Name: Jack Sadek
2014-2015 Team: Lakeville(MN) North High School
2014-2015 stats: 25 games played, 5 goals, 20 assists, 25 points
Final NHL Central Scouting Rank: 79th among North American skaters
What are his strengths and weaknesses?
Sadek is an incredible athlete. He possesses one of the quickest first steps of any player in the draft, which allows him to evade pressure when he has the puck, and be an effective one-on-one defender.
He could stand to become more confident with the puck on his stick. Too often he chooses the simple, safe play--skating the puck to the red line and dumping it in rather than using his speed to gain zone entry, for example--over making a more high-value play.
He's not as developed as some other prospects in the Draft, but his tremendous physical talent gives him some intriguing upside if he can round out the rest of his game.
Is he trending up or down in his draft year?
Sadek was a virtual unknown 12 months ago, but really came into his own with some strong performances over the summer that helped earn him a scholarship at the University of Minnesota. He was a key member of the Lakeville North High School team that went undefeated en route to a state championship. But playing on a loaded team against high school competition didn't afford him much opportunity to really shine and make a big move up draft boards.
Where is he projected to go in the Draft?
NHL Central Scouting has always been a bit more positive on Sadek than some others, banking on his athleticism and untapped potential to put him at the top of a fairly interchangeable group of Minnesota high school defenseman prospects. He's good enough to be picked somewhere in the draft, but it wouldn't be a surprise to see him slip into the fifth round or later on draft day. Teams have begun to shy away from Minnesota high school prospects until the later rounds in recent years because there's so much more guesswork involved in picking a player that played at a lower level of competition, and there's definitely some added risk taking a player as unproven as Sadek.
How does he project as a pro?
The upside for Sadek is as a second pairing defenseman that isn't a big offensive contributor, but has high value for his ability to break the puck out of his own end and use his skating ability to help maintain possession of the puck.
Where will he go next?
Sadek has signed his Letter of Intent with the University of Minnesota, and with no other real options at the moment, it looks like the Gophers will bring Sadek in without a stopover year in junior hockey. A year in the USHL likely would have been beneficial for him, and with all of Minnesota's other defensemen drafted in the NHL, it may be difficult for Sadek to see a lot of playing time right away. But Sadek is a bit of a project as a prospect and the hope is that with three or four years of experience at Minnesota, he'll be a much more polished player than he is now and ready for professional hockey.