What to Count on From Mega-Prospect Trevor Zegras within the NHL
Trevor Zegras (Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports activities)It’s time. It ought to’ve been time at the least a month in the past, however at the least we will cease drooling longingly over his AHL highlights now. Heart Trevor Zegras, the Anaheim Geese’ No. 1 prospect, will make his NHL debut quickly, probably for Monday evening’s recreation towards the Arizona Coyotes. Given the Geese made Zegras obtainable to the media over the weekend and indicated he’ll get power-play time when he attracts into the lineup, per the Athletic’s Eric Stephens, it seems Zegras will play immediately. It is sensible given he has the expertise to right away turn into the group’s greatest offensive middle if he’s as prepared as his AHL footage suggests.“It’s each child’s dream to play within the NHL, it’s one thing I’ve been wanting ahead to a very long time, and it’s one thing my household’s been wanting ahead to, so it’s going to be a fairly special occasion when it occurs,” Zegras instructed reporters Sunday throughout a Zoom name.Blowing up for seven objectives and 18 factors (!) in seven video games on the 2021 world juniors didn’t earn Zegras, 19, a call-up to the Geese to open the NHL season. However they’ve deemed him worthy after he delivered 4 objectives and 9 factors in eight video games with their AHL affiliate, the San Diego Gulls, in his first style of professional motion. He arrives with potential to turn into among the best playmakers not simply from the 2019 draft class however of his present technology. His developmental rise has additionally been meteoric.What can we count on from Zegras on the NHL degree? Right here’s what expertise evaluators have stated about him within the years main as much as his big-league debut.Trevor Zegras, 2018-19In The Hockey Information’ 2019 Draft Preview version, our prospect guru Ryan Kennedy ranked Zegras seventh total. He was projected to be a simple first-rounder on the time however, taking part in on a U.S. NTDP squad that featured Jack Hughes and Alex Turcotte, Zegras had spent a lot of the season because the third-line middle other than filling in on the second line when Turcotte was harm. Although Zegras’ shot acquired respectable marks and his total recreation was in comparison with Tyler Seguin’s, Zegras was projected as extra of a playmaker than a scorer, with an underrated edge to his recreation at a considerably undersized six-foot and 168 kilos. Scouts noticed a excessive ceiling plus a good ground. “He has high-level potential,” stated one scout within the pages of Draft Preview 2019. “I don’t assume he’s a boom-or-bust man, however there’s an enormous swath between his prime potential and his backside potential. This man may very well be an A-plus or a B-minus.”Within the 12 months that adopted, Zegras trended towards the A-plus ceiling.Trevor Zegras, 2019-20After the Geese nabbed Zegras ninth within the 2019 draft, he started his school profession at Boston College, averaging higher than a degree per recreation and making Hockey East’s third all-star group. He additionally led the 2020 world juniors in assists with 9 in 5 video games. He actually began to show heads at that tourney, flashing the look of a participant who may lead the NHL in assists sometime. In our 2020 Future Watch version of The Hockey Information, our panel of lively NHL scouts and group executives fawned over Zegras, grading him because the No. 2 total NHL-affiliated prospect behind solely Colorado Avalanche defenseman Bowen Byram. Zegras was singled out for his potential to deal with the puck at excessive speeds.Trevor Zegras, 2020-21Because the calendar flipped to 2021 and the U.S. world junior squad crusaded to a gold-medal win, Zegras put up otherworldly numbers en path to successful the event MVP award. Zegras’ 18 factors have been the 12th-most for one event in WJC historical past and matched Brayden Schenn’s 2011 effort for probably the most factors by any participant at a WJC this millennium. Zegras equalled Jordan Schroeder’s all-time report for factors by an American on the event with 27 – and Zegras did it in 12 video games, seven fewer than it took Schroeder. To the shock of many prospect watchers, the Geese, a group hurting for offensive expertise, despatched Zegras to the AHL the week after the tourney. The objective could be to name him up if he shortly outclassed the competitors there and, effectively, a month later, that’s what’s occurred. Flourishing as a left winger taking part in alongside Sam Carrick, Zegras leaves the AHL tied with Seth Jarvis for the league lead in factors. It doesn’t get way more pronounced than that. For Gulls coach Kevin Dineen, it wasn’t a lot the spotlight performs that made Zegras seem prepared for a call-up because it was the eye to element and dedication to taking part in a two-way recreation. “With a man like ‘Z,’ the best way he could make some high-end performs, he not solely introduced that to our group, however he additionally introduced the duty half, so it was a very good combine,” Dineen stated. “It was a great displaying for him. He actually confirmed that high-end ability. He had just a few hiccups and burps alongside the best way, which all people does, whether or not we’re coaches or referees or gamers on the American League degree, and that is why he is there. “However I’ve had the chance to be with the Geese a pair completely different instances and acquired to see the entry of Ryan Getzlaf, who got here right down to Portland (in 2005-06) and performed the sport the proper method. I take advantage of him and Corey Perry at all times for instance for lots of our gamers, as a result of they simply got here down and embraced what we have been doing. You show that not solely are you able to play at this degree however that you just’re prepared to maneuver on, and I feel ‘Z’ is in a great place.”Dineen believes Zegras’ play is “an extension of his persona,” which, in Zegras’ case, means taking part in the sport with an infectious pleasure. “He’s a enjoyable teammate to be round, he’s an actual good pupil of the sport, and he’s an enthusiastic man,” Dineen stated. “It’s a little bit of a kick within the tail for anyone getting despatched to the American League, however he jumped in with each toes and actually grew to become a top quality teammate. He confirmed that in his recreation and the best way he wished to distribute the puck and work along with his linemates.”So now Zegras hyperlinks up with an Anaheim group averaging the fewest objectives per recreation within the NHL at 1.83. Throughout Sunday’s Zoom name, coach Dallas Eakins indicated Zegras will begin out on the wing when he does draw into the lineup. “He’s clearly had a great begin numbers clever within the American league,” Eakins stated. “I feel he’s been working arduous. These little elements of the professional recreation which might be so vital and may come again and chew you in a recreation, issues that we discuss right here on a regular basis: turnovers, puck administration…there will probably be a special degree of pace right here for him. However he seemed so excited. I talked to him for a couple of minutes this morning. He’s like a child in a sweet store. He was simply ecstatic to be out on that ice.”Anaheim’s energy play, which was 30th within the NHL final 12 months at 14.7 p.c, sits 30th once more at…7.5 p.c. Not a misprint. The numbers virtually scream for Zegras’ help and solely add to the hype. However he understands he has to dam out that noise quite than arrive anticipating to be a savior.“I actually strive to not look into that form of stuff,” he stated. “I’m simply going to try to go on the market and play the perfect I can, assist the group any method I can, simply try to be a great teammate, keep constructive. All that different stuff’s out of my management. You attempt to simply management what you’ll be able to management, and also you go from there.”Now, we wait to see how effectively Zegras controls the sport on the NHL degree. It ought to be enjoyable to look at.