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Getting to know 2016 fifth-round selection Casey Staum

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The Minnesota high school player was the 124th pick.

mnhockeyprospects.com

After acquiring a fifth-round pick in the Zack Kassian trade with the Vancouver Canucks, the Canadiens selected their third left-handed defencemen of the 2016 Draft, taking Casey Staum at 124.

He played the 2015-16 at the high-school level in Minnesota, and was a finalist for the state’s Mr. Hockey Award.

Staum played 29 games this year, with two different schools, registering five goals and fourteen assists. He has committed to play for the University of Nebraska—Omaha for at least the next season, and should be regarded as a long-term project for the Montreal Canadiens.

The strength of his game is his offence, though his defensive skills are quite impressive as well. At 5’11", he’s a physical player, and a fast skater, letting him cover lots of ground in his own zone to keep up with opposition forwards.

Whenever he has the chance, he rushes the puck up the ice, stick-handling his way through the neutral zone. He doesn’t possess the vision of a true transition defenceman, electing to gain the offensive zone himself rather than passing to a teammate, but that aspect of his game should improve during his college career.

That skill set is very similar to what the Canadiens acquired in Victor Mete in the fourth round, so the thinking is probably that one of the two will reach his potential as a puck-moving option for a lower pairing in the future. It’s an interesting strategy, and it will be interesting to see if it pans out to get the team a future roster player.

Scouting

Future Considerations

Staum is a complete defenseman, though we’d call him an offensive-defenseman before a defensive guy. He loves to carry the puck from behind his own goal through neutral ice into the attacking zone. While that won’t always work at the next level, he does have the smarts to make a strong tape-to-tape breakout pass when coverage dictates.

Hockey Prospect Black Book

Casey is a smooth skating Defenseman who can control the pace of the game with the puck on his stick. His hockey sense is probably just average but he can push the pace with his skating and quick puck moving ability or show good poise to slow things down. Staum can bring a physical element and uses his strong lower body to win battles and force the opponent off the puck. He possesses a good shot and his skating and footwork allows him to find lanes to get pucks to the net.

Rankings

Future Considerations: #149

ISS Hockey: NR

Hockey Prospect Black Book: NR

DraftBuzz Hockey: NR

Bob McKenzie: NR

Staum missed a significant portion of the season with a leg injury, which limited the impressions he was able to make on scouts. The limited sample seems to have been enough for the scouting staff of the Canadiens. The leg injury likely impacted his mobility somewhat, making his designation as a fast, transition defender more impressive. The Canadiens aren’t shy about taking injured players, and their newest addition is another in a long line of evidence of that fact.