2020-21 Team: Owen Sound Attack
Date of Birth: July 15, 2003
Place of Birth: Chatham, ON, CAN
Ht: 5-foot-10 Wt: 185 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2021 first-year eligible
Deni Goure was one of the many Ontario Hockey League (OHL) players who didn’t see any action this past season as it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s unfortunate because his OHL career was off to a decent start.
Related: THW’s 2021 NHL Draft Guide
Goure was drafted 10th overall in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection by the Owen Sound Attack. During the 2019-20 season, his underage year, he won the Harry Lumley Memorial Award as the Attack’s rookie of the year. In 62 games, he found twine 11 times and dished out 14 assists while only spending four minutes in the penalty box. His discipline showed great improvement from his final U16 AAA season, where he had 46 penalty minutes in 32 games.
He managed some time on the power play and came out with three goals and six points, which could signify what’s to come. However, if he wants special teams time, he will need to improve on his faceoffs. Granted, it was only his rookie year, but a 43.8 faceoff percentage (FO%) may prevent him from seeing the ice in some crucial moments. He also needs to shoot the puck more, only putting 70 shots on goal in those 62 games.
Goure has high aspirations for his game as he aims to emulate Mitch Marner. Despite looking to create in the offensive zone, he wants to turn into a 200-foot player. Improving his faceoff percentage and making himself invaluable in all three zones is a good way to start. He has skated with Seth Griffith, who’s played minimally in the NHL, but has been a strong AHLer, and Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman T.J. Brodie during the offseason.
Recently, Goure played in the PBHH Invitational junior hockey showcase, a non-profit showcase for junior hockey players to help expand the hockey community around Erie, PA. He tallied a lone assist as he went down with an upper-body injury in his first game.
Other THW Draft Profiles
Deni Goure – 2021 NHL Draft Projection
Goure has offensive upside, as seen by a decent start to his OHL career at just 16 years old. What would be key is that he used this canceled season to put in the work both on and off the ice. Being that he is a smaller forward at 5-foot-10, getting stronger be harder to bump off the puck is imperative. It’s a good sign that he tallied an assist during the PBHH Invitational despite the quick ending.
Risk – 2/5, Reward – 4/5
Seeing Goure drafted midway through the draft wouldn’t be that surprising; the mid-fourth round at the earliest. There may be some reservations due to his lack of size and having not played for a year. However, his skating ability and offensive upside should see him drafted before the day is done.
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Physicality and putting on muscle
- Getting shots on goal
Goure could turn into a top-nine forward, with potential for time on a second power-play unit. He’ll be more of a scorer than a grinder for that third line. He’s going to need to have a strong season following the draft. He isn’t likely to step into an NHL lineup and will require time to develop further, whether it’s more time in juniors or the AHL. A comparison could be undrafted center, David Desharnais.
Desharnais played nine years in the NHL after going through the ECHL and AHL out of junior and is still playing in the Swiss Ice Hockey Association. He was a smaller (5-foot-7) mid-six center that played more of an offensive game, including power-play time. He never eclipsed 26 penalty minutes in a season and was generally strong at the faceoff dot, averaging a 51 FO% for his NHL career.
“In a sentence, Goure’s skating gives him a chance at the NHL, but he’ll need to prove he can be a true driver of offense for a small forward” (from “Top 151 Prospects for 2021 NHL Draft: Owen Power leads Corey Pronman’s final rankings”, The Athletic – 5/15/21). Pronman ranked Goure No. 143.
Goure will get drafted and keep building on what he started during the 2019-20 season. He may have to pay his dues in the minors but could make his way into an NHL lineup within the next couple of years.
Sean Raggio lives for hockey. He will be covering the Seattle Kraken, and is a co-host of “What’s Kraken” for THW. Sean gained experience in writing for television, print and radio while studying journalism at Quinnipiac University and being an active member in the student media organizations there. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out on Twitter! A link can be found at the bottom of his articles, such as this one.