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The younger brother of Carolina Hurricanes prospect Haydn Fleury, Cale Fleury is a legitimate prospect in his own right. He has been a key player for the Kootenay Ice over the last three years, and was even named team captain after the trade deadline this year. During his three years with the Ice, they have been a rebuilding team, and so the stat lines may not fully reflect Fleury’s individual talent. He scored 11 goals and 38 points in 70 games this year. He finished fourth in team scoring (second amongst players who finished the season with Kootenay).
Some might look at the jaw dropping -61, but its an example where stats do not always tell the whole story. Fleury is one of the Ice’s best players and was used as such, often playing close to thirty minutes a night, against top lines, and on the power play and penalty kill. The Ice finished with just 14 wins in 72 games this year, worst in the league.
Fleury was a late addition to the CHL Top Prospects Game and acquitted himself very well against his draft eligible peers. Growing up the Fleury family had Brenden Morrow as a babysitter, while the future NHLer was playing in the WHL.
Cale Fleury Scouting Report: 2017 NHL Draft #70
Defense — shoots Right
Born November 19th, 1998 — Calgary, Alberta
Height 6’1.5″ — Weight 199 lbs [186 cm / 90 kg]
Fleury is a very good skater, as his mobility allows him to play an effective two-way game. He has a good first step, and strong acceleration. He also has very good top end speed. This is true in both directions. Fleury is able to pinch in from the blue line, or join the rush and still get back defensively. He also has very good pivots, transitioning from offence to defence, and vice-versa very quickly. His lateral agility is good as well. This allows him to walk the line in the offensive zone, opening up passing and shooting lanes. It also helps Fleury to defend against the rush, keeping him between his man and the net. Fleury has good lower body strength. He is strong on the puck, and has good balance when fighting for pucks in the corners or in front of the net.
Cale Fleury has some offensive tools. He has a hard and accurate point shot. Fleury makes good use of both his slap shot and wrist shot. He can sneak down from the point and get his wrister through traffic. It features good power and a quick release. He also has decent puck handling skill and good vision and passing ability. Fleury makes a strong first pass to start the transition game, and also has the poise to quarterback the power play from the blue line. There is some question on the ceiling with these tools though. His offensive game is good, but not truly great.
Fleury sometimes tries a little too hard to push the play out of his own end. This can lead to taking risks, and to mistakes such as giveaways. However, this might just be because he plays for a struggling team that was almost always trailing in the game, and he had to take bigger risks to generate offence and make a comeback.
Fleury works hard in his own end, engaging physically in the corners and in front of the net. He could stand to improve his upper body strength in order to really be effective at the next level, but does well against junior aged competition. His positioning is good most of the time, but he still has a bit of a tendency to chase the puck too much. It is something that can get better with work and good coaching.
Projection and Comparison
Cale Fleury has the potential to be a top four defenceman, playing a solid two-way game. He will likely never be a top offensive producer, but can contribute some points on a second power play unit. He will be a bit of a project, and requires refinement of his game at the WHL and then AHL level before being ready to make the jump. Fleury’s game is reminiscent of Brent Seabrook of the Chicago Blackhawks, but this is a stylistic comparison only, not a talent based one.
The following is a compilation of highlights, assembled from Youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect available on our draft board.