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 2021 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 Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we bring you our Corson Ceulemans Scouting Report.
Despite being drafted by the WHL’s Moose Jaw Warriors, defenceman Corson Ceulemans has opted to continue playing Junior A hockey with the Brooks Bandits in the AJHL in order to maintain his NCAA Eligibility. He is committed to playing for the Wisconsin Badgers next season. Ceulemans AJHL season was cut short by the COVID pandemic. He scored four goals and seven assists for 11 points in just eight games this season.
Cuelemans also represented Canada at the recent IIHF Under-18 World Championships. It was a real breakout performance for the young defenceman. He scored one goal and seven assists for eight points in six games. Cuelemans led the tournament in assists by a defenceman and helped Canada to an undefeated record and a gold medal.
In 2019-20 Ceulemans put up five goals and 30 assists for 35 points in 44 games. He also had four assists in four games with Team Canada Black at the Under-17 World Hockey Challenge. Ceulemans played for Team Canada West at the World Junior A Hockey Challenge. His father, Colin Ceulemans, played Division-III hockey for Concordia College in Minnesota.
Corson Ceulemans Scouting Report
Right Defence — Shoots Right
Born May 5th, 2003 — Regina, Saskatchewan
Height 6’2″ — Weight 196 lbs [188 cm / 89 kg]
Ceulemans combines his good size with excellent skating ability. He has a very good first step and a long and powerful stride. This gives him excellent acceleration and top-end speed. Ceulemans is good in both directions. This allows him to cover a lot of ice and is the basis of his two-way game. Ceulemans can rush up the ice or pinch at the blue line and still get back defensively. Ceulemans also has very good agility and edgework. This helps him to move laterally. It is an advantage in creating passing and shooting lanes in the offensive zone as well as gaining good gap control in the defensive zone. He could stand to add muscle to his frame though and this will help him with his balance and in winning puck battles.
Ceulemans is an excellent playmaker. He can carry the puck through the neutral zone and creates effective zone entries. On the rush, he has excellent vision and passing skills, head-manning the puck quickly and creating offence with speed. He can avoid attackers on the forecheck and move the puck up the ice. Ceulemans uses his playmaking skills to create offensive chances for teammates. He is able to protect the puck and control it at the blue line, allowing teammates to get open. Ceulemans good lateral movement allows him to move laterally opening up passing and shooting lanes.
Ceulemans shot features a good release, however, he could add some power. He gets his slap shot through traffic and on the net. Ceulemans knows how to keep the puck low and on the net, giving his teammates the chance to get deflections, screens and rebounds. He also likes to pinch in from the line, using his wrist shot instead of a slapshot. With this quicker release, he can be more effective at fooling goaltenders.
Ceulemans strong skating gives him the ability to play a two-way game. Good lateral mobility and backwards skating should allow him to maintain good gap control. He is also willing to play a physical game. However, Ceulemans has not faced a lot of high-end competition to date. He does sometimes have issues in biting too hard on dekes in one-on-one situations. Ceulemans also needs to work on his positioning in the defensive zone. However, he is good at retrieving dump-ins and moving the puck up the ice quickly. His ability to transition the puck quickly can quickly create scoring chances, turning defence into offence.
Projection and Comparison
Ceulemans has excellent size, strong offensive skills, excellent skating ability, and the willingness to play a physical game. These are plenty of the tools he will need to become a top-four defenceman if he is able to reach his ceiling. However, Ceulemans still has plenty to learn, especially in the defensive end. It would also be good to see his offensive skills translate to the NCAA game. A shorter schedule will also allow him to put on weight while at Wisconsin. Expect him to play at least a couple of years of college hockey before going pro. He should also be a part of Canada’s team at the World Juniors. Ceulemans’ game is similar to fellow Brooks Bandits alumni Cale Makar. This is a stylistic comparison only though and not one on based on skill and ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Corson Ceulemans that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next article in our draft series.
Corson Ceulemans Scouting Report Main Photo:
Embed from Getty Images
FRISCO, TEXAS – MAY 06: (L-R) Benjamin Gaudreau #29 of Canada, Conner Roulette #12 of Canada and Corson Ceulemans #4 of Canada celebrate after defeating Russia 5-3 in the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship Gold Medal Game at Comerica Center on May 06, 2021 in Frisco, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)