Vitals: 6'2'' / 202 lbs.
Birthdate: December 7, 1991
Hometown: St. Catharines, Ontario
Acquired: Detroit's first choice (21st overall) in the 2010 draft
"We think he could be a point-producer for us, for sure. He's got a great feel of when to go into holes in the offensive zone below the tops of the circles. He finds places to go and get the puck. He has the ability to really beat guys down low with his size and he's a really strong kid. He can score and set up plays and he's pretty solid all-around offensively." — Red Wings scout Mark Leach (June 2010) ... "He's so mature for a kid his age ... He's equally good in all three zones and goes to the front of the net. He's very conscious in the defensive zone and down behind the net in the defensive corner — he makes certain his team isn't outnumbered. In the neutral zone, he makes all kinds of things happen but will get back and turn a transition if needed." — NHL Central Scouting scout Jack Barzee (2010) ... "I don't like to make comparisons with young players. It's not really fair to them. But he does remind me of Johan Franzen. He's got a big, thick body. He's been a big scorer. That's what we project him to be." — Red Wings assistant GM Jim Nill (June 2010, MLive.com).
Went to college with a reputation for being a highly-skilled offensive player ... Showed he could play in any situation and thrive ... Described in The Hockey News by one scout as the "most complete player in the 2010 draft" ... Mature two-way game already ... Outstanding hockey sense in all three zones ... Solid size and strength ... Good stick skills and soft hands ... Capable of beating defenders 1-on-1 ... May have only scratched the surface of his scoring potential ... Has the raw tools to become an impact player at the NCAA level and perhaps beyond ... Drives through traffic and uses his impressive size to protect the puck ... Slightly more of a playmaker than a scorer.
Described as a character player by his coaches, but he'll need to prove to doubters that an under-age drinking incident in April 2010 was just a hiccup ... Needs to produce more and should be given an opportunity to do so ... Will benefit from continued work on his foot-speed.