32. Tristen Robins C – 5’10, 173 lbs
Tristen Robins is an undervalued forward in this draft due primarily to his size concerns. However, there’s lots to like in his game, especially his offensive tools! Robbins has both a very strong and precise wrist shot, while also possessing soft hands. He has great speed, is quickly able to make plays out of nothing and has the offensive tools to do dammage, especially off the rush. (as seen below)
His goalscoring is undeniable, but his playmaking is what surprised many people as he led the young Saskatoon Blades in scoring this year. He is able to make high-skill play using his excellent vision and great hands. However, one underrated aspect of Robins’ playmaking is his deception. He is able to fool the opposition in thinking his will make one play, while executing a pass to a player he wasn’t even looking at with accuracy and power. (See the sequence below for an example of his no-look passing).
Robins is also a very chippy player that isn not afraid of traffic or causing a raucous in front of the net. Loves to get in tight and bang home rebounds, which makes Robins a rather well rounded offensive player as is. A heart and soul player with skill is certainly a player I’d be looking at, at this rank and could possibly go higher if a team picking early in the is looking for a player with intangibles and high growth potential.
33. Justin Barron RD – 6’2, 195 lbs
By April 2019, it looked like Justin Barron could have a realistic shot at being a legitimate 1st round prospect when he looked rock-solid for the Halifax Mooseheads during his 16-year-old season. Unfortunately, Barron missed 3 months due to blood clot issues, and returned in February to put up 19 points in 34 games.
He is, in my estimation a legit first round talent but his development might have taken a hit due to his health scare. He young man is a very fluid defenseman in the neutral zone and is a general on the blue-line, especially on the power play. He is excellent at gaining possession of the puck and distributing it with ease to his teammates. He makes it easy to maintain offensive zone possession, as he patrols the blue line to assists his forwards in maintain play in the attacking end, while also opening himself up for a return pass or one-timer situation (as seen below).
Justin Barron doesn’t give up. Shots from the point. Delivers a quality one. Zach Jones from Bridgewater, Mass deflects it in. Barron showing how explosive he can be from the point. #2020NHLDraft pic.twitter.com/II2WIFcB28— Josh Tessler (@JoshTessler_) September 28, 2019
He plays a very north-south style of game that is predicated on transition and high-tempo puck moving. He’s very good at maintaining possession in the offensive zone, but he’s also quite adept at transporting the puck into the offensive zone as well, making him a monster on transition. In the play below, we get a glimpse of how Barron is able to pounce on loose pucks, enter the offensive zone and vbuy himself time with solid puck protection. He is then able to evade coverage due to his skating ( a theme in his game) and return back to the point to unleash a shot leading to a goal.
If he could return to form and make up the lost season of development, there’s a very legitimate chance that Barron could be the gamble of the draft. The potential to be a transition-focused top-4 D is there for Barron, it’s all a question of him returning to form and being healthy and consistent in his game.
34. Thomas Bordeleau C – 5’10, 175 lbs
Bordeleau is a silky smooth pivot who has a very underrated offensive toolkit, possessing above average vision, passing and shooting abilities, while being relatively responsible and surprisingly gritty.
His scoring prowess is greatly underrated, but Bordeleau has a pretty impressive wrist shot, which he loves to unleash right in the high danger areas. He is constantly looking to cut to the middle of the ice to fool goaltenders up high. The power and precision are excellent, but he will need to speed up his release at the next level to be as effective. Nonetheless, as seen in the sequence below, that is a very dangerous shot.
For the US National Development Team, he was the go-to offensive forward and was an absolute general on the power play due to his great passing. For a smaller player (5’9, 179 lbs), he plays a very combative style and is rather chippy along the boards. In the sequence below, Bordeleau puts on a show, showing his combativeness, great stickhandling and exceptional vision to create a turnover, reduce pressure and distribute the puck to his teammate for an easy zone entry.
A pick, some nifty handles, and a nice pass from Thomas Bordeleau. pic.twitter.com/MQ3mIVjVoc— Joey Padmanabhan (@joeypad2) June 23, 2020
Bordeleau is one of those players I believe is worth the gamble this early in the second round, but I had serious difficulty even ranking him outside the 1st round, as I believe he has equal potential to the players ranked between 25 and 31. He has good speed, while being very shift, which makes him an ideal playmaking C with top-6 potential.
35. Ridly Greig C – 5’11, 162 lbs
Although many question his skill level and whether or not it will translate to the next level, Ridly Greig is one of the most relentless forwards in this draft. He adds the necessary grittiness and has the never-ending motor of a future forechecking machine at the NHL level, while possessing a very underrated shot and some deceptively good vision.
Greig has a very underrated skating stride and top-end stickhandling, which help him attack open space on the ice and force defensemen to back off. He then uses his vision to find an open man entering the offensive zone for a quick scoring chance. Greig thinks the game very quickly and already has a solid speed of execution when it pertains to plays in tight or on open ice.
Ridly Greig goal pic.twitter.com/Zw1uh0OAQB— Rink Rat Report (@RinkRatReport) August 5, 2019
These skills look to translate well and has many scouts questioning whether he had top-6 potential all along (spoiler: he does). This is my darkhorse candidate to jump well into the 1st round (potentially in the top-20), but I still see some holes in his game (explosiveness, coverage, over aggressive).
36. Martin Chromiak RW – 6’, 187 lbs
Having been a standout in his native Slovakia, the speedy winger made the jump to the OHL with the Kingston Frontenacs and immediately found chemistry with young Shane Wright (remember that name). He was able to use his solid possession and positioning to find the holes behind defenses, while also using his deceptive shot to fool goalies on the rush. His 11 goals and 22 assists for 33 points in just 28 games is very impressive for a rookie who joined mid-season. His speed is also quite impressive, as he is able to reach top speed rather quickly and has great explosivity. The sequence below shows how Chromiak is able to absolutely blow by the two defensemen at the point and create significant seperation by the time he has reached the offensive zone.
Martin Chromiak player profile coming soon for @RecScouting. For the criticism he gets, I still think he can carry his own offensively – his release is absolutely lethal.#2020NHLDraft— Patrick Tallon (@PatrickTallon81) July 3, 2020
(Powered by @InStatHockey) pic.twitter.com/5HvowkNPBu
What many enjoy from Chromiak’s game is how well he thinks on the ice, always looking for the high percentage play and paying the price to facilitate it. He meshed well with Wright because he always knew where to be on the ice, and had the offensive tools (a great, precise shot and some underrated vision) to attract extra coverage; thereby creating more space for his teammates.
Martin Chromiak is going to be a very fun draft pick for the team that takes him in the 2nd round pic.twitter.com/SBt4ujugce— Sabremetrix 📊 (@Sabremetrix) May 21, 2020
Chromiak has the Hockey IQ, the shot and speed to make a real difference at the next level, as long as he continues to grow and mature his game from a physical perspective. He projects as a top-6 winger in my book and will likely be in line for a major season in 2020-2021 for the Frontenacs should he be allowed to come over.