- Alexander Holtz
- Tyson Foerster
- Alexis Lafreniere
- Jack Quinn
- Jacob Perreault
Whenever I poll scouts on the “best shot” category, it is invariably asked by someone how I define the best shot. I put it to them this way. “Which player would you most like to see shooting the puck from the high slot? Most of them (four out of five) chose Alexander Holtz.
And with good reason. He is, forst and foremost, a goal scorer. He has a lethally hard and accurate snap and wrist shot that often clings off the inside of the posts or crossbar on its way past a hapless goaltender. Holtz will produce at the NHL level, perhaps even become a consistent 40-goal scorer, and if that happens it will be due in no small part to his shot.
“He can shoot it,” was a comment more than one scout made when scouts when first asked why they like Holtz in the top ten. “He was pretty much unstoppable as a 16 and 17-year-old in Swedish junior.”
The stats agree. Holtz in the past two seasons notched 38 goals in just 41 games in SuperElit play. Expect to be seeing the Holtz Snipeshow at an NHL arena near you sooner rather than later.
Tyson Foerster may be one of those rare prospects that gets drafted in the first round despite serious concerns with his skating.
Why? Well; besides high-end hockey sense, size and vision, Foerster already has a pro-calibre shot.
“You look at guys like Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan,” pointed out one scout. “They weren’t great skaters in their draft years either; they still aren’t. But they could protect the puck, make plays, and really shoot it. Foerster is like that. He scores a lot of goals from 20-30 feet out with his heavy, accurate shot.”
Alexis Lafreniere demonstrated his goal-scoring prowess for the masses during the World Junior tournament, but he’s been doing that for three seasons now in the QMJHL, notching 108 goals. Like all of the other top snipers in this draft class, Lafreniere’s shot is heavy, it is mechanically sound, and it is usually accurate.
“You have to have Lafreniere in there,” said one scout when asked verbally which prospects are the best shooters. “He will score a ton of goals with that shot.”
Speaking of scoring goals, Ottawa 67’s winger Jack Quinn has been finding the back of the net regularly this season, trailing only fellow OHLer Nick Robertson by one goal in CHL goal scoring.
Quinn finds the sweet spot in the slot and has a deadly accurate laser and a quick release.
“I love Quinn,” said one scout. “He is an elite goalscorer. I don’t think you can go wrong picking him; he does everything well. He just needs to get stronger.”
Yanic Perreault was one of those rare centers that almost scored as many goals as assists, and it was in large part due to his great hands and shot. Jacob Perreault inherited his dad’s shooting skills, and that skill is one of the reasons he will get selected somewhere in the first round of the NHL draft despite scouts having concerns with his consistency.
“He leaves you wanting more some nights, but there is no denying his offensive skills,” said one scout. “He can really shoot the puck. If he ever figures the rest of it out, he could score a pile of goals.”