McKnight: Around the Q – Trenin, Carrier, Sprong and more

Hockey Prospectus’ QMJHL analyst, David McKnight, brings us some late regular season scouting reports on a half dozen prospects of notefor the 2015 NHL draft, including a few likely first rounders. Note that the Trenin report is not a repeat of the report posted by Craig Smith a few months ago, but a different look from a different pair of eyes.

Scouting Report – Yakov Trenin

Bio

Team: Gatineau Olympiques                                      Draft Status: Eligible 2015
Position: LW
To date stats: 58 GP – 18 G – 49 A – 67 Pts
Shoots: L
Height/Weight: 6’02”/179 lbs

Date(s) seen: February 27, 2015 vs Moncton, QMJHL regular season

Characteristics

Skating (Speed/edges/technique/etc)
Skates with a very awkward looking, hunched over style. Has a bit of a Milan Lucic type of look to him. That said, he’s still able to generate pretty good speed with a powerful stride. His skating and overall foot work will require improvement to make an impact at the next level.

Shooting (Slap/wrist/backhand, General strength, proclivities, etc)
Trenin has a very hard shoot and a good release, but he sometimes passes up the opportunity to take a shot. Tends to lean towards the wrist shot. Scored on a weak backhander in the game against Moncton. With 18 goals this season he will be looking to improve on the goal scoring aspect of his game next season.

Puck Skills
Controls the puck quite well and can be very creative when he has the puck on his stick. Uses his size well to protect the puck when carrying it up the ice. Defenders often have a difficult time getting it away from him and his poise gives his teammates time to find openings.

Smarts (vision, defensive play, ability to stick in system, etc.)
Very good vision as his playmaking ability is one of his biggest strengths. Has a strong knack for being able to set up his teammates in the offensive zone for quality scoring chances. Also very impressive is his play in the defensive zone. Plays a complete 200 foot game and is a regular on the Olympiques penalty kill unit.

Physicality
Trenin does not shy away from the physical aspect of the game. He’s not afraid to go to the front of the net and battles hard for pucks along the boards.

General Assessment
Trenin has had a very good first season with the Gatineau Olympiques after coming over from Russia. He has adapted quickly to the North American game and has made an immediate impact in Gatineau as the team’s second leading scorer. His playmaking ability is impressive and he finished third in assists for QMJHL rookies this season.

His ability to play a complete game at both ends of the ice really stands out for a 17-year-old rookie. He plays a key role on the Gatineau penalty kill and has been their most consistent player during an up and down season. His skating holds him back slightly and puts him as a Tier 4 prospect.  Look for him to go sometime in the third round.

Scouting Report – Alexandre Carrier

Team: Gatineau Olympiques                                      Draft Status: Eligible 2015
Position: D
To date stats: 68 GP – 12 G – 43 A – 55 PTS
Shoots: R
Height/Weight: 5’11”/ 168 lbs

Date(s) seen: February 28, 2015 vs Moncton, QMJHL regular season

Characteristics

Skating (Speed/edges/technique/etc)
Carrier is a good skater who has very good mobility on the blueline. What he lacks is top end speed, but he’s able to compensate for that with other aspects of his game.

Shooting (Slap/wrist/backhand, General strength, proclivities, etc)
He doesn’t have an overly powerful shot from the point, but he’s able to mainly keep his shots nice and low. That’s often an underrated part of the game, as his low shots will often lead to more deflections and rebound opportunities.

Puck Skills
Carrier controls the puck well and makes strong passes out of his own zone. More often than not his passes are right on the money, which leads to a quick breakout for his team.

Smarts (vision, defensive play, ability to stick in system, etc.)
Smart and steady are the two words that may describe Carrier best. His vision allows him to quickly find the best option coming out of his own zone. He anticipates the play well in the defensive zone and is often a couple steps ahead of the attacking forwards. Always seems to make the right play.

Physicality
Not a huge physical force, but he finishes his checks and battles hard down low in his own zone.  Carrier does not ever seem to get intimidated by the bigger forwards on the opposing team.

General Assessment
Carrier projects as a smart, solid two-way defenceman.  His offensive game took a huge step forwards this season as he finished third in team scoring with the Olympiques and third overall among defencemen in the league.  Takes care of business in his own zone and is a very reliable cog in what has been an unpredictable team this season.

He was named captain of the team this season at 18 and that speaks favourably to his leadership skills.  He is not afraid to stick up for teammates when the time calls for it. Carrier is a Tier 5 prospect and should go early in the latter half of the draft.

Scouting Report – Daniel Sprong

Bio

Team: Charlottetown Islanders                                 Draft Status: Eligible 2015
Position: RW
To date stats: 68 GP – 39 G – 49 A – 88 PTS
Shoots: R
Height/Weight: 6’00”/185 lbs

Date(s) seen: February 28 & March 21 vs Moncton, QMJHL regular season

Characteristics

Skating (Speed/edges/technique/etc)
Strong, powerful skater who can absolutely fly and make a play out of nowhere. Has the ability to easily shift directions and that makes him extremely difficult to be able to contain. He can also gain top acceleration with just a few quick strides.

Shooting (Slap/wrist/backhand, General strength, proclivities, etc)
Sprong has a very powerful wrist shot and tends to stick to that preference for the most part.  It’s not only a hard shot, but also an accurate one as he is able to pick the top corners with frequency.  It sounds odd to say for a player with 39 goals this season, but he needs to use his shot more often.  Sometimes he will try to do too much with the puck and passes up the shot.

Puck Skills
The native of the Netherlands is magic with the puck on his stick. He has a very slick set of hands and likes to challenge defenders one-on-one with his vast array of nifty moves. Sprong can make plays at top speed and will hold on to the puck for long stretches to try and create plays.  Makes strong and accurate passes.

Smarts (vision, defensive play, ability to stick in system, etc.)
Excellent vision and creativity that allows him make all kinds of impressive offensive plays during the course of a game.  His defensive play is an aspect that is often lacking and needs a lot of work.  His presence is sometimes non-existent in his own end and he often gets caught standing around.

Physicality
Does not get involved much in the physical play and will need to gain strength to dominate at the next level. Has the ability to avoid hits with his shiftiness at this level, but it could be a different story when he faces older, more physical defencemen.  With hard work off the ice he should be able to put on the necessary extra weight.

General Assessment
Sprong is one of the more exciting offensive players available in this draft.  His game changing speed in combination with his offensive tool set allows him to take over a game at any time.  He can make dazzling plays at top speed and is always a handful for the opposing team when he’s fully engaged.

Sometimes his willingness to compete can be lacking and that makes him a lightning rod for criticism when things aren’t going well in Charlottetown.  He will need to be more consistent and step up his physical game to be a game breaker at the next level.  Fortunately for him hard work will improve both that and his defensive play, while he already has all the offensive ability to make a big impact in the NHL.

Sprong is a Tier 2 prospect that should go right in the middle of the opening round.

Scouting Report – Filip Chlapik

Team: Charlottetown Islanders                                 Draft Status: Eligible 2015
Position: Center
To date stats: 64 GP – 33 G – 42 A – 75 PTS
Shoots: L
Height/Weight: 6’01”/190 lbs

Date(s) seen: February 28 & March 21 vs Moncton, QMJHL regular season

Characteristics

Skating (Speed/edges/technique/etc)
His biggest weakness would probably be considered his skating or more specifically the lack of high end speed.  Is strong enough on his skates, but isn’t overly fast or quick.  If he could improve his capability to get off the mark a bit more quickly he would become that much more dangerous.

Shooting (Slap/wrist/backhand, General strength, proclivities, etc)
His shot is also an area that could use improvement.  Obviously with 33 goals as a 17-year-old it was good enough at the junior level, but the strength of both his wrist shot and slap shot will need to be better.  He does have a quick release and does a good job at getting the puck off his stick quickly.

Puck Skills
Chlapik has a very impressive set of hands and looks to be very comfortable in possession of the puck.  Does a great job at puck distribution and has worked very well with teammate Daniel Sprong in that sense.  Good stickhandling ability in traffic.

Smarts (vision, defensive play, ability to stick in system, etc.)
The Czech is a highly intelligent player with good vision to read plays well in the offensive zone.  He also takes his responsibilities at the defensive end seriously.  He’s very sound positionally in all areas of the ice and that makes him a very mature player in the thinking part of the game.

Physicality
Chlapik will need to get stronger this off-season so that he doesn’t get knocked around quite as much.  The good news is that he doesn’t shy away from battles for the puck, particularly along the boards so getting him to engage in that aspect of the game isn’t a problem.

General Assessment

There are certainly areas of Chlapik’s game that need improvement, but overall he has been a very pleasant surprise coming overseas to play in the QMJHL.  It’s hard to argue with the point totals that he’s put up in his rookie season while adjusting to the North American style of game.  Perhaps the scariest thing for opponents is that there is room to enhance the offensive toolset that he possesses.

His hockey IQ and defensive awareness make him a fairly safe bet and if the offensive areas of the game continue to improve, he will have every chance to be a top six forward in the NHL.  He is a Tier 3 prospect that should go either late in the first round or early in the second round.

Scouting Report – Jakub Zboril

Bio

Team: Saint John Sea Dogs                                          Draft Status: Eligible 2015

Position: Defenceman
To date stats: 44 GP – 13 G – 20 A – 33 PTS
Shoots: L
Height/Weight: 5’09”/188 lbs

Date(s) seen: March 8 & 13 vs Moncton, WMJHL regular season

Characteristics

Skating (Speed/edges/technique/etc)
Terrific skater who has good high end speed and is also very mobile. His skating allows him to contribute effectively at both ends of the ice. His skating may sometimes get overshadowed by fellow teammate and prospect Thomas Chabot, but he isn’t far behind.

Shooting (Slap/wrist/backhand, General strength, proclivities, etc)
Has a very dangerous shot from the point that is both hard and accurate. Likes to use the slap shot to get the puck on net and 13 goals in 44 games would indicate it has been quite effective. Brings the always important big shot from the point on the power play.

Puck Skills
Zboril has good hands and has a lot of poise while carrying the puck. He rarely does anything but make smart decisions with the puck. Has the capacity to launch an attack from his own zone with a good pass and can also create plays in the offensive zone.

Smarts (vision, defensive play, ability to stick in system, etc.)
Smart player who sees the ice well and has an uncanny ability to read the play. Plays well positionally and is very sound in his play in the defensive zone. Does a great job at clearing the front of the net and keeping things clean in that area of the ice.

Physicality
The Czech defenceman certainly plays with a very physical edge to his game. He is not fun at all for forwards to play against down low in his own zone. He can throw a big hit in open ice, but he very rarely runs out of position to do so. He sometimes needs to rein in the physical play as he has been prone to taking penalties due to being overly aggressive.

General Assessment
Zboril is one of those players that does everything well and the sum of his all parts is what makes him so good. He ran into some injury problems in late December and missed a good chunk of time. It came as no big surprise that the Saint John defence corps struggled in his absence. As a 17-year-old rookie he is already the anchor of the defence, particularly after the trade that sent veteran Olivier Leblanc to Cape Breton.

He’s a safe bet to be a strong two-way defenceman in the NHL and is rated as Tier 2 prospect that should go in the middle of the first round.

Scouting Report – Adam Marsh

Bio

Team: Saint John Sea Dogs                                          Draft Status: Eligible 2015

Position: LW
To date stats: 60 GP – 24 G – 20 A – 44 PTS
Shoots: L
Height/Weight: 6’00”/158 lbs

Date(s) seen: March 8 & 13 vs Moncton, QMJHL regular season

Characteristics

Skating (Speed/edges/technique/etc)
Decent skater, but doesn’t have high end speed. Has some quickness to his game, particularly in the offensive zone where he’s able to weave through defenders to find openings. He’ll need to work on speed and also taking edges on his turns.

Shooting (Slap/wrist/backhand, General strength, proclivities, etc)
His shooting is by far the biggest strength of his game. He possesses a deadly accurate wrist shot that is also very strong. He doesn’t tend to go to the slap shot as much, but he is able to get off a pretty good one-timer when necessary.

Puck Skills
Does a pretty good job at stickhandling in traffic in the offensive zone to get around defenders. He’s not a player that will carry the puck through the neutral zone a lot and while he’s a decent passer, there is no doubt is he much more of a scorer than a playmaker.

Smarts (vision, defensive play, ability to stick in system, etc.)
He anticipates plays in the offensive zone well and gets himself in good positions to be able to get a shot off. Certainly not as strong in his own end as he is in the offensive end. He will need to work on learning that side of the game and to know where to position himself properly in the defensive zone.

Physicality
He has an extremely wiry figure and will need to gain strength with some work in the gym. Obviously that’s said about a lot of prospects, but it especially rings true for Marsh. While he may not be the most physical player he does sometimes play that agitating role that can draw the ire of the opposing team.

General Assessment
Marsh is a guy that essentially came out of nowhere to be a good prospect for the upcoming draft. The native of Chicago was a free agent invite to the Saint John camp and impressed enough to make the team. He had a breakout first half of the season with 17 goals, but has tailed off with only seven goals since the calendar flipped to 2015. Some of that can certainly be attributed to playing a much heavier schedule than what he has previously experienced. Unfortunately he suffered a high ankle sprain late in the season that has likely put an end to his year.

The biggest problem with Marsh is that if he’s not scoring, he is often not doing anything else to contribute. He can largely be invisible in games where he is not adding anything on offense. With that said the offensive instincts and finishing ability make him an intriguing prospect and rated at Tier 4.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*