By John Vogl
Junior team: Edmonton (WHL)
Born: Salmon Arm, British Columbia
Measurables: 6-foot, 190 pounds
2012-13 stats: 72 games, 38 goals, 23 assists, 61 points
Central Scouting rank: No. 20 (North America)
Lowdown: Lazar blew past Steven Stamkos. He left Sidney Crosby behind. That has a tendency to draw attention. The looks at Lazar began at the 2011 Canada Games, a biennial event that is the country’s largest competition for young athletes. Lazar led British Columbia to the gold, scoring 12 goals to break Stamkos’ record and 17 points to eclipse Crosby’s mark in only six games.
The Oil Kings’ assistant captain combines a hard-working mentality with offensive ability. A former teammate of Sabres defenseman Mark Pysyk, Lazar led Edmonton with eight goals and 19 points in 20 playoff games en route to the Western Hockey League title in 2011-12. The speedy forward continued the goal scoring this season, pacing the team with 38. Lazar scored nine times in 22 playoff games but added just two assists.
Lazar doesn’t have the dazzling creativity many would like and has been knocked for taking the safe play. That is good decision-making for the NHL level, but scouts hope for a higher showing of skill at the junior level.
They said it: "He had a dry spell for a while, but when he was on he was around the puck and creating stuff all game. He can certainly take advantage of his opportunities. He's got real good puck-handling ability, is a smart offensive guy and skates well.” – Chris Edwards of NHL Central Scouting.
The Buffalo News is profiling 30 prospects in 30 days leading up to the NHL draft June 30.
taggedNHL Entry Draft