BEDFORD’S ZIGRAS PROJECTED AS TOP-TEN PICK FOR NHL DRAFT THIS MONTH
By Warren Kozireski–
The nay-sayers note that Trevor Zegras played on a line with projected 2019 NHL first overall draft pick Jack Hughes with the U.S. National Team Development Program and that inflated his numbers.
Some scouts say he has a better shot than Hughes, is a better playmaker and is one of the top skaters (described as pro-level mobility) among this year’s draft pool.
We’ll find out what NHL team think on Friday, June 21 during the first round in Vancouver.
He is ranked sixth among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting and tenth by several other ranking services. The New York Rangers pick second and 20th, the Buffalo Sabres seventh and 30 or 31 and the New York Islanders 23rd in the first round.
“Playing with Jack and Alex (projected top-ten pick Turcotte) every day and all these guys I think pushing me every day and I think that’s where I made the most strides,” Zegras said after Day One of the NHL Scouting Combine in Buffalo.
“Growing up my favorite player was Patrick Kane and obviously his passes are way better than mine, but I just try to do what I can and maybe emulate him a little bit. I’m a really good playmaker who sees the ice pretty well. I think I do a lot of good things away from the puck and trying to become a 200-foot player and a depth center.”
Zegras is committed to play this fall for Boston University. He saw his offensive numbers explode from 91 points over a combined 87 games with the U.S. Under-17 National Team and the Development Program’s USHL team in 2017-18 to 127 points in 87 games this past year with the U-18 and USHL squads.
The 6’0”, 168 lb. center couldn’t have better timing for where the NHL is going in terms of speed and finesse compared to a decade ago.
“Fast, high-skill pace and you have to play both ends of the ice if you want to go high in the draft.”
(usa hockey photo)