaters with 16-22-38 in 2015-16 (61 GP).

  • Represented Canada at the 2017 under-18 world championship (1-2-3 in 5 GP) and the 2016 Ivan Hlinka memorial (1-0-1 in 4 GP). He also skated with Canada black at the 2015 world under-17 hockey challenge (5 GP).

  • Has two older brothers (Ryan and Dylan) who have been drafted to the NHL.

  • Compares his style of play to Rangers forward Rick Nash.

  • Lists former NHL player Mats Sundin as his childhood hockey idol.


What the scouts say:

"Strong power offensive game with a natural scorer's touch and finishing ability - great hands and shot which he gets away quickly and with authority - outscored both older brothers (Ryan and Dylan) in respective OHL rookie seasons - strong game down low in puck battles and in one-on-one play - one of the best in this draft class in puck protection - size and skill make it tough for opponents to check him - smart offensive instincts to always be in the right spot at the right time and is a constant scoring threat." - NHL Central Scouting
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