2014 NHL Draft Prospect: Ara Nazarian

Matt Christians

Nazarian will likely flourish on the olympic sheet at UNH when he arrives on campus in the fall of 2015.

Every year there are a few prospects taken in the NHL Draft who were not listed on Central Scouting Service's Final Rankings and one of those players in 2014 could be Malden Catholic forward and 2015 UNH recruit Ara Nazarian.

There isn't a player eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft that this observer has seen more than Nazarian. He is a three-time member of the four-time defending Massachusetts High School champions. The senior-to-be is the type of player that fans and scouts will instantly notice when he has the puck.

Nazarian has terrific hands and offensive ability and a great burst of speed, especially when going forward. He has good vision and had amazing chemistry with UMass Lowell recruit Tyler Sifferlen this past season. His offensive ability is unquestioned, but his size, lack of discipline and defensive mindset are question marks from scouts.

Nazarian was rightfully targeted as a player opposing teams tried to keep in check, but it often caused the Boxford, Mass. native to become frustrated and take ill-timed penalties. Malden Catholic often found itself on the right side of a lopsided score so defensive responsibility wasn't always of the utmost importance, but it is an area of concern from NHL scouts when evaluating his game.

Nazarian's USHL rights are owned by the Des Moines Buccaneers, but he and his family seem determined to finish his high school career at Malden Catholic for head coach John McLean, a former volunteer assistant at Merrimack.

It wouldn't shock this observer to see a team take a flyer on Nazarian late in the sixth round or more likely in the seventh round.

Quick Facts:

Ara Nazarian

Central Scouting Final Ranking: N/A

Hometown: Boxford, Mass.

2013-14 Team: Malden Catholic (Mass. High School)

2014-15 Team: Malden Catholic (Mass. High School)

Height/Weight: 5-9/170

Strengths: Plays with an edge, great offensive instincts and a big burst going forward

Weakness: Tendency to float in the defensive zone and can take some questionable penalties out of frustration

--

Jeff Cox covers college, junior and high school hockey, NCAA recruiting and NHL Draft prospects. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSports.

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