2019 NHL Draft: 3 overage prospects to keep an eye on

VANCOUVER, BC - DECEMBER 27: Brett Leason #20 of Canada in Group A hockey action of the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship action against Switzerland on December, 27, 2018 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BC - DECEMBER 27: Brett Leason #20 of Canada in Group A hockey action of the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship action against Switzerland on December, 27, 2018 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images) /

The 2019 NHL Draft should prove to be one of the deepest ones in years. There are several overage prospects worth checking out, and here are 3 of them.

Patrick Sharp, Matt Moulson, Pekka Rinne, Mark Streit, Paul Stastny, and many others have two things in common. The first thing is they have had pretty successful careers in the NHL and some are still currently playing. Also, they all were drafted at the age of 19 or older. Looking at the 2019 NHL draft, there are many talented overage players that could be drafted.

It’s easy to overlook them because of all the excellent talent. However, each of these players, despite their status, are worth drafting, even if it’s not in the first round. Here are a few of my favorite overage prospects. All stats are found on eliteprospects.com.

Brett Leason

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First on the list is Brett Leason. He is a 20-year-old right winger, standing at 6’5″, who was part of the Prince Albert Raiders. He put together an impressive season of 89 points (36G,53A) in 55 games. Throughout the year, he has been ranked to go as high as late in the first round and as low as the end of the second.

Here’s what Bill Placzek from Draft Site has to say about him.

"Sure, he needs to get faster add a quicker burst in the first step, which will help him to loose pucks, but he has super-soft hands, really excellent vision and a big strong shot. He is a big physical specimen that plays with physicality down low, and has the agility to shake loose, pivot and get shots off with defenders cemented to him.He has East-west elusiveness, and when he gets moving, he is difficult to derail. Display excellent vision and a hard heavy shot that he delivers in stride."

The first thing I noticed about Leason when started to watch some of his games was his soft hands, as mentioned above. He has the ability to protect the puck well and creating enough free space to let his shot go.

The other thing that was equally impressive for me was his vision all year. Not only can he see where his teammates are, but his ability to put the pass on their stick while being pressured was outstanding.

Although his skating isn’t the best, it’s something that can be fixed. A prime example is Bo Horvat who also had skating issues, but fast forward to today, and he’s one of the Canucks best skaters.

Looking at the Stanley Cup Final, Leason would be the type of player that would thrive and I believe he will end up being a top-six winger on whatever team is lucky enough to draft him.

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Ilya Konovalov

The second person on my list is goaltender Ilya Konovalov who stands 6 feet tall and weighs 194 pounds, playing for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl in the KHL where he played 45 games having a 1.89 GAA and a .930 save percentage.

He also won rookie of the year in the KHL.  David Ciss from Puck Prose has a great article for why teams should take a chance on him, you can read the article here.

Jokke Nevalainen on dobberprospects.com had this to say in May.

"Konovalov has won the Rookie of the Year award in the KHL after a strong season where he posted 0.930 save percentage in 45 games for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. He has two more years left on his KHL contract, and he might be NHL ready by the time that contract expires."

He also stated earlier this in February.

"He doesn’t have the type of size teams are usually looking for in goalies but he’s quick and agile, isn’t afraid to leave the blue paint to challenge attackers, and he has a good glove as well."

If Konovalov is ready when his contract is up with the KHL, he could be a great option for teams that have aging goaltenders and could be great for the depth chart.

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Ronnie Attard

The last prospect I will mention for now is Ronnie Attard, who stands at 6’3″ and weighs 207 pounds. He put up 64 points (30G, 34A) in 48 games, granted he was playing in the USHL. His offensive game from what I have seen is great.

Here’s what Bill Placzek at Draft Site has to say about him.

"3rd-year eligible defender who moves the puck and passes well. Displays good mobility, and a strong shot, and shot blocking fortitude. Was a big minute eater who was asked to be a responsible shutdown defenseman. On occasion, he punishes the opposition with his hard-nosed physical play. Committed to Western Michigan."

Much like the scouting report i love Attards ability to move the puck. Attard is a guy who has a good first pass will only help us get better.  He was named not only the best defencemen in USHL this year but also the best player. For a team that is lacking depth on the right side, especially one who has a great shot, this man seems like the right fit.

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I do think that one of these three guys could be a guy added to the list of players who were late bloomers but could have a great NHL career. Is there another overager who deserves to be on this list? or would you like to know about other prospects, let me know in the comments below