Notebook: Edvinsson, Johnson, Samoskevich & 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 Scouting Notebook series takes a look at some of the reports that FCHockey’s scouts have filed over the past week.
From the SHL’s Simon Edvinsson to the USHL’s Matthew Samoskevich, here’s a glimpse at our scout’s analysis from the past week.
Simon Edvinsson, D, Frolunda U20 (J20 Nationell)
Frolunda J20 7 – Karlskrona J20 2 – October 28, 2020
Scouting report by Josh Bell
Simon Edvinsson is going to garner first-overall consideration in this draft. The 6-foot-4 defenseman commands the ice when he’s on. He leads his team, directing them where to be and who to cover. He’s one of the most poised, patient players I’ve ever seen at his age. There’s a calmness to his game, that goes hand in hand with his excellent decision making. It’s almost as if he sees the game at a slower pace, allowing him to process everything faster. His instincts are elite. His ability to move the play up the ice is excellent, but it starts with his defending. He’s able to force turnovers and jump on loose pucks. On the rush, he angles the defenders into the boards, he keeps an active stick to disrupt the puck carrier’s path, and he gets in the passing lanes. He also has a good net-front presence, constantly working to box out and maintain his defensive positioning. Once he gets the puck, he’s able to stretch out the play to the offensive zone. Whether he does it with his feet or his passing, he’s a zone-exit machine. He did whiff on a few passes, resulting in turnovers, but he was able to stick with the play and defend. His stance in his movement is excellent, holding his chest upright and pointed towards where he’s going, with good flexion in his ankle. He has a big, long, powerful stride that allows him to accelerate quickly with what looks like little effort. He also utilized crossovers when skating forward and backwards, matching the opponent’s speed or being able to pass by them. His passing in the offensive zone is excellent. He sees everything, able to dish pucks around without looking, through traffic and across the ice. His teammates are sometimes unexpecting of his passes, due to them being so deceptive. He holds the puck well, drawing defenders into him and then being able to get it off. I also love his shot, especially on the one-time. He’s extremely accurate and puts his weight down and through his shot. Overall, he looks like such a safe player, typically hanging back in the offensive zone and keeping an eye on everything. But this allows him to see the lanes and attack when he can, making him an offensive threat.
Vincent Iorio, D, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)
Calgary 3 – Brandon 2 – February 28, 2020
Scouting report by Justin Froese
Vincent Iorio was a fascinating study after the last two years and going back to year-end he left off on a real promising note. In his rookie season as a unconfident, feeble defender with a self-detonating stick there were concerns about his growth trajectory but it’s amazing what a few months can do for a player. Iorio has evolved into a smooth skating puck mover who can play sound defensively and activate offensively. The biggest growth in his game is how he’s evolved mentally and recognizing where he needs to be off the puck and when to make decisions to advance or retreat to defense. He has become really good at making subtle deceptive maneuvers to draw opponents to assumptions about his routes and can deviate quickly to get pressure on his heels and he has a new course of action with open ice to work with. Iorio’s knack for making seamless breakout passes and then jumping up in the play to get even with the attack has allowed him to become a competent option on the second layer of offense. He’s become a much stronger skater and has the upside to use it in a big way at the NHL level. He’s improved his base and quickness by lowering his center of gravity and using his inside leg to shift his weight more effectively on turns which has helped with balance and power he is able to generate with his stride. It’s not uncommon to see him a handful of times a game transition pucks up ice and rotate high to low and laterally within the offensive zone to make himself a pass or shot option. While his passing ability and puck ability to carry the puck has improved immensely, he’s not the most creative passer or effective shooter. He does get to the middle of the ice and put pucks into dangerous areas but feel his shot is better served to generate rebounds and POP opportunities than a pure threat to beat goalies. I was concerned about his decisions in the defensive zone at one point in time, but he has since cleared up a lot of the loose ends that limited his effectiveness. His defensive skating allows him to cover a huge range and angle off puck carriers to the perimeter upon entries and if he has the ice to do so he will jump on attackers in the neutral one to deny transition attempts. His lower center of gravity allows him to play assertive physically and take the body over pucks but he’s not a huge physical presence. A killer instinct to disrupt pucks and keep patient in positioning will be room for improvement, but I would take the bet with him. He plays secondary penalty kill and powerplay roles and partners with Chad Nychuk at even strength. I haven’t seen a player notably progress as much as Iorio did in the 2019-2020 season. For me, he’s a really high ceiling player at the next level and I’m excited to see what he can do once he hits the ice again.
Kent Johnson, C/W, University of Michigan (NCAA)
Michigan 5 – Wisconsin 2 – November 19, 2020
Scouting report by Joseph Aleong
Kent Johnson, last year’s BCHL MVP, is off to a hot start at Michigan, despite concerns coming into the year on how well he’d adapt in a big step up to the NCAA. Johnson is a strong and fluid skater, sitting low in his stride and showing great edgework and elusiveness using quick cuts. Doesn’t seem to get great power from his strides, and has a habit of gliding in the offensive zone when he has the puck instead of moving his feet; however, both of these issues should improve with added lower-body strength. Absolutely sublime puckhandler, with perhaps the biggest arsenal of one-on-one moves in this class, elite vision, and the ability to manipulate defenders with head fakes and subtle handles. Shows great awareness and anticipation when looking for teammates, protecting the puck well against stronger players and putting the puck in good spots for his linemates to string together subsequent plays. Doesn’t hesitate to take the puck to the net through contact but could stand to be more aggressive shooting the puck when he’s in high-danger areas, especially when under pressure. Shows a quick release and solid accuracy when he’s given space to wind up, but definitely looks to pass first in most spots. Shows decent defensive awareness as well, making good reads on switches and supporting the puck well with his positioning. Doesn’t engage physically enough and has the puck skills to create more turnovers if he can become more consistent staying tight to his check in the defensive zone. Works hard for the puck in 50/50 battles but would be more effective in tight area situations like the cycle if can continue to add strength to his wiry frame.
Anton Olsson, D, Malmo Redhawks (SHL)
Orebo 1 – Malmo 2 – October 8, 2020
Scouting report by Derek Neumeier
Anton Olsson is one of those prospects who doesn’t have any standout tools and doesn’t excel in any particular role, which makes it difficult to project his development. His single best asset is his overall understanding of the defense position, which is what has allowed him to spend the majority of his 2020-21 season thus far in the SHL. He shows an above-average understanding about what is happening around him, staying in position and closing gaps aggressively when the situation calls for it. Knows how to use his body to gain inside position and protect pucks. Is precise with his poke checks. Shot from the point looks like it could be a weapon that he isn’t getting to use a lot right now. Skates well in a straight line, but his edges and his pivots aren’t great. Backwards skating needs a lot of work. Doesn’t push the pace or apply pressure quite as much as you’d like to see. Had a small number of notable defensive lapses in this game, though not enough to outweigh all the good he did with his decision-making. Olsson will be worth keeping an eye on this season, but his long-term development could get damaged if he doesn’t go back to the under-20 league to let his game expand more.
Matthew Samoskevich, C, Chicago Steel (USHL)
Chicago 4 – Green Bay 3 – November 21, 2020
Scouting report by Ray Napientek
Matthew Samoskevich does not let his smaller frame get in the way of his compete level. Did a nice job tonight battling for loose pucks and working hard in corners to regain puck possessions. Not afraid to go to the front of the net. Keeps active skates moving to find openings in the defense. Very good skater. Shows another level when needed. Added strength will be huge for him with next level speed. Quick release. Shows some snap in his stick. Did a nice job of skating one way and shooting the other. Sneaky with the puck on his stick. Nice playmaker tonight. Quick with his decisions with the puck on his stick. Takes pressure and brings defenders to him to open up teammates. Plays at top speed with the puck on his stick and does not need to slow down to make plays. Does a nice job looking to make the next play and not just skate with the puck. Has a nose for the defensive zone. Works hard on his positioning to keep his defender off the net. Active stick tying up opposition. Quick decisions with the puck on the power play. Does not hold the puck. Could use some work on draws. Played a good all-around game tonight.
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