February Notebook: Froese
Every season, scouts from Future Considerations spend countless hours gathering information on the next wave of NHL talent coming down the pipe. Future Considerations Western head scout Justin Froese is no different.
Here is Froese’s notebook for February.
Peyton Krebs, C/W, Kootenay, 5-11, 180, DOB 1-26-2001
Krebs saw the ice more than a drinking glass at an all-inclusive resort and was the center of everything. He is a player who has the pop to change the game on offense as the team’s centerpiece, but was committed to being an exemplary player in all three zones. His cerebral style of game was on display from the drop of the puck and although people may knock the skating a bit with a bit of a choppy stride, he was so good and shifty on his edges that even though his linear speed wasn’t on full display, he opened up a tonne of ice nonetheless. He is a world-class thinker and unpredictable player maker who is so aware of his surroundings with the puck on his stick that unfortunately most of teammates, who are rather inferior in skill and smarts are sleeping on him too. His skill with the puck is high-end and he not only excels with how dynamic he is while stickhandling, but he was incredibly strong through his hands too and knew how to protect from defenders coming forth and under physical pressure. He wasn’t a guy who crashed the crease a lot for chances or got a lot of prime setups on his stick, but most of his game was him thinking and working his way around the ice to find lapses. His shot has some pop and I like his release, but feel there is room to grow the velocity, which will match the accuracy he showed. He provided significant back-pressure and was an ideal supporter of play in his own zone, showing awareness and conscious efforts to be proactive and stay on the right side of the puck. He wasn’t overly heavy or throwing weight around in battles, but his hands of lightning were on display as he was a master at disrupting and regaining possession. I really liked what I saw in this game but have a theory that he has more to give but is playing a type of style that he keeps the lid on so that his efforts are spread throughout the game instead of offensive dominating his game.
Kirby Dach, C, Saskatoon, 6-4, 200, DOB 1-21-2001
Dach was a benefactor of playing a strong positional game and being in the right place at the right time as he slipped coverage and was gifted passes twice from Ryan Hughes that required little skill to convert on and then once again off a scrum on the power play which left him staring once again at a yawning cage. His passing game was fairly vanilla on this night and despite showing the IQ necessary to play with patience and expanded horizons, he did little to push the pace and out gun the opposition. He was strong on the puck and had a few sequences where he would take off through the neutral zone with a head of steam and show some nifty stick work, but despite a few flashes, he got caught up just inside the line and was forced to turn the puck over or stop up and find a teammate. What I did like was his play down low and how strong he is on his edges and plays creative in tight space. He isn’t a bull, as I would imagine he could be, but he is an imposing size with deception in his hands and quickness in his feet and is unbelievably elusive when he looks as though he is hemmed under pressure. I really liked his awareness away from the puck and he was continuously in strong positions to disrupt puck flow and was on the strong side of puck carriers so that he could use his body and reach to defend the middle of the ice.
Carter Chorney, RW, Swift Current, 6-1, 185, DOB 2-6-2001
A guy who I didn’t mind earlier in the year as a depth player with the Spokane Chiefs has found new opportunity on the Broncos top line. Chorney isn’t an overly quick or flashy player, but I am a fan of the workman type craft, the resilient presence in support and the simple smart reads when he gets opportunity. An open toe skating style hinders his forward progress a bit, and I wasn’t huge on his overall skating ability and form, but his game was more based on positional opportunity. His possession time was not usually long lived — often take a clean feed, handling quickly and fluidly then getting ready to pay it forward as he looked for options. He was hard on the puck but far from elite as he wasn’t incredibly effective seizing opportunity in tight ice with the puck on his stick or driving lanes in an aggressive manner. His passing was short and sweet and much like his shot, didn’t hurt his team from an accuracy perspective but was overall fairly average. I thought there was a good compete level in his own end and used good lane management to use his body as an asset. Brings good poise to the table, but not an outstanding presence who could help end the siege on his team in this game.