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 Rieger Lorenz Scouting Report.
Rieger Lorenz was drafted by the Winnipeg Ice in the 2019 WHL Draft. He was also drafted by the Dubuque Fighting Saints in the 2020 USHL Draft. However, the young forward opted to play for the Okotoks Oilers in the AJHL. By doing so, he has maintained his eligibility to play NCAA Hockey. Lorenz is committed to joining the NCAA Champion University of Denver Pioneers next season.
This season Lorenz dominated the AJHL. He scored 38 goals and 47 assists for 85 points in 60 regular-season games. Lorenz also added two goals and nine assists for 11 points in 14 playoff games. Lorenz was named to both the AJHL All-Star Team (South) and All-Rookie Team. He was also named both the AJHL and CJHL Rookie of the Year. Lorenz’s season attracted the attention of Hockey Canada. He represented the country at the IIHF Under-18 World Championships. Lorenz picked up four assists in four tournament games.
Lorenz’s father, Terry Lorenz, also played in the AJHL. He spent four seasons playing college hockey for the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the NCAA. He also played for the Charlotte Checkers in the ECHL.
Rieger Lorenz Scouting Report
Left Wing/Centre — shoots Left
Born March 30th, 2004 — Calgary, Alberta
Height 6’1″ — Weight 194 lbs [185 cm/88 kg]
Lorenz has a textbook stride with good knee bend, hip flex, and overall technique. Combined with a very good first step, his acceleration is excellent. Lorenz is very quick to get into openings. If a defender loses him for just a step, Lorenz can pull away and create separation. His top-end speed is also above average. This allows Lorenz to play a 200-foot game. Lorenz also has good edge work and agility. He moves well laterally, avoiding defenders both with and without the puck. Lorenz can weave through traffic to make a play. He also uses this lateral movement on the power play, working the half boards, and opening up shooting and passing lanes with a quick movement. He is strong on his skates and fights through checks. Lorenz wins battles along the boards and in front of the net.
Lorenz plays a power-forward style of game. He drives the net both with and without the puck and can score goals when he gets there. With his soft hands and good stickhandling ability, he controls the puck through the neutral zone, as well as in the cycle game. In tight to the net, he elevates the puck quickly over goaltenders. He can also score with a deflection or a quick one-timer. From further out, Lorenz has an excellent wrist shot and a quick release. His ability to toe-drag and change his angles before letting it go can fool goaltenders. He does a good job of working off the half-wall on the power play. Lorenz makes use of a strong one-timer from the faceoff circle as well.
Lorenz is a good stickhandler. He can make plays while moving at top speed. This allows him to weave through the neutral zone, leading the rush and establishing possession in the offensive zone. He also does a good job on the forecheck and in winning battles along the boards. Lorenz is not afraid to play in the dirty areas of the ice and to play a physical game. He will make a hit to get the puck as well as take a hit to make a play. As he matures and gets physically stronger, this is an area of his game that should continue to improve. One area of concern though is his vision and passing skill. There is some question if he does enough as a creative playmaker. This is one area that he can continue to work on.
Lorenz is committed in both ends of the ice. He brings his physical game to his own end, battling for loose pucks on the boards and helping the defence with support down low against the cycle game. He also takes good angles and brings effective back pressure against the rush. Lorenz anticipates plays well. He cuts down passing and shooting lanes and creates turnovers with his active stick. When a turnover is created, he is able to skate the puck out of the zone or start the transition game with a good first pass. He also does a good job in the neutral zone, cutting off plays before they can get started.
Projection and Comparison
There is always risk when taking players who have not consistently played against the highest level of competition. This is true of Lorenz and makes him a boom or bust prospect. He will likely need time at the NCAA level. Don’t be surprised if his freshman season starts slow as he adjusts to the faster NCAA game and the older, stronger opponents he will now face. However, if Lorenz is able to develop and translate his game at the next level, he could be the type of possession-driving power winger that teams are always looking for. While he has played both centre and left wing this year, his future likely lies on the wing. Lorenz’s game is reminiscent of Chris Kreider. This is a stylistic comparison only though and not one based on skill and ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Rieger Lorenz that are available on youtube and Twitter.
I'm a big fan of 2022 draft prospect Rieger Lorenz (#14 green), and this shift is a great example of why. He's so smart, plays at a high pace and skates really well. He's all over this shift, with support on the draw, forecheck pressure, backcheck pressure, and then a nice assist pic.twitter.com/3wx5N2h1vA
— Derek Neumeier (@Derek_N_NHL) January 20, 2022
What's good, Rieger Lorenz? pic.twitter.com/GwvF2mJlxY
— Derek Neumeier (@Derek_N_NHL) January 25, 2022
IN-GAME VIDEO: Ty Yoder scores tonight's opening goal off a great setup from Rieger Lorenz! #AJHL pic.twitter.com/bGjS9iCL8D
— Okotoks Oilers (@OkotoksOilers) March 10, 2022
FIGHT: Rieger Lorenz of the @OkotoksOilers and Sean Chisholm of the @BrooksBandits drop the gloves late in the third period. #AJHL pic.twitter.com/LWn4oNegCP
— Tyler King (@tyler_king) October 24, 2020
But on the very next shift, it's a heck of a play off the centre ice draw by the @OkotoksOilers and captain Louis Jamernik to set up Rieger Lorenz for the game tying goal. It's @GDP_PXP's first goal call of the season too! #AJHL pic.twitter.com/hJ7S1rggo5
— Tyler King (@tyler_king) October 17, 2020
Check back later for our next NHL Draft article.
Rieger Lorenz Scouting Report Main Photo:
Rieger Lorenz heads into the @NHL draft as the top-ranked Calgarian — and top-ranked Junior A player. Star of the AJHL @OkotoksOilers, the forward is bound this fall for the University of Denver.
Read his story: https://t.co/1nDQaPN72q@SportCalgary #yyc #hockey pic.twitter.com/idOkJCm3Pl
— Calgary Booster Club (@cgyboosterclub) June 14, 2022