31. Frederik Gauthier, Center, Rimouski (QMJHL)
Gauthier experienced an up-and-down campaign. He showed significant flashes, but also lapsed offensively for long stretches. He measures at 6'5", 214 pounds, has some offensive talent, and shows advanced play for his age. He is an above-average skater, well above-average for a player his size, as he has a real easiness to his stride. He exerts little effort in his pushoffs, and he picks up speed very well. He is very agile, given his size. He had good offensive numbers this season, despite lining up against the opposition's best players and taking a lot of defensive zone draws. He has a good amount of offensive hockey sense, but sometimes he is too conservative and would be better served by letting his creativity show. His pure offensive upside is a question mark. He also can be a gentle giant at times. He will engage, and I would not describe his play as soft, but he will not throw his body around, and he is not the meanest of players. Despite his frame, he does need to get stronger, and he could stand to shoot a tad more as well.
32. Nicolas Petan, Center, Portland (WHL)
Petan was a co-leader in WHL scoring, contributing to Portland's league championship and berth in the Memorial Cup. He is a highly skilled individual, bleeding puck possession tools. He can make high level plays with the puck, be it in terms of controlling it, outmaneuvering opponents, or making top-end passes. He is a very creative, instinctive offensive player, showing a knack for turning normal plays into scoring chances. He has the pace to play in tight spaces. Petan is certainly a small player, but that helps him with shiftiness, as he is difficult to check in open ice. He possesses a nice first step, and he can move at an above-average level. He has a quality shot, and despite his size, he shows decent defensive ability. His diminutive stature (between 5'8" and 5'9") is his only glaring weakness, and overcoming it will be a challenge. Scouts have described him as feisty in terms of the effort and battle he displays.
33. Morgan Klimchuk, Left Wing, Regina (WHL)
Klimchuk put up good numbers (76 points in 72 games) with not much offensive help in Regina. He has the ability to play a high-energy game, with good puck possession elements. Scouts rave about his quick hands and feet, as he can barrel through the neutral zone with the puck or pressure opponents effectively without it. He is also a very agile player, and he picks up speed well. Klimchuk can control the puck effectively on the power play; he has been used on the point as well as in a distributing role. A few WHL scouts have complimented his offensive awareness when he is affronted space with which to work. He projects as a quality player with the man advantage. He possesses a plus shot, with the ability to score from a distance. Klimchuk is a bit undersized at 5'11", but he works hard in battles, and he will drive the net. He is also a committed defensive player.
34. Laurent Dauphin, Center, Chicoutimi (QMJHL)
Dauphin had a good rookie season for Chicoutimi, displaying a high amount of upside. He is a skilled player with the puck, with the kind of soft touch and control that a top forward prospect needs. He has shiftiness in his game, as he is able to make quick movements with his feet and hands. He couples strong acceleration with a good top gear. He is quality passer who makes nice saucer distributions, and he can make plays with limited time and space. Dauphin's main area of improvement will have to come from his strength level. He can easily be pushed off of picks, and he has an undeveloped frame. Despite that, he has a good on-ice work ethic, and he battles and backchecks well. His physicality should progress with time.
35. Ian McCoshen, Defense, Waterloo (USHL)
McCoshen was an integral cog for a quality team in Waterloo. He is not a highlight-reel type of player, as he rarely makes great dekes or crushing hits, but he has a lot of good attributes. He projects as a two-way, tough minutes defenseman. He has above-average mobility in every direction, with good technique in his footwork, as he generates nice power from his strike. His best attribute is his hockey sense, which is arguably high end. McCoshen always seems to make the right plays in every end, with or without the puck. He has a very low level of panic with the puck. He knows how to make the basic plays, and he also possesses the awareness to try more difficult maneuvers when the opportunity presents itself. Despite his good frame and decent amount of bulk, he is not really a physical player. He prefers the stickcheck to taking the body.
36. Chris Bigras, Defense, Owen Sound (OHL)
Bigras is an intelligent, do-it-all type of defenseman. He defends at a high level, and although he has some budding offensive potential, he is not yet a spectacular or flashy player. He is very advanced in terms of his defensive reads and positioning, and he projects as a player that can play tougher defensive minutes. He is a solid skater, making a lot of stops in various ways, and he is a very good stickchecker. Bigras is not an aggressive offensive player, but he will show flashes of top puck moving ability, and he tends to make outlet passes from his end well. He has the offensive instincts to join the rush or create a chance when he senses a good opportunity. He has a loose stickhandling style, and he makes plays with the puck just fine. On the power play, he can be effective from the point in passing the puck, but his shot leaves a little to be desired. Bigras is not a particularly gritty player, and he needs to bulk up, but he will pin his checks, and he shows the ability to win puck battles when he needs to engage.
37. Anthony Duclair, Left Wing, Quebec (QMJHL)
Duclair exploded onto the scene in the QMJHL in 2011-12, posting a little over a point per game as a 16-year-old. He followed it up with another quality campaign, despite a drop in his scoring rate. Duclair is a dynamic, exciting player, with high-end skating, if not better. He can be fun to observe because of his great speed, easily turning on the jets and putting defenders on their heels. Combining that skating ability with his great puck skills gives him the flair to create scoring chances and goals out of nothing. He shows the ability to make some quality passes, and although I wouldn't describe him as selfish, he can try to be too flashy in his rushes. In addition, he sometimes attempts to force passes that are too difficult. Although he shows some decent work ethic in physical battles, he could stand to bulk up a fair amount, and he needs to continue to work on his defensive game.
38. Connor Hurley, Center, Edina (US High School)
Hurley is the top high school prospect in this draft class. He possesses many high-upside tools, and he could be 5-10 spots higher on my rankings if not for the conservatism I tend to apply to high school prospects. He is an above-average skater, arguably high end, with great speed and acceleration. He is a skilled individual with the puck as well, displaying a high level of creativity and playmaking vision. Hurley processes the game well, making quick reads. He can flourish when he is given space. He plays a decent power game, as he will muscle off checks and make power moves, but he could stand to gain some strength. One NHL scout says that he tends to play too much on the perimeter. He is certainly a player who a team may look towards for significant upside, but he will likely take a while to develop. He is committed to attend Notre Dame in the fall.
39. Jason Dickinson, Center, Guelph (OHL)
Although Dickinson has a lot of potential, he experienced an up-and-down season. He is an above-average, if not a plus skater, with a quick, efficient stride. He requires few steps to generate the speed he needs to get up the ice. He also has a great top gear, with impressive agility. He is a very coordinated puckhandler, who can display a high level of creativity and one-on-one ability. Combining that with his good offensive instincts, his quality release, and his physicality, it is understandable why one scout would describe him as a player who has the ability to simply take over a game. He is also an advanced defensive thinker, who takes his assignments well. However, scouts are concerned with his consistency. It is not always there in terms of his physical play, or his ability to keep the play going in the right direction. His effort is not a universal area of concern with scouts, as some believe it to be a major plus. He also needs to get stronger. Dickinson profiles as a high-risk, high-reward type of prospect for whichever team selects him.
40. Jimmy Lodge, Right Wing, Saginaw (OHL)
Lodge is a skilled forward, who developed well over the 2012-13 OHL campaign, as he exceeded one point per game. He is not a finished product by any means, but he has a significant amount of upside. He has high-end puck skills, conveying the overall look of a skilled player. He is very coordinated in his puck handling, with the ability to make top-level plays. Lodge has good offensive instincts, manifesting both in his puck creativity and in his gifted passing and crisp distributions. He can execute difficult plays. He is a solid to above-average skater as well. Still, his physical game leaves a little to be desired. He has improved in that area, but he could stand to be more consistent in his physicality, as well as to gain strength. He also tends to fly out of his zone a tad too quickly.
Corey Pronman is an author of Hockey Prospectus.
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