Matt Puempel (LW, 6’0, DOB 1993, 1-24/11; contract 1.075/16)
2009-10 OHL Peterborough 59-33-31-64 -2 43pim (ppg 1.08) 2nd pts
2010-11 OHL Peterborough 55-34-35-69 -33 49pim (ppg 1.25) 1st rookie of the year
2011-12 OHL Peterborough 30-17-16-33 -3 31pim (ppg 1.10) 6th
2011-12 AHL Binghamton 9-1-0-1 +1 2pim (0.11)
2012-13 OHL Kitchener 51-35-11-46 +5 43pim (0.90) 3rd assistant captain
2012-13 AHL Binghamton 2-0-0-0 +1 0pim
Ottawa’s third pick in the first round last year (ranked #28 by Central Scouting), Puempel‘s following season was derailed by a lengthy suspension followed by a concussion. As such, it was largely wasted in terms of his development. He was signed during that season. This year he forced a trade to Kitchener where he was able to stay healthy and set a career high in goals despite his points-per-game slipping. His development allowed the Senators to feel comfortable enough to deal Stefan Noesen in the Bobby Ryan trade and he should get top minutes in Binghamton next season. When drafted The Hockey News said:
He’s not a great skater, but he has good feet and is a pretty hard worker.
Puempel is a left handed skilled forward that possesses a great stick and shows a high end of ability to finish. His lofty ranking here at ISS may surprise some experts however. Pure goal scorers are a highly sought after commodity come draft day, and Puempel may just be the best sniper in this draft. Has good speed with quick acceleration. He makes a lot of smart touches with the puck and makes pretty solid decisions. He is at his best in the offensive zone, especially below the top of the face off circles. He has tremendous offensive instincts and is tenacious in offensive situations. He had to have season ending hip surgery, causing him to miss the Under 18′s, however he is expected to make a full recover. NHL Potential: Pure goal scorer with a bright future ahead of him at the next level. Style compares to: Patrick Sharp.
Red Line Report said:
After winning CHL Rookie of the Year last season had a rollercoaster sophomore campaign. Battled inconsistency early before beginning to get it going around Christmas, then had his season derailed by hip injury. Smart and highly instinctive offensive player. Sees the ice very well and can create opportunities for linemates, but his real calling card is as a top-notch sniper down low. Very dangerous from the circles in; has a knack for getting himself open in scoring territory and always has stick on the ice ready for passes and to pounce on loose pucks. Great shot release and hand/eye coordination on deflections. Not a blazing skater, but always gets there when there’s a chance involved. Must bring a higher effort level on a more consistent basis. Solid defensively and on the PK when he’s working hard. Projection: 2nd line sniper and key PP guy. Style compares to: Patrick Sharp.
This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)