Brandt Clarke

Height / Weight
6' 1" / 181 lbs
Born
February 9th 2003 (18)
Position
Defense
Country
Canada
NHL 2021 mock draft
Draft Type Round Pick Team
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Player ranking
Year Rank
2021 8
SCOUTING REPORT

Yet another strong contender as a defenseman who goes off the board earlier, although he isn't of the giant size of the other two. He is a sturdy-bodied, long lean guy who takes contact and ignores it. He has a strong easy skating stride that allows him an active jump on offense, where he strings sequences of dekes, turns and moves to weave through the opposing defenders to set up scoring looks. Displays high-end gap control and the use of his quick stick as a active close down techinique with his gap closures, snuffing down many a pass. He's in the helmet of the opposing players quite a lot. His feet are always engaged as is his high end hockey sense at both ends. For one of the younger players in the OHL, this is what marks his to be one of the top rearguards in the draft class. Can control the play when he has the biscuit on his stick. Very calm and patient in all phases, he makes sure coverage is buttoned up in front of his net. A strong middle zone defender who steps up and breaks down entires by standing ground, but agile enough to use his speed to get back and defend if his attempt was a failed one. Lots has been said about his skating style/deficiency - I simply don't see the concern. His mechanics are fixable. So there are very few warts to his game. Smart in his end, shows good gap control, four way mobility, and he is starting to exert more physicality in the battle areas. Blocks shots, steps up and steals away pucks, and clear them hard, and is as quick and smart transition player who can not only activate when the puck changes to his possession, he can use his strong in-tight stickhandling to allow his forwards time to get a jump back into the attack, and then does a terrific job as a give and go passer as they proceed up ice. He is an offensive threat who can jump in and use his feet and stick to slow things down. Receives pucks well and quickly decides his next actions.  He is a high end passer and shooter with excellent feet and patience to releae passes and shots while in flight, and can make touch passes on both sides of his blade. During  the Covid league closing, he has been loaned to HC Nove Zamky in the Slovak Extraliga on loan. Was a member of the Canada‚Äôs 2021 IIHF Under-18 World Championship team.Don't dismiss his defensive ability. 

--Bill Placzek--