2020-21 Team: Charlottetown Islanders (QMJHL)
Date of Birth: May 18, 2003
Place of Birth: Halifax, NS, Canada
Ht: 6-foot-0 Wt: 190 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2021 first-year eligible
- FC Hockey: 60th
- NHL Central Scouting: 94th (amongst NA skaters)
- Andrew Forbes’ May Rankings: 67th
- Peter Baracchini’s Final Rankings: 86th
Halifax, Nova Scotia native Oscar Plandowski is a right-handed puck-moving defenseman currently with the QMJHL’s Charlottetown Islanders. Originally, Plandowski was committed to Quinnipiac University, a Division I NCAA program in the ECAC, however, he chose to enter the CHL and remain closer to home. In his rookie season, the 6-foot, 190 pound Charlottetown defenceman, had 12 assists in 60 games played. In his second season, during the pandemic, he increased his production with five goals and 17 points in 39 games played.
Related : 2021 THW NHL Draft Guide
Hockey is in his blood. His mother, Jill Plandowski, is a renowned power skating coach in the Halifax area. She has worked with many local QMJHL and NCAA prospects as well as NHL prospects including Luke Henman (Seattle), Egor Sokolov (Ottawa), Drake Batherson (Ottawa), Jared McIssac (Detroit) and Ethan Phillips (Detroit).
His father, Darryl Plandowski, now the director of amateur scouting for the Arizona Coyotes, had been a long-time head amateur scout and was director of amateur scouting for the Tampa Bay Lightning, winning the Stanley Cup with them in 2020.
It should come as no surprise, considering his mother is a well respected skating coach, that one of Plandowski’s major strengths is his skating. He has a technically well-formed stride along with excellent edge work. He builds speed using crossovers which lets him keep pace with even the speediest of QMJHL forwards. He holds great confidence in this skillset as well, noting it was the main reason he didn’t feel intimidated when switching from forward to defence in Bantam:
“I feel my biggest strength is my skating. I believe my skating is why I could make the transition from forward to defense like I did.”Oscar Plandowski
Plandowski is an offensive-minded defenceman. This should come as no surprise as he shifted from forward to defence in his Bantam draft year. Despite this, he displayed enough skill and defensive ability to earn him the attention of the QMJHL and NCAA recruiters alike.
Offensively, he loves to quickly push the play up the ice. His ability to read a play in transition allows him to be very efficient at this aspect, making him very skilled at generating controlled zone exits, which helps a fast team like Charlottetown weaponize their team speed. Often, he acts as a fourth forward, even sometimes lining up as a forward on the power play to play on the half-wall and take advantage of his playmaking abilities.
At 5-on-5, Plandowski does like to pinch from the blueline, sometimes too much so. When he does gain possession during the cycle, he can use a deceptively strong shot to score on the one-timer. He does use the threat of his shot to open passing lanes, which he can thread accurately to an open forward in a scoring position as well.
His defensive game is still raw, as he is only into his third season playing the position, however, his play in the neutral zone is strong. He uses his mobility and speed to effectively close gaps and take away time and space for attacking forwards to build speed or hold possession between the blue lines, playing a very effective trap.
His play selection is almost always to lean in for the offensive play. As a defenceman, his decision-making in this area will need to improve as he does get caught up the ice often. His skating ability can make up for any misplay, however, this is an area that will need to be refined before he can move to the next level.
Other THW Draft Profiles
Oscar Plandowski – NHL Draft Projection
Plandowski is projected to be selected in the third to fifth round of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. TSN’s Bob McKenzie’s compiled list has him ranked at No. 81. Any team selecting the young defenceman, though, will be choosing what will be a long-term project as there are some areas of his game that will require some time to build upon.
“His stick is on the ice a lot, ready for one-timers. Makes the transition passes, has a good hockey sense, and a lot of his progression this season will determine if he truly has the skating base to be a strong two-way defender or tweener delegated to the low end on his future team’s D corps.”—Bill Płaczek—
“Off the puck, Plandowski’s skating and smarts enable him to keep opponents at bay thanks to a long, active stick and tight gap control, specifically in the grey zone. He uses a quick stick and long reach to deflect passes and shots. Once he controls the puck, he quickly processes his options. He either passes to an open forward, to his partner or breaks the forecheck with his skating. Overall, Plandowski is an exciting multi-dimensional rearguard with an extremely bright future.”Danny McGillicuddy
- Skating and mobility
- Transitional Play
- Offensive IQ
- Power Play QB
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Defensive positioning
- Physical play
- Gap control
If Plansowski can polish his defensive game, working on his gap control and defensive positioning he could become a good fourth or fifth defenceman on an NHL roster.
Risk – 4/5, Reward – 3/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offence 8/10, Defence 6/10