The Countdown Begins!

You’ve most probably read our ‘Honorable Mentions’ section already, but now it’s time to get to the net-front and get a little nasty.

The ‘December Top 22’ is here!

Starting at #22 and ending with #1, this five-part release is intended to be informative, instructional, and borderline controversial; but in a good way!  This is just the beginning of our major 2020/21 coverage, IT ONLY GETS BETTER FROM HERE!

Our scouts have done a fantastic job in constructing what is a very thought out and well presented piece of work. Most importantly, the quality and care in each evaluation is evident. Something that DubNetwork Scouting prides itself on; this is our passion after all.

But enough talking, let’s start off at #22 with Kaden’s report on Burnaby’s ‘Mr. Reliable’, Diego Buttazzoni.



22. Diego Buttazzoni #90 – Burnaby Winter Club

Kaden: “Buttazzoni is a very good two way forward who does all the little things right. He’s reliable and inserts himself in all areas of the game. Buttazzoni has a high IQ, reading, and anticipating plays exceptionally well. He makes his line-mates better by creating room on the ice with all the little unnoticed things he does extremely well. Buttazzoni has a good shot with the ability to finish when given the opportunity. He also has good vision and a smart clean passing ability to set teammates up. His skating is good as he has good speed and agility but can work on his separation speed to take his skating to the next level. Diego is one of those players who does everything well. He’s reliable and you will always know what you will get from him shift-to-shift. Buttazzoni is an all-around strong player who is good-to-very-good in most areas, he at times goes under the radar in games because he isn’t a flashy player but by no means does that mean he isn’t producing or helping his team out.”





“Look for Diego Buttazzoni to take some parts of his game to a higher level to become more of a threat as he is already a very complete and reliable player on both ends of the ice.”


21. Ollie Josephson #17 – Pacific Coast Hockey Academy

Zach: “One of the most sure-footed skaters in the draft. Ollie displays exceptional balance and power in his skating and easily creates separation from his peers.”



“His high hockey IQ makes him an effective two-way center, although his anticipation and speed occasionally have him heading up ice ahead of the play. Not afraid to attack defenders or attack down the middle in traffic. He displays great spatial awareness, finding open spots in all areas of the ice, and presenting passing lanes for teammates.”


“He has a very solid release and is able to get shots off rather quickly and accurately. Steady puck skills and stick handles at speed with relative ease, though there is room for development here as he could be more deceptive and manipulate his release points to be more effective. Currently, one of the more under-appreciated prospects in the class.”



20. Gavin Hodnett #20 – Rink Hockey Academy Winnipeg

Brayden: “Gavin Hodnett is the imaginative two-way forward who likes to control the game with the puck on his stick. He is a team-first forward who has great vision, finding his teammates open and in scoring positions while feeding them with high-quality, easy to control passes. Hodnett has really developed his physical play in the past season and now effectively takes the body separating the opposing player away from the puck. Gavin is an elite two-way player with how he reads the play, transitioning effectively from defence to offence and vice-versa. He is the type of player that is always involved, like a fly that never leaves you alone, Hodnett is always doing something to make an impact on the game. He explodes through the neutral zone and can lose players in his first few strides with great acceleration. His mobility is efficient and he can stop/start on a dime.”





“Gavin Hodnett is a full-ice magician who can create opportunities that you don’t expect to see develop, taking advantage of his powerful skating, elite vision, and great hockey sense.”


19. Carson Wetsch #9 – Burnaby Winter Club

Kaden: “Wetsch is a premier power forward with a very good raw skill-set to go with that role. Wetsch is an explosive bruising winger who isn’t afraid to use his body to block a shot, space the ice, or make a guy pay with a big hit. Wetsch has a very explosive first couple of strides. Although there is room for improvement with his agility and top speed to become a more dynamic skater. Wetsch’s shot is powerful and creates problems for goalies. His accuracy could use some work as he relies on his power to blow pucks by goalies. If he works on his puck placement and release, Wetsch will have a lethal shot at the higher levels. Wetsch’s vision on the ice is good, although he doesn’t have the highest IQ among his peers he puts himself in good spots to utilize his size capitalizing on opportunities; although at times he lacks that killer instinct to jump on those opportunities and finish on them.”





“Wetsch has a raw skill-set with loads of potential. If he can become more consistent and learn how to fully take advantage of his explosive capabilities as well as refine his skating he will become an absolute force on the ice on both sides of the puck.”


18. Dylan Duzan #20 – Notre Dame Hounds

Ash: “One of my personal favourites in this class, someone that I feel is criminally undervalued by other sources. Duzan is a promising young centre who is building a solid two-way base. Duzan positionally does everything required as a centre, he’s malleable and plays a fantastic three-zone supportive role. Duzan works hard in his own zone, often battling below the goal line and around the net front for pucks. This is the very base that is the platform for his success as when he’s in possession in his own zone, Duzan has the stickhandling and awareness to find the space to restart the rush. Duzan at this stage isn’t a prolific north/south skater as he does have some work to do on his stride, so he’s more inclined to pass out of the zone and trail the play working in space behind the first wave; this is where Duzan also shines. He has a great release and requires little space or time to get a clean shot off on net. Although he isn’t a burner on his skates his timing and efforts to find space as a trailer are quite impressive. Even if he finds the space closing, Duzan is really clean on the puck and utilizes subtle trickery to create shooting lanes. He’s also shown a great ability to use the boards and the corners to find space, something that I really like from a young player. He isn’t afraid to back himself in to initiate contact and use his physical maturity and puck skills to find space under duress.” 





“One of the slights on his game at this stage is that often his hands get too far out in front of his body and is prone to having pucks roll on him. On a few occasions, I’d noticed that his posture and hands were way ahead of his foot movements. Again, this is attributed to the lack of explosiveness in his stride and his base seems narrow. Shouldn’t take too much to fix with some coaching and maturation.”

“Duzan is a perfect example of an upside pick. He is a player with a multitude of translatable skills, some are still yet to flourish. It’s of my opinion that once he gets his feet moving at the pace of his hands, more plays in transition will open up for him. Couple that with his shot and 200-foot awareness you’re going to have one hell of a player.” 


17. Cayden Lindstrom #22 – Delta Hockey Academy

Ash: “A physically mature forward with a good blend of speed, great scoring touch, and skill on the puck. Lindstrom isn’t by any means a play driver, but what he does do well is use his frame and puck skills to complement playmaking forwards. He’s hard on both the backcheck and forecheck and uses his reach and size through the neutral zone to disrupt passing lanes and to force attackers to the walls. Lindstrom has a subtleness to his offensive craft that can’t be ignored. The ability to create in little space and his deft little head fakes and hip movements freeze defenders just long enough that he can stickhandle by them and get a good look on the net. Lindstrom also provides what you would call more so a typical power forward game. He gets into the corners and the dirty areas often but the advantage Lindstrom has is that he’s not only more physical than a lot of his peers, but he’s also more skilled too. He is able to retrieve and separate the puck from his direct opponent nearly at will and uses his sharp processing to make smart passes into the slot or back the point to restart the cycle. He has a good active stick in all three zones and defensively takes a lot of responsibility around the net-front and in the shooting lanes.”





“Overall, there’s a bunch of positives with Cayden. He’s a big powerful kid who can skate, score and make physical plays. He has a great motor and never quits on plays, always seeking the puck out. For me though, he needs to work on being involved on the puck more often. Having someone like Gavin Garland spacing the ice for you is a massive bonus, I want to see him take over games and show consistently and confidently that he can blend all of his skills into a greater playmaking package.”

That’s All Folks…. Until Monday!

Thanks for reading part one of our countdown to revealing our Top #5, and ultimately #1 ranked prospect for 2020/21.

Ranked prospects #16 – #11 will be live on the page this Monday, the 21st of December.

We hope you enjoyed the first part of our countdown! Don’t be afraid to share and discuss!