Position: Right Wing
NHL Comparable: Blake Coleman or Sam Bennett
I actually had to dig a little deeper to find a Canadian that doesn’t play a fluffy game and came up with Koehn Ziemmer. The combination of skill and a lack of grit among Canadian Jr’s is a little concerning these days, but anyway…..
Ziemmer is generally ranked about 10 spots lower than where the Leafs will pick, so this would be a bit of a reach on their part, but we’ve seen worse. He plays a much more projectable game than some of the other players the Leafs reached for in the past (Korshkov, Hirvonen etc), as he has all the tools to make it to the NHL, but simply has to refine them a little bit.
Labeled as a power forward, he doesn’t possess the frame that you’d generally associate with a power forward, which is probably where my Blake Coleman/Sam Bennett comparison comes from, but, as always, it’s far from the perfect comparable. Ziemmer likes to play the game at a high pace, as he’s always moving and is able to create while at top speed. He loves to shoot the puck and does so a lot, while also not being shy of engaging physically. He protects the puck well and is terrific along the walls and in front of the net, where he is good at tipping pucks and digging for rebounds.
His play in his own end is good, but could be an area to improve upon if he wants to ensure himself a role as bottom 6 player if his offensive game doesn’t pan out the way he’d like it to at the next level.
One thing that concerns me is his lack of scoring in the playoffs. He has produced 71 goals and 146pts over 136 games for the WHL’s Prince George Cougars over the past 2 seasons, but just 3 goals and 9pts in 14 playoff games in the same span. It’s nice to imagine your best players being your best players when the time comes, which is something that simply doesn’t happen in Leafs Land these days, so I think I’d shy away from Ziemmer if I were a Leafs scout, but he has all the tools necessary to make the NHL, so maybe it’s unfair to judge player on 14 games played……. or maybe that’s what the Leafs should be doing more of?