What Scouts Think of Top Players With College Ties

While the NHL Entry Draft is the first time young players are on trial for their career future, the judge and jury of that trial is the NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau. The CSB and its team of 11 scouts worldwide under the direction of E.J. Maguire attempts to view and rank every potential NHL Draft pick. What follows are comments of CSB’s Jack Barzee and Gary Eggleston about the top collegiate prospects:

No. 5 Jordan Schroeder, Minnesota

Center, 5-foot-8, 175 pounds, shoots right

“He’s a dynamic player, a leader and a type of player that has developed into a complete offensive and defensive threat every time he is on the ice. He has a rocket of a wrist shot and he can beat you by putting the puck in the net, going around a defender, or freezing the goaltender and passing it off to one of his wingers. The concern is going to be his overall size, like there was with Scott Gomez, with Brian Gionta and with Patrick Kane, but at the same age he is probably a little thicker and a little bit more compact than they were. He’s a great hockey player.” — Barzee

No. 6 John Moore, Colorado College (incoming)

Defenseman, 6-2, 189, shoots left

“I watched John Moore as an underage player and I knew he was a must-see player for this year; he hasn’t disappointed me one bit. His first two strides are like Paul Coffey and he has been labeled as a world-class skater. He is poised with the puck, he gets his shots through to the net and he has gotten a lot stronger this season. He resembles (Calgary Flames) defenseman Jordan Leopold and similar to Leopold at the same age he needs to get a little bit better at playing more aggressive and more physical, but John is going to be a one-two defenseman in the NHL.” — Barzee

No. 13 Louis Leblanc, Harvard (incoming)

Center, 6-0, 178, shoots right

“The most impressive things about Louis Leblanc are his hands and his evasiveness with the puck; that separates him from other players on the ice right away. He needs to fill out a little bit yet, but he has the frame to be a big center. The other part of Leblanc’s game that I noticed was his vision; his ability to see and dissect a play and to make the right play. He’s also very competitive and he gets involved in the play.” — Barzee

No. 14, Chris Kreider, Boston College (2010)

Center, 6-2, 201, shoots left

“Chris is an excellent skater with explosive speed and acceleration. His short-distance speed is exceptional. He sees the play ahead of time and knows what he’s going to do with the puck as soon as he gets it. He is an excellent passer and playmaker. His foot speed, combined with his anticipation and quick stick, gives him the ability to create turnovers and gain puck possession. He is a constant threat to develop breakaways on the penalty-killing unit. He has both an excellent wrist and slap shot, which he disguises well and releases quickly. He can score goals in a number of ways.” — Eggleston

No. 20 Kyle Palmieri, Notre Dame (incoming)

Right wing/center, 5-10, 191, shoots right

“I think Kyle’s got a little bit of Chris Drury in him. I look at his passion, his natural skills and his tenaciousness, and that’s what I saw in Chris. He’s a lot of fun to watch because he has that vision along with a wicked shot. He very seldom passes up the opportunity to make the right play — he’s in position to shoot the puck and has that insight into whether to freeze and dish or just let it go.” — Barzee

No.22 Zach Budish, Minnesota (incoming)

Right wing, 6-3, 229, shoots right

“Zach is physically mature in stature, has a good shot in traffic and has a strong ability to dissect the game around him. He’s a force, he’s hard to move off the puck and he can snap a wrist shot from the blue line. With Zach playing football and the two seasons overlapping, his criticism has been that he hasn’t had his skating legs under him, but I’ve seen Zach since he was 15 years old. I’ve seen how he has carried the team and made people around him better. He reminds me of Keith Tkachuk or David Backes at the same age.” — Barzee

No. 24 Nick Leddy, Minnesota (incoming)

Defenseman, 5-11, 179, shoots left

“He’s such an explosive skater. It’s pretty obvious he’s a target of every opposing team because he’s the engine that drives the train. Really, though, he’s a world-class skater. I’d say he’s in the same class as John Moore (Central Scouting’s No. 8 ranked skater) and Josh Birkholz (No. 33) of this year’s class.” — Barzee

No. 28 Drew Shore, Denver (incoming)

Center, 6-3, 190, shoots right

“Drew is a hard-working player who plays with a lot of drive and energy. He is big and strong and plays a tough and physical game in the corners and along the wall. He finishes his checks with determination. He has good hands, handles the puck well and makes a firm and accurate pass. He creates offense from his hard work and his never giving up on the puck. He battles hard and is tough to play against. He has very good anticipation of the play and puck flow.” — Eggleston

No. 30 Chris Brown, Michigan (incoming)

Center, 6-2, 191, shoots right

“Chris plays a tough and physical style game. He sets the tone of the game by taking the body hard and making a statement right from the opening faceoff. He’ll drive his way through checks to get to the puck. He’s a very good skater with a long, smooth stride with balance and agility. He has very good anticipation of the play, and plays a solid two-way game.” — Eggleston


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