David Goyette Scouting Report: 2022 NHL Draft #36

David Goyette Scouting Report

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 David Goyette Scouting Report. 

Drafted with the 11th overall pick in the 2020 OHL Draft, Sudbury Wolves centre David Goyette was unable to play in 2020-21 as the entire season was wiped out due to the Covid pandemic. He made up for it in 2021-22, attracting a ton of attention as he led all OHL rookies in both goals and points. Goyette put up 33 goals and 40 assists for 73 points in 66 regular-season games. He did it all on a rebuilding Sudbury team that would go on to miss the playoffs. Goyette joined Team Canada for the IIHF Under-18 World Championships. While it was a disappointing tournament for the Canadian team, Goyette performed well. He scored a goal and two assists for three points in four games.

Born in St. Jerome, Quebec, Goyette grew up in Eastern Ontario and played his minor hockey for the Eastern Ontario Wild and the Hawkesbury Hawks. In 2019-20 he went to play prep school hockey, joining South Kent Selects Academy in Connecticut. With 11 goals and 14 assists for 25 points in 12 games played, he helped the school to win the BEAST U15 Championship.

David Goyette Scouting Report

Center — shoots Left
Born March 27th, 2004 — St. Jerome, Quebec
Height 5’10” — Weight 175 [178 cm/79 kg]

Skating

Goyette is an elite skater. His stride is long and powerful. He has an excellent first step and outstanding acceleration. In terms of top-end speed, Goyette is amongst the fastest players in the draft. He creates real problems for defences off the rush. With his speed, Goyette can get behind the defence and create breakaways and odd-man rushes. His ability to change speeds is also used as a weapon to fool defenders. He can take them wide and cut to the net. If the defender backs off, he takes advantage of the open space to shoot or pass the puck to a teammate. Goyette also has excellent edgework and agility. His ability to make cuts and move laterally also helps him to get away from defenders both with and without the puck.

Goyette is a bit undersized though and this can be a bit of a liability. He has a low centre of balance and combines this with his powerful stride to fight through checks when he is moving at top speed. However, he has some issues and can be pushed off the puck or out of the slot when setting up in the offensive and defensive ends. Goyette is willing to get involved in the physical areas of the ice despite his lack of size.

Offensive Game

Goyette has outstanding stickhandling ability. He can make plays with the puck while moving at top speed. When this is combined with his excellent skating ability, he is absolutely deadly off the rush. He is excellent in transition, carrying the puck through the neutral zone and creating openings for himself and his teammates. He has very good vision and often makes the smart play with the puck. However, when the play slows down in the zone, his offence is not quite as dynamic. While he still tries to attack the net and get to good areas, his lack of size and strength sometimes leads to him losing the puck and not creating a play. He needs to be a bit quicker at keeping things moving and finding the open man.

Goyette has a good but not great shot. His wrist shot is accurate and the release is decent enough, but he lacks some power. As a result, most of his goals come from inside the home plate area. He has a tougher time beating goalies from further out. As he continues to mature and get stronger, this is an area of his game that may improve naturally. Goyette also scores with creative flair, taking to the puck to the net, where he has soft hands and a variety of moves in tight. He can elevate the puck quickly on both his forehand and his backhand, and goalies can’t predict which one of his many moves he will try.

Defensive Game

Goyette works hard in all three zones. His quick skating allows him to get back quickly and support the defence against the rush with back pressure. He also does a good job of getting down low and supporting when the other team is cycling the puck. While he lacks physicality and this can cause some issues, he does a good job of using his stick and his positioning to keep attackers to the outside and steals pucks when they are available. He also is very effective at getting the puck out of the zone and starting the transition when he is able to get a loose puck.

Projection and Comparison

Goyette speed and skills are an intriguing package but there is some risk here. If he makes the NHL, it will likely be as a top-six forward, as he isn’t really suited for a checking line role. He may also be a candidate to move to the wing, where there is less physical play and defensive responsibility. Expect him to spend another two years in the OHL bulking up and working on deficiencies in his game. He is a project who will likely need some AHL time as well.  Goyette’s game is reminiscent of Clayton Keller. However, this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on his skill and ability.

Highlights

The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of David Goyette that are available on youtube and Twitter.

 

Check back later for our next article on the 2022 NHL Draft.

 

David Goyette Scouting Report Main Photo: