This week’s prospects include Josh Brook (Moose Jaw Warriors), Nate Schnarr (Guelph Storm) & Simon Benoit (Shawiningan Cataractes).
Josh Brook, Defence, Moose Jaw Warriors, WHL
Weight: 185 lbs.
Born: June 17, 1999 – Roblin, Manitoba, Canada
Draft: 2014 WHL Draft - Round #1 (4th overall) by the Moose Jaw Warriors
Josh Brook is a solid defender in his own end, always thinking defence first and clearing his zone. Real good vision and has the intelligence to recognize who is on the ice and how to properly defend those players. He is strong on the puck and will engage in puck battles below the goal line. Has an active stick to close off passing lanes in his own end but sometimes he gets caught flat-footed and finds himself swiping at the puck instead of being physical and taking the body. He likes to skate the puck through the neutral zone and will take it deep into the offensive zone to create a play. His zone entry is explosive and many defenders can’t keep up with his speed in the neutral zone. He will shoot on the rush from the top of the slot and it tends to fool goaltenders. Brook has offensive upside and should develop into a complementary two-way defender.
DID YOU KNOW? Prior to joining the Warriors, Brook played for the Notre Dame Hounds Midget AAA (SMHL) team following in the footsteps of another former Moose Jaw defenceman, Toronto Maple Leaf Morgan Rielly. Brook was more than a point per game player in 2014-15 and made his Warrior debut in the same season.
Nathan Schnarr, Centre, Guelph Storm, OHL
Weight: 180 lbs.
Born: February 25, 1999 – Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Draft: 2015 OHL Draft - Round #3 (58th Overall) by the Guelph Storm
Nathan Schnarr provides strength down the middle and plays like a WHL veteran using high hockey IQ and an awareness of what is happening in every situation. Has an explosive wrist shot that surprises goaltenders and often causes rebounds. Tall and lanky, Schnarr competes hard in puck pursuits and sacrifices his body, blocking shots and putting himself in the middle of shooting lanes. Good acceleration down the middle of the ice and is tough to knock off the puck when he is in full flight. Will park himself in the slot and has good hands around the net but needs to be more consistent finishing in close and get the puck off his stick more quickly. Still developing his two-way game but has shown signs in the second half of the season that he has what it takes to compete at this level.
DID YOU KNOW? Schnarr had 31 goals and 74 points in 51 games at the minor midget level with the Waterloo Wolves prior to being drafted to the Storm in 2014-15. He led the Wolves to the Alliance Minor Midget Championship. Schnarr won the silver medal with Team Alliance at the OHL Gold Cup in March 2015 recording five points, three goals and two assists in five games.
Simon Benoît, Defence, Shawinigan Cataractes, QMJHL
Weight: 180 lbs.
Born: September 19, 1998 – Laval, Quebec, Canada
Draft: 2015 QMJHL Draft – Round #8 (129th overall) by the Shawinigan Cataractes
Simon Benoît isn’t the most gifted player but he gets the job done and is a solid defensive defenceman. Still raw and one of the older players eligible in this year’s draft class, he takes care of the defensive zone with a physical edge and plays an intimidating role on the back end. He is aware of what is happening around him and adjusts his intentions with the puck on the fly. Loves to lay a big open ice hit. He is a real tall kid who doesn’t weigh a ton but does a good job at using his long reach to limit mistakes in his own end and he’s transitioning to a defenceman who tends to keep the play alive in the offensive zone. A tough customer and will mix it up when given the opportunity.
DID YOU KNOW? In 2013-14, Benoît’s road to the QMJHL began with a stint in the Midget Espoir league in Quebec, where he scored two goals and four points in 20 games. The following season Benoît found himself playing Midget AAA in his hometown of Laval for the Laval-Montreal Rousseau Royal, posting three goals and 14 points in 42 games.
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5) Stouffville Spirit Vying for Playoff Upset (Sort Of)