Trevor Zegras may have the most potential of any forward not named Jack Hughes in this draft. His skill set is through the roof and the Blackhawks should take a long look at the playmaker.
When you see Trevor Zegras play, the words “slick” and “slippery” come to mind. When Zegras takes the puck into the offensive zone, you know that something is going to happen. The way Zegras can maneuver the puck and thread needle passes all over the ice is something rare and fun to watch.
When the 2019 NHL Draft comes and goes, Trevor Zegras’ name won’t be on the board long, but will it be the Blackhawks that select him at #3?
As draft day approaches, Blackhawks’ General Manager, Stan Bowman, and director of amateur scouting, Mark Kelley, will do their due diligence on Zegras to find out if he’s the right player for them.
Best Playmaker in the Draft
The USNTDP had one of their best team’s ever in their historic program this year. Players included Jack Hughes, Cole Caufield, Alex Turcotte, Trevor Zegras, Matthew Boldy, Cam York, and etc.
All of these players should go in the first round in the 2019 NHL draft, but it could be Zegras who has the most skill and potential out of all of them.
According to an interview between Athletic’s NHL prospect writer, Corey Pronman, and USNTDP U18 coach, John Wroblewski, Wroblewski said of Zegras,
"“He was our best power play guy at picking apart the opposition, including over Jack Hughes. He is skilled. He’s very quick.”"
These are very strong words from Wroblewski stating that Zegras was more efficient on the powerplay over a potential #1 pick in Jack Hughes.
Imagination and Creativity
Trevor Zegras is the most dangerous when the puck is on his stick in the offensive zone. His head is always up looking for his teammates and always seems to make a play out of nothing.He can play anywhere on the power play, but he is most dangerous on the half-wall, where he creates plays on his off-wing.
There were a lot of cases where Zegras would be on the half-wall on his off-wing and Cole Caufield would be on the other wing. Zegras would sling in passes from the opposite side to Caufield to slam into the open net.
The one concern I have with Zegras is that he will try to make the extra fancy move and try too hard to add flair to a simple play. He never lacks creativity with the puck, as he will go between his legs for a pass or lay out a spinning saucer pass to a teammate.
As this looks fancy on highlight reels, these plays won’t always work in the NHL for Zegras, so the best play for him is to not make the extra move or pass to help avoid a possible turnover. Although these moves prove that Zegras doesn’t lack confidence and loves to be a flashy player. He certainly would be fun to watch in a Blackhawks sweater.
Now, take this comparison with a grain of salt, but Trevor Zegras’ playmaking abilities remind me a lot of Patrick Kane’s. The way Zegras can control the puck, and dominate possession in the offensive zone, is so similar to Kane in the sense that they both always make a play happen when the puck is on their sticks and they always want the puck.
They also have very similar physical frames as Kane is 5’10” 177 lbs, whereas Zegras is 6’0″ 168 lbs. Playmakers like Kane and Zegras utilize their smaller frame to their advantage. They use their speed to fly around the ice and avoid hits, and also, to quickly scoop up a loose puck and distribute it to open teammates.
Kane and Zegras both do a brilliant job of using their edges, and skating ability, to throw defenders off guard and make them think they’re going one way, but really go the other. Like Kane, Zegras is a one-man breakout machine. He loves to take the puck from the defensive zone and carry it in using his speed and agility.
Of all the players in the 2019 NHL Draft, Trevor Zegras may have the highest ceiling out of all of them. He has raw talent and is still developing, but he has the chance to be one of the top playmakers in the NHL.
Zegras may not score 30 goals, but he has the ability to score 20 goals, hand out 60 assists, and be a mainstay on an NHL power play.
Ultimately, I still believe the Blackhawks biggest needs in this draft are defenseman and centerman but if they believe Zegras has the greatest potential then take him. If the Blackhawks take Zegras, expect their powerplay to be one of the best in the upcoming years with Zegras, Kane, DeBrincat, and Toews running the show.