Photo Courtesy of https://ontariohockeyleague.com/
Welcome back to Shift Work! The series where I take a look at a draft-eligible player and breakdown a game tape. I’ll be bringing you some comprehensive breakdowns of a player’s game as we go over an entire game of tape from a player. We will be focusing in on that player’s shifts and getting a peek at what the average game of that player looks like. We won’t cover every shift, but we will go over most of the shifts that the player played an active role in. We will be highlighting a lot of things that scouts and evaluators look for when they are watching a player’s game.
I couldn’t do this nearly as easy if it weren’t for collaboration with Prospect Shifts. The subscription-based website ($5/$10 options available) that takes a draft-eligible player and produces a video with only that player’s shifts. It cuts out the rest of the game, the commercials and intermissions making it much less time consuming to get a quick view on a player for scouts, writers and analysts alike.
Today’s subject is Quinton Byfield of the Sudbury Wolves of the OHL. With the size, speed and strength combination of Byfield, scouts and analysts alike have been intrigued and impressed for years. Pegged as a high selection in the 2020 Draft for at least a few years, there has been a lot of pressure and expectations surrounding the young Sudbury center and he has delivered at every turn. So what makes the rising star the player he is? What makes Quinton Byfield one of the only players who can reasonably unseat Alexis Lafreniere from the top choice in June? Let’s dive into Byfield’s recent game against the Guelph Storm to see exactly who he is as a player.
Below we see Byfield (#55 in blue) take his first shift of the game. As he circles the offensive zone, the puck is being fought for along the boards. As he skates to the top of the circle to provide support, he covers for the pinching defender. The play turns around and Byfield does a good job of tracking back, skating backward and serviceably playing the pass option on a two-on-two rush.