It’s been a bit of an up-and-down year for Alexandre Petrovic, my 27th ranked draft prospect. McKeen’s points to the Top Prospects Game as a high point: Petrovic fought imposing defenceman Dylan McIlrath and contributed two assists, and despite losing the fight (since McIlrath is a bit of a monster) his willingness to engage is viewed as a positive by the magazine. On the other hand, THN cites NHL scouts who say that Petrovic couldn’t shake the loss and it effected his play for the remainder of the season.
Petrovic is a defensive defenceman with an appealing frame: at 6’4” tall he has the ideal stature for a shut-down player at the NHL level. He can handle the puck and clears his own end well, he’s a strong positional defender and he plays with enough nastiness that it qualifies as a strength. He’s also fairly mobile.
On the other hand, Petrovic isn’t going to emerge as an offensive threat. He’s not a natural scorer and while he’s good enough with the puck that isn’t what’s going to get him to or keep him in the NHL. Hockey Canada opted not to have him on this year’s U-18 team after he played for the squad last year.
Defensive defencemen are always difficult to project, and generally they take their sweet time making it to the big leagues, but Petrovic has a well-rounded game and is worth a late round pick.
McKeen’s Rank: #28 - “Petrovic has the size, natural aggression and improving skill-set to be a regular on an NHL team’s back end.”
THN Rank: #24 – “’He has better than average hockey sense and puck skills,’ [a] scout said.”