Notebook: Masters, Malatesta, Stenman & 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.
KYLE MASTERS, D, RED DEER REBELS (WHL)
EDMONTON 2 – RED DEER 4 – MAY 1, 2021
Scouting report by Justin Froese
After initially feeling strongly that Kyle Masters was going to really jump off the page down the stretch after an awesome start to the year, he has since fallen a bit flat for me. He’s an excellent skater and has great maneuverability with the puck on his stick but the struggle is channelling his abilities and those skill expressions to make effective plays. He stacks his knees over his toe caps and can pivot efficiently and accelerate quickly. He could be a much more effective offensive player at even strength if he used his deceptive skating patterns more often off of the line, but at this present time his best application is coming off the wall and evading the forecheck. Definitely looks more confident with the puck with more space and showed on the power play or in transition that once he beat pressure he was willing to show a creative edge and could use manipulative gestures such as mohawks, handling deviations and cutbacks to create space. I thought that his sense, especially when it came to passing and hitting holes really varied by situation he was placed in. I felt that he at times showed hastiness and impatience when trying to make higher difficulty, long distance passes or passes to the slot. He did show some great foreplanning however on retrieval plays, shoulder checking and being aware of options and pressure to find the best escape and executing. He really likes to toy with opponents and the more time with the puck the more comfortable he seems to be making soft plays to space and isolating opponents. Despite the tools at his disposal, he tends to make a lot of subtle plays that don’t really lead up to great chances or initial threats off his stick and he’s limited as a play driver despite the skill. Plays the bumper on the power play, which is testament to his skill game but even in that position I didn’t see a lot of comfort or knack for finding space off the puck. There’s moments of aggression to his game but I felt that a level of grit and competitiveness isn’t always displayed. Defensively I felt that he was passive with positioning, letting plays come to him and getting pushed back in his zone, playing small at the net and the puppet in a grand production. He appeared to let opponents dictate his reaction and seldom stepped up to tighten gaps or angle his opponents despite for the most part showing good stick detail and quickness to do so. There’s a project here if someone wants to spend the time on him but he hasn’t taken steps to solve these problems himself which is a concern. Has definitely fallen off for me and I could see some teams not even have him listed if they don’t view his cat and mouse/deceptive style of game conducive to being an everyday two way defender.
JAMES MALATESTA, C, QUEBEC REMPARTS (QMJHL)
QUEBEC 4 – DRUMMONDVILLE 3 – APRIL 27, 2021
Scouting report by Andy Lehoux
James Malatesta is a speedy, aggressive attacker who brings an amazing energy to every shift with relentless puck pursuits and fiery counterattacks. His first few steps are incredibly explosive, which allows him to beat anyone in foot races and sparks outbreaks in an instant. Thanks to his quick, efficient strides, Malatesta turns himself into a constant rushing menace, possessing the straight-lane speed to bypass anyone given an open file. Going 110 percent every play refrains him from adding deceptively and elusiveness to his game, and this could make him predictable, especially at the next level. He exposed his puck to pokechecks too easily and leant on dump and chase too frequently to beat the first line of defense. His superb quickness, agility and vigor on the forecheck put tremendous pressure on defenders, creating a few turnovers. Malatesta showcased a very quick release on his wrist shot, notably beating the goaltender on the rush in the early second. He also flashed a willingness to create for his teammates, often generously sharing the disc with basic reads. He also used his splendid tempo to occasionally break plays on the backcheck. Malatesta’s pace and competitiveness are outstanding, which in itself, gives him a great chance of finding work on a checking 3rd line at the NHL level. I’d like to see him improve his reads and add changes of momentum to his game, but he’s a great bet for the third round.
ELIAS STENMAN, C, SK LEJON (HockeyEttan)
Ornskoldsvik 4 – SK Lejon 2 – March 17, 2021
Scouting report by Viktor Bergman
Elias Stenman played center on SK Lejon’s first line against Ornskoldsvik. He had a mixed performance and had one assist. His assist came on a 2-on-1 where he used his stick to poke the puck away from the Ornskoldsvik defenseman. This resulted in a 2-on-1 where Stenman found his teammate with a crisp pass which gave the teammate an open net. Stenman is a player who reads the game very well. He uses shoulder checks to know what happens around him and has enough awareness and creativity to take use of the situation. He has good movement with the puck and can find space to set up his teammates with crisp passes. He also has a decent wrist shot. He has good mobility and agility and plays an evasive game. He is also good in tight areas, even if he is not really strong on the puck. He can successfully win the puck in tight areas if he faces players similar to his frame, but when he is facing larger players he has troubles. Stenman plays a two-way game, but he has an offensive upside. He is a good forechecker and works hard in offensive situations. But defensively is where Stenman is in most need of improvements. In defensive situations, Stenman often under-commits and need to be more urgent in his backchecks. You could wish to see him compete more in his own zone.
ETHAN BURROUGHS, RW, SKILLSCORP (PBHH)
SkillsCorp 3 – FloHockey 7 – June 5, 2021
Scouting report by Olivia McArter
With good stick movement in both ends of the rink, Ethan Burroughs shows reasonable smarts throughout the game. He often lifts the stick of his opponent when in the slot and especially when in the defensive zone he does well to gain possession and clear the zone. He shows good speed when entering the zone and shows a decent forecheck. He has good passing and when he sees his line mate up in the clear he will pass up in order to continue on with the play. He sets his linemates up well with quick snap passes for shots on net through safe passing lanes in the home plate area. Burroughs is good in board battles and is able to pin his opponent to the boards so he’s unable to touch the puck and it’s easier to get back into defending possession. He’s decent offensively where he gets into battles to gain possession or pass out from the battles, and he can get a shot away with any chance possible for him in which he shows a good shot. Nearing the end, he seemed slower when moving around defensively but tried to stick on his man the best he could. There was an instance where he was able to get free from an attempt of being taken down and was able to skate into the offensive zone to take a shot and showed off some good puck handling along the boards by the offensive zone hashmarks. I can see Burroughs going in the fifth or sixth round of the draft.
JAKUB BRABENEK, C, TREBIC (CZECH-2)
Prerov 5 – Tribec 4 – February 6, 2021
Scouting report by Derek Neumeier
Jakub Brabenec is an athletic teenager who displays a ton of room for growth. Played center at times this season and has the right mix of tools to be a center at higher levels. He already shows flashes of power in his game, and it’s easy to see how that will keep getting better as he improves his strength and conditioning. Gets great extension in his skating strides and plays with a ton of energy and pace, which is a combination that allows him to be involved in the play all over the ice. Makes something positive happen almost every shift thanks to his great motor and focus. He is very advanced defensively, pressing hard without the puck and correctly reading the right situations to go steal it, recover it or just break up a play. Shoulder checks often to keep track of what’s going on around him. Has jam and intensity to his game, chasing down opponents and getting into dirty areas. Can use a free arm to fend off an opponent while protecting the puck with the other. Controls the puck well and can make quick decisions with it. Can find his teammates with simple passes up close and far away, though he doesn’t seem overly creative. Shot mechanics are a little stiff right now, but they can be improved. Not an impact player offensively yet, though he looks like a guy who could grow his game in that area. Brabenec has great upside as a bottom-6 forward and might even become someone who plays a support role in an NHL team’s top-6 one day.
MARK ANDREYEV, LW, TOLPAR UFA (MHL)
Tolpar Ufa 4 – Nizhny Novgorod 1 – MARCH 21, 2020
Scouting report by Austin Broad
Mark Andreyev is not afraid to carry the puck into the high traffic areas. He had an excellent rush in the first period where he grabbed the puck in the neutral zone and skated through three opposing players and got into the slot. Unfortunately he was unable to get a shot attempt off, which was a theme for him throughout the night. His puckhandling and passing ability stood out as a positive, he was able to make plays off the rush while skating at full speed. Andreyev’s skating was the other positive from his game, he has a quick burst that allows him to get up to full speed and used his skating on both sides of the puck. He did not contribute anything on the scoresheet but watching his game and seeing what he does well you can see the potential for a dangerous offensive player if he continues to develop properly.
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