2014 NHL Draft Prospect: Eddie Eades

Matt Christians

The Player

Eddie Eades

Defenseman

East Grand Forks(MN) High School

2013-2014 stats: 31 games 10 goals 16 assists 26 points 16 PIMs

Height: 6'4.5"  Weight: 200 lbs.

Final NHL Central Scouting rank: Not ranked

What are his strengths? Weaknesses?

Eades is a monster of a defenseman that measures nearly 6'5". The son of a coach, he sees the ice well and understands the game. He stays involved with the play and keeps his feet moving even without the puck. He's listed at 200 lbs., though there's definitely room for him to add some more strength, especially in his lower body to make himself stronger and tougher to knock off the puck.

On the downside, his footwork can be a bit rough, as it is for most players of his size. He's not much of an offensive threat, and could stand to use his size better by playing a meaner, more physical game.

How was his draft year? Trending up or down?

Eades helped lead East Grand Forks to a Class A(small school) state championship in Minnesota this year. He added another inch or two of height from last year, and continued to show some improvement with his skating. He didn't quite play his way into being a consensus draft pick, but showed enough flashes of potential to be in the conversation.

Draft projection?

He wasn't ranked by Central Scouting, but there's not going to be much agreement between teams on late round draft picks this year. Eades has size you can't teach, and is a pretty smart hockey player. Some team may be willing to gamble that is feet will catch once he adjusts to that big frame and take a chance on him in the later rounds of the draft.

Pro upside?

Eades will definitely be a defensive defenseman at the pro level. The upside is as a reliable minute-eating second or third pairing defenseman. He's not a sure-thing, much will depend on how much his skating can improve, but it's easy to see the potential.

Where will he go next?

Eades will play for his father with the Sioux Falls Stampede of the USHL next season. As of now, he doesn't have an NCAA commitment. Expect Eades to take the long route to the pros, as he's a bit of a project. But given a few years to develop, he could turn into a very solid prospect.

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