MacKenzie Entwistle Scouting Report: 2017 NHL Draft #65

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MacKenzie Entwistle
QUEBEC CITY, QC - JANUARY 30: MacKenzie Entwistle #4 of Team Cherry and Markus Phillips #52 Team Orr battle for the puck during the first period of their Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game at the Videotron Center on January 30, 2017 in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Mathieu Belanger/Getty Images)

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MacKenzie Entwistle came out of the gate strong for the Hamilton Bulldogs with a big September, but couldn’t keep up the pace. Things got even worse after a February diagnosis of mono. He really struggled down the stretch scoring just one goal and two points in nine games after returning to the lineup. He also had just two points in seven playoff games. Overall he finished with 12 goals and 25 points in 54 games. This was still more than double his goal production in his rookie year. Entwistle played in the CHL Top Prospects game and picked up a goal and an assist in helping Team Cherry to a victory.

Entwistle has represented Canada at the international level. He was named a top three player on the team, and put up four goals and seven points in five games at the 2017 IIHF Under 18 World Championships. He also played for Team Canada at the 2016 Ivan Hlinka as well as for Canada Red at the Under 17 World Hockey Challenge.

MacKenzie Entwistle Scouting Report: 2017 NHL Draft #65

Right Wing — shoots Right
Born July 14th, 1999 — Georgetown, Ontario
Height 6’3″ — Weight 181 lbs [191 cm / 82 kg]

Skating

MacKenzie Entwistle is a very good skater. He has a very good first step and excellent acceleration. This is paired with exceptional top end speed. Entwistle gets in very quickly on the fore check and is not afraid to use his 6’3″ frame to plaster a defenceman. This creates pressure and turnovers in the offensive zone. He also has good agility and edge work. His lateral movement makes him difficult to check in one-on-one situations. Entwistle also has as strong lower body. His stride is powerful and allows him to fight through checks and get to the net. He also has good balance, allowing him to win battles on the boards and to establish position in front of the net.

Offensive Game

Entwistle plays a north-south style of game. He is willing to get dirty in the corners and in front of the net, as well as play a grinding game on the cycle. Entwistle gets to the front of the net where he can bang in rebounds, or quickly one-time passes. He also grabs loose pucks and keeps the offense going by moving them quickly to teammates. Most of his goals come close in to the net. Entwistle’s wrist shot is a work in progress. The release is average, and he lacks accuracy when shooting from further out. He also could stand to add upper body strength and power.

Entistle’s assists mainly come from working down low and digging out pucks. While he is a good passer and has decent vision, he needs to work on his stick handling. He sometimes moves the puck too quickly, as he lacks confidence to hold it and let the play develop. He is unlikely to make a move to beat a defender in one-on-one situations, and can force a pass or a shot as a result.

Defensive Game

Entwistle brings his gritty game to the defensive end of the ice as well. He uses his speed to back check effectively, and chase down loose pucks. His positioning is usually pretty good, but he does have a tendency to sometimes go chasing a big hit and gets himself caught out of the play.  When he maintains his discipline, his defensive game is very good and he even kills penalties.

Projection and Comparison

A lack of offense likely limit’s Entwistle’s overall upside. He projects as a third or fourth liner in the NHL, with some outside chance that he could break out and maybe make the second line. However, he has excellent size, very good skating, a willingness to play physical and a strong two-way game. These are all attributes that make him a relatively safe pick to play in the NHL.  In terms of a comparison, his style is reminiscent of Austin Watson of the Nashville Predators, but this is not a talent based comparison.

Highlights

The following is a compilation of highlights, assembled from Youtube.

Check back tomorrow for the next prospect available on our draft board.

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