Notebook: Doan, Forsell, Huuhtanen & More
Every season, FCHockey’s scouts are scouring the globe to get eyes on prospects eligible for the 2021 NHL Draft and beyond.
They spend countless hours watching both live games and game tape to get the best possible analysis on the prospects entering the NHL Draft. Our Unpacking the Notebook series takes a look at some of the reports that FCHockey’s scouts have filed over the past week.
Here’s a glimpse at our scout’s analysis.
Artyom Martino, LW, Omaha Lancers (USHL)
Omaha 4 – Fargo 0 – April 2, 2021
Scouting report by James Henry
Creating multiple scoring chances at both 5-on-5 and on the man advantage, Artyom Martino played with an offense-first mindset all game. Off the rush, he looked to make passes to teammates entering late into the offensive zone. When he didn’t possess the puck while on offense, Martino had great timing with his line mates. Finding space behind defenders to create scoring chances. Along with his great timing, Martino was able to make plays in tight spaces. He would always be able to make a smart play to keep the offensive attack alive. During battles along the boards, he showed great compete. If he was away from a battle, his mindset seemed only concerned about how to create a scoring chance for, and in some cases Martino would heavily sacrifice his defensive positioning, often circling and looping in his own zone, rather than stopping in position. Martino will need to improve on some aspects of his defensive game, but his offensive skills, and ability to create scoring chances is already at a high level. I believe he will need to improve on his defensive game if he is going to play higher than a bottom-6 role at the next level.
Lucas Forsell, LW, Farjestad BK J20 (Superelit)
Farjestad J20 5 – Oskarshamn 3
Scouting report by Austin Broad
Lucas Forsell is a player with a pass-first mentality. Whenever he had the puck in the offensive zone he was looking to set up his teammates. Even on his goal, he was on a 2-on-2 rush and tried to find his teammate for a backdoor pass and it deflected off the defender and into the net. He has high-end puck skills and is deadly every time he possesses the puck. With his footwork and puckhandling abilities he can easily make defenders miss when attacking on the rush and he constantly has his head moving so his opponents can’t pinpoint where he’s going to go with the puck. He didn’t shoot the puck a lot given his passing mentality. Forsell has good enough speed to keep pace with opponents on the backcheck and can breakaway on offense from time to time but his skating wasn’t quite on par with his other traits in this game. For a high skilled player he was very aggressive on defense, never giving up on back checking assignments and using his stick and reach to affect players offensive opportunities. Forsell has all the traits you’d want in a player and should be a early-mid round selection at the upcoming NHL Draft and has the potential to be a very good player at the next level.
Carter Serhyenko, G, Prince Albert Raiders (WHL)
Prince Albert 3 – Winnipeg 4 – April 26, 2021
Scouting report by Justin Froese
After watching nearly every minute Carter Serhyenko played in 2021, I came to a couple conclusions that still gave me optimism when projecting his game forward. His counting totals are not pretty, only winning two games and posting a GAA just shy of 4.00 with a .858 save percentage. That being said, he didn’t really play bad hockey with a strong technical game carried forward from his rookie season with only some minor tweaking needed to clean up rebounds that are loose in his crease. The quality of chances he faces were absurd in this game as this PA defensive core looked like a handful of fingers trying to avoid being punctured in a round of the knife game. Seryhenko plays a calm, consistent technical game with the underlying athletic ability to scramble and rely on sense to make a desperation save. I love his quickness but also how he makes economical movements to make the best stop in a scenario without overcommitting or overextending. He’s efficient with use of his hands and is proactive in positioning his gloves to either deflect pucks off his blocker or ease pucks into his trapper to eliminate secondary attempts. He’s got good body control who is moderately aggressive but also is efficient at covering space and moving post to post or adjusting with strong skating ability. I thought he was quite strong at finding his angle and adjusting as needed and could use multiple elements of his tool kit to move pucks to harmless areas. Where I did notice a flaw was how quick he reacted to pucks directly in front of him when pucks were contested. His defense didn’t give him much help but as good as he was at swallowing pucks, these pucks just to the top of his crease were glaring problems for him and a net front presence for the opposition could make him pay for the lack of control. Despite this, i think it’s something that could be cleaned up as he puts in the work to reach that next level of his game and get him to that next level. Don’t let the numbers fool you, this kid has the makeup of a player and is arguably one of the more underrated players in the draft. Feel that his numbers will bounce back in a big way and be a top goaltender in the league next season.
Niko Huuhtanen, RW, Tappara U20 (Jr. A SM-liiga)
Tappara U20 2 – Lukko 3 – April 3, 2021
Scouting report by Curtis Schwartzkopf
Niko Huuhtanen is a large player with a skating stride that doesn’t generate much speed or power, especially when in control of the puck. Because of this, he doesn’t perform controlled zone exits/entries too often and gets challenged quickly when he does. Huuhtanen has a long reach that allows him to get in passing lanes and disrupt plays. The strength of Huuhtanen’s game is his shot, which he tries to get off from just about anywhere on the ice. In this particular game, he made a nice play in the high slot to side step a defender and get a quick shot off that beat the goaltender. Playing regularly on his off-wing on the power play allows Huuhtanen the opportunity to set up for the one-timer, which has a lot of weight behind it. In general, Huuhtanen showed a desire to be engaged in the play at both ends of the ice but his processing of the play around him needs to get faster. There were certain moments where he played with an extra sense of urgency to get towards loose pucks. Improving the consistency of that urgent mindset will go a long way towards developing his game overall. It’s clear that he wants to be an impact player and will be a bit of a project with upside to whoever takes him this upcoming draft.
Riley Kidney, C, Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL)
Acadie-Bathurst 5 – Charlottetown 7 – May 9, 2021
Scouting report by Shaun Richardson
Riley Kidney was able to do many of the things that make him successful in this viewing. His on-ice vision and information processing are what sets him apart from other players and, when at his best, Kidney is able to use those abilities to influence his play. Kidney’s puck possession and playmaking skills were noticeably on point this game. He was able to absorb pressure and maintain puck control and because of his above average puck skills in combination with his high-end vision, Kidney was heavily relied on in transition to complete controlled zone exits and zone entries. Characterized by his distinctly upright skating posture, Kidney is not the fastest player on the ice but he is able to vary his speed, manipulate the defenseman’s gap and use quick and sudden bursts when attacking. He was very shifty and deceptive while taking pucks through the neutral zone and once across the offensive blue line he would prowl around the zone drawing defenders toward him, identifying openings and playing the role of set-up man. At times Kidney did seem to look for a play that never materialized and he ended up running himself out of space and being squeezed off the puck along the boards. This sort of thing should happen less as Kidney continues to become stronger. Kidney also tends to look to pass more often than shoot which does elevate the play of his line mates but if he can increase his shooting frequency the duel-threat will in turn open up more passing options. Overall, Kidney was a hard worker, gave a consistent second effort on pucks and with four assists, 10 for 18 in the faceoff circle and both a power play and penalty kill role this was a strong outing for Kidney. Given Kidney’s work ethic and the fact that his skillset lends itself nicely to the way the game is trending, it’s difficult to imagine that there isn’t an abundance of potential for him at the next level. He would likely benefit from a long QMJHL career to allow him to develop his strength and shooting capabilities but right now Kidney projects as an early round draft selection and an eventual second line center at the next level.
Josh Doan, RW, Chicago Steel (USHL)
Chicago 3 – Fargo 1 – May 22, 2021
Scouting report by Dylan Krill
Josh Doan is one of the most projectable players in this draft, and I see no area in his game that he won’t be able to fix and improve as he continues to grow. Constantly making smart plays in all three zones of the ice, you will rarely find him out of the fight or at least contributing in some way. Although he doesn’t have a high-end top speed, he doesn’t really need it as he always seems to be in the perfect spot and never out of the play. He doesn’t need much time or space to get a quick and accurate shot on net while under pressure, being able to receive the puck well, even when the pass is off target. He knows how to find open space efficiently, getting to the slot for high scoring chances often. He has quick hands that make him effective at skating through traffic with good control, making him strong at offensive zone entries. He thinks so quickly that he will catch a pass and instantly know what to do with it, having great vision to always know where his teammates are or will be. He understands the game so well, beating opponents to pucks consistently, making stick-lifts look effortless, using his body to angle off opponents along the boards to protect the puck and playing the game very responsibly. I believe Doan has the potential to become a very reliable third-line center, with the ability to play on both special teams, but I could also see him as a useful top-6 winger who plays a complimentary role, as he has displayed that he can play with high-skilled players. I would start to consider him in the middle of the second round.
Want access to all of FCHockey’s scouting reports? Sign up for one of FCHockey’s subscription plans so you can boost your NHL Draft knowledge!