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DRAFTPRO – 2019 UNDER-17 WORLD HOCKEY CHALLENGE – GROUP A REVIEW

Team Russia captured the Gold at the recent 2019 U17 Hockey Challenge.

One of the seasons must see events on the scouting calendar is the Under-17 World Hockey Challenge that takes place every fall and gives scouts a chance to get a look see at what premier talent is coming for the next couple drafts. Three entries from Canada, Red, White and Black, were joined by teams form the U.S., Russia, Finland, Sweden and the Czech Republic with DraftPro having multiple eyes on the highly anticipated tournament that ran from November 2-9. In this two-part review we highlight some of the top performers from each team.

Group A consisted of teams Canada White, Canada Black, the U.S.A. and Czech Republic. Here are a few scouting reports on some future NHL draft picks that stood out from our viewings.

Shane Wright, C, Kingston, OHL, 6-0, 183, DOB 1.5.2004, 2022 Draft Eligible
Canada Black: 5 GP 4 G 3 A 7 PTS 14 PIM

“In terms of playmaking ability, nobody touches Shane Wright. His combination of precision passing and incredible IQ makes him an as intriguing prospect as any other we’ve seen in the last half decade. He’s never faced an opponent that he can’t out think and out play, and his senses and vision of the ice are unmatched by any player his age. Wright creates offense through plays that nobody but him sees coming. His creativity can turn sticky situations into offensive opportunities as well. Previously, a weakness of Wright’s game was his shot and particularly his release and power. Wright has clearly stamped out those issues and more. His shot has seen exceptional growth. Despite being a playmakers he’s shown off a shot that would be coveted in a pure sniper. His release can’t be described in any other way than just sick, and his shot has morphed into an absolute laser. Wright also holds a major strength in his skating ability. With a high-top speed and unreal horizontal agility makes him a force to be reckoned with. Wright plays a strong two-way game as well. He’s very keen on his defensive assignments and works hard in the d-zone.” DraftPro evaluator Max Lee.

Brandt Clarke, D, Barrie, OHL, 6-1, 179, DOB 2.9.2003, 2021 Draft Eligible
Canada Black: 5 GP 1 G 5 A 6 PTS 2 PIM

“Phenomenal skater with excellent edge work and poise puck carrying ability that makes him a transition specialist. Strong lower body that allows him to get off quick lateral movements with the puck that opens the ice up and uses slick set of hands to dangle around players. Very good dishing the puck off on his backhand or with a saucer pass. Defensively would like him to be stronger with clearing the front of the net, once he puts on more muscle, I expect him to develop a nice two-way game. Has the skill and offensive instincts to drive the offense himself. I expect him to have a massive draft season putting up a lot of points with Barrie in the OHL.” – DraftPro evaluator Jared Brown

Corson Ceulemans, D, Brooks, AJHL, 6-1, 187, DOB 5.5.2003, 2021 Draft Eligible
Canada Black: 4 GP 0 G 4 A 4 PTS 2 PIM

“Choosing to go the schooling route, Corson finds himself playing junior for the Brooks Bandits. Smart kid. Going back to his end to retrieve a puck with pressure on, I noticed Corson look straight up to the glass. Not waving at spectators, but to check if he had pressure on him. A tight turn up ice gave Corson a quick easy pass out of his end. Playing the powerplay a lot, Corson has a shot for traffic. Low, and hard. His skating is smooth and his transitions flawless. He manages his time and space very well. Being a faster defenseman, there isn’t many that’ll get by him. If there is a faster forechecker, Corson uses his solid frame to gain the upper hand on positioning. Very strong and powerful, there isn’t to many forwards he can’t move from out front. He battles hard out front and in the corners. His passing ability is high end. He finds the open guys on the powerplay or a solid out from his own end. He could play a little more physical, but overall an extremely solid kid on the back end.” DraftPro evaluator Troy Sandau

Matthew Savoie, C, Winnipeg, WHL, 5-9, 179, DOB 1.1.2004, 2022 Draft Eligible
Canada White: 6 GP 1 G 5 A 6 PTS 2 PIM

“When Matthew Savoie steps out on the ice, you know it immediately. He puts on display his transcendently elite skating ability. His pure speed is astonishing, and he can hit his top speed with just a couple of steps. If you let Savoie take a single step ahead of you, he’s gone before you know it. If he comes in one on one with a defender his lateral movement and unreal hands leave them in the dust. When it comes to getting around guys he’s super creative and can embarrass the best of defensemen. Savoie’s offensive prowess doesn’t end there. He has a tremendous shot. Savoie disguises his release to catch goalies off guard with a lot of power and accuracy. His IQ and playmaking is through the roof as well. He knows how to identify the perfect moment to dish off a pass or put a puck on net for a rebound. Even with all that skill and smarts, Savoie isn’t afraid to mix it up physically. He’s short, but very strong and can body guys off the puck. He catches players off guard with his powerful hits and the puck steals that follow. Despite being one of the youngest players at the tournament, Savoie is clearly a top end talent for this age group.” Lee

Cole Sillinger, C, Medicine Hat, WHL, 6-0, 187, DOB 5.16.2003, 2021 Draft Eligible
Canada White: 6 GP 5 G 0 A 5 PTS 2 PIM

“Cole is having a break out season with Medicine Hat as a 16-year-old. His confidence was brought into the tournament and was a force at both ends of the rink. Cole has a very high IQ and plays like a pro already. Not only does his offensive talent speak volumes, but so does his defensive play. In one shift that stood out, while on the PK, Cole blocked a couple shots, battled hard to get the puck out of his zone and down the ice. Cole has an extremely heavy shot that will burn you at each corner. His wheelhouse is on his off wing at the dot. If there is no lane for a shot, he will find the open man with his vision and dangerous passing abilities. Have watched numerous games of Cole in Medicine Hat, he doesn’t have to elevate his game when the stage gets bigger. Cole has a very consistent game through each shift. Not being a massive guy, Cole’s physical game is not his strongest. Silky mitts, dangerous passing and shooting, Cole has a very bright future ahead of him.” Sandau

Carson Lambos, D, Winnipeg, WHL, 6-1, 201, DOB 1.14.2003, 2021 Draft Eligible
Canada White: 6 GP 0 G 5 A 5 PTS 4 PIM

“Excellent puck moving Dman who can lead the charge from the back end. Has an elegant smooth stride to transition the puck up the ice paired with elusive skating ability to gain clean zone entries. High end Hockey IQ. Processor of the game recognizing plays before they happen both offensively and defensively. Has eyes in the back of his head with terrific quick passes on the transition or to escape pressure. Very constant play every time he’s on the ice, always looks like one of the best players on the ice. Defensively responsible with great gap control along the boards and gives a good first pass to start the breakout. Projects to be an excellent two-way Dman at the pro level with upside offensively.” Brown

Stanislav Svozil, D, HC Kometa Brno, Czech, 6-0, 172, DOB 1.17.2003, 2021 Draft Eligible
Czech Republic: 6 GP 0 G 4 A 4 PTS 4 PIM

“On a weak Czech team a lot was expected from Svozil, and he was pivotal in their surprising bronze medal win. At 16 he is already getting time in the Czech professional league on Kometa Brno’s blueline. Svozil served as the anchor on the Czech’s blueline as a big, imposing two-way player. He has a very strong shot from the point and can beat a goalie from up top, but didn’t have any goals in this tournament. He did show off some good passing ability and solid vision. With a quick pass from the blueline he can catch a winger in a scoring area on the other side of the ice. His skating is solid, but nothing notable. Defensively he shuts down passing lanes with his long stick and body position. He starts a lot of breakouts with puck possession he maintains with his size. Svozil has a good shot at playing at the U18s for the Czechs come April.” Lee

Martin Rysavy, RW, HC Vitkovice, Czech U20, 6-2, 203, DOB 3.6.2003, 2021 Draft Eligible
Czech Republic: 6 GP 3 G 2 A 5 PTS 6 PIM

“On the offensive side for the Czechs, Rysavy carried the team to a bronze medal finish. Rysavy led the team with 5 points and 3 goals. He scored the OT goal that won the Czech’s bronze over Canada White. He scored from right in front of the net, which is where his other two this tournament came as well. He’s sneaky in front of the net, and is exceptional at digging pucks out of a scrum and burying it. Rysavy also has some high-end skills. He scored a Forsberg goal in the shootout vs Canada Black, and frequently used his hands to create space. Rysavy also skates fairly well for his size. At 6’2” he still has some solid edgework and ok top speed.” Lee

Chaz Lucius, C, NTDP, 6-0, 172, DOB 5.2.2003, 2021 Draft Eligible
USA: 6 GP 7 G 3 A 10 PTS 0 PIM

“Arguably the most dominant player in the tournament, the top goal scorer, and the top point getter. He was a constant offensive threat from any area. His skating could take him from the defensive zone, through forecheckers and the neutral zone, and right to the net. He slices and dices defenses with quick hands and short bursts of crazy speed. He’s great at keeping pucks just out of reach of the defender. Although where Lucius really excelled was in his finishing ability. When he saw open net he buried it. When he has an opportunity he makes no mistakes. Lucius’ big strength that gets him a ton of goals is his ability to get shots off under pressure. He might have 2 guys handing off of him but he can still take a shot and beat the goalie. He gets into scoring areas and if the puck comes to him it’s in the back of the net before you know it. Lucius has some really good hands that allow him to pocket goals from in tight as well. He can stickhandle with almost no space and get around the goaltender. He also defiantly has the ability to straight up beat goalies with shots that, from anybody else, have no business going in the net. Chaz is a guy you can count on to put the puck in the net in any situation. He brings that x-factor to the game.” Lee

Dylan Duke, C, NTDP, 5-9, 168, DOB 3.4.2003, 2021 Draft Eligible
USA: 6 GP 5 G 3 A 8 PTS 2 PIM

“Not overly large, but shifty and skilled. Dylan can’t take over physically but will definitely make the plays needed to produce offensively. His speed, acceleration and hands make him more than a handful. Using his steady silky hands, Dylan broke in on a two on one, out waited his defender with a smooth toe drag, and snipped a shot that found the back of the net. The release Dylan has can fool the best of goalies. Dylan’s work ethic is very high. The compete with starts from the drop of the puck to last whistle. He plays with no fear along the wall and while blocking shots. Numerous time he sacrificed himself to not allowing shots through. His speed and tenacious forecheck created an abundance of turn overs for Dylan. The constant pressure against the defenseman from Dylan plays key in his overall play. Not only does his offensive play stand out, he is very vocal with his team mates during plays.” Sandau

Luke Hughes, D, NTDP, 6-1, 161, DOB 9.9.2003, 2021 Draft Eligible
USA: 6 GP 1 G 3 A 4 PTS 0 PIM

“Hockey runs in the blood for this 2021 eligible draft pick. Like his brothers, he is ahead of his class years before his draft year. Luke brings a high IQ, and stability to the back end as a smooth skating puck moving defenseman. Poised and calm, Luke can make plays when the pressure is on at both ends. A typical play sees Luke walk in using his elite mobility, faked a shot and make a move around his opponent before getting a shot or pass off to create a great scoring chance. While not being the most physical guy, Luke has a high-end skill that speaks volumes at both ends. Luke does get his fair share of powerplay time. Using his crisp passing abilities he has an eye to find the lone guy cross crease as well as pump a shot on net himself. Another quality Luke brings is how he holds the line. If the puck does get past him, he has the quickness and speed to regain possession or to get himself back on the defensive side of the play.” Sandau

Sean Behrens, D, NTDP, 5-8, 172, DOB 3.31.2003, 2021 Draft Eligible
USA: 6 GP 1 G 7 A 8 PTS 0 PIM

“Despite being one of the smallest defensemen in the tournament, Behrens made an impact that was immediately noticeable. His stellar skating made him a nightmare to go up against on the rush. He can jump and dance around defenders with some ridiculous agility. His lateral movements at his top speed, which is quite high, are shockingly good. He can jump a few feet with one lunge to the side. Behren’s hands also play to this strength. He’s super creative and has plenty on moves to get around guys defending his rush. Whether it’s a quick left to right move or a toe drag, Behrens can do it. He’s just unbelievably shifty. He skirts pressure, ruins forechecker’s ankles, and makes space for himself. When Behrens isn’t rushing pucks up the ice he can make awe inspiring stretch passes up the ice. His passing translates to the offensive zone as well with a good sense for the game. Makes very good setup plays. Although the big concern with a 5’8” defenseman is going to be physical play. Behrens might be short but he’s ferocious. Of course his height is a detriment, but momentum is about mass and velocity, not height, and at 172lbs he’s extremely strong. He steamrolled 6 foot Brennan Othmann with a bone crushing hit behind the net, and can win his board battles regularly.” Lee

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