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Connor Lockhart (C) – Erie Otters

Between the missed season and size concerns, Connor Lockhart has tumbled down draft boards (104th in North American skaters on NHL.com), but he isn’t exactly deserving of it. Although small, standing at only 5-foot-9, it’s entirely possible that he has grown since the layoff. Outside of his size, however, he is an exceptionally talented centerman who was likely due for a big season with the Erie Otters and could very possibly be one of the better players in the league when the puck does drop in October.

Related: Connor Lockhart – 2021 NHL Draft Prospect Profile

There’s no question that Lockhart’s specialty is the offensive zone. When it comes to this end of the ice, he excels in large part thanks to his shooting, skating, and creativity. It’s hard to judge exactly what you are going to get out of Lockhart, however. When looking at his tape, all you really have to rely on is his rookie season in 2019-20, a season where most players are getting acclimated to the league and can struggle to find consistent playing time and top-tier performance.

Connor Lockhart Erie Otters Connor Lockhart, Erie Otters (Luke Durda/OHL Images)

It’s more of a situation where scouts need to project into the future instead of thinking about what they have right here right now because we know virtually nothing about what Lockhart looks like right now. The word ‘nifty’ comes to mind with this player, and despite his low goal-scoring totals in 2019-21 (nine goals in 57 games), that number is going to climb exponentially in 2021-22.

What might surprise some people is his willingness to play with an edge and mix in physicality when needed. Smaller players typically shy away from this sort of thing in their first year or two in the OHL, but Lockhart was never afraid to go into the corner hard and work for the puck. He’s an intelligent hockey player after all.

In the defensive zone, however, he struggles. This goes for his positioning and his ability to make a crisp pass when needed. Whoever ends up drafting him can likely fix this issue with some work, but this could also just be down to being a rookie in an incredibly competitive league.

“He will have almost certainly gotten stronger over the layoff, if not bigger as well,” said Dylan Galloway of FC Hockey. “If that’s the case it will be more likely that he can pull off similar plays against even bigger and stronger players as he progresses through the pro levels. His intelligence to read the defenseman, solid body positioning instincts, and the ability to finish the play with a pass to the slot area are great things to see from such a young player.”

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11 minutes ago, DeNiro said:

Looks like they went to Gradin for a couple late round Swedish D!

 

I like it! Forsling and Persson were both good Gradin picks. Hopefully he got us another gem.

Doubt it. As much as i like gradin, the legwork was done by guys like lindgren, hammarstrom, and now jonsson when it comes to our swedish prospects

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7 minutes ago, Trebreh said:

Klimovich (Kopitar)

 

Gabrielson - Myrenberg (Hedberg)

 

Koskenvuo (Vasilevsky)

 

:emot-parrot:

I really feel that Klimovich will be something special and Koskenvuo and Gabrielson both seem like great high potential picks at their spot.  Myrenberg seems okay but you never know.

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9 minutes ago, 204CanucksFan said:

 

The phrase that raised a flag for me was:  average skater

 

This isn’t promising. Get an elite skating coach kid.


It is essential that you are a good to great skater to be impactful in the NHL.

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Kind of underwhelmed by this kid. Could turn out to be very good. 3rd overall selection in the OHL draft for his year but missed all of last season, never went overseas, so he hasn't been on the ice competitively in over a year. Under sized according to the draft lists but who knows when he was last officially weighed with no combine, hopefully he's put on some muscle mass during his off time.

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My notes on Connor Lockhart from 2019 U17s:

 

"The one guy I really liked from Canada Red was Connor Lockhart. That's right, the 90s Teen sitcom star. For real though, he's got moves and was one of the few players on that weak Red team who ever had the gall to hold on to the puck and try to make something happen. They play like Switzerland circa 2010. "

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1 minute ago, viking mama said:

The phrase that raised a flag for me was:  average skater

 

This isn’t promising. Get an elite skating coach kid.


It is essential that you are a good to great skater to be impactful in the NHL.

You need to read that again. Click on the images. The first one says his skating stands out at his age level, the second image says he is an "above average skater"

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Canucks looking towards excellent skating prospects which is a good idea

 

all of these picks seem to have excellent upside in skill and potential... unlike the last two drafts which seemed more geared towards size and grit

 

perhaps this was a change in philosophy from Todd Harvey and Ryan Biech

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Just now, Kobayashi Maru said:

I really feel that Klimovich will be something special and Koskenvuo and Gabrielson both seem like great high potential picks at their spot.  Myrenberg seems okay but you never know.

after reading some scouting reports on Klimovich i've warmed up to the pick. you cant teach size and finish, he's a center with 'heft' lol. 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, 204CanucksFan said:

Kind of underwhelmed by this kid. Could turn out to be very good. 3rd overall selection in the OHL draft for his year but missed all of last season, never went overseas, so he hasn't been on the ice competitively in over a year. Under sized according to the draft lists but who knows when he was last officially weighed with no combine, hopefully he's put on some muscle mass during his off time.

Probably why he dropped. Never know how he may turn out 

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Only rookie year to base a decision on. 

 

This was a role the dice and pray.  One year of developing time gone. However there was probably lots of time in the gym for some of these guys.

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5 minutes ago, Isam said:

Doubt it. As much as i like gradin, the legwork was done by guys like lindgren, hammarstrom, and now jonsson when it comes to our swedish prospects

This. Gradin is all over the place doing crossover. His job is just to double check what he hears from the area scouts.

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2 minutes ago, Trebreh said:

after reading some scouting reports on Klimovich i've warmed up to the pick. you cant teach size and finish, he's a center with 'heft' lol. 

 

 

He also has a bit of a nasty streak.

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3 minutes ago, 204CanucksFan said:

Kind of underwhelmed by this kid. Could turn out to be very good. 3rd overall selection in the OHL draft for his year but missed all of last season, never went overseas, so he hasn't been on the ice competitively in over a year. Under sized according to the draft lists but who knows when he was last officially weighed with no combine, hopefully he's put on some muscle mass during his off time.

Up until this puck the Canucks have been pretty conservative and only picking players who have played a lot.last season.

Seems they must have liked this playerbenough to throw a 6th at him.

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1 minute ago, Trebreh said:

after reading some scouting reports on Klimovich i've warmed up to the pick. you cant teach size and finish, he's a center with 'heft' lol. 

 

 

Yeah he has all the tools it appears.  It’s funny to read that his strengths include leadership, hockey IQ etc but that he needs to develop mentally.  I think this speaks to him being an under the radar unknown.  Only time will tell if he puts it together.

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