clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Big, Mean D Men Before the Draft

What is said about big, mean defencemen before they are drafted.

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

This may be read as annoying or piling on, but don't take it that way. After all the fuss over the Winnipeg Jets trade and pick of Logan Stanley in the 2016 draft, I was wanted to read the pre-draft reports for similar (statistically) defenders who also went in the first round. Now I have compiled a few of them for the sake of y'all. All of the below scouting reports are for D men who were 6'4 plus and drafted in the mid-first round of recent drafts. The player names have been snipped.

Big Guy #1: Drafted 14th Overall

"We knew that he was a special player and was going to be a great player for us, but we thought the learning curve was going to take a little bit longer for him to get adapted to the speed of (college hockey) and the size of opposing players. So we were pleasantly surprised that he adapted so quickly. His progression has been pretty steady and we’ve worked with him on what we felt he needed to improve such as foot, body, and stick positioning."

-Northeastern assistant coach Sebastien Laplante

"Really, sky’s the limit for hi. It’s hard to project his ceiling when every year he just gets better and better. He’s a massive kid that moves well pretty well on his feet for a big guy…it’s amazing how far he’s come"

-Redline Report Scout Max Giese

Big Guy #2: Drafted 10th Overall

"His mobility and footwork are impressive considering his size…He flat out intimidates with his style of play…He can contain forwards in all areas of the ice, especially down low…He does need to work on his puck skills as he handles it like a grenade."

-McKeens  2010 Draft Preview

"Big and mean, old-time typical NHL defenseman. He scares people not only with some frequent fights he might get in, but with 6-4, 212 lbs. straight ahead speed and offensive ability to match. Often, and in a very complimentary sense, makes puck carriers cut to the other side of the ice with his intimidating size."

-Director of NHL Central Scouting, E.J. McGuire

"An old school defensemen who plays hard and very physical. A great deal of untapped potential that can be used in shut down situations as well as on the offensive side of the puck."

-Moose Jaw Warriors head coach Dave Hunchak

Big Guy #3: Drafted 22nd Overall

"He skates very well for a big guy. He has an excellent shot from the point. He’s a pretty smart player. The head’s there, the hands are there, the shot’s there, the skating ability is there. He’s got a real, real cannon for a shot."

Jack Barzee, NHL Central Scouting

"His father, was once a physical, defensive defenseman in the NHL who punished the opposition, and the younger He plays the exact same way….The most physically ready of the USA NHL draft-eligible prospects, He completes the package with a mean streak and strong mobility."

McKeen’s 2010 NHL Draft Guide

"Massive stay-at-home rearguard with excellent character, bloodlines, and leadership. Dependable, shutdown defender, always thinks defense-first, and his crease coverage is among the best of this class – colossal frame and nasty disposition form an impenetrable barrier between opponents and his goalie. Readily protects teammates and will drop the gloves. Reads and reacts to plays well at the defensive end. Effectively closes his man off to the wall and staples him there. Only has one gear, but shows functional mobility for a big man. Uses long stick/reach to break up lots of passes. Settles things down when team gets in trouble in its own end. Difficult to beat in 1-on-1 situations down low in puck battles or off the rush. Has no offensive upside but avoids costly errors and makes safe, simple plays."

Red Line Report 2010 Draft Guide

"For him to be at his best, he just needs to be steady. He’s very intelligent, keeps himself in good position, and is capable of making the first pass. And that should and probably always will be the foundation of what will bring out the most in his game."

U.S. Under-18 head coach Kurt Kleinendorst

Big Guy #4, Drafted 12th Overall

He’s still raw as a defenseman (He played forward until he reached major junior hockey) and has modest offensive upside. He improved significantly from the beginning of the season until the end.

"He can dominate at times, and you have to figure it’s going to take him awhile to unlock all the things he can do with that size and skating ability," said a Western Conference scout. "He’s not a safe pick necessarily, but I think he’s going to be a very good NHL defenseman as he gains more experience and confidence. …I think that’s the issue more than hockey sense."

Big Guy #5, Drafted 13th Overall

A smooth skating d-man, with 2-way potential. Comparisons are made between him and Pronger. He is considered the next Pronger, though with not nearly the same offensive upside. He's got size at 6'4 180-190lbs, but he still has a lot of room to grow. He is projected to be a shutdown guy when he reaches the NHL, faces opposition's top lines every night in the WHL. Must grow into his frame again, but he loves to hit everything, has a definite mean-streak. Uses his reach effectively and offensive instincts are there. To sum this kid up, size, skating, and skill, not elite skill, but the skill is there.

Submitted by: Lee Fehler

Big Guy #6, Drafted 10th Overall

Big defenseman with a good mobility, a physical edge, and exciting upside. One of the best skating big men I’ve seen in awhile as he’s light on his quick feet and his stride is fluid and long as it effortlessly produces exemplary power. Accelerates swiftly and is agile in all directions. He does a good job maintaining a good gap with his man and uses his long reach to disrupt the opposition. Owns a mean streak and once he adds some weight to his lanky frame he should be a real intimidating physical presence. While he’s not an offensive defenseman, he possesses soft hands and he sees the ice adequately well. The knock on him is his decision making with the puck but as the season progressed his first pass noticeably was much better than it was earlier in the year. He owns a heavy slap shot but he’s largely ineffective with it because of his poor shot selection. He lacks creativity to be an offensive defenseman and despite possessing a powerful slap shot, he’s ineffective with it because of poor shot selection. So what separates him from being a disappointment like Braydon Coburn? First, his mean streak, Coburn never had the physical edge this kid does. Second, His decision making with the puck is ever improving and he has a lot of untapped upside as he hasn’t filled out yet.

There are probably others, but those are the players that I was able to find (relatively quickly). Mid 1st round picks. Big. Middling offensive production. There is no doubt in my mind that teams take big D men hoping to hit the lotto - regardless of what the numbers say. That said, long odds don't mean all is lost, I just hope the Winnipeg Jets got this one right - same as I do with every other pick.

Big Guy #1 is Jamie Oleksiak. He was 6'7, 240lbs pre-draft. Oleksiak was Drafted 14th Overall in 2011.

Scouting Reports were sourced via The Hockey Writers

Big Guy #2 is Dylan McIlrath. He was 6'4, 212lbs pre-draft and he was drafted 10th Overall in 2010.

Scouting Reports sourced via The Hockey Writers

Big Guy #3 is Jarred Tinordi. He was 6'6, 205lbs pre-draft and he was drafted 22nd overall in 2010.

Scouting Reports sourced via The Hockey Writers

Big Guy #4 is Tyler Myers. He was 6'7, 205lbs pre-draft and he was drafted 12th overall in 2008.

Scouting Notes sourced via Hockey Buzz

Big Guy #5 is Colten Teubert. He was 6'4, 190lbs pre-draft. He was drafted 13th overall in 2008.

Scouting Notes via MyNHLDraft.com

Big Guy #6 is Keaton Ellerby. He was 6'4, 190lbs pre-draft. He was drafted 10th overall in 2007.

Scouting Notes vis SharksPage

Added June 28/2016 at 8:45 PM

A video from a scouting meeting when the Flyers placed Sam Morin ahead of Sean Monahan pre-draft. This may be nothing like what happened with the Jets, but it is great draft content. Josh Morrissey is mentioned in here too.