by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of Doug Westcott.
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- Nate Danielson
Team- Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)
HT/WT- 6’1” 185 lbs.
Home – Red Deer, AB- Canada
Nate Danielson has not been the typical prolific scorer that you see with many prospects coming out of the WHL. Though Danielson may not put up 2-3 points a night, he does leave his fingerprints all over each shift.
Danielson is one of the better skaters coming out of the draft. He skates effortlessly and can change gears at the drop of a hat. His mechanics are second to none and he will only improve on what is already a great skill level.
But Danielson is not a pure goal scorer and does not rank highly in shot accuracy or shot mechanics. He projects as a 15-25 goal scorer at the next level which likely pushes him down some first round draft boards.
His skating and speed are what the league wants (and needs) in this new era of the NHL even if he lacks the power to beat goalies from a distance. Though you may not be able to call him a sniper, he will find ways to score.
Playmaking skills are there for Danielson, and he uses his skating ability to open up lanes for his teammates. One weakness in Danielson’s game is his stick handling, and at times his legs work faster than his hands, causing him to bobble and lose pucks.
But Danielson’s real value at the next level may be found as an elite penalty killer. He’s not afraid to block a shot or throw a check and his speed will contribute nicely to any team’s PK. He’s a battler each shift and does not shy away from scrums or taking hits.
With his skating and lack of pure goal scoring ability, a good NHL comparison would be a mix of Phillip Danault and Patrice Bergeron. Bergeron, of course, would be the high end of what you hope you can get from Nate Danielson.
Every team needs a Nate Danielson. Though he projects as a #2 or #3 type center, Danielson brings the little things that can make him stick in the NHL for a long time.
Round 1- Top 15 / #10 on Draft 412 big board.
Headshot of Nate Danielson courtesy of hockeydb.com.
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/-
2020-21 Brandon Wheat Kings WHL 24 3 12 15 8 1
2021-22 Brandon Wheat Kings WHL 53 23 34 57 34 18
2022-23 Brandon Wheat Kings WHL 68 33 45 78 38 -12