If you've been following SBN Hockey's network-wide mock draft, you know that the Caps are on the clock, which means we're on the clock for them. One year ago, also drafting 26th overall, we selected Brock Nelson (he ended up going to the Isles at 30th in the actual entry draft; Caps pick Evgeny Kuznetsov was off the board already). This time around, we're pleased to select... defenseman Scott Mayfield out of Youngstown of the USHL.
Here's Mayfield's draft preview video from NHL.com:
Mayfield "plays the body well and is physical but not in an overly rambunctious way. He can close off the forechecker up high and is controlled, poised and calm in his play. He plays like a seasoned veteran. Scott has a smooth, strong and effortless stride, his passes are crisp and he sees the ice well. He has a very good wrist shot and controls the play from the point on the power play."
The fantastic Corey Pronman has much more (and ranks Mayfield as the 16th-best prospect in the draft):
The best non-USNTDP defenseman to come out of the USHL this year comes in the form of the hulking Scott Mayfield. He's one of the toolsiest players in the entire draft and has upside that could land him on a team's first pairing, but he has a ways to go before he gets to that point. He skates at a pro level and at times touches above that, but for a 6'4", 200 lb. defenseman, his skating level is notably above-average. Mayfield can rush the puck up and stays with his checks well one-on-one and I've even seen a time where he skated the puck around the entire offensive zone, a feat you don't see normally from 6'4" defenders. His puck skills are decent, but again for his size he's notably coordinated, can handle the puck at top speeds moderately well and has a solid first pass. His low offensive counting statistics were victim of his poor team more so than his talent level. Mayfield's physical game is already above-average and projects as plus or better with a frame that still has some room to fill. At the Junior level, he towered over opposing forwards, won battles easily and didn't shy from stepping up into his checks, although he didn't throw his body around recklessly. His hockey sense is on and off, and strangely for a young prospect, it was his defensive game that is advanced and his offensive decisions that need work. Mayfield plays his assignments well one-on-one, closes gaps efficiently, and boxes out the front of the net well. However with the puck, he sometimes tries to do too much, be it rushing the puck up when he should make the safe play, trying an unnecessary stretch pass or holding onto the puck too long. If his offensive game takes the next step, Mayfield could possibly be one of the top defenseman prospects to come out of this draft class.
Mayfield also won a gold medal for the U.S. and was named tournament MVP at the 2010 World Junior 'A' Challenge, as the Yanks downed Canada in Penticton. (For more on the young blueliner, click here, here, here and/or here.)
In sum, he's an American-born defenseman to be drafted out of the USHL who was an all-tourney selection as he won gold on Canadian soil; we enjoyed this movie the first time around and are happy to buy a ticket to the sequel.