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Brandon Coe - #21 - San Jose Sharks Prospect Evaluation

The first video! It's fun to look back on it now, because I know I had more to say about Coe that didn't make it in. Plus the editing, the sound, the play selection all are very meh looking at it now. Still, he was one of my favorite Sharks prospects to watch in 2021-2022 and a big inspiration of the creation of the tool I've been using to break down prospects because of his unique style of play. He was pretty much the focal point of North Bay's offense at all times, and he has sort of that unending confidence about him that is easy to see on the ice and how his teammates respond to him. I worry that he might disappear into the background at the next level if he isn't that focal point of an offense though, as his "B" game is almost nonexistent.

The Ramble:

Let's post the final FET here for reference from the video:

One thing about evaluating prospects that just happens naturally is there's almost always something that sticks out about a prospect that I can't get rid of. What I mean by that is something I see is either good, bad, or weird and then I notice it about that prospect over and over again, until it becomes their signature thing in my mind. This has been true of all the prospects I've broken down so far. Cardwell's retrievals and sticklifts, Robins's shot, Gushchin's stickhandling, Bordeleau's deception and odd positioning. Coe's passing is certainly a highlight, but his just baffling defensive zone play sticks out to me. I think he's just gotten used to waiting for the puck to get to him that he really has issues retrieving the puck himself. He floats and waits so much when his team could use an extra body, especially one as big as him, to get the puck off players on the boards.

Fortunately, I think this is something that can improve with coaching, and it shouldn't affect his style of play...much. When he gets to the AHL next year, I suspect he's going to have to learn an effective retrieval game to stick high enough in the lineup to utilize his other skills. He has such a smooth stride for someone of his size. His top speed is great, and he's a force to try to stop when he has the puck in stride. There are glimpses of him using the size and speed combination effectively, but he avoids contact too much, trying to beat defenders clean or opting to pull up and wait for support to pass to. He has decent stickhandling and puck control, but I do think this needs some improvement as well before he's able to beat NHL defenders.

He's got the passing skill and the vision in the offensive zone to play in the NHL. There's no question in my mind about that. He doesn't need much time to create, and his passes are hard and accurate. He utilizes all types of passes - drop pass, sauce pass, one time passes, look-off passes, behind the net - and seems to know when to use each as well. Tristen Robins has a tendency to just sauce pass all the time and in bad situations too when his teammate could have trouble catching it and causing a turnover (i.e. towards the point). Coe doesn't. He puts touch on passes that should have touch, and speed when they need speed. His shooting skill is fine, but his release can be a bit slow. Does get good velocity on his shot though and can shoot from distance if needed or no other passing options are open. Because those skills also come in a package of size and speed, I think he has a relatively decent chance to reach a third line role as well with lots of seasoning. He's a 6 overall because he has definite flaws and definite strengths, that sort of meet in the middle for the most middling of rankings, a 6.

The Sticking Plays:

This backhand sauce pass on the tape in front of the net:

This defensive sequence where Coe is in no man's land:

Thanks for reading! More to come.

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