This week’s prospects include Jonathan Smart (Regina Pats), Jason Robertson (Kingston Frontenacs) & Walter Flower (Halifax Mooseheads).
Jonathan Smart, Defence, Regina Pats, WHL
Weight: 195 lbs.
Born: June 1, 1999 – Kelowna, British Columbia Canada
Draft: 2014 WHL Draft - Round #1 (22nd overall) by the Kelowna Rockets
Jonathan Smart was recently traded to Regina for a pair of players from his hometown Rockets. He had been seeing an extended amount of playing time this season paired with fellow draft eligible Cal Foote. Smart likes to make plays and will pinch and go into the corners and dig the puck out and make tight passes from in deep to the slot. Not the fastest skater and that has the potential to get him in trouble if he is caught out of position. Doesn't have the greatest shot but that will come as he adds upper body strength. Needs to be aware of his position on odd-man rushes. Has to try not to do too much as he puts unnecessary pressure on his shoulders. Good footwork and keeping the offence to the perimeter and cuts down the passing lanes well. Still looking for the offensive part of his game to show up.
DID YOU KNOW?The Rockets did something they have never done before by drafting a local player in the opening round of the WHL Bantam Draft. Smart's father is Jason Smart, who was drafted by the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins and was a forward in the WHL with the Saskatoon Blades and Prince Albert Raiders in the late 80's.
Jason Robertson, Left Wing, Kingston Frontenacs, OHL
Weight: 196 lbs.
Born: July 22, 1999 – Northville, Michigan, United States
Draft: 2015 OHL Draft - Round #4 (62nd Overall) by the Kingston Frontenacs
Jason Robertson is an explosive power forward who has all the tools including tremendous strength and speed. Has a powerful stride with balance and a strong first step which helps him accelerate and change gears. Uses his strong lower body to keep control of the puck and skate wide on defenders and drive the puck to the net. Not afraid to do go hard into the corners and dig pucks loose. Real disciplined player on the ice and stays out of the box. Has a real good wrist shot and likes to shoot from between the circles. Good vision and always gives his defencemen a big target to pass to. Had a strong rookie season posting 18 goals and 32 points in 54 games. Always finishes what he starts.
DID YOU KNOW? Robertson, born in California, moved to Northville, Michigan at age 10 and played youth hockey for three different teams, including Detroit Little Caesars, the USA Selects ’99 and the ’98 Kings Selects U16. Robertson then moved on to the Greater Toronto Hockey League, where he played his Minor Midget hockey for the Don Mills Flyers before being drafted by Kingston.
Walter Flower, Defence, Halifax Mooseheads, QMJHL
Weight: 178 lbs.
Born: May 7, 1999 – Lunenberg, Nova Scotia, Canada
Draft: 2015 QMJHL Draft – Round #2 (26th overall) by the Halifax Mooseheads
Walter Flower still has tons to learn but has shown steady improvement from one year ago. A smooth skating stride and good four-way mobility. Likes to keep his feet moving while on the blue line and pinch in to open passing lanes. Needs to learn how to relax and be more patient with the puck as he tries too hard, forcing plays putting himself in bad position. Needs to focus on being more of a puck moving defenceman as he is not a goal scorer and is looked at as a solid puck distributor. Gets hit a lot and needs to find more upper body strength and balance to stay strong in the corners and along the boards.
DID YOU KNOW? Flower was an important piece of the South Shore Mustangs (NSMMHL) blueline in 2014-15 with six points and 10 penalty minutes in 20 games. He added five points in 11 playoff games and played a key role in the success of the Nova Scotia teams at both the Canada Winter Games and the Gatorade Excellence Challenge.
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