2016-17 Team: Kootenay ICE (#4)
Date of Birth: November 19, 1998
Place of Birth: Carlyle, Saskatchewan
Ht: 6’1″ Wt: 201 lbs
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2017 first-year eligible
- THW (Pike’s Picks): 47th (final)
- Future Considerations: 86th (final)
- ISS: not ranked (May)
- Bob McKenzie: 80th (Mid-season)
- Craig Button: 60th (final)
- The Hockey News: not ranked (final)
Bloodlines have long been an important part of the draft process, with scouts often trying to figure out short-hand connections between young players based on who their relatives are. While some players, such as Cal Foote, don’t really play that much like their parents or siblings, there are others that are very much carbon copies of their relatives. Kootenay ICE defender Cale Fleury falls into the latter category.
The younger brother of Carolina Hurricanes prospect Haydn Fleury, Cale has a few differences – stylistic and otherwise – from his older brother. Cale’s a bit shorter and a bit skinnier than his brother, and is a right shot rather than Haydn’s left. He’s also a little bit less impressive offensively, partially because of his circumstances – the ICE haven’t been a powerhouse while Cale’s been there, while Haydn was part of a pretty good Red Deer Rebels team during his junior career. That said, Cale’s arguably better defensively than his brother because he’s had to play in tough defensive situations more frequently during his three seasons of WHL hockey.
As a November birthday, Fleury is one of the older players in the 2017 NHL Draft class. He also has had the benefit of spending three seasons in major junior, compared to two for his younger counterparts, which has given scouts significantly more looks at him against high-level opposition. Based on three years against the WHL’s big guns, it’s easy to see Fleury project as a stay-at-home complementary defender who occasionally gets some points. He’s not the powerhouse player that his big brother was at the junior level, but the nuts and bolts of his game are less dependent on getting on the scoresheet and more about keeping the other team off of it. Cale might not be a player that teams are absolutely clamoring to get because his offensive totals haven’t been there, but he could be a very useful addition to any club’s prospect pool.
NHL Draft Projection
Fleury could be selected anywhere between the second and fourth rounds of the 2017 Draft.
“The sturdy blueliner was named captain of Kootenay in mid-January, always impressive for a draft-eligible player, and a testament to his character and leadership traits. Brother of Carolina defence prospect Haydn, he may not possess his brother’s speed but is no slouch in the skating department either. Third overall in team scoring, Fleury has a hard point shot and smart passing skills that will help him on draft day as scouts always like to see some offensive upside.” – Recrutes.ca.
- Good on-ice vision
- Good defensive positioning
- Effective use of size
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Could stand to play a bit meaner, be more proactive with physical play rather than reactive
- Could develop his offensive skills better, particularly his point shot
- Could stand to improve his skating a bit, particularly his first couple of steps
Second or third pairing defender.
Risk – 1/5, Reward – 3.5/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense 7/10, Defense 8.5/10
Fleury hasn’t won any major awards during his junior career.
Ryan Pike has covered the Calgary Flames and the NHL Draft extensively since 2010 as a Senior Writer for The Hockey Writers and Senior Contributing Editor of FlamesNation.ca. A member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, he lives in Calgary.