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2017 Leafs Top Prospects: #11 Andrew Nielsen • The Faceoff Circle
There are few scarier ways to begin a scouting report than “fascinating”. It’s a one-word way of getting out of straight up saying “I like him, but…”, and tends to get attached to players who are a piece or two from truly realizing their potential. Players that you want to believe will find those pieces, but you can’t sell yourself convincingly that they’ll get there. Andrew Nielsen is a fascinating prospect. Age 20 (November 13, 1996) Birthplace Red Deer, Alberta Pos Defence (LH) Drafted 2015 (Rd 3, Pick 65) Vitals 6’3, 207lbs Acquired Via Draft His story also counts as fascinating, though less in the codeword sense and more in actual curiosity. It took Nielsen until his Draft -1 year to even make it to AAA, partially because he wasn’t taking his own odds overly seriously and as such, didn’t condition himself to make the jump. Once he began to take things seriously, though, it all came together quickly for him. A solid season in AAA led to a shot with the Lethbridge Hurricanes, and a rookie season where he finished second among Lethbridge defencemen and 23rd among U19 WHL defencemen in points led many teams to think he was ...