Height: 5’ 10”
Weight: 180 pounds
Date of birth: October 17, 1997 Kingston, Ontario
OHL Draft: Round 4, 71st overall, 2013 Priority Selection
Lets flashback to last season’s Western Conference finals between the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds and the Erie Otters. The Otters led the series three games to two. With the game tied at 2 in the second period, it was one of the most questionable slew footing match penalties I can recall to Hayden Verbeek when he accidentally bumped Otters goaltender Devin Williams in which the Otters would score twice to take the victory and the series.
A lot of players would dwell on it for a long time and they would actually change the way they play the game, but not the nephew of former NHL’er Pat Verbeek.
A vigorous off season workout regiment had Verbeek add some much needed bulk and muscle while also growing an inch. Working hard however, is not a characteristic Verbeek is lacking in.
Verbeek is consistently one of the hardest working players on the ice on any given night. Last season, he brought energy to a Greyhounds lineup that was deep and talented and he’s carried it over to this season where he has taken on an expanded role with players graduating to the next level.
Verbeek is a very strong skater and accompanied with his work ethic and compete level is an excellent forechecker. Despite his size, he’s an excellent body checker who can hit hard. He can also play a chippy game and can get under the skin of opponents.
Verbeek found himself with limited ice time and even a healthy scratch early on this season. But he worked hard and gained more playing time under coach Drew Bannister as the season progressed. Some line juggling late in the season gave Verbeek a chance to play more offensively. He’s a player that Bannister can trust, playing a role on the penalty kill and is second only to Gabe Guertler on the team in faceoffs taken.
The most surprising stat when it comes to Verbeek is that his 14 goals on the season have come on just 77 shots, for an 18.2 shooting percentage. Compare that to Tim Gettinger and his 15 goals on 170 shots for an 8.8 shooting percentage.
Verbeek played his midget hockey for the Sun County Panthers in 2012-2013 where he scored 13 goals and 21 assists in 43 games. The following season he would play for the Chatham Maroons of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey league scoring 8 goals and 27 points in 35 games. He would get in 5 games for the Greyhounds and go pointless. Last season was his rookie season with the Greyhounds where he scored 4 goals and 6 assists in 51 games.
Verbeek was ranked 164th among North American skaters on NHL Central Scouting’s midterm rankings in January.