2019-20 Team: Vancouver Giants (WHL)
Date of Birth: March 24, 2002
Place of Birth: Surrey, BC
Ht: 5-foot-11 Wt: 173 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2020 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 23rd (Amongst NA Skaters)
- Future Considerations: 68th
- Bob McKenzie: 32nd
- Craig Button: 36th
- The Hockey Writers (Bell): 77th
- The Hockey Writers (Forbes): 46th
- The Hockey Writers (Fisher): 58th
When you watch Justin Sourdif play, the first things you notice are his relentless work ethic, hockey IQ, and 200-foot game. Combine that with his penchant for driving the net and planting himself there no matter the consequences, you get a forward that could one day become an impact player in the NHL.
Related: THW’s 2020 Draft Guide
Sourdif’s rookie season in the WHL with the Vancouver Giants was an impressive one as he scored 23 goals and 46 points in 64 games. This season, he’s improved to 26 goals and 54 points in 57 games. However, those totals did not come easy, as he had to battle through some growing pains going into the second half of the season. With a lot of veteran bodies graduating to the professional leagues, he was forced into a leadership role that took him a little while to adjust to. Fortunately, he ended up thriving under the pressure, catching fire with 19 points in 10 games as his team followed suit with 11 straight wins.
Sourdif has proven that hard work and tenacity pay off, as he’s become one of the WHL’s top two-way players. He has great awareness in the offensive zone along with a laser-quick shot, impressive playmaking abilities, and strong puck control under pressure, while also having the same high-end awareness in the defensive zone as well. Additionally, he can play both center and wing and be effective on both the power play and penalty kill, so versatility is another weapon in his arsenal. Oh, yes, he can play the physical game and throw a big hit occasionally too. In other words, he’s a coach’s dream.
If all that translates to the NHL level, Sourdif is going to become a very valuable player for whoever selects him. Though, if he wants to ultimately get to that point, he’s going to have to bulk up a bit and be more consistent with his offence, but that should come with time and physical development.
Other THW Draft Profiles:
Justin Sourdif – NHL Draft Projection
Sourdif is ranked all over the place even within the confines of our own writers here at THW. Bell has projected him to go in the third round while Forbes and Fisher have him going late in the second round. Then to make things even murkier, McKenzie and Button of TSN have him going early in the second round. I think it will all depend on what team is most impressed by the tools in his tool chest, and if they think he fills a need in their depth chart. I am going to throw my hat in the ring and say that he’s selected sometime in the second round.
“He plays the game a lot like Pavel Datsyuk. He’s somebody who is a complete player, a 200-foot player, and someone who is elusive when he plays the game.” – Rob Evers, former Valley West Hawks head coach
“An all-around winger who is quick to engage. Owns deceptive puck skills and vision. Can complement high-skill players.” – Cam Robinson, Dobber Prospects
“A rugged winger with impressive puck skills and a high hockey IQ…It’s not often you see a physical teenage winger who can play and think the game at an advanced level. Sourdif gives opposing coaches all kinds of matchup issues because he can overpower finesse defenseman in board battles or posterize the stay-at-home types in one-on-one scenarios. Not only does Sourdif make smart decisions both on and off the puck, but he is capable of delivering precision setups through tight windows when it’s least expected, albeit several are of the risky variety. He has very soft hands and can settle the puck flat while moving at maximum speed which helps him put the perfect touch on cross-ice or saucer passes from his forehand or backhand. Once he gets inside the zone, Sourdif can blister a nasty wrist shot with a lightning-quick release that is usually labeled for the upper half.” – Steve Kournianos, The Draft Analyst
- Elite shot
- Offensive and defensive awareness
- Hockey IQ
- Battle level
Under Construction – Improvements to Make
Sourdif will be an interesting prospect to follow in the coming seasons. He has all the tools to become an effective two-way center or winger in the NHL. If he can bulk up and stay consistent with his offence, he will eventually be a very valuable piece to a contending team. If all goes well, like Pavel Datsyuk was for the Detroit Red Wings, Sourdif will be just that for the team that ultimately selects him.
Risk – 2/5, Reward – 4.5/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offence – 7/10, Defence – 8/10
Sourdif played for Team Canada at the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup and won a silver medal. He ended the tournament with one goal and five points in five games.
Matthew Zator is a THW freelance writer, media editor, and scout who lives and breathes Vancouver Canucks hockey, the NHL Draft, and prospects in general. He loves talking about young players and their potential. Matthew is a must-read for Canucks fans and fans of the NHL Draft and its prospects. For interview requests or content information, you can follow Matthew through his social media accounts which are listed under his photo at the conclusion of articles like this one about Tyler Motte.