Team: Red Deer Rebels (WHL)
Hometown: Carlyle Saskatchewan
Weight: 198 lbs.
Projected: Top 10
A rangy two-way defenseman, Haydn Fleury has made his way to the number six North American skater in Central Scouting's rankings. He is solid defender and uses his speed, composure, vision and physicality to control the defensive zone. He has not quite developed his offensive play to the same level, but that is not to say he lacks promise. He has an above-average shot and moves the puck fairly well but he his vision is somewhat limited in the offensive zone. He has, however, improved in these areas this season and has produced better numbers because of it.
As far as comparisons go, I would liken him to a Brent Seabrook or Jay Bouwmeester. Defensively he plays a similar game to Seabrook because of his size, speed, and physicality, while offensively he could potentially turn into a Bouwmeester-like player, due a good shot, the ability to jump in on the rush, and above average passing.
Red Deer Rebels (WHL): 50 GP, 6 G, 35 A, 28 PIM, +18
"I want to be a strong skater and defencemen that moves the puck up, joins the rush and creates offence," said Fleury on his game play.
"He's got good strong mobility, great vision and has a knack for making that first good outlet pass," Central Scouting's B.J. MacDonald told NHL.com. "He's composed and calm with the puck, and has an ability of knowing when to join the rush at the right moments."
Where He Would Fit
While Haydn Fleury has the potential to be a very good defenseman and his play would fit very well into Trotz's system, the Predators don't have a lot of room for him. Currently, the Predators have Roman Josi, Michael Del Zotto, Mattias Ekholm, and Victor Bartley up the left side and players like Jonathan Diaby and Mikko Vainonen could be coming up in the next couple of years.
The Nashville Predators' fan base would go ballistic if Fleury were to be drafted (another defenseman in the first round!) and rightfully so. The addition of Fleury, like the addition of Seth Jones, would force someone out of the Predators system so, while he is a great player, it might suit the organization better to go after a forward such as Brendan Perlini, William Nylander, Jake Virtanen, or Kasperi Kapanen at that point in the draft.