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Prospect of Interest: Why Jamie Drysdale might be 2020 class’ finest defenceman

You can’t speak about Jamie Drysdale with out marvelling at his skating. Both gentle and highly effective on his toes, the Toronto native is flat-out enjoyable to look at.

Here’s what you want to learn about Drysdale, who seems to be poised to be the primary defender drafted within the class of 2020.

Watch Round 1 of the NHL Draft on Sportsnet and SN NOW starting at 7 p.m. ET/four p.m. PT on Tuesday, Oct. 6. Then catch Rounds 2-7 on SN1 and SN NOW beginning at from 11:30 a.m. ET/8:30 a.m. PT on Wednesday, Oct. 7.

Age: 18 (April 8, 2002)
Position: Defence
Current group: Erie Otters (OHL)
Hometown: Toronto, Ont.
Height: 5-foot-11
Weight: 170 kilos
Shoots: Right

He’s a gifted skater

In as we speak’s NHL — one which values skating is above all else — Drysdale’s skill-set makes him a can’t-miss prospect. He navigates the impartial zone in a means that appears nearly easy, and makes use of his elite hockey sense to drive offensive performs from the blue line like a professional.

He’s not a bodily defender — he’s extra prone to out-smart, out-position and skate circles round his opponents than knock anybody over. He’s a real offensive defenceman, with a knack for playmaking, posting 33 assists in 63 video games with the Erie Otters in 2018-19 and 38 in 49 video games final season.

He was named to the OHL’s 2019-20 First All-Star Team

One 12 months after being named to the All-Rookie squad, he’s one in all two draft-eligible skaters to earn First All-Star honours in 2019-20.

He might be the primary defender off the board

Sportsnet’s draft professional, Sam Cosentino, constantly ranked Drysdale as the highest D-man within the class from October by April, although Jake Sanderson gave a late push. Lots of groups like what Drysdale provides, although, so it will be no shock if he was the primary defenceman chosen. And it’s simple to see why.

NHL Central Scouting senior supervisor David Gregory believes he’s a prospect that will be robust to cross on:

“Jamie Drysdale is the type of player that every team is looking for,” Gregory stated, via “Very smart puck-moving defenceman who can beat you with his vision, beat you with his hockey sense. [He’s] able to use that great quickness and thinking to defend and strip a puck and turn it around, and before you know it, it’s going the other way and finding the open man on the attack. That makes him too tough to pass up if he’s available when you’re picking.”

Even with a powerful group of high-impact forwards barrelling in direction of that No. three spot behind Alexis Lafreniere and Quinton Byfield, it wouldn’t be all that loopy to see Drysdale drafted there.

He fashions his play after Morgan Rielly

“I think the way [Rielly] can play both ends of the ice and make an impact, be trusted in all zones, definitely a player that I like to watch and just kind of take anything I can and add to my game,” Drysdale stated.

He’s additionally acquired his eye on 2019-20 Calder winner Cale Makar — and while you watch Drysdale’s clean skating, wonderful puck-handling and skill to quarterback a power-play, it’s simple to see the connection between the 2 younger defenders.

“Cale Makar, he’s pretty hard not to like when you watch him, how he’s as young as he is and in his first full season and making the impact he is. That’s just a big confidence factor, alongside the skill he has, so I think definitely another guy I like to kind of model my game after,” Drysdale said.

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