Kelly Summers made a quick and terrific impression in his draft year playing for the Carleton Place Canadiens. The Golden Lake, Ontario native started the season as a relative unknown and was ranked just 158 by Central Scouting at the mid-term release.
Jump to the end of the season and the smooth-skating defenseman has jumped up 85 spots to 73 in the final rankings for the 2014 NHL Draft.
Summers, an offensive-minded blue liner, led his team to the Central Canadian Hockey League (CCHL) championship as Jason Clarke's team advanced all the way to the RBC Cup.
Summers does a terrific job in transition, seeing the ice well and making quick and accurate passes up ice. He has good hockey IQ and makes smart and concise decisions with the puck in his own zone. His offensive statistics, 17 goals and 43 assists, are what stand out, but he takes his responsibilities in the defensive zone seriously.
He will continue to learn from two of the best defensive minds in the game in Clarkson head coach Casey Jones and assistant Phil Roy. Clarkson plays a very defensive-minded, pro style, but Roy is a defensive specialist who has helped blue liners progress with both the Golden Knights and his previous stop, Merrimack.
Central Scouting Final Ranking: 73
Hometown: Golden Lake, Ontario
2013-14 Team: Carleton Place Canadiens (CCHL)
2014-15 Team: Clarkson (NCAA)
Strengths: Sees the ice well, one-man breakout who exhibits tremendous composure and vision
Weakness: Still needs to add some muscle, but he's no slouch physically
Jeff Cox covers college, junior and high school hockey, NCAA recruiting and NHL Draft prospects. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSports.