# 53 – Noah Dobson (2018 Draft)
Has been slowly rising in the the scouting community after a solid Ivan Hlinka performance, and that will only increase after his start to the QMJHL season. With 7 assists through 6 games, Dobson is providing offence at a very impressive clip, especially as a defenceman. His 0 goals are of no concern, not only due to the limited number of games played, but because after watching this one, we saw firsthand his impressive shot, as well as the large number of attempts he had towards the net. In the defensive zone, Dobson was like a dyson vacuum going after dirt and debris. And just like the dyson, he kept his own zone neat and tidy. His gap was tight as the opposition entered the zone off a rush, and he provided little time and space for teams to move the puck. Dobson showed a keen awareness of where the puck was about to be, and always seemed to be the first one to retrieve it whenever it came free. He had 3 effective passes in the game and was consistently making the right play, whether it was a clear, pass, shot, or rush. And speaking of rushes, Dobson had 4 of them (at full-speed) in this game, which is an impressive feat for any player, and especially a defenceman in his draft year. Dobson had the look of a player wanting to carry his team to victory, and played with a level of swagger not seen in many draft eligible players. After this viewing, Dobson may have just placed himself in the top 10 of the 2018 Draft in the eyes of CrossBarr Consulting.
# 71 – Justin Ducharme (2018 Draft)
After watching this game, we believe that most hockey players would say they would love to play on a line with Justin Ducharme. Throughout the entire game, whether or not he had the puck, Ducharme was skating at full-speed. In 9 instances during the game, he either got in hard on the forecheck and flat out beat the defender to the puck, or he created a scrum where the puck was up for grabs by anyone. And when his teammates had the puck in the defensive or neutral zone, Ducharme would blast off down the far wing, backing off defenders and making himself available for a pass or a directed chip in… He had 1 really nice pass in the offensive zone displaying his vision, and he also got some power play time during the game as well. Ducharme’s incredible speed and energy certainly make him a prospect to monitor, and we look forward to future viewings to more accurately ascertain his pro potential.
# 9 – Joe Veleno (2018 Draft)
He was involved in the forecheck throughout the game, using his speed to limit time and space for the opposition. Veleno displayed his ability to see the ice, completing 4 short / mid-range passes to his teammates. His most impressive quality in this game was his quickness, as he kept the puck away from opponents while having almost no space, constantly changing speed and direction and having his back to the play in order to shield the puck from a defending stick. Veleno patrolled the blueline on his team’s power play, and had good chemistry with Ostap Safin as they completed several effective passes and got off some good 1-time opportunities on net.
# 21 – Radim Salda (Overage 2018 Draft)
Completed 4 mid-range passes in the game, showing effective puck moving capabilities. Had 4 shots in the game, 2 snapshots and 2 slapshots. His snapshots lacked pace, but were accurate, whereas his slapshots were of very high velocity, and created dangerous scoring chances for the team. Salda played a simple smart game, made the right plays and was effective at using his body either with a hit or a pin in order to stifle the opposition’s attack.
# 48 – Ostap Safin (2017 Draft – 4th rd – Edmonton)
Safin played like a 1st round NHL pick in this outing.. 7 times during the game he had control of the puck for a significant amount of time. His shot, whether it was a snap or a slap, was highly effective, and resulted in 1 goal, that could have easily been two or three with a little fortune. Safin has a rare combination of size (6’5”), speed, passing, and shooting that made him an absolute force, as he and linemate Joe Veleno created chance after chance, completely wearing down the opposition by the end of the game. It feels like Edmonton got a steal with this pick, and if Safin keeps up this play, Oilers fans can look forward to seeing him play live in the very near future.