OHL Prospect Profile: Braeden Kressler
– Braeden Kressler –
Mississauga Senators (GTHL) | Right-Wing | 2019 OHL Draft Eligible
Ontario, Canada | 5-foot-9, 155-pounds | 2003-Born
If the Mississauga Senators hope to compete with the Don Mills Flyers, Toronto Young Nationals, and Toronto Marlboros this GTHL season, they’ll need a number of their elite young players to take their respective games to the next level.
Fortunately, it appears as though Senators forward Braeden Kressler has already done so.
Sure, he isn’t the biggest player on the ice, however, what Kressler lacks in stature he more than compensates for speed, skill, and tenacity. As a tireless puck-hound whose skates are always moving, Kressler has quickly established himself as a premier offensive player in the GTHL this season. What’s more is that Kressler is an individual driven to achieve consistent success for his team on a nightly basis.
At the foundation of Kressler’s game is his skating.
Incredibly agile on his skates and boasting high-end speed, Kressler can meander through opposing defenders with ease on his way to the goal. However, what’s most impressive with respect to Kressler’s skating is his ability to control the puck as he weaves through traffic — a unique ability which allows the youngster the generate a wealth of offensive opportunities.
Related: 2019 OHL Draft Rankings
In addition to his wheels and skillful puck-handling, Kressler owns a powerful wrist shot which he loves to unleash on goal. Although he would do well to work on its accuracy, Kressler’s shot is heavy and is defined by its quick release. When given a moment’s time in a quality scoring area, Kressler often buries the puck with little hesitation.
However, Kressler is much more than simply a speedster with a shot, as he plays a competitive 200-foot game. Often the first forward to return to his own zone on the back check, Kressler battles hard and tirelessly within his own zone and often forces turnovers which lead to odd-man offensive rushes.
Area of Improvement:
- Puck Protection
Due to the fact that Kressler stands 5-foot-9 and 155-pounds, his ability to protect the puck is a skill which will develop alongside greater physical maturity.
However, until that time comes, there are a few small tricks which Kressler could implement into his game which would aid in his protection of the puck.
Related: 2019 OHL Draft Profiles
When rushing the puck into the offensive zone with speed, Kressler can drop his inner shoulder and extend his inside knee in order to shield the puck from his defenders. Having done so, Kressler’s combined stature, speed and body positioning will allow him to drive past his opposition and their higher centres of mass — a tactic which would afford Kressler with greater scoring opportunities having burned those who attempt to defend him.
Given his lethal offensive skill set and raw drive to succeed, Kressler could very well develop into a premier goal-scorer at the OHL-level. Once he gains greater height and add substantial strength to his frame, Kressler should progress into a top-six OHL forward capable of driving his team’s offensive game.
If able to maintain his current level of play and improve as the 2018-19 GTHL season progresses, Kressler could very well be chosen in the first round of the 2019 OHL Priority Selection considering his lethal skill set. Although many will project Kressler as a second-to-third round draft choice due to his size, it remains abundantly clear that Kressler boasts the abilities of a first round talent.