Film Room: Stats be damned, Zach Dean is one of the 2021 NHL Draft's most skilled forwards
Don't let the numbers fool you. Zach Dean is one of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft's most skilled centres. It's the reason we placed him 15th overall in the Elite Prospects 2021 NHL Draft Guide.It's not that we don't value production. It factors into all our projections, but in Dean's case, we just don't think his 20 points in 23 games reflects his NHL upside.
Sometimes, points can be deceiving. Scoring depends on a lot of variables, many of which are outside of a player's control even at the Junior level. Of course, the majority of top-six players in the NHL were elite scorers for their minor teams, point-per-game players or more, but there are exceptions to that rule like any other: Brandon Saad, Ryan O'Reilly, Vincent Trocheck, Ryan Johansen, Oliver Bjorkstrand…
Dean could very well be the next exception to that rule.
Why? Because he is one of the fastest thinking players in the draft and also one of its most skilled.
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