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The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds have dominated the OHL this season. Usually, it is tough for young players to get playing time on a stacked roster. However, Barrett Hayton has played so well, and been such a big part of the team’s success that he’s been used as a top-six forward by the club. The ninth overall pick in the 2016 OHL Draft, Hayton has spent time centring the second line. He has also spent time at left wing on the top line. Through it all, he’s played well and put up strong numbers. Hayton scored 21 goals and 39 assists for 60 points in 63 regular season games. He added six points in seven playoff games for the Greyhounds so far.
Hayton also played for Team Canada at last summer’s Ivan Hlinka tournament. He scored three goals and three assists for six points in five games and came home with a gold medal. Hayton also played for Team Canada White at the 2016-17 Under 17 World Hockey Challenge.
Barrett Hayton Scouting Report
Centre/Left Wing — shoots Left
Born June 9th, 2000 — Peterborough, Ontario
Height 6’1″ — Weight 191 lbs [185 cm / 87 kg]
Hayton is a very good skater. His top end speed and acceleration are both good. He has very good edgework and agility and maneuvers well through traffic both with and without the puck. Hayon’s stride is long and powerful. He has good lower-body strength, and is tough to knock off the puck. Hayton can fight through checks and get to the net. He will get even better as he adds more muscle to his frame.
Hayton has a heavy shot and a good release. A big reason for his increased goal scoring this year has been his ability to get into the right spots and use that wrist shot more often. He has also improved his accuracy but can still stand to get better in this area. His slap shot needs some work though, as it lacks power and his wind-up is very big. Hayton is not afraid to get to the front of the net. Once he gets there, he battles hard for position and has the soft hands to finish plays in tight. Hayton scores on tip-ins, quick one-timers and by quickly pouncing on rebounds.
Hayton plays a straightforward game. He protects the puck well on the cycle and has some soft hands. However, he is not the type of forward to dangle a defenceman and get past him in a one-on-one situation. Instead, Hayton looks to keep the puck moving, find the open man, and then get it to the net. He is a smart player, who makes quick, smart plays with the puck on his stick. He is also good on the forecheck. While he does not lay a lot of big hits, he gets in quickly, pressuring defenders and creating turnovers.
Defensively Hayton backchecks hard and shows good positioning. He provides solid back pressure and puck support, helping his defence. He battles hard on the boards, containing his man down low, and keeping him from getting to the front of the net. Hayton shows a good stick and cuts down passing lanes. He keeps himself between the puck and the net and is not afraid to block shots. Overall his defensive game is advanced for a 17-year old.
Projection and Comparison
Hayton should be back in Sault Ste. Marie next year, and will be given an even bigger role on the club. The Greyhounds will see quite a bit of turnover, and he will be a key leader for the squad. Expect to see him given the role of playing against the other team’s top lines, while also bringing offence. Hayton’s potential at the NHL level is similar, but he has some work to do to get there. When he is on his game, Hayton is great. However, he must work on his consistency, as he can disappear at times. When all goes well his game resembles Patrice Bergeron. However this is not a skills comparison, but just one based on style.
The following is a compilation of some of the many highlight packages of Hayton that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
Embed from Getty Images
WINDSOR, ON – OCTOBER 05: Forward Barrett Hayton #27 of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds celebrates his first period goal against the Windsor Spitfires on October 5, 2017 at the WFCU Centre in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Dennis Pajot/Getty Images)