2019-20 Team: Kingston Frontenacs
Date of Birth: May 20, 2002
Place of Birth: Toronto, Ontario
Ht: 5-foot-10 Wt: 201 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2020 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 54th (Amongst NA skaters)
- Draft Site: 42nd
- THW Larry Fisher’s April Rankings: 153rd
- Andrew Forbes Top 217 for March: 188th
Whenever Wisdom steps on the ice, fans can expect a high energy game from him. In 2016-17, his draft year for the OHL, Wisdom played for the Toronto Jr. Canadiens in the Greater Toronto Hockey League. In 57 games played, he scored 15 goals and added 38 assists for 53 points. His team ended up having a lot of success, winning the OHL Cup at the end of the season.
With two OHL seasons under his belt, Wisdom has finally started to come into his own as a player. Playing top-line minutes this past season with Shane Wright, Wisdom was near a point per game pace. In 62 games played, he had 29 goals and 30 assists for 59 points.
Related: THW’s 2020 Draft Guide
Although he still needs to work on some aspects of his game, Wisdom has plenty of bright spots in his game as well. He uses his strength to gain positioning in front of the net and is hard to knock off the puck. He is not afraid to be physical in the corners and can be often seen coming out with the puck on his stick.
Wisdom has a pro-ready shot and can rip it home from almost anywhere in tight. He loves to set up teammates and can seemingly find open guys in the slot like nothing.
As for the shortcomings in his game, I would really like to see Wisdom work on his pace of play and his skating. There were some games where he did not look interested in playing and seem to have a lacklustre effort the entire game. As for the majority of prospects, Wisdom has to work on his skating. He has good mobility but I would like to see him improve on his first few steps so he can kick it into top gear much faster.
Come next season with the Frontenacs, Wisdom will look to play an even bigger role. Slowly becoming a veteran on the team, Wisdom will look to take the younger players, like Paul Ludwinski, under his wing and show them the rigours of what it’s like playing in the OHL. Although the Frontenacs are in the midst of a turnaround, they have enough talent to experience some success come next season.
Other THW Draft Profiles:
Zayde Wisdom – NHL Draft Projection
Wisdom was ranked as the 54th North American skater on NHL Central Scouting’s Final Rankings. Where he ends up going depends on where teams value him as an overall player. I would peg him as going late in the fourth round at the earliest and most likely somewhere in the fifth round as a safe bet. This takes nothing away from Wisdom as a player, he just has to show more consistency and drive on a nightly basis.
“Very aggressive in puck pursuit…excellent shot release…very strong net presence, effective in screen and making space for linemates on half wall…scores goals from 1-2 feet from goal…seeing significant development in puck skills, pass reception, carrying puck with speed, puck protection and stick handling…clearly faster…enforcer for Wright.” – Peter Harling/DobberProspects
“Wisdom is not afraid to go to the dirty areas, in fact, he has a superb net front presence. You’ll find he parks himself in front of the blue paint and yes, he is hard to move. But he’ll also score the majority if his goals from the top of or in the paint. But he also has an excellent shot and release that can beat a goaltender from the high slot or coming down his wing. Frankly, with his ability to find open ice combined with his shot, we are a little bit surprised he doesn’t score more of those goals.” – OHL Writers
- Great strength
- Pro-ready shot
- NHL frame
- Battles hard
Under Construction – Improvements to Make
- Consistency/Drive on a nightly basis
Although Wisdom does not project as a top-flight player at the next level, it does not mean he cannot be a valuable player. With his combination of strength and skill, I would peg him as being a third-line centre or winger at the NHL level. He will be an energy guy who can chip in on offence when needed. He can provide a much-needed spark with his physicality and some might compare him to a player like Ryan Reaves or Kyle Clifford.
Risk – 3/5, Reward- 3.5/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense – 7/10, Defense – 6/10
Wisdom played a huge role in helping his team win the OHL Cup in 2017-18. In seven games played in the OHL Cup playoffs, Wisdom scored three goals and added five assists for eight points.