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DRAFTPRO EUROPEAN REPORT – NOVEMBER 2019

Lukas Reichel

The region is vast, and league duration is short in many instances which amounts to a mad dash for our European evaluators to get their views in on the current crop of draft eligible prospects. There have been many who have impressed this season, and some who have not. Here are a few reports from our European evaluators.

September 29, 2019

Vaxjo Ishall

HV71 3 at Vaxjo Lakers 7

Emil Andrae, D, HV71 (SuperElit), 5’9” 183 Lbs, DOB 10.23.2001

National team player Andrae had a hesitant start to his game where he threw away some pucks which is very uncharacteristic for him but as the game went along, he found his game. Andrae’s skating is good, he has phenomenal lateral movement, his movement on the offensive blueline is one of a kind and he can change direction which such fluidity and ease. His first steps need some work, but the top speed is very good. His overall mobility is very solid and he moves smoothly. His puck handling skills are something out of the ordinary from a defender, the puck is basically glued to his stick and he makes daring plays on the offensive blueline, this ability along with his movement is one of the main reasons he’s putting up points. He uses his backhand perfectly and can make passes with both the fore- and the backhand. He sees the passing lanes before they are there. He has a nice wrist shot, and makes the transition pass well, his can be surgical when he sees openings on the attack, like when HV71 scored their 2nd goal. Andrae got the puck in the defensive zone made a few twists and lost his guy putting the pass right on tape which opened up the whole field and seconds later they scored. He plays a game tough in the defensive zone, even if he is small he is tough to compete against in front of the goal, he is also bit of mean which I like in smaller players. He likes to hit but not strong enough to crush the players but he lets them know he’s there. He has some troubles in the corners, even if he competes hard he is often somewhat ineffective, like when he lost a battle in the corner and 3 seconds later the puck was in the net. The goal was not his fault but you can’t lose those battles. The thing I liked most about his defensive plays was his ability to break up zone exits and entries by the opponents. He never lets them exit their defensive zone easy, he always attacked by poke sticking or using his body just to make them throw away the puck into to the NZ and his companion could retrieve it. Same thing when the opposing team tried to enter HV71’s zone, he immediately attacks them just to make them dump the puck and his teammate has already backed down giving him an extra second with the puck. I still have some concerns regarding his defensive effectiveness due to his size, but he looks like a second-round pick to me right now. I see top-four potential. – Jon Ahlstedt

October 11, 2019

Fjällräven Center

AIK 4 at MoDo 5

William Wallinder, D, MoDoHockey (SuperElit), 6”4”, 192, DOB 07.28.2002

Wallinder had an okay game where he was quite engaged during the whole game, joining the offence every time he got the opportunity playing sometime almost like a midfielder in soccer. Wallinder was very good in the transition game where you saw that he likes to take the puck and go coast to coast activating the strong skating that he has. He also mixed that up by delivered quick first passes out of the zone up to the forwards, and also proved that he can deliver that long stretch pass. Wallinder is smart, sees the ice, like when he recognized that the opponents was making a line chance and quickly delivered the puck up to the teammate on the offensive blueline which turned into an assist on what turned into a quick strike goal. Wallinder plays an aggressive style in the defensive zone where he several times used his body to stop the opponents from passing, but he sometimes crossed the line aggressively where he can get a little carried away, in this game he did so by delivering a late hit, and even after that he was quite lucky that he didn’t get more as he made the same mistake later in the game. He sometimes tries to be too creative in his own zone, trying to skate around the forchecker when he is the last one back. Plays like this can lead to careless turnovers. – Joel Lander

September 19, 2019

Ledovy Dvorets Sporta CSKA

SKA-1946 St. Petersburg 3 at Krasnaya Armiya Moskva 2

Marat Khusnutdinov, C, SKA-1946 St. Petersburg (MHL), 5-9, 165, DOB 2002-07-17

Marat is a very good puck handler and likes to drive the play up the ice. This smaller playmaker has flashes of greatness while cruising through the neutral zone with the puck on his blade. He’s got good speed but his greatest skating asset is his agility and edgework. He still needs some time to grow and gain some muscles but he definitely has a brain for the game. He’s pretty elusive with his stickhandling and has the ability to deke past opponents off the rush or win a puck battle against stronger and bigger opponents. I was expecting more out of this smaller third line center in terms of generating scoring chances or being an engine for his line. To be fair, he has a pretty good understanding of what is going on around him on the ice once he has the puck but in this viewing I’ve noticed that his passing wasn’t crisp and he didn’t have the best chemistry with his linemates. Marat is aware of his defensive responsibilities, he backchecks properly and digs into the board battles but he did not look to be on the winning side on most those situations. He’s playing on one of the best MHL teams this season but he will have to bring more to the table to be a prospect that NHL teams want to grab in the next draft in Montreal. The heart is there but he’ll need to bring his A game every time he steps on the ice. – Juliusz Dąbrowski

September 10, 2019

VIDEO VIEWING

Eisbaren Berlin 1 at Iserlohn Roosters 3

Lukas Reichel, RW, Eisbaren Berlin (DEL), 6-0, 170, DOB 2002-05-17

This second line winger has a very good work rate and a nice jump to his game. He uses his quick feet and sound stride to cover a lot of ice. He has a good understanding of his defensive responsibilities, in his own zone he will clog up the slot as his main priority and if the puck gets to the defender that is assigned to him for coverage he will skate towards him quickly to block the shot. He puts good pressure on the puck carrier on the forecheck and destabilizes the breakout plan of his opponents. He scored a very nice goal in the last minutes of the third period with a redirect off his stick blade after a shot-pass from the half boards. His teammate entered the zone and slowed down the play to wait for reinforcements and that’s when Reichel noticed a gap between the backchecking defenders and skated right in between that empty area near the low slot with his stick down on the ice. He received a hard shot-pass and changed its trajectory to the far side of the net to make the score 1-1. His puck handling skills are very good, he can take the puck off his skate with full motion and continue the cycle play along the boards or in the corner. He’s good at avoiding checks by using his agility and ability to shift his body quickly. He notices scoring chances and is able to pass the puck hard and accurately when the margin of error is very little. In the middle of the second period he delivered a well-timed, hard pass into the slot area for his teammate who redirected it on net but didn’t go behind the red goal line. A similar play as the one Reichel scored on in the first period. He also dishes out smart passes from Gretzky’s office, setting up his teammates for one-timers. His net front presence is pretty good and he’s not afraid to get slashed or poked by the opponents in the slot. He batted the puck from mid-air into the net on a rebound attempt on the PowerPlay but was a bit unlucky. He opens up for passes in the high danger areas and almost always finished his chances. In the dying minutes of the third period he got robbed by the netminder with a sprawling save off a wrist shot and then a rebound which landed in goalie’s glove. His shot generates good velocity and he mostly uses his wrister as it doesn’t require a long windup. Reichel is very comfortable driving the play up the ice at high speed at the professional level. He seems to get outmuscled along the boards but he wasn’t ragged by his opponents by any chance. Although that’s not a surprise since he’s 170lbs and playing against grown men in the German league. He’s not a very physical prospect but his determination and work rate stand out in a positive way. I’m a big fan of this prospect after this viewing and can imagine him breaking into the NHL in a few seasons. Second or third round pick in the NHL Draft might be fair value for now, but if he shows growth and consistency throughout the season I could see him pop into the first round by the end of the season. – Juliusz Dąbrowski

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