I personally think this guy has a much higher upside than what most are predicting. Duchene, who is garnering comparisons to Sakic and Yzerman put up 79 points in 58 games in his second season in the OHL. Werek put up 64 points, and I know he played more games, but he also played on possibly the worst team in the OHL, where the leading scorer had 72 points (as opposed to in Brampton where Duchene had Grachev and Hodgson), and he had to take time to adjust to the higher competition as an OHL rookie. I know if I had a choice between Werek and Duchene it would be the latter without hesitation, but I think if Duchene is garunteed by many to be a 1st line center I think Werek can be more then a 3rd liner. I also loved the quote, which I don't want to look for, where he said he's never happy with his game, he's always trying to perfect it. I think this pick was a steal and he's going to be a very intimidating top six forward that will excel on the powerplay.
Wow, this kid has a good head on his shoulders. I really like his attitude and outlook. This bit caught my eye in particular:
At the end of the week I will be in Montreal to take in the draft and whenever my name is called it will be a great honour to be recognized by an organization, but I know that I will need to work even harder to become an national league player.
These seem like the words of a very mature young man who is ready to bust his ***. Let's hope he does.
Here's another post from that OHL Prospects blog, where they had him ranked 5th among eligible draftees, ahead of Kassian, Kadri and Holland:
. Ethan Werek - Forward - Kingston Frontenacs
Outside of Chris DeSousa, no draft eligible OHL'er scored more goals than Werek did (32). So why the concerns about his offensive potential? In Stouffville Junior A last year, he outscored Corey Trivino, being a year younger, and all that was heard about Trivino last year was the offensive potential he had. This just in though, Werek can play, and play well. Scoring 32 goals on that Kingston team this year is quite impressive, considering how terrible they were. Even more impressive was his consistent effort throughout the entire season, continuing to improve as the season went along and he got more comfortable. Look at how he finished the season, 6 goals, 7 assists in the 8 games of March. Werek is just a solid player. He skates hard, forechecks and is developing into a very effective puck possession player. He has good hands and can from time to time, flash some serious stickhandling ability, especially in driving to the net, which he did with increasing authority as the season went along. He backchecks, he takes the body, and he's slowly developing into a power forward. He's also an incredibly intelligent player, who knows where to be on the ice. Toss in his very solid performance for Canada at the Under 18's, and I think we've got a player a lot of people are really underestimating.
Werek, kind of reminds me of a former Ranger... maybe not as tough but otherwise, hustle, effort, 2way player, mediocre skater, good size, solid hands, does what it takes to win, team player, 64pt rookie year in the O. Not saying this is what I project him to be, but similar players in their draft years. My all time favorite Ranger #9 Adam Graves. Granted Gravey blew up for 100+pts as an 18yo, don't think Werek does that; but right now from the little I have seen and the bunch I have read for some reason #9 is what I think of.
I can actually see the comparison in the limited video I've seen. I didn't realize that he scored the 3rd most goals of any draft eligible player coming out of the OHL (1st was Tavares).
Here are some more clips:
This one is awesome - on the rush, he takes a midair pass, knocks it down and then goes short side on the goalie for his first OHL goal.
I'm telling you. I LOVE THIS PICK. Before the draft I would of been fine if the Rangers traded down and got two second rounders, as long as one of the two players they select was Werek. I watched on Saturday morning as the second round unfolded- McKenzie was talking about Ferraro or someone and then they panned back to the board and started descending down the list of players drafted.. I saw Morin was picked by Atlanta and was disappointed.. But when I saw we got Werek and I literally Jumped for joy. I see a lot of Ryan Smyth in his game. He uses his blend of size and grit(a long with skill) to drive to the net and cash in the rebounds.
Having seen him play all season, I can't help but be a huge fan of his. On a sad-sack Kingston club, which was devoid of talent and, possibly even worse, work ethic, Werek was the lone bright light. Forget skill level, if every player on Kingston brought the same effort and hustle every game that Werek did, Kingston wouldn't have been the joke of the league.
His skating is a little weak, he's got good speed when he's got a head of steam going, but his quick-step speed just isn't very dynamic. IMO, if he had better wheels, he would have easily been a Top-10 pick. He's got the skills, the wicked wrist shot, the hustle, the on-ice smarts, and decent size. The only thing lacking is that one-step breakaway speed.
One thing that he seems to have a knack for is scoring the big goals, too. He doesn't shy away when the game is on the line. On a weak, weak Kingston club, which didn't win a whole lot of games, Werek scored a good portion of either their game winners or game tying goals. Two that stick out in my mind were, during Doug Gilmour's debut behind the Kingston bench, Werek scoring the winning goal in overtime on a nice drive to the net. It wasn't pretty, but he just bowled his way to the net and pounded it in. The second one, was against a John Tavares-lead London Knights team that was, by far and away, superior to Kingston. Werek scored the winning goal with about 2 seconds left in the third period.
What's more impressive about his stats, is that for the first 20 or so games this season, he struggled to find his game as he adjusted to the OHL. He was being played out of position (on left wing, he's better at center), and he had only 6 goals in about 23 games. After he was moved back to center permanently, and after he got accustomed to the play at the OHL level, he scored 26 goals in the final 43 games, which would have translated to about 40 goals over a full season.
If he can just improve his skating, he'll be a good one.
Ethan Werek, a diehard Toronto Maple Leafs fan growing up in the shadow of Hogtown, was selected by his favourite team in the second round of the National Hockey League Entry Draft on Saturday morning.
No, not the Leafs but the New York Rangers, Werek's onetime chosen video-game club.
"The Rangers were my favourite Xbox team back when (Jaromir) Jagr played for them," Werek acknowledged in a cellphone interview yesterday from the Big Apple, where he's spending the remainder of this week at the team's development camp.
In his e-mail the following morning was an airline ticket to New York City. Werek packed, caught a late-morning flight and was en route to the Crown Plaza hotel when theWhig-Standard caught up with him.
"It's a development camp for all the prospects in the Rangers system," Werek said of the five-day workout session at the Rangers' practice facility in White Plains. The camp, which includes off-ice training as well, ends on Friday.