2018 NHL Draft

CJHL Top Prospects Game: Player Notes

Tychonick, Wong deliver as Team West trounces Team East in Junior “A” prospect showcase
Steve Kournianos  |  1/23/2018 |  Nashville  |  [hupso]

Photo courtesy of the Penticton Vees

Penticton defenseman Jonny Tychonik is one of the BCHL’s top-rated prospects for the 2018 NHL Draft

Team West

LHD Jonny Tychonick (Penticton Vees, BCHL | 6’0, 175 | 3/3/00): Easily the most noticeable player on the ice with or without the puck. Tychonick’s skating is at the forefront of his overall game — everything he does with the puck is a consequence of it. Whether it’s skating through open ice or weaving around traffic, the North Dakota commit commands a lot of respect on the ice, and you can tell he keeps opponents honest. Give him space, and he’ll exploit it. Tighten up on him? Forget it — he’s gone. He shared the top-paiting duties with righty Jacob Bernard-Docker, and the duo never stopped moving their feet. While both like throwing pucks on net, Tychonick is more of a fire-and-forget kind of shooter who looks to create rebounds rather than blast one through the twine. He should wear No. 911 on the back of his jersey, because he’s the first player his mates call to get the puck out of the zone.

C Austin Wong (Okotoks Oilers, AJHL | 5’10, 176 | 8/26/00): A pitbull of a power forward who combines skill and tructulance, Wong scored a pair of goals and was named Team West MVP. It was his massive wallop on an unsuspecting Matthew Kellenberger, however, that got him the most attention. Say what you want about the nastiness of the hit, but it proved to be effective in the long run, as Jack McBain’s response got him a major penalty and kicked out of the game. Beyond the post-whistle shenanigans, the Harvard commit  was one-arm shoving opponents off the puck with regularity. He gets in on the forecheck and is able to make quick-reaction plays that lead to scoring chances around the net. Wong was motoring up the ice with deceptive straight-line speed and showed excellent balance when taking it strong to the net. His hands and reflexes help him collect bouncing pucks and make clean transitions from skate to stick. He’s probably not as good a playmaker as Sean Avery or Darcy Tucker were at this stage of their development, but Wong plays a similar abrasive style that beats you in a variety of ways.

LW/C Angus Crookshank (Langley Rivermen, BCHL | 5’11, 181 | 10/2/99): Crookshank is a dual-threat winger who can create plays as well as he can finish them. He was one of Canada West’s top players at last months World Junior “A” Challenge, and he followed up that performance with another example of his solid overall game. He’s very shifty and elusive in tight quarters, and rarely do you see him buckle under the pressure of collapsing space. Crookshank is very strong on the puck when either static or moving towards the net, and he is smart enough to shift his weight in order to maintain control while warding off harassing defenders. A solid playmaker with very good vision, Crookshank made a great pass from the left circle to the low slot, where Corey Andonovski tipped home a goal to complete a textbook rush up ice. He’s got very good separation speed and has a nonstop motor, and he pivots quickly to respond to any directional changes the puck may take.

RHD Jacon Bernard-Docker (Okotoks Oilers, AJHL | 6’0, 171 | 6/30/00): Bernard-Docker is a hard-shooting puck rusher and power-play quarterback who was paired with Jonny Tychonick at even strength for most of the night. Both he and Tychonick ran the points on the top power-play unit and had excellent chemistry by keeping their feet moving and covering up for one another, especially if a move into the slot was made. He’s a fluid skater with very good speed and agility, and his backwards or lateral closing speed was among the best of any prospect in last night’s game. Always looking to hammer the puck, Bernard-Docker owns a howitzer of a slapper, but his lethal wrister also makes goalies earn their paychecks. He makes accurate strecth passes, even off his back foot — one of which sprung Angus Crookshank for a breakaway.

LW Ben Sanderson (Okotoks Oilers, AJHL | 6’0, 181 | 7/5/00): Sanderson plays a lot like his father Geoff did for the Hartford Whalers back in the 1990s — fast-paced winger with a very good shot who preys on lazy passes in the neutral zone. Sanderson is a threat to score in any situation, including on the penalty kill. But he isn’t just a straight-line attacker — Sanderson is nimble and shifty enough to maneuver himself into a better firing posiiton. His speed and smarts put him in the perfect position to trap or harass opposing defenders who are attempting to break out, and he is quite confident in his abilities once the puck is stolen.

RHD Maxwell Crozier (Nanaimo Clippers, BCHL | 6’2, 190 | 4/19/00): Reliable puck mover with very good speed who can orchestrate a power play and likes to stay involved in the play once the puck crosses the opposing blue line. Crozier is a very good breakout passer who can thread the needle through skates and sticks, and he doesn’t shy away from dropping down below the circles with his head up in order to create a scoring chance. Crozier is a bit of a risk taker who constantly looks for the home-run play, which at times gets both him and his mates trapped in odd-man situations. His one-on-one play is solid on entries, and he times his releases well to prevent wandering far from his slot duties. Crozier, who is committed to Providence, is good at exploiting his skating and mobility, and can be used on either the power play or the penalty kill.

C/LW Brendan Budy (Langley Rivermen, BCHL | 5’11, 190 | 6/6/00): One of Junior A’s top offensive threats, Budy is a dangerous player with a considerable amount of moves to create chances. He can be either a playmaker or a shooter, depending on the situation. This makes him tough to war game, especially off the rush or in odd-man situations, where he can bring his hard, accurate shot to bear once he gets close enough into the circles. If not, Budy uses his crafty passing skills to carve up defenders who make the mistake of cheating towards the strong side.

Team East

C/W Jack McBain (Toronto Jr. Canadiens, OJHL | 6’1, 196 | 1/6/00): McBain is a power forward who plays with a lot of bite and can perform as either a center or on the flank. He was guilty of trying to do a lot with very little, but the one thing you can never question is the overall effort and team-first mentality. McBain is at his best when he’s using anticipation and speed to force turnovers — then throws in size and strength as a coup de grâce. And although this was on display quite frequently, he was rather quiet in terms of creating chances or getting some for himself. He played wing on a line with power center Ethan Manderville, and the duo did more damage down low in the first period than in the second. McBain’s night came to an abrupt end in the 2nd period when he responded to Wong’s crushing hit on Kellenberger with a full-speed charge into Wong’s back. He was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct, and although Team West scored on the ensuing power play, his actions were certainly understandable. The key for him is to learn that he could have gotten the message across without putting his team at a significant disadvantage.

C Ethan Manderville (Ottawa Jr. A Senators, CCHL | 6’4, 197 | 7/1/00): Manderville also is a son of a former NHLer — his father Kent played almost a dozen seasons as a reliable checker and penalty killer. Ethan is a similar two-way player, as he uses his size and reach to maintain control of the puck in traffic or close-quarter engagements. He is very good at faceoffs and can be trusted to take key defensive-zone draws, and he knows where to position himself and prevent an immediate quality chance. Manderville is a very cerebral center and the puck always finds him — not from luck or coincidence, but because he reads plays well and puts forth the effort to compliment his strong hockey sense. Manderville is not a fast skater, but he is tough to slow down once he dips the shoulder and charges his way to the net. Once he gets there, he displays soft hands, a nice touch, and makes plays for his linemates in or around the low slot.

LHD Mason Snell (Wellington Duke, OJHL | 6’0, 183 | 6/18/00): Smooth-skating rearguard and a confident puck rusher who can create offense from the back end with either his skating or passing ability. Snell, who is committed to Penn State, is a power-play quarterback and playmaker who uses his speed effectively and decisively. Always poised under pressure, Snell is confident in his abilities to deliver the puck safely regardless of the ferocity of the forecheck he’s facing. He has a hard shot that he keeps low and on net, but he’s better at whipping the puck around to his mates than he is at blasting one through from the blue line.