Hamilton Bulldogs

Fantasy Summary

Efficient junior bottom-sixer. Serious question marks around NHL projectability.


Observations

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Novemeber 2023 – Well, if there’s one thing to bet on with a Xhekaj, it’s that they’ll have a ridiculous development curve. Florian Xhekaj is a completely different player than he was last year, and while he still has several flaws in his game, he has made a ton of progress. Pushing towards a PPG in his D+2 season, the tools are there for Xhekaj to become an effective bottom-sixer. However, seeing the progress he has already made, and contrasting it with his older brothers’ development, maybe there’s something else there that we haven’t quite seen yet. Aaron Itovitch

July 2023 – Nobody at Bridgestone Arena expected Florian Xhekaj to be drafted in the fourth round, except for Canadiens management. The overager OHL bottom-sixer’s first year in Major Junior saw him put up far under a half a point-per-game, and no stat truly glares off the point sheet other than PIM’s (and a worrying +/-). The Canadiens are clearly hoping for a logic-defying development curve, similar to Florian’s older brother Arber, but using a fourth round pick on Florian can only truly be described as a nepotism pick. He likely would have been available deep into the draft, and possibly wouldn’t have been drafted at all. We will see how Xhekaj performs in his D+2 in Brantford, but as it stands right now, it is hard to imagine him being anything more than a low-impact NHL bottom-sixer. Aaron Itovitch

Attributes
Fantasy Upside 5.0
NHL Certainty 5.0
Country CAN
Position LW
Roster Type Junior
Shoot/Glove Left
Date of Birth June 27, 2004
Height 6‘2”
Weight 174 lbs
Drafted 2023 Round 4; Overall: 101

Stats

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2016-2017 Hamilton Huskies PWQC Int PW2 3 14 4|        
 2017-2018 Draftday Hockey Selects U14WSI U145 1 01 -|        
 2018-2019 Hamilton Huskies U15 AAAALLIANCE U15- - -- -|        
 2019-2020 Hamilton Steel U16 AAASCTA U1632 11 1122 24|Playoffs8 1 56 16 
 2020-2021 Pelham PanthersGOJHL0 0 00 0|        
 2021-2022 Pelham PanthersGOJHL48 17 2340 62|Playoffs3 1 12
 2022-2023 Brantford BulldogsOHL68 13 1225 76|Playoffs6 1 23 18 
 2023-2024 Brantford BulldogsOHL54 29 2251 64|        

Highlights