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Photo Credit: Dennis Pajot/Getty Images

First Round Targets: BARRETT HAYTON

The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds were an absolute powerhouse this past season. They had high-end talent galore with the likes of Morgan Frost, Conor Timmins and Boris Katchouk among others driving the bus for the Soo. Insert Barrett Hayton, whose role on a loaded team has left many debating whether or not he is a top prospect.

He wasn’t a go-to-guy, but still cemented himself as a valuable piece in their run to the OHL final. Being a center in a weak draft for centers could result in the Kitchener, Ontario native being selected much higher than some expect.

He also has a June 2000 birthday. So he still has an extra year of development, but that also means Detroit would have to wait until the 2019-20 season before they can bring him over to the AHL (unless he is able to crack the NHL lineup).

Rankings

Ranked 11th by FUTURE CONSIDERAIONS

Ranked 12th by ISS HOCKEY

Ranked 11th by MCKEEN’S HOCKEY

Ranked 9th by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (NA Skaters)

Stats

Via eliteprospects.com

Racking up almost a point-per-game with average ice-time is impressive. Even more so in the playoffs where he step up in a big way, with twenty-one points in twenty-four games.

Hayton is almost reliving the same exact season Robert Thomas had for the London Knights in 2016-17.

Via Propsect-Stats.com

Same build, same age, same ice-time. The stats lineup as well, with Hayton being slightly more of a goal-scorer and Thomas a play-maker. Thomas was selected twentieth overall in 2017 by the St. Louis Blues and has since emerged as one of the ten best NHL prospects. At the same point in both of their careers, they’re almost identical.

Eye Test

Also like Thomas, they both play similar two-way games. Hayton has potential to become a shut-down center. He has the speed and gritty work ethic to shadow the opposition’s best. His reputation as a hard worker is something many scouts praise. Being as refined defensively as he is now can make the process much easier, as he carries less question marks in an area that is hard to project in growth.

Offensively, his game has no glaring weaknesses. He isn’t a dynamic skater – his edge work could use some work, but he has decent wheels. He has very good hands, being able to pull out something from his bag of tricks once in a while. He is more of a shooter than passer, but isn’t elite in either regard. On the fore-check he is relentless. He has the making to become a top-unit penalty-killer.

Is he a Motor City Match

Good player, but he isn’t that home-run type player the Red Wings need. Being a center, It’s almost a lock he goes in the top-15. With that, he not worth moving up for. He shouldn’t be in consideration for their top-10 pick, so they would have to trade up to acquire him.


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