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2019 Draft Countdown No. 35-31: Yegor Spiridonov, Brett Leason, Nathan Légaré, Spencer Knight, Thomas Harley

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: Yegor Spiridonov, Brett Leason, Nathan Légaré, Spencer Knight, and Thomas Harley.

No. 35: Yegor Spiridonov

Date of birth: January 22nd, 2001

Nation: Russia

Position: Centre/Left Winger

Shoots: Right

Height: 6’2″ / 188 cm

Weight: 192 lbs / 87 kg

Profile: With the size and skill that fits the modern NHL, Spiridonov is a two-way centre that might need to work on his skating, but still has a high ceiling.

Sturdy two-way center with the reach of a giant octopus and a high compete level that makes him a difficult player to prepare for. Spiridonov is a natural center who began the season flanked by fellow 2019 draft prospects Dmitry Sheshin and Pavel Dorofeyv, and the trio clicked to the tune of two to three combined points per game. Both Dorofeyev and Spiridonov were ultimately promoted to Mettalurg for a trial by fire, simply because they proved to be to good for the MHL. Spiridonov, however, was the line’s driving force, using his size, reach and excellent anticipation to create havoc on the forecheck and during board battles. His straight-line speed is slightly above average and he has a short, wide stride, but he has shown to be able to pull away in open ice. His turns and pivots are sharp and he can move well laterally.

Spiridonov’s active stick comes in handy during the penalty kill, not only for consistently keeping it in lanes, but also for picking off passes and transitioning to attack mode. He is a very good passer, but his assists come more from hard work in the corners or mucking and grinding near the net rather than set-ups of the fancy variety. He also can finish from just about anywhere, especially with his snapshot or wrister, and occasionally plays the role of a net-front presence thanks to his ability to tip home shots well away from his body. Spiridonov is dominant on faceoffs in any zone, and he can be entrusted to support his defenders either below the circles, in the crease or behind the net. He has a strong upper body and can lean or one-arm shove opponents off balance, but he does so in a clean, disciplined manner. — Steve Kournianos

No. 34: Brett Leason

Date of birth: April 30th, 1999

Nation: Canada

Position: Right Winger

Shoots: Right

Height: 6’4″ / 193 cm

Weight: 201 lbs / 91 kg

Profile: A late bloomer, Leason has had his breakout season after passing through the draft twice already. A big, powerful skater that has the hands to score goals.

The third-year draft-eligible was an explosive player for Prince Albert this season. His skating is powerful, and his in-close skill makes him a consistent scoring threat. — Chris Peters

He can score effectively thanks to his quick release, he’s got quality vision that allows him to set up teammates, and he’s dramatically improved his skating over the last season or so — Hannah Stuart

No. 33: Nathan Légaré

Date of birth: January 11th, 2001

Nation: Canada

Position: Right Winger

Shoots: Right

Height: 6’0″ / 182 cm

Weight: 201 lbs / 91 kg

Profile: The 45-goal scorer in the QMJHL, Légaré has the physicality to crash the net and get his goals from in tight. 

Légaré has taken a step away from that traditional mold. He doesn’t have the size or strength to truck towards the net with consistently positive results at the QMJHL level, so he has adapted to a style with less of that physical element while still managing to put his finishing skills to good use. The downside of that change is that Légaré now has an increased reliance on his teammates to get the puck to that net front area for him, since he struggles to do it himself. — Sam Happi

No. 32: Spencer Knight

Date of birth: April 19th, 2001

Nation: United States

Position: Goaltender

Catches: Left

Height: 6’3″ / 191 cm

Weight: 198 lbs / 90 kg

Profile: Rated as the top goaltending prospect in this draft class, Knight uses his extreme athleticism and power to limit opposing chances. He’s attending Boston College next season. 

Knight is a big specimen, standing at 6’3” and weighing 200 pounds. He’s athletic, calm, poised, technically sound, excellent with his rebound control, and communicates well with his teammates on the ice. He has most of the qualities you look for in a starting goaltender, from technique to his mental approach.

What distances him from his peers is his overall intelligence on the ice. He brings a comprehensive and effective game on a nightly basis. He isn’t overly flashy, and that is a good thing. He has a solid foundation all based on his stellar positioning and the athleticism to get to the more precise shots he faces.

He has powerful lateral strides to cover the bottom of the net, and an excellent butterfly stance. He doesn’t flop in his crease and is always square to the shooter.

With his size, he’s able to fight through traffic to spot loose pucks and can control his rebounds effectively to limit second chances for the opposition. His stature also makes him an intimidating presence for shooters, who are given little to aim for. He naturally reduces shooting angles, and with his already sound technique he makes quite the wall. — David St. Louis

 

No. 31: Thomas Harley

Date of birth: August 19th, 2001

Nation: Canada/United States

Position: Defence

Shoots: Left

Height: 6’3″ / 190 cm

Weight: 192 lbs / 87 kg

Profile: The very mobile defenceman excelled on a mediocre Mississauga Steelheads team this past season. He has the tools to be a very effective NHL skater.

A strong skater with good mobility, Harley is offensive-minded but can be effective on both ends of the ice. He still has a lot of potential to unlock. — Chris Peters

An efficient and play-driving defender with good size and speed. He not only accepted a larger role with Mississauga this year, but he’s also thrived with it. — Cam Robinson

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  • j2daff

    harley at 31? wow that’s the lowest I’ve seen him anywhere in recent rankings. Considering he is often ranked in the top 15 and in the top 3/4 dman, ahead of guys like soderstom and york this is very questionable. If he is there at 31 Benning sure as heck better be looking to trade up. The only knock is that he is a LHD rather than a RHD….

    Also this is the first time in months I’ve seen Knight ranked outside the 1st round.

  • J-Canuck

    I agree seeing Harley that low is a shock.

    Hopefully Honda or Lassi Thompson will be around for the Canucks 2nd round pick. The depth of the draft should allow GMJB to fill out future 2nd/3rd pairings.
    Quinn Olli and Jett look to be a good solid foundation.

  • El Kabong

    The second round is going to be very interesting this year. Hopefully we pick up a good defence prospect but I would have trouble not taking Spencer Knight if he’s still on the board.

  • rediiis

    With Peyton Krebs tearing his achilles tendon this week and having surgery Friday. How far could he drop? Could it be to the 2d round Canucks pick?

    Some team will pick up Knight in the 1st.
    Harley is interesting.

    • Jabs

      I doubt he would drop that far, maybe out of the top ten but maybe just a few places if at all.

      I remember the Canucks once drafting a player on crutches. JJ Daigneault stumbled to the draft table and I thought, that’s so Canucks.

      Krebs showed up to meet Canucks brass sporting a walking boot which was viewed as a character move and I would still welcome Krebs at ten into the fold.