Player: Adam Erne
Drafted By: Tampa Bay Lightning (33rd overall)
Position: Left Wing
Final Central Scouting Ranking: No. 26 North American skater
Height/Weight: 6'1'', 210 lbs
DOB: April 20, 1995 (18 years old)
Most Recent Affiliation: QMJHL, Quebec Remparts
Back in 2010-11, Adam Erne joined the Indiana Ice of the USHL. In 45 games with the Ice, Erne posted 18 points through 45 games and finished with a minus-18 rating. That performance was good enough to catch the eye of the Halifax Mooseheads, who made Erne their second round pick (22nd overall) in the 2011 QMJHL entry draft.
Erne was traded to the Quebec Remparts before he had a chance to play for Halifax, and he rewarded his new QMJHL team with a 28-goal, 55-point rookie campaign. He also elevated his level of play in the defensive zone, as evidenced by his improved plus-six rating.
Bigger things were expected from Erne heading into 2013, and he didn't disappoint. He quietly produced 72 points (including a second straight 28-goal effort) in 68 games and finished the season as a first-round lock for the NHL entry draft.
Full Scouting Report
Watching Erne play is a study of locomotion and physics.
He's remarkably quick, and once he gets his 210-pound frame going at top speed, he's nearly impossible to stop—Erne is just as likely to blow through a defender as he is to skate around him. Make no mistake about it, though: There's a ton of sandpaper here.
While he plays a bullish brand of puck, Erne also possesses some of the softer hands in the draft around the net and has a quick and deceptive release. He's capable of getting the shot off in traffic and while skating at top speed, making him as dangerous on the rush as he is when his team sets up in the offensive zone.
Erne's north-south speed is noteworthy, but so is his outstanding agility. He explodes around defenders and can make even the top blueliners in the QMJHL look silly sometimes. The big question mark for Erne is his consistency. He has a tendency to get away from the physical side of the game—something that would greatly decrease his ability to be a proficient power forward at the NHL level.
NHL Player Comparison
Erik Cole of the Dallas Stars. Think of a quicker and more agile Cole and you get the idea. Erne also hasn't had issues with injury to this point, so leave that factor out of the equation as well.
When the issue with a player is consistency, it can be tough to nail down a reasonable projection, but Erne has the size and skill needed to be an NHL player by the 2014-15 season. He could likely make the big league out of camp, but an extra season in the QMJHL to work on his overall physical consistency would be a boon for Erne.
Fleet-footed top-six winger who can make a lot of noise on the power play. Erne's game is built for the NHL, so it'd be rather surprising to see him end up as a checking-line forward. That said, his skill set lends itself well to many roles, and he could end up filling any number of them throughout his NHL career.