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Following in the footsteps of John Tavares, Aaron Ekblad and Connor McDavid; Sean Day was the fourth player to be granted exceptional status and be allowed to enter the OHL at just 15 years of age. He was the first of that group to not be selected first overall in the OHL Draft, going fourth overall to the Mississauga Steelheads. After what has been three up-and-down years in Mississauga, it seems a near certainty that he will also be the first one of the group to not be drafted first overall (or even in the first round) of the NHL Draft. Day put up six goals and 22 points in 57 games this season, down from the 36 points he scored in his second year in the OHL. Its that up and down type of performance that makes Day one of the most debated prospects in this draft class. Day also has international experience, playing for Team Ontario, and Team Canada Red at the 2014 and 2015 World Under 17 Hockey Challenge. He was invited to the summer camp for the Ivan Hlinka Tournament team but did not make the cut. When the Steelheads were eliminated from the OHL playoffs, his teammate Michael McLeod went to join Team Canada at the Under 18 World Championships, but Day was not invited.
Sean Day Scouting Report: 2016 NHL Draft #56
Defense — shoots Left
Born Jan 9 1998 — Leuven, Belgium
Height 6’02” — Weight 217 lbs [188 cm / 98 kg]
Sean Day has all the tools to be a quality defenceman. He has ideal size, and is one of the best skaters in this entire draft class. His stride is smooth, and he seems like he is gliding just above the ice instead of digging into it. He has outstanding speed and acceleration as he is able to fly in both directions. His pivots are crisp, and his edgework is outstanding, as he can change directions or make quick cuts on a dime. Day also has power and balance in his skating and is strong on the puck.
Sean Day has an excellent slap shot and wrist shot, but does not seem to utilize them enough. The passing skill and vision are also there, but he doesn’t seem to create a lot of plays from the point. He seems to utilize very simple passes and does not try the types of plays that can truly make something happen offensively. His instinct in the offensive zone is also a bit of a question mark. He handles the puck well, but still seems to rush things a little too much when under pressure, not realizing the time and space that he has.
Defensively, Day has the footwork, the long reach, and the physicality to be effective in his own end. His skating makes him tough to beat one-on-one. He has the size to battle in the corners, and he’s not been afraid to go after bigger and stronger opponents.
So why 56th overall on our rankings? Though all the tools are there, Day doesn’t put them together on a game-in, game-out basis. He really needs to work on being consistent and avoid some of the mental mistakes that have plagued him over his first two years in the OHL. The effort level does not always seem to be there, and there is some question as to how committed Day is to a career in the NHL. Whispers heard in the scouts section at the Hershey Centre include questions as to whether or not he truly loves the game.
Sean Day is the biggest boom or bust prospect in the draft. His raw skills and tools give him the ability to be one of the top defencemen in the game. However there are real questions about the fact that he’s not been able to put things all together to date, and some question if he ever will. In terms of style, his game is comparable to Jay Bouwmeester, but this is a stylistic comparison, and not one based on his skill or potential.
The following is a compilation of Sean Day highlights, assembled from youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the #57 prospect on our NHL Draft Board.