April 28 2014 03:21PM
Defenseman Haydn Fleury is a mobile defender who patterns his game after NHLer Jay Bouwmeester. Fleury: “I want to be a strong skater and defencemen that moves the puck up, joins the rush and creates offence.”
Although the offensive side of the game is less important with defensemen, a significant portion of Fleury's value will be in the boxcars. Here's how things added up this season:
Here we're comparing Fleury to four CHL defensemen from the last couple of seasons. He is in the range with Ekblad at even strengh in their draft seasons, and I'd guess that is a bit of a surprise.
Ekblad is a horse on the powerplay, well ahead of the entire group. After that, Jones and Morrissey's numbers are solid, Fleury is not far behind. A defender getting PP minutes in the CHL in his draft year should be a strong player at the discipline by the time he turns pro.
That fits with Fleury's description of himself, let's see if it fits the scouting reports.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT HIM....
- Craig Button: Haydn has all the attributes of a two-way defenseman. Excellent skating base and he uses it defensively and to jump into the attack offensively. Very good puck skills and he passes well out of his zone and in the offensive zone to create scoring chances. Very good awareness with the puck and is threat with his shot which makes it hard to keep him from contributing. Competitive and continues to gain confidence and get better.
- The Hockey News: Has tremendous skating ability and hockey sense, and excels in shutting down opposing skilled players. Has great size, too, and can also put up some points. Is not a natural offensive talent, so he's not really a power-play quarterback candidate. Also, he needs to become more aggressive in terms of physical play.
- TSR: After being selected in the second round of the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft, Fleury quickly solidified himself as a top flight NHL prospect last season with the Rebels, logging considerable minutes in all situations. The Regina, Sask. native has been very impressive in the early going, elevating his offensive play with eight points through his first 11 games, while playing a vital role as one of the team's key shutdown defensemen. Finding players with Fleury's size and puck moving ability is tough to come by so don't be surprised to see Fleury in firm contention for a top ten spot in 2014.
- BJ MacDonald, Central Scouting: "He's got good, strong mobility, great vision and has a knack for making that first good outlet pass. He's composed and calm with the puck and has an ability of knowing when to join the rush at the right moments."
WILL HE BE AN OILER?
Sometimes a prospect can sneak up on you. Hadyn Fleury began the season as a strong top 15 draft option and remains on. I don't think he'll be an Oiler on draft day for a couple of reasons:
1. He isn't in consideration for the number three slot and will be gone when they select again.
2. The Oilers are building a big, mobile blue line reflected in the skill sets of Darnell Nurse and Oscar Klefbom. Fleury is mobile, but doesn't play with an edge. Edmonton's future is going to be more physical, I don't believe this player fits the template.