Quentin Musty checks in as one of the more polarizing prospects in this draft, and for good reason. The skills and flaws in his game both trend toward the extremes, which makes him a player with plenty of upside and perhaps just as much risk.
On the one hand, you have a tantalizing combination of size and skill; on the other, you have someone who, at times, looks completely disengaged and absent-minded. With the puck on his stick, he looks like a slam-dunk top-six forward at the NHL level. While his quickness could use some improvement, his straight-line speed is more than adequate. If he can get to top speed a little bit sooner that should be enough to alleviate any concerns about his skating possibly holding him back.
He seems to move better with the puck than without it at times, as he is able to make quick cuts to gain separation and control pucks in tight spaces with regularity. He is also a very creative and deceptive playmaker, as he is able to feel gaps in the defense and hit teammates through tight seams. He makes a lot of very subtle plays to look off defenders or make them hesitate enough to open a lane, especially on the power play where he really commands control of the play.
Perhaps his best offensive weapon is his shot, which comes off his stick quickly and could be described as ‘heavy’. His goal totals on the season may not reflect that of an elite sniper, but his toolbox suggests someone with 30+ goal potential at the NHL level if he can put it all together.
As enticing as his skillset is, he does have some things that need to be improved upon in order to reach his absolute potential. The biggest area of concern is the inconsistency in his effort level. One shift he will be in control of the play, playing with pace, finishing hits, and flashing his skill; the next shift he will dog it in the neutral zone, cheat defensively, and throw lazy stick-checks when he should be playing the body.
He seems to play hard when he feels like it, but if he isn’t doing anything offensively then he usually isn’t doing much of anything at all. The OHL playoffs should offer him plenty of opportunity to prove that he can play with pace and intensity for 60 minutes. His play along the boards and in the hard areas of the ice was really disappointing as well, especially for a player listed at 6-2, 197. He should be dominant in these areas, especially against junior players, and he simply isn’t, often seeming to go out of his way to avoid any sort of contact.
When it’s all said and done his draft position is going to be determined almost entirely by a team’s risk tolerance and their confidence in their ability to get the most out of this player. Musty has all the tools and ability worthy of a high pick, and if he puts it together he may look like an eventual steal. Yet the concerns about his game are real, and he wouldn’t be the first highly talented player who was unable to overcome his deficiencies away from the puck. He will likely still end up getting selected in Round 1, perhaps a good fit for a team with multiple picks, but don’t be surprised if his final draft position ends up being lower than his talent would otherwise indicate.
To see where Musty and others are ranked, check out our top 100 rankings: