Sitting at 155th on TWC’s Consolidated NHL draft rankings, Trevor Wong could be a steal for the Calgary Flames later in the draft if they decide to base their draft off of NHL 21. Yes NHL 21. Anyone who has played EA Sports’ most recent game in the NHL franchise will recognize the name Trevor Wong. Wong, a relatively unknown prospect in the real world, consistently becomes an elite number one centre in the game. Does EA know something everyone else doesn’t? Let’s take a deeper look.
Who is Trevor Wong?
Wong is from Vancouver, British Columbia and has spent his entire hockey career playing in Western Canada thus far. He was born on May 4, 2003, making him one of the younger players in the draft.
Wong is a natural centre who stands at a very small 5’8″ and 154 pounds, meaning he will most likely shift to the wing at the next level once he gets there.
Trevor Wong’s on-ice production
Let’s take a look at Wong’s production over the last three seasons, in both North America and Russia.
|2018–19||D-2||BC U18||Greater Van. Canadians U18 AAA||34||12||30||42||N/A|
As mentioned above, Wong has worked his way through the various junior hockey league’s in British Columbia. It wasn’t part of his last three seasons, but I figured I would mention Wong’s ridiculous 2017–18 season playing high school hockey in the CSSHL. He posted 141 points, including 64 goals in just 30 games in the regular season. His 64 goals are currently tied for the all-time CSSHL record with Connor Bedard, who tied Wong’s record in 2019. In the playoffs he was even better, putting up a whopping 23 points including 18 assists in only five games.
Following the 2017–18 season he was drafted 18th overall in the WHL draft by the Kelowna Rockets. As he was verbally committed to the University of Denver at the time, his draft stock was lowered considerably. He most likely would’ve been a top-10 or even a top-five pick if he was fully committed to playing in the WHL.
The following year in 2018–19 Wong would play AAA for his local U18 team despite being just 15 years old. His 42 points in 34 games was tied for first on the team, and his points per game of 1.23 was tops on his team. He would also get into four games in the WHL, posting one goal.
His first year in the WHL in 2019–20 was a rough one as he struggled to adapt to playing against larger and stronger players as he weighed in at under 150 pounds and was just 16 years old at the time. Wong managed just 14 points in 58 games on a bad Rockets team before the season was ended early due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This most recent season he was able to get his career back on track, leading a young Rockets team in scoring with a solid 16 points in 16 games during a shortened WHL season. It’s worth noting that Wong was still just 17 this season as he didn’t turn 18 until May.
Trevor Wong’s strengths
As is expected with a player his size, Wong is a very skilled player offensively. He is a borderline elite skater, as he possesses a solid stride and some very good balance. He’s very good at weaving in and out of traffic, and changing directions very quickly in tight. Wong is also solid in transition as a puck carrier and uses his size and skating to create separation on controlled zone entries. Here he is showcasing some of that speed on one of his four goals in this game.
He also has very slick hands, as he is able to stick handle effortlessly through crowds and in tight. He’s very fluid with his movements and can be hard to get the puck off of despite his small size. His game is full of speed, and he is able to make high skill plays at full speed. Add this to his elite skating ability and you’ve got yourself a sneaky little player who can be a legit threat offensively when given too much space.
Despite his small stature, he is actually decent in the defensive zone as well. He possesses a solid hockey IQ at both ends of the ice, which gives him some deceptive defensive skills. He is able to read plays well and intercept passes in the defensive zone. He isn’t an elite defender by any means, but for a player his size he isn’t completely hopeless in the defensive zone at all.
Trevor Wong’s areas of improvement
For Wong, the main area of improvement for him is very clear his overall strength and physical ability at both ends of the ice. At just 154 pounds, Wong will need to put on some considerable weight and strength if he wants to be able to play in the NHL.
Wong can tend to stray away from any physical play whether in the offensive or defensive zones as he backs off from physical situations. He almost never engages in puck battles along the boards or down low, which limits his impact at both ends of the ice. It’s clear he isn’t comfortable just yet with getting into physical battles with larger players.
As mentioned previously, Wong was still just 17 this past season, so he still has a lot of room to mature and grow physically going forward. This should come with age, but it will just be up to Wong to gain some confidence and become more comfortable engaging in puck battles down low and in physical situations at both ends. If he can’t, then his hopes of making the NHL one day are slim.
Fit with the Flames
Wong would be a fit for the Flames as a potential second- or third-round pick based on his skill set, not necessarily his position or handedness. As a left shot centre, Wong doesn’t fill the team’s main need of right shot wingers. However, despite the fact that he has played centre mainly throughout his career, he will likely move to the wing once he gets to the professional level as his size would make him much more effective at wing.
The problem is as a left shot, even if he were to move to the wing he would be moving to a left side that already contains Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk, Andrew Mangiapane, Jakob Pelletier, and Connor Zary.
If the team is looking to pick purely based on skill set in the second or third round and not positional need, Wong would certainly be an interesting option due to his elite skating, speed, and high end puck skills. You can never have a enough skilled players in your organization and Wong certainly has some enticing tools.
Despite what EA Sports wants us to think, Wong doesn’t exactly seem like an elite level prospect bound for stardom in the NHL. That said, he has some very enticing skills in his game and certainly has the potential to be an NHL player one day if he can work on his main weaknesses. Maybe he actually can reach his EA potential one day and they are secretly geniuses?
Wong is in essence a boom or bust pick. He has some great talent offensively in the form of his skating and hands, however his skills aren’t elite which combined with his size could keep him from being an impact player in the NHL, or even making the NHL at all. His ceiling is very low because of this, and he could end up never making it past the AHL level. That said, given his skills he could be serviceable if he can add some strength and put it all together going forward.
In all honesty with NHL21 lore aside, I think Wong would be a decent pick for the Flames if he is available in the third round this year, especially considering the team has two picks in the round (thanks Edmonton). He has the skating and speed that many players don’t possess, and he would certainly be one of the more exciting prospects offensively if he were to join the organization.
I’d much rather take a gamble on a small player with skill in the middle rounds over drafting someone simply because they’re big. I’m not saying he’ll be the next Gaudreau—he is nowhere near as talented as Gaudreau—but he definitely has some decent potential.
The obvious question surrounding Wong is his size, however he’s still young as he just turned 18 a couple months ago, so he still has plenty of time to add on some size and strength and mature his overall game. Wong is very much a long-term project, as he is likely still at least three years away from competing for a spot on an NHL roster, but I think it would be a good low risk, high reward type of pick from the Flames in the third to fourth round.
Projection: Middle six playmaking winger
Previously: William Eklund, Dylan Guenther, Cole Sillinger, Jesper Wallstedt, Kent Johnson, Simon Robertsson, Fabian Lysell, Aatu Räty, Carson Lambos, Simon Edvinsson, Chaz Lucius, Mason McTavish, Brennan Othmann, Corson Ceulemans, Francesco Pinelli, Oskar Olausson, Xavier Bourgault, Zachary L’Heureux, Matthew Coronato, Zachary Bolduc, Logan Stankoven, Sebastian Cossa, Nikita Chibrikov, Fyodor Svechkov, Daniil Chayka, Isak Rosen, Sasha Pastujov
Featured image created with Venngage.