Unless it’s a 1st or 2nd overall pick, I generally don’t get excited about prospects. Everyone has them. Fans and even teams tend to overrate their own. Every once in a while however, one comes along that gives you a feeling…it’s in your gut. You look at him. You watch videos of him. You see him once a year in training camp, certainly not enough to make a firm judgment but this isn’t about statistics or rankings, it’s about a sense of who and what the player is.
It could be pictures like this.
I look at his right fist. Cocked. Ready. He doesn’t want to survive this fight. It’s more of a “I’m not done with you yet.”
Kyle Clifford is 19 years old. He is listed at 6’1″. He plays like he is 6’4″.
He is listed as 200. He plays like he is 230.
He is a left winger and performs like one built to be a power forward in the NHL.
He is a good skater. He can pass. He can hit. He can fight and, as the ultimate cherry on top, Big Kyle can score. In the past season with the Barrie Colts, he put up 28 goals and 29 assists for 57 points in 58 games. Clifford added 111 penalty minutes.
More impressive however was his playoff performance – in 17 games, he potted 5 goals and 9 assists for 14 points. Add to that 28 penalty minutes.
But it’s not about the numbers, I swear. It’s about this face. The face that says I’m here to play…and stay.