Weight: 180 Pounds
Date of birth: January 12, 2000
Hometown: Bowmanville, Ontario
OHL Draft: Round 2, 24th overall, 2016 Priority Selection
NHL Central Scouting pre-season: B Prospect
NHL Central Scouting mid-term: 42nd overall, North American Skaters
NHL Central Scouting final rank: Not available at this time
Peterborough Petes’ defenceman Declan Chisholm played his minor midget hockey with the Don Mills Flyers during the 2015-2016 season. As an alternate captain and leader on the blue line, he collected 10 goals and 23 assists in 63 games. He also appeared in the OHL Cup, scoring twice and adding three helpers in six games and being named to the All-Star Team.
The Petes would select Chisholm in the second round of the 2016 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection, twenty-fourth overall. Here is OHL Central Scouting’s report on him at the time:
Declan is one of the top defenders in this age group. He does everything very well. He’s a slick skating defenseman that has excellent mobility and very good top end speed. He logs a ton of minutes and because of his skating ability, he looks like he could play all day long. He is a very good passer, sees ice well and makes excellent simple outlet passes. He uses his mobility on the offensive blue line to his advantage, gets pucks on net and makes good shot/pass decisions.
As a rookie during the 2016-2017 season, Chisholm would appear in 41 games for the Petes, scoring once and adding four assists. He would represent Canada at the World Hockey Challenge Under-17 and in six games would register two assists.
Entering this his National Hockey League Draft season, bigger things were expected of Chisholm. While he scored three goals and added seventeen assists, he appeared in just forty-seven games. He was off to a very good start, but then an injury – a high ankle sprain – caused him to miss fourteen games. It’s the type of injury, even though you are medically cleared, that takes a long time to fully recover.
Along with the injury, the Petes made a coaching change during Chisholm’s absence. The Petes also suffered through other injuries and were a non-playoff team. Combined, they were all contributing factors in making the right read on Chisholm. Despite that, there is enough of a sample size.
Chisholm is an excellent skater with excellent speed. He uses his edges extremely well, can change his pace in a split second and changes direction with ease. Offensively, he uses that skating ability to quickly open-up lanes and create a scoring opportunity with a shot or a perfect pass. Defensively, he uses that same skating ability to keep players close or close gaps quickly.
In the defensive zone, Chisholm can beat the forecheck. He makes crisp, clean outlet passes and puts the puck on his forward’s stick quickly. As his season moved along, he became more confident in his skating abilities and utilized the skill more often in skating the puck out of the zone.
At 6’1”, Chisholm has good size. Adding muscle and strength is important as he is sometimes prone to losing one-on-one battles. At 180 pounds, there is plenty of room to add however.
Chisholm is also a very intelligent player. He knows exactly when to jump into the play. He sees the ice extremely well. He is very effective at keeping possession, whether it’s on his stick or putting pucks in areas his teammates can get to first.