After a successful season that saw him put up 16 points in 22 games, Zack Ostapchuk has proven himself this season. The former 12th overall pick from the 2018 Bantam Draft doubled his point production over last season in half the number of games. Ostapchuk, who should be a late-round pick, really grew as the season went on, and has impressed with his size, skill, and ability to drive the net hard.
Main goal for the season
Coming into this season, Ostapchuk was determined to impress. He worked on his overall game in the offseason, and it really showed late in the season.
— Vancouver Giants (@WHLGiants) May 6, 2021
“I think I just wanted to come in here and take advantage of my opportunities. I just wanted to have the best year I could.”
A strong finish to the season
Ostapchuk really impressed as the season went on. He drove to the net more, created offense, and even got some time on the penalty kill. Ostapchuk has turned into a complete player just in time for the Draft. He credits his end-of-season success to a rise in confidence.
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May 11, 2021
— The WHL (@TheWHL) May 12, 2021
“I think the confidence was gained throughout the year. This season, I kind of figured out what works and what doesn’t this year. I think that is what has changed for me.”
Strongest part of his game
Ostapchuk skates really well for a player his size. This is a part of his game that has really improved and become a weapon this season.
Zack Ostapchuk – @WHLGiants
There are quite a few big body, power-forward type players available in this upcoming NHL draft from the WHL, but Zack is making a case that the reaction time and ability to stickhandle with creativity is something that sets him apart. pic.twitter.com/q6zIWpybEA
— Puck Preps Western Canada (@PuckPrepsWestCa) April 26, 2021
“I think my skating. For a big guy, I can move pretty well. I can beat guys wide and get around the edges.”
Take away from the bubble
The bubble is an experience Ostapchuk won’t soon forget. Playing in front of no fans is something that will stick with Ostapchuk as it was a bizarre experience for most.
“Not taking anything for granted. It was a blessing to play this season. That first game, playing in front of no fans, I thought that was pretty weird. You heard everything that was going on around the rink. It was just quiet. It was pretty interesting for sure.
Generating more offense
One key part of Ostapchuk’s improved game this season was shots on goal. In 44 games last season, he had 53 shots. This season in 22 games, he had 56. Ostapchuk started to generate more chances this season which lead to his successful offensive season.
— The WHL (@TheWHL) March 31, 2021
He also stepped up early in games as five of his seven goals this year with the first of the game. The early goals were a big reason why the Giants had so much success and finished second in the division in points.
A great season
Ostapchuk really stepped up this season. He was given more responsibility and did not crack under the pressure. Ostapchuk really proved he is deserving of being selected in the Entry Draft this season.