23 Options For the Toronto Maple Leafs 2024 NHL Entry Draft - EJ Emery

The USA U18 Defenseman excites with a defensive game well beyond his years. What he lacks could make him truly great.
USNTDP Defenseman EJ Emery (#6)
USNTDP Defenseman EJ Emery (#6) / Michael Miller/ISI Photos/GettyImages
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Scouting Analysis

Emery currently projects in my view as a second-line defender who excels at keeping control over the game in his own end, while moving the puck into the opposing end, while maintaining composure behind the play.

With an offensive growth, especially in terms of shooting, could see Emery become a longtime top-four NHLer.

It's hard to see the same offensive burst you've seen this year from Brock Faber, but EJ Emery has the strength to win puck battles and close down chances. Teams are constantly looking for players who can do all the little things while complimenting the offense.

The lack of production is a legitimate concern. You hate to bring up points, but in this case, it's rare to be a first round pick without showing up on the scoresheet, even for a defensive defender.

You could either get a player who'll give you a longtime good but not great career, or a player who is replacement level, but can be called upon and be relied upon.

I think the latter is closer to what is expected. Good value pick outside the lottery if you are a team in need of a top defender in your prospect pool.

The lack of offense makes it tough to view him as a lottery pick but the overall tools beyond that are highly projectable for all three lines.