This week’s prospects include Scott Walford (Victoria Royals), Eemeil Rasanen (Kingston Frontenacs) & Alexandre Krief (Sherbrooke Phoenix).
Scott Walford, D, Victoria Royals, WHL
Weight: 193 lbs.
Born: January 12, 1999 - Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada
Draft: 2014 WHL Draft – Round #1 (18th overall) by the Victoria Royals
An underrated two-way defender who has shown an offensive side in the latter half of this season. Never tries to do more than he is capable of and takes care of his own end effectively. Always makes the safe play and gets the puck out of trouble. Stands his ground and keeps his net clear. Separates the puck away from opponents and has developed a physical game and is not afraid to throw the big hit. Patient in his own end and makes sure he has a clear path before he makes a pass. Has good size and battles in the corners. Will shoot the puck on the power play and does a good job of opening up space for himself to shoot. A reliable defender both defensively and in the offensive zone. Good vision and sees all areas of the ice well and skating has improved from start of the season.
DID YOU KNOW? Walford represented Canada at the 2015 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John BC. He is an Okanagan Hockey Academy graduate where he posted 12 goals and 51 points in his Bantam year in 2013-14 before being drafted in the first round by Victoria.
Eemeli Rasanen, D, Kingston Frontenacs, OHL
Weight: 210 lbs.
Born: March 6, 1999 – Joensuu, Finland
Draft: 2016 CHL Import Draft – Round #2 (113th overall) by the Kingston Frontenacs
A giant on the blue line, Rasanen went from a shut down defender to an offensive defenceman overnight. He uses his enormous body to get in passing lanes and break up plays in his own end. He has also found his offensive side chipping in on a regular basis on the Kingston power play. He will use his strength and big body to shield the puck from forecheckers. Not overly aggressive but will stand his ground in front of the net and in the corners. At times, he rushes a play with the puck leading to turnovers in his own end and needs to be quicker with his feet. Still very raw and learning to keep up with the game but has the tools to be successful at the next level.
DID YOU KNOW? Rasanen was selected to play in this past January's CHL Top Prospects Game in Quebec for Team Orr. Though he did not register a point, the experience helped him offensively as he turned into a near point per game player in the second half of the season, finishing with 22 points in his final 25 regular season games. He finished his rookie season in the OHL with six goals and 39 points.
Alexander Krief, D, Sherbrooke Phoenix, QMJHL
Weight: 190 lbs.
Born: March 17, 1999 – St-Laurent, Quebec, Canada
Draft: 2015 QMJHL Draft – Round #1 (16th Overall) by the Chicoutimi Saguenéens
Tall, lanky Krief is a good skater who likes to skate around making moves and drawing forecheckers to him opening up a clear passing lane to his forwards. This can get him in trouble at times as he tends to be a little overconfident and turn the puck over and can't always make up the time and skate back to catch and break up the odd man rush. He can bring a physical aspect to the game and stir things up in the corners staying disciplined and not crossing any lines. Is an athletic mobile defenceman but has some holes in his game that prevent him from being an above average offensive defensemen.
DID YOU KNOW? Krief was acquired by Sherbrooke after playing one season with Chicoutimi. He was the only roster player in the deal that saw 6 draft picks swapped. Prior to being drafted, he played for Lac St-Louis Midget AAA scoring four goals and 20 points in 41 games. He also represented Canada at the 2015 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John BC.
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