Kale Clague enters this year's NHL Draft as another prospect with late 1st / early 2nd round potential. Some analysts predict this group to be in the range of nearly two dozen players. It will be intriguing to see where Clague falls within this group.
Clauge's strengths are his skating and vision on the ice from the back end. He is confident as a distributor and playing physically, but his offense, specifically his shot, still needs some work in order to play at the NHL level. He will likely project as a second-pairing defender, though with more improvement he could have first-pair upside. Clauge has drawn comparison to Cody Ceci.
Current team: Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)
Date of birth: June 5, 1998
Place of birth: Regina, SK
Weight: 183 lbs
What the Scouts Say
"A very smart, effective two-way blueliner. Uses his offensive instincts and hockey sense coupled with his elite skating and vision to create numerous offensive chances. He shows patience with the puck and poise beyond his years. Defensively, his positioning is solid and he gets himself into shooting lanes. Willing to play physical at times and is strong in the transition game." - Future Considerations
A Good Fit in Columbus?
As I mentioned from the top, many analysts and scouts do not see much separation in prospects in the 20-40 range. Clague could conceivably be available for the Blue Jackets in the 2nd round. While it might make more sense to pick a center given the organizational need there, it will likely come down to who Jarmo and his staff value the most that point in the draft. Jarmo made a trade back with the team's 2nd round pick in 2013 and used a 2nd and 3rd round pick to move up into the 1st round last year.
Clague in Action