OHL Prospect Profile: Bryce McConnell-Barker

– Bryce McConnell-Barker –

London Jr. Knights (Alliance) | Centre | 2020 OHL Draft Eligible

London, Ontario | 6’1″, 161-pounds | June 4th, 2004

Although the London Jr. Knights haven’t been the most lethal team in Alliance Hockey this season, star forward Bryce McConnell-Barker has been nothing short of devastating — leading his team’s offence on a nightly basis while affording his club with a chance to win each and every time they take to the ice. The name of the game for McConnell-Barker is goal scoring, as the youngster loves to bulge the twine and has done so a multitude of times thus far this season. As a tremendous skater of impressive size, McConnell-Barker is next to impossible to stop once he gains momentum — a reason why he’s widely considered as a top prospect eligible for the 2020 OHL Draft.

Strengths:

  • Skating Strength and Speed
  • Shot Release, Velocity and Accuracy
  • Playmaking Abilities
  • On-Ice Instincts and Vision
  • Work Ethic

There are no true holes present within McConnell-Barker’s game, as the youngster is an incredibly well-rounded player who brings his best to the ice with each passing shift. As an incredibly hard worker defined by his relentless engine, McConnell-Barker tracks and pursues the puck incredibly well and often forces his opponents into turnovers as a direct result. Once in possession, McConnell-Barker protects the puck extremely well owing to his raw speed, agility and strength on his skates. Capable of protecting the puck extremely well, McConnell-Barker can navigate through traffic and blast his shot on goal in the blink of an eye — one which is consistently accurate and deceptive owing to his quick release.

While McConnell-Barker is a natural goal scorer, he is far more than a one trick pony. Since opposing defenders are forced to respect his shot as he flies into the attacking zone, McConnell-Barker is often afforded with ample time and space from which to distribute the puck to his teammates. Having blown past his opponents, McConnell-Barker can draw goaltenders towards him with remarkable consistency before passing the to puck to a nearby teammate in a high-percentage scoring situation. This ability has moulded McConnell-Barker into a versatile offensive player who can generate scoring opportunities owing to his innate on-ice instincts and impressive vision while in possession of the puck.

Areas for Improvement:

  • Skating Stability
  • Positional Awareness

Despite standing as one of the top prospects eligible for the 2020 OHL Draft, McConnell-Barker isn’t without room for improvement. However, when it comes to a player of McConnell-Barker’s age and skill-set, we’ll have to nitpick. So, if there were two areas of McConnell-Barker’s game which he would do well to improve, it would be his skating stability and positional awareness.

Related: OHL Draft Rankings

While he is a terrific skater, adding greater strength to his lower body would fuel McConnell-Barker’s ability to protect the puck to a greater degree than he already does — a skill which would serve him well as he translates to the next level. Secondly, there is McConnell-Barker’s positional awareness on the ice. At times — owing to his aggressive nature and oodles of talent — McConnell-Barker can take himself out of position in order to seize an offensive opportunity. Reading the play as it develops and picking the times in which he rushes opposing defenders will benefit his team’s play at both ends of the ice.

Future Potential:

Ultimately, there is no question that McConnell-Barker stands as a top prospect eligible for the 2020 OHL Draft. As an excellent skater who possesses a deadly shot and innate playmaking abilities, McConnell-Barker is a deadly offensive player who can raise his game to the next level when his team needs him the most. Further, gifted with impressive size and innate on-ice vision, McConnell-Barker has the ability to be a game-breaking player, and can do so on a shockingly consistent basis. All in all, McConnell-Barker has the skill-set necessary to be drafted in the first or second round of the upcoming Priority Selection — he is simply that good.

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