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Prospect Files Week 4: Warren Steele

This week we stray away from the sexier prospects that everyone probably already knows about and take a look at what could be this year’s poor man’s Mark Scheifele. The Kingston Frontenac’s defender played Junior A last year in the CCHL and after making the big team at the start of this season, he has had a great start and is surprising many people around the league. Let’s get to know a little bit more about one of the best young players and, maybe, the best name in the league…Warren Steele.

NHL Draft Prospect: Warren Steele – Kingston Frontenacs

The Line:
Height: 6’0”
Weight: 187 lbs
Shoots: Left
Position: Defense
Draft Eligible: 2012

After only playing 7 games with the Kingston Frontenacs last season, amassing 0 points and a minus 1 rating, Warren Steele is impressing everyone, scouts included, this season. The Wallaceburg, Ontario native has put up 3 goals and 7 points in just thirteen games thus far and has played big minutes for a very young and inexperienced Frontenacs squad.

Even though the points are nice and you can have a glimpse at the stats sheet and see that he is having a great start, you have to see him play live to truly appreciate what he brings to the table. He is a stalky kid, built to handle a physical beating and he has shown that he can; oftentimes winning puck battles down low in his zone, but what separates him from many of the other draft eligible OHL defenseman is his passing ability. He makes very quick decisions as soon as he has the puck, showing off his vision and his passing ability. Short or long, the pass is always crisp and usually tape-to-tape.

He is a raw talent at this point, fresh out of the Junior A Smiths Falls Lumberjacks organisation, but you can see that the ability is there. His defensive zone coverage is adequate and with his skill-set it will only improve as he gets used to playing against larger and more talented players. His skating needs to be worked on but isn’t a hindrance to his game at this level.

This is one of those prospects where you watch play and see a very large ceiling. He is a project at this point, but one that I am sure all 30 NHL clubs would love to take on. I look forward to watching him progress as the year goes along and, if the Panthers send back Erik Gudbranson, (he is off to a terrible start) Steele could really mature quickly, learning from one of the top prospects in the game.

NHL Player Comparison: Mark Giordano

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