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.
Its almost here, draft day. With 75 full NHL Draft scouting reports in the books, I now make a number of shorter write-ups over the next few days to take us over 100 prospects ranked and reviewed. If history is any indication, some of these players will get taken in the fourth, fifth, and sixth rounds. In my opinion, they will be big time steals at those picks. Today we move on with five more.
2016 NHL Draft Scouting Reports: 86-90
#86 J.D. Greenway, Defence, US NTDP (USHL) 6’4″ 205 lbs
At 6’4″ tall, Greenway has excellent size. He also put up 28 points in 64 games with the US NTDP; showing his offensive potential. Greenway added seven points in seven games at the IIHF Under 18 World Championships. He will attend the University of Wisconsin next season. Another prospect with bloodlines, his brother Jordan was drafted by the Minnesota Wild in the second round last year.
Greenway takes full advantage of his tremendous size. He throws punishing bodychecks to attackers who come in with their heads down. They are the type of hits that force opponents to reconsider rushing up his side of the ice. Greenway also uses his size and strength to clear the crease and win battles along the boards. Greenway has good skating ability, and is tough to beat one-on-one as a result. However, Greenway needs some work on his positioning and defensive fundamentals.
While he makes a decent first pass out of the zone, and has a decent shot; he could be even more of an offensive threat if he could develop a harder shot. Greenway is also prone to the occassional turnover, especially when put under pressure..
#87 Joshua Mahura, Defence, Red Deer Rebels (WHL) 6’0″ 184 lbs
Joshua Mahura injured his knee just two games into the season. As a result he missed the rest of the regular season. Mahura came back in time for the playoffs, and put up four points in 17 games.
Mahura is a good skater, who uses this ability to play a strong defensive game. He is highly mobile and tough to beat one-on-one. Mahura maintains good gap control, not allowing attackers to get by him very often. He understands positioning and shuts down passing and shooting lanes. Mahura blocks shots, and isn’t afraid to put his body on the line.
Mahura may have some offensive potential, but he has not really put up many points to this point. He has put up just nine points in 53 WHL games. He is never going to be a big point producer, but could stand to work on his passing skills. Too often he is content to chip the puck out of the zone, instead of looking for a pass that will start the transition game.
#88 William Lockwood, Right Wing, US NTDP (USHL) 6’0″ 171 lbs
A second line player on the US NTDP, Lockwood scored 33 points in 51 games this season. He added seven points in seven games during the Under 18s. He will play NCAA hockey for the Michigan Wolverines next season.
Lockwood is an outstanding skater. He has a great first step, excellent acceleration, and elite top end speed. He uses that speed to create opportunities off the rush, taking defenders wide and going to the net. He can also use the defenceman as a screen and unless a quick wrist shot. Lockwood is a straight line player, who is not very creative with the puck. He could stand to work on his puck handling; as well as his vision and passing skills.
#89 Connor Hall, Defence, Kitchener Rangers (OHL) 6’2″ 192 lbs
Kitchener Rangers defenceman Connor Hall is another stay-at-home type. He put up nine puts in 39 regular season games. He broke his jaw early in the year, and missed several weeks. His lack of offence doesn’t impress scouts, but a very strong defensive game does get their attention. He makes a good first pass out of the zone, but lacks the patience and stickhandling to make plays in the offensive zone. Hall is not likely to join the rush very often, prefering to be a true stay-at-home defender.
Hall is willing to use his size and strength in his own end. He throws big hits and clears the front of the net. He is especially effective in winning battles along the boards. He uses his size and leverage to get pucks and then starts the transition game. Hall is also very good positionally. He keeps himself between his man and the net, and uses a long stick to cut down passing and shooting lanes.
#90 Linus Lindstrom, Centre, Skelleftea (SHL) 5’11” 168 lbs
Lindstrom plays for Skelleftea’s junior teams; spending most of the season with the J20 squad. He was called up for four games with the big club; getting his first taste of playing against men. Lindstrom has also represented his county at the international level. He played in the 2015 Under 17 World Hockey Challenge; 2015 and 2016 IIHF Under 18 World Championships and 2016 Ivan Hlinka tournament.
Lindstrom is a good playmaker. He has good vision and the passing skills to put the puck through the smallest of openings. He can slow the game down with his good puck handling ability and wait for a teammate to get open. Lindstrom has an accurate wrist shot; but must look to add more power and a quicker release. This may come with some added muscle. He could also use this added bulk to be better on the boards and play less of a perimeter game.
He also has good defensive instincts; but can be overpowered by bigger, stronger forwards. Lindstrom works extremely hard in his own end; supporting the defence down low. He could be developed into a strong defender if he can gain muscle and be willing to play against top lines.
Check back tomorrow for another NHL Draft Feature.