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2019 Draft Countdown No. 10: Trevor Zegras

Trevor Zegras

Date of Birth: March 20, 2001

Nation: USA

Position: C/LW

Shoots: Left

Height: 6’0″

Weight: 175 lbs

NHL teams will have a tough decision to make on June 21st when they are called to the stage to announce their first round pick in the NHL draft, names like Matt Boldy, Peyton Krebs, Victor Söderström and Cole Caufield have been thrown around as potential players that could be available to draft around the tenth overall pick. The thing is, there may be an easy decision for teams in the 8-10 range on June 21st, and that is if Centre/Winger Trevor Zegras is available.

Trevor Zegras stands at 6 foot tall and weighs in around 175 pounds, he played this season alongside Cam York, Jack Hughes, John Beecher and others with the United States National Team Development Program. In 60 games with the USNTDP he scored 26 goals and had 61 assists. Zegras saw time at both left wing and centre this season with the USNTDP and was key on the powerplay as the left wing set up man.

Immediately there are things to love about Zegras’ game, his passing needs to be talked about first. Zegras has been deemed the best playmaker in the draft and to a point I agree but I do think that the way Jack Hughes skates and creates plays that he should be known as the best playmaker in the draft but Zegras is the best passer I have seen so far and other scouts agree with that.

Zegras is a constant on the highlight reel due to his playmaking. He made some of the most creative, if not the most absurd plays, I saw all season. You are drafting Zegras with the intention of finding your first power play unit QB for the next decade. He is going to be the player who will get the puck to his team’s goal-scorers.
Corey Pronman, TheAthletic

An explosive skater who can act as a one-man breakout. He blends his terrific acceleration and north-south speed with lateral edge work and play creation though the neutral zone. Owns a heavy shot that is effective in all situations. His quick hands that embarrass oncoming forwards at the offensive blueline.
Cam Robinson, DobberProspects

Trevor Zegras has some great hands and enjoys showing them off, his ability to make tape to tape passes is jaw-dropping, he shows the ability to battle with a defender while also understanding where the right pass is going to be after that battle. That’s the thing that impresses me the most about Zegras, he is making a move on a defender while also still being one step ahead of the rest of the defence.


On this play he see’s Matt Boldy swing around the zone and move into the slot with some open ice and is able to spin on his forehand and deliver an accurate pass for a scoring chance.

Zegras was making cross ice passes look easy on the powerplay as he found himself on the left side of the dangerous USNTDP first unit plenty of times and was the first string QB on the second unit when he was asked to play on the right side as the primary puck possessor. Zegras is dynamic on the powerplay as he understands how to break down a defence and force them to open up the passing lanes that he wants.

Another thing that Zegras brings to a powerplay is the ability to retrieve the puck in the offensive zone, he has a heavy stick in board battles and is rarely outmuscled at this level even when competing against NCAA teams.

Here is Zegras battling on the boards in his defensive zone against the University of Maine. 

Zegras follows this board battle up by carrying the puck up ice and getting a scoring chance with a silky give and go.

Passing is definitely his highest rated ability but if you want to get specific, his ability to land saucer passes right on his teammates stick is incredible. Hockey fans have seen the evolution of the saucer pass over the years and it is used more and more every year, Zegras will be one who keeps that trend going, he loves the sauce and it makes for some beautiful scoring plays.

The odds that Zegras is actually available at 10 are pretty low if you ask me and if you ask some scouts that know alot more than me they would likely agree, I recently spoke with TSN’s director of scouting Craig Button on the Canucks Conversation podcast about Trevor Zegras and he actually believes that Zegras has a strong chance of being a top five pick and that he would not be shocked if a lot of teams have Zegras about Alex Turcotte on their draft boards.

If Zegras is there for the Vancouver Canucks at 10, they should be ecstatic, after Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes falling to them in the last two drafts they could be getting their next elite talent with Trevor Zegras. I project him to have a ceiling as a top line left winger but could also be somewhat of a hybrid and still be able to play centre down the road, we will see where Boston University chooses to use him this next year as he makes the jump to NCAA hockey.

Read also: Draft Prospect profile #13 Trevor Zegras (WingsNation)

 

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  • J-Canuck

    I’m not sure GMJB can make a terrible selection with the talent projected in the top ten. If he sticks with best player available, it will probably be a winger. Having a player to pair w EP or Bo is important since scoring goals is how you win. There should be some admen available in the second round that could be top 4

    • LiborPolasek

      Ditto about a forward or bpa in the first and a d man in the second and so on. A few more days till the draft and FA in a few weeks, can’t wait !!!

      There should be a good player at 10 to complement this core.

  • Green Bastard

    The pendulum between small and skilled v big and physical has now shifted back to the latter thanks to St Louis winning the cup.

    Benning has been all about picking speedy lightweights and is now advocating size again like the copycat GM he is lol. He will therefore pick big and heavy this draft…

    • TD

      I’m ok going with one of the bigger talented players. It’s about balance. Having a bigger winger like Boldy, or someone similar, on the wing with Pettersson and Boeser is smart. It’s about balance.

      • Hack-smack-whack

        Yes, I like Zegras and Newhook as well. But am conflicted, because of the size and durability needed to succeed in playoffs. It’s why a young player like Virtanen is so important to this roster, and wish the trade talks involving him would die. Like you say, we need that balance, and as it stands our defence and wingers lack size. If we go small again this year, the player needs to be fast imo. That said, if Zegras can fill out its hard to argue those skills.

    • LiborPolasek

      In my opinion, the tone of play is always determined by how the officials are calling the game and the team that quickly recognizes how the game is being called then adjust will more than likely win the game. In game 7, the refs set the tone by not calling a single penalty through out the whole game and it became more obvious as the game went along that unless it was blatant both teams will have to earn the cup – glad they decided to that; great finals. Also, having a hot goalie and more so in the playoffs will go along way to winning: in this years playoffs the two teams that got solid goaltending were both playing in the finals. Every year it changes because it also depends on the type of teams getting into the playoffs and then advancing; what if both Tampa and Calgary received solid goaltending and were in the finals then the trend will be different. The Canucks should just focus on building a contender and hopefully by the time the playoffs they have all there players ready to compete with tenacity and skill…

    • bobdaley44

      Where did you get that from?I guess getting rid of Leipsic and bringing in Pearson and Leivo constitutes acquiring lightweights. Benning was always about size but inherited the smallest least physical team in the league.

    • J-Canuck

      You are an Id#%T.
      No pendulum has shifted. Don’t even understand why you say this?
      In the Stanley Cup finals, refs don’t want to call regular season penalties to influence the series.
      What is smaller and Skilled? Prove your theory.
      Is EP small and skilled? He is 6’2 and defensively amazing. Has nothing to do with his size.
      Just realized I’m wasting my “thumb time and brain power” on a junior troll that needs his Mom to drive him to community college.
      I wish you were more creative in your trollness. You actually make a point that real fans can comment on then say something stupid.
      You want attention, but don’t have the knowledge to actually back up your comments.
      I’m a Dad and need to teach my son how to do things. Your Mom needs to set you straight, BUT
      Keep it up

    • kermit

      Newhook has a solid build, but he’s not a physical player. In the U18, it seemed like Krebs was much more of a play driver. He would be my first choice amongst the three, but my opinion is solely based on the one tournament.

  • Gino über alles

    Very doubtful that he’s there at 10 but he’d be a fantastic addition. We’re in a good spot as the top needs we have the most are a LW or a RHD and there will be options of both at 10, this should be a good draft either way.

  • j2daff

    Zegras obviously has talent and superior vision to almost everyone else in this draft class. He will likely be a winger at the NHL. He can a pass the puck well too but his shot is subpar so he will be looked to as a playmaker almost completely but there is an issue with that mind set. He often doesn’t seem to like to hold and carry the puck almost like he thinks it’s a grenade. It’s on and off his stick almost in one motion on so many occasions. While this is a talent it also prevents the player from drawing guys in and opening up his team mates. This has not been an issue as his team mates have out classed the competition thus being open most of the time thus far but that is not the case at the nhl level. Think of Hank running the powerplay back in the day, still not shooting, still with great vision and passing but not willing to hold the puck long enough to make the plays he made. Zegras might grow his game but at this point it is a big hole in his offensive game. He also is not big and will likely play at a similar size as Petey through their careers so putting the two of them together forces that line to play a purely dynamic style which will not always work. Zegras is a better fit with Horvat I would think and it would be fun seeing him with Hughes but he’s just not complete enough to be a slam dunk on this roster.

    I Personally would take Caufield and Krebs over Zegras but the guy I hope for is Boldy. With Boldy you have the size and willingness to drive to the net. He doesn’t have quite as good vision but his passing in as good and his willingness to carry the puck and draw multiple defenders to him as he goes to the net may make him a more valuable play maker. Boldy also skates just as effectively as Zegras but what really sets him apart is his hard accurate shot. Boldy would look great with Petey and also with Horvat. Boldy is simply the better fit for this young core

  • Kanuckhotep

    I’m certain guys like Zegras, Newhook and Turcotte won’t be available to Benning at tenth spot this draft. But consider this. Picks in the past like Barkov, Kotkaniemi and Pierre Luc Dubois were made very high up and unexpectedly which leaves higher ranked prospects to slide down the draft. Benning will be sure to get someone they really like they won’t expect. Who it will be is anyone’s guess but you may be pleasantly surprised. I hope.

  • Fred-65

    Well I have to say Zegras was always my choice at the spot we’re in. But Newhook or Turcotte are no slouches either. We have the chnace to make a big upgrade in the skill level of the roster and who knows before we will get another chance