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2013 Draft Guide Preview – Curtis Lazar

Curtis Lazar wasn’t content resting on his laurels.

The sophomore pivot and former second-overall pick from the 2010 bantam draft already had a league championship under his belt as he entered his second season. He was a force in the Oil Kings’ run to the Ed Chynoweth Cup championship in 2012, scoring eight goals and 19 points in 20 games.

The weight of expectations in delivering during his second season with the eyes of NHL scouts watching his every move, while also trying to lead the Oil Kings to a repeat as league champions, took a toll early. He failed to score a goal in the month of November, going 14 consecutive games without lighting the lamp.

He regained his scoring touch with five goals in three games in December and wound up scoring 38, nearly doubling his 20 from his rookie season.

Lazar’s game can’t be quantified simply by his point production. Known reputedly as a happy-go-lucky kid, Lazar brings a positive energy and burgeoning leadership qualities to the locker room. He puts team success ahead of individual success, which earns the respect of his teammates.

Lazar brings many good qualities and projects well to the NHL game.

Here is his scouting report from the 2013 Draft Guide:

Curtis Lazar (C, 2013), Edmonton Oil Kings

Shook off a slow start (27-8-9-17) to score 30 times in the final 45 games - and edge out Michael St. Croix for the team scoring crown with 38 goals .. sustained his momentum into the playoffs with a pair of early game-winners, but was not a factor in the finals against Portland (6-1-0-1, minus-5) after losing some teeth in a practice accident late in the previous series .. the only Oil Kings player to post a negative plus-minus rating in the postseason .. emerged in the 2012 playoffs as a key contributor in Edmonton’s first-ever WHL championship .. SCOUTING REPORT .. a responsible and diligent two-way forward .. makes valuable contributions with or without the puck - exploiting sharp hockey sense and good awareness .. powerful, balanced skater when in flight, however, could benefit from additional explosiveness .. hands are more quick and strong rather than finely skilled .. packs a hard shot whose release is both fast and fluid .. dangerous when trailing the rush with speed and firing a one-timer full bore from the slot .. steadily maturing and progressing as a playmaker .. now assesses options before joining the fray and will re-direct pucks to teammates instead of taking low-percentage shots .. should improve his finesse skills and puckhandling in traffic .. can move the puck however as he possesses adept one-touch skills and an ability to execute at a feverish tempo .. can get through defenses with his tenacity - getting key touches on the puck and overwhelming defenders with his speed and persistence .. displays a defensive conscience and positional maturity that belies his age .. neither big nor overtly mean, yet fiercely competitive with deceiving toughness .. continuously engaged both mentally and physically .. comes back deep in strong support positions - and will deliver stiff hits throughout his own zone .. functions most effectively in more of a secondary role - and not front-and-center in the attack.