With the 2023 NHL Draft commencing and teams already selecting many talented players, that I have tirelessly scouted, interviewed, and previously written about over the course of the last year. I am now forced to wish those prospects the best of luck and commence on a new journey to scour the globe for the next crop of up-and-coming talent.
That said, I thought I share with you a prospect that has recently caught my attention. And, no, he is not a member of the 2024 NHL Draft class; instead, he will be selected in the 2025 Entry Draft. His name is Cullen Potter, and he is a 5’9 152 pound, 16-year-old American-born prospect from the great state of Wisconsin.
What caught my attention about this prospect is that he is a bit of an anomaly. What do I mean by that? Well, Cullen has shown that he is, in fact, multi-talented. He excels at not only playing the center position but the defensive position as well.
This statement is substantiated by the fact that Potter posted 43 goals and 44 assists for 87 points this year in only 52 games played for the Dallas Stars Elite 16U Team. But to further validate my earlier claim of Cullen being a very versatile player, I would like to point out that his game is more than just his ability to average 1.67 points per game last year; he also proved to be defensively responsible as well by being able to maintain a very respectable +60 average on the season!
How does he do it, you may be asking? Let me break down Potters’ game for you. Cullen’s best attribute is his blistering speed. Defensively, he reminds me a little of Paul Coffey, given that Potter should always be considered a threat to be a one-man breakout option, as he was able to take it coast to coast many times this season while being virtually untouched by the opposition.
Offensively, Potter’s speed and work ethic reminds me of a former NHL player of similar stature who scored 20 goals or more in five consecutive seasons. That player was Sami Kapanen, who managed to stay in the league for a very respectable 12 seasons, despite his diminutive size, simply because he never took a shift off.
Therefore, it is my opinion that because Cullen already possesses these above-mentioned rare skills, he was recently selected to play for the U.S. National Development Team’s Under 17 Team next season.
Now, gifted with this amazing opportunity, look for Cullen to continue honing his skills over the next few seasons and possibly be a first-round draft pick in 2025.