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 2020 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. Today we look at Sean Farrell.
The 2019 US NTDP U-18 team was one of the best teams in program history, filled with players who were drafted high in the 2019 NHL Draft. Sean Farrell was also part of that squad, but due to his November birthdate, he was not eligible until the 2020 Draft. In the meantime, he spent another year in the USHL, playing with Chicago Steel. The Steel were a dominant club, going 41-7-1 and finishing first in the league. Farrell scored 15 goals and 41 assists for 56 points in 44 games, leading the league in assists. Farrell also played at the World Junior A Hockey Challenge. He put up five goals and eight points in six games, winning a silver medal.
In 2018-19, Farrell scored 11 goals and 27 assists for 38 points in 64 games with the US NTDP. He also picked up two assists in seven games at the IIHF Under-18 World Championships, winning a bronze medal. In 2017-18, Farell scored nine goals and 40 points in 61 games with the U-17 team. Farrell also had two goals and an assist at the 2017 Under-17 World Hockey Challenge, winning a gold medal. He is committed to playing hockey for Harvard next season.
Sean Farrell Scouting Report
Left Wing — shoots Left
Born November 2nd, 2001 — Hopkinton, Massachusetts
Height 5’9″ — Weight 175 lbs [175 cm/79 kg]
Undersized, Farrell needs to use his skating to make up for this deficiency. He is explosive, with a great first step and excellent acceleration. Farrell also has outstanding edgework and agility. He can make quick cuts and changes of direction. This allows him to successfully make zone entries with the puck, as well as to get past defenders on the rush, or when working off the boards. He also has a low centre of gravity and a powerful lower body. This helps him to be strong on the puck. It also makes him surprisingly strong in battles along the boards for loose pucks.
Farrell is a pure goal scorer. He has an excellent array of shots. He can score with wrist shots, snapshots, slap shots and one-timers. Farrell is even dangerous with his backhand. His soft hands give him a quick and deceptive release on those shots. He is also very accurate, able to pick corners. Farrell generates good power with his shooting arsenal as well. His hands also give him the ability to beat a goaltender in close to the net. He can deke a goalie, bang in a rebound, or one-time a pass to the back of the net. Farrell is not afraid to get to the dirty areas of the ice, getting himself into a position to take a pass and fire it on the net. With his stickhandling and speed, he is also able to create his own shot.
Farrell is also able to play the role of a playmaker. He moves the puck quickly and finds open space, as he is very good at running a give-and-go with a teammate. Farrell sees the ice well and can thread a pass to an open teammate. His ability to make quick moves with his feet and his hands also help to open up passing lanes. Farrell is relentless in puck pursuit. He is effective at forcing turnovers on the forecheck. Once an opponent makes a mistake, he is able to transition it into a scoring chance. Farrell is surprisingly good in battles for loose pucks despite his lack of size.
Farrell brings his high-energy game in all three zones. He is also relentless in tracking down the puck in his own end. A quick stick is able to create turnovers and cut down passing lanes. Farrell will attempt to play physical, but lack of size can be a limiting factor when facing bigger and stronger opponents. He reads the play well and can get himself in positions to intercept passes. Farrell is effective on the penalty kill. He also brings good backpressure when helping the defence to defend against the rush.
Projection and Comparison
Farrell could develop into a top-six winger at the next level. He will need to continue working on adding muscle to his frame in order to be effective at the next level. While his skating is very good, he could add a step or two to that top-end speed as well. Farrell should spend a year or two at Harvard, where the lighter schedule will give him plenty of time to work out. His game is reminiscent of Alex Debrincat, but this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill or ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Sean Farrell that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
Sean Farrell Main Photo:
🌟 Star of the Day: Sean Farrell 🇺🇸 (2G, GWG) 🌟
— World Junior A Challenge (@HC_WJAC) December 8, 2019