2018 NHL Draft Scouting Reports: 81-90

Nico Gross

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 2018 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.

Its almost here, draft day. With 80 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.

2018 NHL Draft Scouting Reports: 81-90

81.) Jan Jenik, Centre/Left Wing, Benatky nad Jizerou, Czech Extraliga, 6’1″, 165 lbs

Born on September 15, 2000, Jenik will be one of the youngest players in this year’s draft. In fact, if he was born just 24 hours later, he would be a 2019 Draft prospect. He has good size at six-foot-one but is underdeveloped at just 165 pounds. He plays an aggressive two-way game fighting in the corners for loose pucks and battling hard in front of the net. However, he must bulk up to play that style at the NHL level. Jenik also has skill with good stickhandling ability and playmaking aptitude. He could use a bit of work on his skating.

82.) Alec Regula, Right Defence, London Knights, OHL, 6’4″, 190 lbs

At six-foot-four, Regula has the size to make teams intrigued. When he pairs that with excellent skating ability, it makes them drool. Regular has good speed, edgework, agility and pivots. He maintains good gap control and is tough to beat in one-on-one situations. Regula also adds some offence. He can skate the puck out of danger and usually makes good passes to start the breakout or in the offensive zone. He will need to cut down on his turnovers going forward.

83.) Lukas Dostal, Goaltender, Slavia Trebic, Czech 2nd Division, 6’1″, 165 lbs

The young Czech goalie was spectacular at both the Ivan Hlinka tournament and the IIHF Under-18. He also put up a .921 save percentage against men in the Czech second division. While he is a little shorter than the prototype goaltender in the NHL, he makes up for it with his athleticism. Dostal’s legs are exceptionally quick, and he takes away the bottom of the net in his butterfly. He also has a very good butterfly. He needs to work with a good goalie coach to refine his game. Dostal could use improvement in cutting down angles. He also has a tendency to slide too far when he moves side-to-side.

84.) Nico Gross, Defence, Oshawa Generals, OHL, 6’1″, 183 lbs

Gross is an excellent skater, and this leads to a solid two-way game. He is particularly quick going backwards and pairs this with excellent agility. Gross pairs this with good hockey smarts, leading to outstanding gap control and positioning. He is very tough to beat in one-on-one situations. Gross is physical in the corners and in front of the net but needs to add upper-body strength. Offensively he skates the puck up the ice well and makes a good first pass, as well as being able to quarterback the play from the point. He must get more consistent with his offensive game though.

85.) Matej Pekar, Centre, Muskegon Lumberjacks, USHL, 6’0″, 165 lbs

The USHL Rookie of the Year, Pekar is another two-way centre. He has excellent vision and hockey sense, anticipating where his teammates are going to be before hitting them with a tape-to-tape pass. He has the ability to fit the puck through tight areas and can make difficult saucer passes. Pekar also has a good wrist shot with a quick release but needs to use it more. He is willing to work hard at both ends and has even been an offensive threat on the penalty kill. Pekar gets his nose dirty and goes to the tough areas of the ice but needs to add upper-body strength.

86.) Pavel Gogolev, Right Wing, Peterborough Petes, OHL, 6’0″, 165 lbs

Gogolev is a very good skater. He has the speed and acceleration to beat defenders wide and cut to the net. Add to this the ability to stickhandle and make plays while moving at top speed, and the potential for a dynamic winger is there. His wrist shot has good power and a quick release, but needs a little work on his accuracy. He can also work the half-boards on the power play, quarterbacking things. While he prefers to shoot, he can also make some nice passes. Gogolev needs to show more consistency in his effort level, especially in the defensive end of the ice.

87.) Semyon Der-Arguchintsev, Centre, Peterborough Petes, OHL, 5’10”, 151 lbs

Like Janik, Der-Agutchintsev barely makes the cut for 2018 NHL Draft as a September 15, 2000 birthdate. He is a skilled playmaker. Der-Argutchintsev is an excellent stickhandler who opens up passing lanes with quick feints, and changes in direction. He can put the puck through tight spaces, and put it right on his teammates tape. Der-Argutchintsev has good anticipation and sees where his teammates are headed before they get there. He could be more dangerous if he can add some power to his shot. He also needs to bulk up to work along the boards and in front of the net.

88.) Ryan O’Reilly, Right Wing, Madison Capitols, USHL, 6’2″, 201 lbs

There are two players named Sebastian Aho in the NHL, and there could soon be two named Ryan O’Reilly. The younger O’Reilly profiles as a power forward. He has very good speed and power in his stride, with the ability to beat defenders with his quick acceleration, as well as the balance and power to fight through checks and get to the net. O’Reilly has a good wrist shot and quick release. He also has a powerful one-timer, snapshot and backhand. He needs to work on his passing and play making. O’Reilly doesn’t always make the best use of his teammates.

89.) Giovanni Vallati, Left Defence, Kitchener Rangers, OHL, 6’1″ 185 lbs

Vallati’s biggest skill is seen at the defensive end of the ice. He is very strong positionally as he boxes out his man and keeps his body between his opponent and the front of the net. Vallati is very physical. He maintains very good gap control and will throw a hit if challenged down his side of the ice. However, he will not get himself out of position to do so. He also battles hard in the corners and in front of the net. Vallati makes a good first pass out of the zone and gets the transition game started. He could work on his point shot and add more power.

90.) Gabriel Fortier, Centre, Baie-Comeau Drakkar, QMJHL, 5’10”, 190 lbs

Fortier is an outstanding skater. He has excellent top-end speed and he reaches his top speed in just a few strides. He also has outstanding edge work and agility. If Fortier gets a step on his man, he can accelerate past him and cut to the net. He also has a good wrist shot that he can use if defenders back off too much to respect his speed. It could be even better going forward. Fortier improved his assist totals this season by getting in quickly on the forecheck, creating turnovers and working hard to control the puck in the cycle game. His hard work extended plays and created opportunities. Fortier also works hard in his own end and is an excellent penalty killer.

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