Scouting Info on Austin Wagner, Kings Fourth-Round Draft Pick

Wagner PatsKings GM Dean Lombardi loves to trade up at the NHL Draft, and he did it again this year, moving up to No. 99 overall, selecting 6-foot-1 left wing Austin Wagner from the WHL’s Regina Pats.

To acquire the pick, Los Angeles sent their 104th pick in the 2015 Draft and a sixth round pick selection next year to Philadelphia.

From WHL website:

“He’s got speed and size,” said Pats head coach John Paddock when describing Wagner’s best attributes. “He competes very well. He’s a good guy off the ice with his work habits and he wants to be a player.”

Paddock mentioned that Wagner has drawn a lot of attention from hockey scouts particularly with his speed. He also stated that Wagner’s game will continue to grow with experience.

“I think he needs to keep refining things,” said Paddock. “He went from playing a few shifts a game last year to playing regularly for us this season. He kills penalties for us so he needs to continue to get better at that. Just playing regularly will continue to fine-tune his game.”

Who was your favourite NHL team growing up?

Wagner: “I’d have to say the Vancouver Canucks. I was a Calgary Flames fan too but was more a fan of Vancouver. Ever since Markus Naslund was there, he was one of my favourite players growing up. Obviously, Calgary was my home town team and I went to their games all the time growing up but come draft day, it doesn’t matter where I go!”

From McKeen’s Draft Guide:

Perhaps the fastest riser in the 2015 NHL Draft after spending his rookie season in a limited role on the fourth line contributing two points .. enjoyed a breakout second season as the big man with blazing speed caught everyone’s attention .. a dangerous threat on the pen- alty kill – finished tied for third in the league with five shorthanded goals – and tied for second with eight shorthanded points .. measured at 6-foot-1 and 180 pounds – but frame is spacious, broad, and capable of building up mass and muscle – should reach the 210-pound range …. fired nine goals in 14 games (14-9-3-12) from mid-January through mid-February .. fast, strong skater with quick acceleration and a blazing top gear .. natural, powerful stride – boasts excellent crossover speed which propels him in diagonal angles to open up lanes .. makes tight, fast turns and pivots .. can fire the puck at full tilt .. skating base and lateral power reminds somewhat of Brandon Saad .. must progress with his puckhandling and possession skills particularly in traffic .. not a possession type – more a north-south threat where he has open ice to work with .. closes gaps on the backcheck exploiting his speed .. will get involved physically and finish checks .. aggressively uses his frame on the forecheck – can stir up puck-winning chances with his speed and physicality .. will have to develop his checking and defensive intensity – a reactive player, guilty of puck-watching and standing still .. not a prolific scorer but natural gifts of size, speed and skill are tantalizing if he continues to develop at a fast pace.

From Future Considerations Draft Guide:

#57 AUSTIN WAGNER POSITION:
Left Wing SHOOTS: Left
TEAM: Regina (WHL)
BORN: June 23, 1997 VITALS: 6’­‐2” / 180 Lbs
STATS: 61 GP 20 G 19 A 39 PTS 53 PIM

SCOUTING REPORT: A raw and developing power winger. Has high­‐end speed and accelerates extremely well for a big guy; has very powerful edges. Unfortunately, we feel like his brain and hands sometimes fail to catch up to his impressive wheels. Despite this, he still creates quite a few offensive chances off the rush. He uses his speed wide, draws in the defender, and protects the puck before dishing a skilled pass to a streaking line mate. He has the frame to protect the biscuit, but his balance isn’t always great during the cycle. He’s still a raw player with lots to improve upon but has some really impressive tools to build upon. His physical play is strong, throwing a few decent hits per game, but is not a nasty character by any stretch. Sees time on the top PK unit due to his ability to cover good ground. Away from the puck we like his work on the forecheck where he uses his speed, length and physical play. Shows a strong ability to read the play without the puck offensively and go to high percentage areas of the ice to get rebounds or get open for passes. Improvement in some of the finer areas like stickhandling and stick positioning in tighter areas will come with more work and more confidence. Has a smart and mature two­‐way approach to the game. This kid could be an absolute force once he adds more strength and weight.

NHL POTENTIAL: Bottom­‐Six Two­‐Way Winger.

Videos:

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  1. […] Matt Schmalz – fifth round (134th overall) in 2015 – Sudbury Wolves, OHL #XX – Austin Wagner – fourth round (99th overall – Regina Pats, WHL #20 – Spencer Watson – seventh […]