Retour à l'accueil

Zayne Parekh : In-Depth Scouting Report

A 6’0 right-handed defender, Zayne Parekh is a prospect who seems to divide scouts. Presenting exceptional qualities offensively, his defensive game presents equally obvious deficiencies.

After scoring 21 goals in 50 games at the age of 16, Parekh finished the season with 33 goals, which represents the highest total from a Draft-Eligible CHL defenseman since many moons.

To have achieved such results, Parekh can rely on the quality of his shot, but we are not talking here about devastating slap shots. Parekh uses this weapon very rarely, relying instead on his wrist shot.

Parekh has a unique way of shooting where he looks very nonchalant, but make no mistake, because the quality of the shot is higher than one would expect.

 He is also difficult to predict when he’ll actually release, because he takes a lot of shots while leaning on his back leg, rather than his front, which is quite unorthodox.

Despite his somewhat nonchalant appearance, the Saginaw defender is very alert to the openings that open up in front of him in the offensive zone. He can explode into one of these open spaces at any time, making him an extremely dangerous player as soon as he touches the puck.

To add to the caution his opponents must have, Parekh is possibly the best defender I have seen among prospects in recent years at placing shots with the intention of one of his teammates deflecting the puck.

The Saginaw defenseman also has solid puck distribution and can run a power play brilliantly. He’s good at making the defensive coverage moves before handing off to a teammate, but he’ll take the play to another level as he skates up and down the blue line, drawing a player onto him. He shows a lot of audacity, but as was mentioned earlier, Parekh has this ability to move explosively in the offensive zone and he also has very good puck handling, so you never feel worried when he tries this kind of play. What I like the most, despite the risk, is that there are no unnecessary movements and that everything is calculated. There is an intention and a real purpose behind each movement and he does not fall into incessant improvisation like Zeev Buium does.

Also, the quality of his passes is flawless: hard, crisp and accurate.

This is an observation that we also observe when it comes to his first-pass.

If Parekh’s portrait seems positive so far, things get much more difficult when it comes to his defensive play.

His game simply lacks commitment. When I mentioned that his distribution of the puck always hides a very specific goal behind each movement, well it is the opposite that we observe from Parekh without the puck. On many occasions, he moves towards a player in possession of the puck, but without intentions. The player has the luxury of making the play he wants since no real pressure is placed on him. Parekh does not force his opponents to rush their decision, instead contenting himself with only making an act of presence.

I frankly don’t like the way he defends when he never engages the body, preferring to extend his reach with one hand. The level of involvement is far from sufficient. Doing so also tends to leave plenty of space for opposing forwards, giving them access to go to the net or the chance to escape Parekh after stringing together a pivot or two.

He is a defender who is not difficult to play against. Not only will he not make you pay the price, but I also saw him commit turnover time and time again because he was unwilling to pay the price by protecting the puck in the corners, preferring to dispose of it limply.

There were also sequences where everything seemed to bode well for him to win a race for a free puck, but fearing to get hit, he left the lane wide open to his opponent.

His positioning is also very erratic, within the same defensive presence, he can find himself high on the right side, only to be low on the left side a few moments later. This causes confusion among his teammates as the players do not know who should cover who on the ice.

An additional gap that stands out in Parekh’s defensive play is that he does not seem aware of what is happening behind him. This is mainly observed on the PK when he constantly leaves one or more players unsupervised in the slot or at the goalmouth.

He also has this unfortunate tendency to think about creating offense while in those situations.

We have an example here of a poor read by Parekh. A turnover has been committed in the offensive zone and the opposing team launches a counterattack. So far, nothing threatening as the situation is shaping up to be a 3v3, or maybe even a 2v3. Parekh is at the bottom of the screen (in white) and is tasked with covering the player who is on the far side.

Instead, he will move towards the puck carrier, leaving the player on the left completely alone.

The sequence resulted in a goal against the Saginaw Spirit.

Parekh also tends to defend in a way that doesn’t seem very serious or professional as he often lays down full length on the ice to block passing lines, but his moments are not always well chosen.

The final aspect that worries me about Parekh’s off-puck game is that he has a certain lack of physical strength and he has a lot of difficulty defending against physicality, even at the OHL level. He was also the victim of several good checks in my viewing and what worried me is that Parekh is so used to not engaging the body, that he does not anticipate that his opponents, on the other hand, are going to do so. At multiple times, he very clearly saw a player moving towards him, but he does not feel the need to protect himself, because he does not believe that the player will complete his check.

However, I saw some improvements throughout the season in his game without the puck. Mainly in the neutral zone where I appreciated several of his interventions to prematurely nullify an opposing counterattack.

For everything that I’ve said regarding his play without the puck, I would have a hard time pushing for him early in the draft. If they are not corrected, his weaknesses will only be exacerbated at the NHL level. Even more so when it comes time for the playoffs!

That being said, I constantly repeat that when you evaluate prospects of this caliber, you must not only question what the player can bring to your organization, but you must also question what your organization can bring to the player so that he can reach another level in his development.

For some, it will be to work with a mental preparation consultant to overcome psychological barriers or collapses in performance at key moments, for others it will be to rely on rigorous training during the off-seasons, to other players, it will be whether if their team has the right complement for them in their lineup. I mentioned it last year with a player like Gabe Perreault who, hyper-talented, was a little afraid of playing in the corners (during his draft season, it’s now much better), a ‘fit ‘ for him would have been to have a center like Roope Hintz who will tend to play like the F1 and be the first player on the forecheck on his line. It’s a bit the same story with Parekh, a team that relies on big defensemen capable of shutting down the opposing offense could be seduced by him.

I see him being able to play as a PP1 QB, so it could be perilous to rank him too low, although I tend to be on the skeptical side with him as a player.

Podcasts
& vidéos

06 juillet 24

#143. Draft Recap, analyse des choix du CH et marché des joueurs autonomes

Dans ce dernier podcast de la saison, Mat et Pascal vous parlent de tous les choix du CH après les avoir analysé dans les derniers jours. On revient sur les bons coups et les moins bons coups du repêchage en général ainsi que sur la journée des agents libres dans la NHL !

06 juillet 24

#142. Repêchage 2024 LIVE

Pour réentendre notre podcast en direct pour la tenue du repêchage 2024 dans la NHL, c'est ici !

25 juin 24

#141. Repêchage 2024: Top 32 détaillé de Simon Servant !

Dans cet épisode, Simon Servant vous offre ses analyses détaillées de son top 32 des meilleurs espoirs pour le repêchage 2024.

Nouvelles

Actualité NHL 11 juillet 2024

Des rumeurs évoquent une transaction impliquant Filip Mesar

Des rumeurs évoquent une transaction impliquant Filip Mesar
Actualité NHL 11 juillet 2024

J.J. Moser s’entend avec le Lightning de Tampa Bay

J.J. Moser s’entend avec le Lightning de Tampa Bay
Actualité NHL 11 juillet 2024

Un des meilleurs espoirs des Islanders tourne le dos à l’organisation !

Un des meilleurs espoirs des Islanders tourne le dos à l’organisation !
Actualité NHL 11 juillet 2024

Rutger McGroarty: sa cote baisse même ailleurs que chez les Jets !

Rutger McGroarty: sa cote baisse même ailleurs que chez les Jets !
Actualité NHL 10 juillet 2024

Une quatrième équipe dans la division Centrale pour Ryan Suter!

Une quatrième équipe dans la division Centrale pour Ryan Suter!
Hockey 09 juillet 2024

Rocket de Laval | Alex Beaucage s’ajoute au groupe d’attaquants

Rocket de Laval | Alex Beaucage s’ajoute au groupe d’attaquants
Actualité NHL 09 juillet 2024

Les Panthers prennent une chance avec Adam Boqvist

Les Panthers prennent une chance avec Adam Boqvist
Actualité NHL 09 juillet 2024

Konsta Helenius | Le plus récent projet des Sabres de Buffalo

Konsta Helenius | Le plus récent projet des Sabres de Buffalo

Commentaires