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 2020 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 look at Donovan Sebrango.
A second-round pick, 40th overall, by the Kitchener Rangers in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection Draft defenceman Donovan Sebrango has had two strong seasons in the league. Sebrango slipped a bit as teams were concerned that he was committed to attending Boston University. The Rangers convinced him to go the OHL route and Sebrango put up seven goals and 19 assists for 26 points in 62 games as a 16-year-old rookie. He improved this season, putting up six goals and 24 assists for 30 points in 54 games before the season was cancelled. Sebrango also played for Team Red at the 2020 CHL Top Prospects Game in Hamilton. He got into a fight with Windsor Spitfires forward Will Cuylle.
Sebrango has also represented Canada on the international stage. In five games at last summer’s Hlinka-Gretzky Cup, he picked up two assists. Sebrango helped the team to a silver medal. The Kingston, Ontario native also played for Team Canada Black at the 2018 Under-17 World Hockey Challenge, scoring two assists in five games. Prior to coming to the OHL, Sebrango attended the Canadian International Hockey Academy, a prep school located just east of Ottawa.
Donovan Sebrango Scouting Report
Defence — shoots Left
Born January 12th, 2002 — Kingston, Ontario
Height 6’1″ — Weight 189 lbs [185 cm/86 kg]
Sebrango’s strong two-way game is based on his excellent skating ability. He has a very smooth and powerful stride. This allows him to generate excellent speed and very good acceleration in both directions. His feet are quick and he has a good first step. Sebrango transitions well from offence to defence and vice-versa with his sharp pivots. His agility and edgework are also very strong and this helps him both in defending against the rush and in creating offence from the blue line. Sebrango is strong on his skates for a teenager and has good balance. He is able to use his strength and leverage to win battles on the boards and in front of the net. He will need to continue to mature and get stronger to continue playing this style at the NHL level.
Sebrango is an excellent puck-moving defenceman. He transitions the puck in a variety of ways. Sebrango is a strong skater and a good stick-handler. He can skate the puck out of his own zone and avoid opposing forecheckers. He can also lead the rush through the neutral zone. Sebrango has good vision and passing skills. This shows itself both in starting the transition by moving the puck to forwards as well as quarterbacking the power play. He is also able to make a long breakaway pass to an opposing forward. His strong lateral movement and good hands allow Sebrango to open up passing lanes and set up his teammates.
Sebrango’s slap shot is decent but is not a howitzer. He does a good job of walking the line in order to open up shooting lanes and get the puck on the net without being blocked. He also can pinch down to the top of the circle, firing a snapshot or wrist shot on the net. Sebrango is also aggressive in pinching to keep the puck in at the blue line or to join the rush. He can sometimes be a bit overly aggressive though and this can lead to him giving up an offensive chance in transition.
Sebrango’s defensive game is also strong, as his active stick can create turnovers and cut down passing lanes. His ability to transition the puck up the ice also limits zone time for opponents and improves his team’s possession game. Sebrango’s strong backwards skating makes him difficult to beat in one-on-one situations. He maintains good gap control and forces attackers wide. If an attacker has his head down, Sebrango can step up and throw a huge hit. He is physical along the boards and in clearing the front of the net as well. He is also a smart player, who does a good job of anticipating plays and defending away from the puck. Sebrango is also willing to block shots.
Projection and Comparison
Sebrango has the potential to be a top-four defender in the NHL and play significant minutes if he develops properly. He is a bit raw though and needs time to continue to bulk up, while still maintaining his mobility. Sebrango should be able to contribute at even-strength and on the penalty kill. While he is unlikely to be a first-unit power-play contributor, he might be able to help run the second unit. Sebrango shoots left but often plays on the right defence, showing his versatility. His game is reminiscent of Roman Hamrlik. This is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill and potential.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Donovan Sebrango that are available on youtube and twitter.
This is a lovely goal from Donovan Sebrango. That backhand finish through the five-hole 😮
— Caitlin Berry (@caitlinsports) September 2, 2019
Two things in this clip:
Starts off with a nice play and a clean outlet from Donovan Sebrango (Canada #7). I’m quickly becoming a fan of his.
At the end we have some of Jérémie Poirier’s blueline dangles that I’ve heard so much about. Turns it over, but I don’t hate the try. pic.twitter.com/5cAl2XoCnp
— Sam (@DraftLook) August 13, 2019
Donovan Sebrango reads the Sarnia triangle formation. Brings the puck back to the blue line which allows his forward to find open ice and go to the boards. With his winger at the boards, Sebrango can deliver a pass without much traffic. pic.twitter.com/1n8JOjR5iA
— Josh Tessler (@JoshTessler_) February 9, 2020
— Caitlin Berry (@caitlinsports) November 16, 2019
Just before this, I quite liked this subtle play by Kitchener D Donovan Sebrango, walks the top of the offensive zone to open up a shooting lane and gets it on goal #2020NHLDraft pic.twitter.com/kQPgwNT0Ky
— Brandon Holmes (@BHolmes_Hockey) April 7, 2020
Donovan Sebrango (Kitchener) with a beautiful stretch pass
— Josh Tessler (@JoshTessler_) January 17, 2020
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
Donovan Sebrango Main Photo:
OSHAWA, ON – NOVEMBER 10: Donovan Sebrango #37 of the Kitchener Rangers skates with the puck during an OHL game against the Oshawa Generals at the Tribute Communities Centre on November 10, 2019 in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Chris Tanouye/Getty Images)