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Draft Prospect Profile: Jamie Drysdale
By Logan Orsini
With the 2019-2020 NHL season in an odd state with uncertainty about whether play will resume, many Ducks fans are turning their heads towards the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. Especially since this year’s draft is looking to be a rather deep one with the likes of Alexis Lafreniere, Quinton Byfield, and Alexander Holtz, just to name a few.
With all these high powered forwards on the board and with the Anaheim Ducks sitting at 26th in the league in goals at 182, one might assume that the Ducks should pick one of these forwards. The Ducks might want to take a look at their blue line for this year’s draft though.
A top defenseman in this year’s draft is Jamie Drysdale (CAN) from the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). He has put up 47 points, including 38 assists, in 49 games this season. He was at a point per game pace when the season abruptly halted. He also represented Team Canada at the World Junior Classic this year, putting up one goal and two assists in seven games.
His most standout ability by far is his skating. He is an elite skater with great speed and transitions, and he can use it to create chances and recover in any situation on the ice. Another great upside is his puck handling ability along with a high hockey IQ. These three abilities combined make him a great puck handling defenseman, allowing him to produce more space for his teammates.
All of these offensive abilities do not take away from his ability on defense. His speed makes him a great one on one defenseman, and it also gives him the ability to recover in odd-man rushes. He is great at forcing the play, making opponents dump the puck in. His stick is very active in that he has a great ability to anticipate where the puck will be, allowing him to disrupt passing lanes.
Not every player is perfect though and Drysdale does have his downsides. He stands at 5’11, 170 lbs. Not that size is an issue but he will have to bulk up to play in today’s NHL. Another is his shot. It is not at that elite level like his skating and passing, but he does tend to be a more pass-first offensive threat.
The Ducks could add a serious offensive threat to their blue line with Drysdale. With a lot of the attention this season on elite young defensemen like Quinn Hughes of the Vancouver Canucks and Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche, they are perfect examples of how a young, offense-minded defenseman can make a team so much better. Makar and Hughes also show that to be successful in today’s NHL, players have an elite skating ability. Drysdale could potentially have that, as he has been compared to these two.
The Anaheim Ducks blue line is not what it used to be. Cam Fowler, Hampus Lindholm, and Josh Manson still hold the core of the blue line, but because of trades and an expansion draft, it has been depleted. Adding a top defenseman in this year’s draft may put the Ducks blue line in the right direction to where it once was.
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April 26th, 2020