Weight: 195 Pounds
Date of birth: July 7, 2002
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario
Position: Right Wing
OHL Draft: Round 4, 73rd overall, 2018 Priority Selection
NHL Central Scouting Rankings
|N.R.||N.R.||90 N.A.||54 N.A.|
Perhaps no other player has caught the attention of the scouting world and moved up the rankings as much as Kingston Frontenacs’ Zayde Wisdom has. Wisdom was an after thought on NHL Central Scouting’s Players to Watch Lists in the preseason and November and jumped all the way to 90th among North American Skaters on their mid-term report.
In fairness to Central Scouting, they weren’t the only ones to “miss the boat”. We here at OHLW didn’t include him on our preseason list, but moved him up to a C prospect on our list (4th, 5th or 6th round prospect) in November. The 90th ranking by Central Scouting sets Wisdom as a late 4th or early 5th round pick when you take into consideration Goaltenders and Europeans.
Wisdom played his Minor Midget AAA hockey during the 2017-2018 season with the Toronto Junior Canadiens where he appeared in 57 games, scoring 15 goals and adding 38 assists. Wisdom had a superb OHL Cup Tournament with 3 goals and 5 helpers in 7 games and helping the Junior Canadiens capture the OHL Cup.
Wisdom played his first Ontario Hockey League game a season ago and played in a total of 60 contests for the Frontenacs. He scored just 3 goals and assisted on 10 others on a team that finished last overall, scored the fewest goals (68 fewer than the next closest) and the second most goals surrendered.
Wisdom wrote a different story this season as a young Frontenacs team improved. He finished the year with 29 goals and 30 assists in 62 games. His 59 points were second only to junior phenom to be Shane Wright on the team. But that is the question many pundits are asking themselves: Just how much was Wisdom the beneficiary of playing with Wright?
That’s not an easy question to answer. To play with a player of Wright’s calibre, you need to be able to think the game at a high level to do so. And you need to put yourself in position when defences are keying in on your best player. Consider this: through the first 10 games while Wright, who was granted exceptional status by Hockey Canada, was getting acclimated to the OHL and going against older players, it was Wisdom who was carrying the offence for the Fronts.
Wisdom is a good skater with good speed and is markedly improved from a year ago. He is able to get on the forecheck quickly and create havoc. He darts into lanes quickly and without hesitation. He’s a small guy at 5’9” but built like a tank. Quite simply he is the little engine that can with a motor and work ethic that never hits pause.
Wisdom is not afraid to go to the dirty areas, in fact, he has a superb net front presence. You’ll find he parks himself in front of the blue paint and yes, he is hard to move. But he’ll also score the majority if his goals from the top of or in the paint. But he also has an excellent shot and release that can beat a goaltender from the high slot or coming down his wing. Frankly, with his ability to find open ice combined with his shot, we are a little bit surprised he doesn’t score more of those goals.
Wisdom has also improved on his puck possession and has learned the importance of maintaining possession in today’s game. He is strong on his feet and hard to separate from the puck. His body is always in a good position to protect the puck. We would like to see his playmaking skills improve. To put it in hockey terms, would like to see his hands catch up to his feet and his head.
We see Wisdom topping out at the NHL level as a third line winger who will provide energy and some offense. He will be able to move up and down the lineup in a pinch.
What we all know for sure is that there have been a lot of eyes on Wright this season. And that bodes well for Wisdom because the more you see him, the more you realize what assets he can bring to the NHL. And all the rankings available are showing just that.