Weight: 190 pounds
Date of birth: June 9, 2000
Hometown: Peterborough, Ontario
OHL Draft: Round 1, 9th overall, 2016 OHL Priority Selection
He played his minor midget hockey with the Toronto Red Wings and scored 36 goals and 37 assists in 59 games. He came off an OHL Gold Cup Championship scoring 3 goals in 5 games. And in the OHL Cup, he scored 4 goals and added 2 assists in 5 games.
When Barrett Hayton was still available at the ninth spot of the 2016 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection, it was a no hesitation pick by Kyle Raftis and the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.
Hayton had already won a championship with the Eastern Triple A Minor Midget’s Peterborough Petes. Coming into this season, he won gold with Team Canada at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial where he had 3 goals and 3 assists in 5 games.
To put it simply, Hayton has won and contributed to that winning at every level. And with his Greyhounds being the top dog (no pun intended) in Canadian Major Junior, a run at an OHL and Memorial Cup championship is certainly not out of the question. That can only improve his draft stock as his performance will certainly be fresh in scout’s minds come June in Dallas for the National Hockey League Draft.
His rookie season saw Hayton score 9 goals and add 18 assists on a very deep Greyhounds roster. He also represented Canada at the World Hockey Challenge Under-17 (1 goal and 1 assist in 6 games).
But this season, Hayton is playing a more prominent offensive role with the Greyhounds. He’s posted 17 goals and 28 assists in 48 games. Among the OHL’s draft eligible players, he sits 6th in assists, 7th in points, and 8th in goals.
Coming into the season, Hayton was ranked as an A prospect on NHL Central Scouting’s Players to Watch List. On their mid-term rankings, Hayton was ranked sixth among North American skaters. On Bob McKenzie’s ever popular mid-season rankings, Hayton was ranked 12th among all skaters. McKenzie’s rankings are done by polling NHL scouts so if you’re looking at what NHL scouts may be leaning towards, there is no better source.
When talking about Hayton, the thing that most people will say about him from the get go is “soft and incredible hands.” And that is an understatement. Along with it, he brings an above average – NHL ready – shot. He releases that shot quickly, sometimes deceptively and with a purpose.
Hayton does not lack in the hockey sense department, which means he can play any role and lineup with and against anyone. At 6’1”, he has some size and plays heavy on the puck with a relentless work ethic and forecheck. His vision is very good which allows him to make plays, and when he’s on the receiving end, as mentioned, his shot makes him a threat to score. He has a willingness to drive the net with or without the puck.
Playing in the middle is relatively new for Hayton. While he has good technique, has some agility and is strong on his skates, he needs to add some speed to his game. He plays a very good three-zone game, but I believe to play pivot at the next level, adding speed will be necessary. I agree with others who maintain that the rest of his game means he’s better suited to play the wing in the NHL. Faceoffs are not a strong suit, winning just 48.2% of his draws.
The possession game is a thriving area of Hayton’s game. His vision and passing abilities allows him to find mates and keep possession, while he is so elusive and puts himself in position for teammates to feed him and keeping possession.
Everyone you talk to speak of Hayton’s excellent leadership qualities both on and off the ice. It’s difficult to find others that work harder, and he leads by example – when you watch him work on his game, you just want to follow his lead.
Stat page of Barrett Hayton, from Elite Prospects