FCHockey
Staff
April 30, 2023

NHL Draft Notebook: 2023 U18 Worlds review

The 2023 NHL Draft is shaping up to be one of the best in recent memory, and we’re unlocking scouting reports on prospects from the biggest showcase of the season — the 2023 IIHF World Under-18 Championship — in our latest NHL Draft Notebook.

Here’s an extended look at some of their analysis in our latest scouting reports from the U18 Worlds:

DALIBOR DVORSKY | C | SLOVAKIA | April 27, 2023

MIDTERM RANKING: 11

Scouting report by Matt O’Reilly

This was my first viewing of Dalibor Dvorsky, and he definitely stood out. He has a knack for hanging onto the puck and dominating it while not tying up the play, but instead becoming the main pivot point for the Slovak attack. He is patient and strong with the puck and does a lot to create for his team. He has a good-not-great shot, but that’s not what he is. Dvorsky is more than a sniper; he is an all-around very good player. He is smart in the offensive zone, and those smarts play well on the defensive side of the puck. I only saw one thing that really worried me about Dvorsky moving forward, and that is his confidence turning into arrogance. Dvorsky knows he is very good and by far the best player on the Slovak side, but instead of dominating the puck so much, sometimes he should move it just a little bit quicker to encourage his teammates. His leadership plays up at the U18 level on a below-par Slovak team, but at the next level, that showmanship will not do well unless his skills are electrifying at that level too. I will need to see more to make an assessment of whether I think those skills would play, and I would like to see him playing with higher-level players in a pro league or the CHL before making that decision. Overall though, I really like Dvorsky, and I would be very comfortable taking him in the first round of the 2023 draft. I just need to see more to decide where.

Full scouting report

JULIUS SUMPF | C | Germany | April 25, 2023

MIDTERM RANKING: NR

Scouting report by Miroslav Simurka

Julius Sumpf is a responsible two-way center with some solid but not really outstanding skills. The thing that stood out the most to me is his puck management and very good vision all over the ice. He does not force dangerous passes or difficult plays. I thought his game was very well suited for center playing against a much more skilled team. He is clever off the puck interchanging positions in the offensive zone giving his defenders room to chip aggressively or play deep with the puck and create movement in the offensive zone. He is also very responsible in all three zone covering for his teammates and playing deep in the defensive zone. On the breakouts he understands immediately his position and he either supports the puck deep or stretches the ice to create more space for the breakout. Sumpf is also a good skater, he is fast in the neutral zone skating with crossovers and controlling the puck on his stick perfectly. As a center he has also good hands in tight and offensive vision and he is able to find his teammates with accurate passes in the high slot. I think Sumpf is on the radar of some teams but because of the lack of elite skill he is no lock for the 2023 draft in my opinion.

Full scouting report

NOAH DOWER NILSSON | LW | Sweden | April 21, 2023

MIDTERM RANKING: 50

Scouting report by Brandon Holmes

Noah Dower Nilsson is a highly skilled and creative forward who excels in opening up space in the offensive zone with his advanced one-on-one skills. The standout feature of Dower Nilsson’s game is his advanced puck handling skills; he is a very crafty puck handler who enjoys challenging opposing defenders on the rush with high-level dekes, as he is often able to stickhandle through tight spaces and find open ice in the offensive zone. He is a slippery and elusive player who is difficult to contain when he is operating at his best. Dower Nilsson is a strong skater who can build speed effectively, but his mobility is highlighted more by his quickness and agility, as he is capable of making quick cuts and turns to dart into open space. Dower Nilsson is an effective shooter and playmaker; his shot is quick and snappy, allowing him to get the puck off in tight spaces, while he is also capable of making crisp tape-to-tape passes from the perimeter of the offensive zone. In future viewings, I would like to see Dower Nilsson improve his all-around game and add just a bit more awareness of his surroundings when the puck is on his stick. I would not describe Dower Nilsson as a poor defensive player, but he was more of a non-factor in his own end in this showing rather than a true asset. I would like to see more commitment from him in helping to dig out loose pucks and generate turnovers in his own end, as well as more physical engagement as he adds size and strength to his frame. When the puck is on Dower Nilsson’s stick, he’s a dynamic, exciting player, but I do feel he sometimes gets tunnel vision when attempting to stickhandle through opponents, and I would like to see him look up and search for passing lanes to teammates just a little more often. Overall, this was a strong showing for Dower Nilsson where he flashed a lot of offensive flair and looked the part of a future middle-six scorer at the NHL level. I believe he is worth considering as a second round pick in the 2023 draft.

Full scouting report

QUINTON BURNS | D | Canada | April 23, 2023

MIDTERM RANKING: NR

Scouting report by Donesh Mazloum

Quinton Burns impressed me in this contest as a player who checks many boxes and makes his mark in all areas of the game. His physical tools jump out as he displays length, strength, and a really athletic skating posture. He is incredibly balanced in transitions and powers out of directional changes. This strength through his stride and four-direction mobility allows him to stay right in the mix at all moments of the game. He is quick to jump passing routes and takes all engagements early. He is not afraid to throw his weight around to separate the puck carrier from possession and, because he’s always tight to the play, he forces the opposition into quick decisions all over the ice. At this level, that is the perfect recipe for creating turnovers, and he was noticeably disruptive all night. As tough as Burns is to get past for offensive opportunities, he is equally tough to separate from the puck when defending against him. He shields the puck well with his body and has a knack for maintaining the perfect angle between himself and the defender. He also possesses a smooth stick and enhanced ability to carry the puck with his hands away from the body, adding even more separation. Burns is a calm and simple puck mover who usually has a good idea formulated by the time he gains possession. What he doesn’t show, however, is an ability to cycle through second or third reads if his initial idea breaks down. There were a couple of times in this game where he forced a pass that was destined to fail because he couldn’t adjust on the fly. That lack of mental flexibility can be seen at times on the defensive end as well with unexpected bounces. He is proactive and engaged in putting himself in the right position, but if the play breaks down unexpectedly, he is slower than preferred at reacting and identifying the new danger. Ultimately, however, this is a nitpick as I do think the overall sum of his game is largely positive, and the majority of the time his proactivity and initial read is the right one. I can easily picture him fitting into the bottom four of an NHL defensive corps and would likely target him in the late second/early third round in the 2023 draft.

Full scouting report

EMIL JARVENTIE | LW | Finland | April 20, 2023

MIDTERM RANKING: 89

Scouting report by Rasmus Tornqvist

Emil Jarventie is a speedy winger with a lethal shot. He constantly uses his speed to fly by defenders and isn’t afraid to shoot from further out. With a shot of his caliber, he can beat goalies clean. Sometimes it seems he has his eyes locked on the goal from far out, and turning around once he enters the zone could also be a viable option from time to time, letting his linemates come and join him. However, during cycle plays in the offensive zone, and especially during the power play, he does scan the ice well and usually is aware of his options before he even gets the puck, allowing him to make quick decisions once the puck is on his stick. His hand-eye coordination is also impressive. I didn’t see that much of a stop-and-go style of play from Jarventie in this game, which is something I would like to see him do. With his nimble feet, he could beat defenders with changes of direction and not just by beating them straight up. His willingness to shoot does make him feel a bit one-dimensional at times, which is why I’d like to see him involve his teammates more in certain situations. Jarventie hasn’t had the easiest year on the club level, bouncing around from team to team and league to league. This has definitely affected his draft stock, which is why he currently sits at around the 100th pick for me. There are definitely tools there to be excited and hopeful about, with his shot and his speed, but I think his season combined with his size will cause him to drop a bit.

Full scouting report

BECKETT HENDRICKSON | LW | USA | April 23, 2023

MIDTERM RANKING: NR

Scouting report by Douglas Larson

Beckett Hendrickson is a speedy, responsible forward who does a lot of little things right and has a solid offensive game as well. His north-south speed was visible; it allowed him to carry the puck up ice and be an efficient backchecker when needing to track back towards his own zone. There was also some good deception in his skating with his edge work, nothing too crazy but enough to get around defenders and move around the ice more efficiently. Hendrickson competed throughout the entirety of all his shifts in both ends of the ice, as he was tenacious on the forecheck and had an active stick while defending. The offense just was not showing up enough for him this game. He had the toolkit to create out there but never had possession for a long stretch of time to create his own play that led to a scoring chance. I think his two-way play plays a part in getting minimal looks on offense because if he were to see more ice time, offensive linemates, and some power-play time, I think he looks a lot more impressive to a viewer’s eyes. I think he can carve out a bottom-six center role in the NHL one day, with the potential to put up some respectable offensive production if all goes well in development. I think he’s someone I’d look to take at the start of the fifth round in the 2023 draft.

Full scouting report

PAVEL SIMEK | LW | Czechia | April 27, 2023

MIDTERM RANKING: NR

Scouting report by Arttu Myllymaki

Pavel Simek is a goal-hungry winger who always tries to shoot whenever he gets a chance. He has a quick release and can change the angle of his shot while avoiding opponents’ sticks. He also has a strong stick that allows him to steal pucks. However, in this game, he struggled in the defensive zone, looking clumsy and unsure of how to maintain good posture. He tended to focus only on the puck and failed to track what was happening around him, which led to open passing lines for the opponent while he was on the penalty kill. His puck handling was also uncertain, and he struggled even on easy passes. He didn’t have the tools to challenge opponents in one-on-one situations. On the positive side, he showed good composure during long stretches of defending in his own zone and even pushed an opponent into an offside in the neutral zone. Overall, based on his puckhandling skills and defensive struggles, I don’t think he’ll be drafted in the 2023 draft.

Full scouting report

PETERIS BULANS | LW | Latvia | April 27, 2023

MIDTERM RANKING: NR

Scouting report by Erik Sjolund

Peteris Bulans is an offensive-minded, left-shot defenseman. He is a decent skater who can generate some pace, but his explosiveness could improve, as he is a bit slow when turning and making lateral movements. There’s a calm to his game, and he seems to play the same way under pressure as he does with time and space. His passes can vary in quality. At times, he just throws the puck down the ice, hoping it will reach somebody, which can be frustrating to watch. But more commonly, he looks up and finds his teammates with simple feeds. He is a good puck-mover who likes to take control of the puck in his own zone and skate it up the ice. He is trusted on both the power play and penalty kill, but, in my opinion, he is more suited for the man advantage, where he likes to direct play with quick passing. However, he doesn’t move around too much and has some trouble getting his wristers through traffic. His defensive contribution leaves me wanting more. I’d like to see him turn his head and scan his surroundings more frequently and also be more aggressive and resolute in puck battles in front of the net and along the boards. He could benefit from getting more involved in his own zone, being more physical, and putting more pressure on the attackers. It doesn’t look too difficult to create offense against him at times. This was my first time watching Bulans, and at first glance, he looks like a project to me. I would need to see more of him to get a more complete picture, but I believe that he needs to show defensive development and a willingness to compete before I would feel comfortable picking him in the 2023 draft.

Full scouting report


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