PROBLACK HOCKEY BLOG
PROBLACK HOCKEY BLOG
who is Quinton Byfield??
In an age of advanced hockey analytics, NHL Central Scouting Director Dan Marr offers one simple metric when it comes to Byfield.
"He's worth the price of admission," Marr said. "He's that type of player."
A 16-year-old from Newmarket, Ontario, Byfield was the first pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection Draft in April. The 6-foot-4, 214-pound center is third among OHL rookies in scoring with 21 goals and 29 assists in 51 games and his 50 points rank third for Sudbury.
"I want to be one of the best, if not the best player in the league; I hope we win a Memorial Cup in a year or two," Byfield said. "The next step I definitely want to make is the NHL."
Marr and Sudbury coach Cory Stillman believe that if Byfield's game continues to progress, he'll be a high first-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, possibly No. 1.
"A prospect like him doesn't enter the OHL or NHL too often," Marr said. "He is an imposing figure with his size and strength, and he's still developing so he is going to get stronger and more powerful.
"Normally the bigger players need an upgrade with their skating -- he doesn't. He's a strong and powerful skater right now. He's got the acceleration to pull away on the play. He's already at the top end of the 2020 draft."
When Byfield joined Sudbury, he immediately wanted to be the player that the team counts on every game, despite his youth.
"We've given him every opportunity to play on the power play, play on the penalty kill," said Stillman, who played 16 NHL seasons with six teams. "Last minute in a game, I put the puck on his stick. When we design a play, the puck's going to him and we let him make the decision. That just goes to show you the IQ that he has and the ability to make a difference in a hockey game, whether it's at the start or the final play."
Byfield said he thrives on the responsibilities and appreciates Stillman's confidence in him.
"He's giving me a lot of opportunities," Byfield said. "That's an honor for a 16-year-old when a coach has that much faith in you."
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