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2019 Draft Countdown: Ethan Keppen, Samuel Fagemo, Arvid Costmar, Gianni Fairbrother, Reece Newkirk

Welcome to Canucks Army’s 2019 Draft Countdown. Over the next four weeks leading up to the draft, we’ll be rounding up scouting reports, quotes, and videos about our Top-100 prospects available. Here are aggregated profiles on 2019 Draft Countdown: Ethan Keppen, Samuel Fagemo, Arvid Costmar, Gianni Fairbrother, and Reece Newkirk. 

No. 100: Ethan Keppen

Date of birth: March 20th, 2001

Nation: Canada

Position: Left Winger

Shoots: Left

Height: 6’2″ / 188 cm

Weight: 214 lbs / 97 kg

Profile: A big, physical power forward, Keppen enjoyed a breakout season on a disastrous Flint Firebirds squad. He’s the type of player who isn’t afraid to go to the dirty areas of the ice to retrieve the puck. 

Projects as power forward who uses his body along the wall, in front and down low. Displays a very strong stride and first couple steps. Will slide to the front and be a moving screen as his team sets for a shot, and spread and anchor looking for the deflection. After winning pucks in the greasy areas, gets loose and he lets loose a heavy accurate shot. More than willing to fight for lost pucks and plays hard away from the puck. – Bill Placzek, NHL Draft Site

“I bring power up the ice, and that creates a lot of space for my linemates,” Keppen says. “I’m always hard on the forecheck, always making hits to try to create a battle out there. I’m good at retrieving pucks. That’s my offensive game. I’m always trying to play a 200-foot game, which means I try to backcheck very hard. I try to block shots and be a good half-wall player.” – Aaron Vickers, EP Rinkside 

No. 99: Samuel Fagemo

Date of birth: March 14th, 2000

Nation: Sweden

Position: Left/Right Winger

Shoots: Right

Height: 5’11” / 180 cm

Weight: 194 lbs / 88 kg

Profile: Despite being overlooked in last year’s draft, Fagemo had a strong season in the Swedish Hockey League and will likely be selected as an overager. His calling card is a pure goal scorer, which he showed this season scoring 14 goals in 42 games as a rookie in the SHL. 

One of the best pure goal scorers available in the draft, Fagemo has been a national team mainstay for Sweden at all the important teenager tournaments, including last month’s WJC. Although he was quiet at that event, his consistency and production for Frolunda in one of the tougher elite leagues are too impressive to ignore. – Steve Kournianos, The Draft Analyst

With a successful start to the SHL season and a potential spot on the Swedish WJC roster, no one would blame Samuel Fagemo if he had his eyes set on next year’s entry draft in Vancouver. But even though he’s very pleased with being able to prove a lot of people wrong, he feels it’s a good thing to stay within the moment.

“I see this as my revenge after not being chosen in the draft last summer, but at the same time, it’s kind of early to think about next year’s draft now. I think I’m playing good hockey and my goal is to keep doing that throughout the year. If I’m able to do that, good things will happen.”

More good things, that is. – Uffe Bodin, EP Rinkside 

No. 98: Arvid Costmar

Date of birth: July 7th, 2001

Nation: Sweden

Position: Centre

Shoots: Right

Height: 5’11” / 181 cm

Weight: 181 lbs / 82 kg

Profile: An under-the-radar prospect, Arvid Costmar is a skilled forward whose best attribute is his vision in the offensive zone. He has a knack for finding open areas, opening up the ice for himself and his teammates. 

Center Arvid Costmar led Sweden in scoring and had the best performance in the tournament (u-18 5 Nations) among the Swedish forwards. He was the driving force behind Sweden’s offense all tournament. He played the game at a solid pace and has a knack for getting himself open is prime scoring spots. When he gets passes in a scoring position he wastes no time. When he shoots he gets really low and hammers a low one-time snap shot. He posted seven points including four goals. – Draft Prospects Hockey 

No. 97: Gianni Fairbrother

Date of birth: September 30th, 2000

Nation: Canada

Position: Defence

Shoots: Left

Height: 6’0″ / 183 cm

Weight: 194 lbs / 88 kg

Profile: A strong-skating, left-handed defenceman, Fairbrother has risen up the rankings thanks to a healthy pre-draft season. He plays an effective two-way game and isn’t afraid to be physical. 

“I think the mindset for him needs to be less is more,” Williams said. “He sometimes gets himself into trouble trying to overcompensate and do too much out there. His biggest asset is his skating strength, he’s got a good shot and he makes good first passes. Good plays, defends hard, blocks pucks. If he keeps to that and thinks about just moving the pucks north and joining the rush. … it’s what we expected.”

There were high hopes for Fairbrother last season, but a separated shoulder — an injury sustained while trying to grab Portland’s Reece Newkirk during a fight on Dec. 6 — warranted surgery and sidelined him for about three months. – Joshua Horton, Silvertips Blog 

Ranked as 85th best North American skater in the NHL Central Scouting Service mid-term rankings, Fairbrother improved his two-way play as the season went along.

Ending the regular season with ten goals and twenty-six assists in sixty-four games for the Silvertips, the left handed rear guard was ranked fourth in goals among first time draft eligible WHL defencemen and having seventeen of his twenty-six assists being of the primary variety. – Ryan Biech, EP Rinkside 

No. 96: Reece Newkirk 

Date of birth: September 20th, 2001

Nation: Canada

Position: Centre

Shoots: Left

Height: 5’11” / 180 cm

Weight: 170 lbs / 77 kg

Profile: Newkirk was a major riser this year, improving from 11 points in his rookie season with the Portland Winterhawks to 59 points this year. He’s a gritty, tenacious forward who will impress coaches with his work ethic and determination. 

Newkirk is relied upon in all situations: 5-on-5, second power play unit, and the penalty kill. When the team is down by a goal, Johnston will often elevate Newkirk back to the top line.

When a team drafts him this summer, Newkirk feels they will get a player who “is all about work ethic; my work ethic is everything. I’m a hard worker every shift.” – Joshua Critzer, Dub Network