Team: Ottawa 67s
GP: 59 | G: 25 | P: 88 | PPP: 23 | SHP: 2
Midterm CSS Rank: 35 | Final Rank: 26
An American-born player who chose to go the Major Junior route, Shane Prince completed his first full season with the Ontario Hockey League’s Ottawa 67s in 2010-11 with impressive results. After scoring 30 points in 67 games split between the 67s and the Kitchener Rangers in 2009-10, Prince saw his point production nearly triple this past season as he accumulated 25 goals and 88 points in 59 games with Ottawa, who finished the year second in the OHL’s Eastern Conference.
After finishing fourth in the league with 63 assists, Prince earned himself the reputation of a playmaker, as described by The Scouting Report's Scott Campbell:
Prince is very quick and has good bursts of speed and is very elusive on the ice. More of a playmaker and makes a lot of good plays in the offensive zone, but has also been willing to shoot the puck more this year. His defensive game needs a lot of work as he’s fairly one dimensional, but his offensive production is more then offsetting that right now, although he will need to prove to critics he’s more then a dominant junior player with little professional upside.
67s Head Coach Chris Byrne added to the accolades, praising Prince's speed:
“His speed is high, high-end. He is quick and skilled. He’s done a good job of working both ends of the rink, which is something we worked on a lot last year.”
Having never seen Prince play, I might have been fooled by his +43 rating this past season, but that was probably a function of having quality linemates like Tyler Toffoli and the team as a whole simply scoring more goals than they allowed. While drafting a player who demonstrates a capability at both ends of the rink is preferable, that doesn’t mean that a player who is more effective in the offensive zone can’t bring anything to the table at a professional level or that he can’t improve his defensive game; that’s the risk a team takes when they select a so-called “one dimensional” player, especially later on in the Draft.
The fact that Prince's production skyrocketed after the trade to Ottawa and being given quality ice-time alongside players like Toffoli could be seen as something of a red flag, but could also be attributed to his development as a player, much like Mark McNeill, as the two are only a few months apart in age. His injury history is also something of a concern, as he missed time this past season with shoulder and head injuries as the result of two separate hits.
Like many players under 6'0", 200 lbs., Prince places emphasis on getting bigger and stronger in order to succeed at the next level, but also strives to work at further improving his speed and skating, qualities that certainly won't hurt his Draft position or his ascension to the pros.
As a skilled playmaker who has some speed, Prince sounds like he could be a good fit for the Flames, although taking him at #13 is probably a bit of a reach. It never hurts to have playmakers in the system, but I wouldn’t mind seeing the Flames go after more of a pure goal scorer with their first round pick. If Prince is still around by the time they make their first selection in the second round, he likely wouldn’t be a bad choice.
by Hayley Mutch