The Vancouver Giants are one of the most famous WHL franchises for producing elite NHL talent.
Over the last handful of years names like Milan Lucic and Evander Kane have left the Giants and gone on to solid young NHL careers.
Defenceman Brett Kulak could very well be one of the next players to join their illustrious list.
The native of Stony Plain, Alberta won't jump out at you when you watch him. He plays a very quiet and effective style of game. But, that doesn't mean he's not worth the price of admission.
Kulak has solid size, listed at 6'1 and 175 pounds. To go along with that good frame, he's got solid skating ability. In my lone live viewing of him this season there was one play in the game that really stood out to me. He skated down Blades forward Josh Nicholls in a race for the puck, saving a breakaway chance. Nicholls is no slouch in the speed department and it really showed me that Kulak has a nice set of wheels to go with his frame.
Kulak is also a solid offensive defender. He displays a nice stretch pass, good offensive instincts and a very hard slap shot. His numbers this season also won't jump off the page at you, but there is definitely potential for that area of his game to grow.
Defensively he's very solid as well. He's not overly physical, relying instead on his smarts and stick to keep defenders to the outside. Being a first year WHL rookie as a 17 year old, he's definitely still quite raw in his game but scouts like to see that sometimes. There's lots of nice skills with Kulak to mould and develop.
As far as comparison's go, his game reminds me a bit of a player like Ryan Suter in Nashville. A solid two way defenceman, who isn't overly physical (Suter only has 38 hits through 66 games this season), as well as a guy who will slowly start to develop a more offensive game.
So where does Kulak get selected in the draft? To me, he seems like a safe pick in the third round. But, there might just be enough here for a team to gamble on him late in round two.
We'll have to wait and see how it plays out, but there is a lot to like with Brett Kulak. He's officially on the radar.