2021-22 Team: U.S. National U18 Team/USNTDP Juniors
Date of Birth: Jan. 08, 2004
Place of Birth: Miami, Florida
Ht: 5-foot-10, Wt: 161 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2022 first-year eligibility
- NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters): 32nd
- FC Hockey: 20th
- Dobber Prospects: 11th
- TSN/Bob McKenzie: 44th
- TSN/Craig Button: 51st
- Elite Prospects: 32nd
- McKeen’s Hockey: 17th
- Sportsnet: 23rd
- Dobber Prospects: 11th
- Smaht Scouting: 12th
- The Hockey Writers (Forbes): 21st
- The Hockey Writers (Baracchini): 20th
- The Hockey Writers (Zator): 10th
Seamus Casey is an American defenseman who’s spent the 2021-22 season with the USNTDP Juniors in the United States Hockey League (USHL) and U.S. National U18 Team. Between the two clubs, he’s totaled 35 points in 51 games. He plans to attend the University of Michigan for the 2022-23 season, a program that’s had its fair share of first-round picks in recent years.
What stands out about Casey’s game is his skating ability, as he’s a smooth skater who excels in transition. He has no issue skating the puck out of his own end on a controlled exit, and if he doesn’t, he’ll make a breakout pass to a teammate to do so. Because he skates so well, you’ll rarely see him chip the puck off the glass to escape the defensive zone. Whether it’s through his skating or passing ability, he will try to start the rush on a controlled exit. That’s a plus for a defenseman in today’s NHL.
Related: THW 2022 NHL Draft Guide
Another feature of Casey’s game that works to his advantage is his ability to quarterback a power play. He can walk the blue line with no trouble, and he has the stickhandling to make defender second-guess their decisions, opening up scoring chances for himself and his teammates. He has an underrated shot and can get shots through traffic consistently, and he can use his stickhandling to do so as well.
While Casey’s offensive upside is what makes him a potential first-round pick, he’s a sound defender. As you’ll see in the video at the end of this article, he defends the rush well and seems to know when to make the right decision in regards to whether he should defend the pass or take the shooter. His gap control is also impressive, part of the reason why he defends the rush quite well.
Other THW Draft Profiles
Seamus Casey — NHL Draft Projection
Most draft rankings project Casey as a mid to late first-round pick. With that said, the fact that he’s 44th in Bob McKenzie’s ranking, which surveys NHL scouts, makes me believe NHL organizations might not feel the same way. Perhaps that’s because Casey is 5-foot-10, 161 pounds, but that shouldn’t matter much. He has all the tools and upside to be a first-round pick, even if it’s in the back half of the first. And the fact he’s only 161 pounds shows he has plenty of room to add to his frame, which bodes well for his development.
” I love [Casey’s] defensive game, but if he can unlock the potential in his offensive approach and utilize the high-end skills he has: he goes from projecting as a middle-pair defenseman to being a top-pair defenseman with PP1 potential.” – Austin Garrett, Smaht Scouting
“Casey was a stud for the U17 team last year, finishing as their highest-scoring defenceman with 36 points in 46 games. He has been equally as productive for the U18 squad so far this season and has done so without a prominent role on the powerplay, taking a backseat to Lane Hutson. His skating and puck-handling skills have been game-changers with the USNTDP so far, and he has shown all the makings of an elite offensive blueliner.” – Nick Richard, Dobber Prospects
“The Florida-born and raised defender is not big, but he sure is fun to watch because of how well he skates and because of his ability to create in transition. The University of Michigan blueliner is another favorite of our video scouting team.” Brock Otten – McKeen’s Hockey
“Great intuition as to when to be part of or initiate the rush. Work in progress on the defensive side.” – Sam Cosentino – Sportsnet
- Offensive upside
- Ability to quarterback a power play
- Rush defense
Under Construction — Improvements to Make
- Net-front defensive game
- Adding strength to his frame
Casey might not become a bonafide No. 1 defenseman in the NHL. But a No. 2 or 3 who can be a regular contributor on the power play is a real possibility. His size isn’t an issue for me, as he has the skating ability to offset any concern an NHL team might have in drafting a defenseman who’s only 5-foot-10. We’ve seen plenty of smaller defensemen, such as Cale Makar, Kris Letang and Adam Fox, have plenty of success as NHLers. That’s the way the game is trending, and Casey fits into that trend.
Risk – 2/5, Reward – 4/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense – 8/10, Defense – 6.5/10
Seamus Casey Statistics
Alex Chauvancy is a New Jersey Devils writer for The Hockey Writers who has a penchant for advanced stats, prospects, signings and trades. He previously wrote for Devils Army Blog, a New Jersey Devils fan blog, from 2015-2017