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2010 NHL Draft Prospect: Max Gaede

Name: Max Gaede

Height: 6'2"

Weight: 187 lbs.

09-10 team: Woodbury High School

09-10 stats: 25 games, 19 goals, 17 assists, 36 points

Prospect Info:

Heading into his senior season of high school hockey, forward Max Gaede was a valued commodity in the junior hockey world. He had offers to move to play for the Sioux City Musketeers of the USHL, or to play for the Edmonton Oil Kings of the WHL. Instead, Gaede decided to stay close to home and play in the Upper Midwest Elite League in the fall, and then play his senior season with Woodbury High School.

That decision ended up being a wise one. In October, Gaede made a college commitment to play for Minnesota State Mankato, and his play in the Elite League helped cement his status on the NHL Draft radar.

Gaede is a power forward that can play the wing and is excellent cycling the puck along the boards. He has pretty good vision and passing ability, though his skating could use some improvement. He's also regarded as a very high character kid with an outstanding work ethic.

Gaede is scheduled to play for the Sioux City Musketeers of the USHL next season, before heading to Minnesota State the following year. Edmonton made a pitch to Gaede and his family last summer, and will likely do the same again, which could sway him, though the fact that he made a commitment to MSU after visiting Edmonton last year, would seem to indicate he's likely to end up in college, and as a mid-to-late round pick, he's a nice fit for college hockey as he's not guaranteed to make big money in the pros, but likely good enough that he wouldn't want to quit playing hockey at age 21 to cash in on his education package.

Links of Interest:

Hot Fun on Ice-Minneapolis Star-Tribune-July 2008

Gaede's Joyride Gaining Momentum-Minnesota Hockey Hub-October 2009

Chase for Superstardom Not Cheap-Minnesota Hockey Hub-October 2009

Taking It to the Max-Minnesota Hockey Hub-December 2009

December ISS Rising Prospects-International Scouting Services-December 2009

Gaede Wastes No Time Embarking on Next Phase-Woodbury Bulletin-March 2010

On WCH...

November 2, 2009: "Another big kid with a lot of potential and a long ways to go. His skating isn't bad when he's going in a straight line, but when the play starts changing directions, he can start to get lost. For a big guy, he's got pretty good hands. Just about every time he got the puck, he ended up putting it on a teammate's stick. Central Scouting only had him as a 'C' prospect, but he was one of the kids getting watched pretty closely last weekend and did some things that made some scouts take notice, so I could see him making a push to be a late round draft pick."

November 10, 2009: "A really solid weekend with a couple goals and assists. He scored a beautiful goal on Saturday where he, along with linemates Brandon Wahlin and Garrett Hendrickson cycled the puck in the left corner for about a minute straight before he popped in front of the net for a goal. I think he's really helped his chances of getting drafted with his play in the Elite League."

November 17, 2009: "Gaede is a unique player in that his two strongest skills are grinding along the boards, and making excellent passes to teammates. He's not guaranteed to be an NHL draft pick this summer, but he's at least played well enough to pique the interest of scouts, while his Woodbury team is starting to become a powerhouse in the eastern suburbs. "

January 11, 2010: "144. Max Gaede-Woodbury(Minnesota State)-Woodbury has been a little disappointing this year, but Gaede probably played his way into being draft pick in the Elite League this year."

Final Analysis:

Gaede really rose up draft boards all year long. He made it all the way up to 104th on the final Central Scouting rankings, and now looks like a lock to be selected somewhere on the second day of the draft.

He's a bit of a raw talent. Playing high school hockey at Woodbury, he wasn't always playing with or against equal or better talent, and his skating could still probably use some work. But he's got some intriguing potential as a power forward once he fills out a little more that can make plays offensively.

Unless a team really likes him, the fourth round is probably about as high as he'll go. If he lasts any later than that, I wouldn't necessarily call it a steal for the team that picks him, but they would be getting some pretty nice value on a late round pick.