Without a doubt, one of the best defenceman available for the 2012 OHL Draft. The graduate of the Huron Perth Lakers program is a physical, aggressive defenceman who is at his best playing a strong, aggressive brand of hockey.
Maidens is one of the most interesting players available for the 2012 NHL Draft. He has a high skill set mixed with physical attributes that any NHL team would love to have. The issues surrounding him are fairly well known, which is what makes his story so interesting. Early this season, Maidens showed the reasons why so many had him as a top 30 prospect for the NHL Draft. He showed good offensive growth and was developing nicely. However, in mid November he suffered an undisclosed injury, and has not played since. The questions are, how has this injury hurt his long-term development? How quickly will he get back to where he was? Can he be the same player he was pre-injury? When will a team take a chance on him? If he was healthy all season then I have no doubt he would be a late first round selection, however at this point, everything is up in the air.
Smith is a player what has really come out of nowhere in the past few years. I originally saw him playing in the Greater Toronto Hockey League with the North York Rangers. I loved his skill and complete level, but he did not have a lot around him, and he was very undersized. Drafted to the Owen Sound Attack in the 6th round of the 2010 OHL Draft, he won a spot on the Attack, ahead of players drafted ahead of him. His first season he didn’t show lot of offense, but he became accustomed to the league and started to show some sings of development. Fast forward to this season; Smith was not even on the NHL Draft radar at the start of the season. But he hit a growth spurt and added some strength in the off-season, and quickly started to show off that skill that I saw with him years before. He showed good vision and improved confidence with the puck. He was able to start to dictate the play on the ice. His progression this season has been outstanding, and it will be interesting to see if his progression curve can continue to rise. He projects out as a smart top 9 forward with a high complete level.
Smith is a high energy; high compete level forward who may be the hardest worker in the draft. He has a nice skill set and good mobility, but his biggest asset is his compete level and the effort level that he brings to the ice. He does show a nice skill set, including some good vision with the puck and above average mobility.
Joseph Blandisi / Centre / 5.11 / 184 / Jul. 18, 1994
Blandisi is a smooth skating forward who displays above average footwork and acceleration. He is strong at skating the puck up the ice, reading the play and making a smart decision. He shows good finish around the net. He has some room to grow with his positional play and his ability to affect the game without the puck in his own zone. Not on the NHL Draft radar at this time.
Devon Rymarchuk / Left Wing / 6’3″ / 189 / Feb. 9, 1994
Rymarchuk is a hard working forward who is aggressive on the forecheck. He brings a good complete level to the ice. He is strong down low and along the boards, and effective in puck battles. He has some room to grow with both his footwork and acceleration, as well as his vision with the puck in the offensive zone.
Jarrod Maidens / Centre/ 6’1″ / 178 / Mar. 4, 1994
Maidens is another wildcard for the NHL Draft. In limited viewings this year, he showed strong aggression and compete levels, and was one of the better draft eligible players down low and along the boards. He won most puck battles, and was very strong at creating offense off of the cycle. He has underrated speed and acceleration. He shows good finishing skills around the net. He has missed significant time with an upper body injury this year, so his heath will be a big concern. Pre-injury he was projected as a high second round draft selection, and it will be interesting to see when a team takes a gamble on him.
Artur Gavrus / Centre /5’11″ / 178 / Jan. 3, 1994
Garvus is a skilled forward who is at his best with the puck around the net. He shows good finishing skills around the net. He is a good skater who has above average acceleration and mobility. He skates well and displays above average footwork and mobility. He struggles at times with holding onto the puck a bit long and putting himself into either a dangerous situation or causing a turnover. He projects out as a top 9 forward, and should be a mid round draft selection for the 2012 NHL Draft.
Holden Cook / Right Wing / 6’0″ / 175 / Jul. 28, 1994
Cook is a hard working forward who shows good compete level and worth ethic. He brings an honest effort to the ice every time he hits the ice. He is strong down low and along the boards, and is willing to battles down low and along the boards. He has some good offensive potential, and just needs to continue to develop them. Not on the NHL Draft radar at this time.
Jake Dotchin / Defence / 6’3″ / 205 / Mar. 24, 1994
Dotchin is an interesting prospect. He shows good instincts with the puck on his stick, and is effective at playing an intelligent offensive game. He is at his best on the powerplay, distributing the puck with intelligence and poise. He has some room to grow with his mobility and footwork, as well as his positional play in all three zones.