Weight: 172 pounds
Date of birth: February 26, 2001
Hometown: Hamilton, Ontario
OHL Draft: Round 1, 9th overall, 2017 Priority Selection
NHL Central Scouting Rankings: pre-season, November: B prospect, mid-term: 23rd North America
The Sarnia Sting selected Jamieson Rees, a graduate of the Mississauga Reps Minor Midget AAA, with the 9th overall selection at the 2017 Ontario Hockey League’s Priority Selection.
Rees appeared in 32 games for the Reps during the 2016-2017 season, scoring 24 goals and adding 16 assists. At the OHL Cup, Rees would add 6 goals and 5 assists in 8 games for the Reps, helping them win a championship and being selected to the tournament’s all-star team. He would represent Team GTHL Red at the OHL Gold Cup adding 7 points with 4 goals in 5 games, once again winning a championship. OHL Central Scouting’s report on Rees read as follows:
Jamieson is one of the elite players in this year’s Priority Selection. He is a skilled centre that is dangerous every time he has the puck on his stick. He is a good skater with deceptive speed and always manages to win races to loose pucks. He is dangerous off the rush with his speed, elusive one-on-one moves and creative vision. Jamieson makes all the players around him better. He has great vision and is a creative playmaker. He shoots the puck very well with a quick release and very good accuracy.
Rees would appear in 46 games for the Sting last season. His rookie campaign saw him notch 5 goals and assist on 15 others. In August, he would represent Canada at the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup. He scored once and assisted on 3 others in 5 games and helping Canada win a gold medal.
Put simply, Rees has won at every level to date and has done his share. Only an OHL championship eludes him.
At 5’10” Rees is a smaller pivot who will also need to add some bulk to his frame. Despite that, he has excellent lower body strength, and more importantly, knows how to use it to his advantage. He also plays with tenacity and rarely gets outworked. He uses that same tenacity in puck pursuit when the opposition has possession. And although he’s not a chirper, he does get under the oppositions skin.
Rees is also an excellent skater with excellent speed, both in his first steps and top speed. His edgework is second to none among his peers. He has an uncanny ability to shift on a dime, crating time and space. And he can make plays at top speed.
If his vision isn’t described as elite, it’s about as close as you can come to it. He sees the ice extremely well and is often one or two steps ahead of the play. He has superb, soft hands Often, when it looks like there is no play available, Rees finds one.
Rees has appeared in just 35 games this season. He’s missed some time with a kidney laceration and is currently serving an eight-game suspension and won’t be able to return until March 16, 2019. He has 10 goals and 22 assists on the season.
But when you look into Rees’ stats a little deeper, you realize how impressive they are. Of his 22 assists, 18 of them are primary assists. His primary assists per game are not just at the top of the draft class, but top ten in the entire OHL. And he does it at even strength play. The vast majority of his assists (16) come 5-on-5. Three of his 10 goals come with the extra man.
Although Rees is a playmaker first, he does have a very good shot with a deceptive release and deadly accuracy. We’d like to see him become a little more selfish at times and adding that element to his game will only keep defences and goaltenders guessing. He’s shooting now at 9.2% but his high-danger zone shooting percentage is at 17.7%.
Defensively, Rees is as good as anyone in the draft class. He uses that same tenacity, puck pursuit, hockey sense, anticipation, puck protection and skating while defending. And he has the ability to be a one-man breakout. And for those reasons, the coaches know they can deploy him in any situation.
Extra stats from Prospect-Stats