San Jose Sharks fans should keep an eye on right wing prospect Ozzy Wiesblatt when the 2020 NHL Draft comes around — here’s why.
When the 2020 NHL Draft comes around, the San Jose Sharks may be calling Ozzy Wiesblatt‘s name. He had a very good 2019-20 season that shot him up on many draft boards.
After a lackluster 2018-19 season with the Prince Albert Raiders of the WHL in which he scored just 39 points (15 goals, 24 assists) in 64 games, Wiesblatt took a major step forward in 2019-20.
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With the Raiders’ top scorers before drafted, Wiesblatt was given more ice-time and responsibility this season after being buried on a very talented, championship team last year.
He went from an afterthought to the team’s top scorer, scoring 70 points (25 goals, 45 assists) in 64 games this season. Wiesblatt’s impressive season has opened scouts’ eyes and has him now projected as an early-round pick — more specifically, a second-round pick.
Let’s take a look at Wiesblatt’s strengths and weaknesses.
Wiesblatt is a very aggressive forward who can play both right wing and center. Although not the biggest at 5-foot-10 and 183 pounds, he’s very physical whether he’s in open ice or along the boards.
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Wiesblatt’s skating ability is some of the best in this year’s class. He has great acceleration and an elite first step, leading to an unmatched transition game.
With great vision and hockey IQ, Wiesblatt makes hard accurate passes to set up his teammates and can also finish plays himself with his quick right-handed release and very good wrist shot and slapper.
Not only is Wiesblatt good with the puck, but he’s also good without it as well — especially defensively. When he doesn’t have the puck, Wiesblatt is in position to break up a pass or block a shot.
Like any aggressive, physical player, Wiesblatt’s tenacious style can also be his downfall. If he’s too aggressive and misses a pass or is just unable to gather the puck, it could lead to a scoring chance against him and his team.
Wiesblatt’s strength is a work-in-progress at this point in his career. At just 18-years-old, he’s still growing into his frame.
San Jose Sharks’ Prediction
Scouts have mixed thoughts on Wiesblatt because he’s only had one dominant year in juniors. However, most have him going somewhere in the second round.
With the Sharks in need of some young, promising forward prospects, I could see them taking Wiesblatt with their second second-round pick.
If picked by San Jose, he’ll most likely spend at least a season in the AHL refining his game and building muscle mass to grow into his frame.