Canucks Army draft prospect profile #5 – Leon Draisaitl

Over the weekend, our dear friend(s?) from Extra Skater added in some CHL fancystats. While I like stats as much as anybody, I’m still a little iffy on whether we can trust some of the time on ice and quality of competition estimates given by those numbers, so I’m not going to spend too much time worrying about them as they pertain to individual players.

What the page allows you to do however, which is terrific, terrific news for prospophiles, is to sort players across all CHL leagues by age. There are miles of difference between a player who is near the top of the OHL in scoring at 17 and one at the top of the OHL in scoring at 20, and the difference is not clear when looking at the statistics from the league’s website.

Anyway, go to the page and sort 17-year-olds by points. There will be a tie for first through the CHL: Sam Reinhart of the Kootenay Ice, and Leon Draisaitl of the Prince Albert Raiders.

LEON DRAISAITL – Prince Albert (WHL)
Position: C/LW
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 209 lbs
Birthdate: October 27 1995

We should note the birthdate for Draisaitl (and eventually Reinhart) because it is significant to note the two have about eight months difference on Michael Dal Colle and Sam Bennett, some of the other top-ranked CHLers. That has to be one of the few concerns about Draisaitl, who has been referred to as the “German Gretzky”, if Gretzky was a 200-lb monster who managed to get himself ejected from two different World Junior games in December.

I mean, Gretzky would never high stick anybody.

Ironically, the knock on him tends to be that he isn’t physical enough, but what Leon has going for him seems to be working fine. He tied Reinhart for tops in CHL scoring among first-time draft-eligible players, scoring 38 goals and 105 points in just 64 games this season in Prince Albert. He scored six points in six games at the World Juniors, with two points in the final relegation game to save Germany from being knocked down a division, also leading all first-time draft-eligible players in points (although he would have had the bulk of first line and powerplay minutes being the clearcut best player on a worse team than most top prospects).

Draisaitl’s skating stride is either a plus or a minus, depending which scouting article you read, but everybody seems to agree that Leon is a damn good playmaker, has excellent hands and vision. His physicality is a bit of a hit and miss. He doesn’t tend to use his big frame often, but one reason is because he’s so effective at getting pucks inside from the perimeter. That’s going to become more useful when he joins the NHL and defencemen are much bigger and stronger than they are in junior.

Here’s Leon’s highlight reel. Clearly, WHL Eastern Conference goaltenders were not sufficiently protected against “ze Germans” last season:

Rankings:

Leon Draisaitl
Cam 4
Dimitri 7
Josh 4
Rhys 3
Thomas 6

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