Maybe Later: Cameron Hillis?

Who is Cameron Hillis?

Cameron Hillis is a centerman for the Guelph Storm of the OHL. Taken 28th in the 2016 OHL draft, Hillis is coming out of his rookie OHL season in which he put up 59 points through 60 games. At 5’11” and 168 pounds, Hillis is neither massive nor undersized – he’s poised right in the middle of where the game was and where the game is likely headed, and he’s got the offensive skill to put him over the top.

Where is Hillis Ranked?

Ranked #61 by TSN/McKenzie

What The Numbers Say:

The numbers pretty much tell the story here. Hillis isn’t putting up crazy-stupid numbers like some of the more highly-touted junior players, but he’s been a solid contributor for both St. Andrew’s College and the Storm.

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In addition, Hillis also put up a couple of assists through five games for Canada at the U18 World Junior Championship this year.

What Scouts Are Saying:

While the offense is excellent, his defense is still a work in progress. He can get worked off pucks easily and loses a lot of his battles in his own end. He knows he needs to fill out and get stronger for the next level. I’d also like to see some more consistency in his game. While there were nights he dominated, there were other nights I didn’t see him.

Hillis is your classic slightly undersized high offensive upside guy who is a work in progress on defense. The question teams must ask is will he become at least adequate defensively to play at the next level? And is his offense good enough to overlook the defensive flaws?

-Mark Scheig, The Hockey Writers

Hillis plays a lot of center right now, and while he has the skills to control the puck down the middle, his size might ultimately force him to the wing in the same way it did for Mitch Marner and Clayton Keller. That said, even with the lack of strength, Hillis wins a lot of faceoffs and does well to support his teammates below the hash marks, so a little added muscle and it’s not a stretch to think that he can stick down the middle of the ice as a pro.

-Mile High Hockey

The Eye Test:

Why The Leafs Should Draft Hillis:

There is sure to be turnover from this season’s Toronto Marlies, and you can never have too many talented forwards in your farm system, right?

Hillis seems a prototypical choice for Kyle Dubas’ Toronto Maple Leafs, with high offensive upside in spite of needing time to learn the defensive side of the game. Besides, it’s not as if Hillis is the only player coming out of junior who needs help playing in his own end.

Cam Hillis is the type of player you make room for in your farm system, forward logjam or not. The Leafs would be wise to give him a proper look heading into the draft.

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