Sean Day – The Next Ones: NHL 2016 Draft Prospect Profile

By Eldon MacDonald (edited by @ChrisRalphTHW)

Sean Day

2015-16 Team: #4, Mississauga Steelheads

Date of birth: 9-Jan-98

Place of birth: Leuven, Belgium

Ht: 6’2   Wt: 224 lbs.

Shoots: L

Position: Defense

NHL Draft Eligibility: 2016 1st year eligible

Twitter: @SeanDay66

THW The Next Ones Ranking: 47

Other Rankings

  • Consensus: 61
  • Bob McKenzie (TSN) – Jan-16: 46
  • THW War Room Rankings: 52
  • Corey Pronman: 79
  • NHL Central Scouting Combined: 80


Sean Day, Exceptional Second Rounder?

Mr. I Yam What I Yam

No, Sean Day did not meet the lofty expectations this year for a player given Exceptional Player Status at the age of 15 to play in the OHL. However, along the way, around the time of the BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects, Sean Day revealed what has been troubling him deeply and which undoubtedly affected his game. His brother, someone that he mirrored himself after, was convicted of a DUI, which resulted in the death of a person, and he was sent to prison. The good news is that, since that revelation, Sean Day started to put his game back together. He is unlikely to produce offence at a level he once was projected to. He can still be Sean Day, but he must define exactly who Sean Day is.

He started in that direction in the last two months of the season, when he started to approach the game closer to how a shutdown defenseman would. His increase in physicality and in the edge to his game, I believe he made steps in the right direction. The biggest thing Sean Day needs to do to move his game along is to dedicate himself to the game and identify the type of player that wants to become. He needs to be happy with who he is much like Popeye, The Sailor Man, who found happiness being himself when he said, I Yam What I Yam”. He could prove to be an exceptional second rounder. An exceptional project.

5 Reasons Why Sean Day Will Be An Exceptional 2nd Round Pick

  • Size: Linebacker with skates.
  • Skating: The reason he was granted exceptional player status in the first place.
  • Strength: A horse.
  • Difference maker: All the tools to be a difference-maker on defense, should his approach and dedication to the game turn around.
  • Shutdown guy: Imagine your shutdown guy with elite skating.


Sean Day appears to have most of the physical tools needed for the offensive side of the game. The mental tools needed to bring out the best in them appear to be lagging behind. He still could eventually find himself on a second pairing power play.

  • Shot: Very good, but underutilized, wrist and slapper.
  • Passing: Again, very good but it is most effective when he keeps it simple.
  • Skating: Exceptional – speed, agility, edgework.
  • Vision: Not high end. He is most effective when he simplifies his game.


  • One on One: With his skating, he is tough to beat one on one.
  • Battles: Has the size and strength to win most.
  • Reach: Has the reach and skating to disrupt the flow of the opposition’s offense.
  • Shutdown guy: Has all the physical tools to be that shutdown guy on your team.
  • Hits: Can deliver the huge hits.

Summary Comment

Sean Day needs to say to himself (much like Popeye) with confidence and conviction, “I Yam What I Yam and I Yam” and ‘I yam a high quality shutdown defenseman, and I will do what it takes on and off the ice to become that.’ Once he does that I have a strong feeling that much success will follow. If his game comes together, he could prove to be that exceptional second round pick that becomes a key core on a successful NHL franchise.

NHL Draft Projection:

Sean Day has the size, strength and physical skills to develop into a quality shutdown defenseman in today’s NHL. The draft position for such a player is likely the back end of the first round. However, Sean has significant issues that have not been fully answered such as motivation, identification, physicality, edge, intensity, and consistency. His answers to these issues at the Combine will go a long way in determining where he ends up on draft day.

For me, I have him late second round but he could go anywhere in the second round. Other outlets, such as NHL Central Scouting, have him even later, but I think NHL General Managers are too much like bargain hunter shoppers to leave him past the second round.

For Sean Day, the draft and what others think of him is not nearly as important as how he thinks of himself. Now that the revelation of the circumstances surrounding his brother have been aired, Sean Day needs to recommit himself to doing what is necessary to make himself a quality NHL defenseman, on and off the ice. I wish him the best in making this happen.



“He’s an exceptional NHL skater. He’s got size and strength assets going for him. I still think he’s still got to show everybody what his identity is as a player, what kind of player he’s going to be and what kind of player he has the potential to be. He’s got his time under his belt now. He’s going into the OHL season with experience under his belt. It’s showtime for him this year.”

Dan Marr, Director of NHL Central Scouting, at


“There’s just no urgency to his game. It’s all there but he just doesn’t tap into it. He’s great with the puck, a lot of the times anyway, from the top of the circles and up, and that starts to fool you. Someone’s going to gamble on him at the draft, but it’s not going to be us, at least not based on anything I’ll have to say.”

Scout at


With everything that has come out to the public lately, about the issues with his brother, I think that puts a new perspective on things. He even admitted that his head hasn’t been in every game he’s played, thus explaining the hiatus he took from the Steelheads. Is it a work ethic thing? Or is it a motivation (psychological) or conditioning issue? The NHL combine interview process will be incredibly important for him, as he’ll likely have to convince NHL teams that his passion is to play in the NHL (despite everything that’s gone on the past couple of years).”

Brock Otten of OHL Prospects at


“Will he be the story people talk about for figuring it out of never making it?”

Jeff Marek at


“Top 3, if not the top skater in this draft, great size, he’s pretty solid in his own zone, it’s offensively where he leaves people scratching their heads. Is it passion? Is it the IQ? His interview process is going to be vital, more so than any other kid eligible for this draft. If his interview is bad at the combine, you won’t see him on this list again. But until I know this, he is still on here.”

Tyler Campbell at





  • Sublime skating ability
  • Size
  • Strength
  • Shot


Under Construction (Improvements to Make):

  • Motivation: Needs to dedicate himself to the game as his career choice, on and off the ice, to be successful and be a NHLer, no matter what the distractions are.
  • Identification: Needs to identify to himself the type of player he wishes to become in the NHL and work on improving his game to be that type of player. Hint: he has all the physical tools to develop himself as a shutdown defenseman.
  • Physicality: Needs to become much more physical to be an impact player as a shutdown defenseman. He has taken the first steps in this regard but more are necessary.
  • Edge: In addition to physicality, Sean needs to develop more of an edge to his game, to make himself much harder to play against.
  • Intensity: Needs to ratchet up his intensity throughout the game.
  • Consistency: Consistency within a game or from game to game has always been a problem for Sean. If he works on the improvements he needs to make, mentioned above, the required consistency to his game will likely flow naturally.
  • Offense


NHL Potential:  

Sean Day is a defenseman with the potential to be a quality shutdown defenseman in the NHL, a solid second pairing guy. He needs, however, to come out and consistently show the dedication, perseverance and work ethic needed to make that happen. The only thing that could hold him back is himself.


Risk-Reward Analysis:  

Risk = 4/5   Reward = 4/5 ·                 


Fantasy Hockey Potential:

Offensive = 4/10   Defensive = 8/10



  • 2015-16: BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game
  • 2013-14: OHL – All Rookie – Second Team
  • 2013: Hockey Canada – Granted Exceptional Player Status to play in the OHL at 15


Interview/Profile Links:  



2015-16 Highlights – Link here

YouTube player

THW’s War Room Top 210 NHL Draft Rankings (May Edition)


Check out THW’s quintessential draft resource:

2016 NHL Draft Guide: The Next Ones