Chase De Leo THW Close-Up:
Date of birth: 1995-October 25
Hometown: La Mirada, CA
Ht:5’10” Wt: 175 lbs
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2014 1st year eligible
De Leo the latest in a long line of Portland Winterhawks prospects
The Portland Winterhawks have been one of the most successful teams on the ice in the WHL over the past five years. They have reached the league finals four straight years and to do that, you need players. It seems every year their roster is littered with NHL Draft prospects and center Chase De Leo is the latest. De Leo joined the Winterhawks out of California and after two solid seasons, exploded in 2013-2014. With guys like Ty Rattie off to the pro ranks, De Leo was put in better scoring situations and came up big for Portland. After scoring 14 and 18 goals in his first two WHL seasons he burst out for 38 this past season. With a late birthday he has three full junior seasons under his belt already which might make him more attractive to potential NHL suitors.
De Leo is under-sized, standing only 5’10” tall but that hasn’t kept him from being an impact player. He plays hard on every shift, can handle the puck and has a quality shot. He played in all situations for the Winterhawks last year and with a little more strength and muscle on his frame, could be a gritty player in the NHL. The first comparison that comes to mind is Montreal’s Brendan Gallagher, another former WHL player. While they may possess similar skill sets, De Leo may not be the agitator that Gallagher is. That doesn’t mean he’s afraid of contact and uses instinct and solid angles to limit the impact of would-be bruising hits.
Where He’ll Land in June:
De Leo’s size will be a concern to some NHL clubs despite success of smaller players in recent years. His skill, work-ethic and energy will win over a team in the third round which could end up making him a steal.
“De Leo is a quick, darting skater that plays a creative offensive game. He possesses very quick hands and strong puck skills that allow him to easily gain the offensive zone. He counts on his instincts and positioning in both zones to help him have a positive effect in the game. Size and limited strength are a concern” – Future Considerations
Risk = 3/5 Reward = 4/5
Hard working forward who will contribute offensively. Third liner who could sneak into top six.
- Puck handling
- Compete level
Flaws/Aspects He Needs To Work On:
NHL Player(s) Comparison:
THW’s The Next Ones prospect profile template design architect:Chris Ralph
Andrew writes about the WHL and NHL Draft Prospects. He also covers the Seattle Thunderbirds for 710 ESPN Seattle and spent two years with Sportsnet. Follow him on Twitter @andyeide.