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Zack Ostapchuk



Skating:

Ostapchuk has excellent balance and is strong on his skates. He lacks separation speed at the AHL and NHL level, so will need to work hard to get to open spaces. Overall, he is slightly below average.


Passing/Handling:

He won't dangle the puck or drive play at the NHL level, but he sees the ice well and has a nice, accurate pass in all three zones. His lack of elite puck handling is what will keep his ceiling lower than what it could be.


Shooting:

He has a slightly above average snap or wrist shot when he has the time or space to get it off. Most of his goals at the AHL or NHL level will be inside the hashmarks.


IQ (Vision, Anticipation, Panic/Poise):

He has average anticipation at best, but sees the ice well in both the offensive and defensive zones. He is comfortable in his own end and has shown patience with the puck at the NHL level.


Forechecking:

Ostapchuk can be very physical on the forecheck and works hard to get in quickly. He wins more board battles than he loses.


Defense:

He needs to work on his positioning down low in his own end, but he is very responsible leaving his own end as the last forward on most occasions. Depending on where he plays at either center or wing, he will need to improve on picking up the different assignments on the fly for each of those positions.


Best Asset:

Forechecking and defensive responsibility.


Biggest Concern:

Lack of offense. If he's not winning faceoffs, being physical or winning puck battles, he doesn't have much to fall back on if there is little production.


Top Tier/Role Potential:

3rd line center


Justification for Top Tier Assessment:

He's big and plays a heavy game. He could chip in 15-25 goals and 35-45 points and win his fair share of faceoffs. He could also be a valuable penalty killer.


50th Percentile Tier/Role:

4th line center


Justification for 50th Percentile Tier Assessment:

I believe he will have a role in the NHL, but only as far as his production takes him. He could be an 8-12 goals and 20-25 point center who gets 100 hits per year as his floor.


Stylistic Comparable:

Nicolas Roy


Scouts Final Thoughts and Additional Stats/Info:

Ostapchuk is a hard working, big bodied center who has a floor and ceiling between the 3rd and 4th line in the NHL. It could take him a year or two to become a regular NHLer who gets 60 games plus.


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