One of my favorite prospects in the entire 2019 draft — and in my opinion the most underrated — Trevor Janicke, time and time again impressed me with his bullish, yet highly skilled style. The first half of the season I was only catching some of Janicke’s tape when I was scouting other draft eligibles in the USHL and they happened to be playing Central Illinois. Only to realize he was consistently playing at a high level and was one of the most noticeable players each game. I immediately looked at my list and laughed at how low I had him.
Since then I kept watching and he only rose from there. He was the heart and soul of a team that is currently in deep financial trouble, previously being an after thought on the U.S. National Team Development Program 2000-born group. Don’t be surprised if he is this draft’s version of Tyler Madden.
|Team||Central Illinois (USHL)|
|Birthday||December 25, 2000|
Skating: 50 – Puck Skills: 55 – Hockey IQ/Sense: 55 – Physicality: 55
One of the misconception’s regarding Janicke is his skill level. He has more hard-skill, rather than uber skill. He brings a dimension that’s hard to come by in highly touted players. I love his work ethic, he is constantly moving his feet and making life difficult for the opponents. He doesn’t shy away from the dirty part of the game and will do whatever it takes to win.
I like to think of him as a Swiss Army knife. Every draft typically has one of these type of players where you can slot them anywhere in the lineup and they’ll play any role needed. Be it a go-to top-6 guy, bottom-6 depth scoring, bottom-6 checker, or even a mainstay on special teams.
Lets start by breaking down the number one weapon in Janicke’s arsenal: his shot. He has 20 goal potential in the NHL because of his ability to score in a variety of ways. Looking first on the powerplay, he has an absolute cannon. His wrist shot and more specifically his one-timer are lethal. In fact, he really caught my eye with some wow goals from far out. Before you’re aware of how dangerous he can be from above the circles, he will really catch you off guard with just how powerful his bombs are. That is the biggest key: the velocity he gets off gives goaltenders very little time to get across and make the save.
His 22 goals in 58 games doesn’t seem like anything special, but its important to remember he was playing on the USHL’s fourth worst team in the Central Illinois Flying Aces. He didn’t have anyone who could consistently get him the puck, and that’s not to say he played poor away from the puck, but other top goal scorers had the luxury of having a strong playmaker along side of them.
Janicke isn’t just a one-trick pony, however, having the ability to drive a line. He doesn’t have high-end speed, but is constantly moving his feet. That culminates into a strong first step and foot work. He has the hands and mind to make plays as well.
A player who can make standout plays AND give you a complete effort is tough to ignore.
I can see the Maple Grove, Minnesota native developing into a top-6 pivot who can contribute on both special teams and be given the tough match-ups. He doesn’t have game-breaking abilities to become a first liner, but the potential to be a 20 goal man down the middle is very enticing.
Janicke is set to become a member of the Fighting Irish, joining Notre Dame next season to begin his collegiate career. The Fighting Irish have grown so much as a program in the last few years, having reach the National Championship game in 2018. They have also recruited top 2020 draft prospect Ryder Rolston next season as well.
I don’t anticipate Janicke looking else where to play next season, however there are instances where this has happened in the past. If he ever returns to the USHL, his rights now belong to the Muskegon Lumbarjacks, as the Flying Aces franchise is taking a one year withdrawal from on-ice competition.
As far as a timeline goes for his pro hockey arrival, I think its best to just wait and see when he is ready. I’m a big supporter in the college hockey route and feel that it is an excellent environment to develop in. Of course, the big risk of taking college hockey bound players is that they can walk as unrestricted free-agents after four years. But that isn’t something that should scare you away from a player of Janicke’s caliber.