Position: Left winger
Junior team: Kingston (OHL)
Born: Mount Brydges, Ont.
Measurables: 6-foot-4, 215 pounds
2014-15 stats: 56 games, 29 goals, 22 assists, 51 points
Central Scouting rank: No. 5 (North America)
Lowdown: Boston’s Milan Lucic carries quite the reputation around the NHL, but Crouse hopes to get an even bigger one. He’s dubbed himself as a “Lucic with skill,” quite the self-assessment considering Lucic has a 30-goal season on his resume.
Crouse’s teammates call him “The Sheriff” because of the way he protects them on and off the ice. In addition to his four fights this season, Crouse is known to give his rookie teammates a ride to and from school. He strives to be the hardest worker, which endears him to coaches. Canada named him to the world junior team as its youngest player (17) specifically for a fourth-line role filled with hitting and crashing the net.
He can score at the junior level by imposing his will on smaller defenders, but questions persist about how his offensive skills will be when matched against NHL players. His acceleration and top-end speed could use work.
They said it: “He’s a big-bodied guy, protects the puck and is solid on his skates. He can see the ice and barrels through everyone. He’s got good hands to go along with that big body.” – Chris Edwards, NHL Central Scouting.
The Buffalo News is profiling 30 prospects in 30 days leading up to the NHL Draft, which will be held June 26-27.