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Missing significant time due to a lacerated kidney really cut into Jamieson Rees playing time during his draft season. He also received a long suspension for a hit from behind. He was still able to impress in limited action for the Sarnia Sting though. Rees put up 10 goals and 32 points in 37 games. Unfortunately, he was kept off the scoresheet in the OHL playoffs as the Sting fell in a four-game sweep at the hands of the Saginaw Spirit.
Rees has impressed in international duty for Team Canada. Last season he put up one goal and three assists for four points in five tournament games for Team Canada Black at the Under-17 World Hockey Challenge. Last summer he again put up a goal and three assists in five games at the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup. Rees helped the Canadian team to a gold medal. Following the conclusion of the OHL Season, Rees joined Team Canada for the IIHF Under-18 World Championship. He put up two goals and six assists for eight points in seven games. Unfortunately, Canada finished fourth in the tournament.
Jamieson Rees Scouting Report
Centre — shoots Left
Born February 26th, 2001 — Hamilton, Ontario
Height 5’11” — Weight 172 lbs [180 cm/78 kg]
Undersized, Rees makes up for it with excellent skating ability. He has a quick first step and outstanding acceleration. He gets out of the gate like a rocket. Rees also has outstanding top-end speed. In addition to being able to create chances for breakaways and odd-man rushes with his speed, his skating also lets him get in quickly on the forecheck, creating pressure and causing errors from the opponent’s defence. His agility and edgework are also elite. He has the ability to change directions on a dime, making him very difficult for opponents to contain. While Rees is undersized, he has a strong lower body and low centre of gravity. This gives him excellent balance and he is tough to knock off the puck.
Rees creates offence due to his outstanding skating, excellent hands, and relentless work ethic. He is a very good stick-handler and can make plays while moving at top speed. This allows him to open up passing and shooting lanes, especially off the rush. Known for his playmaking ability, he has good vision and the passing ability to find teammates in good scoring areas. He works hard to win battles along the boards, creating turnovers, and quickly getting the puck to a teammate in front of the net. Rees is always in the middle of the action, no matter where it is on the ice. He does not let his lack of size prevent him from playing a gritty and physical game.
Rees’ wrist shot and snapshot both show accuracy and a quick release. He has a knack for finding open space between the faceoff dots and darting into that space to take a pass from a teammate and fire it on the net. However, his shot lacks power. This could come as he matures and adds upper-body strength though. It will need to improve to challenge NHL goaltenders.
Rees can sometimes get into penalty trouble due to a lack of discipline. His long suspension is one area that this can be seen. He also had 38 penalty minutes in the OHL this season and 18 penalty minutes in the Under-18. Rees gritty game can be a good thing but he needs to learn to stay on the right side of the line in terms of discipline. He is involved in his own end, backchecking and supporting the defence down low. He plays bigger than his size would indicate, but still has problems containing big, physical opponents off the cycle.
Projection and Comparison
With his skating ability and work ethic, Rees is a good bet to make the NHL. He will be a favourite of his coaches and should be regularly trusted in all situations. The question seems to be around how much his offensive game will develop, and how it will translate with his lack of size and lack of shooting ability. Rees’ game is similar to Robby Fabbri, but this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill or ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Jamieson Rees that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect in our NHL Draft series.
Main Photo via Sarnia Sting/OHL.