Player: Will Lockwood
Team: US NTDP U18
Position: Right Wing
Height: 5'10" Weight: 172 lbs.
Stats:59 games, 13 goals, 20 assists, 33 points
Final NHL Central Scouting rank: 108th among North American skaters
What I Like:
Lockwood plays with a lot of energy and effort. He's a very consistent player that always gives 100%. He creates opportunities for himself by taking away time and space from the opposition and forcing mistakes
Speed is Lockwood's best asset. He's got light feet which gives him a very quick first step and above average straight-line speed. He doesn't always use that speed to his greatest advantage, but it could be a pro-level tool if he learns how to use it better.
Lockwood wasn't a huge scorer for the NTDP this year, but when he got opportunities, he showed a nice ability to finish off plays. He'll have to show he can do that more consistently, but matched with the right linemate that can set him up, he could be a much bigger scorer.
What I Don't Like:
-Doesn't Create with the Puck
Lockwood is much more likely to make a play with his feet than he is with his hands. That makes him a fairly one-dimensional offensive player, and is a bit concerning in regards to how he'll do when he reaches a level where everyone can skate well.
-Doesn't Win Puck Battles
Lockwood isn't a very big player, but even for a player his size, he doesn't play a very heavy game. He needs to get better at utilizing his speed to get himself in position to out-angle and out-leverage opponents to win pucks in order to be a more effective two-way player.
Both NHL Central Scouting and myself have Lockwood ranked right around the range of a mid-fourth round pick. He maybe dropped after what was a pretty disappointing World U18s, but I couldn't drop him too far because it's a pretty weak Draft, and I couldn't find many guys to move above him. I don't see a complete enough player for a team to jump up and pick him much higher than the fourth round, but for a guy that works hard and has the skating ability to play at the next level, he's worth the risk of hoping his game rounds at while at Michigan.
The extreme ceiling for Lockwood would be a player like Carl Hagelin--another smallish forward that went to he University of Michigan and was a late round pick because he could skate, but didn't do much else--though obviously that's a best case scenario. Lockwood could also potentially play a bottom six role at the NHL if he gets stronger and smarter as a two-way player because of his skating ability.