The next prospect is Lawson Crouse, who is ranked 7th in the mock draft. From what I’ve seen he looks like a very good defensive forward, with some pretty good offensive skills.
Crouse is a big guy at 6’4″, 212 lbs, and is not afraid to use it. I always have thought it’s a waste if a player doesn’t throw his body around when he has that size. Fortunately, when it comes to Crouse, he effectively hits and gets in on the forecheck. At the same time, he knows when not to forecheck, and instead stay as the high forward. Otherwise, it’s an easy breakout if the opposition gains control of the puck. Crouse stays in position and has his stick on the ice at all times, taking away the passing lanes, making him a very effective penalty-killer.
Crouse has very good vision and awareness on the ice. He is smart on and off the puck, and with his vision and positioning, he finds open areas on the ice, getting into good scoring position. He seems to have a great ability to score, tallying 29 goals in 56 games with Kingston this past season. His shot is very good, as well as his passing ability. He likes to get ahead on the breakout to to create scoring chances, which has its ups and downs. He is able to do it successfully, but there were a few times where a turnover occurred, leaving him behind the play. I will compliment him on rushing back defensively, though. He has very good skating with nice speed and agility.
I will agree with the mock draft and see him as a very solid 7th overall pick.