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 Shai Buium Scouting Report.
Born and raised in Southern California, Shia Buium is also the son of Israeli immigrants. He is another example of the NHL’s increased visibility in the southern states in recent years. Buium is also another product from Shattuck St. Mary’s. He split this season between high school hockey for Shattuck St. Mary’s and playing in the USHL for the Sioux City Musketeers. At the high school level, Buium scored two goals and 11 assists for 13 points in 17 games. In the USHL, Buium scored four goals and 22 assists for 26 points in 50 games. He also added one goal and two assists for three points in four playoff games. Buium was named to the USHL Second All-Rookie Team.
Buium was drafted by Sioux in the sixth round, 82nd overall, in the 2019 USHL Futures Draft. He played just three games for the Musketeers that year, picking up an assist. Buium also put up 14 goals and 43 assists for 57 points in 46 games for the Shattuck St. Mary’s team in the AAA midget U16 league. Buium is committed to playing NCAA Division One Hockey for the University of Denver Pioneers next season.
Shai Buium Scouting Report
Left Defence — shoots Left
Born March 26th, 2003 — San Diego, California
Height 6’3″ — Weight 209 lbs [191 cm / 95 kg]
Buium’s skating really improved as the season went along but is still a bit of a work in progress. His stride has lengthened. This gives Buium more power and better acceleration. His top-end speed is also good in both directions. This helps him to play a two-way game as Buium can push the offence and still get back to his own end of the rink. His agility is good, as Buium walks the line to open up passing and shooting lanes. He could use some work on his crossovers when skating forwards. This would add more speed and power out of turns. He can also improve his pivots a bit. Buium is strong on his skates. This helps him to win battles on the boards as well as in front of the net.
Buium can drive the play offensively. He is a good stickhandler and can carry the puck out of the defensive end to start the transition game. He can also carry the puck through the neutral zone, creating odd-man rushes and generating successful zone entries. Buium also makes a good first pass to start the transition game. He shows good vision and makes smart reads. If a forward gets behind the defence, he can hit him with the long breakaway pass. Buium also controls the puck well at the blueline. He shows poise and patience and can set up teammates on the power play.
Buium needs to work on his shot if he is going to be an offensive threat at the next level. As he bulks up, he may be able to add power to his slap shot. However he also needs to get better at getting it through traffic and on the net. Buium has an accurate and powerful wrist shot. However, it takes him a bit of time to load up, which can telegraph his shot and allow goalies to get into better position. Buium is willing to pinch in from the blue line to keep plays alive and is smart in choosing when to push the offence and when to back off.
Buium is also a good defensive player. He maintains good gap control against the rush and forces opponents to the outside. However, his lack of footspeed can sometimes be exposed by particularly quick attackers. Buium is willing to play physically. He battles hard along the boards as well as clearing the front of the net. Buium also uses his long stick to cut down passing lanes. He is also not afraid to put his body on the line to block shots. Buium plays smart positionally and is generally advanced for his age and the fact he has played limited hockey at a really high level yet. His ability to transition the puck up the ice and clear the zone helps him spend less time in his own end.
Projection and Comparison
Buium has the size and defensive game that could make him a real sleeper in this year’s draft. He will need to improve his skating if he is going to be a top-four defenceman in the NHL. He will also need to improve his shot in order to be a threat on the power play. This may take some time, and the team who drafts Buium should be patient. If it works out for him though, he could be a real steal in this year’s draft. Buium’s game is reminiscent of Noah Hanifin. 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 Shai Buium that are available on youtube as well as Twitter.
Shai Buium (No. 8 Black) was NOT giving this puck up.
The six-foot-three, 214-pound @Musketeerhockey defender has some serious skill. I wouldn't be surprised to see an NHL team bite earlier than expected in the #2021NHLDraft. @FCHockey pic.twitter.com/PHBIl9KyoO
— Josh Bell (@JoshuaBell31) April 3, 2021
Shai Buium @Musketeerhockey (#8) is a very effective puck moving defenseman with soft hands, displaying good vision here, finishing the play with a nice assist!
He currently has 22 points (4G,18A) in 44 games#2021NHLDraft #USHL pic.twitter.com/kx0W70YnoJ
— Dylan Krill (@dylan_krill) April 5, 2021
Shai Buium knowing that good things happen when you get the puck to the net. Locks up his 20th assist of the year. #USHL #2021NHLDraft pic.twitter.com/mKPJtUL0ND
— John Gove (@PodStreetGove) April 22, 2021
GOAL! Shai Buium powers a puck from the right circle and we lead 1-0 ⚜️🚨 pic.twitter.com/HoNDtLem7b
— Sioux City Musketeers (@Musketeerhockey) March 20, 2021
Shai Buium appreciation tweet 🚨⚜️ pic.twitter.com/5NuPwpcJOn
— Sioux City Musketeers (@Musketeerhockey) May 2, 2021
Check back later for our next NHL Draft article.
Shai Buium Scouting Report Main Photo:
Sioux City defenseman Shai Buium is among the top USHL prospects eligible for 2021 NHL Draft. https://t.co/Q7E3QupA2y
— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) July 4, 2021