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Welcome back for another edition of DP Draft Reports! This week features game reports on Noah Östlund, Ryan Chesley, David Goyette and Joakim Kemell.
Be sure to check out the DP Scouting Team’s April rankings for the 2022 NHL Draft to see which of these players landed in our top-64:
DP Scouting Team’s April Rankings for the 2022 NHL Draft
Noah Östlund | C | Sweden vs. USA (U18 World Championship) | 2022-05-01
2 G, 0 A, 3 SOG, 26:41 TOI
Alexa Potack: Östlund played a whopping (nearly) 27 minutes in the championship match, the most for Team Sweden. While an incredibly large number of minutes, for a forward nonetheless, Östlund has earned it. He was the clear top center for Team Sweden and a feature on both power play and penalty kill. The U18s were the best representation of what Östlund is capable of on a consistent basis this season.
Östlund was hungry to score in this match. He typically uses his high-paced, deceptive skillset to create chances for others but his goal-scoring potential took over in Germany. His first goal of the game was a puck batted out of the air on a chance he created, rather than a tip-in. The play leading up to the goal was a testament to the chemistry and talent level of Öhgren, Östlund, and Lekkerimäki. Fluid passing and perfect timing with Östlund bursting into the zone to receive a pass from Lekkerimäki, breaking through two USA defensemen to put Sweden up 2-1. Östlund’s second of the night came on a 5-on-3 and was a great demonstration of his shot. Though Östlund doesn’t receive the attention for his shot that his linemates do, it should not be forgotten and this was yet another example of that. He had a relatively open net, capitalized on a loose puck, and fired it past the goaltender.
Two of Östlund’s most valuable assets are his hands and large reach, especially for his 5-foot-10 frame. His reach was most noticeable in two ways, knocking loose pucks to teammates and weaving by defense. When charging into the offensive zone, he will control the puck far from his body and then quickly pull it in tight. Some of this is a result of his skating ability because his feet catch up to his hands to breeze by a defenseman.
As mentioned earlier, Östlund collects a lot of his ice time by receiving minutes on both the power play and penalty kill. With the man advantage, Östlund is mobile, all over the ice. There were instances where he was manning half-wall or below and others where he’d be along the blue line.
On the penalty kill, Östlund held his position in the defensive zone while also adding physicality to his backcheck. Overall though, it wasn’t the most impressive defensive game for the most part. More than any standout flaws, he was a spectator at times. As the clock wound down, Östlund did engage more physically and followed the play more accurately.
Ryan Chesley | D | USA v Czechia (U18 World Championship) | 2022-04-24
0 G, 0 A, 2 SOG, +3, 18:35 TOI
Alexander Annun: Ryan Chesley played just over 18 and half minutes in this game, second to only his defensive partner Lane Hutson and he was constantly involved during each of his shifts. Chesley has established himself as a reliable option defensively for Team USA and he was rewarded with heavy minutes on the penalty kill as they turned to his skill set to help fight off some powerplay chances.
Chesley began this game strong offensively, as he fired off a couple of shot attempts in his first shift and looked to get involved immediately. His movement in the offensive zone was notciable, interchanging with players, straddling the blue line and in turn, opening up space for himself – which aided him in finding the shooting lanes he was searching for. He can quickly fire off his hard wrist shot and although he had a tough time getting them on goal – only registering two shots, despite nine attempts -, he was still very strong in the offensive end. He forced the defense to block shots, while he moved the puck around the zone crisply and with a sense of purpose. His ability to read the offense is impressive. He creeps down low to the circles in order to provide an option and if he does not receive it in a matter of seconds, he retreats back to the blue line to avoid getting caught on a bad back pass or a potential quick transition the other way.
Chesley’s intelligence stands out when you watch him play, as he carries the puck with pace and keeps his head up. He can see plenty of the ice and makes cross ice passes to an open man without looking, as he already has a sense of where his teammate are. His skating is a great asset of his and he uses it both to get forward and work his way back, combining that with his long reach and accurate poke checking ability – making him a true headache for opposing attackers. His physical side of the game was a very welcome addition for the skillful USA team, as he is able to be sturdy on the puck and avoid being brushed off. However, his ability to deliver solid hits and gradually ride guys off the puck as well is such a boon for them on the back end.
His edgework and footspeed make him difficult to work around. If you attack him one-on-one, he can surely hang with you as you stop and start. He has a quick first step that he can use to get in close and wrap you up to nullify the attack. Something to take notice with Chesley is just how rare it is for him to make a mistake. It seems like every decision he makes is level-headed and well thought out in advance. With his offensive capabilities as well as his reliability on defense, it is no wonder that Team USA has him playing top minutes, while allowing Lane Hutson to flourish as the more offensive of the two. Chesley’s two-way prowess is something that he demonstrated throughout this game and while he didn’t get on the scoresheet he was constantly showing up in the offensive zone looking to participate.
David Goyette | W | Canada vs. Czech Republic (U18 World Championship) | 2022-04-26
0 G, 1 A, 1 SOG, 14:58 TOI
Evan Pace: Goyette registered an assist in a 6-5 OT loss to Czechia at the U18s. His game revolves heavily around his motor and his willingness to battle. He worked hard to gain possession of pucks in the corners and is elusive and agile enough to evade defenders. He’s often looking for an open teammate in the offensive zone, using his vision and playmaking ability to get it on his teammate’s sticks. Goyette’s skating is up there with some of the best in the draft class, and he uses it to his advantage without the puck as well. He can find open areas to accept passes but also prey on defenders with heavy pressure and pace.
While he’s not the biggest player, he still manages to make an impact physically both with and without the puck. He can get positioning to make a hit, angling off and making contact with a player, but he can also position himself away from the boards, holding off a defender while carrying the puck in a battle. It’s little things like this that help Goyette separate himself on the ice, in addition to his scoring and playmaking ability.
While he didn’t register many shot opportunities, his ability to create for others was evident. Considering Canada’s roster, being surrounded by a lack of talent surely didn’t help Goyette. However, he still managed to make an impact on most shifts with either his physicality, motor, or playmaking ability.
Joakim Kemell | W | Sweden vs. Finland (U18 World Championship) | 2022-04-30
0 G, 0 A, 7 SOG, 19:38 TOI
Eetu Siltanen: Kemell played about 20 minutes, being one of Finland’s leading players in the tournament. He was used on penlaty kill, even strenght, and powerplay, where he played left half wall. He notched seven shots on goal but failed to get onto the scoresheet in Finland’s 2-1 loss against Sweden in the semi-final. His performance was respectable, but getting onto the score sheet is important for Kemell, as a leading player of his team during these important games. He also took a penalty with less than two minutes remianing, which eventually caused Team Sweden’s game winning goal.
Kemell might not shine while watching his comprehensive game but he competes very hard, being active in all three zones – especially on the forecheck. He can throw some grit in the game and gets under the skin of his opponents. Addtioanlly, he is willing to throw his body on the line with blocks and hits. Kemell had some chance creation in this match, but he was more of a shooter, like usual, finishing with seven shot attempss and 10 total shots. He created scoring chances and was always dangerous with his great shot repertory. He also showed strong skating ability and a few nice pivots. Kemell’s ability to run a powerplay is impressive and is constantly dangerous.
Kemell seems to get a bit overconfident in games against his own peers, and he sometimes plays a better game in Liiga against men than against juniors. In this specific game, he made a few low-percentage plays, which didn’t work out well for him. I have yet to see those type of plays from him at Liiga level. While his performance was not bad, he failed to get into the score sheet and his last-minute penalty cost the game for Finland.