Name: Jeff Whitfield
Team: Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHA)
Weight: 200 lbs
centre Patrick Jarrett. This year the Thunderbirds boast another top
notch OHL prospect in defenseman Jeff Whitfield. Whitfield, 15, is 1
year removed from Bantam hockey in the Sault.
OHL draft. I have seen him play a number of times and was very impressed
with what I saw. There are a few rough spots in his game but that’s
expected, especially considering he is playing against players 3 and 4
years older than he is.
If he starts a rush he tends to not try to beat the defenseman with an
outstanding move. He is more likely to dump the puck in, let a shot go
or pass the puck off to a teammate.
somewhat of a short fuse. He tends to let his opponents get the best of
him. His size, 6’2″ and 200 lbs, is intimidating enough, especially for
there are not very many, will get better as he gets more experience and
becomes more confident. The only thing besides controlling his temper
that he needs to work on is picking his spots better. When I say picking
his spots better what I mean is he tends to pinch or throw a hit at the
wrong times. That will get better once he gets more confident in his
game and learns his limitations.
young defenseman. Besides taking an almost regular shift, Whitfield is
on the ice in many shorthanded situations.
especially when he is killing penalties. He plays his position very
well. He seems to instinctively know where he should be in his own zone.
get pushed around. He is willing to stand up for his teammates at all
times. His puck handling skills are good as well. He can skate well and
he has a powerful shot which comes in handy.
many of the tools (above average skating, hard shot) to become an
offensive defenseman in the mold of a Chris Pronger or a Rob Blake.
Right now though he looks as though he will be a defenseman in the mold
of Scott Stevens or Derian Hatcher.
Whitfield along fairly slowly and not putting too much pressure on the
young defenseman. Whitfield needs time to adjust to the high level of
play in the NOJHA. Once he becomes more comfortable he will be even
better than he is now.
in the coming months and the weeks leading up to the OHL draft next
summer. Whitfield is a strong defenseman that will only get better.