Joel Hawreschuk Opts For Draft2012-06-27
British Columbia, Canada
Joel Hawreschuk Enters Season 29 VHL Draft
Recently, WHL franchise Kootenay Ice announced that one of their players in Joel Hawreschuk would be entering the Season 29 VHL draft. VHL prospects coming out of the WHL isn't completely uncommon, but with Hawrechuk being one of the top scorers in the WHL last year it is a surprise to seem him opt for the VHL instead of the NHL. With Joel being more of a prototype/experiment type of player, perhaps he has decided that he needs more development time in a stronger league than the AHL or WHL.
Hawreschuk Plays Physical and Can Finish
With such a high ceiling and plenty of time to develop before draft day, it's hard to imagine Hawreschuk slipping out of the 1st round if he stays the course on his training. It is rare to find such a big body who not only likes to hit, but can score goals as well. Although his passing game still has yet to round out, his ability to see the ice is very impressive; he knows when he has space to shoot the puck and uses it very well. Another pro about Joel Hawreschuk is that he has been scouted already and is in a place that is easy to access, rather than some of the extremely foreign countries that the VHL pulls some players out of.
Kootenay Ice (WHL) GP:70 G:40 A:25 P:65
Kootenay Ice (WHL) GP:66 G:70 A:27 P:97
Some VHL scouts believe that Joel Hawreschuk has the potential to enter the Top 5 of the draft if he plays his training habits right, not to mention his temper that is certainly something that needs to be controlled before he can enter life as a professional athlete. Since opting for the draft, Hawreschuk has already entered the VHLM training facility to continue to show scouts that he is serious about becoming a paid professional in the VHL. Word has it that Joel has ties with VHL draft picks Shane Lynch & Thesus Athera, 2 players that have shown strong potential and reliability at the VHL level.
Hawreschuk Representing Canada at the U17 Tournament
Perhaps Hawreschuk's best trait as a prospect is his state of mind, he is ready to go to war game in and game out for his team and is a natural born leader both on the ice and off. He is the first one to drop the gloves if he sees a hit that he doesn't care for, and is always ready to lay down to block a shot that could result in a goal. With intangibles like that, it certainly makes it hard for scouts to pass up on you once draft time. With a more time focused on honing his skills, Joel has the potential to be one of the best prospects of the draft. But if he feels that he is already ready to step into the VHL without a few weeks of training, he will sadly float into the abyss of prospects who didn't have the drive or willingness to become a top prospect. Here's to hoping Joel isn't one of those players, for we here at VHL.com believe that his ceiling is impressive.