It was a tough year for NTDP defenseman Chad Krys. He started the year ranked as a potential first round Draft pick and as the U18s top defenseman, earned a rare underage spot on the US World Juniors team. So it goes without saying that there is enormous potential there. But for much of this season, Krys failed to deliver on that potential and saw his draft stock plummet as a result. The Draft is about the longview though, and if Krys can clean up some of the mistakes he was making this year, his potential is very intriguing as a future NHL player.
Player: Chad Krys
Team: US NTDP U18
Height: 5'11" Weight: 183 lbs.
Stats: 53 games, 3 goals, 26 assists, 29 points
Final NHL Central Scouting rank: 53rd among North American skaters
What I Like:
-Good first step
Krys is an excellent skater with really quick feet. He's strong moving in all four directions and changes directions well. Though his positioning isn't always superb, he has the capability of covering a lot of ground defensively. His quickness makes up for his less than prototypical height for a defenseman.
-Can fly down the ice
He really seemed to hold back this past year as he worked on the defensive side of his game, but at his best, Krys is a strong enough north-south skater that he has the ability to join a rush offensively as a fourth forward, while still being abe to recover and get back defensively. He has the potential to turn his skating into a real offensive weapon.
Krys suffered in comparison to teammate Adam Fox, who is an outstanding playmaker, this year, but he's capable of running a solid power play in his own right. He's got decent vision and quick hands to make plays and get pucks to teammates in good scoring positions.
What I Don't Like:
The biggest issue Krys had this season was struggling with his decision-making with the puck. He's got fast hands and is a good stickhandler technically-speaking, but frequently overhandles the puck, getting himself into bad positions against competition that is better able to take away time and space. He was so physically gifted as a youngster that he never really needed to develop those hockey smarts and now that he's reaching a higher level, he seems to be having trouble adjusting.
Krys' total of only three goals this year was no accident. He has a relatively weak shot from the point, and as a result, rarely uses it, frequently passing up shooting opportunities to move the puck to a teammate. It's not the worst sin, and something that should improve with time, but for a player that will likely have to produce as a power play quarterback in the pros, it's concerning that that element is missing from his game.
I held out on Krys as a first round pick longer than most because I loved the way he played when he was younger, but I just couldn't justify it as the year progressed. Struggles at the World Juniors are one thing because it's not a tournament for 17-year-olds, but an equally unimpressive performance at the U18s was a real disappointment. There's a lot of talent there, so somebody will take a risk on him eventually, but both NHL Central Scouting and I have Krys sliding to the late-third/early-fourth round of the Draft.
Best case scenario involves Krys developing at Boston University over the course of his college career and learning how to harness his raw tools more effectively. If he does that, Krys has potential as a second pairing defenseman that can contribute on the power play and be a real offensive threat five-on-five because of his ability to jump into the rush.