2018-19 Team: USNDT (#11)
Date of Birth: March 20, 2001
Place of Birth: Bedford, NY
Ht: 6 foot Wt: 169 pounds.
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2019 first-year eligible
The USHL will be well represented at the top of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. As it stands, there are six players from the US U18 National Team Development Program who are in consideration to go top-10 in the draft, including Jack Hughes who is almost a lock for the first-overall selection.
While Trevor Zegras may not be in the discussion for first overall alongside Hughes and Kaapo Kakko, he is still in top-10 consideration and it’ll be surprising to see him fall much lower than that when all is said and done.
A six-foot center with tremendous hockey IQ and playmaking ability, Zegras is as good a passer in this class as it gets. It doesn’t matter where he is on the ice or where he wants the puck to go, he finds a way to move it to his teammates with crisp accuracy that almost always lands on tape. He’s creative and capable of adapting to the situation.
That passing works well for him on the rush and with offensive zone time established but it’s also an excellent tool on the power play. Many teams employ a player along the half-wall during their power plays and Zegras is the perfect option to fill that role for a team at the next level once he’s ready to make the jump.
It would be nice to see him shoot the puck more as he sometimes overpasses due to his refusal to shoot in prime situations. Despite this, he’d still score 26 goals in 60 games last season to go along with his 61 assists.
Related: NHL Draft Guide | 2019 Edition
Without the puck, Zegras is almost as effective as he is with it. He consistently remains moving regardless of the situation or where he is on the ice. Whether it’s the defensive zone, neutral zone or offensive zone, Zegras is always looking to make a play with his smarts and anticipation and almost always seems to be moving in the right direction.
Committed to play at Boston University next season, Zegras will get a chance to hone his craft in one of the best development programs in the country at the collegiate level.
This could do Zegras some good as he learns to not go over the line during scrums in between whistles and after periods. It could also do him some good to work on his shot as passing alone won’t get him to the NHL. Still, with passing as good as his, it would be shocking to see Zegras never find success at the NHL level in some way, shape or form.
Other THW Draft Profiles:
Trevor Zegras – NHL Draft Projection
As mentioned, Zegras is the quintessential top-10 pick. A center with top-six upside who can be a major player on a power play, it would be surprising to see him go any later than 10th overall. For that reason, a reasonable range for him is somewhere between the 7th overall pick and 10th overall pick.
“High-end production follows him around; as does the puck. The best pure passer in the crop. His blend of patience, visions and soft touch will fill more than a few barrels full of apples in the bigs.” – Cam Robinson, Dobber Prospects
“Held his own amongst Hughes and Turcotte at the U18s. Amazing ability to make plays in a variety of situations.” – Sam Cosentino, Sportsnet
“Zegras marries stellar hockey sense, which allows him to anticipate the flow of the game and create plays, with high-end acceleration and puck skills. He’s also effective in his own zone, using that hockey sense to limit opponents’ opportunities.” – Hannah Stuart, The Score
- High Hockey IQ
- High Motor
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Size (Could stand to gain some muscle)
- Needs to shoot the puck more (the shot itself could also use work)
- Discipline between whistles
If Zegras can improve his shot and gain some muscle, there’s no reason to think he’ll be anything but a top-six center with No. 1 center upside. He doesn’t ever need to become a power forward or have a booming shot, but some added mass and emphasis on shooting could go a long way.
Risk – 2/5 | Reward – 4.5/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense – 8/10 | Defense – 8.5/10
Zegras won a gold medal at the U17 WHC with Team USA in 2017-18. He’d also with Bronze at the U18 WJC in 2018-19.
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