by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of Josh Kim / The Hockey Writers.
The 2023 NHL Draft will be here before you know it, and Draft 412 will preview some of the prospects who will be probable first round picks. Draft 412 will go over the strengths and weaknesses of each prospect and where they should land in the NHL Draft.
Name- Brayden Yager
Team- Moose Jaw (WHL)
HT/WT- 5’11” 166 lbs
Home – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Brayden Yager is a definite first round prospect, the question in most scouting circles is where do you place him in the first round? At times, he can appear to be a game changer, and then all of a sudden, he can also disappear.
The best part of Yager’s game is his shot and his accuracy. If Yager develops a more “shot first” mentality, he could become a 25-goal scorer in the NHL.
Yager lags behind the other top end centers in this draft class in playmaking creativity. He makes the simple pass plays and finds ways to get his teammates involved. He plays a responsible game and is considered a good two-way player.
The Moose Jaw prospect is an explosive skater with great speed, and he’s able to make accurate shots while at top speed. He’s dangerous in transition with the ability to stick handle in tight situations to open up play for teammates.
However, Yager tends to play out on the perimeter a lot. He will have to prove he can go to the dirty areas on the ice in the NHL and needs to get stronger (physically) to be successful at the next level. Size, along with having to learn to play in corners, could be the factors that hold him back.
Brayden Yager has been compared to a Mike Hoffman-type player. Yager is a wild card who we have seen as high as #5 and as low as #32. Yager may project down the line to a scoring winger and if he improves his consistency and gets bigger, Draft 412 see him as a #3 center for his NHL team.
Round 1- Top 25 / #23 on Draft 412 big board.