This week’s prospects include Ty Ronning of the Vancouver Giants, Sean Day of the Mississauga Steelheads & Pascal Laberge of the Victoriaville Tigres.
Ronning – Vancouver Giants (WHL)
Position: Right Wing
Born: October 20, 1997 – Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
Weight: 165 lbs.
The ultra-competitive small forward is the definition of a puck-chasing winger and will shoot whenever he has the chance and from wherever. A very quick agile skater who can duck out of the danger zones at only 5-foot-9 and 165 pounds. A heart and soul type player finds the lane to the net and shoots often leading the team in shots, goals, and points. Despite his size, he will skate to the danger areas around the net and shows a ton of patience when the puck is on his tape.
Grade: After an injury-plagued season in 2014-15 and only scoring one goal, Ronning is on pace to score 40-plus and has been Giant’s MVP this season. B+
Day – Mississauga Steelheads (OHL)
Born: January 9, 1998 – Rochester, Michigan, USA
Weight: 235 lbs.
Once considered a elite A+ prospect, Day has had a frustrating draft year up to this point. Came into the season out of shape and it showed in his ability to play the pace in the OHL. An elite skater who can change the pace of the game on his own. While he is a huge , strong kid, he doesn’t use his size to his advantage. He won’t play physical and engage himself too much away from the puck. If he buckles down and puts his game back together, he could be a real steal for any team in the draft come June.
Grade: Granted exceptional status prior to the 2013-14 season to play as a 15 year old in the OHL, Day will most likely not follow in the footsteps on previous "exceptional" players going 1st overall in the NHL Draft (Tavares – 2009, Ekblad – 2014, McDavid – 2015). C+
Laberge – Victoriaville Tigres (QMJHL)
Born: April 9, 1998 – Chateauguay, Quebec, Canada
Weight: 162 lbs.
A tall, lanky kid who will need to put on a lot more muscle to compete at the next level. He has a strong hockey IQ, processes the game as it unfolds in front of him and is quick to make decisions. An average skater who knows when to turn it on and move the puck in the offensive zone. Wins face-offs and is an above average stick handler for a kid his size. Likes to shoot the puck at different speeds to deceive goalies and create rebounds for his linemates.
Grade: A mid-season trade in 2014-15 sending Laberge from Gatineau to Victoriaville seemed to rejuvenate his game an is now averaging around point per game. B-
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