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 2022 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 Seamus Casey Scouting Report.
One of the top defencemen in the United States National Team Development Program this year, Seamus Casey played big minutes for the Under-18 team. He scored 10 goals and 23 assists for 33 points in 48 games in the USHL and against various college teams. He also played a big role for Team USA at the IIHF Under-18 World Championships. Casey put up three goals and six points in six games. He helped the American squad to a silver medal.
In 2020-21, Casey showed his prowess for the NTDP Under-17 team. He put up eight goals and 36 points in 46 games. In 2019-20 Casey represented Team USA at the Youth Olympic Games. While he didn’t score any points in the four-game tournament, he helped the American team to a silver medal.
Casey is committed to playing hockey for the University of Michigan Wolverines next season. Should he change his mind and opt for the CHL Route, his rights are owned by the Sarnia Sting. They drafted Casey in the fifth round, 83rd overall in the 2020 OHL Priority Selection Draft. Casey, who grew up in Miami, Florida, is another example of a prospect from a non-traditional market.
Seamus Casey Scouting Report
Right Defence — shoots Right
Born January 8th, 2004 — Miami, Florida
Height 5’10” — Weight 162 lbs [178 cm/73 kg]
An undersized defender, Casey’s excellent skating ability is the key to his two-way game. His first few steps and his acceleration are the weakest part of his skating. They are still good but there is room to be even better. Once he gets up to top speed he can really push the pace and this area is considered very good. The best aspect of his skating are his pivots, agility, and edgework. Casey transitions quickly from offence to defence and vice-versa. He also has the lateral mobility to weave through traffic and walk the line in the offensive zone. This lateral movement helps him defend against the rush as well. With his low centre of gravity, he has good balance and can fight through checks. However, his lack of size can be an issue when battling for loose pucks on the boards as well as when clearing the front of the net.
Casey marries his good skating with excellent puck handling ability. He can retrieve pucks quickly and get them up the ice. His strong stick-handing and skating allow him to avoid forecheckers and skate the puck out of his end. They also allow him to weave through the neutral zone and generate efficient zone entries. Casey is also able to control the puck in the offensive zone. He can walk the line to open up passing and shooting lanes. He also can skate past a defender and carry the puck towards the front of the net to make a play. Casey has good instincts and makes smart plays with the puck on his stick.
Casey has very good vision and passing skills. These show in his ability to make a good first pass to start the transition game. He can also hit a forward with a long breakaway pass if they get behind the defence. He also has the ability to set up a teammate with a tape-t0-tape pass on the power play. Casey needs some work on his slap shot though. It lacks power and thus is a bit ineffective from the point. He does not use it often, but when he does, he keeps it low and on the net to encourage teammates to get deflections and rebounds. Casey is more likely to sneak down from the point and try to get off his wrist shot. It is extremely accurate. He picks corners with ease and has an excellent release.
Casey’s size and lack of strength can be a bit of a limiting factor in the defensive end of the ice. He does not do well in puck battles along the boards, containing bigger forwards in the cycle game, or clearing the front of the net. While added muscle will help him in these areas, it is unlikely to ever be a strength of his game. However, there are some areas where Casey still excels in his own end.
His skating allows him to maintain good gap control and forces attackers to the outside. His lateral mobility allows him to mirror the moves of an attacker and keep himself in front of them. Casey also has a good stick which can cut down passing lanes. He also excels in poke-checking opponents and creating turnovers. Once a turnover is created, or he retrieves a loose puck he can avoid forecheckers and skate it out of the zone. He can also make an effective first pass to start the transition. The biggest strength here is simply the fact that Casey helps push the offence and puck possession. By avoiding time spent in the defensive zone, he cuts down on scoring chances against.
Projection and Comparison
Casey’s size will likely be held against him by NHL scouts. How much is the question though? He has the skating ability and the offensive game to succeed at the NHL level if he can prove himself in the defensive zone. As the NHL game evolves, we see more of these smaller, puck-moving defenders succeeding and thriving in the league. Casey has the potential to be a top-pair defenceman if he can develop his game. With time at the NCAA level, he will get the opportunity to add muscle to his frame and take his defensive game to the next level. A couple of years of college hockey could go a long way. Casey is a big risk as a prospect, but one who could provide huge rewards if he works out. His game is reminiscent of Brian Rafalski. However,
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Seamus Casey that are available on youtube and Twitter.
Hunter Brzustewicz (2023) with the dish, Seamus Casey (2022) with the finish on the PP.
— /Cam Robinson/ (@Hockey_Robinson) November 11, 2021
Devin Kaplan ('22) with the great forecheck on the PK, Seamus Casey ('22) nets his second special team's tally of the game.
3-0 USA pic.twitter.com/wbAIF7Nn82
— /Cam Robinson/ (@Hockey_Robinson) November 11, 2021
— Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisTHN) April 26, 2022
— Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisTHN) April 28, 2022
— Josh Glazer (@jglazer9) September 3, 2021
— Douglas Larson (@DL_Scouting) November 10, 2021
Writing an article on Seamus Casey's transition game which sadly meant I couldn't find a way to slide this clip in, but also thought other people should be able to see it: pic.twitter.com/uQvoHBWaBP
— Josh Glazer (@jglazer9) September 23, 2021
Check back tomorrow for our latest 2022 NHL Draft Article.
Seamus Casey Scouting Report Main Photo:
SCOUCHING #8: Seamus Casey– Team USA U18 NTDP
“There’s a chance Casey struggles to be what he could be in the NHL if he doesn’t improve in key areas, but … he could be one of the more dynamic, skilled offensive defensemen to come out of this draft”https://t.co/3oujaBamRx pic.twitter.com/1670y4PNMN
— McKeen’s Hockey (@mckeenshockey) May 18, 2022