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NHL Entry Draft Profiles: Gregory Hoffman

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Position: C

Height: 6'

Weight: 170 lbs.

Team: Ambri (Swiss)

GP: 41 | Goals: 3 | Assists: 9 | Points: 12

Midterm International CSS Rank: 11/Final Rank: 19

Gregory Hoffman is an interesting player to be sure. While Swiss players have become something of a fad lately- Nino Niederreiter and Sven Bartschi being the two big names- they've also only been popular when they've played in North America. Very few Swiss players are drafted from their home country, despite the popularity of ice hockey being similar to that in Sweden or Finland.

Gregory Hoffman, despite small looking numbers, projects as a high reward, high risk pick near the end of the first round. As a 17-18 year old in a full men's league he placed decent scoring totals- especially given his weight vs. height. (in other words, 170 is a great weight for a 5'10" player, not so much for a 6' player).

Hoffman's skills are solid, although with one exception, little more than that. His skating on the other hand is terrific. He has both quick acceleration, top end agility, and the ability to maintain a high speed for a long time if necessary as well.

His most valuable "ability" however, is that one thing I love to harp on: "Hockey sense". Hoffman sees the ice, the game, the movement of the puck exceptionally well, and that allows him to compete in a two way fashion that many players his age aren't yet capable of. It's also what enables him to create scoring chances and be dominant on offense despite average physical tools.

Will the Flames draft Hoffman at #13? Highly unlikely unless they have a Euro scout who's absolutely in love with him. Ranked at 11th internationally though, that places him about 38-40 overall, which puts him in either "reach" status for the first round or a solid second round pickup. I absolutely wouldn't complain however if the Flames moved up in the second or even got another late first rounder to select him though.