If the Blackhawks are looking for a wizard with the puck, they can find it in United States National Team Development Program product Trevor Zegras,
That’s not the only thing the 18-year-old native of Bedford, New York, offers to as a top prospect in this year’s NHL Draft, but it’s become Zegras’ hallmark. This article from Corey Pronman of The Athletic includes a slew of highlights featuring Zegras using spin-o-ramas and other quick movements to open up passing lanes that most players couldn’t dream of seeing — yet Zegras finds these lanes and always seems to find his teammates’ tape with the pass.
As he told NBC Sports Chicago in this video clip, Zegras models his game after Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane.
Unlike the stereotype for a skater who’s this offensive minded, though, Zegras doesn’t mind a little physicality with his game. In fact, scouts have raved about his competitive streak in board battles, where he’s been touted as a relentless fighter who often comes away with the puck in those 50/50 situations.
Given his excellent hands and elite vision, Zegras is also expected to be a power play mainstay for whatever franchise selects him in the first round. Zegras’ production may not have been quite as high as other top-end prospects in year’s past — he had 26 goals and 61 assists in 60 games, along with 94 penalty minutes that indicate he won’t shirk away from post-whistle scrum.
Offense in the No. 1 ingredient in Zegras’ game, and he can play either wing or center. His skating ability is not quite as good as his hands and vision, yet it doesn’t keep him from moving into the spaces needed to rack up highlight-reel plays. One of the most impressive parts of Zegras’ resume is how often he makes these incredible passes while moving at a high speed.
Age: 18 (March 20, 2001)
Hometown: Bedford, New York
Weight: 169 pounds
Team: United States National Team Development Program
NHL Central Scouting (NHL): No. 6 North American skater
Scott Wheeler (The Athletic): No. 6
Corey Pronman (The Athletic): No. 6
Cam Robinson (Dobber Prospects): No. 5
Craig Button (TSN): No. 6
Bob McKenzie (TSN): No. 8
Zegras projects as a top-line forward who could end up at either center or wing while logging minutes on the No. 1 power play unit. Committed to Boston University, he’s likely at least one more year away — and probably two — from making his NHL debut.
Expected first season: 2021-22
Expected entry position: second-line forward
Expected potential position: top-line forward