2014 NHL Draft Profile #50: Brett Pollock
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Brett Pollock is one prospect who has been rising up draft boards in recent months, and there is a good reason why. He has shown steady improvement all season long, and just seems to be better and better on each subsequent viewing. This is especially true in the WHL Playoffs, and now the Memorial Cup, where Pollock has become a key contributor for the Oil Kings, who will face the Guelph Storm in tonight’s final. A natural centre, Pollock has been seen at left wing at times as well this year.
Coming off a rookie season where he didn’t get much playing time and had just four points in 40 games. Pollock improved to put up 25 goals and 55 points in 71 games for the Oil Kings this year. He ramped up his production again in the WHL playoffs with 11 goals and 19 points in 20 games, and has continued that solid play with two assists in the Oil Kings win over Val d’Or in Friday’s epic semi-final game.
Center/Left Wing — shoots Left
Born Mar 17 1996 — Sherwood Park, ALTA
Height 6.02 — Weight 183 [188 cm/83 kg]
Brett Pollock looks the part of a power forward. He has the great size (though he could add muscle to his frame before going to the pro game) and the type of powerful skating stride that is ideal for this game. He has very good top end speed, and the acceleration to go wide on a defender and then take him to the net. The edgework and agility is decent. The best thing about Pollock’s skating though is the power and balance. He can fight through checks and is perfectly willing to bowl over a defender on his way to the net.
Once he gets to the front of the net, Pollock has the soft hands to score in tight, and the quick reflexes to tip in shots, or pounce on rebounds. He can also score goals from further out with a good wrist shot and release and excellent one timer. His passing game is solid, and he works it well both off the rush, or in the cycle game. Pollock is quick to get on defencemen on the forecheck and loves to use his body to create pressure and turnovers. He also wins his fair share of board battles. He’s shown a mean streak and a willingness to drop the gloves to protect teammates when necessary
Pollock has also shown that he is decent defensively, though he hasn’t been matched against the top player in the WHL much due to the fact that such assignments usually go to Curtis Lazar, last year’s Senators first rounder, and one of the best two-way guys in Junior hockey. Still that isn’t Pollock’s fault, and he has shown a willingness to back check and strong defensive instincts.
Brett Pollock’s game is reminiscent of Erik Cole of the Dallas Stars. This isn’t a talent comparison, but rather a look at style. He could develop into a physical second line forward with some secondary scoring if he reaches his full potential.
Here are some highlights of Brett Pollock in action.
Come back tomorrow to check out my #51 prospect for the 2014 NHL Draft.
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Main Photo: by David Bloom, QMI.