Jake Evans is taking his talents to South Bend to play for Jeff Jackson at the University of Notre Dame, but first, he is likely to hear his name called in the 2014 NHL Draft this weekend at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
Evans, more of a setup guy than a goal scorer, has tremendous ability to see the ice and make smart decisions with the puck. The Toronto, Ontario native played for the highly successful St. Michael's Buzzers in the OJHL and has made a plethora of all-star teams from the midget level on to Junior A.
Evans' style of play fits in nicely at Notre Dame where the Fighting Irish coaching staff will help him develop his game with an eye on the next level. Jackson, a two-time national champion bench boss at Lake Superior, has pro and major junior experience as well, including with the New York Islanders.
Notre Dame's puck possession style fits Evans' game well. He is responsible in all three zones and makes smart decisions with the puck. He also can play a grinding style and muck it up physically.
Evans, who scored 16 goals and 47 assists this past winter for the Buzzers, will likely go somewhere in the fourth or fifth round. He is the type of player that should stay in college throughout his four-year career before signing a pro deal.
Central Scouting Final Ranking: 106
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario
2013-14 Team: St. Michael's Buzzers (OJHL)
2014-15 Team: Notre Dame (NCAA)
Strengths: Great vision, ability to find seams, smart decisions with the puck
Weakness: Sometimes criticized for not shooting enough
Jeff Cox covers college, junior and high school hockey, NCAA recruiting and NHL Draft prospects. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSports.