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2014 NHL Entry Draft: St. Louis Blues Select C.J. Yakimowicz at 172nd Overall

"Chandler impressed me with the U.S. program earlier this year. The move to London really helped improved areas like his shooting ability but my favorite part about his game is he's so coachable. He uses his size extremely well and will go through a wall for his teammates." - Ryan Yessie, Head Scout, Hockey

London Knights dot com

Yakimowicz sweaterWith the 172nd pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, the St. Louis Blues are pleased to select forward Chandler (C.J.) Yakimowicz of the London Knights in the Ontario Hockey League.

The 6' 2, 198-pound native of Kingston, Pennsylvania spent much of the early part of the 2013-14 on the move. He started the year with The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton U18 Knights of the Atlantic Youth Hockey League, and put in a four-game appearance with the USNTDP squad in the USHL before arriving in London at Christmastime to learn from ex-NHL star Dale Hunter, and former Blues Mark Hunter and Basil McRae.

Blues' Director of Amateur Scouting Bill Armstrong had THIS to say about Yakimowicz at the conclusion of the draft:

He’s an intriguing player. We really like C.J., just for the simple fact that he’s an ‘old-school’ player. He’s got some speed, he’s a big man, he loves to engage, he loves to play the physical aspect. And, you know, we like that. He’s a gamer. And at the end of the day, we’d done a ton of homework on him, and he’s gonna be someone that’s gonna provide a little bit of toughness, a little bit of grit. He’s almost like a Ryan Reaves. He’s someone that’s a comparable player. He’s got to work on his skills, he’s got to keep developing his skill and making that next step, obviously. He’s a good skater for a big man, which helps him get there. Hopefully, he needs to get a little bit more ice in London and develop his game.

Yakimowicz BW USA flag Chandler (C.J.) YAKIMOWICZ RANKINGS
Position Center/Right Wing Future Considerations N/R
Shoots Right Hockey Prospect Black Book 118
Height 6' 02.00" Int'l Scouting Services N/R
Weight 198 lbs CSS Prelim N/R
Born Jan. 26, 1996 CSS Midterm N/R
Where Kingston, PA CSS Final 153 N Am
2013-14 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton U18 (AYHL) 10 6 7 13 0 60 0 0 0
Team USA (USHL) 4 0 1 1 - 5 2 0 0 0
London (OHL) 33 3 4 7 +11 45 0 0 0
PLAYOFFS ... 9 2 0 2 + 1 4 0 0 0

"Future Considerations" 2014 NHL Draft Guide

"Hockey Prospect" 2014 NHL Draft Black Book
Yakimowicz started the season with the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Knights U18 team with a short stint at the U.S. National Team Development Program. Chandler joined the Knights after the Christmas break, and made an immediate impact on the fourth line for the Knights, showing a willingness to do anything for his team. He was quite raw coming into the OHL, and remains that way, but the Knights have done an excellent job shaping him into a legitimate NHL prospect ... He already possesses an excellent frame. His overall skating ability can be a little clumsy in regards to technique, but generates average speed. He finishes every check, and forechecks hard striking fear in smaller defenders when pursuing pucks in the corners. With limited ice he maximizes his potential by skating hard every second, and provides a tireless backcheck. He has blocked shots in the defensive zone, and sells out defensively to try and remove pressure in his own zone ... Chandler’s toughness was also on display, as he dropped the gloves a handful of times in the final months of the season beating down some very tough opponents. His shot has improved immensely since coming to London, as he used to provide a weak shot that he put low to create rebounds. Chandler now has quite a bit of zip in his shot, and surprised goaltenders on a few occasions. Regardless, his offensive upside at the next level is very limited ... Ultimately Yakimowicz is a bit of a dark horse for this draft, but we really like what he shows in the mold of a hard-working, bottom six player who knows who he is, and will consistently compete, block shots, win battles, drop the gloves and do what it takes to win. These players are very valuable at the next level, and when combined with a 6’ 3, 200lb frame, Yakimowicz has a great edge as an excellent sleeper pick at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.

International Scouting Services 2014 NHL Draft Guide
Size/Strength N/R Strengths
Skating N/R N/R
Puck Skills N/R N/R
Shot N/R N/R
Offensive Play N/R Weaknesses
Defensive Play N/R N/R
Physical Play N/R N/R
Competitiveness N/R
Hockey Sense N/R