This week’s prospects include Matthew Tkachuck of the London Knights, Jake Bean of the Calgary Hitmen and Julien Gauthier of the Val-d’Or Foreurs.
Jake Bean, D - Calgary Hitmen (WHL)
Born: September 6, 1998 – Calgary Alberta Canada
Weight: 170 lbs.
Bean is one of the biggest surprises over the course of the past year and one of the youngest players eligible for the draft. A real strong skater who can quickly accelerate and separate himself from opponents and good playmaker who doesn’t panic under pressure who always skates to open space looking for a chance to shoot. Tough to beat one-on-one, plays the body well and will come away with the puck. Has the ability to quarterback the power play and will shoot the puck whenever he sees the chance.
Grade: A late bloomer who worked himself into the first round discussion in a very short timeframe. B+
Matthew Tkachuk – London Knights (OHL)
Position: Left Winger
Born: December 11, 1997 – St. Louis Missouri, USA
Weight: 195 lbs.
Tkachuck is a big, agile power winger whose style of play mirrors that of his father, longtime NHL player Keith Tkachuck. He plays with an edge and can turn nasty when he needs to. Excellent defensive forward and is a fierce forechecker creating turnovers and setting up odd-man rushes the other way. Strong on his skates and parks himself in front of the net where he is difficult to move. Wins puck battles and takes the puck hard to the net. Knows what to do with the puck in all situations.
Grade: Tkachuck is a throwback to the old days of hockey and wil do anything to give his team the edge. A
Julien Gauthier – Val-d’Or Foreurs (QMJHL)
Position: Right Winger
Born: October 15, 1997 – Pointe-aux-Trembles, Quebec
Weight: 221 lbs.
The sight of Gauthier skating up the wing gives many defenseman nightmares for multiple nights. A prime example of a strong competitor who leaves it all on the ice and has found a nice home parked in the slot terrorizing opposing defenseman and goalies. Has tremendous hand-eye coordination and uses his size to track down loose pucks and jam home rebounds. A permanent fixture in front of the net on the power play, he also shows flashes of good speed for a kid his size.
Grade: Gauthier plays with the determination and passion every NHL game wants to see. A-
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