Draft Countdown: No. 25-21: Zachary Bolduc, Xavier Bourgault, Zach Dean, Brennan Othmann, Nikita Chibrikov
2 years ago
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Over the next few weeks leading up to the draft, we’ll be rounding up scouting reports, quotes, and videos about the Top-100 prospects available. Here are aggregated profiles on Zachary Bolduc, Xavier Bourgault, Zach Dean, Brennan Othmann, and Nikita Chibrikov.
No. 25: Zachary Bolduc
Date of Birth: February 24, 2003
Weight: 175 lbs
“Bolduc plays a solid two-way game, both contributing to his teams’ offense while also contributing on the defensive side of the puck. His offensive tools are still raw and fairly clunky. Bolduc doesn’t possess highlight reel puck skills, but he does show an ability to get on pucks quickly and in this game, he was a key contributor to his teams’ transition game. He showed an ability to make a key pass in the neutral zone, or transition the puck zone to zone with control with great speed. His lack of puck skills really does limit his ability in the offensive zone though and prevents him from being able to really creatively create space for himself and get to the dangerous areas. This results in Bolduc taking shots from less than ideal locations. Bolduc’s shot is also just average. He owns a quick release and his mechanics on his one-timer are solid, however, he needs to improve his accuracy as he was missing the net as often as he was hitting it no matter how much pressure he was under. Another issue in his offensive game was his pass completion rate. Bolduc often was just throwing no-look and backhand passes around the offensive zone in hopes the puck would hot a teammate’s stick. He needs to work on knowing when those passing lanes are open and work on hitting those seams with more regularity. Defensively, Bolduc was good at getting back and covering for his defenders, knowing where he was needed positionally, and breaking up plays with his long wingspan. His open ice speed allows him to cover a lot of ice through transition and on the backcheck allowing him to be dangerous on the rush as well as in creating turnovers in the neutral zone. Overall, I thought this was a solid game from Bolduc, but he still looks a bit raw on the offensive side of the puck and needs to work on softening his hands with the puck and improving his decision-making on shots and passes. I think Bolduc could be a two-way contributor in the NHL in the bottom-six.” – Dylan Galloway
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No. 24: Xavier Bourgault
Date of Birth: October 22, 2002
Weight: 172 lbs
“Bourgault is a skilled and intelligent attacker who showcased superb creativity and thrilling offensive tools tonight. The 6-foot winger is an incredible puckhandler who deeply enjoys expressing his imagination with brilliant dekes and flashy moves. Thanks to his swift, flamboyant mitts, Bourgault flashed the ability to beat any defender in 1v1’s, or even split the defense right through the middle lane. His electrifying puck control allowed him to play through traffic and escape traps with ease. Adding his tremendous footwork and lateral agility to the mix, the 2021 draft eligible becomes a highly dangerous threat in tight spaces. He showcased skilled puck protection, keeping the disc out of reach with his slick hands and using his body as a shield along the boards. His high-end puck skills can also be seen through his smooth pass reception abilities, which allow for clean, efficient transition. Bourgault is a splendid skater who has developed a liking towards using crossovers to build up speed on the outbreak, and attack defenses with different angles and deceptive cuts. His quick, electric feet are evident on these accelerations, but he could add even more power on his inside foot pushes to generate additional speed. The right-handed forward displayed delightful confidence bringing the puck up the ice, as he kept his head up and jump in open lanes eagerly. Despite the ability to create for himself, Bourgault is an extremely generous passer, willing and looking to get his teammates involved in the play at all time.” – Andy Lehoux
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No. 23: Zach Dean
Date of Birth: January 4, 2003
Weight: 176 lbs
“Dean was looking excellent with the puck on his stick in this game. His creativity with the puck on his stick is immediately evident and his puck skills really enable him to create some great offensive chances for his team. Previously I had been concerned about his ability to get to the dangerous areas of the ice but in this game, he proved he didn’t need to be the guy getting chances in the slot as he was feeding teammates all over the offensive zone with some really slick and creative passing plays. He’s able to see the play well and anticipates his opponents so well that it opens ups some good opportunities to showcase his high-end passing abilities. Those passing abilities in combination with some solid deception with his toes, agile skating and good, speedy directional changes make it difficult for his opponents to pin him down. He also owns a good top speed that he can generate with just a couple of strides and launch himself through the neutral zone and attack the defender quickly at the blue line. Having said that, I find that Dean can sometimes take the path of least resistance. I’d like to see him attack the defenders’ heels more often. When he does he looks more like the first-round talent that I thought I saw from him last season.” – Dylan Galloway
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No. 22: Brennan Othmann
Date of Birth: January 5, 2003
Position: Left Wing
Weight: 170 lbs
“Othmann is a tenacious winger who can shoot the puck well and is active in all three zones. He is a sniper and an underrated playmaker. Othmann has a quick release and hard accurate shot alongside great vision and awareness in the offensive zone. Othmann has a very quick first step and slick hands, pulling off incredible moves at full speed. My favourite part of Othmann’s game is his chippiness. You can really tell how badly he gets under the other team’s skin because they are always throwing shots at him whenever they can. This helps his team because he draws a lot of penalties. One critique that I have of Othmann is that he could have better poise with the puck. He gave the puck away a couple times this game and made some passes that could’ve worked out better if he took his time and let the play develop more. His awareness is strong though and he puts the puck in the right areas of the ice. Overall, Othmann has a lot of heart and competes very hard. He wants to get the puck and will do what it takes to win, typically by finishing his checks, blocking shots, and drawing penalties. Othmann is a very good playmaker and has a lot of finesse to his game. He succeeds when he plays alongside talented players and his point totals in Switzerland do not accurately reflect his talent level. I believe Othmann will be a top nine winger in the NHL after a couple years of development because he has the talent and plays a game that every coach loves.” – Sebastian Death
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No. 21: Nikita Chibrikov
Date of Birth: February 16, 2003
Position: Right Wing
Weight: 167 lbs
“In terms of pure pull-you-out-of-your-seat skill, Chibrikov is among the elite of this draft class. With lightning acceleration and sublime hands, he is a real threat in transition. Give him a little too much time and space to work with in open ice and you’ve got a huge problem on your hands. Has the wheels to beat opponents wide and gain that all-important separation. He is also quite an elusive player, as he is able to slow the pace down, shift his weight seamlessly from side to side, and deceive defenders with his hands, feet or head movement. Shows poise with the puck on his stick and calmness under pressure. Finds his teammates with passes in motion and can maneuver the puck into better shooting lanes. Does a good job of spotting opportunities on offense. My problem in this viewing is that I didn’t see a lot of everything I just mentioned. There were flashes of brilliance, but they were few and far between. His effort level and intensity cut in and out, as there were some shifts where he wanted to dominate the play, but the ones where he blended into the scenery were the most common. Could be something that is chalked up to playing at a professional level. Got physical on the forecheck on one shift and threw a big hit, so it’s nice to see that he has at least a little sandpaper to his game. Looks a little lost without the puck in his coverage and his gaps, and he needs to put in more work to get it back. Chibrikov possesses a lot of very translatable talent, he’ll just need some developmental time and attention on his play without the puck.” – Derek Neumeier
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