The Devils used their third round pick on RW Blake Speers of Sault Ste. Marie in the OHL. Speers posted some impressive numbers last year in the OHL and appears to be an awesome value pick for where he was selected. Let's take a look at Speers and get to know him more.
Did We Profile Him?: Yes! Here is Alex's profile on Speers from May 9.
The Basics: Blake Speers was born on January 2, 1997. He shoots right, is 5'11", and 185 pounds. He plays for his hometown Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL. Last season he had 67 points in 57 regular season games and 9 points in 14 playoff games. In his OHL career he has 107 points in 119 regular season games. He played his bantam and midget hockey in Sault Ste. Marie where he was a dominant player at those levels which led to him being a 1st round pick in the 2013 OHL Priority Selection draft. Speers reprsented Canada Ontario at the U17 level in 2013-14. That same year he earned OHL First All-Rookie Team honors and this past season he played in the CHL Top Prospects Game.
What Others Have Said About Speers: Future Considerations had this to say about Speers in December of 2014:
A solid two-way winger…elite level speed with a very efficient skating stride…good lateral agility…lacks strength and can get knocked off the puck by bigger opponents…handles the puck well and has some deceptively good hands…makes crisp, accurate passes to teammates…has a decent shot…does all the little things to succeed…can kill penalties, work the power play, lead the rush or bring a strong forecheck…has good leadership qualities and possesses the intangibles that make pro aspirations a possibility in his future.
Craig Button of TSN compared Speers to Ryan Callahan and gave this outlook on him:
Speers is a very determined and purposeful player. He gets involved in all areas of the game, from the offensive parts to the defensive parts, and has a real determination to contribute whatever it may be. Always in the play and on the puck. Improving the explosive elements in his skating will allow him an even greater influence on the game.
A talented offensive player who is sometimes lost on a loaded Greyhounds squad. Speers does a little bit of everything to push his team’s offense forward. Plays with pace and has a plus shot and puck skills.
The Projection Project really likes Speers. His cohorts in their model made the NHL as regular players 60% of the time. Those that made it ranged from "elite" to "fourth line" with most of them slotting in on the "third line." There were a handful of top 6 players in there so it seems like Speers has a solid outlook. Sounds like excellent value for a 3rd round selection!
A Little Video on Speers: Here are some highlights along with an interview:
Here is a throughough video covering Speers from Hockey Prospect:
My Initial Reaction: I love the selection of Speers, especially as a third rounder. He addresses a position of need in the organization, has offensive skills which the Devils need desperately in their prospect pool, and his projection suggests that he is great value in the third round.
That's my quick take on Speers. What's your reaction? Leave your thoughts on Speers and the selection in the comments. More information will be added to this post throughout the draft. Thank you for reading!