Undersized winger Anthony Louis enters this year’s Top 25 Under 25 list at No. 24. A sixth-round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, Louis has spent the past three seasons playing for Miami University in Ohio. He’s a very skilled offensive player but will need to prove he has the quickness and decision-making to overcome his physical disadvantages at the next level.
Birth date: Feb. 10, 1995
Acquired via: Sixth round (No. 181 overall) in 2013 NHL Entry Draft
Most recent stop: Miami University (NCAA)
Size: 5’7, 151 pounds
Highest ranking: No. 17
Lowest ranking: Not ranked
Louis is a skilled, speedy offensive player, but he’s listed at just 5’7, 151 pounds, which would make him one of the smallest players in the NHL. Some guys can overcome that disadvantage with skill, quickness and relentlessness. Johnny Gaudreau — listed at 5’9, 157 pounds — comes to mind. He’s an exception to the rule, though, so Louis remains something of an intrigue at this point.
Over the past three years, Louis has been productive at Miami but failed to have a real breakout performance. After improving from 25 points as a freshman to 36 points as a sophomore, he took a step back with just 26 points in his junior year. A changing lineup didn’t help him, but for someone who’s only going to see bigger and stronger players at the next level, the lack of progress on the scoresheet doesn’t bode well.
Because of his size, Louis will be carried by his offensive game, so he needs to produce. Norm Maciver, the Hawks’ assistant GM, praised Louis’ skills and ice vision to The Athletic’s Scott Powers, but also noted that, “Anthony like a lot of players has to continue to work and improve on the quickness and the speed factor.”
While Louis brings end-to-end speed, his game will only work in the NHL if he’s fast enough to consistently create space for himself against bigger defenders. Otherwise, he lacks the defensive potential to be anything more than a guy who might put up big numbers in the AHL.
What’s next in 2016-17
Louis will return to Miami for his senior year, then decide what’s next in the spring. He’ll be free to sign with the Blackhawks, but if he waits until mid-August next year, he’ll become an unrestricted free agent. Considering he’s a native of Winfield, Ill., Louis probably won’t have a wandering eye in 2017 even with free agency not that far away, but if he blows up and has a monster year at Miami, it’s possible he could decide to see what his raised stock would lead to on the open market.
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Second City Hockey’s Top 25 Under 25 rankings
No. 24: Anthony Louis
No. 25: Roy Radke
Honorable mentions: Radovan Bondra, Joni Tuulola, Mathias From, John Dahlstrom, Lucas Carlsson