This series that both looks back at 2015-16 and forward to 2016-17 for individual Carolina Hurricanes prospects started as the ‘back to school’ series with initial profiles being of prospects heading back to school to play NCAA hockey in 2016-17. The sixth article in this series jumps across the border to Canada where players obviously play junior hockey which is not technically a school team, but I think I would stick with the ‘back to school’ theme for this young group of players who are still very much learning and developing.
Menu of Carolina Hurricanes prospect profiles thus far
In case you missed them, here are links to the previous Hurricanes prospect profiles:
The first profile for the Hurricanes prospects playing in Canadian junior hockey for the 2016-17 is for Steven Lorentz. Lorentz was a seventh round draft pick for the Hurricanes at the 2015 NHL draft. Lorentz is a big forward who will continue his development with the Peterborough Petes in the Ontario Hockey League in 2016-17.
Comments on Steven Lorentz from Peterborough Petes coach Jody Hull
Jody Hull has been the Head Coach for the Peterborough Petes since assuming that role in December of 2012. Jody is a Petes alumnus and also a veteran of 831 games at the NHL level. His full bio can be found on the Peterborough Petes web site.
Canes and Coffee: How would you describe Steven Lorentz’s game 3-4 sentences. What are his strengths?
Peterborough Petes Coach Jody Hull: Steve is a big guy who skates well and uses his size to his advantage. He has a long reach and good vision on the ice to find open teammates and create space for himself. He’s a key part of the Petes’ special teams units (both PK and PP), and he also plays a key leadership role for our organization.
Canes and Coffee: What new challenges and areas of improvement do your foresee for Steven Lorentz in the 2016-17 season?
Peterborough Petes Coach Jody Hull: Steve will need to continue to build strength to compete at higher levels, and he’ll also work on his consistency from game to game. He’s a veteran player who’ll be relied upon heavily to help carry the team.
Canes and Coffee: To make the improbable climb from 7th round NHL draft pick to the NHL, Lorentz must _________.
Peterborough Petes Coach Jody Hull: Believe in himself and his abilities.
Canes and Coffee: To which NHL player(s) would you compare Lorentz and/or think he should model his game after?
Peterborough Petes Coach Jody Hull: James Van Riemsdyk (similar skill-set and tendencies on the ice).
Canes and Coffee: What is something about Steven Lorentz that might be overlooked and maybe not noted in draft profiles and scouting reports?
Peterborough Petes Coach Jody Hull: Steve has a very broad, well-rounded skill-set, which includes not only his on-ice abilities, but also his leadership and other skills off the ice.
Interview on Steven Lorentz with Brock Otten from OHL Prospects
Canes and Coffee: Describe Lorentz’s style of play and abilities in 3-4 sentences.
Brock Otten from OHL Prospects: Lorentz is a rangy playmaker who has suited up on the wing and at center for the Petes over the last few years. He’s a natural center and spent the last half of last year firmly down the middle. He has the ability to drive the net and work the cycle, using his big frame to shield defenders from the puck. His two-way game and physical intensity levels have improved over the last year and that’s helped him to be a more consistent player.
Canes and Coffee: As a late round pick in the 2015 NHL draft, what attributes give Lorentz the upside to potentially become an NHL player? What areas of his game need the most development/improvement?
Brock Otten from OHL Prospects: Lorentz has the size that you look for in today’s NHL center. He does a good job of utilizing his size in the offensive end to make plays and continues to improve is confidence with the puck. Lorentz does have a ways to go before I would consider him a legit NHL prospect though. At this point, I think you need to look at what he could become at the next level. While he possesses good size, his lack of elite speed, or physical abilities makes him a less than ideal candidate for a bottom six role. Just the same, I’m not confident that his goal scoring ability and vision are good enough for him to be a top 6 player. That said, this is a big season for him to show some progression in one of the above areas so that he can carve out a defined role for himself.
Canes and Coffee: Steven Lorentz will have made significant strides on the path to becoming an NHL player if in the the 2016-17 season he __________.
Brock Otten from OHL Prospects: I think that Carolina will be happy if Lorentz can continue to make strides in his overall game, making him a complete player. With his size, he could be an excellent defensive center, but the reads and desire to be harder to play against need to improve, and they most certainly could. I think they’d also like to see him hit the 30 goal mark, utilizing his size to capitalize on more net drives and be a presence near the crease.
Canes and Coffee: To which NHL player(s) would you compare Lorentz’s skill set and/or style of play and expect him to model his game after?
Brock Otten from OHL Prospects: Tough to make a comparison for Lorentz because he’s still growing as a player and I don’t think that we know yet what type of player he’ll become (or even be at the end of this OHL season). For him to be successful, I think you need to look at a few guys from the past like Steve Rucchin and Steve Reinprecht. Two guys who didn’t possess elite speed, but who were capable two-way centers with playmaking ability who could play a variety of different roles for their team.
Canes and Coffee: Is there anything else signficant about Steven Lorentz not addressed by the questions above?
Brock Otten from OHL Prospects: I think it’s worth mentioning that the Petes have the potential to be one of the top teams in the OHL’s Eastern Conference this year. Lorentz will be a critical player and his individual success will be measured in accordance with the team’s success. If Lorentz has a great year and the Petes win their Division, that will be worth a lot more than if he’s averaging a point per game for a team that struggles to play with any consistency. His leadership skills will be tested.
Canes and Coffee extends a big thank you the Coach Jody Hull, the Peterborough Petes organization and Brock Otten from OHL prospects for helping us cover Carolina Hurricanes prospect Steven Lorentz.