Unpacking the Scouting Notebook: Edvinsson, McTavish, Sillinger & 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 Sweden’s Simon Edvinsson to the WHLs Cole Sillinger, here’s a glimpse at our scout’s analysis from the past week.
Simon Edvinsson, D, FrolundaU20 (J20 Nationell)
Farjestad U20 3 – Frolunda U20 2 – October 31, 2020
Scouting report by Brandon Holmes
It’s difficult to not be tantalized by the skill set that Simon Edvinsson brings to the ice, and this game against Farjestad J20 was no different, where Edvinsson played 20:35 time-on-ice in 22 shifts while playing on the right side of Frolunda J20’s defense. The thing that immediately jumps out at you with Edvinsson is the phenomenal fluidity in his skating stride and how effortlessly he’s able to move around the ice, especially for a player that stands at 6-foot-4. Edvinsson is able to generate speed quickly and effortlessly with just a few long strides while also demonstrating great control with his edges, using crossovers to quickly change direction while carrying the puck or walking the blue line. The transitional upside with Edvinsson is enormous, as he’s most effective on the ice at moving pucks up the ice and securing zone exits and entries with control. He consistently has his head up while handling the puck and does a superb job at evading pressure from oncoming forecheckers, using his edge work, puck skills, and long reach to turn away from opposing attackers while also being willing to make simple, small passes to teammates to efficiently move pucks. Edvinsson passes the puck very well while in transition, and secured a secondary assist in the 3rd period with a crisp backhand saucer pass to send two teammates into the offensive zone for a 2-on-1 opportunity. Though his passing ability was generally quite good, there were moments where Edvinsson slightly missed his target, at times making it difficult for his teammates to corral passes seamlessly. On the defensive end, Edvinsson generally did a good job defending in transition, as he used his active stick and reach to break up plays and deny zone entries. Edvinsson is clearly a talented enough skater to keep up with opposing attackers while skating backward, though it appeared there were times where Edvinsson had some minor difficulties controlling gaps on speedier opponents, which could be contributed more to a lapse in defensive reads rather than an indictment on his skating. The biggest area for improvement for Edvinsson has to be in his in-zone defensive awareness. Far too many times, Edvinsson got caught puck watching while in his own zone, allowing passing lanes to open up around him by failing to keep his head on a swivel and keeping track of opposing attackers away from the puck. Edvinsson competed hard and appeared willing to play hard on opposing attackers in his own zone, but his overall awareness and ability to read and react properly to opposing offenses in his own zone is an issue that will need to be ironed out as he transitions to pro hockey. Overall, Edvinsson showed aspects of his game that offer massive upside as a puck-moving, two-way defenseman, however, there are minor blemishes in his defensive game that will need to be ironed out for him to achieve his full potential at the pro level.
Kirill Kirsanov, D, Team Russia (Karjala Cup)
Team Russia 3 – Team Czech Republic 0 – November 8, 2020
Scouting report by Josh Bell
Kirill Kirsanov is a strange prospect to watch game-to-game. In past games, I’ve seen his skating as a glaring weakness and in others – like this game – it’s a strength. Perhaps he’s improving, or he may just be a little inconsistent. If his feet look like they did in this game consistently, I’d put Kirsanov in the top-50 of this draft at least. He had good dynamic posture and was fluid in his four-way mobility. He shows good first two steps, and elusiveness when challenged. Kirsanov used crossovers to build speed and looked like one of the better defenders for Russia. He didn’t tend to carry the puck too far, opting for a breakout pass instead. The defender had a good, active stick, showed good reads of the ice in both ends leading to breakouts and successful pinches. He didn’t play a whole lot in this game but it was enough for me to really notice. I’d like to see him carry the puck more, take more chances, and get more involved offensively, but this was an overall good showing for the young defender that increasingly makes me want to watch him.
Marc Lajoie, D, Tri-City Americans (WHL)
Tri-City 5 – Shift Current 1 – February 19, 2020
Scouting report by Joel Henderson
He played this game partnered with offensive dynamo, Zazula but even then, Marc Lajoie jumped up in the play quite a lot. He was trying to sneak backdoor a few times on the rush and he has enough jump to his stride north-south to be able to do that. His skating is still a bit too upright though and it seems to make him heavy-footed. He can show quality acceleration in short bursts; cutting and making a stride or two to immediately create separation for an outlet pass. His overall agility still is lacking though and that comes from the heavy feet too. He does seem o be an accurate passer though but there wasn’t a lot of passing variation in this showing. He showed decently at reading pressure and circling the puck different ways but his hands and agility aren’t the best so at times guys can get a stick on a puck. His reach is an asset in these situations. I did notice quite a bit of stick battles physically in front of the net and he does make an effort to throw off a shooters rhythm. There is quite a lot of value at the junior level but his skating does need improvements. His canon of a shot wasn’t on display this game but he did manage one clean up goal. He is certainly a project that an NHL team would wanna swing on, but we will see how often he got on the ice this offseason.
Mason McTavish, C, Peterborough Petes (OHL)
Oshawa 4 – Peterborough 3 – February 27, 2020
Scouting report by Joseph Aleong
Mason McTavish was able to jump right into a prominent role in his OHL rookie season, becoming a top-six centre for Peterborough by the midpoint of the season. McTavish is a strong skater with advanced strength for his age, showing good dynamic posture in his stride and the agility to stop and change directions fairly quickly. While his foot speed leaves room for improvement, he is a real threat when he gets going downhill, showing great puck protection skills and using his size and edgework to shrug off physical contact while driving to the middle of the ice. His hands are smooth and he’s a confident puckhandler, and while he’s not one to make fancy moves consistently, he shows good vision and patience with the puck. Carries the puck through the neutral zone fairly well, and uses his vision and soft hands to create zone entries. Natural shooter with a quick, deceptive release that he can get off from anywhere in the offensive zone. Excels at finding open ice to get off one-timers or quick snapshots, and is tenacious in puck battles in the slot. Definitely a shoot-first player, but he shows good awareness and deception at finding passing lanes and giving his linemates the puck in good situations. Supports the middle of the ice very well in all three zones, cutting off the faceoff dot lane and supporting his defenders low in the defensive zone. Uses his strength to his advantage at times as well, creating turnovers in board battles without much effort, but will need to show more consistency in that area. A well-rounded player with good smarts who should be able to stick down the middle, but will need to improve his explosiveness and endurance in order to reach his lofty ceiling as a consistent offensive threat down the middle at the next level.
Cole Sillinger, C, Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL)
Red Deer 3 – Medicine Hat 4 – March 10, 2020
Scouting report by Justin Froese
There’s a lot of talk about the defenders in this draft class but a few WHL forwards might have their say in the top half of the first round and Cole Sillinger has the potential to be in the mix. Although there are warts where improvement will be needed to succeed as a pro, he’s got a lot of great elements that are showcased on a nightly basis that help yield offense for his team. The big part of his game is his smarts. His skating concerns are masked by strong positioning and ability to read play to find space in support and by varying attack angles from a simple linear approach and can show up as a layered threat. He’s excellent at making quick, accurate passes by layering deceptive fakes and being able to hide pucks by changing angles to hit his target. He holds his stick in great spots, attached to his hip and is able to receive and move pucks via shot or pass with the same body shape which is hard for opponents to read. He gets a lot of leverage and downforce on shots and has the soft elements to place pucks in tight and from afar with a quick release. I do like the cerebral elements and how he can beat opponents with the puck but the limiting factor to his game is his feet. He can push the pace when he is busting his butt to join the rush or backcheck but naturally, his stance and form is lacking dynamism. He’s got poor ankle flexion and a choppy stride, using relatively few crosses in place of sluggish forward strides which limits explosiveness and deceptive elements linear crossovers would. He cut back and pivot to react to play and open lanes, but when outstretched or tasked to jump into a new lane, he can really struggle and without improvement, it will be a heck of a task to find the space he’s able to find now. I really like his competitive drive and willingness to drive lanes hard or impose space. He’s crafty and does show some aggression in coverage but can get enamoured by pushing for the interception of a play and can overcommit. He does an adequate job of controlling traffic to keep pucks to the perimeter and keying in on rotations so he’s covering assignments. He’s a powerplay threat who can skin the cat a few different ways and even though listed as a center, primarily plays on the wing of Ryan Chyzowski. I think the big thing for him is to brush up on play away from the puck and avoid getting caught with poor body structure which will limit how he can react and combat. The creativity and compete will carry him a fair distance.
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