In anticipation of the Sharks’ 2014 NHL Draft selection, we will be highlighting the top 30 prospects over the next few weeks.
Name: Haydn Fleury
Current Team: Red Deer Rebels (WHL)
Jersey Number: 4
Weight: 198 lbs.
Hometown: Carlyle, Saskatchewan
Recently promoted to No. 6 on the Central Scouting Service American Skaters Midterm Rankings list, Haydn Fleury has risen to become the second-best defenseman in the draft behind Aaron Ekblad. He has also leapfrogged Anthony DeAngelo and Roland McKeown, two more of the most heralded defensemen in the draft class.
After an underaged WHL debut in the 2011-2012 season that only saw him lasting 4 games, Fleury was a plus-1 and had 0 points. In his true rookie campaign in 12-13, he scored 4G 15A for 19 points in 66 games. He also went plus-4 on the season with 21 PIM, a decent track record for a first-year defensemen. He ranked third among Red Deer defensemen in scoring and helped the Rebels reach the second round of the playoffs. In 9 playoff games, he scored 2 assists and was a plus-4 in 9 games.
Before the start of the 2013-2014 season, Fleury participated in the U-18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament where he scored 1 goal in 5 GP for Team Canada.
This season, Fleury is wearing an “A” on his sweater, showing scouts that he is not only exceptional in his play, but also in his leadership. In 43 games so far this season, he has tallied 6G 24A for 30 points while accumulating a plus-13 rating as well. The defensemen has already surpassed last season’s point total and plus/minus ranking, and it is no wonder he has earned himself the No. 6 spot on the rankings list.
Fleury is a big, physical blueliner who shows good offensive ability. He’s strong and balanced on his skates, keep his head up and understands developing plays. He rubs opposing forwards out and isn’t shy to make a solid hit.
It is well-known by now that no one will surpass Ekblad for No. 1 defender honors, but as of now, Fleury would have the best shot of all defensemen in the draft class.