Connor Clifton — Undersized, but physically strong, Clifton showed off some solid offensive capabilities, but some questionable decisions throughout the tournament make him more challenging to project. Clifton has a terrific shot from the point and is able to get pucks to the net well. Sometimes he got lost in the offensive zone, however, leading to turnovers and odd-man rushes the other way. A little too go-for-broke at times, Clifton will need to improve his decision-making in the future. That said, the offensive capabilities and his desire to play a mean, physical game despite his size are attractive qualities. Unafraid to mix it up and play the body first, there’s plenty of upside in Clifton and that could lead to a team taking a later-round stab at that potential. U18WC Statline: 7 GP, 1-0–1, 2 PIM -3. Projected Draft Range: Fifth to Sixth Round.
Six months later, thought I'd check in on Mr Clifton's first half-season at Quinnipiac University ...
QU were supposed to be good this season and they have been: 14-3-4, 6-2-2 in the conference, second behind 2012 Frozen Four team Union.
Clifton is the only freshman defenseman to play all 21 for the Bobcats, and stat line reads 3-2-5 with a team-leading 54 PIM's. The penalty total is skewed by a pair of major/misconduct checking-to-the-head penalties against Holy Cross and Princeton, but he's also had 4 games with 2 minors each. A little odd for a guy who's only 5'10" to be getting penalized for hitting to the head. He's a +8, with 11 plus and 4 minus games.
There's video of most of the goals for/against from Quinnipiac conference games, and I don't see a ton of Clifton. That's probably neither a great sign nor an awful one.
One thing that does really jump out watching these videos is a 19-year old defenseman named Devon Toews (no relation) who looks like he's been their Connor Murphy this year. He's an overage freshman (turns 20 in February) and played in the BCHL with Surrey before going to college. The CHL passed on him because he was only 5'2" for the bantams draft (5'10" now). Looks maybe a bit slow on his skates, but his positioning and composure on the puck both look solid and everything I've read says he's been huge for QU this season. He's not been drafted by the NHL and might be a guy to pencil in at the bottom of your list somewhere for a look.
He's undersized but the scouting report in the OP is pretty spot on. He lowered the shoulder two or three times and crushed the opponent. His decision making was questionable and he had a few turnovers but for a freshman who played a lot of minutes, I was impressed overall. I thought he was a junior out there.