Donovan Sebrango is a Steve Yzerman draft pick, first and foremost.
That means quite a lot considering the GM’s drafting track record: Nikita Kucherov (2nd round), Brayden Point (3rd round), Anthony Cirelli (3rd round), Mathieu Joseph (4th round), dare I say Moritz Seider? ... etc.
At 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, he has some size for his age. Perhaps he’s even still growing, considering he just turned 19 in January.
Here’s the Elite Prospects scouting report on Sebrango:
“Can spin against pressure, work his inside edges on the blue line, and generally shows as nimble in small-ice situations. He’s not afraid to use the centre of the ice to effectively transition up-ice. Sebrango was decisive, took the right angles, and won puck battles on defensive zone retrievals.”
He spent his two-season OHL junior career with the Kitchener Rangers -- 56 points in 118 games played. Due to the pandemic, he started this season on loan to HK Levice in the Slovakia2 league. He notched 3 points in five games played over there.
Now he’s back in North America playing with the Griffins in Grand Rapids. He has a point through nine games so far.
The scouting reports last year noted some concerns about his decision-making. The scouts have been impressed with his nimble abilities -- they say he can spin his way out of a jam and use his skill to create a good transition. But it seems he’s shown some otherwise poor decisions with the puck. Perhaps most noteworthy: He’s described as an “instinctive” player, rather than calculated.
Sebrango had a stellar season with Kitchener last year -- 30 points in 56 games. That was good enough to get the call to the CHL Top Prospects game. And get this: He dropped the gloves in the Top Prospects game.
That’s intense for what’s basically an all-star game. Clearly he’s not afraid to get physical. He already has 14 penalty minutes with the Griffins.
You can understand why Yzerman would grab him in the 3rd round. A skilled, sizable puck-moving defenseman with some fight in him could end up being a steal at 63rd overall.
Assuming everything goes well for him with the Griffins, he could have a real shot at cracking the Red Wings lineup in the coming seasons as we watch an exodus of contracts beginning at the trade deadline in April.
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