28. RD Scott Mayfield – Youngstown (USHL)
DOB: Nov. 14/92 | Shoots: R | Height: 6.04 | Weight: 200lbs Midterm Rank: 16 | League Rank: 4th USHL | Country Rank: 5th USA
Entering the 2010-2011 season, Scott Mayfield was high on most lists and seemed to be a sure 1st round pick. Other rankings appear to have dropped Mayfield and most cite the fact that he played with Youngstown of the USHL and perhaps he did not progress as hoped or even regressed in some eyes. My opinion differs in that I think in some ways Mayfield may have benefited from that experience.
What everyone does agree on is that Mayfield owns the skills to be a first pair defenseman in the NHL. Also, he uses his 6’4” 200lb frame to play with a nasty edge. He skates well with a powerful stride that allows him to take ice quickly and move well laterally, Mayfield’s 1 on 1 skills were without par at the USHL level including the USNTDP squads. His long reach, good footwork and text book technique made him very difficult to beat.
Offensively, you would be hard pressed to find more accurate shot from the point whether it’s a booming slap shot or hard wrist shot. Mayfield makes the 1st pass with ease and transitions the puck quickly to offense. The problem is that over the past few seasons watching Mayfield closely, I witnessed several occasions where he made a great play on the puck only to have one of his teammates skate the wrong way or not get into position quick enough for the pass. That is one of the reasons his skills did not translate into enough points to please those expecting more offense. Those instances contributed to the belief that Mayfield did not do himself any favors by returning to the USHL.
However, you can’t ignore the fact the Mayfield can and does play up to the level of his team and the competition contributing to the US team at the 2009 Ivan Hlinka Tournament and being named MVP at the 2010 World Jr. A Challenge. Mayfield also used the season to develop some of the finer points of his game. For instance, he had a tendency to always take the puck to his backhand when skating through traffic in the neutral zone. As a result, he would often limit his options and take himself out of the play by entering the offensive zone on his backhand as he came down the left side.
Mayfield appears to have gotten rid of that habit and can move handle the puck equally well on the forehand or backhand. Also, Mayfield ascended into a leadership role that appears to have made an already mature kid even more mature. He’s moving on to a great situation at Denver where he will no doubt continue to grow and elevate his game.
Pros : Physical skills and 1 on 1 defensive technique
Cons: Level of play may not have pushed development
Skillset comparison: Chris Pronger