2017 NHL Draft

Prospect Notes: Spokane vs Kelowna

Blue chipper Yamamoto comes to Chiefs’ rescue with OT winner
Steve Kournianos  |  2/23/2017 |  New York  |  [hupso]

Photo courtesy of the Spokane Chiefs

2017 Draft Prospects

Spokane Chiefs

RW Kailer Yamamoto (9/29/98, 5’8/153): Yamamoto is clearly one of the most gifted offensive talents eligible for the 2017 draft, possibly its most creative. There is no set strategy that can slow him down, let alone stopping him entirely. His chemistry with fellow 2017 draft prospect Jaret Anderson-Dolan is evident from the initial puck drop. He has a devastating change of pace, and he uses sick hand/eye coordination to settle pucks and fire a hard shot with little backswing. Yamamoto’s vision when combined with escapability makes it next to impossible determine his next move, and he can create quality chances off the rush or finish odd-man advantages with soft hands that deaden cross-ice passes. His size hurts him along the boards, and it’s rather effortless for bigger opponents to pin and hold him to the boards.

C Jaret Anderson-Dolan (9/12/99, 5’11/188): Anderson-Dolan is a two-way center with an excellent shot who works well with a pass-first playmaker from the wing like Yamamoto. His defensive game seems to have improved from a year ago, specifically with positioning and covering the most dangerous oppoenent when a defender vacates the slot. He is a very good skater who can cover ground and requires only two or three steps to gain separation from a backchecker. He isn’t flashy and his playmaking abilities may be stifled by lining up alongside an elite talent like Yamamoto. Nevertheless, Anderson-Dolan is a developing center with a strong IQ and heavy shot who can be used on special teams and in late-game situations.

LW Ethan McIndoe (7/22/99, 6’1/175): Positionally-sound physical winger who understands his role and will do what’s necessary to establish positioning in front of the net. McIndoe finishes his checks and is quick enough to force defenders into turnovers, and his choppy stride helps him move quickly and win 50/50 puck battles. He can burst up the ice and create a numbers advantage, and uses his physicality to change the momentum, either with a hit or a fight.

Kelowna Rockets

RHD Cal Foote (12/13/98, 6’4/212): Foote is a no-nonsense shutdown defender with NHL bloodlines, similar in size to his father Adam who patrolled the blueline for the Colorado Avalanche franchise for 17 seasons. He isn’t quick and will not accelerate past forecheckers, but his ability to read plays and dissect the coverage before him puts him in the upper tier of big-bodied defenders available for the 2017 draft. Foote has a very good shot that he hammers with accuracy, and his wrist shot is both deceptive and heavy enough to force a goalie to make a tough save. One trend we noticed is how his shot gives most goalies trouble in terms of rebound placement. By no means does Foote furnish a howitzer, but his shot is perfect for deflections and creating second chances around the net. His bread and butter is defending, especially in one-on-one situations, and his instincts and timing are excellent. Foote is tough to skate around and maintains a tight gap, which when combined with his long stick and reach makes most forwards stay to the outside before skating themselves into no man’s land. He likes to drift away from slot coverage but is quick to release and communicates well with his partner and supporting forwards. Potential is a support defender on a top pair who can anchor a top penalty-killing unit and fill-in on the power play when necessary.

RW Kole Lind (10/16/98, 6’1/181): Lind is a dynamic offense-first forward who is one of Kelowna’s go-to guys on the power play. He’s a very good skater who can cover a lot of ground on the forecheck or rush the puck while pulling away from opponents. Lind’s balance, edges and agility make him difficult to contain with a static defense, as he’s quick with directional changes that often catch defenders flat footed. This kind of footwork gives him enough time and space to wire a hard, accurate shot while going wide or whistling one against the grain. His 200-foot game is evolving but positioning, coverage and picking up assignments are still works in progress. Lind can make plays off the cycle and release via a direct route to a shooting position, and though he likes to hit, getting stronger and holding ground around the net and along the boards are two areas he should work on.