2015 NHL Draft Profile #50: Parker Wotherspoon

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A first round pick, 21st overall in the 2012 WHL Draft, Parker Wotherspoon is the brother of Calgary Flames prospect Ty Wotherspoon. After scoring 18 points as a WHL rookie, Wotherspoon really upped his offensive production in his second year, putting up 9 goals and 33 assists for 42 points in 72 games for the Tri-City Americans. Wotherspoon and the young Tri-City team were swept in the first round of the playoffs, but that wasn’t all that surprising.  Wotherspoon would join Team Canada at the IIHF U-18 World Championships, helping the club to a Bronze medal, and putting up five points in seven games.  He also played for Team Pacific at the January 2014 World Under 17 Hockey Challenge, putting up three points.

Parker Wotherspoon

Defense — shoots Left
Born Aug 24 1997 — Surrey, BC
Height 6.01 — Weight 171 [185 cm/78 kg]

Parker Wotherspoon is an outstanding skater.  He has very good speed and acceleration in both directions, thanks to a long and fluid stride.  Wotherspoon also has outstanding edgework, agility and pivots.  This gives him the ability to cover a lot of ice, to pinch at the blue line and get back defensively and makes him very hard to beat one-on-one.  His balance and lower body strength could stand to be improved, but this should happen as he matures and adds some bulk to his frame.

Parker Wotherspoon has good stickhandling ability and is calm and cool with the puck.  Added with his agility he is very good at avoiding forecheckers in his own end, and beating defenders off the rush.  He shows the ability to skate the puck out of danger in his own zone, and to join the rush, while still getting back defensively. He has high end hockey IQ and Wotherspoon makes good decisions on pinching in the offensive zone.  Wotherspoon has good vision, and has shown some ability to quarterback the powerplay with smart passes.  He could stand to bulk up and work on having a harder slap shot and wrist shot.

Wotherspoon has decent size and uses a long stick to break up plays in the defensive zone.  He is more likely to use his stick to poke check the puck off an opponent than to physically out muscle them in board battles for loose pucks. This is another area where some added bulk would really help him.  That said, his good edgework and explosive first step allow him to throw a big hit if one becomes available. He does have patience though and doesn’t get himself out of position looking for those hits.  His positioning is very good and he reads the play well.  Wotherspoon is dificult to beat one-on-one due to the good mobility and the quick stick.  He forces attackers to the outside, maintains good gap control and protects the middle of the ice.  He’s not afraid to drop the gloves and fight to protect a teammate, or avenge a dirty play.

Parker Wotherspoon has the potential to be a top four defenceman who can contribute in all situations, if he reaches his potential.  Adding strength and improving balance are the big areas of concern.  Some quality coaching to help him make better use of leverage would also be helpful.  In terms of style Wortherspoon’s game is reminiscent of Kevin Bieksa of the Vancouver Canucks.  As always this is not a talent comparison, but merely one made on the style of game played.

Below are some highlight videos of Parker Wotherspoon in action.

As always, be sure to bookmark the site and check back tomorrow for the #51 prospect on our draft board.

Main Photo: KELOWNA, CANADA -FEBRUARY 19: Kris Schmidli #16 of the Kelowna Rockets stick checks Parker Wotherspoon #37 of the Tri City Americans at the boards during third period on February 19, 2014 at Prospera Place in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. (Feb. 18, 2014 – Source: Marissa Baecker/Getty Images North America)