– Aidan Castle –
Toronto Jr. Canadiens (GTHL) | Right Wing | 2020 OHL Draft Eligible
Toronto, Ontario | 5’11”, 165-pounds | January 8, 2004
A veteran of the 2004-born Toronto Jr. Canadiens, Aidan Castle is not only looked upon to drive the offence for his team, but to shut down the opposition in key defensive moments as well. Although JRC boasts an incredibly deep lineup full of offensively-capable forwards, Castle consistently sticks out with his compete level and play away from the puck.
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A leader by example, Castle is a hound on the puck and doesn’t change his skating level whether he’s in possession of the puck or chasing it down. In spite of the fact that Castle doesn’t tower over his opponents, he’ll never be one to shy away from engaging in the physical aspect of the game.
With this being said, let’s break down the components of Castle’s game.
- Sense and Vision
- Shot Release and Accuracy
- Two-Way Awareness
Aidan Castle is the type of player you can rely on in any situation. He shows a consistent and admirable compete level in all three zones and is constantly hounding opponents to force key turnovers. Although he doesn’t have the biggest or strongest frame, he often uses his body and momentum to knock players off of the puck and to win loose puck battles.
Castle isn’t afraid to backcheck deep into the defensive zone in order to offer support for his defencemen and provide a safer outlet to get the breakout started. With the puck, Castle consistently showcases an impressive skill-set and a high level of hockey sense. Often playing the wing, Castle excels at finding himself open space to make himself a dangerous passing option.
Whether that’s accomplished by drifting in behind his line mates on the rush, or by curling out into the slot from the half-wall, Castle is a player who ends up in the right places at the right times thanks to his ability to scan developing plays. With a heavy and accurate snap shot, Castle’s quick release allows him to beat goaltenders in transition or on clean looks. But, he can set his teammates up just as well.
- Acceleration and Top Speed
To be able grow into a more consistent and multi-dimensional threat on the ice, Castle could use some more explosive skating. While by no means a poor skater, Castle has yet to demonstrate separation speed with the puck, which would allow him to blow by defenders on the outside and drive the net with greater effectiveness.
As Castle continues to grow and fill out his frame, this aspect of his game may come naturally with greater lower-body strength. If it does, beware, because Castle has all the attributes to become a dynamic offensive force in the OHL and beyond.
In all, Aidan Castle should be considered one of the top prospects to keep an eye on this season. As a key member of the powerhouse Toronto Jr. Canadiens, Castle will be looked upon to be an offensive leader and a reliable, all situation winger.
He has proven that he has the ability to excel under pressure, and now Castle simply needs to put that offensive upside on display throughout a consistent season. If he can accomplish that, he won’t have to wait long to hear his name called at the 2020 OHL Draft.