I was able to take in my first WHL game this past week with a matchup between the Medicine Hat Tigers and the Edmonton Oil Kings; a game that features two of the top WHL prospects for the 2013 NHL Entry Draft at this point.
Has the best set of hands in tight that I have seen since Jordan Eberle roamed these parts. His ability to breakdown goaltenders in a one on one situation is something special. Often stealth like, someone who likes to hover around the play and picks the right time to strike when others least expect it. As a late ’94 birth date, he has a leg up in experience over his other draft counterparts, but he has already emerged as a very key component to the Tigers’ attack. His skating is very fluid, great agility, and his ability to get to top speed is excellent. He is somewhat slight but very sturdy on his skates. I look for big things from Hunter Shinkaruk as he heads into his draft year.
Lazar isn’t quite as far along on the development curve as Shinkaruk is. That being said, he has an excellent set of tools that will make him highly sought after going into his draft year. The tools he has is a laser of a shot (no pun intended). His ability to find soft spots and use a quick release is something that will get him a lot of goals in the Dub. Lazar gets around the ice in good form as well, looking much Gilbert Brule did in his time with the Vancouver Giants. Lazar has filled out nicely, he looks mature beyond his years, something that will help him polish out his defensive game. As the NHL moves to finding two-way centers that can shoot the puck, I believe that will make Lazar a commodity by the 2013 draft.
It’s still a long way away from July, 2013, but these are just two of the players that you’ll want to keep an eye on over the next couple of WHL seasons as they look to make their mark on Western Canada’s premier junior hockey league.