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Olen Zellweger



Scout: Brandon


Anaheim Ducks 2021 NHL Entry Draft 2nd Round Pick
34th Overall Selection by the Anaheim Ducks

MAIN REPORT
Skating:
  • Hyper-mobile.

  • Many gears and styles at disposal.

Puck handling:
  • High degree of connectivity with stride and body positioning.

  • Allows for the access to move the puck through pass or shot at will.

  • “Efficient mark-maker” as he doesn’t waste time with flash for the sake of flash.

Shot:
  • Quick release that is not telegraphed through the rest of his movement.

  • Both one-timers and one-touch shots are crisp.

IQ (vision, offensive and defensive anticipation, panic meter):
  • Incredibly intelligent and often a few steps ahead of everyone else.

  • Very patient when carrying the puck.

  • Cool under pressure.

  • Willing to make unorthodox plays to keep the river flowing in the right direction.

Defense:
  • Competent and slightly physical.

  • Best tool is his strong and consistent poke check that is backed up and fortified by his skating/positioning while executing the poke check.

  • Disruptive to pass attempts.

Best Asset:
  • Toss up between skating and IQ.

Biggest Concern:
  • Defensive responsibility.

Top Tier Potential:
  • Elite, all situation play driver that has the potential to push a perennial PPG pace.

  • Shot totals could be in the higher echelons of the NHL on a season-to-season basis.

  • Marginal hits but fewer blocks.

  • Takeaways and intercepted passes ought to come out on the high end if those stats are counted in some fantasy leagues.

Most Likely Tier:
  • Might take some time for the goals to come in the pros, though intelligence ought to allow assists to translate quickly.

  • 10-30-40, 2nd pair D with special teams deployment, both PP and PK.

Stylistic Comparable:
  • Rare style. It feels lazy to say Q.Hughes when watching him feels like I am watching a forward that happens to line up and cover as a defenseman. Looks closer to Marc Savard or Martin St. Louis.

GAME REPORTS

Date:2022-10-12

League:WHL

Team: Everett

Opponent:Edmonton

Score:6-2 Everett

Notable Stats: 3 G, 1 A, 11 SOG, 0* HIT, 0 BLK, 26:20 TOI


Passing/Stickhandling:
  • Pulls attention/coverage to himself before making a pass.

  • Shares a similar effortless, non-telegraphed quality with his shot.

Shooting:
  • Quick release where he doesn’t telegraph the load/wind-up.

  • Scored on a slick backhander from deep in the slot.

  • Scored goal number two with a fadeaway wrist shot from the left half boards.

  • Hat trick goal is scored with his trademark quick shot from the high slot.

Skating:
  • Picks up speed to get to open ice before calling for a pass when breaking out, (as opposed to setting up a breakout from a standstill D-to-D pass).

  • Incredibly mobile hips are evident in his edgework.

  • His feet move quite independently from his upper body and where he is looking.

  • Uses the speed that he generates to along with slick lateral “lane changes” to find and create space for himself when breaking the puck out and gaining the O-zone.

  • Demonstrated a super-slick evasion of a neutral zone body check where he was able to orient his toes to the right from facing forward and keep his momentum.

  • Holds edges/footing after taking a body check.

Defense:
  • Clearly and freely a “200 foot defender” where he must go by the mantra “a best defense is a good offense”.

  • Aggressive back check. Evident on a play where he went from a pinch on the right half boards in the o-zone to the left half boards in the D-zone to check the puck carrier.

  • Though the stat line has zero hits, I counted two in the first period along the half boards.

Decision Making/Panic Meter/IQ:
  • His intelligence and skill allow him to play out of position on a whim.

  • Very adept at keeping the O-zone.

  • Pressures where the puck is going to be and uses an aggressive “stabbing” poke check on puck carriers or to breakup pass attempts.

Standout skill today:
  • Splitting hairs between outstanding skating and IQ.

What was missing today?:
  • If it didn’t pay off as often and consistently, his frequent and deep pinches would be cause for concern regarding defensive responsibility.

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Date:2023-01-21

League: WHL

Team: Kamloops

Opponent: Tri City

Score: 6-5 Kamloops (OT)

Notable Stats: 1 G, 4 A, 6 SOG, 1 HIT, 1 BLK, 30:18 TOI


Passing/Stickhandling:
  • Flexes his ability to make accurate cross ice passes in the O-zone.

  • If an avenue for a clean pass is not available, he will attempt to pass the puck into an open space where a teammate and peel away to pick up the loose puck. Set up the OT winner (Stankoven) with a backhand pass from the right corner under 2-on-1 coverage.

Shooting:
  • Crisp one-timer.

  • Made many attempts to unleash his one-timer.

  • Trademark release from the top of the left circle for a goal.

Skating:
  • While his usual buzz and flow was on display, he seemed to be less sure-footed in this game. This might be an ice quality issue as the ice looked quite frosty and other players were losing footing.

  • It’s remarkable to watch him shift gears at will to jump up into the play or hustle on backcheck.

Defense:
  • Demonstrated active feet while skating backwards to present a secondary threat to intercept the puck on an opponent trying to beat him 1-on-1.

Decision Making/Panic Meter/IQ:
  • There was a noticeable difference in how dependent the Blazers were on him as compared to the Silver Tips. In this game, he wasn’t the primary play driver (that honour would go to Stankoven).

  • Demonstrated confidence in execution, even under pressure or if the play gets broken. He could see what he wanted to accomplish regardless.

Standout skill today:
  • Drive/will to create chances or push the play forward in the Blazers favour.

What was missing today?:
  • A beat more patience on passes and play creation. Could be the new team rust as this was his 5th game with Kamloops.

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Date: 2023-03-18

League: WHL

Team: Kamloops

Opponent: Kelowna

Score: 5-4 Kamloops (OT)

Notable Stats: 1 G, 2 A, 14 SOG, 0* HIT, 0 BLK, 27:22 TOI


Passing/Stickhandling:
  • Broke up a pass on a neutral zone pinch near center and then knocked the loose puck to himself out of the danger of a pouncing opponent.

  • Acted as a low-slot play changer by utilizing the chaos of deflections and rebounds (either creating or the benefactor of).

  • The way he carries the puck while being pursued allows him to pass or shoot at a moment’s notice, often before the opponent senses that the puck is being moved.

Shooting:
  • Found and slid into plenty of open ice in the slot to get a quick one-touch shot off a brilliant pass and then followed up the rebound score a goal with another quick release.

  • Non-telegraphed wrister in the third was tipped to bring the game to 4-4 and overtime.

Skating:
  • Accelerated from a glide to a wide drive off a pass that took him around the faceoff circle and down to the goal line before cutting back up into the deep slot. The shot looks as though is was deflected just wide of the left of the net.

  • After making a pass, he automatically skates up the ice to “passively” progress the play.

  • Took a forechecker on a spin cycle (4-5 sharp turns) during a dog fight where he out maneuvered the pursuant player to get a pass up the ice on the breakout.

Defense:
  • Made a fantastic diving pokecheck/sweep where he knocked the puck off the stick of an opponent on a clean breakaway in the slot.

  • Landed a solid shoulder check that lead to a rush resulting in a Grade A scoring chance that was robbed by the goaltender. I would have notched one in the hit column for this play, but the stat line shows a zero.

  • Had soft coverage on a play that went behind his own net that allowed the puck carrier to make a feed to put Kelowna up 4-3.

Decision Making/Panic Meter/IQ:
  • His mindset seems to be wired towards always trying to create or produce plays and chances for his team. Looks like he is thinking the game a few steps ahead of the rest of the rink.

  • It seems at times that his vision can be slightly better than the play that ultimately is executed.

  • Is not afraid to make deep pinches to the slot when the play is hemmed into the corner in the O-zone. (Did get burned on a deep pinch resulting in a 2-on-1 goal against).

  • Jumps up as “F2/F3” on zone entries often.

Standout skill today:
  • This was a “showcase/textbook” Zellweger performance. All tools on display. I would put offensive creativity on the top of the list.

What was missing today?:
  • Maybe a bit too daring to get involved deep in the O-zone.

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