Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2015 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Sports is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! The following is a complete listing of all our 2016 Draft Articles.
The son of former NHLer Cory Stillman, Riley Stillman is yet another 2016 NHL Draft prospect with outstanding bloodlines. His grandfather, Bud Stefanski, was also a pro hockey player, drafted by the New York Rangers. He only played one NHL game, but had a long career as an AHL journeyman. After being limited to just nine games as a 16-year-old with a powerful Oshawa Generals team that would win the 2015 Memorial Cup, Stillman found it much easier to find ice time on a rebuilding Generals club this season. While he struggled early in the year, he really improved over the course of the season, and became one of the Generals top defenceman by the end of the campaign. He also took on a leadership role, and his coaches recognized it by naming him an alternate captain. Stillman finished the season with six goals and 21 points in 62 games.
Riley Stillman Scouting Report: 2016 NHL Draft #72
Defense — shoots Left
Born Mar 9 1998 — Peterborough, Ontario
Height 6’01” — Weight 180 lbs [185 cm / 82 kg]
Riley Stillman is an extremely mobile defenceman, powered by his strong skating technique. He has good speed in both directions, coupled with a good first step and rapid acceleration. Stillman has excellent edgework and agility. He combines this with great gap control to be very hard to beat in one-one-one situations. He is able to get a lot of power out of his stride, which allows him to muscle throw checks, but also gives him the ability to explode when changing directions, so he doesn’t lose much in terms of speed when he makes a quick cut. Stillman also has good balance.
The offensive numbers may not have been great, but Stillman shows a lot of offensive tools. As mentioned earlier, he really improved as the season went on, and this was very evident in his offensive improvements. He uses strong stick handling and combines it with his skating skill to move the puck up the ice efficiently and lead the rush. Stillman has the poise to walk the line on the power play and open up passing and shooting lanes. He is a good passer, who can get the transition game started with a good first pass, as well as quarter back things from the point. Stillman has the vision to find openings, and the skill to feather the puck through tight spaces. Stillman also has a decent slap shot, and a heavy writer shot with an accurate release. He gets his shot on net, and through heavy traffic. Stillman also understands how to keep his shot low to generate more opportunities for his teammates to get deflections and rebounds. His hockey IQ is very high.
Stillman’s defensive game is also well developed. As mentioned he is difficult to beat one-on-one. Those who try can often find themselves flattened with a strong open ice hit. He also has very good positioning and is willing to battle along the boards and in front of the net. Stillman understands how to cut down passing and shooting lanes and is a willing and able shot blocker.
There is a lot of untapped potential in Riley Stillman. Playing as a rookie, on a weaker OHL club, the numbers may not show it, but he has a lot of tools. There is a good chance that he will be able to greatly improve those numbers next year. While his game is raw, he could become a top four defenceman with proper development. Stillman’s style is comparable to Marc-Edouard Vlasic of the San Jose Sharks, but this is a stylistic comparison only and not based on skill or potential.
The following is a compilation of Riley Stillman’s highlights, assembled from youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the #72 prospect on our NHL Draft Board.