The Toronto Maple Leafs have selected soon-to-be 20-year-old left-winger Jack Walker of the Victoria Royals with the 152 overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.
Walker is the second player the Maple Leafs have drafted on day two who has been passed over twice already, having picked 20-year-old Adam Brooks, also out of the WHL, with their 92nd overall selection. Walker is also the fourth 19-or-older player the Maple Leafs have drafted in their first eight selections of the day.
Linemate of previous Leafs pick, Vladimir Bobylev, in Victoria (as well as Tyler Soy, a Anaheim Ducks pick in the seventh round), the speedy Walker put up 36 goals and 84 points in 72 games and a further 16 points in 13 playoff games.
Walker finished 14th in WHL regular season points scoring and 16th in WHL playoff points scoring in 2015-16. He’s a unique late-bloomer story in that he converted from defence to forward early in his junior career and saw his numbers climb into point-per-game-plus territory as a forward.
Jack Walker Rankings
- Ranked #158 by Hockeyprospect.com
- Ranked #90 by McKeen’s Hockey
Jack Walker Scouting Report
Courtesy of the 2016 NHL Draft Black Book
Walker is a third-time NHL draft eligible who has continued to improve his production for the third straight year, putting up a respectable season with over PPG numbers. With Walker his best asset is rather immediately obvious, it’s his speed and skating. Walker is a very high-end skater and most of his game is based just around that. Walker has both high-end acceleration as well as top speed. More importantly however, Walker has the ability to change directions, move his feet, and still handle the puck. In fact, he is quite an adept puck-handler with a rather soft pair of hands. The speed he generate pushes defenses off on its own, however Walker’s ability to handle the puck and change directions allows him to be a dangerous offensive player as it’s extremely difficult for the defending players to close down gaps on him, Walker can also easily beat his man to the slot looking for a pass or a rebound to finish on. He is also a decent defensive forward, though he could utilize his skating even more than he does to be a defensive presence. This is Walker’s third year of eligibility and he certainly didn’t hurt himself with his season, as the improved numbers and the speed factor clearly stood out in a positive way for him.
Jack Walker Statistics
SEASON TEAM LEAGUE GP G A TP PIM +/- POST GP G A TP PIM +/-
2011-12 Edina High USHS 24 1 9 10 18 | Playoffs 3 0 2 2 4 Edina Lakers MNJHL 1 0 0 0 0 | 2012-13 Victoria Royals WHL 58 9 13 22 21 -6 | Playoffs 6 0 0 0 6 -2
2013-14 Victoria Royals WHL 48 7 8 15 23 2 | Playoffs 7 0 0 0 2 0
2014-15 Victoria Royals WHL 70 18 37 55 65 18 | Playoffs 10 4 7 11 12 4
2015-16 Victoria Royals WHL 72 36 48 84 85 30 | Playoffs 13 8 8 16 20 8