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Fantasy Summary

Mobile puck moving defender who can quarterback a powerplay. Needs to get stronger and improve his decision making to reach his potential as an NHL defender.


Observations

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May 2022 – A breakout star for UMass this season, Ufko is slowly climbing the prospect rankings in the Predators organization. The right-handed defenseman scored five goals and 31 points in just 37 games this season. His ability to quarterback a power play and move the puck is near the top of his class. Ufko remains undersized and is a below-average skater, but his offensive production helps to ease the worries about that. As he enters his junior year, adding an extra five to ten pounds while improving his speed could go a long way to cementing him as
a blue-chip prospect. Curtis Rines

August 2021 – In limited minutes at this year’s World Junior Summer Showcase, Ufko showed some physicality with a couple of big hits as well as his quality mobility but was held off the score sheet through two games played. Curtis Rines

July 2021 – Ufko was selected in the fourth round, 115th overall by the Nashville Predators in the 2021 NHL Draft. Dave Hall

February 2021 – Ufko has taken off in his second USHL season, already with eight goals and 21 assists in just 30 games compared to the nine points he registered in 43 games as a rookie. He is Chicago’s main driver on the back end and his 29 points are almost double the next highest scoring defenceman on his team. The undersized blueliner will return to the USHL next season and is committed to UMass for the 2022-2023 campaign.

Ufko is a highly mobile defender who has the ability to change directions and shake the first layer on the breakout before firing an accurate pass to advance play for his team. Though he is very agile, he will need to improve his top gear as he grows and adds strength to his frame. These attributes shine through on the powerplay as he effortlessly walks the line and eludes defenders to create shooting lanes or open seams to complete passes to his teammates. Ufko’s quick feet also help him maintain a tight gap as he is able to mirror oncoming rushers and use his stick to guide them where he wants them to go before attacking the puck to break up the play. He thinks the game at a pretty high level but he does occasionally take unnecessary risks that will burn him at the next level and his lack of strength can become apparent when defending down low or in front of his net when he struggles to box out bigger forwards. If Ufko can tighten up his decision-making while adding a bit of speed and strength to his game, he could be an effective bottom-pairing puck mover with powerplay utility in the NHL. Nick Richard

 

Attributes
Fantasy Upside 7.0
NHL Certainty 6.0
Country USA
Position D
Roster Type Junior
Shoot/Glove Right
Date of Birth May 7, 2003
Height 5‘10”
Weight 181 lbs
Drafted 2021 Round 4; Overall: 115

Stats

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2012-2013 Connecticut Jr. Rangers Brick Invitational6 0 11 0|        
 2015-2016 Mid Fairfield Jr Rangers (PW)QC Int PW5 0 11 4|        
 2017-2018 Mid Fairfield Rangers 14U AAA14U AAA- - -- -|        
  All American Prospects U15WSI U156 1 34 2|        
 2018-2019 North Jersey Avalanche 16U AAAAYHL 16U22 4 1923 20|        
  North Jersey Avalanche 16U AAAT1EHL 16U25 2 2224 8|        
  Team Kelly USA-S154 0 22 -|        
 2019-2020