Steven Santini THW Close-Up:
Date of birth: 3/7/1995
Place of birth: Mahopac, New York
Ht: 6’2″ Wt: 205 lbs
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2013
THW The Next Ones Rankings (January 2013): 65
THW Warm Room Rankings (April): 50
ISS (May): 17
Future Considerations: Not ranked
Craig Button: 31
Consensus aggregate of several services (NHL Numbers): 27
[NHL 2013 Draft Guide – The Next Ones Draft Headquarters: Your quintessential draft resource]
Steven Santini is the best defenseman the USA National Development Team has to offer. He’s played with USA since he joined the U17 team, where he stood out as a defensive defenseman. Already a Boston College commit, Santini will be able to build on his already strong defensive play under Jerry York.
Santini is able to see what’s going on all around him at all times when on the rink. His hockey sense, IQ and instincts make his vision impeccable. He makes quick, yet smart decisions with and without the puck. Taking the body is part of his game, and one in which he exceeds at. Santini has great patience with the puck and ultimately slows the game to his speed to where he feels comfortable. His pokechecking is effective, given his long reach and is a tough customer in front of the net.
His offensive game isn’t as pronounced as some of the other defensemen in the draft, but in due time he should be able to chip in offensively. He won’t be quarterbacking a powerplay any time soon, but with cannon from the point, you can bet he will do some damage at even-strength.
Where Will He End Up In June:
Santini has cracked some Top 30 lists, so there is a very good chance that he gets selected in the first round of the NHL Draft. You can bet he won’t fall much farther than the 2nd round, if at all.
“Strong, physical blue-liner who has outstanding four-way mobility and very good natural hockey sense. Controls play in his own end and is defensively aware with his head on a swivel. Strong in coverage and containment down low and will staple his man to the boards. Ties up men in front legally. Makes quick counter-strike passes in transition, and his outlets are crisp and on the tape. Offensive game and vision are just developing, but does have a heavy point shot.”
“Santini projects as the ideal shutdown defender due to his strong skating ability and physical edge. Has very good puck moving ability and has the ability to play on the power play as well.”
Aaron Vickers – Future Considerations
Santini has played in two tournaments for Team USA where his main role was as a shutdown defenseman. He only was able to register one points in 12 total games.
Risk: 1/5 Reward: 4/5
First or second pairing shutdown defenseman
Flaws/Aspects He Needs To Work On:
Fantasy Hockey Potential:
Offensive: 2/10 Defensive: 8/10
NHL Player Comparison:
– Santini is almost a carbon copy of Dan Girardi.
– Hall of Fame comparison: Scott Stevens
Follow Shawn Reznik on Twitter: @ShawnTHW
The archives of THW contain over 40,000 posts on all things hockey. We aim to share with you some of the gems we’ve published over the years.