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DRAFTPRO – U18 5-NATIONS REVIEW – NOV 2019

The U.S. NTDP U18 squad that recently won the 5-Nations event in Sundsvall Sweden.

Five Nations tournament in Sundsvall Sweden was a top destination at the beginning of November for NHL scouts as many of the top draft eligible participated in the best on best U18 tournament. Teams from Sweden, Finland, USA, Switzerland and the Czech Republic all played four round robin games over the five-day event.

The American entry, made up of the U18 NTDP squad, took first place by going undefeated outscoring their opponent by a 13 to 5 margin. The Swedes also looked strong as a skilled, offensively talented team but were just bested by the U.S., loosing the final match to the Americans.

The Finns had a disappointing showing as they lost to the Swedes and U.S. and only managed to scrape a win in the shootout against the Czechs before offensively dismantling the Swiss in their final contest. The stats line looks like they had the tournaments top performers, however, the majority of those numbers came in the game against the Swiss. The Czechs were outmatched in skill but still hung around in all their contests, keeping things close by playing a defense-first game. The Swiss looked like the nameless WWF wrestler you used to watch on Saturday morning going up against Hulk Hogan, you know the guy that was there just to be beaten.

Overall it was a solid showcase of upcoming NHL Draft talent on display and DraftPro evaluators were watching this must-see scouting event and provide this summary of the top performers.

Jake Sanderson, D, US NTDP U18, USHL, 6-1, 185, DOB 7.8.2002, 2020 Draft Eligible
USA: 4 GP 1 G 0 A 1 PTS 0 PIM

“He was probably the most dominant player during this entire tournament. Jake is a fantastic two-way defender with great skating speed and plays very well in his defensive zone without the puck. His offensive awareness and the way he reads developing plays up front gives his team an advantage because of his ability to join the rush or send a perfect breakout pass. He always has the situation under control and knows when to push the pace or regroup and start the play over again. I liked his aggressiveness along the boards and how he battled for the pucks in his own end, although he would have more trouble getting the puck from smaller and more agile players. He’s very good at keeping a close gap against his opponents, knows when it is the best time to lay a big body check or neatly poke the puck off the opponent’s stick. He’s a fantastic Quarterback on the power play and a very good penalty kill option.” said DraftPro evaluator Julius Dabrowski

Matthew Beniers, C, US NTDP U18, USHL, 6-0, 168, DOB 11.5.2002, 2021 Draft Eligible
USA: 4 GP 3 G 3 A 6 PTS 4 PIM

“Top line centre for the American’s at the tournament and their top scorer in Sweden. Beniers played with Berard and Bodeleau and that line really drove the teams offense. He used his speed and puck pressure well to forecheck and cause turnovers. He combines his powerfully electric skating, creativity and skilled hands to generate chances. His positional awareness without the puck put him in the right places and his fiery competitiveness drove him to take the puck to high percentage scoring areas when he did have it.” said DraftPro director Dan Stewart.

Brett Berard, LW, US NTDP U18, USHL, 5-9, 152, DOB 9.9.2002, 2020 Draft Eligible
USA: 4 GP 3 G 2 A 5 PTS 0 PIM

“He must have been best puck possession forward during this 5-Nations tournament. Berard is an extremely skilled stickhandler and fantastic skater. He was able to create and drive the play every time he stepped on the ice with his quickness, top-end speed and his sublime puck protection ability. His skating technique is very smooth and he doesn’t need many strides to reach his top speed. He’s very successful going end to end with the puck but he’s also constantly active without the puck in the offensive zone, searching for open space and timing his movement to support his teammates. He’s got a quick and sharp release on his wrist shot, he finds ways to get into high percentage scoring areas and doesn’t hesitate to test the goalie.” Dabrowski

Dylan Peterson, RW, US NTDP U18, USHL, 6-4, 192, DOB 1.8.2002, 2020 Draft Eligible
USA: 4 GP 1 G 2 A 3 PTS 8 PIM

“He has been one of the greatest offensive weapons on the USNTDP squad. Peterson plays a big man’s game, skates very well for a player of his stature and plays like a prototypical sniper. He’s a big customer and he can deliver big body checks. He’s not as physical as say Luke Tuch, but he’s not afraid to play with an edge and sits in the penalty box from time to time. He’s very good on the powerplay because he’s able to dish out accurate saucer passes from tight areas and he doesn’t need a lot of space to fire a quick one-timer.” Dabrowski

Thomas Bordeleau, RW, US NTDP U18, USHL, 5-9, 179, DOB 1.3.2002, 2020 Draft Eligible
USA: 4 GP 0 G 5 A 5 PTS 2 PIM

“He had a very good tournament and displayed similar qualities as his linemate Berard. Bordeleau was playing the center position and did extremely well on both sides of the ice. His skating speed, quickness and terrific puck control was too much to handle for his opponents. They were unable to close him down because he would outskate or maneuver right by them. He is not very physical or extremely intimidating but he’s an effective and competent two-way center. His endurance level is pretty impressive, he can cycle the puck in the offensive zone for almost a minute and rush back on the backcheck and help his team defensively. Bordeleau’s finest asset is his playmaking ability, his vision, great passing skills and puck movement. He targets his teammates remarkably well and completes passes that 90% of the draft eligible players wouldn’t even think that it would be possible. His stickhandling is strong and he can dangle by opponents using his speed and very good puck protection ability. On the powerplay he liked to distribute the puck and make those crisp passes through the slot for a one-timer.” Dabrowski

Eamon Powell, D, US NTDP U18, USHL, 5-11, 165, DOB 5.10.2002, 2020 Draft Eligible
USA: 4 GP 1 G 0 A 1 PTS 0 PIM

“He was the second best defender on the USA squad, displayed great skating and great stickhandling skills during the entire tournament. Powell played very responsibly in his own end without the puck and succeeded to chip in offensively as well, by getting into open ice and distributing the puck. His skating looks very smooth and effortless, he generates very good top end speed and has the capability to drive the puck through the neutral zone. He is not the biggest defender but he plays like one. He can deliver big open ice hits and pin opponents to the boards fairly easily. He probably played his best game against Finland where he showed his fantastic stickhandling moves during the shootout, putting on a mini version of TJ Oshie’s shootout performance in the Sochi 2014 Olympics. He’s very fast with his hands and has great hand-eye coordination and can enter the offensive zone cleanly with the puck. He possesses a good wrist shot which I think he should use a bit more than he does but that will most likely come with time. He can quarterback a Power Play or be part of the Penalty kill and be effective in both situations.” Dabrowski

Zion Nybeck, RW, HV71 J20, SuperElit, 5-8, 176, DOB 5.12.2002, 2020 Draft Eligible
Sweden: 4 GP 1 G 5 A 6 PTS 0 PIM

“Sweden’s premier playmaker and most dynamic forward in this tournament. Nybeck generates great speed with and without the puck, his quickness and reactions are fast. He drives the puck up the ice very smoothly and with no hesitation. He knows where to skate to create the highest danger scoring chance or set up his teammates for one. His passing is always crisp and he rarely gives up a bad pass. He sees the ice extremely well, finds open teammates and is aware of opponents that might want to crush him with a body check. He evades them very gracefully and since he keeps his head up most of the time he makes himself a very difficult target, which is important for a player of his size. His individual skill-set is also very impressive.” Dabrowski

Daniel Torgersson, RW, Frolunda HC J20, SuperElit, 6-3, 205, DOB 1.26.2002, 2020 NHL Draft
Sweden: 4 GP 3 G 1 A 4 PTS 2 PIM

“Big man is a tower and pretty much impossible to move when he decides he is planting his butt in front of the net. Played on the power play and when he was not in front causing a commotion, he showed off a strong shot. He skated with surprising speed and looked like he processed the game well knowing where to go with and without the puck.” Stewart

Theodor Niederbach, C, Frolunda HC J20, SuperElit, 5-11, 172, DOB 2.25.2002, 2020 NHL Draft
Sweden: 4 GP 3 G 2 A 5 PTS 0 PIM

“Sweden’s to line centre and second-best offensive catalyst next to Nybeck, he generated plenty of strong chances using his creative playmaking, vision and quick hands. A puck magnet, he loves to have the puck on his stick and did most of his offensive damage with the man advantage. His passes are crisp and well timed, and he possesses a firecracker shot release.” Stewart

Emil Andrae, D, HV71 J20, SuperElit, 5-9, 183, DOB 2.23.2002, 2020 NHL Draft
Sweden: 4 GP 0 G 4 A 4 PTS 0 PIM

“For just fan enjoyment the smaller defender is exciting, electrifying, and worth the price of a ticket but he will give his head coach a heart attack with the way he dangles the puck at the blueline while being the last guy back. He has arguably the best hands of any draft eligible defender in the 2020 draft and is so creative but is also a huge risk taker. He has the rare skill of making the puck disappear for a brief second and then reappear once he has gotten past his check. Composure and confidence are in no way in short supply. He is also very aggressive defensively which helps in knowing that even if he were to make a mistake, he will fight with everything he has to get back and make it right. His passes are also close to NHL ready.” Stewart

William Wallinder, D, MODO Hockey J20, SuperElit, 6-4, 192, DOB 7.28.2002, 2020 Draft Eligible
Sweden: 4 GP 0 G 1 A 1 PTS 4 PIM

“A tall, offensive minded defender with a long reach. He has a good stride and he generates solid top end speed. He is agile for a player of his stature and for a big prospect like him he’s got good balance and a firm stance. Wallinder is a puck carrier. He possesses a very hard and accurate pass. With his vision he’s able to identify if it’s better to skate the puck by himself, pass it of the boards or maybe send a stretch pass through the middle of the ice. His decision making with the puck is usually very good and he rarely makes a bad play. He’s very poised in his own end with the puck.” Dabrowski

Kasper Simontaival, LW, Tappara U20, Jr. A SM-liiga, 5-9, 172, DOB 1.11.2002, 2020 NHL Draft
Finland: 4 GP 5 G 3 A 8 PTS 4 PIM

“Finland’s most dynamic and offensive skilled forward. His quickness and skating speed combined with his amazing puck control and drive up the ice was a treat to watch. He generates great quickness from his first few steps and reaches top speed within a few strides, separating from his opponents. He’s very nimble and does extremely well in puck battles in tight areas. He’s not a very physical forward but he’s extremely smart and creative with the puck. Once he gets the puck, his decision-making priority is generating scoring chances. His stickhandling quickness and efficiency was impressive, and he found ways to keep puck possession for his team for the majority of his time on the ice. He’s not a large prospect but he effectively protects the puck away from any opponent and gets into the danger areas in the offensive zone. He creates a lot of scoring chances for his team by skating into open areas, gathering the opponent’s attention and then sliding the puck to an open teammate.” Dabrowski

Roby Jarventie, LW, Ilves U20, Jr. A SM-liiga, 6-2, 185, DOB 8.8.2002, 2020 NHL Draft
Finland: 4 GP 1 G 2 A 3 PTS 4 PIM

“Probably the most consistent and impressive puck moving power forward in this tournament. He’s a rather larger prospect with good quickness in his first few steps and a strong stance. It’s not easy to knock him off his skates or show him around in the corner. He’s able to power his way through the opponent’s defensive line using his speed and great stickhandling. He has the ability to go end to end with the puck and did that fairly often in this tournament. His one-timer shot is something that he has been constantly using on the Power Play from the faceoff circle area and it has caused the goalie some problems. He was able to get the shot through the defender and create a rebound chance for his linemates.” Dabrowski

Juuso Maenpaa, RW, Jokerit U20, Jr. A SM-liiga, 5-7, 141, DOB 4.29.2002, 2020 NHL Draft
Finland: 4 GP 3 G 4 A 7 PTS 0 PIM

“One of the smallest prospects in this tournament but playing a big role as a top six forward on the Finnish team. This prospect has very good and fast hands and when he dangles with the puck he’s able to beat two or three opponents with his great overall quickness and elite agility. He’s one of the most nimble and sneaky good puck possession drivers on this team. He likes to fire shots from every possible angle, he’s not afraid to get into the front of the net and try to score from up close as well.” Dabrowski

Michael Krutil, D, Sparta Praha U20, DHL Cup, 6-3, 203, DOB 6.3.2002, 2020 NHL Draft
Czech Republic: 4 GP 0 G 1 A 1 PTS 4 PIM

“Was a top defender playing in all situations for the Czechs. Impressed by this strong two-way blueliner as he played an aggressive defensive game, using his body and an active stick to keep opponents at bay while also making strong passes to start the transition up ice. Not one to really skate the puck up and down the ice with the puck but does skate well, with good speed and shifty quickness for his size, and will join the rush when the opportunity is there. Just a mature, safe defense first game.” Stewart

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