After drafting Aaron Ekblad with the No. 1 overall pick last night, Dale Tallon selected a forward with the Panthers second pick in the NHL Entry Draft, passing over other prospects such as Ivan Barbashev and Thatcher Demko to take Jayce Hawryluk. Standing at 5'10" and weighing 186 pounds, the center/right winger plays a game suited for a much bigger player, darting all over the ice, getting under the skin of opponents, and making sacrifices to make the play. He projects to fit into a third line role, though he has the skill to jump up into the top six if necessary. The 18-year-old played for the Brandon Wheat Kings last season, where he totaled 64 points in 59 games. Overall, the pick seems to go against Tallon's usual draft record, as he opted for energy and passion over size, which is something he covets at the NHL level. Though there were other prospects available I would have liked more, Hawryluk plays with a passion and intensity that is useful for any team at any level, and his ability to play both wing and center is a great, versatile addition to the Panthers forward group.
Scouting Report: Last Word on Sports
Highlights: Goal Scored at u18 Game