(pictured left to right: Ethan McIndoe, Jake McGrew, Tyson Helgesen, Dawson Weatherill)
Forwards Kailer Yamamoto and Jaret Anderson-Dolan are the Chiefs earning the majority of attention leading up to the 2017 NHL Entry Draft – both are pegged as 1st-2nd round picks – but they might not be the only Spokane players to hear their name called over the weekend.
Ethan McIndoe, Jake McGrew, Tyson Helgesen and Dawson Weatherill have all earned the eyes of scouts and are names to keep an eye out for, particularly in the later rounds.
We take a look at each below:
As a 17-year-old second-year forward for the Chiefs, McIndoe made a strong step forward in his offensive production, scoring 17 goals and nine assists for 26 points after an 8-7–15 line during his rookie season. At 6-foot-1 and 175 pounds (measured in September 2016), the Canmore, Alberta native has prototypical NHL size and a frame that still has room for more strength, allowing him to play a power forward role.
Contrary to those that feel pressured to impress fans or possible scouts, McIndoe goes by a simple mantra when it comes to goals: ” they don’t ask how; they ask how many.” // That pretty much sums up how he plays on the ice. He plays a hard-nosed style that any coach would love to see and he knows this style can pay dividends.
From ISS Hockey:
Like him more and more each time I see him, more confidence and bigger role, playing second line, big body, hard to play against, tough in net front and nice set up for first goal. Took the body many times and timed a great hit in the first period…
From Red Line Report:
…A tall, lanky kid who will skate to the greasy areas and dig for loose pucks without fear. He looks to be a power forward in the making as he continues to grow.
NHL Central Scouting (North American skaters): 132nd
ISS Hockey: 140th
Chiefs forward Jake McGrew presents an interesting case for a Chiefs NHL draft prospect: he’s never played a WHL game. After scoring a goal and two assists in six pre-season games in 2016, McGrew suffered a lower-body injury at practice that sidelined him for the entirety of the 2016-17 regular season. Despite that setback, NHL scouts have shown interest in the speedy forward, seeing a potential steal of a pick.
Originally from southern California, McGrew was an eighth round (168th overall) pick by Spokane in the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft. He played his 16-year-old season with the Los Angeles Junior Kings Under-16 team, leading the T1EHL U16 in goals (29) while adding 18 assists for 47 points in just 32 games. During the summer of 2016, McGrew participated in USA Hockey’s U17 selection camp and led all skaters with nine points (four goals, five assists).
Despite the injury for the 2016-17 season, McGrew’s talent and previous production may be enough to hear his name called on Saturday.
From Red Line Report (September 2016):
Dynamic winger has a deadly shot and great speed that constantly gives defenders fits. What sets him apart are his offensive instincts; his vision and creativity allow him to pick out passes that no one else would ever see. For spurts he can be absolutely dominant, pulling the strings and controlling the pace and tempo when he’s on ice. Will need to put on some muscle in order to not get pushed off the puck as much, but with his skill, he should be a top-round pick if he continues developing at this pace.
From ISS Hockey (2016 U17 Selects Camp):
Stocky center. Showed very good playmaking ability; creating chances on most shifts. Smart offensive player.
NHL Central Scouting (North American Skaters): “Limited Viewing” [mid-term rankings; LV not included in final rankings]
Red Line Report (Sept. 2016): 76th
Passed over in the previous two NHL Entry Drafts, Helgesen has continued to develop into a stalwart on the Chiefs’ blueline. He improved his offensive numbers during the 2016-17 season, scoring a career high eight goals and 29 points, but Helgesen’s hallmark is his defensive play and ability to shut down opponents. Evidenced by his nomination as team captain as a 19-year-old, he also shows the leadership and intangibles that coaches love.
Being passed over heading into your 18 and 19-year-old seasons before being drafted prior to your overage season is not unheard of: Chiefs fans need only to look back to the 2015 draft, which saw forward Adam Helewka get selected in the fourth round by San Jose as he entered his 20-year-old year. Tyson’s older brother Kenton was a seventh round pick by Anaheim in 2012. If Helgesen doesn’t seen his name called, he could be a candidate for a free agent camp invitation somewhere this summer.
From ISS Hockey (2015-16):
Continues to play a simple, shut-down style of play. Good skating ability. Closes his man out well and finishes his checks. Anticipates the play well. Even in a high scoring game, his defensive game was consistent shift to shift. Potential for late round pick, defensive defenseman at the next level.
Weatherill, acquired by the Chiefs in a trade with the Red Deer Rebels just prior to the start of the 2016-17 season, showed flashes of potential during his rookie season. Originally a second round pick in the WHL Bantam Draft by Red Deer, the 6-foot-4 netminder recorded a 3.58 GAA and .885 SV% in 36 games. He showed flashes of his elite potential with two or fewer goals allowed in 13 appearances throughout the season. With his large frame and athletic ability, Weatherill earned the eyes of NHL scouts.
NHL Central Scouting (North American goalies): 25th
Follow the Draft
The 2017 NHL Entry Draft will take place in Chicago on June 23 and 24. The first round will begin at 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. PT) on Friday the 23rd, while rounds 2-7 will take place beginning at 10 a.m. ET (7 a.m. PT) on Saturday the 24th.
TV: NBCSN (Friday; coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. PT) / NHL Network (Saturday)