Name: Jesse Gabrielle
Position: Left Wing
2014-2015 Team: Brandon Wheat Kings/Regina Pats(WHL)
2014-2015 Stats: 66 games, 23 goals, 21 assists, 44 points
Final NHL Central Scouting Rank: 73rd among North American skaters
What are his strengths and weaknesses?
Gabrielle is a tough, gritty forward that never backs down from a physical challenge. He's not a heavyweight fighter, but is willing to drop his gloves if need be. He loves to get under the skin of his opponents. Though he's a very rough player, he also has the hands to contribute a bit offensively.
On the downside, he's not an elite offensive talent, and sometimes he can become too distracted with the physical elements of his game rather than focusing on playing a complete game. At his best he can be a two-way forward that is extremely difficult to play against, but at his worst, he's a dime-a-dozen goon.
Is he trending up or down in his draft year?
Gabrielle had a decent draft year, showing good improvement in his statistics from the previous season. He was traded near the WHL trade deadline from Brandon to Regina straight up for 2014 first round pick Morgan Klimchuk. Central Scouting dropped him from 61 in their mid-term rankings to 73 in their final ranking, but for the most part, he's been in that third round range the entire season by playing solid enough to maintain his high ranking, but not shattering expectations to raise the ranking.
Where is he projected to go in the draft?
There are enough players with higher offensive upside in this Draft that Gabrielle likely won't be picked in the first two rounds of the draft, with an outside shot of him going in the late second round if a team really likes him. The most likely destination is somewhere in the third round with a possibility that he falls into the fourth round.
How does he project as a pro?
Gabrielle's role at the pro level is as an agitator and a guy capable of dropping the gloves to fight on occasion, while still providing enough offense that he doesn't feel like a wasted line-up spot. He doesn't quite have the offensive upside to play a scoring role on a first or second line, but could be a valuable depth piece to a team.
Where will he go next?
Gabrielle will go back to Regina next season where he'll likely play a bigger offensive role. Because Gabrielle is a little more developed physically than many of the prospects in the Draft, there will likely be a shorter timeframe before he's ready to compete at the pro level. Gabrielle could be in the minors within two years and competing for an NHL roster spot once he proves himself in that league.