Who is Curtis Lazar?
Curtis Lazar is an 18 year old forward from Vernon, British Columbia. He is a little short, standing 5 foot 11 inches and weighs 194 pounds. Lazar's teammates have nicknamed him laser, given his fast shot and last name. "Laser" plays mostly center but is also comfortable at right wing. As stated earlier, Lazar plays for the Edmonton Oil Kings of the WHL. He has two full seasons of WHL play under his belt and will likely play another season in the WHL next year. Lazar has impressed the Oil Kings coaching staff enough that he was given an "A" for assistant captain this last season. In his first season in the WHL (2011-12), Lazar put up 31 points. In his second season with the Oil Kings, he almost doubled his output by putting up 38 goals and 23 assists. If he continues to grow like this, he is most likely going to make an NHL roster.
Lazar also played for the Canadian U-18 team where he put up 3 goals and 1 assist in international play. Overall, Lazar is ranked as the 20th best North American skater by the CSS. His final ranking is up six spots from his midterm ranking. Below is Lazar's career statistics.
What Experts Have Said About Lazar
Hockey's Future stated: "Will work his way onto a pro roster. A battler, power forward in the mold of a Milan Lucic. Very good offensive skills. Leadership skills in spades."
Mike Morreale of NHL.com has a great article with multiple opinions from teammates and coaches.
A Little Video
A few earlier Curtis Lazar highlights:
A video from NHL.com describing Lazar as a prospect:
For those of you who enjoy a good fight, Lazar picked a fight with Ben Betker after he laid on a semi-dirty hit:
An Opinion of Sorts
Curtis Lazar is a strong skater and has great positioning which leads to great two-way play. He is useful in any situation which makes him a valuable forward for any NHL team. Another great aspect of Lazar is the intangibles. He is known for his leadership and great locker room presence. There is one potential downside to Lazar. He does have the benefit of playing with a great supporting cast on the Oil Kings which may mean his points are somewhat inflated. In my mind, Lazar will be a solid bottom six forward if he continues to play this style of game as he progress into the AHL and hopefully, NHL.
I'd like to know your take on Curtis Lazar as a prospect given all that you read. Perhaps you know more. Did you see him play? Do you know more about what his strengths and weaknesses may be? If so, please feel free to share it with the rest of us so we all can learn more. Otherwise, please leave your thoughts about Lazar as a prospect and the possibility of the Devils of picking him in the comments. Thanks for reading.