Screen cap courtesy Sportsnet
After trading down not once but twice, and right out of the first round yesterday, the Toronto Maple Leafs have picked up Erie Otters defenceman Travis Dermott with the 34th overall pick.
This is, to be honest, a bit of a surprise. Toronto had previously made a pretty big deal about needing to “hit a home run” with their late 1st round pick – I assume the same would apply to their early second rounder. With a number of expected first round talents still available today, such as Charlottetown’s Daniel Sprong, Prince George’s Jansen Harkins and AIK’s Oliver Kylington, the Leafs still felt Dermott was their best option.
Playing behind top prospects like Edmonton’s Connor McDavid and Arizona’s Dylan Strome, Dermott put up a eight goals and 45 points in 61 regular season games with the Erie Otters. Perhaps even more impressive, the 6’0, 196lb Newmarket native added another 17 points in 19 playoff games.
Dermott was ranked 46th amongst North American Skaters by NHL Central Scouting. The independent scouting services favoured Dermott a little more, with McKeen’s ranking him 30th and Future Considerations ranking him 36th. Less favourably, ESPN’s Corey Pronman ranked Dermott down at 95th.
Dermott is an intelligent two-way blueliner. He is a fluid skater who has strong legs and gen-
erates power with every stride he takes. He is great on his feet in transition and can get up to
speed quickly while carrying the puck with confidence. He maintains possession at top speed
and controls the puck extremely well. He makes superb plays with the puck: both simple and
effective to get the puck up ice and create scoring opportunities. He sees the ice in front of him,
giving him the ability to see lanes and make smart, sharp passes both short- and long-range.
His best asset is his hockey sense and smarts; he always seems to make the right play whether
on the breakout or in his own zone. He has a cannon of a shot and can really blast it through
traffic on goal. He exudes confidence, patience and creativity.
Cerebral, with a quiet, calm demeanour, rarely
panicking or finding himself in a poor position to make a play .. a strong,
heads up puckhandler assessing options carefully for a safe outlet ..has a slight bow legged skating style yet is crisp, agile and light on his edges, however, his top end speed is not an area of strength .. deploys wide, powerful strides with excellent lateral agility that he will use to skate himself out of trouble .. learned to be more selective as to when he will skate the puck out as the season progressed and less prone to trying to do too much .. modest in size he has a thick body but is not an intimidating presence and too easily manhandled along the boards .. with a mix of good skating, defensive instincts and puck movement ..is able to create lanes and space while closing gaps relying on his
footwork and positioning .. plays a staunch and mature game as he excels in many facets while providing timely offence .. reminds of Justin Faulk in development .. needs to get stronger but projects as a solid
defender with offensive upside and the ability to run a power play.
After being selected in the ninth round in the OHL draft, he’s seen his stock rise quite a bit this season. He’s a two-way defenseman but his value is tiled more toward offense. He rarely forces plays, and makes good outlets under pressure. He’s slightly undersized, but Dermott does battle hard for pucks and shows fine defensive IQ. Overall, his defensive-zone play projects to be about average as a pro, although he’s been solid in that area as an OHLer.
Other Leafs Picks…
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