Name: Jeff Whitfield Team: Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHA) Hometown: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario Position: Defense Number: 5 Height: 6'2" Weight: 200 lbs
young defenseman Jeff Whitfield of the Soo Thunderbirds. Well, I’m back
to give you a report on his progress since then.
season, especially in the last month or so. The improvement has come
more in his defensive game than his offensive game, but both have
has to be the increase in confidence shown by Thunderbird head coach Jim
Capy. Capy has been giving the young defenseman a slight increase in ice
time and he plays in many different situations. Where some coaches may
hold their youngsters on the bench during a penalty kill or in the 3rd
period of a tight game, Capy does use Whitfield in some of those
situations. That increase in ice time from Capy also helps boost the
confidence of Whitfield.
Well, he is no longer letting his temper, and opponents, get the best of
him. This has helped Whitfield in the sense that he is on the ice more
working on his skills.
is so young that should come with some time as he still has time to fill
out. At. 6’2″ and 200 lbs it’s scary to think that Whitfield is still
more confident with the puck when carrying it out of his zone and
through the neutral zone.
picking his spots for hits as well as for pinching in. He doesn’t pinch
in as often now and, although he doesn’t play an overly physical game he
has not seemed to be getting caught out of position much anymore.
evident in his overall game. In December Whitfield was named a game star
in 3 games.
June’s OHL Bantam draft. The only agreement among fans and scouts alike
is the fact that he will go in the first round.
available for the draft is the fact that the OHL doesn’t release a list
of eligible players and a player ratings list.
obvious, is his size. Once he fills out he needs to use his size to
punish opposing forwards.
defenseman in the mold of Scott Stevens or Derian Hatcher. I’m not
comparing him to them as I feel it’s unfair to put that type of pressure
on a young player. What I will say is that he will likely develop into
that type of defenseman.
as many teams are looking for tough defensemen with size. When the draft
rolls around Whitfield is a player that will definitely be heard from.