Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2017 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here.
Its almost here, draft day. With 90 2017 NHL Draft scouting reports in the books, I now make a number of shorter write-ups over the next few days to take us over 100 prospects ranked and reviewed. If history is any indication, some of these players will get taken in the fourth, fifth, and sixth rounds. In my opinion they will be big time steals at those picks.
2017 NHL Draft Scouting Reports: 91-100
#91 Lane Zablocki, Centre/Right Wing, Red Deer Rebels, WHL, 5′11″, 179 lbs
Zablocki is a very good skater, who gets in quickly on the forecheck, and puts pressure on opposing defenders. He is a good stick handler and playmaker. Zablocki makes strong passes to linemates off the rush as well as out of the cycle game. Willing to play a gritty game, Zablocki battles for pucks on the boards and gets to the front of the net. Once there he can score goals in tight with his soft hands. He plays as a pest, consistently getting under his opponents skin. Zablocki must get stronger to continue to play this game at the next level.
#92 Fabian Zetterlund, Right Wing, Farjestad BK, SHL, 5’11” 196 lbs
Zetterlund is a stocky winger, who has excellent balance and a powerful stride. He can fight through checks and is tough to knock off the puck. He is not the fastest skater in the draft, but is not slow by any means either, in fact his speed is slightly above average. Zetterlund has an excellent wrist shot and he gets it off with a quick release. He can stand to work on his play along the boards as well as his defensive game going forward.
#93 Ben Mirageas, Defence, Chicago Steel, USHL, 6’1″ 171 lbs
Mirageas is a strong defender. He works hard in his end to contain forwards along the boards, win battles and clear the front of the net. However, he will need to get stronger to bring this game to the next level. Mirageas is also very good positionally, keeping attackers to the outside and cutting down passing and shooting lanes. Strong skating keeps attackers infront of him, and makes him hard to beat one-on-one. Mireagas shows some offensive skill as well. He is a good passer, both in transition and from the point. However he could stand to work on his shot.
#94 Kyle Olson, Centre/Right Wing, Tri-City Americans, WHL, 5’10” 150 lbs
Olson is a smaller player, but he certainly does not play like it. He is very physical, throwing himself into hits with reckless abandon; and playing like a pest in scrums in front of the net and along the boards. He gets to the front of the net where he can finish plays with soft hands. Olson also has a very good wrist shot, with great accuracy and a quick release. He works hard in his own end and plays a good two-way game.
#95 Jacob Paquette, Defence, Kingston Frontenacs, OHL 6’2.5″ 204 lbs
Paquette is a strong defensive defenceman with a good physical game and excellent positioning. He shows mobility with good speed in both directions and excellent edge work and pivots. Paquette maintains good gap control, and is very tough to beat one-on-one. He uses a long stick to cut down on passing lanes, and is not afraid to use his body to block shots. Paquette throws big hits, battles hard on the boards, and clears the front of the net. He has shown some offensive ability with a good first pass, and a hard shot he keeps low and on net. The offense has been inconsistent though, defence is certainly the bread and butter of his game.
#96 Kevin Hancock, Centre/Left Winger, Owen Sound Attack, OHL, 5’11” 183 lbs
Hancock has good vision and play making skills. He can fit the puck through tight spaces and make tape-to-tape passes to linemates. He has the stick handling ability to extend plays, and the vision to find his teammates when they get open. Hancock is gritty, hard working player, who is willing to battle in the corners and in front of the net. He is also good defensively. Hancock was passed over in last year’s draft, but with 85 points this year, may attract new interest from teams.
#97 Ben Gleason, Defence, Hamilton Bulldogs, OHL, 6’1″ 181 lbs
Gleason was also passed over in last year’s draft. He put up 39 points this year, and played a top four role for Hamilton. Gleason has excellent mobility, which allows him to play a very effective two-way game. He has very good edge work, agility and pivots; allowing him to cover a ton of ice. Gleason’s defensive game continues to improve as he got better at winning battles along the boards, and in front of the net. He is another prospect whose game will improve with added muscle. Gleason starts the transition game with a strong first pass. He has also cut down on his turnovers. Gleason can also play the role of power play quarterback.
#98 Tommy Miller, Defence, US NTDP, USHL, 6’1″ 185 lbs
Miller is a mobile two-way defender. He has a long stride that generates very good speed in both directions, but could be a little bit better in his start-up. He has good stick handling ability, and can skate the puck out of danger in his own end before making a good first pass up the ice. While he does not look to take the puck end-to-end often, he can join the rush as a trailer, and is effective in picking his spots. Miller maintains good gap control and can be difficult to beat in one-on-one situations. He is also strong positionally.
#99 Kirill Maksimov, Left Wing, Niagara Ice Dogs, OHL, 6’2″ 190 lbs
Maksimov is an outstanding skater. He has very good speed, excellent edge work, and great balance. He combines this with good hands and the ability to control the puck in tight spaces. While Maksimov is not a big hitter, he is also not afraid to take a hit to make a play. He has decent vision and passing skills, along with a good shot. Consistency was not a strong suit. In some viewings he looked great, while in others he was invisible. He must also work on his defensive game. He often flys the zone early looking to create offense. All the tools are there, but can the tool box be developed.
#100 Noel Hoefenmayer, Defence, Ottawa 67s, OHL, 6’0″, 190 lbs
Hoefenmayer put up 14 goals and 40 points in 62 games with the Ottawa 67s this year. He has a bomb of a slap shot from the point, and can play the role of trigger man on the power play. He also his good stickhandling ability and can lead the rush, or play the role of play maker at the point. Hoefenmayer has good vision and passing ability, both in transition as well as from the point. Defensively Hoefenmayer plays physical and has good positioning. However his skating really holds him back from being higher on this list. It really needs to improve for him to have an NHL future. Still he has every other skill, so it might be a worthy project for some team.