By John Vogl
Junior team: Red Deer (WHL)
Born: Carlyle, Saskatchewan
Measurables: 6-foot-2, 202 pounds
2013-14 stats: 70 games, eight goals, 38 assists, 46 points
Central Scouting rank: No. 9 (North America)
Lowdown: Fleury grew up in a small town of about 1,400 where everyone knows each other, so of course he’s connected to the Carlyle’s greatest hockey export – Brendan Morrow. The St. Louis forward was Fleury’s babysitter, and Morrow recalls the kid walking around with a stick in his hand.
The early love of hockey paid off. Fleury is the second-ranked defenseman in the draft, trailing only potential first overall pick Aaron Ekblad. Fleury has quickly closed up any holes in his game. He’s a quick, agile skater who has smarts at both ends of the rink. He avoids silly penalties, which allows his coaches to use him in a shutdown role at all times of the game.
The Canadian was named top defenseman at the world under-18 tournament. This draft is thin on blue-liners with NHL talent, so Fleury won’t have to wait long to hear his name called.
They said it: “He's got good, strong mobility, great vision and has a knack for making that first good outlet pass. He's composed and calm with the puck and has an ability of knowing when to join the rush at the right moments.” – B.J. MacDonald, NHL Central Scouting.
The Buffalo News is profiling 30 prospects in 30 days leading up to the NHL draft, which begins June 27.
taggedNHL Entry Draft