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Haydn Fleury had a nice season on a bad team with the Red Deer Rebels this season, putting up eight goals and 46 points in 70 WHL games. He became a go-to defenceman for the team and leader in the dressing room, being given the Alternate’s “A” by the club. The Regina native was part of Canada West at the 2013 Under 17 Hockey Challenge, Canada’s gold medal winning team at the 2013 Ivan Hlinka tournament and should be a big part of Canada’s efforts at the upcoming IIHF Under 18 World Championships in Finland. In an interesting twist, at the age of three, Fleury’s was babysitter was none other than NHLer Brenden Morrow, who currently plays for the St. Louis Blues. Morrow was in the WHL at the time.
Defense — shoots Left
Born Jul 8 1996 — Carlyle, SASK
Height 6.03 — Weight 198 [191 cm/90 kg]
Haydn Fleury is a solid two-way defender with good size at 6’3″, and impressive skating. He has good edgework, and solid mobility. His long and smooth skating stride lets him generate good top end speed and he is able to cover a lot of ice in just a few strides. He could improve his first step quickness and his acceleration and will need to work on these aspects in the coming years. He has good agility and balance though, and is fast in his backwards skating as well as his forward skating.
He is a sold defensive defender, with long reach, and the ability to cut down passing lanes. During his rookie season he seemed to get stronger and better in board battles as the year went on. This has continued this season, and Fleury was now tasked with playing key minutes and in almost all key situations for the Rebels. His ability to read the play, his positioning, and overall defensive fundamentals have taken a huge step forward this year, and he has become a shut-down defender at the WHL level. He is equally good at defending against the rush and defending in the zone, as he has great gap control and is tough to beat to the outside.
Offensively he also has decent puck handling skill and good vision and passing ability. He makes strong first passes to start the transition game, and also has the poise to quarterback the power play from the blue line. While not having a huge point shot, it isn’t bad either, and he understands how to get it through the shooting lanes without being blocked. His wrist shot is remarkably effective, showing big power and a great release. The quick release often makes it a better option for him from the point. Fleury is able to keep his shot low and on net to create tip-in and rebound opportunities for teammates. He’s shown offensive production that just wasn’t there in his rookie year and given the skill set its not that surprising. His point totals could be even higher if he wasn’t on an offensively challenged Red Deer squad.
In terms of style, I would compare Haydn Fleury to Brent Seabrook of the Chicago Blackhawks. This is a style comparison though and not a talent one. As for potential, Fleury could develop into a top-pairing two-way defender if given time and proper coaching. He has all the tools necessary to become an impact player at the NHL level but will need time to properly hone his game.
Here are some highlights from the 2012-13 season.
Check back tomorrow for my #11 ranked prospect.
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