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

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 B consisted of teams Canada Red, Russia, Finland. and Sweden. Here are a few scouting reports on some future NHL draft picks that stood out from our viewings.

Logan Stankoven, RW, Kamloops, WHL, 5-8, 170, DOB 2.26.2003, 2021 Draft Eligible
Canada Red: 5 GP 4 G 0 A 4 PTS 2 PIM

“His play style is like a wild jungle cat! He plays so quick all over the ice with such explosiveness off his stops and turns. Incredibly agile, his lateral movement with the puck is mesmerizing! His straight-line speed is also not bad. For a small guy he is very strong on the puck, doesn’t get knocked off the puck that easily and works very hard to get the puck back. Really impressed with his work ethic in all three zones and his commitment to always wanting the puck every shift. Great skill set. Very good in tight around the net with soft hands to redirect pucks in or dish off passes through defenders sticks and legs. Projecting to be a high draft pick.” DraftPro evaluator Jared Brown

Zach Bolduc, C, Rimouski, QMJHL, 6-0, 161, DOB 2.24.2003, 2021 Draft Eligible
Canada Red: 5 GP 2 G 3 A 5 PTS 10 PIM

“Bolduc has somewhat of a tumultuous start to the year, bouncing from Mt. St. Charles Academy to Sioux City and finally over to Rimouski. Although a common trend with all these teams was that Bolduc stood out. And that continued as he headed off to play for Canada Red. Bolduc has an absolutely wicked shot. Whether it’s a one timer, slap shot, wrister, anything, he can get it off with power and accuracy. He picks corners from the top of the circles and leaves goalies wondering how the puck even got past them. His wrist shot is just unbelievably powerful. Bolduc also possesses a very powerful stride to go along with his shot. His forceful skating pairs well with his strong puck protection. While being primarily a goal scorer, Bolduc has the capacity to very effective passes. Physically he’s a very strong but doesn’t go out of his way to facilitate contact. He ushers his body position well to protect pucks and win puck battles.” DraftPro evaluator Max Lee

Brad Lambert, C, HIFK U20, Jr. A SM-liiga, 5-11, 172, DOB 12.19.2003, 2022 Draft Eligible
Finland: 5 GP 1 G 5 A 6 PTS 2 PIM

“Late ’03 born not eligible until the 2022 NHL Draft but his skating is amongst the best in both draft classes. Balance in his skating is top notch that allows him to stop and turn on a dime with the puck to shake off defenders. Picks up speed effortless in a matter 2-3 strides, can flat out fly like the wind with the puck. He really needs to use his teammates more as he holds onto the puck for far too long not using his teammates. He shows a very young explosive game with tons of talent and skill but has maturing to do for sure. Has great vision, can get passes off through tough seams. He loves to go 1-on-1 with defenders and has the hands and quickness to deke them out. As he matures he will become even more dangerous when you mix in his deadly speed and high end skill set, he’s got potential to be a top 5 pick in his draft.” Brown

Samu Tuomaala, RW, Karpat U20, Jr. A SM-liiga, 5-10, 165, DOB 1.8.2003, 2021 Draft Eligible
Finland: 5 GP 3 G 2 A 5 PTS 0 PIM

“Tuomaala was arguably the most electric player in the entire tournament. His pure speed and agility alongside unreal puck control made him a nightmare to contain. He gains speed very quickly and is extremely mobile. He can change and control the pace of the game when he’s in possession of the puck. On the rush, he can make sharp movements with both his feet and hands leading Tuomaala to slice through the neutral zone and avoids defenders with ridiculous ease. He’s also a very creative player with a ton of moves that can keep him clear of defenders. He basically has the puck on a string at all times. Catching passes with one hand or behind his back while in stride is no problem for him. His ability to corral pucks is special. Tuomaala’s next huge strength is his shot. He has a howitzer of a wrist shot that he can get off in any situation. Whether he is at full speed, under pressure, or from a bad angle he can take a shot with a high probability of putting his team on the scoreboard. This along with pinpoint accuracy and a sneaky release makes Samu so dangerous. Tuomaala also has a pounding slapshot. He can take one-timers that can shred goalies, or wind up and pick a corner. When it comes to his passing game he excels. Due to his hands and mobility he is great at getting into areas where he can open lanes and complete passes to high scoring areas. He’s not necessarily a “thread the needle” pass type of player, but he is very good. His general smarts also play to this strength. He knows where to go and how to find space to shoot or pass. His decisions are quick, and he doesn’t overthink it. On the defensive side he doesn’t stand out positively or negatively, but his general play is excellent and makes him an elite player at the U17 level.” Lee

Daniil Lazutin, C, Dynamo Moskva, MHL, 6-2, 174, DOB 7.25.2003, 2021 Draft Eligible
Russia: 6 GP 4 G 5 A 9 PTS 0 PIM

“Lazutin was one of Russia’s, and the tournament’s, standouts throughout the U17s. He was named to the all star team and, more importantly, led Russia to their 2nd consecutive title at this tournament. He was 2nd to only Chaz Lucius in points and had 4 goals. Lazutin’s skating isn’t excellent but sufficient. He spends a lot of time standing a bit too straight up and moves his chest up and down a lot as he skates. His stride is a little clunky as well. Although with that being said he is still fairly fast and can get around the ice well. His first few steps are pretty good but again nothing special. Where his skating does look good is under pressure. He can move and get around defenders when in tight. He also uses nice pivots and weight shifts to open passing and shot lanes by slightly changing his position. Another thing that helps him in tight is his hands. Lazutin is super creative and can stickhandle in a phone booth. He scored a fantastic goal against Finland where he went inside out on a defender and jumped around the goaltender to tuck in a nice goal. His passing is another thing of note for Lazutin. He’s a solid playmaker who’s good at making passes from the bottom of the circles. A few times he threaded passes through the crease to the back door to create big chances. On the other side, he’s a very good finisher. When he has a chance he’ll score, very reliable. His physical play was the good being 6’2” and used his size to his advantage with good body position to protect the puck and play along the boards.” Lee

Vladislav Lukashevich, D, Loko Yaroslavl, MHL, 6-1, 165, DOB 5.23.2003, 2021 Draft Eligible
Russia: 6 GP 1 G 3 A 4 PTS 0 PIM

“Despite being pushed down the lineup on a very strong Lokomotiv team in the MHL Lukashevich was able to come to the U17s and become Russia’s best defensemen. He’s a big yet shifty two-way player. Lukashevich was able to use his size and skating ability to dictate play by maintaining puck possession. He evaded pressure with quick turns and pivots and used his body position to overpower defenders. He also was dangerous from the point with a big slap shot and accurate wrister. He was able to beat the Finnish netminder with a strong wrister past his ears. On the defensive end he does a good job of shutting down rushes at the blueline with good gap control, physicality, and stickwork.” Lee

Prokhor Poltapov, LW, Krasnaya Armiya Moskva, MHL, 5-10, 161, DOB 2.1.2003, 2021 Draft Eligible
Russia: 6 GP 3 G 4 A 7 PTS 4 PIM

“Coming into the tournament Prokhor Poltapov was the Russian with the most eyes on him. He hadn’t been getting the minutes he deserved in the MHL since he was stuck in the very deep CSKA program. With a top 6 opportunity in this tournament he didn’t disappoint. Poltapov showed off a high-end skill set that made him an extremely dangerous player. He excelled at creating offense off the wide hash marks with precision passing, and good edgework and hands that allowed him to cut into the slot. Poltapov skates with a low stance that allows him to get more out of every stride and have a lower center of gravity. His IQ and general hockey sense also made him the player that drove the boat while on offense. The difference in offensive chances from him and his teammates was noticeable when he was on the ice.” Lee

Fedor Svechkov, LW, Ladia Togliatti, MHL, 6-0, 179, DOB 4.5.2003, 2021 Draft Eligible
Russia: 6 GP 6 G 2 A 8 PTS 0 PIM

“Svechkov served as Russia’s best finisher over the course of the tournament, leading the gold medal winning Russians in goals, and was second to only Chaz Lucius in the tournament. Svechkov has an extremely versatile, accurate, and strong shot. He can adjust his shot on the fly with a toe drag, hip shift, or change in type of shot. Once the shot is taken goalies stand little chance. Svechkov also shows prowess in finding open space and getting loose to get the puck and finish. Repeatedly he finds kinks in the defense and capitalizes. His hockey sense is clearly above much of the competition. Skating wise he seems to be fairly fast, but he relies more on his smarts to be in the right place at the right time rather than his skating to get him to those areas in the moment. Physically he stood out among the 16-year-old participants at the tournament as a 6’0” forward but could do some work on his stability on his feet.” Lee

Fabian Lysell, LW, Frolunda J20, SuperElit, 5-10, 176, DOB 1.19.2003, 2021 Draft Eligible
Sweden: 5 GP 5 G 2 A 7 PTS 6 PIM

“Lysell was one of the most impressive players over the course of the tournament. In the regular season he’s been stuck at the J18 level due to the depth of his Frölunda program. Although he’s eviscerated the J18 Elit with 26 points over only 10 games. Lysell came into this tournament with something to prove and did. “Lee

“A quick, fast player who can make plays in speed that can stretch out the ice in the Ozone with his crisp passing and skill set. An offensive catalyst every time he’s on the ice, showed at times the ability to take over games. Uses quick agile cuts to open the ice up for him to make a play. High skill set, Great hands and confidence with the puck in the Ozone. He can go tape to tape off those hard passes east-to-west passes as well as use his terrific vision to set up his teammates for prime scoring chances. Has his bottom hand far down his stick shifting a lot of his body weight into his wrist shots. Changes his shot placement, seems to like going low blocker or low gloves, keeps his head up knowing where he wants shoot. Will have to develop a quicker release point for the NHL though. Had trouble controlling his emotions one game.” Brown

Ludwig Persson, C, Frolunda J18, J18 Elit, 5-11, 161, DOB 10.8.2003, 2022 Draft Eligible
Sweden: 5 GP 2 G 2 A 4 PTS 2 PIM

“Despite being one of Sweden’s youngest players, being eligible for the 2022 draft, Persson stood out immediately through his elite skill set. Persson has some nasty hands. Whether it’s fancy moves or quick effective stickhandling, he can do it all. He helped put away the Finns in a game with an assist after absolutely undressing Aleksi Heimosalmi in one play that stands out. Persson was untouchable with the puck throughout the tournament. What also earned him a lot of his points was his high-end vision and IQ. He did a great job of finding open guys and making quick, often one timed, passes to them. Defenses at this level couldn’t keep up with the quick pace he set with his passing. Persson also kept the game at a high pace through his skating ability. He gains speed quickly and achieves a very high top speed. With some strong strides he can hit high speeds in the offensive zone and drive the net to create a shooting or passing opportunity. Persson was an electric offensive threat like few but Lysell on the Swedish team.” Lee

Simon Edvinsson, D, Frolunda J18, J18 Elit, 6-3, 176, DOB 2.5.2003, 2021 Draft Eligible
Sweden: 5 GP 0 G 5 A 5 PTS 0 PIM

“For a big kid you’d assume his focus is mainly on his Dzone play but he activates his feet a lot with good offensive instincts acting like a fourth forward. He’s got great hockey sense, constantly has his head up surveying the ice when staring the breakout. His skating is very smooth and very fluid, decent edge work as well for a kid his size and age. He gives a terrific first pass leading the breakout, can consistently get clean zone exits. Would like to see him use his size better and be stronger on his man. He has the size to intimidate his opposition in the corners but doesn’t. His defensive game needs some polishing, some shifts he looks a little lazy and slow to his man. Tons of potential with his size and how well he moves the puck.” Brown

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