– Hunter Haight –
Elgin Middlesex Chiefs (Alliance) | Centre | 2020 OHL Draft Eligible
Strathroy, Ontario | 5’11”, 165-pounds | April 4th, 2004
The Elgin Middlesex Chiefs were a juggernaut in Alliance hockey throughout the 2019-20 campaign, as the team skated to a sparkling 25-0-8 record — a mark good for 58 points and the top spot in Alliance’s regular season standings. Propelling the Chiefs forward was and continues to be the team’s deadly offensive attack in combination with their steady and consistent defending, as the Chiefs potted a league-high 147 goals for and a league-low 55 goals against. Contributing greatly to the success of the Chiefs throughout their most recent campaign was Hunter Haight, a dynamic young centre whose refined skill-set moulded Elgin Middlesex to one of the top teams competing for the OHL Cup.
And, in doing so, Haight has established himself as a top prospect eligible for the upcoming 2020 OHL Draft. Although his game contains room for improvement, Haight stands as a lethal offensive player whose style of play should translate to the OHL-level with little issue. With this being said, let’s talk about the specifics of Haight’s game.
- Skating Speed and Agility
- Explosive Acceleration
- Shot Release and Accuracy
- Offensive Dynamism and Creativity
- Two Way Play and Responsibility
The foundation of Haight’s game is nothing other than his skating abilities, as the youngster can navigate the ice with ease and a purpose. Capable of reaching his top speed in a matter of short strides, Haight can push opposing defenders onto their heels in the blink of an eye and owns the ability to beat his opposition wide if they fail to respect his speed and ability to maintain his pace while shifting direction. This ability to create time and space for himself — or seize opportunities as they arise — fuels Haight’s abilities and production in the offensive zone, as he is nothing other than lethal when the puck is on his stick.
Hunter Haight (#6 ranked skater in Ontario for the #OHLDraft) with a beautiful between the legs goal. Haight has lightning speed and explosiveness. His hands keep up with his quick feet. Here’s a link to the Hudl account of the @2004Elgin Middlesex Chiefs:https://t.co/YJL458HsVp pic.twitter.com/aBllS3O7EQ
— Ontario Draft Hub (@OntarioDraftHub) January 5, 2020
First and foremost, there is Haight’s ability to control the puck. Widely known for his soft hands, Haight exudes confidence while in possession and rarely commits turnovers. Instead, Haight loves to blast the puck on goal — in fact, his lightning-quick release and ability to place the puck accurately and with velocity allowed him to lead Alliance in goal-scoring this season with 32 tallies in his 33 regular season games played. Moreover, there is Haight’s raw dynamism in the offensive zone, as the youngster features the creativity and confidence necessary to devise high-percentage scoring opportunities if opposing defenders fail to respect his ability to create plays. In short, Haight is nothing other than a well-rounded and dynamic player, and one capable of driving his team’s offence on a nightly basis with relative ease.
Areas for Improvement:
- Personal Strength
As mentioned above, Haight is an incredibly well-rounded player who features far more strengths within his game than he does weaknesses. With this being said, the one major area in which Haight would do well to improve is his personal strength. Now, while this will obviously come easier with age, greater all-around strength would allow Haight to protect the puck from opposing defenders with greater ease while also adding additional mustard to his already impressive shot and greater explosiveness to his strides.
Ultimately, Haight holds the potential to develop into a well-rounded and lethal player at the OHL-level and beyond. Projected to be chosen in the second-round of the 2020 OHL Draft, Haight could very well suit up for an OHL franchise come to the start of the 2020-21 campaign, he is simply that talented and capable. Further, as a terrific skater with refined skill, Haight’s transition to the major-junior ranks could prove to be relatively easy when compared to those yet to be attempted by his peers. In a few years’ time, we could very well be discussing Haight’s name as a top prospect eligible for the 2022 NHL Draft.