Spencer Gill is a big, mobile, puck-moving defenseman with skills that aren't easy to find in the game today, according to Jean-Francois Damphousse of NHL Central Scouting.

"When you look 4-to-6 years down the road, you're seeing a 6-foot-3, right-handed shot who can move the puck really well," Damphousse told the "NHL Draft Class" podcast. "There's obviously some parts in his game that need some work but for me, the hockey IQ, the way he manages the puck, the way that he sees his options on breakouts and transition plays are kind of rare in today's hockey.

"It was the five-year projection that kind of put Gill over the top for me."

Gill (6-foot-3, 185 pounds) of Rimouski of the Quebec Maritimes Junior Hockey League is No. 29 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters. He completed his second QMJHL season tied for 10th among league defensemen with 46 points (12 goals, 34 assists) in 65 regular-season games.

Damphousse also discussed Chicoutimi right wing Maxim Masse (6-2, 186), No. 30 on Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters, and Saint John left wing Eriks Mateiko (6-5, 208), No. 33, as possible first- or second-round picks in the 2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft.

Masse had 75 points (36 goals, 39 assists) in 67 regular-season games, and Mateiko scored 43 points (23 goals, 20 assists) in 49 games.

"With Masse, I think when he hits the pro level, that physical presence, the forecheck, maybe adding a little bit more aggressiveness in his game, is going to really put him over the top," Damphousse said. "Mateiko is going to be the type of player who can forecheck, be on top of plays and generate some offense, but I like his projection."

Co-hosts Adam Kimelman and Mike G. Morreale also discussed some of the dark horse candidates to watch in their discussion with Damphousse, including several players who could be chosen in the middle of the NHL draft. The veteran scout also provided some interesting thoughts on the impact the QMJHL has had in the NHL in recent years.

The podcast is free, and listeners can subscribe on all podcast platforms, including iTunes, Spotify and Google Podcasts. It also is available on NHL.com/multimedia/podcasts and the NHL app.


Listen: New episode of NHL Draft Class

Related Content