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 “2021 NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we bring you our Aidan Hreschuk Scouting Report.
The United States National Team Development Program has produced a number of good defencemen in recent years. 2021 is no different, as we have already reviewed Luke Hughes and Sean Behrens. The third member of the team’s big three offensive defencemen is Aidan Hreschuk. Hreschuk scored six goals and 31 assists for 37 points in 50 games with the Under-18 squad this past season. He also added two assists in five tournament games at the IIHF Under-18 World Championships. Unfortunately, the U.S. squad fell in the quarterfinals.
In 2019-20, Hreschuk played for the NTDP Under-17 team. He scored four goals and 20 assists for 24 points in 49 games. He helped the U.S. team to a silver medal at the Under-17 World Hockey Challenge. Hreschuk scored two goals and two assists for four points in six tournament games. Hreschuk is committed to playing NCAA Hockey for the Boston College Eagles next season. Should he change his mind and opt to go the CHL route, his rights are owned by the Prince George Cougars of the WHL. Hreschuk is yet another prospect from the Los Angeles area, highlighting the growth of the game in the area.
Aidan Hreschuk Scouting Report
Left Defense — shoots Left
Born February 19th, 2003 — Long Beach, California
Height 5’11” — Weight 187 lbs [180 cm/85 kg]
Hreschuk’s strong two-way game is defined by his skating ability. He has a smooth stride. His acceleration is very good in both directions, as is his speed. While he will never be confused for the fastest player on his team, he certainly keeps up with the play and it is not a liability. Where his game really excels is in his agility and edgework. Hreschuk has outstanding lateral movement which makes him tough to beat in one-on-one situations. He can also walk the line in the offensive end, opening up shooting and passing lanes. Hreschuk has excellent pivots. This allows him to quickly transition from offence to defence and vice-versa. His crossovers help him to gain speed and power. He is strong on his skates with a low centre of gravity.
Hreschuk has good stickhandling ability. He can avoid forecheckers in the defensive end and generates speed through the neutral zone to generate strong zone entries. He also makes a good first pass and can start the rush that way. Hreschuk is not afraid to join as a trailer either. He has good vision and can play the point on the power play. His lateral movement and quick hands can open up passing lanes. He makes smart passes to teammates to set up scoring chances. Hreschuk can pass the puck through tight areas as well as saucer a pass over an opponent’s stick.
Hreschuk can also score with a good arsenal of shots. His slap shot is powerful as well as accurate. He also has a very good one-timer, with the ability to adjust his feet and get it off even if the pass is a little off. Hreschuk does a good job of getting himself open and in position for the pass. His lateral movement also creates shooting lanes. Hreschuk keeps his shot low, allowing his teammates to get deflections and rebounds. He has a good wrist shot as well. He can sneak down to the top of the circles to let off his shot. Shooting from closer to the net makes him more dangerous. Hreschuk also likes to unleash it as the trailer on the rush. He has a quick release and is able to use his hands to quickly change the angle on his shot.
Hreschuk has some defensive skills but his all-around game is a bit of a work in progress. He loves to rush the puck up the ice and pinch at the opposing blue line. While this helps create offensive chances, it can also mean that he sometimes is caught up ice and late getting back. Hreschuk also plays a physical game. He is known for battling hard on the boards as well as in front of the net. However, he will need to continue to add muscle to his frame to play that way at the next level. His positioning and stickwork are good at cutting down passing lanes as well as creating turnovers. When a turnover is created, his ability to clear the zone and transition into the offence is excellent.
Projection and Comparison
Hreschuk has the potential to become a top-four defender, capable of playing on the power play. However, he will need to continue to work on other areas of his game in order to reach the NHL. Playing NCAA Hockey next season means that he will have a shorter schedule. This will give him time to add muscle to his frame and get stronger. Hreschuk will also need to improve his top-end speed to reach his full potential. His game is reminiscent of Torey Krug. However, this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill and ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Aidan Hreschuk that are available on youtube and twitter.
Aidan Hreschuk is criminally underrated as a 'C' prospect by NHL Central Scouting.
#17 (LD) in this clip, collecting the 🍎 pic.twitter.com/dWvkkYgjft
— Tony Ferrari (@theTonyFerrari) November 3, 2020
— Dylan Krill (@dylan_krill) March 7, 2021
— Nick Richard (@_NickRichard) January 30, 2021
After Isaac Howard (#2022NHLDraft) breaks into the offensive zone and gets the puck to #2020NHLDraft prospect Aidan Hreschuk who draws attention before finding Ty Gallagher who finds twine with a great shot!
🇺🇸 2-0 🇩🇪 pic.twitter.com/UJJDv1sooM
— Tony Ferrari (@theTonyFerrari) April 28, 2021
— USA Hockey’s NTDP (@USAHockeyNTDP) November 10, 2019
— Alex Taxman (@AIexTaxman) October 2, 2020
— Stars n’ Stripes Hockey (@StarsStripesHKY) April 28, 2021
— Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisTHN) November 5, 2019
Nice start for the U18s last night, scoring just 27 seconds into the 1st period.
Aidan Hreschuk to Rutger, back to Hreschuk and he finds Andre Gasseau for the snipe. That goal, the 1st for Gasseau since he had a 5-point (2g,3a) night vs. Adrian back on January 24. #NTDP pic.twitter.com/Qe5Hsjuvxs
— Stars n’ Stripes Hockey (@StarsStripesHKY) March 28, 2021
Come back tomorrow for our latest NHL Draft article.
Aidan Hreschuk Scouting Report Main Photo:
“Well worthy of a second-round selection at the draft.”@RAWagman‘s latest #2021NHLDraft Profile looks at NTDP defencemen and California native Aidan Hreschuk, who played this season with the @USAHockeyNTDP.
— McKeen’s Hockey (@mckeenshockey) June 9, 2021