Notebook: Othmann, Avon, Gerasimyuk & 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.
JON-RANDALL AVON, C, PETERBOROUGH (OHL)
PETERBOROUGH 12 – NIAGARA 1 – MAY 8, 2020
Scouting report by Dylan Galloway
Jon-Randall Avon is a raw shoot-first style roving forward. He can and has played centre, but will need some development of the two-way habits that centers require as they move up in their careers. I believe Avon is better suited as a winger who can transition the puck with solid speed and is capable of entering the opposing zone with control and creating scoring chances. His skating is likely his best asset and is above average compared to his peers. Avon can be somewhat explosive in open ice and owns a solid top speed. His straight-line skating form is good and allows him to transition the puck with speed, and even accelerate past some of his opposing defenders. His skating does seem to become somewhat limited in tighter spaces. Avon doesn’t seem to open his hips often enough to really make him overly dynamic when skating with any sort of speed. He does have this ability as can be seen in some of his rush chances where he can flex some solid lateral mobility along with creativity with the puck. His edgework in tight isn’t a strong suit though and while he can keep up with an opponent who stops on a dime for a stride or two, he’s often left playing catchup, and chasing the puck if there is too much change in direction. This factor really limits his capabilities on the defensive side of the puck when faced with an attack coming down on him. His defensive game was predictably underdeveloped for a 16-year-old in the OHL. He most often played a supporting role on the defensive side of the puck, and rarely got below the puck to support board battles. Avon appears to be hesitant to engage in board battles himself as well. He would often approach a loose puck with some hesitation and rarely followed through with a hit or pinning his opponent to the boards. I would prefer someone of Avon’s size to be much more aggressive in the dirtier areas of the ice and put in more of an effort to force a decision on an opponent. His offensive skills are once again above average, but still very raw and need to be further developed. He can flash some creativity with the puck on his stick, particularly in his lateral movement and using his full wingspan to both protect the puck and move it around opponents dynamically. Most of his decision making is reactionary though. Very often it didn’t look like Avon had a plan and was either over, or under thinking about his positioning on the ice. Bringing some simplicity and calmness to his game would really help to round out the rough edges of his offensive game. He shows an ability and a desire to jump up on the rush, and as previously mentioned is quite excellent at transitioning the puck on the rush. Most of Avon’s scoring chances from his D-1 season came from rush, or sudden changes in possession. The rawness of his tools though made it so that it seemed as though Avon was being a lot more opportunistic than you’d like to see. That being said, when he did get opportunities to put the puck on the net I liked his overall shot mechanics. His shot is accurate and has solid speed, though it’s not overpowering. His release is about average, but I liked his shot placement and was able to get himself into fairly dangerous areas to get shots off. Overall, I think Avon needs to develop in the OHL for a few years but I like the raw tools I see in his game. He could serve as some depth scoring from the wings in the NHL if developed properly but will require the team that takes him to be patient with his development.
HENRY NELSON, D, LINCOLN (USHL)
LINCOLN 4 – WATERLOO 8 – APRIL 21, 2020
Scouting report by Dylan Krill
Henry Nelson was neither a positive or negative impact in this game, making a few plays to suppress chances, but also not being able to move pucks out of the DZ and into the OZ by passes. You could tell that he is still adjusting to the USHL, but you can also see the potential he has once he becomes more comfortable and confident. He was able to identify open space and understood when it was an appropriate time for him to go deep into the OZ to open up another passing option. He is agile and quick enough of a skater to retreat and get back into defensive coverage when play collapses. He moves the puck well in the OZ, but was not able to accurately connect on stretch-passes up to teammates at the blue line. He also had a difficult time defending 1 on 1 in this game, missing a few attempts to poke pucks away and not being able to shut down opponents along the boards. Although he did make a good play diving to block a pass on a 3 on 1 to end the rush. With more experience, I believe Nelson will become a major contributor to his team in all three zones, with the ability to play on both special teams and eat up minutes. He should hear his name called sometime in the mid-late rounds during the draft.
KIRILL GERASIMYUK, G, SKA-VARYAGI (MHL)
SKA-VARYAGI 5 – DYNAMO ST. PETERSBURG 4 – MARCH 7, 2021
Scouting report by Justin Froese
Kirill Gerasimyuk has one of the more dynamic goaltenders I’ve run across in this class and one of the more unique stylistically. His skating ability is at a high level and he is extremely agile moving laterally and when making adjustments, showing explosiveness off of his push leg and the edge work to stay controlled when he’s on his feet. His coverage of the bottom portion of the net is a strong suit and his fast twitch movements allow him to adjust quickly and get up and down or push side to side and square up the shooter. I really like how engaged he is in the play but sometimes it’s almost subtraction by addition. He has strong technical foundation and electric gamesmanship that never keeps him out of the play but keeping his style more sound would almost benefit him to find consistency with net coverage and where he’s putting rebounds. He resets his positioning in the crease when pucks go high by elevating his shoulders high as if he’s a marionette and then once he’s seeing over the forwards he gets into a deep crouch and has his gloves a ways out in front of his torso ready to attack the puck. He’s got some very good control of his hands and is quick to track pucks he can see but I do find he tends to tip his glove at times and drops it to a point that allows generous space in the upper part of the net. His post play could use a bit of work as he’s really cerebral but can tend to relax to cheat for a weak side option. Likes to play the puck and help out his defense and doesn’t seem to take unnecessary risks. I do like his focus and proactivity to try and read the play and he seems to keep going to bat even when giving up goals. His quickness and coverage is elite with the ability to stand on his head and be engaged on high danger sequences. The inconsistencies right now is that he does have lapses in his game where he can give up poor goals and rebounds by playing more complex than he needs to if he were to just get on his angle and be less fidgety. Lots of areas to work on but lots of tools to work with. The time for adjustment will come if he wants to be a consistent NHL roster player.
LORENZO CANONICA, C, SHAWINIGAN (QMJHL)
SHAWINIGAN 2 – VICTORIAVILLE 6 – APRIL 1, 2021
Scouting report by Andy Lehoux
Lorenzo Canonica is a talented, competitive and athletic attacker who brings a ton of energy, quickness and skill each shift. The left-handed forward was incredibly active in the pursuit of the puck, pressure attackers with his impressive speed, haste and aggressivity. His involvement along the boards was extremely appreciated, as he distributed solid hits, jumped in corners with enthusiasm and took away the puck plenty of times. Canonica stayed exceptionally focused in the offensive zone, constantly adjusting his positioning to make himself available for a pass or pressure an attempted breakout. He battled hard in front of of the net and was able to get to a few rebounds. Canonica excelled in transition, in part thanks to his outstanding acceleration, speed and agility. The Swiss flashed tremendous dual threat capabilities, especially on the outbreak, exposing his quick wrist shot release and the ability to feed partners. He possesses nifty mitts that helped him manoeuvre through traffic. The 2021 draft eligible was a willing defender, keeping a high-level of effort and active feet to block lanes in his own zone. Canonica showcased fantastic offensive tools and a splendid overall compete level. I would gamble on his upside around the fourth round.
BRENNAN OTHMANN, LW, EHC OLTEN (SL)
SC LANGENTHAL 0 – EHC OLTEN 6 – MARCH 5, 2021
Scouting report by Sebastian Death
Brennan 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.
BOGDANS HODASS, D, LATVIA (WJC-18)
GERMANY 2 – LATVIA 5 – APRIL 25, 2021
Scouting report by Brandon Holmes
It was a strong defensive showing from Bogdans Hodass in Latvia’s pre-tournament 5-2 victory over Germany as he posted a plus-3 rating in his 15:25 of ice time. Where Hodass shined most on the defensive side of the puck was his ability to deny controlled offensive zone entries at his own blue. He plays very aggressive on opposing puck carriers in transitions and often opts to challenge puck carriers with his active stick or on occasion was willing to lay the body in open ice. After retrieving the puck in his own zone, Hodass was a relatively efficient, albeit not flashy, puck mover, as he more often than not opted for short, smart passes to teammates to get the breakout going, though there were a couple of occasions where he missed his target on his breakout passes. Latvia controlled 94 percent of all shot attempts with Hodass on the ice which can be attributed to his overall strong defensive play, but also to his shoot-first mentality in the offensive zone, which I would describe as both a strength and a weakness. Hodass had a few occasions in this game where he was able to send a shot on goal from the offensive blue line to create scrambles in front and offensive opportunities, however, shots like that were in the minority when it came to his overall attempts. Throughout the course of this game, Hodass attempted 14 shots, most of which from the offensive blue line, and only five of those attempts managed to find their way on goal. Far too often, Hodass was too comfortable firing the puck into blocked shooting lanes, which led to most of his attempts being blocked by German defenders for losses in puck possession or offensive transitions against, while also missing the net on a number of his unblocked attempts as well. In the offensive zone, Hodass was willing to join the attack and come down from the offensive blue line to aid in offensive zone possession, but a lack of smoothness in his puck skills did make it difficult for him to find space against opposing defenders on a couple of occasions. Overall, it’s clear Hodass fancies himself as a two-way defenseman, playing on both special teams throughout this game for Latvia while also showing a high level of engagement in both zones, but he will need to show growth in his ability to read the offensive zone while also improving his skating and puck skills to truly round out that two-way skillset to complement his strong defensive play.
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