2020-21 Team: Youngstown Phantoms (#72)
Date of Birth: May 19, 2003
Place of Birth: Woodhaven, MI, USA
Ht: 5-foot-10 Wt: 161 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2021 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 100th (among NA skaters)
Austen May just finished up his first full season playing in the United States Hockey League (USHL), skating in 43 games with the Youngstown Phantoms. Previously, he played 25 games for the Phantoms in the 2019-20 season, registering one goal and two assists during that span.
This past season, May scored two goals, 14 assists, and 16 points, good for second-most points among Phantoms defensemen. May had a minus-19 rating in the 2020-21 season, but the Phantoms finished dead last in the USHL standings, so that’s not so much an indication of his own play as the whole team’s.
At just 18 years old, May has not quite grown into the prototypical NHL defenseman and weighs in at just 161 pounds entering the draft. He will need to put on some weight and get as strong as possible if he wants to have a chance in the NHL someday.
Other THW Draft Profiles:
Austen May – NHL Draft Projection
May did not find his way on to many prospects rankings ahead of the 2021 Draft but was ranked #100 by NHL Central Scouting among North American skaters. Given that ranking, he is projected to be drafted anywhere from the late-fourth round to the fifth round, probably to a team that isn’t in immediate need of defensive prospects, but one that can afford to take the time to develop him and see what his potential is as a future NHL defenseman.
“He is an intelligent, smooth, puck-moving defenseman.” – Noëlle Needham, Chicago Steel Assistant General Manager
- Hockey IQ
- Puck-moving ability
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
May is an undersized defenseman who is going to need to put on a considerable amount of weight while managing to retain his smooth skating abilities and simultaneously hone in on his offensive creativity. Being a small defenseman in today’s NHL isn’t impossible, but being able to use your speed to your advantage and contribute in the offensive zone and in power-play situations is crucial to keeping your spot on a roster. He will need to learn how to get creative with the puck and escape high-danger situations to be an effective offensive defenseman.
When it comes to his NHL potential, May projects to be a depth defenseman on a team’s roster, and if he works on his shooting and passing skills, he could slide in on a team’s bottom pairing next to a bigger, more defensively minded defense partner.
Risk – 1/5, Reward – 2/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense – 2/10, Defense – 4/10
Austen May Statistics
Brandon is a Buffalo Sabres & San Jose Sharks Contributor for THW and Co-Host of THW’s ‘Sabres Scoop,’ who received his Master of Science in Sport Administration from Canisius College in Buffalo, NY, and founded his website, Seltytending, in 2017. He is an avid hockey writer and podcaster with prior work experience in the OJHL, NWHL, and NCAA. Twitter: @BSalts15