|5’9”||174||4-28-04||C||L||55th 2020||88th NA||CANADA|
|2019-20||U-15||Buffalo Jr Sabres||53||26||17||43|
So, Beau Jelsma of the Barrie Colts had a pretty decent season prior to the OHL Priority Selection in 2020 with the Buffalo Jr Sabres Under-15 squad. Putting up 26 goals and 17 helpers in 53 games wasn’t too shabby. To say what came after that was a surprise would be an understatement.
Once his Under-15 season was over, Jelsma moved onto the Brantford 99’ers Under-16 team and scored once in 2 regular season games. But it was the playoffs where he put up 11 goals and 10 assists in 12 games that was both inspiring and surprising.
Of course, like most OHL players, Jelsma would miss the 2020-21 season in its entirety due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And like so many others, where to rank Jelsma at the start of the year raised question. If you compare NHL Central Scouting’s mid-term ranking to their final ranking and focus on players that were in the draft range at mid-term, Jelsma was one of the highest risers on their final list.
I’ve learned my lesson not to shy away from smaller players and at 5’9”, Jelsma certainly is on the smaller side. But even at 5’9” Jelsma is incredibly strong, hard to knock off pucks, engages physically along the walls and gets to the dirty area in front of the net and yes, wins most of his board battles.
Jelsma is a speedy and strong skater who generates a lot of speed with his crossovers. He can also maintain possession of the puck at top speed and is not afraid to take on defenders’ one-on-one, take it to the outside and then cut back inside with that upper body strength. He will also get in on the forecheck and as mentioned, is not shy about doing battle. Tenacious in every aspect is a good word to use.
Jelsma also sees the ice extremely well and can see the play developing. While he’s been a scorer more than a playmaker through his career, he can set up teammates. But when a teammate has the puck is when he is most dangerous. He reads the play so well that he can leak into open areas and create passing lanes for his teammates and then he releases his shot quickly and accurately. His shooting percentage was good at 20.5%.
Faceoffs is an area where Jelsma needs to put in some work. He was at 50.6% at the dot this season and that’s not bad for a rookie in the OHL. Defensively, He has made improvements throughout the season and can be trusted in any situation including the penalty kill – but it is still a work in progress.