2020-21 Team: Vancouver Giants
Date of Birth: May. 29, 2003
Place of Birth: St. Albert, AB, Canada
Ht: 6-foot-3 Wt: 198 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2021 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 60th (North American Skaters)
- Matthew Zator’s Final Rankings: Honourable Mention
Zach Ostapchuk was drafted 12th overall by the Vancouver Giants in the 2018 Bantam Draft. The Giants selected the St. Albert’s native due to his size, speed, and ability to control the puck. He is a power forward who is not afraid to get in on the forecheck and can be a physical force at times.
Before coming over to the WHL, Ostapchuk put up good numbers playing for the North Alberta X-treme prep U-18 team despite being 15. He put up 28 points in 31 games and added an additional eight in five playoff games that season. He showed he could thrive while playing against older competition and was not afraid of the challenge.
Ostapchuk had a difficult first season in the WHL during the 2019-20 season. He only managed eight points in 44 games and had his season cut short due to injuries and the Covid-19 pandemic. Instead of sitting around, he worked hard throughout the pause and came back to lead the Giants in game-winning goals with three and finished third on the team with 56 shots in 22 games last season.
He continues to improve season after season and has the potential to be a steal in the draft. One part of Ostapchuk’s game that is underrated is his shot. Most guys his size are net crashers, but he can wire it. He has great hands as well and can find teammates all over the ice. With the right development, he could be a decent middle-six player in the NHL one day.
Zack Ostapchuk- NHL Draft Projection
Ostapchuk is projected to go in the fifth or sixth round. He does have the potential to go in the late fourth round if a team values his skill set and really wants to take a chance on him.
I’d just like to say that among WHL forwards long term, I think Ostapchuk has about as high of potential as anyone. His puck control abilities are truly fantastic in small space. He can coral a loose puck and redirect it to open ice or away from pressure. It’s very tough to find that level of finesse with someone his size. – Joel Henderson, FC Hockey
- Size and strength
- Playmaking ability
- Puck control
- Skating ability
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Play in the defensive zone
- Positioning in the offensive zone without the puck
- Being physical on a consistent basis
If put into the right system and developed properly, Ostapchuk could be a middle-six forwards in the NHL in five seasons. He will need some seasoning in the AHL first, but he does have the potential to be an NHL player. He has great size already, so that should help him adjust to heavier competition.
Risk – 2/5, Reward – 3.5/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense – 7/10, Defence – 6/10
- CSSHL U18 Champion
- CWG Bronze Medal
Adam is excited to be joining The Hockey Writers as part of the Seattle Kraken and Vancouver Canucks team. His work can also be found at area51sportsnet.com where he covers the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League.