This week’s prospects include Nolan Patrick (Brandon Wheat Kings), Gabriel Vilardi (Windsor Spitfires) & Maxime Comtois (Victoriaville Tigres).
Nolan Patrick – Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)
Born: September 19, 1998 in Winnipeg, Manitoba
Weight: 195 lbs.
Drafted: 2013 WHL Draft, 4th overall by the Brandon Wheat Kings
Nolan Patrick is ready to suit up in his third full season in Brandon
after coming off a 102-point season in his sophomore campaign. Patrick’s
elite hockey sense mixed with his goal scoring and skating ability make
him a dynamic threat in the offensive zone. He is known for his ability
to flip a switch and dictate the speed of the game. Patrick has the
ability to anticipate how a play will develop and gets himself into
position early. Ironically, Patrick is not a flashy player. While he is a
very good stickhandler, he won’t dangle and deke around opposing
players. Patrick has a very clear picture of the ice in his head and
shows no weaknesses on the ice. He recently went under the knife for
sports hernia surgery but appears to be healing and his return to the
ice is imminent.
DID YOU KNOW? Nolan Patrick missed the 2016 NHL Draft by only four days. The cutoff date is September 15th, making Patrick one of the oldest draft-eligible players for the 2017 NHL Draft.
Gabriel Vilardi – Windsor Spitfires (OHL)
Born: August 16, 1999 in Kingston, Ontario
Weight: 193 lbs.
Drafted: 2015 OHL Draft, 2nd overall by the Windsor Spitfires
Gabriel Vilardi has established himself as a workhorse who is
ultra-competitive in the offensive zone. He has deceptive speed and an
easy long stride to stay ahead of the defenceman. His strong lower body
helps him down low and keeps the momentum in his favour when he
transitions from offence to defence. Vilardi protects the puck extremely
well using his long reach and does a good job of opening up space on
the ice by drawing attention to himself. He is an above average stick
handler who can knock a puck down from mid-air and keep skating at the
same time without missing a stride. Vilardi will see action in all
situations this season and will be one of the elite power forwards in
DID YOU KNOW? Gabriel Vilardi was named HockeyNow’s 2015 Ontario Minor
Hockey Player of the Year after scoring 18 goals and adding 21 helpers
in 21 games for CIH Academy’s minor midget squad, eventually going on to
win the OEMHL AAA Player of the Year award.
Maxime Comtois – Victoriaville Tigres (QMJHL)
Born: January 8, 1999, Longueuil, Quebec
Weight: 200 lbs.
Drafted: 2015 QMJHL Draft, 3rd overall by the Victoriaville Tigres
Highly regarded as a player displaying the IQ and physical presence well
beyond his age, Maxime Comtois is a truly dominant force on the ice and
one of the premier power forwards in the entire CHL. He has quick
separation speed and acceleration combined with a hard, powerful,
sizeable strides. He is a complete 200-foot player who will go into
corners looking to disturb the peace with a big hit and takes the puck
away while knocking bodies down to the ice. Comtois has slick hands
around the net and makes good timely decisions on whether to pass or
shoot from in close. He likes to snap a heavy wrist shot between the
hash marks that seems to dance and handcuffs goalies. Comtois has shown
very few weaknesses to his game other than the need to better contain
his emotions and coordinate his speed/size combination.
DID YOU KNOW? Comtois finished second in Victoriaville in 2015-16, earning 26 goals and 60 points as an underage skater, only eight points behind team scoring leader Pascal Laberge.
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