Kale Clague was a player who quickly caught my eye during Saturday’s matchup against the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies.
The 6’0, 178 lb Lloydminster native put up 43 points in 71 games this season, and looked like a major part of this Wheat Kings team. His 43 points ranked 21st amongst WHL defensemen.
His inaugural season in the WHL was shortened to only 21 games due to injury, however this season was a big breakout year for the 17-year old.
He seems so much more comfortable playing within his teams system right now. Work to do defensively, but he is starting to figure things out
— Zenon Herasymiuk (@ZenonHerasymiuk) May 22, 2016
What does Clague bring to the table?
Clague has the ability to process the game at a quick pace and has the skating ability to be a very mobile defenceman at the next level. Offensively, he put up some impressive numbers and was the second highest scoring defenseman in this year’s WHL playoffs, scoring 14 points in 21 games.
His production was great for a 17-year old, and another year or two would do him very well.
The beginning of his season started off slow, as during the first 27 games of the season, he only put up 13 points. However, he really turned it on as soon as the new year hit.
In the final 34 games of the season, Clague put up 30 points.
Clague is just as solid in his own zone as he is in the offensive zone. Against the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies on Saturday night, he did a fantastic job of creating offensive chances and negated many Rouyn-Noranda chances.
I spoke with scouts at the game that feel although he needs more seasoning in the WHL, he is a player who will certainly be able to be a difference maker.
Should the Oilers be looking at Kale Clague?
I think so.
Despite the fact that Clague is a left shot he plays on the right side for the Wheat Kings in all situations. He projects as an offensive defenceman likely to play on the second pairing, with the ability to be a powerplay quarterback.
This is an area that’s certainly lacking for the Oilers, so using an early second rounder on him wouldn’t be the worst thing the team does.