Player: Sonny Milano
Drafted By: Columbus Blue Jackets (16th overall)
Final Central Scouting Ranking: No. 16 North American skater
Height/Weight: 6'0'', 183 lbs
DOB: May 12, 1996 (18 years old)
Most Recent Affiliation: U.S. National Development Team
Long Island native Sonny Milano has been gaining attention from hockey scouts since he was 14. Milano made a video of his stick-handling prowess which won him a new pair of skates in a contest. He has continued to develop those skills since then and remains one of the top offensive prospects in this year's draft.
Milano has spent the past two seasons with the U.S. National Development Team based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He scored 14 goals and 39 points in 25 games last season and added three goals and 10 points in seven games during the World Juniors.
Whoever selects Milano will be selecting an elite offensive talent.
Full Scouting Report
Milano provides plenty of skill and flash, but at 6’0”, 183 pounds he still needs to add some size to deal with the punishment of playing against men for 82 games in the NHL.
Scouts rave about Milano's speed and hands. One scout was quoted in The Hockey News draft preview issue as saying Milano has "Exceptional speed, and pretty dynamic offensively. He has the ability to make things happen by himself. Maybe looks selfish at times because of that, but other times he has worked well with his linemates."
The biggest concern scouts have about Milano is his defensive play and maturity. If those two areas can be developed by his next organization's coaching staff, Milano may become a true star.
New York Islanders scout Trent Klatt had this to stay about Milano before the draft: "Milano is simply so skilled he can do many things with a puck most others can't. One can only imagine how much time this kid spends with a stick in his hand. He's creative on the ice, slippery and as dynamic as anyone in this draft."
TSN Director of Scouting Craig Button added: "Milano is an offensive threat with magic hands around the net and the confidence to carry out plays despite opponents bearing down on him. He has the ability to be in the scoring spots at the right times."
Milano may not be a complete player at this point, but what he does well, he does as well as anybody.
NHL Player Comparison
Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks. Milano has great speed and the ability to create scoring chances that other players simply cannot dream of doing. He's dynamic and can find that extra-quick burst in close like Kane.
Milano has committed to Boston College for next season. He will need some time to add a little size and maturity to his game. His NHL arrival is likely to take place during the 2016-17 season.
At his top potential, Milano is a first-line point-producer who would be exceptionally dangerous on the power play. Give him a little more room to operate and his hand skills will be deadly to opposing defenses and goaltenders. At his best, Milano could score 40 goals and 85 points.
Unless his defensive game improves a little bit, Milano may have some limitations on the ice. If he smooths those issues out, the sky is the limit.