|6’0”||196||2-15-04||D||L||68th 2020||42 N/A||CANADA|
|2019-20||GTHL U-16||Toronto Marlboros||29||5||6||11|
|2020-21||OHL||DID NOT PLAY||0||0||0||0|
London Knights defenceman Isaiah George hasn’t really played a lot of hockey over the last three seasons but one thing we do know is that if the Hunters trust George with the duties and ice time they assign to him, then that should be good enough for me.
But in all seriousness, there is a lot to like about George. First is his skating. He’s a smooth and effortless skater and one of the most mobile in this draft class. He doesn’t waste any of his strides and it allows him to conserve energy for those extended and extra shifts he finds himself with. In a way, it reminds me of Ray Bourque and his ability to conserve energy. By no means am I comparing the two, it’s just a reminder.
In his own zone, George is an example of being in the right place at the right time. He reads and anticipates the play so well that he is almost always there to snub an opponents attempt. His angles are good and his mobility allows him to keep opponents to the outside. He also holds his blue line and is very efficient at breaking up the rush. He’s very good at retrieving pucks and leading the transition the other way with a good pass.
George is one of the first blueliners the Hunters can look too and send over the boards to kill off a penalty, protect the lead in the last minute or throw out there against top competition. Physically, I am surprised at his strength both on his skates and his ability to overpower the opponents. He is a physical player but a smart one who won’t take himself out of the play to make the hit. When he makes contact though, you know you’ve been hit.
Throughout the first half of the season, I think to suggest George lacked the confidence to skate in the other direction and lead the breakout is a fair assessment, because the ability is certainly there. And I think we are seeing more and more of that over the last couple of weeks. He has a good shot from the point but it’s his ability to get pucks to the net that is most impressive.
If there is an area, I would say I would look to improve it’s his top end speed. It’s not bad but it will certainly benefit him in transition and joining the rush up ice.
At this point I would say George translates to a steady number 4 defenceman at the next level. If he improves on his offense like I think he can, he could be a mid level number 3.