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 2021 NHL Draft Scouting Reports for Prospects 91-100.
It’s almost here, draft day. With 90 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. Without further ado, we present our next ten prospects in the NHL Draft Scouting Reports series.
2021 NHL Draft Scouting Reports
91.) Liam Dower-Nilsson, Centre, Frolunda Jr., Swedish Junior Leagues, 6’0″ 176 lbs
Dower-Nilsson was the captain of the Swedish team at the recent Under-18s. He is a playmaker, with the ability to handle the puck and protect it in traffic as well as the vision to spot openings to get it to a teammate. He has the skill to make passes through tight areas or to saucer the puck over and under opponents’ sticks. Dower-Nilsson also has good skating ability, with quickness and agility. He needs to add some muscle to his frame and work on his shot though.
92.) Ilya Fedotov, Left Wing, Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod, KHL, 6’1″ 176 lbs
Fedotov spent most of this season in the MHL where he scored 18 goals and 20 assists for 38 points in 54 games. Fedotov has an incredible wrist shot. It is both powerful and accurate. He also has a very quick release which fools goaltenders. Fedotov can quickly change his release point with his quick hands. This helps him to fool goaltenders. He also has an excellent one-timer. Fedotov needs to get stronger though, as he struggles on the boards and in the dirty areas of the ice. He also could stand to work on his skating.
93.) Olivier Nadeau, Right Wing, Shawinigan Cataractes, QMJHL, 6’2″ 205 lbs
Nadeau is a creative playmaker on the wing. He is very good at controlling the puck down low, in the cycle game. Nadeau is very good at using his body to protect the puck. He is also a very good stickhandler. Nadeau extends plays, waiting for his teammates to get open. When they do, he has the passing skills to get them the puck through tight passing lanes. Nadeau is also strong on the boards. He is very effective on the forecheck, pressuring defenders and creating turnovers. Nadeau needs to work on his skating as his stride is short and choppy. He could also improve in his own end of the rink.
94.) Zack Ostapchuk, Left Wing, Vancouver Giants, WHL, 6’3″ 198 lbs
Ostapchuk combines size, speed, and puck control. He is very good at carrying the puck through the neutral zone and generating effective zone entries. He is also very good at controlling the puck down low in the cycle game. Ostapchuk makes the most of his ability to protect the puck by combining it with excellent passing skills. He can make a quick move with his hands to open up passing lanes. He is also strong on the boards and willing to take the puck to the front of the net. Ostapchuk needs to work on his shot, as he would score more often with a quicker release. He also needs to improve his awareness in his own end of the ice.
95.) Guillaume Richard, Left Defence, Tri-City Storm, USHL, 6’2″ 176 lbs
Richard is a solid two-way defender who does a lot of things well but does not truly excel in any one area. He has good size and skates well. This allows him to play a two-way game. Richard has an excellent slap shot, especially on the power play. However, he is not the most creative passer and will need to improve this area in order to play on the power play at the next level. He is also good defensively. Richard maintains good gap control and forces attackers to the outside. He is willing to play a physical and aggressive game. However, Richard will need to add muscle to his frame before he can play this game at the next level.
96.) Sasha Teleguine, Centre, Chilliwack Chiefs, BCHL, 5’10” 185 lbs
A little bit undersized, Teleguine makes up for it with his speed and skill. He has very good acceleration, allowing him to dart in and out of open ice. He also combines that skating with excellent puckhandling ability. Teleguine is a very creative player who is not afraid to try to deke out a defender or make a cross-ice saucer pass. Teleguine’s soft hands also help him to toe drag the puck before shooting, changing the angle on the shot and making things difficult for the goaltenders. With the puck on his stick, he is absolutely lethal. However, he needs to work on his play away from the puck, especially in the defensive zone.
97.) Joe Vrbetic, Goaltender, North Bay Battalion, OHL, 6’6″ 181 lbs
Coming in at 6-foot-6, Vrbetic has the type of size that NHL teams love in a modern goalie prospect. He gets out to the top of his crease and cuts down angles extremely well. Shooters have very little of the net to look at with Vrbetic between the pipes. While his rebound control needs a little bit of work, Vrbetic is an athletic goalie who squares up to the second shot very quickly. Vrbetic could work on his puck tracking as well as his side-to-side movements in the crease in order to take his game to the next level.
98.) Isaac Belliveau, Left Defence, Gatineau Olympiques, QMJHL, 6’2″ 185 lbs
Belliveau thrives on the power play. He has excellent vision as well as the passing skills to create scoring chances for teammates. He is also poised with the puck, controlling it at the line. Belliveau does a good job of surveying the ice, quarterbacking the play, and picking the right option. His slapshot and one-timer are also very hard and accurate. His defensive instincts and positioning are good, but he needs to work on his edgework and agility. When facing speedy forwards, he can get beat by quick lateral movements and rapid acceleration. He will also need to add some muscle to his frame.
99.) Niko Huuhtanen, Right Wing, Tappara Jr., Finland Junior Leagues, 6’1″ 203 lbs
Huuhtanen has excellent size and uses it to dominate his age group along the boards and in front of the net. He is very good at winning battles for loose pucks. He is also an effective forechecker, forcing opponents into mistakes. Huuhtanen goes to the net both with and without the puck. In tight he has the hands to beat a goaltender or to tip in a shot. He also has a very good wrist shot with a quick release, allowing him to score from further out. His skating needs some work though, as his stride lacks power and he can improve his top-end speed.
100.) Victor Stjernborg, Centre, Vaxjo, SHL, 5’11” 203 lbs
Stjernborg is not the flashiest player on the ice but he is very effective. He is a solid defensive player, even at his young age. Stjernborg is almost always on the right side of the puck. He uses his hockey IQ and his anticipation to read plays and create turnovers. His poke checks are effective with his quick-stick. He is also willing to play physically, battling on the boards and in front of the net. His offensive game is simple though. He makes quick passes to an open winger and looks for open ice. He will never drive the offence for a line but could develop into the defensive conscience for skilled wingers, or an effective penalty-killer and situational forward.
101.) Dmitri Kostenko, Right Defence, Lada Togliatti, VHL, 6’0″ 168 lbs
Kostenko has all the offensive skills one would look for in a defender. He handles the puck extremely well and can carry it through the neutral zone or control it with poise at the blue line. His passing skill and vision are also very good. Kostenko makes an excellent break-out pass, starting the transition game. He can even make the long breakaway pass when an attacker gets behind the opposing defence. Kostenko also has a good slap shot and wrist shot. However, he needs to work on his defensive game. Kostenko seems to shy away from playing the body and goes for the poke check in all situations. This may improve as he matures and adds muscle.
2021 NHL Draft Scouting Reports Main Photo: