BEN MAXWELL, C, Kootenay
Born: 3/30/88 Ht: 6-0 Wt: 175 Shoots: L
From NHL Central Scouting - Has quick acceleration with strong stride and good overall speed...plays the point on the power play where he has picked up a lot of points...makes good decisions with the puck and moves it quickly and is smart...deft puckhandler who handles puck well through congested areas.
From ISS - He needs tremendous work on his defensive game and has to distribute the puck better and more often. Also needs to work on his consistency. At the 2006 CHL Prospects game he was very impressive in the skills testing and showed great hands. We really like his speed and offensive skill set. He is on the verge of becoming a prolific scorer and time will tell if he will evolve into the scoring machine many predicted.
From TSN - Kootenay's 1st round pick, 2nd overall, in 2003 bantam draft...Tied for team lead in playoff points (3-5) in 6 games...Played for Team Pacific at 2005 U-17...Played for Canada at 2005 U-18 Jr. World Cup and won gold...Also represented Canada at 2006 U-18 and was second on team in points...Won the 60' and 150' dash in the skills competition at prospects game.
Name: Ben Maxwell
Weight: 177 lbs
Rankings: #44 North American Skater (CSS), #21 Overall (THN), #17 Overall (Red Line), NR (TSN.ca/ISS)
Kootenay (WHL) 69 GP, 28-32-60, 52 PIM, +17
One of the real wild cards in this draft will be enigmatic Kootenay center Ben Maxwell. In skills testing, Maxwell scores through the roof. He posted the top times at the CHL Top Prospects game in the 60 foot Dash, the 150 ft Dash, was 5th in the Full Lap and was the only young man to break the 17 second barrier on the Puck Control test. On the ice, these skills can translate to dominance, when Maxwell shows up to play. Unfortunately, his effort was inconsistent for most of the year and he was pegged as a lazy player for the campaign he had for Kootenay. He may have saved his stock, however, with a dominant effort at the U18 World Junior Championships where he was named Canada's best player in three of their seven matches and was second on the team in scoring with 2 goals and 7 points in 7 games. Maxwell has blazing speed, great vision and passing ability and a hard and accurate shot. When he feels like it, he can excel in the physical game and can be an excellent defensive player who is always a shorthanded threat on the penalty kill. One scout quoted in THN believes that Maxwell's biggest hurdle is going to be in gaining the strength to compete at the pro level, but Red Line sees the problem as one that almost exclusively exists between his ears. They sum it up thusly: at his upside they see him as a Brendan Morrison type player, but on his downside, Kris Beech.
Strengths: On paper, he's the best skater in this draft. Stickhandling and passing ability are excellent as are his one ice vision. Can be excellent defensively and is a huge threat shorthanded as a penalty killer.
Weaknesses: Heart is a question. Needs to bulk up and get stronger. Needs to compete in the physical game more consistently
05/01/2006 - (u18) Review: In tight race with Justin Azevedo for being the best Canadian center of the tournament. A consistent offensive threat and elevated the game of whoever he was playing with on any given day. Showed signs at being a clutch player as well. Scouting: Has elite poise with the puck and excellent vision .. very soft hands and is the type of player that always seems to be getting a lot of extra time with the puck, which is a sign of quality talent .. an excellent player for running the powerplay, as he has a crisp passing and the ability to see the openings few others are capable of .. smooth skater, although his top speed is somewhat lacking, but that rarely bothers his game due to his puckhandling skills and hockey sense .. reads the game very well and always knows what do next .. above average wrist shot, but make no mistake, he's more of a playmaker than a sniper .. seems to elevate his game when the going gets tough, was one of the few Canadians not to freeze up in the semi-final against Finland .. does not shy away from traffic and has enough strength to cover the puck very along the boards and wins a good share of the battles.
05/25/2006 - Extremely mobile and when he keeps his feet moving can be quite elusive .. looks comfortable patrolling the point on the powerplay .. simply an effortless skater with or without the puck .. passes crisply and generally on the tape .. will take something off his point shot to try and create a rebound or deflection, however possesses the ability to blast a low hard point shot by a goaltender .. has the speed to take away time and space on the forecheck .. needs to get stronger to be more effective in the dirty areas .. finishes his checks and will take the body, however is far from being a threat physically. (69gp, 28-32-60)
06/05/2006 - Will need to make plenty of adjustments if he is going to be successful at the next level .. He is a great stickhandler but he is a bit soft .. I think he is going to have difficulty because much of his game is based on anticipation and surprising defenders .. How will he fare when the competition gets tougher? [Rank 25]
I've watched 3,4 Kootenay games...and this guy was almost always the best player on the ice for his team. I dont like the fact that he gets pushed around a bit easily (from what I saw). He doesn't use his decent frame too much. The skills are definately there.