The Captain of the Moose Jaw Warriors is a Point Machine. Coming in at #13 on the RawCharge Top 25 Under 25 is center Brayden Point. Listed at 5'10" and 163 pounds by the Moose Jaw Warriors, Point is a small undersized center reminiscent of Tyler Johnson with skill, hockey IQ and speed.
Here's how the panel ranked Point.
|Kyle Alexander||John Fontana||Mike Gallimore||GeoFitz4||Brett Frieman|
Previous Ranks: N/A
Like Johnson did in his junior days, Point plays in the Western Hockey League (WHL) and has been a point producer. Unfortunately, he has not had the level of talent around him to quite make him an elite producer in the WHL. That combined with his size was a likely reason that he slipped to the 3rd round, 79th overall in the 2014 draft to the Lightning. He has produced 236 points in 204 WHL games plus an additional 10 points in 14 playoff games. He made his pro debut in 2014-15 with the Syracuse Crunch on an amateur try out contributing two goals and two assists in 9 games and being held pointless in two playoff games.
Point is definitely a small player, but he plays with intensity and a high hockey IQ. Much like Tyler Johnson, it will be important for him to develop his two-way game as he makes the full time jump to pro hockey for the 2016-17 season. For now, he'll go back to the WHL for another season. If the Warriors don't show improvement in the standings early in the season, then it would be good to see Point moved to a contender at the trade deadline so that we can see what he can really do as a top line center with a good supporting cast.
Point was also a member of the 2014-15 World Junior Championship (WJC) squad for Canada that won the gold medal. He spent most of his time as the 13th forward, but an injury pushed him into more ice time later in the tournament. Even with his lower ice time, he managed to contribute two goals and two assists for four points to tie him for 8th in scoring on the Canadian team. Point was invited back this summer for the WJC development camp and as a 19 year old should expect to be one of the top centers for the 2016 team.
Check out these highlights of Point, wearing number 9, for Team Canada at the 2015 WJCs.
Point was invited back this summer for the WJC development camp and as a 19 year old should expect to be one of the top centers for the 2016 team. The World Juniors Summer Showcase saw the Canadian team playing four games, twice each against Russia and the Czech Republic teams. Point played in only two games, both against the Czech Republic. Point managed to contribute three goals and five assists for eight points to lead Team Canada. The next closest player was Travis Konechny with four assists in three games. While this is essentially just pre-season games, it's still very impressive seeing Point produce so well against a very solid Czech Republic team.
High-end offensive skill is always at the forefront of a successful team. Filling the skates of Max Domi, Connor McDavid, Sam Reinhart and Anthony Duclair will be a challenge, but there are capable players who can be productive in a similar manner. Brayden Point will take a leading role on this iteration of Team Canada. He is highly productive and very comfortable being a "go-to" player.
When he moves to the AHL full time, he should quickly cement himself as the first or second center for the Crunch. I expect he will go down as one of the three best centers to go through the Crunch in the past decade joining the likes of Tyler Johnson and Vladislav Namestnikov. Get excited for Brayden Point. It will not be long before we see his name on the back of a Tampa Bay jersey rushing end to end in Amalie Arena.