– Deven Nagra –
Toronto Nationals (GTHL) | Defence | 2019 OHL Draft Eligible
Toronto, Ontario | 6-foot-1, 195-pounds |2003-born
The Toronto Young Nationals could prove to be the only team in the GTHL this season capable of legitimately competing against the powerhouse Don Mills Flyers.
And, if they wish to do so, the Nationals will need to receive a sound and comprehensive effort from their defence-core on a game by game basis. Fortunately, the Nationals boast a stellar defender in Deven Nagra — a prospect of substantial size who is vastly capable of defending his own zone with relative ease.
Related: 2019 GTHL Prospect Profiles
What’s more is that Nagra is offensively inclined and willing to jump up in the rush in order to generate greater offensive opportunities for his team. Although this tendency does pose a risk to the Nationals’ well-being in-goal, the rewards which Nagra generates often outweighs the potential risk involved.
- Two-Way Play
The foundation of Nagra’s game is his skating, as the youngster’s speed and ample acceleration allows him to navigate the ice with both haste and ease. Capable of blowing past opposing players en route to the offensive zone, Nagra’s skating abilities allow him to play an integral role at both ends of the ice.
However, when Nagra pairs his stellar skating abilities with his impeccable on-ice vision, the young prospect truly becomes a lethal two-way force. While flying up the ice in possession of the puck, Nagra’s vision allows him to assess his options at full speed and orchestrate devastating offensive plays amongst his teammates.
Related: 2019 OHL Draft Rankings
Adding an additional element to Nagra’s already impressive skill-set is his raw physicality.
Standing 6-foot-1 and close to 200-pounds, Nagra boasts OHL-level size and knows how to use his strength to his advantage. Owing to his skating abilities, Nagra can catch, smother, and dispossess opposing forwards in his defensive zone. Once in possession, Nagra can then carry the puck up ice with ease while using his large frame to defend possession.
Areas of Improvement:
- Offensive Production
Despite the all-around skill and strength present within Nagra’s game, there are a few facets which the youngster would do well to improve.
Firstly, there is Nagra’s on-ice aggressiveness. Now, this is not to say that Nagra is an undisciplined player, but rather than he could be more effective when choosing whether or not pinch-in from his defensive post. Although generating offence is an impressive ability which Nagra possesses, he can — at times — compromise a play defensively when pinching-in at inopportune times.
Related: 2019 OHL Draft Prospect Profiles
On the other hand, there is Nagra’s offensive production.
Although he plays a significant role in the offensive zone and generates a wealth of opportunities for his team, Nagra isn’t rewarded on the scoresheet nearly as often as he should be. In order to improve his offensive totals, Nagra should show more confidence in his shot from the point — a feature of his game which is wildly underrated and under-utilized.
When the 2019 OHL Priority Selection rolls around, expect Nagra to be chosen in the second-to-third round by an OHL franchise eager to add a sizeable, puck-moving defender.
Already standing 195-pounds, Nagra’s skating abilities when combined with his strength should allow him to ascend to the OHL-level as early as next season. Although his offensive game will surely improve with greater experience, Nagra boasts the potential to develop into a playmaking and assertive defender capable of munching major minutes in the OHL.