Friday, November 16, 2012

Morgan Klimchuk Is On The Radar In 2013

The Regina Pats have a knack for developing somewhat undersized guys into legitimate NHL prospects.  Guys like Jordan Eberle and Jordan Weal are recent examples. But, a new name has arrived on the NHL draft scene from the Pats and his name is Morgan Klimchuk.

He stormed out of the gate in his WHL career with a fantastic rookie year in 2011-12, posting 18 goals and 36 points for Regina.  Coming into this season I called him a kid who will one day be a point-per-game player and someone to watch as a potential late-first round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft.

Well, he's ahead of schedule with those predictions this season as Klimchuk leads the Pats in goals with 11 and is second in points with 21 in only 22 games.  As expected, NHL teams are definitely taking notice of his offensive contributions. But to me, it's the other parts of his game that set him apart and make him an NHL prospect to keep your eyes on.

The first thing about his game you will notice is his blazing speed.  He's extremely quick, with great top end speed and the ability to change directions on a dime. His mobility and shiftiness make him extremely hard to defend.  Along with those abilities come an aggressive mindset.  He's definitely a shoot-first player, but he doesn't waste his shots. He picks his spots, is able to find seams in the defence and make his chances count.

He might not be the biggest kid in the world at 5'11 and 180 pounds, but that doesn't hold him back.  He's a hound on the puck, is always one of the hardest workers on the ice and is showing a commitment to rounding out his defensive game. 

At this point of the season, Klimchuk is definitely living up to the expectations that the Pats and draft watchers had for him.  So where does he fit into the 2013 NHL Draft? It's hard to tell.  It's a deep year with a ton of talent to choose from. 

If I had to take a stab at it, I would say Klimchuk has shown enough grit, skill and determination to have his name potentially called near the end of the 1st round in 2013.  Some teams might like him more than that, others might like him less. 

But one thing is for sure.  Morgan Klimchuk is on the radar for the 2013 NHL Draft.