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June 29, 2013

The Next Wave: BC’s 2013 NHL Draft Eligibles

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Written by: Recultured Team
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It’s Christmas in late June for hockey fans across Canada, as the NHL draft is finally upon us. I don’t know about any readers out there, but as a Canucks fan, I’m glad to have something hockey-related to look forward to. Hopefully it’ll wash away the bitter taste in my mouth from the Blackhawks’ admittedly impressive Stanley Cup win.

The NHL draft is always a great source of entertainment for me, as seeing kids go up and achieve life-long dreams is always pretty cool, plus I love forecasting their potential impacts with their new teams 5, 10 and 15 years down the road.

Canada’s always a prime source of talent for the NHL draft (obviously), and B.C. usually has one or two players go in the first round, but this year could be special for the province. As many as four players could go in the first round. Including 2 dynamic forwards, a stud offensive defenseman, and a very talented goalie, this draft could help solidify B.C.’s place among hockey-factories like Ontario and Quebec.

Having said that, let’s break down B.C.’s most likely candidates to be chosen in the first round:

 

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Curtis Lazar, Centre/Winger – Team: Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL) / GP: 72 / G: 38 / A: 23 / PTS: 61

Hometown: Vernon, B.C.

Height/Wight:  6’0’’/ 190 lbs.

Scouting Report: Lazar isn’t going to absolutely blow you away offensively. He’s a good skater, has very good instincts to find open space on the ice, and has some decent vision to find the open man, but his only real elite ability is his shot. Like his name implies, the kid has a Lazar beam of a wrister. (That’s going be a very common pun on NHL.com in a few years.) His true value, however, lies in his all-around game. Excellent defensively and very physical, despite average size, Lazar finds a way to make an impact in any on-ice situation. Coupled with his renowned ability as a leader and versatility position-wise, Lazar is the epitome of a coaches’ dream.

Draft Projection: Top 15 of the first round.

NHL Comparable: Shane Doan

NHL ETA: 2 years

Upside: 65 point, all-round winger or centre

Risk Level: Minimal – he’ll make it to the NHL in some capacity.

 

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Nicolas Petan, Centre – Team: Portland Winterhawks (WHL) / GP: 71 / G: 46 / A: 74 / PTS: 120

Hometown: Delta, B.C.

Height/Wight:  5’8’’/ 165 lbs.

Scouting Report: If you need to swing for the fences past number 5 in the draft, Nicolas Petan might have the most upside of anybody left on the board. In fact, having watched him play a few times and scouting through YouTube, he’s probably the most offensively gifted player west of Halifax in this draft. Vision, playmaking ability, shot, skating, dangles. This kid has the whole offensive arsenal in his toolbox, and uses them all beautifully. The only problem, and it’s a big one, is his size. At 5’8’’, 165 lbs, Petan is one of the smallest players eligible for this draft, and that scares off a lot of teams. Over the past few years, rule changes have allowed smaller players to come in and succeed, but Petan is still going to need someone to take a risk on him. Massive upside to this kid. He could be the one we look back on years from now and wonder how the Canucks missed him when he playing in their own backyard.

Draft Projection: Mid-late first round

NHL Comparable: Claude Giroux

NHL ETA: 4 years

Upside: 90 point, silky smooth playmaker

Risk Level: Very high – size is a huge concern, and small frame doesn’t make future growth spurt likely.

 

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Shea Theodore, Defenseman – Team: Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) / GP: 71 / G: 19 / A: 31 / PTS: 50          

Hometown: Aldergrove, B.C.

Height/Wight:  6’2’’/ 178 lbs.

Scouting Report: B.C. seems to be going all out with offensively gifted products this year. Shea Theodore, much like the aforementioned Petan, has limitless offensive potential, but as a defenseman A Beautiful skater with a great knack for jumping into the play at the right time, Theodore has all the requisite skills to be an excellent puck-rushing defenseman at the next level. Coupled with a 6’2’’ frame and a great shot arsenal, Theodore has immense potential offensively. Unfortunately, his shoddy defensive play has teams worried about his ability to handle forwards in the NHL, and he is therefore ranked lower than his offensive gifts would suggest.

Draft Projection: From 15 – 30 in the first round

NHL Comparable: Kris Letang

NHL ETA: 3-4 years

Upside: 50 point, puck-rushing defenseman

Risk Level: Moderate – With his offensive skillset, Theodore should make it in some capacity, even if it’s just as a powerplay specialist.

 

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Tristian Jarry, Goaltender – Team: Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL) / GP: 27 / W: 18 / SV%: .936 / GAA: 1.61

Hometown: Delta, B.C.

Height/Wight:  6’2’’/ 181 lbs.

Scouting Report: A strong positional goaltender with above-average (not elite) athleticism, Tristian Jarry shows a good amount of potential for the future. A quick glove hand and good lateral mobility are also key to his success thus far. Unfortunately, with the devaluing of goalies at the draft, coupled with Jarry’s limited playing time, it is unlikely (though entirely possible) that he could still go in the top 30 picks.

Draft Projection: Very late first, more likely early second round.

NHL Comparable: Jimmy Howard

NHL ETA: 5 years

Upside: Mid-range starting goaltender

Risk Level: High – Goalies are always weird to draft and incredibly difficult to forecast.

 

No matter what happens this weekend, the young men above have done this province proud. And, whether they go in the first round, last round, or anywhere in between, they’ve got the potential to become the faces of British Columbia hockey for the next couple of decades.



About the Author

Recultured Team
Recultured Team
This is where you'll find the blog posts that the team has contributed to collectively! What team? Wildcats! -Nope, wrong team. Recultured!





 
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