Danny Vanderwiel THW Close-Up:
Date of birth: 2/17/1995
Place of birth: Island Lake, Illinois
Ht: 5’10″ Wt: 190 lbs
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2013
THW The Next Ones Rankings (January 2013): Not ranked
THW War Room Rankings (April): Not ranked
ISS (May): Not ranked
Future Considerations: Not ranked
Craig Button: Not ranked
Consensus aggregate of several services (NHL Numbers): Not ranked
CS Final Rankings for North American skaters: Not ranked
[NHL 2013 Draft Guide – The Next Ones Draft Headquarters: Your quintessential draft resource]
Danny Vanderwiel is an energy player. Even with his short stature, he plays with an edge, loves to get involved physically, and has shown flashes of offensive flair. He probably expected to contribute a bit more offensively in his two seasons with the Plymouth Whalers so far, but he has succeeded in his position in a bottom-six role for the hockey team.
Having followed his trajectory since his U-16 days, his grittiness and tenacity will stand out above everything else, but he isn’t just a pest. He also has relatively decent hands, a quick release, and a hard shot that was showcased in the U-17 tournament. The 5’10” winger is fairly quick on his skates, but his edgework and overall skating is a bit choppy – nothing a little extra time with a skating coach won’t fix.
Vanderwiel is a workhorse in the defensive zone. He’s fearless and isn’t afraid to lay his body down to block a shot or stop a forward in his tracks. The second year forward will do what it takes to get into the minds of his opponents, either by physicality or chirping their ear off. The OHL is a completely different level of play from U-16 Midget in Illinois, and Vanderwiel has realized that first hand.
I was surprised not to see him ranked at all in THW’s rankings or Central Scouting’s, but I suppose you don’t go out of your way to draft pests.
Where Will He End Up In June:
There doesn’t seem to be a very good chance that Vanderwiel will get drafted, unfortunately. Had he put up more points, it may be a different story. There is a slight possibility a team may use a 6th or 7th round pick on him, but the chances are slim.
“He plays a bottom-six style game, but has top-six speed. Vanderwiel isn’t the biggest guy, but he plays the body any chance he gets and is a pest in the defensive zone. He came alive in the last two games in particular. Despite the fact that he played on the fourth line for much of the tournament, Vanderwiel led Team USA with four goals (three of which came against Slovakia in the clinching game). All of his goals came in tight, usually after Vanderwiel had parked in front of the net. He has a bit of a thin frame, but that doesn’t stop him from playing a hard-nosed style.”
Chris Peters – United States of Hockey
Vanderwiel donned the red, white and blue for Team USA at the U-17’s Five Nations Cup where he scored a hat trick in the gold medal game leading the States to the gold medal.
Risk: 4/5 Reward: 2/5
Bottom-six pest with solid defensive play
Getting under players’ skin
Flaws/Aspects He Needs To Work On:
Fantasy Hockey Potential:
Offensive: 2/10 Defensive: 5/10
NHL Player Comparison:
-Vanderwiel has compared himself to Ben Eager. I liken him more to Chris Thorburn of the Winnipeg Jets.
Follow Shawn Reznik on Twitter: @ShawnTHW