OHL Prospect Profile: Dylan Duke

Dylan Duke has shown dynamic abilities as a two-way centre who can add substantial offence as well. A Michigan Wolverine commit, he plays an intelligent and mature game. Duke projects as a top-10 talent for the 2019 OHL Draft.

– Dylan Duke-

Detroit Compuware (HPHL) | Centre | 2019 OHL Draft Eligible

5-foot-10, 166-pounds | April 3rd, 2003

Dylan Duke is a dominant centre who plays the game with authority at both ends of the ice. Captaining Detroit Compuware to the Silver Stick Championship, Duke ranked second in tournament points with 14, behind only his winger, Sasha Pastujov.

Related: Check out Prospect Pipeline’s 2019 OHL Draft Rankings.

A reliable player in all three zones, Duke shows flashes of elite offensive potential, featuring a heavy shot and a strong forecheck. Teaming up with Pastujov and Red Savage to form a dynamic first line, Duke is the workhorse of the team who projects as a two-way centre with promising offensive upside.

Strengths:

  • Two-Way Awareness
  • Vision and Instincts
  • Skating

Duke’s game is extremely projectable at the professional level, as he displays a great understanding of the responsibilities of his position. Backchecking deep into the defensive zone, Duke regularly supports his defencemen below the dots and battles behind the net to force turnovers.

Related: Don’t miss out on any of our OHL Prospect Profiles.

Up front, Duke showcases a strong and efficient stride. He protects the puck well on the rush and distributes to puck effectively, both north-south and east-west. As a playmaker, Duke dishes impressive saucer and cross-crease passes through traffic.

Area of Improvement:

  • Shot Release

Using his strength to put some power behind his wrist shot, Duke possesses an above-average shot with great accuracy. He can be a lethal goal scorer as well as an effective playmaker, but his shot release is an area that could really push him into the next level.

Not a liability to his game in any way, Duke could become an elite sniper by adding some quickness to his release, especially in being able to change angles in order to fire a shot around screens. He seems to prefer a wrist shot over a snap shot, meaning his release time is slightly slower than some of his comparables.

Future Potential:

In all, Dylan Duke has shown dynamic abilities as a two-way centre who can add substantial offence as well. With tremendous instincts and skating ability, Duke looks like a prospect who is more than prepared to make the jump to the next level.

A Michigan Wolverine commit, Duke plays an intelligent and mature game. He projects as a top-10 talent for the 2019 OHL Draft, but will likely slid down the draft board as a result of his NCAA commitment.

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OHL Prospect Profile: Sasha Pastujov

Sasha Pastujov is an incredibly talented winger with elite puck skills and processing capacity of the game. He displays impressive vision in the offensive zone and a quick and accurate wrist shot. A University of Notre Dame commit, Pastujov is a a top-five talent for the 2019 OHL Draft.

– Sasha Pastujov –

Detroit Compuware (HPHL) | Right Wing | 2019 OHL Draft Eligible

Northville, Michigan | 5-foot-11, 176-pounds | July 15th, 2003

The hype surrounding Sasha Pastujov has been growing all year, with no end in sight. Playing up with Detroit Compuware’s 16U team, Pasutjov has been downright dominant in a league composed largely of 2002-born prospects. An extremely skilled winger, he thinks the game at an elite rate and makes intelligent decisions with the puck.

A slick skater with quick hands and a tremendous sense of the ice, Pastujov really made his presence felt at the 2018 Silver Stick, where he led Compuware to the championship on the back of an MVP performance, tallying nine goals and 16 points in seven games.

Strengths:

  • Hands & Puck Skills
  • Hockey Sense
  • Speed & Agility

Pastujov is a dynamic offensive threat who can burn his opponents in a multitude of ways. He reads the ice incredibly well and is able to position himself in advantageous positions as a result. He’s tough to knock off the puck as well, using his entire body to protecting the puck and dangling through traffic like a knife through butter.

An agile and shifty skater, Pastujov gains momentum quickly and tough to get a beat on as an opposing defender. While his hockey sense may be his greatest asset, Pastujov is best known for his outrageous, end-to-end goals. He has an elite sense of the soft spots in the neutral and offensive zone and consistently exploits them. All in all, Pastujov is a gifted offensive force who can create tons of offence.

Area of Improvement:

  • Two-Way Awareness

As a winger, this may not turn scouts away, but Pastujov has some room to improve away from the puck. In his own end, he could be a little more aggressive in eliminating passing lanes and forcing turnovers. In fact, this adjustment would only create more offensive opportunities for himself and his linemates.

Adding this element to his game would allow for Pastujov to be relied upon in all situations, including the penalty kill and in dying moments of a game to secure the lead. In all, this aspect will certainly not deter teams from him, as he will always be immensely valued for his offensive prowess and future potential as he continues to grow and strengthen.

Future Potential:

A University of Notre Dame commit, it is unlikely that we will see Pastujov report to the OHL next year. Regardless of that fact, he has proven to be one of the top ’03 prospects in North America, thanks to an elite-level sense and understanding of the game, along with tremendous puck skills that make him a legitimate scoring threat each time he takes the ice.

As seems to be the trend this year, an NCAA commitment throws a wrench into projecting where Pastujov will be taken at the 2019 OHL Draft, but based on talent alone, he should be viewed as a top-five prospect eligible for the draft.

Compuware Defeats Don Mills to Claim Silver Stick Championship

The 2018 Gloria Hints Memorial Silver Stick Tournament has come to a close, with Detroit Compuware claiming the championship over the Don Mills Flyers — their first loss of the season.

The 2018 Gloria Rints Memorial International Silver Stick Tournament has officially come to a close, and what a weekend of hockey it was.

In the minor midget age group, 30 of the world’s best teams gathered to do battle in what proved to be a highly competitive and entertaining tournament. Over the course of the four day event a number of highly skilled teams fell early, while others not expected to legitimately compete pushed their way into the elimination rounds through tactile team play.

Related: 2019 OHL Priority Selection Prospect Profiles

However, come the final game of the tournament, the two teams left standing were the clubs which everyone had travelled to Whitby, Ontario to see: Detroit Compuware of the HPHL and the Don Mills Flyers of the GTHL.

Led by two dynamic scorers and an arsenal of reliable defenders, Compuware’s roster presented a significant challenge for the Flyers from the outset of the tournament given its remarkable depth and offensive potency. On the other hand, Don Mills arrived in Whitby in possession of a perfect record, having yet to lose a single game in league or tournament play in 2018-19.

Unfortunately for the Flyers, their sparkling record would be dinged by Compuware.

The Championship Game

Although they had suffered a tie to the Brantford 99ers in round-robin play, Don Mills’ perfect record was technically intact given the lack of a loss within their record. However, Compuware stood determined to hand the Flyers their first defeat of the season, and relied upon each and every member of their roster in order to do so.

The First Period:

The championship game of the Whitby Silver Stick Tournament began well for Compuware, who netted the game’s opening goal as the direct result of a stellar rush put forth by MVP Sasha Pastujov — the tournament’s leading scorer with nine goals and 16 points in seven games played.

However, the Flyers responded quickly, scoring a goal on the very next shift of the game which reinforced their standing as arguably the top minor midget team in the world.

The Second Period:

Deadlocked at one goal apiece, penalty trouble began to brew for both teams to begin the second period — a reality which ignited both electrifying offences.

The first to strike was Compuware, as lethal goal-scorer Redmond Savage blasted home a power play goal from the slot to create a 2-1 advantage for his squad. Then, after killing a long 5-3 penalty kill, yet another penalty — this time a double-minor — opened the door for Don Mills to pounce, and pounce they did as Cole Eichler fired home his fifth goal of the tournament to knot the game at 2-2.

Shane Wright
A second period goal by top 2019 OHL Draft prospect Shane Wright afforded Don Mills with a 3-2 lead. (Photo Credit: Max Lewis)

With momentum swinging in favour of the Flyers and their offence operating at full capacity, Shane Wright fired the puck five-hole on goaltender Will Fox to regain a 3-2 lead for his team. Dominating Compuware in the offensive zone and limiting scoring opportunities against, Don Mills appeared to be in excellent shape to secure the Championship as both teams headed to the locker room.

The Third Period

The final stanza of the Whitby Silver Stick Tournament proved to be a wildly entertaining 15 minutes of hockey.

Slow out of the gate to start the period, the Flyers were ambushed by an energetic and determined Compuware team. Seemingly exhausted from the expectations placed upon them this season, Don Mills endured a rough period of hockey mired by moments which lacked both confidence and creativity. As a result, Compuware blasted home two quick goals to seize a 4-3 lead — one of which Flyers goaltender Anson Thornton would surely love to have back.

Related: 2019 OHL Priority Selection Rankings

Trailing for one of the very few times this season, Don Mills put their heads down and went to work. Although it was extremely difficult for the Flyers to generate lethal scoring opportunities given the stellar defending of Tyler Duke and Ty Gallagher, Don Mills drew even owing to a rebound goal from Brennan Othmann with a mere 19 seconds remaining — a tally which brought the Iroquois Park Sports Centre to its feet.

Having forced overtime despite being outplayed for portions of the third period, it appeared as though the Flyers might be able to maintain their impressive perfect record after all.

Overtime:

It didn’t take long for Compuware to re-establish its tenacious forecheck in overtime, as the team’s fleet-footed and highly competitive forwards set to work in their attacking zone.

Forcing turnovers while dominating puck possession, Compuware drove the Flyers to make a number of uncharacteristic mistakes which resulted in excellent yet unproductive scoring opportunities. However, it would prove to be only a matter of time for Compuware, who cliched the Whitby Silver Stick Tournament championship on a goal from Noah Laba — a strong two-way player who blasted home a loose puck from the slot.

In short, the championship game between Don Mills and Compuware was one for the ages.

Riddled with exciting moments and jaw-dropping displays of skill, both teams put forth a tremendous effort — and especially so given it was each squad’s seventh game played in a four-day span. Saturated with elite young prospects and immensely promising youngster, the championship game displayed the very best which the 2003 and 2004 age groups have to offer.