It’s been a hectic couple weeks in the hockey world. The Stanley Cup Playoffs are into the second round. CHL playoffs are contesting their league semi-finals. And the World Under 18 Championships concluded in Switzerland this past Sunday.
For non-playoff NHL clubs, the draft lottery is set to for Monday. Ahead of the lottery, I developed my personal Top 60 draft list and in the coming weeks the list will expand even further. There is still work to be done!
Before we get started, a few things to know:
• As stated, when presenting my previous lists, these are my own personal evaluations of draft eligible prospects.
• As much as possible I try to view prospects in person. I double down with video to confirm my observations.
• On some of the player cards you will notice several lines of statistics. Draft eligible prospects, especially European players, will dress for a number of teams in-season. It is for that reason every team the prospect played for in 2022-23 is displayed on his player card.
• If you see a player, from Canada for example, with two lines of “U18” data – it’s because they played for Team Canada at the Hlinka/Gretzky U18 and the U18 World Championships.
• Some European players will suit up at the U18, J20, and pro level in the same season.
• The skill categories you’ll see in my assessments are graded on a 0-10 scale.
• The skill category is in relation to the prospect’s current peer group.
• In time the numbers will be adjusted as the player matures and enters the next phase of his development (e.g. minor pro or the NHL).
With all of this in mind, here is my current “Top 60” heading towards Nashville in June, with my notes on each player, and ratings on various skill categories:
Nothing left to prove. Consensus first overall. Generational talent.
Seven games played in the WHL playoffs and he scored 10 goals and 10 assists.
Doesn’t have lightning fast speed, but he’s incredibly elusive due to his puck skill and ability to beat opponents under their hands and through their feet with the puck on his stick.
Incredible release. Could literally change the trajectory of an NHL franchise.
Top scorer in NCAA hockey in his freshman season.
Play driver. Used in all situations. Plays quick, fast, skilled game. Relentless compete and wants to make a difference. Not shy about playing physical and extending plays in the trenches. Natural centre who can also play the wing.
Top line NHL upside. Elite prospect. Ready for NHL in 2024 if he chooses.
In his last 10-game segment playing at the SHL level in 2023 he averaged nearly 15 minutes per game of ice time and was deployed at even strength and the power play.
Impressive year all around. A power forward who moves very well and is a threat to make plays off the rush. Excellent puck touch. Hard to handle along the wall and out in front of the net. The kind of player who absorbs contact to extend plays. Ability to play the middle and the wing is a bonus. There are times he appears to be a distributor more than a shooter, but he has a great release and the skill set to tip pucks around the crease. Top line NHL upside. Competes. Reliable. Mature.
Michkov dressed at the MHL, VHL, and KHL levels this season in Russia and produced offence at every stop. More impressive was the fact he wasn’t distracted by the fact he played in three different leagues, with three different teams.
Michkov is elusive. He plays quick and fast. He’s a threat off the rush, has a great stick, and makes plays in a phone booth. He’s a potential difference maker offensively. Although he’s not tall in stature, he’s sturdy and rarely gets pushed off the play. There were times he was used in all situations but he leans top line scoring forward who will create on a top PP unit in the NHL.
Top line NHL scoring forward on projection. Ended the season by scoring eight goals and nine assists in seven games at the U18 World Championship and was a big part of the reason why Team USA won gold. Leonard scored the OT winner against Sweden.
Averages just shy of 17 minutes per game. Threat off the rush, as a playmaker or shooter. Elusive and with an elite brain offensively. Average plus in all three zones. Tracks back to assist defensively. On time offensive zone exits. Used in all situations at the U18 level. Competes.
All offence, Smith was the MVP at U18 Worlds. He’s an elite playmaker/goal scorer.
Unquestionably one of the most dynamic players in the draft class. Projects to be a top-line point producer at the NHL level and a prime contributor on the first PP unit.
His off the puck detail and effort exiting the offensive zone or back checking to add back pressure assistance defensively has to rise to at least average for the NHL game.
Impressive in the playoffs. His PPG average is down from the regular season, which makes sense with the level of competition on a nightly basis in the playoffs, but his compete has been consistent.
Elusive in small areas. Makes plays along the wall and in traffic. Goes to the front of the net off the puck looking for tips and setting screens. On the PP he makes plays from the weak side flank. Trusted to be used in all situations and take first and last shifts of periods. Never goes away. Impressive talent who has top line NHL scoring upside and doesn’t cheat the game.
Being deployed in all situations for Team Austria in build up to Men’s World Championship.
Active taking away time and space with his reach and stature. Jumps to the half wall to kill plays on the PK. Gapping up with authority. Like any young player he has room to improve his angling and recoveries when pucks spill down the boards following a battle. On the PP he leans distributor more than shooter, but has a rocket from distance that he gets away quickly and accurately. Two-way top pairing NHL ‘D’ is possible. Coveted right shot.
Second half of the OHL season and his performance at the U18 Worlds confirmed what was already a given. Barlow is a goal scorer with an elite release who doesn’t require much room to rip pucks on net. He’s a threat off the half wall and net front at even strength and on the power play.
His ability to find quiet ice speaks to his hockey IQ. Skating was a concern at the U18’s on the big ice, but he gets around fine on NHL ice. He’s a leader and team captain. Has scored 76 goals in his first two OHL seasons. Pure goal scorer.
Assistant Captain of Team Slovakia at the U18 Worlds. Finished tied for sixth in tournament scoring. Used in all situations and averaged over 22 minutes per game at the tournament.
Drove the play offensively. Competed in the trenches. Extended plays.
Quick release. Ability to score from distance. Especially dangerous coming off the half wall or moving to the middle of the ice to make plays. Over 57 per cent in the face-off dot. Defensive detail ranges.
Transitional two-way defenceman who can lead the rush on his own or distribute and join as an extra layer. Was one of the top defencemen at the U18 Worlds. Used in all situations, averaged over 22 minutes per game, and scored two goals and nine assists in seven games.
Elite skater. Quick and agile. Power play quarterback.
A mostly area defender who relies on an active stick and his jump to space. Arrives ahead of opponents and moves pucks effectively. Leans top pairing NHL defenceman on projection.
Appeared to run out of gas at the end of the season at the U18 worlds. He played a ton of hockey this season, including the WJC at Christmas.
Body of work wins out, though. Too good to play at the junior level in Czechia, but not quite ready to play to his full identity at the Elite league level.
Great stick. Excellent on the power play. Makes plays forehand or backhand from the flank. Dangerous in tight with a quick release. With more strength in time, combined with his skill set, he has potential to become a top line NHL forward. He’s more than just offence, and is better than average defensively.
Captain of Team Sweden at U18 Worlds. Stocky and strong. Competes, plays quick and fast, always involved and with a noticeable impact every shift. Rips pucks from all angles in the offensive zone.
Quick to space jumping on 50/50 pucks. He continues to show his ability to escape small areas spilling off checks, extending and making plays.
On the rise. Top line NHL forward is now possible on projection.
Used in all situations at U18 Worlds. Averaged 17 minutes of ice and scored five goals and 13 assists in seven games.
Fantastic puck touch and deception in tight quarters. Creative player. Easy to identify his upside as an NHL prospect: Top two/leaning top line NHL forward who will have massive impact on the PP.
Skating has room to improve, but his mechanics are not poor. Three zone detail ranges. His offensive zone exits could have more energy at times.
A big, strong forward who gives opponents all they can handle in the offensive zone whether below the goal line, coming off the boards and going to the net, and setting up around the crease looking for tips and screens.
Real good puck touch. Equal parts goal scorer and playmaker. Sound hockey IQ. Honzek understands how to play responsible in all three zones. Skating will need to improve another 10 per cent for the NHL game.
Brings a combination of energy and skill. Plays quick and fast. He was used in all situations at the U18 Worlds. Second unit PP, averaged 16 minutes of ice time, scored four goals and five assists in seven games played with only one goal coming on the power play.
The kind of player who projects as a top six point producer, but can also slide into a middle six role if required and provide match-up/penalty kill minutes.
Versatile and competitive. Wants to be a difference maker every game.
Rangy, right shot forward who is used in all situations at the major junior level. Best work comes at even strength and the PP. On the PP he is crafty making plays from the half wall and middle bumper position. On occasion he will slide to the net front looking for tips and rebounds. Really good hand/eye coordination.
Can make plays in tight quarters. Has shown an ability to absorb contact and extend plays. Sneaky physically and not shy about finishing his check as F1 on the forecheck. Skating stride is deceptive. There are times in the game he doesn’t look like he’s pushing himself, but he arrives on time. Defensive detail ranges. Element is offence. Captain in Brandon.
He flipped the script from the previous season. Last year he scored more goals and had less assists. This season he opened up and distributed the puck more effectively, leading to less goals and more assists.
Great hands and excellent vision. Takes advantage of time and space. Aggressive getting pucks to the net. His skating stride is fine, but he needs to add strength and discover another gear in transition to allow his game to have more impact off the rush. Fantastic vision on the PP. Defensively he identifies his responsibility, but his attention to detail ranges. Element is offence.
Big body power forward and net front presence on the PP. Leans goal scorer, but has shown ability to make sneaky small area puck plays and distribute.
Room for more consistent 200-foot effort, especially offensive zone exits. Stride mechanics are sound, but room for more explosiveness out of the gate. Average plus agility.
On the rise as his season comes to a close at the U18 Worlds. Elite skater, very similar to teammate Axel Sandin Pellikka.
Two-way, transitional defenceman who has added more offence to his game. Scored three goals on the power play at U18s. More deception and confidence when making plays and directing pucks on goal from range. Active defender. Smart. Reliable. Not a physical player, but not shy about battling for pucks and boxing out opponents around his net. Averaged over 23 minutes per game at the U18s.
Leans middle pairing defenceman with chance at top pairing in time.
Results offensively are undeniable. Great stick. Dynamic when he has time and space.
Concerns started to develop down the stretch of the season. Pace off the puck, zone exits and overall detail have room for significant improvement. I was personally misled by some viewings in the first half of the season. His pace and compete became more of a concern in the second half of the year, especially at the U18 Worlds.
Excellent skill. More compete, pace and detail required. Best shifts are NHL worthy in a skill role. Deployed at even strength and the power plat at U18s for Team Canada. Both his goals came against Team Switzerland.
Elevated his game in the back half of 2023. Massive step forward in point production. Scored at even strength and the PP. Used in all situations at Michigan.
Undersized, but quick, fast and energetic. Relentless competitor. Never goes away.
Despite his stature he has the ability to leverage around the crease, get under checks, and slip down the boards when contested. Has the ability to be a play driver. Willing to sacrifice his body on the penalty kill. Team first player. Infectious. When not producing offence he contributes in other areas of the game that benefit his team.
Has to be watched very closely to be appreciated. High end hockey IQ. Angles opponents to the outside off the rush and defends from the middle of the ice and out very effectively.
Sound skater and solid distributor. Provides some secondary scoring, but will not likely be a high-end point producer at any stage of his career.
A ‘glue guy’ who can be trusted in all situations. No glaring weaknesses, but also not high-end elite in any one category. Solid middle pairing “D” on projection.
Energetic, skilled, active defender who consistently competes and wants to impact the game offensively. Sound distributor on the PP with a quick stick. Equally quick decision maker.
Has the hockey IQ to be used in a variety of roles. Closes on opponents/takes away time and space when on the PK. What he gives up in stature he makes up for by getting to places ahead of pressing forwards. Infectious player who’s fun to watch. Cocky and confident.
Big body potential power forward who leans goal scorer more than playmaker. Threat to produce on the power play. Net front he can be a load to handle for defenders.
Lacks consistent impact at even strength. Quietly produces offence. Room for more pace and drive overall.
Cerebral player who leaves me wanting more but also produces more than his share of offence at the OHL level. Will need to play consistently quicker, faster and more engaged for his element to impact the NHL game.
Good sized winger with an outstanding release. One times pucks from his weak side flank on the PP. Fantastic puck touch around the crease.
Some bump to his game, but not over powering physically for his stature. A good skater who could push the play more aggressively and compete harder to be a difference maker. Played quicker, faster and more consistently at the U18 Worlds. Ended the season on a positive note.
Ended the season at the U18 Worlds on a relatively flat note in comparison to his body of work in the regular season at the WHL level with Tri-City.
Evolving defensively. Average on the penalty-kill. Aggressive on the offensive blue line. Deceptive and elusive. Not shy about directing pucks on goal from range and pinching down to keep pucks alive. Leans two-way/transitional NHL defenceman on projection. Projects to contribute on the PP and take regular shift at even strength. Top four very likely. Room for more explosiveness in open ice.
A raw talent who has time to grow into his large frame. For a player of his stature But’s skating mechanics are sound. In open ice he can separate and he’s average plus out of the gate. His edges are solid but, due to his size, he takes longer to turn than players who are smaller.
Really good hands. Understated vision. Sees the ice and can make sneaky plays through seams. Net front he is more than a handful for opponents. Overall, he is equal parts shooter and distributor. Player comparisons would be combination of young Nik Antropov and college Tage Thompson. Long reach is an asset in defensive zone. Sound hockey IQ overall.
Solid skater who could use more explosiveness out of the blocks, which should come in time with more leg strength. Excellent vision. He distributes very well off the rush and on the power play.
Defensively aware. He collapses down to assist and doesn’t cheat in his zone. Thinks the game well overall and brings an offensive element. Potential top six NHL upside. Elements are skill and IQ.
In the second half of the OHL season his game went to another level offensively.
Elite skater. Goal scorer. Hard to defend off the rush. Cycles pucks low/high effectively, opening up shooting lanes. Leans shooter more than distributor. Defensive detail is average. Has enough game to be used in a variety of roles, but leans even strength/power play/top six offensive forward on projection.
Scored 25 goals in 33 games for the Bulldogs after being acquired in trade from Peterborough. Never established himself with Team Canada at U18 Worlds. Body of work wins out overall.
Leans playmaker more than shooter. Is a threat off the rush not due to speed, but due to his creative puck skill and ability to make plays in tight quarters.
Difficult to defend. Slips off checks. Excellent handling and making plays on both forehand and backhand. More strength should lead to more explosiveness.
Skill element is attractive. When engaged he is difficult to defend in small areas and off the rush. Leans distributor more than shooter.
Picks his spots playing fast. Off the puck detail, defensive zone exits and secondary battle became more of a concern down the stretch when games got more difficult, and continued into the U18 Worlds with Team Canada. Has top six NHL upside when engaged 100 per cent.
A goal scorer and point producer historically. Creates and scores on the power play. Somewhat of a short stride, but gets places on time and has enough speed to slip through defenders on his way to the net.
Good mitts in tight and around the crease. Three zone detail ranges, but his element is offence. Decent size and strength. Skating and detail will determine ultimate upside and role, but his offence wins out on projection.
Big body. Coveted right shot defenceman. Two-way defender who does not project to run a first unit NHL power play, but can match up against top opponents and provide some push back physically.
Used in all situations at the OHL level with the London Knights. Skating is sound on straight lines, but quicker decisions are required at times with the puck on his stick. Significant upside overall. His potential to be used in a variety of roles is a bonus.
Element has been consistent throughout his draft year. Transitional defenceman/power play QB/effortless skater who can play big minutes.
Continues to show deception on the offensive blue line. Directs pucks on goal or distributes. Some defending concerns down the stretch and into the U18 Worlds. Leans area defender who will bump opponents on occasion, but his timing taking away space and containing the play to the perimeter, or winning second pucks in the trenches ranges. Skating and offence are elements that are too attractive to ignore when projecting his upside. Potential power play QB at NHL level.
His body of work has to be considered when analyzing his U18 tournament and the way his season ended. For some reason his ice time came down at the U18s. He was deployed at even strength and the power play, but did not see any time on the PK, averaging just over 12 minutes per game. He ended the event with two goals and four assists in seven games, but he went about his business very quietly.
When at his best he scores at a high rate versus his own age category. He skates well and can be a threat off the rush and rips pucks from the perimeter. He was less noticeable at U18s in all categories, which is a concern. Trending flat and almost trending down.
Element is offence. Has a great stick. Quick catch and release. His ability to find pucks around the crease – rebounds and tips – is high end for this draft class.
Open ice pace has room for more power and speed, which will be assisted as his fitness improves.
Used in all situations in junior. His defensive zone detail ranges. A motion player in his zone. Willing to get in shooting lanes to block a shot on occasion, but also loses touch with his assignment at times when team is at even strength and in man on man coverage.
His numbers, year over year, have more than doubled offensively. Plays his off-wing. Fantastic release. Pucks are on and off his stick in a hurry. Defenders have very little time fronting him to block shots when he’s coming off the flank with the entire ice in front of him from his off-wing. Back door shooter on the PP.
Good skater, but room for more power and open ice speed. Added strength required as he matures, which will help with explosiveness. Heading to Maine in the NCAA in fall of 2023. No secret about his element. The kind of player who needs to find a home in the top six.
Element is offence. Fantastic puck skill in tight quarters and around the net. Most impactful when his team has already established possession in the offensive zone. Not a transition threat. Explosiveness and open ice separation needs to improve for the NHL game.
Needs to work on his skating and three zone detail overall. If detail improves his element becomes more trustworthy.
Undersized skill forward who has excellent puck touch and makes plays in the offensive zone. Fantastic stick. Wastes very little time directing pucks on goal from the weak side flank on the PP. Shoots the puck hard and accurately. Has shown he can be a threat at even strength and not just a power play scorer.
On occasion he is used on the penalty kill. He’s quick to space and recognizes his defensive responsibilities. He is not likely, however, to penalty kill as a pro. The fact he identifies what is needed in the role speaks to his hockey IQ and ‘buy in’. Overall, average plus defensively. Room for more speed. Element is offence so he has to play in a top six.
A ‘swiss army knife’, Lind can be used in all situations. He plays an energetic 200-foot game. Off the rush he is both quick and fast, but not exceptionally creative on his zone entries.
Much of his offence comes as a result of hard work and determination. He’s light. He needs more strength, but it doesn’t hold him back from being engaged in the hard areas.
Captain of the Finnish U18 national team. High end compete in all three zones. Always involved. Plays both quick and fast. Ability to be used in a variety of roles.
Not elite offensively, but brings better than secondary scoring upside. Pucks seem to follow him around which speaks to his strong read/react game. Infectious team player. Not shy physically. Engaged.
Good size and moves well. Solid in the face-off circle and takes key draws in all three zones.
Bulk of his ice time came at even strength and the penalty kill at U18 Worlds, where he averaged 14 minutes a game and scored four goals and three assists.
Plays with reliable detail. Bodies up and is willing to block shots. Engaged and competes. Secondary scorer/middle of the lineup match up forward on projection.
Has to be watched closely every time he hits the ice. Big body forward whose pace ranges from average to surprisingly quick, especially off the rush.
Good stick with a long reach. Showed ability to make plays around opponents at the U18 Worlds. Primary ice time comes at even strength and on the power play with the national team, but he has shown he can PK over the course of the season.
Involved. Hard to move in traffic. But a work in progress. His impact ranges. Leans mid-range power forward who can extend plays and provide secondary scoring.
His game went through several highs and low in-season. Strbak suited up internationally at the U20s and U18s, as well as playing in the USHL. All three scenarios provided a different look. Arguably, his best work came at the WJC in Halifax when he was elevated to a top four/top two role. He’s at his best in an organized environment.
He leans competitive two-way ‘D’ who might provide some secondary offence. At the season-ending U18s he wore the ‘C’ and was deployed in all situations. He’s a bit of an enigma at times, but he moves well, competes, and has the brain and skill to be used a variety of ways. Needs two, maybe three years at the NCAA level.
Augustine was excellent for Team USA at the U18 Worlds. Came up with timely stops in the gold medal game against Sweden, including game savers late in regulation with Sweden on the PP.
Lateral tracking was very good. Quick side to side. Read/react/positioning was spot on. Battled to find pucks in traffic. Athletic, quick, focused, sound rebound control. No holes.
Wasn’t tested a great deal until the end of the tournament, but and was up to that task. Stats at the U18s speak for themselves: six games played, .938 save percentage, 1.61 GAA.
One of the top goalies at the U18 Worlds. Massive in the net. Crease composure was sound. Played between his posts and never outside the blue paint. His size affords him the luxury of playing deep in his net and having to travel less distance to make saves laterally.
Rebound control was sound. Pucks rarely bounced off him resulting in second chances against. There are moments he does open up moving side to side when tracking the play, with his stick leading behind and pucks beating him between the legs. Low blocker/above the pad is also an area that needs attention. Heading to UMass in the fall of 2023.
Leans two-way ‘D’ and has the ability to escape from pressure in his zone and lead the rush offensivel. Active on the offensive blue line extending plays.
Competes. Has some bump to his game and was used in all situations at the OHL level.
Skates fine. As with all prospects he could use more explosiveness out of the gate at times, especially when caught up ice offensively.
Excellent skater. Quick, fast and agile. Leans transitional ‘D’.
Ability to lead the rush or distribute and join as an extra layer. Room for improvement defensively, though. Attention to detail and stopping on pucks.
Best paired with more of a defensive ‘D’ to allow for him to free wheel.
Uneven impact and consistency overall throughout the season. Second half of his OHL season provided some peaks when he was engaged physically, playing with pace, and managed the puck responsibly.
The valleys still included plenty of compete, sound pace and physical push back, but they also included poor read/react and puck management.
Leans two-way ‘D’ whose best shift is intriguing, but needs to reduce the number of turnovers and ranging detail overall. Risk/reward draft target.
Solid skater who has the ability to push the play on straight lines with his quickness and speed. Leans goal scorer more than distributor.
Shows willingness to extend plays in the hard areas and battle around the crease. Not naturally gifted with the puck on his stick. Although he plays both centre and wing he is more likely to play the wing in the future.
Finished the season with some of his most consistent efforts. Used at even strength and on the PK. An energetic defender who isn’t shy about engaging physically and willing to block shots.
A good skater who has the ability to pinch down to extend plays in the offensive zone or lead the rush from his own zone. Secondary offence at even strength or 4-on-4 is possible. Detail, at times, ranges. He needs to play a composed game to have consistent impact.
Second half of the season had some ups and downs. Struggled with consistency right to the end of his season at U18 Worlds. Injured in semi-final game versus Sweden – upper body/head contact. When dialled in he positions himself well and uses his size to his advantage.
There are times his read/react/lateral push is on time and his length moving side to side results in big stops. Other times he finds himself positioned too high — sometimes outside the paint — and he struggles to get to the back post. Good gloves. At times pucks find him in traffic due to his size. Stature in his butterfly is a work in progress. At times he makes himself small but leaning forward.
Producing mid-range offence in Finland’s Liiga. His element leans offence. Deployed at even strength and the power play.
Not a burner. Average plus skater with great mitts. Ability to score from range. Protects pucks well and finds second chances around the crease. Has a quick release that does not require much time or space.
Some bump to his game on occasion. But overall his pace has to go to another level for his element to win out in North America.
After a solid 30-goal season at the OHL level with the Erie Otters he joined Team USA at the U18 Worlds and contributed two goals and four assists in seven games. Both of his goals came on the power play.
Terrance averaged 15 minutes per game and was deployed at even strength and the second PP unit.
Moves well. Has a good stick and handles the puck well. Leans shooter more than distributor, but has understated vision in the offensive zone. Average size. Has some bump to his game on occasion. Is noticeable. Middle of the lineup forward on projection with upside offensively.
One of the nice surprises at the U18 Worlds from Team Sweden. Competes, plays with solid pace and handles the puck very well.
Leans playmaker more than shooter, but he has a good release and could get pucks to the net more often. He’s not big, but he’s also not small. Not physical, but tenacious and noticeable. On the rise with middle six forward potential.
Plays a light, skilled, offensive game. Not exceptionally quick or fast for his stature. On the power play he walks off the flank and has a quick release to the net. At even strength he struggles for stretches to play to his identity.
Not the kind of prospect who can play a role deep in the lineup. Room for more strength. Element is offence. Looking for more consistent impact.
Two-way/transitional ‘D’ who excels leading the rush and can be a threat joining as an extra layer off the attack.
There is some risk/reward to his game. He does take chances and can get caught up ice offensively at times. His game management has room to improve, but his skill set wins out. Not tall. Stocky with good feet and very good puck touch with the potential to QB a second power play.
Big body power forward stature. Skating is not an issue on straight lines. He adjusted and played quicker in the second half of his freshman season at the NCAA level
In a year-end, 10-game segment playing at Wisconsin he generated a goal and two assists, but only 16 shots on goal.
Used in all situations at the college level. The team around him had a down year, but he competed hard between the whistles and attempted to play with three zone detail. Offensive upside is a question mark, but he also needs more around him to assist with production.
Good sized defender who leans two-way/defensive ‘D’.
Average plus skater who is not shy physically. Fronts the puck on the penalty kill and blocks shots.
He reads the play appropriately in the defensive zone, but his reaction to what is developing has room to improve. Average puck skill. Takes what is given. Not a player who will take a ton of risk offensively. Leans bottom pairing NHL defender. Can be paired with a more active and offensive partner.