NHL Draft Prospect Profile #55: Dane Fox

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It has been a tumultous season for Dane Fox, but one that featured his personal growth as a player.  Fox started the season with some offseason rumors where he was apparently having some type of personal issue, which caused him to miss the start of the London Knights Training Camp.  I won’t speculate on what that was, but we do know that Fox would eventually show up, and contribute offensively for the first time for the Knights, moving from the energy role he had in previous years.  Then came the Greg McKegg trade, and Fox was moving from the first place in the OHL Knights, to the dead last in the league Erie Otters.  While many would see this as a negative, it wasn’t for Fox, as he would become Erie’s number 1 centre, a go to component of the team’s offence, and be named an Alternate Captain.  Fox would prove he was more than just an energy line player scoring nearly a PPG on the Otters.   Fox, like teammate Adam Pelech, and Mike Winther of the WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders, show that good draft prospects also exist on poor clubs overall.

Born Oct 13 1993 — Thamesville, ONT
Height 6.00 — Weight 182 — Shoots Left

2009-10 London Knights OHL 26 1 6 7 13 0 2 0 1 1 0
2010-11 London Knights OHL 51 11 12 23 55 -2 6 1 0 1 6
2011-12 London Knights OHL 34 13 19 32 54 13
2011-12 Erie Otters OHL 28 10 12 22 33 -25

Fox’s biggest asset offensively is his intelligence.  He’s able to read plays well, and his decision making is good, as he chooses the right times to make a move on a defender, pass to a teammate, or fire a shot on net.  Fox has a hard, and accurate wrist shot with a good release.  He has good vision and makes strong passes to his teammates. Despite his size, Fox is not afraid to battle along the boards, and does so effectively against larger opponents.

Fox is a solid defensive player.  He backchecks hard, plays well positionally, and creates a lot of turnovers by intercepting passes.  He takes away time and space from opponents, and is good in puck battles.  Fox has good defensive hockey sense and positioning, and he is normally in the right spot to cut down shooting and passing lanes.  He is also an effective Penalty Killer, though he saw his time playing on this unit reduce in Erie as he was needed for offence.

Fox has an unorthodox skating style.  However it works for him as he has good top end speed, and accelerates quickly.  His agility and balance are also above average and he’s a shifty player out there.  Fox also has good edgework, mobility, and pivots, allowing him to also be a good defensive forward.

Fox is definitely a late 2nd/early 3rd round talent for this year’s draft.  As long as his personal issues (whatever those may be) are behind him we expect to see him taken. He’s shown the ability to play both a pesky game, and to provide some offence as well.  We’d compare Fox’s potential to Ryan O’Reilly of the Colorado Avalanche.

As always, feel free to leave your comments about Fox, his game and my post below.  Please note we are not a rumor site, especially when it comes to the personal life of an 18 or 19 year old kid, so we will not be approving any comments that contain unfounded or unproven claims about the issues that were present for Fox last summer.

… and thats the Last Word.

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