Notebook: Sillinger, Cossa, Trudeau & 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.
COLE SILLINGER, C, SIOUX FALLS STAMPEDE (USHL)
SIOUX FALLS 5 – TRI-CITY 4 – FEBRUARY 20, 2021
Scouting report by Sebastian Death
Cole Sillinger, who showcased his goal scoring prowess in this game with two goals, is very dynamic offensively and showed off a powerful and accurate NHL-calibre wrist shot. He has a very quick deceptive release and can shoot the puck off-balance very well. While Sillinger is not an overly fast skater, which may hinder his ability to excel at driving transition in the NHL, he is still very strong on his skates and possesses tremendous lower body strength and edges. He used his skating and IQ this game to exploit Tri-City’s defense by slowing his pace to get the zone entry and sharply cutting into the inside to put himself in a good scoring position. He also made a couple nice plays in this game where he would open his body up and use his edges to make plays off one leg or turn sideways to gain inside space on defenders. Sillinger’s high hockey IQ is what ties all his offensive capabilities together. He plays well in-between checks and is hard to cover off the cycle. This game he gravitated towards the left side of the net (LH shot) for tap-in’s when the play cycled in the right corner. He also generated several scoring chances by waiting until pressure had closed in on him before making tape-to-tape passes, giving his teammates more time with the puck. His timing and deception with his passes made him dangerous at the top of the circle on the power play this game as Tri-City had to respect his shot, which allowed him to use shot fakes to get the defense/goalie moving side-to-side before sliding the puck cross ice to a teammate at the last second. Sillinger was on point with his passes this game and often put the puck on a string, even when the opponent was in a box formation. The only critique to Sillinger’s game on this viewing was his defense. While he was sound positionally and showcased a strong active stick to disrupt passing lanes, he was not as quick as he could be when engaging the puck carrier and floated around the defensive zone at times.
SEBASTIAN COSSA, G, EDMONTON OIL KINGS (WHL)
EDMONTON 8 – CALGARY 3 – APRIL 30, 2021
Scouting report by Justin Froese
A rarity when Sebastian Cossa gives up more than two goals in a game, but his team came ready to produce and put up eight to preserve the win while Cossa settled in the rest of the way. I usually like to air on the side of caution but I haven’t seen a goalie prospect who appears as infallible and complete in my time scouting the league. The best part of Cossa is that even when you have an off performance from him, his game is still about as consistent as they come. His demeanour and approach doesn’t seem to change whether he gets 10 or 45 shots and his efficiency in the crease is at an elite level. He’s highly athletic but so well positioned that he seldom has to scramble or make a reactionary save because of his attentiveness and vision which allows him to preplan movements. Is a huge kid who plays on his angles and adjusts consistently to eliminate gaps in coverage and always takes the high percentage shots away. Has quick feet and is quick in and out of his butterfly, taking up a massive span and moving laterally with great control of lower and upper body.He’s like flypaper to pucks as seldom does he give up bad pucks or lose sight of rebounds and his glove hand is a strength with consistent positioning with the quickness to adjust and reposition. Does an excellent job of positioning stick, block and pads to court pucks and find dead ice to move rebounds too, seldom putting a dime back in front of his crease and ideal areas for his defense to pick up the loose change. Cossa’s tremendously powerful lower body is on display when he anchors to the post and moves laterally. Shows excellent post play and eliminates short side jam plays and can quickly readjust with pucks out front. In this game he was beat on a couple of 5 hole shots where he was plainly beaten in transition and did look a bit awkward on one where he uncharacteristically slid deep in his crease with the net being driven. Love his ceiling and think he’s a good bet to not only play but be the blue chip goaltending prospect who can stabilize the position for a franchise. Should be a guy who is in the running for Canada’s next starter at the World Juniors and if given the time needed, could outplay his draft position.
DANIL GRIGORYEV, C, IRBIS KAZAN (MHL)
IRBIS KAZAN 1 – TOLPAR UFA 0 – JANUARY 26, 2021
Scouting report by Derek Neumeier
Danil Grigoryev is a huge workhorse center who can do a bit of everything. He displays an understanding of how to work the net-front on offense, and his strength, reach and faceoff acumen help him out defensively, including on the penalty kill. His long stick helps him beat opponents for puck touches and he’s a lot to handle in board battles. Looks comfortable and competent in defensive situations. Can get some power and momentum behind his skating when he’s able to get up to a head of steam, but that isn’t very often, however, because his feet are heavy and he’s not naturally quick. He needs to find a way to lengthen his skating stride and add some agility to his movement. His puck control isn’t too bad, he doesn’t bobble pucks too much, but his hands can be as slow as his feet and get him into trouble when he doesn’t have space. Play-making and shot threat are both minimal, though he can score garbage goals around the net. Was his team’s most-used forward for much of the season, which is always a good sign. Grigoryev deserves a look somewhere in the draft because of his safe upside of a bottom-6 defensive center.
WILLIAM TRUDEAU, D, CHARLOTTETOWN ISLANDERS (QMJHL)
CHARLOTTETOWN 2 – ACADIE-BATHURST 1 – MAY 11, 2021
Scouting report by Theo Lambert
William Trudeau is an offensive defenseman that excels in getting the puck out of his zone. In the games I’ve watched from him, his abilities to complete breakout passes and skate with the puck out of his zone were really noticeable. Before getting the puck, he always looks over his shoulder to scan the ice and look for options, habit that helps him quickly move the puck to a teammate. He can also show some creativity on breakout situations. For instance, he will sometimes make a spin-o-rama or work on his edges to send the forechecker the wrong way, and even though he might miss on some occasions, he does these types of moves with a high level of confidence which is something that I like for an offensive defenseman. He can complete passes on both his forehand and backhand. He is also able to use the boards to get the puck to a teammate, or even make lob passes over his opponents to get teammates on breakaways, which he did once. Once he starts a breakout and a zone entry, he is then very open to follow the play in order to create another potential threat. In the offensive zone, Trudeau’s movements are truly impressive. He never just waits for a play at the blue line. He is always looking to offer passing options to his teammates and get open for a pass in high danger areas. When he has the puck, he is very good at finding his teammates and at creating space for himself using some nice moves. I have seen him jump into very dangerous areas with the puck and take a lot of nice quick shots on net. His agility and edge work on skates, his nice puck skills, his creativity and his vision really make for a nice offensive player at the junior level. Defensively though, there are still a couple of things to work on. Notably, in the games I watched, Trudeau had a hard time defending rushes. He has a lot of difficulty to maintain a good gap between him and his opponents, which led to him being unsuccessful in defending a lot of rushes. I also felt like his positioning in his zone was not perfect. He sometimes seemed to get attracted by the puck, which led to him to be slightly out of position. However, when he realizes that he is out of position, he is very quick to adjust. He also uses his stick very effectively, cutting a lot of passes, and completing a lot of poke checks in the games I watched. I also like the effort he puts into moving bodies away from his goalie’s crease, and in the physical battles in the corners. If Trudeau can become more effective in defending rushes, improve his shot, and use his body a bit more in his zone, he could become a nice defenseman with offensive potential at the next level, while not being a liability defensively.
VALTTERI KOSKELA, D, JYP (LIIGA)
JYP 1 – KARPAT 4 – APRIL 10, 2021
Scouting report by Curtis Schwartzkopf
Valtteri Koskela is a left-handed defender who showed a nice blend of stay at home tendencies along with an aggressive join the rush style. Skating backwards, Koskela has a wider stance that helps him generate a lot of power with his smooth crossovers. This stance also allowed him to adjust his speed going backwards to maintain good gap control for players attacking him, staying square to the shooter by keeping his eyes up at their chest and not the puck. There was a disciplined way Koskela defended the rush in that he would always wait for the attacker to make the first move. He did, however, show a need to improve his transition from backward to forward skating as it mechanically was not efficient and almost caused him to get beat wide on a few occasions. Playing in Liiga at 18 is a tough task and Koskela’s defensive play will improve just by gaining muscle mass. Multiple times in this game he tried to knock his opponent off the puck but failed to do so. The important thing here is Koskela’s intent to make the play though. Offensively, Koskela showed a willingness to jump up into the high slot when appropriate, though he struggled to get enough velocity on his shots from the point to make them dangerous. Koskela has the natural skating ability to lead the rush, he just needs to take those opportunities more often when presented to him. One interesting thing to note in this game was his ability to play on his off-side (right side) as needed, with little to no impact to how he played, showing his versatility as a defender. As Koskela matures physically, it will be interesting to see how his natural skill set could make him a greater impact defender.
JACOB FRASCA, C, BARRIE COLTS (OHL)
BARRIE 5 – KITCHENER 4 – MARCH 6, 2020
Scouting report by Mat Sheridan
Jacob Frasca showed off some great aspects of his game against the Rangers. He was hard in on the forecheck and pressured the defenders to make quick decisions with the puck, causing them to throw it around the boards, resulting in sustained offensive zone time for the Colts. He was not afraid to go the dirty areas around the net and battle for positioning. In the neutral zone, he showed off a quick stick and was able to disrupt the opposition as they attempted to enter the defensive zone. Frasca did a good job at getting back and supporting his defenders as well. In terms of skating, he has good edgework and agility but lacks true breakaway speed that would allow him to separate from the opposition. With the puck on his stick, he is not afraid to attack open lanes. He knows where to find his teammates and has good hands in tight. Frasca has a good shot and is able to get it off in very little time. Overall, he played a solid two-way game and made his impact felt on both ends of the ice. He will most likely need to add more weight to be effective at the pro level but could be a solid later round pick for an NHL team.
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