It has been 11 days since the last time we here at ILWT gave you a draft prospect profile on a projected first rounder. Then, Brian did a piece on Zachary Werenski, one of the best defenders in this draft class. Today we look at the a forward named Timo Meier from the QMJHL.
Who is Timo Meier?
Timo Meier is a 6'1'' 209 lb RW/C who was born on October 8th of 1996 in St. Gallen, Switzerland. He plays for the Halifax Mooseheads. He is said to be a versatile forward capable of playing in either a skill role or a checking line and be productive in either at the NHL level. Below are his statistics:
So, he's good. He player on a team with 9th Overall 2014 pick Nikolaj Ehlers and plays a clear second fiddle to him as Ehlers is one of the best players in the QMJHL. Regardless, it's nice to see him continue his productions without Ehlers in the WJC (point per game) and in the playoffs.
He has a reputation as a bigger guy and a bit of a bruiser, but he has been playing with skill players everywhere he goes, never being overmatched. He's put up 124 points over 127 QMJHL regular season games and 61 of them were goals. The penalty minutes are a tangible representation of the hard-checking game he is purported to have as well.
What Others Are Saying About Meier
He is ranked #15 by Hockeyprospect.com, #14 by ISS Hockey, #16 by Future Considerations, #13 by McKeen's Hockey, #10 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters), #13 by The Hockey Writers, and #14 by Last Word on Sports.
Having tallied 40+ goals already, Meier is lethal around the net. Always looking for a chance to shoot the puck, Meier will often bulldoze his way into the crease or use his deadly wrist/snap shot put the puck in the back of the net. He isn’t a one-dimensional player either. In my viewings of him, Meier shows a desire to backcheck/forecheck. Given his speed, it isn’t difficult for him to do as he gets back into the play relatively quickly.
There are a few snipers in the draft this year. Timo Meier is certainly one of the best that’s available. It will be interesting to see if any team in need of goal scoring takes a stab at Meier earlier than projected.
... A team in need of goal scoring you say? A sniper you say? a desire to backcheck you say? I'm sold. Christopher Ralph from The Hockey Writers also did a piece wondering if he is the best QMJHL prospect which is worth a read.
An improved skating stride and more speed have really helped Timo Meier this season, and he’s racking up points and rocketing up draft charts as a result. He’s not a speedster, but while he was once a bit of a poor skater, he’s now slightly above average in this regard. His acceleration and first step quickness are also decent. There is still room to improve in these areas, but with the great steps that Meier has already taken, it looks likely that the improvements in his stride will continue. Meier’s agility is decent, but again could improve going forward. He has very good balance on his skates, and excellent power. This allows him to protect the puck down low, and work the cycle game extremely effectively.
He also goes on to mention the willingness to backcheck, solid defensive play, and good vision and setup skills. Basically nothing bad.
As a counterpoint, here are some of the less flattering remarks from Dennis Schellenberg at Scouting Factory:
A winger with a great wrist and slapshot who loves to use it. His quick release makes it hard for goaltenders to track the shot. Uses all of his shot arsenal. Good first steps and speed but could be more agile. Has a good offensive mind and is always looking to put himself in a good shooting spot. Good play away from the puck in the offensive zone, though not in his own zone. Tends to make blind passes and turns the puck over too many times
This is a playlist of highlights for Timo Meier.
I don't think it's hard to see from these videos where people are getting the material to evoke phrases like "sniper" and "good hockey sense." His shot is great, but to me his ability to get in position to score is even more impressive. His anticipation of the way a play is going to unfold is very impressive. Less evident from these videos are his supposed defensive skills which are unfortunately rarely highlight-worthy.
An Opinion of Sorts
I've never seen such a wide array of skills attributed to one player. It seems like the only thing that he truly lacks as a prospect is breakaway speed and acceleration. He is strong on the puck, an avid backchecker and forechecker, a good passer and great shooter, possesses a sophisticated offensive hockey mind, kills penalties, has great balance, is built like a house, and is a good team player (got an "A" on the national team). That was an absurdly long run-on sentence because this guys skill set is so broad. He's an elite shooter and he's just really good at everything else. That versatility makes him, to me, one of the safest picks this side of McDavid/Eichel. He's supposed to go in the middle of the 1st round. I personally really like Marner, but if he get's picked ahead of us I have no problem with Meier being picked over just about any of the other forwards being discussed in that area. It's also nice that he has the all-around game the Devils historically love, with the nose for the net that the new Devils era will need.
Like him? Don't like him? Like him but not enough to take him 6th overall? Leave thoughts in the comments section below. Also if you have more information that you think ILWT readers would be interested in, feel free to include that in the comments section as well.