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Hayton’s a strong skater with excellent balance. He won’t blow past defenders immediately after his first or second step, but his straight-line speed when combined with the likelihood of a sudden change in direction keeps opponents guessing. Hayton is both shifty and crafty with the puck, plus he’s capable of making high-percentage plays on his backhand. He knows how to finish around the goal, but he’s also shown to favor his lethal wrist shot from anywhere near the circles. Again, this kid is very hard to prepare for — both before a game and right when he hops over the boards. He can be a relentless forechecker, especially on the penalty kill, and he will use his body effectively to protect the puck. He has top-line upside and should be expected to dominate the OHL next season when his role is expanded. – The Draft Analyst
Hayton should be back in Sault Ste. Marie next year, and will be given an even bigger role on the club. The Greyhounds will see quite a bit of turnover, and he will be a key leader for the squad. Expect to see him given the role of playing against the other team’s top lines, while also bringing offence. Hayton’s potential at the NHL level is similar, but he has some work to do to get there. When he is on his game, Hayton is great. However, he must work on his consistency, as he can disappear at times. – Last Word on Hockey
Hayton is a good skater but a great player. He’s a guy whose excellence is tough to spot at first but I came to appreciate over a longer period of time. He’s such an intelligent players, always making the right decision with the puck and always in the right position defensively. He’s a beast attacking opposing puck carriers and is going to be a very good penalty killer in the NHL. He might be the smartest player in this draft and his physical tools are high-end enough to make that a lethal combination. He could seriously be a Patrice Bergeron-caliber player if he reaches his ceiling. Offensively, he has the ability to be a 1C and compete for a Selke someday.
If he got to 16, he’d be an amazing fit. He won’t get to 16.
#18 Hockey Prospect
#11 Future Considerations
#11 McKeen’s Hockey