Zachary Werenski

Next on my list is Zachary Werenski. He is listed as 8th in the mock draft. I see a lot of ups and downs to his game.

First thing I like is his good defensive skills. He has good reflexes and awareness to break plays up. He has his stick on the ice, ready to break up a pass. The downside is his high-risk positioning. He seems to cheat a lot, which, if unsuccessful, leads to a very good chance. I’ve seen it happen a few times with him. He will occasionally lose his man and needs the goalie to bail him out.

What I like about the offensive side to his game is that he is decisive. He doesn’t hesitate to shoot and gets them off quickly. He also makes the low-risk pass instead of trying to force one through. That helps a lot in the offensive zone, especially on the power-play. That being said, his high-risk positioning can do the opposite. On the power-play, when the puck is down low, he will slide into the slot instead of staying up high and trying to hold the puck in the zone, negating a power-play chance. You know that is one thing that bothers me. He will also cheat along the boards instead of dropping back defensively, creating a possible odd-man rush.

I have to again agree with the mock draft, ranking him at 8th. It seems like I have a lot of critism, but I think, as he grows, those are mistakes that he can correct. I believe it will take a couple years for him to be NHL ready, but once he is, I think he will be a very solid defenseman in the league.

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