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Get to Know Nicolas Hague
Date of Birth: 12/5/1998
Place of Birth: Kitchener, ON, CAN
Ht: 6’6″ Wt: 214 lbs
Team (League): Mississauga Steelheads (OHL)
What Scouts See
Hague has a great mix of size, skating and skill…shuts down the oppositions’ top lines and is a driver of the play…is physical and will give that extra shot to his opponent to leave a mark and an impression for the next time…doesn’t give his man room to breathe in front of the net…not shy with stepping in to lay the body, standing up his man with a solid check…controls the gap very well with strong position and good stick work…very balanced and surprisingly mobile for a big kid, he possesses a powerful lateral step
Ryan Jankowski, Hockey Canada head scout:
He brings an offensive dimension to his game. He’s also effective in a shutdown role with that range, reach and the size he has. He’s growing into his body and growing into his ability. I feel he’s more than your typical huge physical defenseman; he’s a guy who moves the puck very well and brings an offensive component to his game.
What BSN Avalanche sees
The first thing you see is a 6’6″ defenseman who moves much better than you’d expect from a player that size. He’s swift on his skates and looks very agile. He uses the big frame well as he regularly imposes his will on his opponents, sometimes to the detriment (see the ugly incident with Avalanche prospect Travis Barron in the OHL playoffs) of his team and general player safety, but when he’s playing responsibly, he can change games with his physicality.
His offense is a surprising added element to his repertoire as he doesn’t just succeed with a booming point shot but he reads the play very well, frequently jumping into action and finding creases in the defense to sneak backdoor on unsuspecting teams. He’s not an offensive powerhouse but he contributes on that end of the ice and his defense is very solid.
He battles inconsistency issues and struggles to put together full games. Too frequently you’ll see good plays on one end of the ice met with baffling mistakes on the other and Hague leaves you wanting more as you dig more into his games. He picked up his play quite a bit in the OHL playoffs, however, and provided a glimpse of the player he could become if he found consistency in his game.
Hague is a top four defenseman in the making. His ultimate ceiling depends on how well he is able to put together the entirety of his impressive tools. If he’s able to become a consistent, well-rounded player then he could easily become a team’s top-pairing defender on the left side and could see time on both special team units.
If he’s unable to find that consistency, he could go the way of a Braydon Coburn, whose physical attributes remain impressive but his all-around game just never rounded into form.
How Prospect Fits in Avalanche Organization
Hague would continue the organization’s commitment to bringing in hulking bruisers, especially on the left side. Combined with Nikita Zadorov and Andrei Mironov, Hague’s eventual ascent to the NHL would see the Avalanche running out an imposing left side of their defense that would punish opposing teams in ways the Avs have failed to do in recent years. His all-around skills make him a threat to take over top four minutes for the Avalanche in just a few short years if he continues developing.