2021-22 Team: Kamloops Blazers (WHL)
Date of Birth: July 5, 2004
Place of Birth: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Ht: 6-foot-1 Wt: 185 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2022 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 34th (amongst NA skaters)
- FC Hockey: 55th
- Zator’s Top 96 April Rankings: 66th
- Forbes’ Top 96 March Rankings: 87th
- Baracchini’s Top 96 March Rankings: 79th
- Bob McKenzie’s Rankings: 53rd
Fraser Minten is a dependable two-way center who has thrived as the Kamloops Blazers’ second-line center this season. In 63 games so far he has 19 goals and 33 assists for 52 points. He is also a big part of the Blazers’ special teams accumulating 19 power-play points and chipping in with a shorthanded goal.
What makes Minten so intriguing is his ability to remain calm and collected in his own zone. He doesn’t make mistakes often and understands where he needs to be in the defensive zone at all times. When he gets to a loose puck, he is able to make the smart breakout play which is a rare quality to have for a 17-year-old. His calmness in the defensive zone is a large reason why the Blazers have given up the least amount of goals in the Western Hockey League’s (WHL) Western Conference and own the fifth-best penalty kill in the entire league.
As for his offensive game, this is an area where Minten does need to improve. While he has shown an ability to get open which has led to scoring chances, his ability to carry the puck into the zone is an area of concern. Rather than doing that, he seems to favour the dump and chase game. Luckily, he has made positive strides in his game on the boards and is able to pressure the defence into turnovers. Driving the center of the ice with the puck is a part of his game he will need to develop next season, as sometimes passing it off to his winger will not be an option.
Related: THW 2022 NHL Draft Guide
The biggest challenge Minten has faced this season is trying to shine on a stacked Blazers team. Not only does the team have five drafted players led by Logan Stankoven, but they also have top prospects like Mats Lindgren and Matthew Seminoff, who are drawing attention away from him. That is one of the reasons why his season has been so impressive. Despite all of the other distractions, the scouts are still drawn to him and his strong play. They may initially come to see another player, but leave impressed by his strong performance on a nightly basis.
The WHL Playoffs present a huge opportunity for Minten as he is expected to play a major role in the Blazers’ run to the Memorial Cup. With all the attention focused on top players like Stankoven and Luke Toporowski, he should get some favourable matchups against second defensive pairings. He will also be expected to step up as he has all season on special teams as they will likely make or break Kamloops’ season in the playoffs.
Other THW Draft Profiles
Fraser Minten – NHL Draft Projection
When it comes to draft position, there is no clear indication of where he fits in. Some, like Matthew Zator, believe he is an early third-rounder, while others like Andrew Forbes see him more as a late third-rounder, maybe even falling to the fourth. If he has a strong playoff, it is not out of the question he could even push his way into the second round, but the most likely outcome is somewhere between 75th-80th overall, just as Peter Baracchini has predicted.
“Minten is the best forward that I’ve profiled so far as far as defensive play is concerned. Once again, he can react to passes and shifts in the opposition quickly and will disrupt a lot of offensive opportunities. Minten has an active stick in the defensive zone that can create turnovers, which then result in Kamloops taking over in transition. Time and time again this season I’ve noticed that Minten doesn’t fold under pressure and instead slows the play down and forces the attacking forwards to make mistakes. Minten is getting stronger and as a result, is more willing to engage in the play physically. He’ll work along the boards and win puck battles, or at the very least wear the opposition down. This is a player whose dogged determination in the defensive zone will carry him to the NHL.” – Matthew Somma, Smaht Scouting
“Minten is a solidly built center who relies more on smarts and consistency than raw talent to be effective. He’s playing the role of Kamloop’s checking-line center right now and not looking out of place, taking a disproportionate amount of defensive-zone draws and killing penalties. However, he also sees some time on the power play as a net-front specialist.” – Derek Neumeier, FC Hockey
“Fraser has a great sense for the game and possesses all the skills necessary to not only play at the Western Hockey League level but excel in it. He will be a key contributor in helping us build and maintain a Championship team while helping him achieve his individual goals.” – Kamloops Blazers general manager Matt Bardsley
- Two-way game
- Play along the boards
- Penalty Killing
- Net-front presence
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Offensive zone entires
Minten has the potential to be a solid bottom-six center that also kills penalties. A player that probably will not eclipse 10 goals a season but will be out there late in games when defending a lead. There are still some areas he needs to improve, like his faceoff percentage, but once he does, he should have no problem finding an NHL job.
Risk- 2/5, Reward 4/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offence- 5/10, Defense 7/10
During his time in the Canadian Sports School Hockey League (CSSHL), he was named to the CSSHL U15 All-Academic team and led the U15 league in assists during the 2018-19 season. He was also named to the 2021-22 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.
Fraser Minten Statistics
Adam is excited to be joining The Hockey Writers as part of the Seattle Kraken and Vancouver Canucks team. His work can also be found at https://www.area51sportsnetwork.com/ where he covers the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League.