Cliff Pu – Player Profile – London Knights

Height:  6’1”

Weight:  188 pounds

Date of birth: June 3, 1998, Richmond Hill, Ontario

Position:  Center/Right Wing

Shoots:  Right

OHL Draft: Round 1, 16th overall, 2014 Priority Selection (Oshawa Generals)

Pu played his Minor Midget hockey for the Toronto Marlboros in 2013-14. In 33 games, Pu scored 23 goals and added 24 assists. He added 4 goals and 13 assists in 14 playoff games. Pu is also an OHL Cup Champion and during that run, he scored 5 goals and 4 assists in 7 games. He was also a silver medalist at the OHL Gold Cup where he scored 3 goals and 5 assists in 5 games.

Pu also represented Canada at the World Hockey Challenge Under-17. In 5 games, Pu scored once.

Cliff Pu of the London Knights. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Cliff Pu of the London Knights. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

Offense was never a problem for Pu and the Oshawa Generals picked him in the first round – 16th overall – at the 2014 OHL Priority Selection. During the 2014-15 season, Pu appeared in 17 games for the Generals and scored twice while adding an assist before a trade sent him to the London Knights.

Pu was sent to the Knights along with Josh Sterk, two second round picks and a third round pick for Dakota Mermis and Michael McCarron as the Generals loaded up for a Memorial Cup run. Pu would appear in 24 games for the Knights scoring twice and adding 4 assists.

Pu is currently ranked 83rd among North American skaters on NHL Central Scouting’s midterm ranking. He finds himself in the same type of situation that the Soo Greyhounds’ Zachary Senyshyn was in a year ago – playing behind a tremendous amount of depth.

Through 43 games this season, Pu has 9 goals and 12 assists and a respectable 52.8% in the faceoff circle. His 9 goals come on 73 shots for an above average shooting percentage of 12.3%. And Pu is doing this playing a bottom six role with little to no powerplay time.

Potentially, Pu looks to be a power forward. One of his best assets is taking the puck straight to the net. But he also has good hands. He has a very good, accurate and fast shot, but could work on getting it off quicker and cleaner. He will not shy away from the physical battles; in fact he seems to relish it. And he’ll battle as hard defensively. He’s shown that he can create his own offense while also creating offense for his teammates. Pu is a very good skater who is adept at being both a playmaker and a goal scorer.

There’s been an overall improvement to his game from a year ago, where he looked to play the game from the outside. His development has continued in an upward trend and he no longer plays on the perimeter. He has the size and strength to play in the dirty areas and he’s shown that this season. He also has excellent anticipation and is using it more effectively to cause turnovers and create chances.

Like Senyshyn a year ago, it’s difficult to predict what Pu could have done with a more expanded role. Although it is a very small sample size, his most productive offensive output came while the Knights top line of Matthew Tkachuk, Christian Dvorak and Mitch Marner were at the World Junior Championships.

NHL Hall of Famer and Pu’s former coach Paul Coffey talks a little bit about Pu here


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