Took a couple days off, but now let’s get back to the draft profiles. Today’s 2010 draft primer will focus on Andrew Yogan, an American-born power forward who plays for the Erie Otters of the OHL. Yogan might’ve garnered first or second round consideration at the beginning of the season but has been all over draft boards of late because of his inconsistent play.Â However, the invaluable package of size, character and high end skill he brings to the table is undeniable.
Strengths: Yogan’s got an excellent set of physical talents: great size at 6’3 205 lbs, and a long reach with his stick that he uses very effectively to control play along the boards and protect the puck from opposing defenders. He’s got strong offensive instincts and a natural knack for playmaking that could project into a top six role in the NHL someday. He’s already a very skilled player but there is definitely upside there for so much more. Andrew’s also a tough kid who isn’t afraid of laying his body on the line to make a play and is more than willing to drop the gloves when called upon. Even if he doesn’t pan out as an offensive player, there is still a chance he could contribute as a physical, up-tempo grinder.
Weaknesses: We hear this one way too often about power forwards in junior, but here it is again. Yogan needs to continue to work on his skating and needs to make better use of his tremendous physical gifts. Because his long reach is so effective, Andrew tends to fall in love with handling the puck as a finesse player on the perimeter as opposed to going into the dirty areas. The other knock against Yogan this year is that he didn’t step up and grab the reins as the Otters’ primary scoring option like many thought he would. He lost some development time late last season after a brutal hit from behind by the Knights’ Zac Rinaldo and the road to recovery has been tough, both from a physical and psychological perspective.
Long-Term Upside: I like Yogan… quite a bit. There is a ton of untapped potential here for him to become one of those players that contributes in a million different ways on the ice. Back in September during my preseason Q&A session with NACS chief scout Mark Seidel, Mark had this to say about Yogan:
Q -Â Speaking of last yearâ€™s group, who do you think might be this yearâ€™s â€œRyan Oâ€™Reillyâ€; not exactly a top 5 or even top 10 talent, but someone who can make an immediate impact as early as next season? Itâ€™s amazing to think that Oâ€™Reilly fell to the 2nd round, after a great season for Erie, a strong CHL All-Stars game, not to mention having the heart and character of a champion.
A -Â Â Oh boy, thatâ€™s a tough question, but a very good one. Letâ€™s seeâ€¦ thereâ€™s this kid named Andrew Yogan I really like, coincidentally from the same Erie team that Oâ€™Reilly played on. Iâ€™ve currently got Yogan ranked just outside of the 1st round, so unfortunately not somewhere the Leafs will be picking, but he is a skilled player with some untapped potential. He reminds me a lot of Wayne Simmonds, the tough LA kid who many figured would be sent back to either junior or the AHL, but managed to play his way onto that team because of nice skill and solid character.
Draft Day: Yogan is currently ranked 61st overall among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting, up 4 spots from their midterm rankings. He figures to get drafted somewhere in the range of picks #50-80, so there is a very good chance that Toronto could get a crack at him with pick #62. Like Brett Bulmer, whom I profiled a short while ago, this is a pick for upside that could take some time before the results pay off because the prospect is so “raw”. However, based on the Leafs’ recent draft history, this is certainly a player that would fare very well on their Brian Burke checklist: size, skill, character, toughness, and upside.