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2014 NHL Draft Profile #54: Connor Chatham

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Connor Chatham played his first year in the OHL after spending the previous two seasons with the USNTDP U17 team and the Omaha Lancers in the USHL.  A late 95 birthday, he’s one of the older first-time eligible players in this draft class.  Chatham finished the year with 13 goals and 31 points in 54 games for a rebuilding Plymouth Whalers team that finished in 8th place and took the final playoff spot in a tough Western Conference.  He got better as the season went on as 7 of his goals and 18 of his points came in the final 21 games of the season. While the Whalers were first round fodder for the eventual OHL Champions, the Guelph Storm, Chatham played well scoring three goals in the five game series.

Internationally, Chatham represented the United States in the 2012 World Under 17 Hockey Challenge, picking up a silver medal.

Connor Chatham

Right Wing – Shoots Right
Born Oct 30 1995 — Belleville, IL
Height 6.03 — Weight 225 [191 cm/102 kg]

Connor Chatham is already at NHL level size, at 6’3″ 225 lbs. This physical package will certainly get the attention of NHL scouts, and there is some potential for Chatham to develop into a power forward. He uses his size well, playing physical on the forecheck, and in front of the net and in battles along the boards. He’s not afraid to go to the net and get in good positions to bang in rebounds or to create havoc with a screen. His stickhandling isn’t anything to write home about, but it is decent. Still Chatham plays a straight ahead no nonsense kind of game. In terms of passing, he is more likely to make the type of short, safe pass that keeps the cycle game going than to make high-risk, high-reward plays. His shot has good power, but could use a bit of a quicker release.

Chatham’s skating is pretty good for a big man. He has decent top end speed, but could use some work on his acceleration and his first step quickness. His strenght is very good, and he has the balance to protect the puck and to fight through checks in the cycle or on his way to the net.

Defensively, he can sometimes be caught out of position and will need to work on keeping his feet moving, but he does bring his physical and gritty game, making him an effective checker with good development and coaching going forward. He is willing to block shots to help the team win. Chatham is also a good teammate who isn’t afraid to stand up for teammates.

In terms of potential, Connor Chatham might be able to become a second line forward, but is more likely to be a big grinding presence on the third line. His style is similar to a Zach Kassian of the Vancouver Canucks, but this is a style and not talent comparison.

Here are some highlights of Connor Chatham in action.

Come back tomorrow to check out my #55 prospect for the 2014 NHL Draft.


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